Tankō Bushi

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The Tankō Bushi originated at Miike Mine, Kyushu, Japan.

Tankō Bushi (炭坑節) is a Japanese folk song. Despite the term "fushi/bushi" found in its name, the rhythm is in swung, ondo style. It is a song about coal mining, and it refers to old Miike Mine in Kyūshū (Tagawa City). It is a common song used in Bon dances during the Bon Festival, and the dance that accompanies it depicts actions in mines such as shoveling coal, throwing a bag of coal over the shoulders, wiping sweat from the brow or pushing a cart of coal.

Excerpt from Tankō Bushi[edit]

Modern arrangements of Tankō Bushi replace the lyric "Miike Tankō" with "uchi no oyama," which in traditional mining dialect means "our coal mine" or "our coal pit," as Miike Mine is no longer in service, and the song is played at Bon dances outside of Kyūshū.


The song was recorded in Japan in 1932.[1] A popular version is the commercial recording featuring Suzuki Masao,[2] Victor of Japan, MV-1 (JES-1041).[3] It was originally recorded on 78 RPM as Victor V-41543. The CD version is Victor of Japan MVK-1.[2]



  1. ^ http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20081103b2.html
  2. ^ a b Victor of Japan MVK-1
  3. ^ The Japanese Bon Dance in Hawaii, Judy Van Zile, Press Pacifica, 1982, p. 52

Completed reference to CD MVK-1.