俺ら東京さ行ぐだ (Ora Tokyo Sa Igu Da) - The First Japanese...Rap Song?

Updated: Aug 18

One of my hobbies is listening to music. And by listening to music, I will listen to absolutely anything. Doesn't matter if it is Pop, Rock, Novelty, J Hip-Hop, K-Pop, Mexican Mariachi, I will listen to anything. With close to 8,000 songs on my iPhone (mostly coming from CDs in Japan that I burned from many Japanese libraries), I'm never without a tune that I can listen to.


Here is a few samples of my playlist.

Lou Monte - Pepino the Italian Mouse (Only Real Italian-Americans, like myself, know this song)

Elton John - I'm Still Standing

Bump J - Move Around (Ah... memories of Madden 06. CLICKY CLACK BOOM!)

Shounan no Kaze (With Yasutaka Nakata) - Ichibanka (Theme Song to Yakuza: Like a Dragon)

And let's not forget probably my favorite video game tune...


Receive You - Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) Series

But, there is one song that totally has my heart. Had I known about this song's existence back before I left Akkeshi, I most likely would have sang it at my "going away party" to mock the Akkeshi Board of Education and the entire village for being a backward place.


I am referring to the legendary "First Japanese Hip-Hop Song", Ora Tokyo Sa Igu Da by Yoshi Ikuzo (a pun on the Japanese phrase よし, 行くぞ! ("Alright, Let's Go" in English).


The song refers to a frustrated young Japanese man that is stuck out in the Japanese countryside and how he longs to go to Tokyo to escape the monotony of country living. He tells the listener about what he has in his village, and what they do not have. Even the most basic of necessities, like electric and gas, are not in his village (and this song was written in the early 1980s). He dreams of leaving his god forsaken **** hole and saving his money in Tokyo, all while buying a "mountain in Ginza" and bringing is "cart and horse in tow".


Given the fact that Yoshi is indeed from Aomori Prefecture in Northern Honshu (south of Hokkaido), and that the song is sung with some of his native Aomorian dialect, it's safe to say that the hero of the song is most likely from Aomori Prefecture.

But enough of me giving Akkeshi the business. You wanna hear the song, right?


Both the Japanese and English Translated lyrics will be beneath the video.

俺ら東京さ行ぐだ - 吉幾三


日本語歌詞 (青森弁) - Japanese Lyrics (Aomori Dialect)


ハー, テレビも無ェ ラジオも無ェ

クルマもそれほど走って無ェ

ピアノも無ェ バーも無ェ

巡査 毎日ぐーるぐる

朝起ぎで、牛連れて

二時間ちょっとの散歩道

電話も無ェ 瓦斯も無ェ

バスは一日一度来る

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るだ

東京へ出だなら

銭コア貯めで 東京でベコ (牛)飼うだえ

『あよいしょ!』

『あそれ!』

『は!』

ハー, ギターも無ェ ステレオ無ェ

生まれてこのかた 見だごとァ無ェ

喫茶も無ェ 集いも無ェ

まったぐ若者ァ俺一人

婆さんとじいさんと数珠を握って空拝む

薬屋無ェ 映画も無ェ たまに来るのは紙芝居 俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るだ

東京へ出だなら

銭コア貯めで東京で馬車引くだえ

ディスコも無ェ のぞきも無ェ

レーザー・ディスクは何者だ?

カラオケはあるけれど, かける機械を見だごとァ無ェ

新聞無ェ 雑誌も無ェ たまに来るのは回覧板

信号無ェ ある訳無ェ 俺らの村には電気が無ェ

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るだ

東京へ出だなら

銭コア貯めで銀座に山買うだえ

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るだ

東京へ出だなら

銭コア貯めで 東京でベコ (牛)飼うだえ


日本語歌 (標準語) - Japanese Lyrics (Standard Japanese)


ハー, テレビも無い ラジオも無い

クルマもそれほど走って無い

ピアノも無い バーも無い

巡査 毎日ぐーるぐる

朝起きて、牛連れて

二時間ちょっとの散歩道

電話も無い 瓦斯も無い

バスは一日一度来る

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るんだ

東京へ出たなら

銭コア貯めて 東京でベコ (牛)飼うんだ

『あよいしょ!』

『あそれ!』

『は!』

ハー, ギターも無い ステレオ無い

生まれてこのかた 見たことは無い

喫茶も無い 集いも無い

まったく若者ァ俺一人

婆さんとじいさんと数珠を握って空拝む

薬屋無い 映画も無い たまに来るのは紙芝居 俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るんだ

東京へ出たなら

銭コア貯めて東京で馬車引くんだ

ディスコも無い のぞきも無い

レーザー・ディスクは何者だ?

