Japan national anthem lyrics: All the words to Kimigayo – the world's shortest national anthem | The Sun

JAPAN got their World Cup campaign off to a flying start as they close in on a last-16 qualification spot.

A win TODAY against Costa Rica could all but secure their place in the knock-out rounds.

And it means we will be hearing the Japanese national anthem even louder than ever this morning.

What are the lyrics to the national anthem of Japan?

The national anthem of Japan is called Kimigayo (His Imperial Majesty's Reign).

In Japanese, it consists of just five lines and 32 characters, making it the shortest national anthem in the world.

Lyrics are as follows:

English

May your reign
Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations,
Until the tiny pebbles
Grow into massive boulders
Lush with moss

Japanese

君が代は
千代に八千代に

細石の

巌と為りて

苔の生すまで

Japanese (Latin alphabet)

Kimigayo wa
Chiyo ni yachiyo ni
Sazare-ishi no
Iwao to narite
Koke no musu made

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When was the Japanese national anthem written?

Kimigayo first appeared as an anonymous poem around the year 920.

The first line initially read "waga kimi wa", meaning "my lord".

In 1869, Irish military band leader John William Fenton noticed Japan didn't have a national anthem so decided to write one.

However his melody proved unpopular and was replaced just eleven years later with Kimigayo, with the new tune based on traditional Japanese court music.

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