Mera Joota Hai Japani

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"Mera Joota Hai Japani"
Film song by Mukesh from the album Shri 420
Released 1955
Length 4:20
Label Saregama
Writer(s) Shailendra
Composer(s) Shankar Jaikishan
Language Hindi

Mera Joota Hai Japani (Hindi: मेरा जूता है जापानी; Urdu: میرا جوتا ہے جاپانىALA-LC: Merā Jūtā hai Jāpānī IPA: [meːrɑː d͡ʒuːt̪ɑː hɛː d͡ʒɑːpɑːniː] lit. My Shoes are Japanese) is a Hindi song with music by Shankar Jaikishan and lyrics by Shailendra, written for the 1955 Bollywood film Shree 420. It was performed by popular Bollywood star Raj Kapoor, though actually sung by playback singer Mukesh.

In the song, the narrator asserts their pride in being Indian, despite their clothes all being from other countries. The chorus runs:

मेरा जूता है जापानी, ये पतलून इंगलिस्तानी
सर पे लाल टोपी रूसी, फिर भी दिल है हिन्दुस्तानी
Merā jūtā hai Jāpānī, ye patlūn Inglistānī
Sar pe lāl ṭopī Rūsī, phir bhī dil hai Hindustānī
My shoes are Japanese, these trousers are English;
The red cap on my head is Russian, but still my heart is Indian.

Due to its patriotic themes, the song was widely embraced in its time as a representation of the newly sovereign nation of India.[1] As India was gaining its status as a sovereign democratic republic,[2] this song depicted the casting off of the colonialist yoke and the recognition of the internationalist aim of uniting to make India and the world a better place.

This song gained international fame, particularly in the Soviet Union.

In popular culture[edit]

This is truly the age where the joota (shoe) is Japani (Japanese), patloon (pants) is Inglistani (English), the topi (hat) is Roosi (Russian), but the dil... dil (heart) is always Hindustani (Indian)... My country, torn, tattered, proud, beautiful, hot, humid, cold, sandy, shining India. My country.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema, By Ashis Nandy, Macmillan, 1998
  2. ^ Raghvendra, Rao; Liz, Mathew (28 January 2015). "Govt under fire for using old version of Constitution Preamble without 'secular' word". The Indian Express. New Delhi. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Raj Kapoor's song Mera joota hai Japani was perfect for Gravity: Phaldut Sharma, DNA India, November 1, 2013
  4. ^ "Ryan Reynold's Deadpool has a famous Bollywood song playing in the background". Deccan Chronicle. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.