It is the FIRST song
ever written for/about the Emperor, and among other things this
Hawaiian chant honoring the emperor also features vocalization
from kabuki (actually Noh drama) and taiko drumming -- a significant
first. And the typical brass band arrangement of the national
anthem also includes the sound of a Japanese flute, the shakuhachi.
On the links below, "Right Click" and select "Save
As" to download.
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introduction in English" (:54)
introduction in Hawaiian"
introduction in Japanese" (1:11)
Japan's national anthem"
(new instrumental recording by Stanton Haugen & Pierre Grill)
Pa`ipunahele no Tenno Heika (chant)"
(by Kumu Hula Kaha`i Topolinski and Taiko Master Kenny Endo) (2:34)
Pa`ipunahele no Tenno Heika (song)"
(by Keith Haugen, with music by Pierre Grill & Keith Haugen)
of Kimi-ga-Yo and He Pa`ipunahele no Tenno Heika"
Medley of cuts 4 and 6. (4:02)
the Lyrics (English and Japanese
Hawaiian song honoring
Japan's Emperor is a "FIRST"
On July 14, 2009, when the Emperor of Japan arrived in Honolulu,
a local composer released a recording that is a significant
"first" -- in more ways than one.
"He Pa`ipunahele no Tenno
Heika," composed by Keith Haugen,
award-winning local singer/songwriter and Hawaiian language teacher
at Star of the Sea Schools in Wai`alae,
is believed to be the FIRST musical tribute ever written to honor
an emperor of Japan -- in this case, the 125th emperor of the
2500-year old empire.
It is also the FIRST Hawaiian song and the FIRST Hawaiian chant
composed to honor an emperor.
And it is the FIRST time that Hawaiian chant and Japanese taiko
and kakegoe have been recorded together,
a blending of art forms from two genre from two distinctive
ancient cultures -- Hawaiian and Japanese.
Haugen, who photographed the Imperial couple on their April 1959
wedding day parade in Tokyo
and later when he was invited to the Imperial
Palace, got the idea to write a song honoring the emperor
after a 2007 concert performance in Japan. "It's a very Hawaiian
way to honor an ali`i
nui," he said.
His research showed that the Japanese national anthem, "Kimi-ga-Yo," (the emperor's reign) is a possible
exception. It was written as a
tanka poem in the 10th century and was set to
music in the late 19th century, during the reign of the Emperor
Meiji. It is the oldest national anthem in the world,
and one of the shortest. The Gregorian-style arrangement
of a gagaku-style melody is similar
to the music of the court. The words express the desire
that the emperor's reign will last forever. Translated, it is very generic in reference
to the emperor. That ancient poem says: "May the reign of the Emperor continue for a thousand,
nay, eight thousand generations and for the eternity that it takes
for small pebbles to grow into a great rock and become covered
upon one of Hawai`i's
most well-known "traditionalists," kumu
hula and chanter John R. Kaha`i Topolinski
to chant the song, and then hit upon the idea of another significant
musical "first." He asked Taiko Master Kenny Endo
to provide the percussive accompaniment. Endo added the
haunting sounds of kakegoe, a Noh drama vocalization, and the traditional sounds
of Japanese taiko drums -- the
kozutsumi and odaiko.
To round out the package, Haugen added three short, spoken introductions
-- in English, Hawaiian, and Japanese -- and a "sung"
version of the song, plus a new recording of the Japanese national
anthem. That rendition features the composer's son, Stanton,
playing all the brass instruments in the traditional Japanese
arrangement, but with the addition of a shakuhachi flute sound to make it stand out as different from
all other recordings of that anthem. Haugen wrote the
melody for the new song in a pentatonic (5-tone) scale, to
give it a more Japanese "sound." It may be the
FIRST Hawaiian song ever set to music in other than the traditional
European 8-tone scale.
wrote his first song in 1962, while working for the U.S.
government as a photographer in Japan,
and has since written more than 200 songs.
About 50 of them have been recorded, locally and internationally,
some by such popular local artists as Led Ka`apana,
Ohta-san, Brittni Paiva & Melveen Leed, Diana Aki & Cyril Pahinui,
The Lim Family, The Waimanalo Keikis,
The Sugar Cane Express, The Sounds of Aloha Barbershop Chorus,
Jack deMello, and others.
Some of his songs have also been recorded on the Mainland,
in Japan, Australia,
New Zealand, India.
This is not the first time that Haugen has offered free downloads
of his award-winning music.
Earlier this year, as part of National Military Appreciation Month,
he offered a set of five of his patriotic songs -- two of them
narrated by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, and featuring voices
and musicianship of The Patriots, The Sounds of Aloha Barbershop
Chorus, and others. Senator Inouye is a Medal of Honor recipient
and the third most senior member of the U.S. Senate, now celebrating
his 50th year in the U.S. Congress.
Two years ago, after winning The Literary Award for Song Lyrics
from the Hawai`i State Legislature and the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, as part of the Inaugural Peace
Day Hawai`i, Keith put his "Cease
Fire" song on the web site as a free download. It is still available as part of his promotion
of peace. Keith and his
Maui-born wife, Carmen, produce the annual “Peace on Earth” concert.His
award-winning "I Ka La `Apopo,"
about the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom (First Place
in the 1993 Ho`okuku Mele sponsored by The Friends
of the Royal Hawaiian Band) is also available as a free download
He is currently writing a new song to honor Father Damien, who
will be canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church in October.
He'll probably give that one away too.
© 2009, C. Keith Haugen, Island Viking, P.O. Box 1976, Honolulu, Hawai`i, 96805 USA.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws
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