Can Anyone Help with a Japanese Song about Raccoons or Badgers called “Shojoji”?

Raquel wrote to me:

Hi,

I LOVE your website! Charming, charming and so fun!
I was looking for a Japanese song about how raccoons or badgers make a drum sound on their tummies.

It was on an Ann Leif Barlin record many years ago.

It goes like this (I hope):

Sho, sho sho joji
sho joji naee wawa
tzum, tzum tzum kei o na
me nodeta koi koi koi

That’s some of it as I recall.

If you can find it that would be great!
Thanks!

RAquel Ary-DE ROZZA

If anyone can help with this song, please comment below or email me.

Thanks in advance!

Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, January 12th, 2008 at 1:32 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Kids Songs, Languages, Questions, Readers Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

44 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Japanese Song about Raccoons or Badgers called “Shojoji”?”

  1. Karen Bessin Says:

    The song is called “Shojoji no tanukibayashi”

    The words to the song are:

    Sho-sho- Shojo-Ji
    Shojo-Ji no niwa wa
    Tsu-tsu-tsuki yo de minna dete koi koi koi!
    Oira no tomodacha
    Pon poko pon no pon.

    Makeru na, makeru na
    Oshosan ni makeru na
    Koi koi koi koi koi koi
    Minna dete koi koi koi!

    Sho-sho-shojo-Ji
    Shojo-Ji no hagi wa
    Tsu-tsu-tsuki yo ni
    Hanazakari.
    Oira wa ukarete
    Pon poko pon no pon.

  2. Lisa Says:

    Masae Morishima sent me the following transliterated version of Sho-jo-ji with an English translation…

    The full name of the song is “Shojoji no tanuki bayashi” (Raccoon Dogs Dancing at Shojoji Temple). The lyrics were written by Noguchi Ujo (1882 – 1945).

    Shojoji no tanuki bayashi
    (Japanese Transliteration)

    Sho(u) Sho(u) Shoujou-ji (we pronounce it like “Sho-jo-ji”)
    Shoujou-ji no niwa wa
    Tsu(n) Tsu(n) Tsukiyo da
    Min-na dete koi koi koi
    Oira no tomodacha
    Pon poko pon no pon

    Makeruna makeruna
    O(t)-sho san ni makeruna
    koi koi koi
    koi koi koi
    Min-na dete koi koi koi

    Sho(u) Sho(u) Sho(u)jo(u)-ji
    Sho(u)jo(u)-ji no hagi wa
    Tsu(n) tsu(n) tsuki-yo ni hana zakari
    Oiraha ukarette
    Pon poko pon no pon

    Raccoon Dogs Dancing at Sho-jo-ji Temple
    English Translation

    At Sho-jo-ji Temple
    The garden is bright on the moonlit night.
    Let’s come and together,
    We are raccoon dog friends,
    Pon poko pon no pon!

    Keep up with the Priest (of Sho-jo-ji Temple),
    Let’s come and beat on the belly drum together.

    At Sho-jo-ji Temple,
    The (Japanese) bush clover is in full bloom on the moonlit night.
    How merry and playful!
    Pon poko pon no pon!

    Masae said, “I think you need an explanation for this song. In Japan, we believe (especially when we are small) that the raccoon dog plays the belly drum with their front legs while standing on their hind legs. Sho-jo-ji Temple is famous for the tradition of the raccoon dog belly drum.”

    Masae sent me the Japanese text for this song. I’ll be posting it on the Mama Lisa’s World Japan Pages in the future. You can find other Japanese children’s songs and folk songs there too.

    Thanks for your help Masae!

    -Mama Lisa

  3. Lisa Says:

    Check it out – you can hear a version of Sho-jo-ji sung in English

  4. Aja Says:

    i’ve heard of this! i heard of the story in a movie called pom poko. it’s cute. you should check it out. the credits open with the children singing. i’m not sure if it’s the same song, but variety is good lol.
    ^_^

  5. Alvin Says:

    Thank you very much for printing out these lyrics. My Mom taught me this song when I was a little boy and she use to have me sing it to her. When she passed away, I tried to remember the song but parts of it I could not remember. After reading the lyrics, it has all come back to me and some memories of my Mom has been restored to me!!! Thanks again.

