Japanese Hand Rhyme called Nabe Nabe Sokonuke – Bottomless Pan Pan

Erin Yuki Violet Taylor wrote:

If you are on the lookout for Japanese hand rhymes, this one is called Nabe Nabe Sokonuke…

Nabe nabe

While you’re saying it, you hold hands with the other person and swing your hands, and when you say “Kaerimasho” (let’s go home), you turn around and swing back to back. Then you turn around and go forward, and you go faster each time. Of the meaning, the only word I’m really sure of is Kaerimasho. But I think “nabe nabe sokonuke” has to do with a soup sort of a dish, and “sokogenuketaro” means something like “the bottom was empty”, but not completely sure.

Here’s the Japanese text:



Here’s the tune to Nabe Nabe Sokonuke.

You can hear it sung here.

I asked Ayako Egawa from Japan about the rhyme. Here’s what she wrote:

Hi Lisa,

I’m familiar with the “Nabe Nabe Sokonuke”, hand rhyme.
I remember I played with that when I was a kid.

The meaning is:

Nabe Nabe – Pan, Pan,
Sokonuke – Bottomless
Sokoganuketara – If the bottom is falling out,
Kaerimasho – Let’s go home.

The lyrics have no special meaning, you know how it is with this kind of hand rhyme.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t find Youtube video of this, but how to play this hand rhyme is exactly as you wrote.

I hope it will help you and you enjoy it!


We found a video of Nabe Nabe Sokonuke where you can see it played.

Many thanks to Erin Yuki Violet Taylor for sharing this rhyme and describing how to play it, to Ayako for helping with the meaning and to Monique Palomares of the French Mama Lisa’s World for the midi tune.

If anyone would like to share anything else about the rhyme, chant it for us, or share another rhyme, please comment below or email me at lisa@mamalisa.com .


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 5:14 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, English, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Kids Songs, Japanese Rhymes, Languages, Mama Lisa, Nabe Nabe, Nursery Rhymes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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