The National Anthem

The words of the Japanese National Anthem, Kimigayo, were taken from a waka poem found in Kokinwakashu, a collection of waka poems dating back more than one thousand years. The poet’s name is unknown. The Anthem’s melody was written by Hiromori Hayashi, an Imperial Court musician in the Meiji era. Kimigayo was formally designated as the National Anthem in 1893.

The words of the Anthem mean: “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 with moss.” (Ancient Japanese apparently thought that great rocks were formed by the aggregation of pebbles and sand over many years.)

Cited by「cafe21」