カラオケはあるけれど, かける機械を見たことは無い

新聞無い 雑誌も無い たまに来るのは回覧板

信号無い ある訳無い 俺らの村には電気が無い

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るんだ

東京へ出たなら

銭コア貯めで銀座に山買うんだ

俺らこんな村いやだ 俺らこんな村いやだ

東京へ出るだ

東京へ出たなら

銭コア貯めで 東京でベコ (牛)飼うんだ

English Lyrics (Translated by Me)


Ain't got no TV, ain't got no radio

Got a car, but it ain't runnin

Ain't got no piano, ain't got no bar

Cop makes his daily rounds everyday

Get up early and take a 2-hour walk with the cows

Ain't got no electric, ain't got no gas

The bus only comes but once a day


Chorus:

God, I hate this village. God, I hate this village.

I'mma gonna go to Tokyo.

If I go to Tokyo, I can save my money... and raise my cow there too!


Ain't got no guitars, ain't got no stereos

Ain't ever seen you round here before

Ain't got no cafes, ain't got no places to hang

I'm the only young man in this place

Mom and Dad pray with their rosaries pointed to the sky

Ain't got no pharmacies, ain't got no movie theaters

But occasionally we do get a traveling picture show!


Chorus:

God, I hate this village. God, I hate this village.

I'mma gonna go to Tokyo.

If I can go to Tokyo, I can save my money... and pull my wagon in tow!


Ain't got no discos, ain't got no peepshows

What the f**k is a Laser Disk?

We do got karaoke, but I ain't ever seen the machines that you hook it up to

Ain't got no newspapers, ain't got no magazines but we do occasionally have notices come We ain't got stop lights, no wait, we do...but my village ain't got no damn electricity!


Chorus:

God, I hate this village. God, I hate this village.

I'mma gonna go to Tokyo.

If I can go to Tokyo, I can save my money... and I'll be able to buy a mountain in Ginza!


Outro:

God, I hate this village.

God, I hate this village.

I'mma gonna go to Tokyo. If I go to Tokyo,

I can save my money... and raise my cow there too!


Ok, so the lyrics are very outdated. I mean, Laser Disks? I've never seen one myself, at least not to my knowledge. But some of the things that Yoshi talks about are things that all Inaka JETs, ALTs, or any one living in the Northern Japanese countryside can all relate to.


  • No real places to hang out or have fun

  • Possibly being one of the only young people in your village or town

  • The conservativeness of the old folks

  • Lack of public transportation


Akkeshi lacked all of those. To be fair, my co-ALT and I were quite possibly the only young adults in the village. And any young people that were around were terrified of either my "hugeness" or his lack of Japanese skills. So it was nearly impossible for us to make any real Japanese friends there.


So what did I do?


I inadvertently took Yoshi's advice and went to Tokyo. Probably the best move career wise, and love wise, for me. Had I stayed in Akkeshi longer, who knows, maybe I would have seen a traveling picture show come around... or I would have just upped and left without telling the BOE anything. Either way, I would have went to Tokyo anyway.

One last thought though... this is supposedly the first Japanese hip-hop song. Yet to me, I would personally consider this more of a country song. This is by no means an "Old Town Road" (which I think is a crappy song anyway) kind of Hip-Hop/Country mix, but I have a hard time hearing the hip-hop in the song.


Nonetheless, I love this song, and to all the JETs that want to get out of the countryside... GO TO TOKYO! BUY THAT MOUNTAIN IN GINZA AND TAKE YOUR HORSE AND CART IN TOW!



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Phone: 214-892-3207

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