  6. George Says:

    I learned that song as a Marine waiting to go to Vietnam. We were volunteering at an orphanage near Iwakuni, Japan. Thanks for the memories

  7. Susan Says:

    This song brings back happy days with my mother, who used to sing this to me. A website I found very helpful was: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/tanuki.shtml where the website has provided the below:

    証 証 証城寺
    証城寺の庭は
    ツ ツ 月夜だ
    みんな出て 来い来い来い
    おい等(ら)の友達ァ
    ぽんぽこ ぽんの ぽん

    負けるな 負けるな
    和尚(おしょう)さんに 負けるな
    来い 来い 来い
    来い 来い 来い
    みんな出て 来い来い来い

    証 証 証城寺
    証城寺の萩(はぎ)は
    ツ ツ 月夜に 花盛り
    おい等(ら)は浮かれて
    ぽんぽこ ぽんの ぽん

    Sho sho Shojoji
    Shojoji no niwa wa
    Tsu tsu tsukiyo da
    Minna dete koi koi koi
    Oira no tomodacha
    Pon poko pon no pon

    Makeruna makeruna
    Osho-san ni makeruna
    Koi koi koi, Koi koi koi
    Minna dete koi koi koi

    Sho sho Shojoji
    Shojoji no hagi wa
    Tsu tsu tsukiyo ni hana zakari
    Oira wa ukarete
    Pon poko pon no pon

    At Shojoji Temple
    In the temple garden
    In the moonlight
    Come on everybody
    My friends play belly drums
    Pon poko pon no pon

    Don’t loose your dancing bout
    Against the monk
    Come here, come here
    Everybody come here and dance

    At Shojoji Temple
    The temple’s bush clover
    Is in full bloom under the moon
    I’m in a festive mood
    Pon poko pon no pon
    (sound of playing belly drum)

    About the composer, Nakayama Shinpei

  8. Shirley Says:

    If you go to You Tube and type in Eartha Kitt, scroll down her playlist and you will find
    Sh0- Jo- Ji

  9. Shirley Says:

    Sorry, here is the link.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FycWm8KUK90

  10. Shirley Says:

    And the English lyrics
    My obaachan taught Sho-jo-ji to me sister and me a long time ago. This is what I remember:
    Sho sho sho-jo-ji, sho-jo-ji is a racoon.
    He is always hungry so he dreams of koi koi koi.
    He will rub his head and tummy, rub head and tum tum tum.
    Macaroons and macaroni, jelly beans, pink abalone, koi, koi, koi, koi, koi, koi
    Minna dete koi koi koi.

    There may be more but this is all I can remember!

  11. Laura Says:

    Try this site:
    http://dyongtsiko.multiply.com/journal/item/8

    We learned this song in kindergarten in Hawaii…
    (spelled phonetically)

    So so sojoji
    Sojoji is a raccoon
    He is always hungry so he sings of koi koi koi
    Jelly beans and pink bologna
    Boom boodi boom boom boom

    …of course, that was many, many years ago, so who knows for sure?!

  12. Jack Says:

    This was a very popular song, very catchy, sung by Eartha Kitt and played regularly on AFN Iwakuni, also Britcom Radio, Kure. in 1955.
    Brings back a few memories!

  13. Sharon Jennings Says:

    I learned the song when I lived in Okinawa. My father was in the airforce and stationed there. I had a Japanese culture class at my school in the third grade. We learned this song and a dance to it also, along with other songs and dances.

  14. Bill Says:

    My great-aunt had this song on a record when we were kids. We loved to listen to it even though we knew not a word of Japanese, only that the record jacket said that it was children singing about raccoons, an animal that we loved seeing whenever we went camping. The song has come to my mind everytime I have encountered them, even when “doing battle” with them over the contents of the camping cooler or our koi pond.
    I had a near catastrophy swerving to miss old Mr Raccoon on a motorcycle on nasty wet leaves on the way in to work this morning, and on the rest of the ride in, found myself humming the Sojoji song. In the solitude of 4:30 am inside the helmet, I found myself focusing for the first time on the why, where, and when of that little song. I looked it up and found your website. Thanks all for putting some names and facts behind this memory.
    Bill Snyder, Enola, Pa.

  15. Lisa Says:

    I’m glad you’re okay Bill. Happy we were able to help you with the song. I know how important it is to find childhood songs. Stay safe! Mama Lisa

  16. Elizabeth Gilmore Says:

    Sho jo ji is a song that is dear to my heart for I was raised completely away from my biological parents and Japanese culture. Although Japanese was my first speaking language, I only remember a few words, but I did remember this song in its entirety and taught it to my own children phonetically, even though we never understood its meaning. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I looked it up on Youtube and heard it once more the way my mother had sung it to me. I was amazed at how accurate my memory was of the song in Japanese. Hitomi-chan

  17. Diana Says:

    I first heard this song when I was a young girl back in the 50’s. It was on a Mickey Mouse album my parents bought me and for some reason I never forgot it. Thanks to this blog my husband found it on youtube for me. Thanks.

  18. Bob Says:

    Thanks for posting this. My mom use to sing this to me as a young boy and now that she has dimentia and no longer recognizes me, I really needed this. Thanks

  19. Lorraine Says:

    My dearest Aunt Mary, who worked for the Japanese consulate many years ago, taught this song to my brother and me when we were little, and now, tomorrow, at her wake, we’re going to tell the story of how magical she was to us, while this song plays in the background. Thank you so much for making the words accessible!

  20. John Says:

    My mother Fumiko passed away yesterday. I thought she would pull through her open heart surgery, and her heart did, but her brain couldn’t handle it. She was 73. She left Okinawa around the early 60’s. She would sing this song to me when I was a child. I will have to ask my younger brothers and sisters if they heard it too. It is very soothing to my soul. This song will be forever in my heart as my mother’s lulaby. I never knew the lyrics until today. I used to always sing it, but obviously had misinterpreted it a bit. It was so nice to find it here and other places. Thanks for the information. I will try to learn it and have my children learn it and possibly sing to their children.

  21. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear about your Mom. She sounds lovely.

  22. Susan Gregory Says:

    My parents brought this song back with them when they were stationed in Japan in the mid 1950’s. My brother performed it at his grade school and it has always a special place in my memories of childhood. Now I am a kindergarten teacher and would like to have my class sing and dance it. My favorite version is the one by Eartha Kitt but I would love to see videos of children dancing to it so I can choreograph a dance to it for our International Day Festival. If anyone can recommend websites where I can find this, I would greatly appreciate it.

  23. Lisa Says:

    I couldn’t find any specifically for that song – can anyone else?

    Otherwise, perhaps you can check out youtube for Japanese dances and adapt one.

    Here’s one lady doing a slow dance (so you can see the movements):

    There’s a cartoon video with raccoons dancing to Shojoji at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeMaFJsvm9w

  24. Bob Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIAWMmCWGxo&feature=related

    This is how my mom sang it to me. Hope they keep the link live!

  25. Kevin Armstrong Says:

    I learned this song while growing up on Okinawa and attending kindergarten in quonset huts. Nice to see that my memory of the song in Japanese was not too terribly altered by 42 odd years. I especially remembered beating my stomach with each “pom pom pom.”

  26. Josie Says:

    Hello,
    Here is a link to a website, based in NYC, that sells the song that you are looking for, in English and in Japanese. Both translations are on the same CD, along with a songbook!
    I purchased this product several years ago, but have misplaced it recently. I found myself singing several of the songs, and decided to do an online search to see if it was still for sale online. That is how I found your blog question.
    Enjoy!
    Blessings in Christ to You and Yours,
    Josie

    http://www.kamishibai.com/store/song_book.html

  27. Charisma Davies Says:

    Thank you all for this. Not only can I close my eyes and see my Obachan singing and dancing… you have also provided me with the ability to share it with friends <3

  28. Don Plato Says:

    This song brings back memories ,my mom was japanese and taught this song to all my brothers and sisters and singing she would dance around being very animated as she did it. She also had a tanuki doll which looked like a raccoon that wore oriental farm hat carring a long pole with a jug of
    his favorite brew and it also had a part of his anatomy hanging out, my mom said it was because he had drank to much his stomach bulged and made his pants fall down. Thank you for the memories

  29. cobby Says:

    My mother bought a recording of international children’s songs in the 1950’s…my sister and I loved this song, memorized it, and, sang it constantly. I am now 65 years old, still get the song on my mind…my sister and I were recently thinking of the song…she married a Japanese guy and I have through the years been fascinated with Japanese culture…I was
    singing this song this evening to my wife (not the first time she has heard it in our 30+ years together), but, decided to look it up on the web. Wow! Just as I remembered it…it is wonderful to read the remembrances of others for whom this little children’s song has been so significant through the decades of their lives. Thanks, Lisa and others!

  30. JES Says:

    Thank you so much for posting on this, Lisa — the comments here were a GOLD MINE of reassurance for me (who was half-convinced he was losing his mind). Like commenter Diana, I remembered it from an album of Mickey Mouse Club music. But for the life of me I couldn’t quite get a handle on the lyrics. A Google search on “mickey mouse club song raccoon” brought me right here!

  31. Leslie Says:

    I am a chorus student and I am singing this song. Our sheet music is in easy English sounds.

  32. Robert Says:

    I learned this song when I lived in Japan as a military brat in the mid 50’s at Itazuke AFB. I had a private Japanese teacher. Miss Sakamoto also taught me ‘Haru ga kit’ and she took me to a Japanese school one day and I sang it in front of the class.

  33. Lisa Says:

    That’s nice Robert! Would you like to sing one of those songs for us? :)

  34. Alice Says:

    Thanks for posting this! We had a record of this song when I was a little girl and we must have played it a lot because I never forgot it and I’m 61 now. It was great to finally fill in the Japanese words I couldn’t remember. Our recording also had English words that I always thought said “macaroons and macaroni, jelly beans and big bologna.” Now I’m wondering if it was “pink abalone” and we just didn’t understand it, or if our recording changed it for American children.

  35. Jan Says:

    I’m 66 now, & “grew up” in Okinawa–went from being a child to becoming a teenager before we came back to the States. I learned this & later sang it to my sons, now to my granddaughter, but never knew the translation. My dad would fly TDY & bring me back the most marvelous carved animals, including Tanuki. They & the song always made me happy. Simple days, simple things, & wonderful memories. Thanks for helping me re experience it!

  36. gabriel Says:

    Nice one!
    but I don t understand what “Koi” is…
    does anybody know how to translate this?

  37. Pook Says:

    I learned this on, of all places, the Mickey Mouse Show! Yup, back in the 1950s when I was a toddler, I’ve been singing this since I was a baby!

  38. Pook Says:

    Gabriel, I think “Koi” is just the sound of him drumming on his tummy. Not positive though. I learned this on a Mickey Mouse record that I still own. Been singing it all my life, and I am 59 years old!

  39. mewl Says:

    The version I remember is —

    Sho-sho- Shojo-Ji
    Shojo-Ji no niwa wa
    He is very hungry
    So he does the — boom boom!

    which I guess is sort of what the song is about

  40. cherie Says:

    My dad sang this to me. He said it was about a boy going to market to buy fish for his family. Koi is fish. So I am confused. Dad was station3d in Japan one time between 1957 and 1964 and was engaged to a woman named Hatse

  41. Tootie Says:

    I also memorized this song and sang it in front of my 5th grade class. Technically, it was my little brother’s record, and I was about 7 when we first got it. I had an orange 45 rpm record of it (it was the B side) and on the back – the A side – was the Mickey Mouse Club song. Not all recordings of the Mickey Mouse Club song have this tune on the back. If I recall correctly, my mom sent off for the record with two box tops (and maybe a dime) from our General Mills Cheerios breakfast cereals. The last I saw of the record – many, many years ago at my mom’s house – it was cracked in half. Whether it was ever thrown away, I don’t know – it could still be there in the same hi-fi cabinet with all the other records they had from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

  42. Emma Says:

    I used to listen to this all the time as a kid! It brings back so many memories. I always sang the english version though,

    Sho, Sho, Sho-Jo-Ji is a raccoon,
    he is always hungry
    so he sings of koi koi koi
    macaroons and macaroni
    jelly beans and pink samoni
    koi, koi, koi, koi, koi, koi,
    That’s all he sings of koi.

  43. Bill Fogle Says:

    An English version of this little tune was on a Mickey Mouse Club record, I think, over a half-century ago. I can verify that once it gets into your head it will not come out. I wonder if that recording still exists.
    Bill Fogle, Mesa AZ

  44. Carl Fields Says:

    Thank you for posting this song. I remember it and many others from my 1950’s childhood in Japan. Tanuki is not a raccoon (although it is often called a raccoon-dog) and is related somewhat to dogs. I had a pet tanuki for a short time but as they are nocturnal – and wild – it was set free. They are gentle creatures as far as I know. The “belly drum” and other ‘enhancements’ are well known in Japanese culture. After so many years outside Japan, I still love this song, as well as Sakura and the Kimigayo, which I proudly sing on this 72nd anniversary of the Atomic bombings of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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