Tinsagu nu Hana

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Tinsagu nu Hana (天咲ぬ花), also called Chinsagu nu Hana, is an Okinawan song about traditional Ryukyuan values such as filial piety and other Confucian teachings in the Okinawan language.[1][2]

Tinsagu nu Hana sheet music for Sanshin


The title of the song can be translated as "The Balsam Flowers".[3] The song is an Okinawan children's song; Okinawan children would squeeze the sap from balsam flowers to stain their fingernails as a way to ward off evil.[4][5][6] The lyrics of the song are Confucian teachings. Of the first six verses, the first three relate to filial piety, while the latter three refer to respecting one's body and one's goals. Each verse has exactly the same number of notes using language and meter devices that are uniquely Okinawan, called Ryuka.[7]


The last four of the ten verses are missing.


  1. ^ Nagahama, Yoshiki Jesse Whitehead of New Zealand publishes photography book featuring Okinawan proverbs Ryukyu Shimpo, January 7, 2015
  2. ^ Shanna Lorenz (2007), "Japanese in the Samba": Japanese Brazilian Musical Citizenship, Racial Consciousness, and Transnational Migration, ProQuest, pp. 148–147, ISBN 978-0-549-45198-3, For Tatsuo, the importance of the music lies partly in educating future generations in these Okinawan values. This perhaps explains the popularity of the song Tinsagu nu Hana (The Balsam Flower) among Okinawan community members, which was a recording on Ton Ton Mi's first album and is a favorite at Okinawan Brazilian community events: "Just as my fingernails are painted with the pigment from the balsam flowers, my heart is painted with the teachings of my parents."
  3. ^ Mitsugu Sakihara (2006-01-01), "tinsagu nu-hana", Okinawan-English Wordbook: A Short Lexicon of the Okinawan Language With English Definitions And Japanese Cognates, University of Hawaii Press, p. 179, ISBN 978-0-8248-3102-8
  4. ^ Paul Fisher (2001-07-09), The Rough Guide To The Music Of Okinawa: Island Rhythms And Songs:Sanshin And Shima Uta, World Music Network, archived from the original on 2014-01-04, Tinsagu nu Hana is one of Okinawa's most popular children's songs, describing the duties of children to their parents, "We paint our nails with balsam flowers, the words of our parents dye our minds"
  5. ^ Murata, Grant. Of A Sanshin Sensei The Hawai‘i Herald, August 21, 2015
  6. ^ Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu (2012-10-10), When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities, Stanford University Press, pp. 140–, ISBN 978-0-8047-8395-8, I know because my mother told me every time we misbehaved. Or played us that song Tingagu Nu Hana. (What does that song mean, mama? It means obey your mama! Like all Okinawan kids do.)...
  7. ^ Hokama Shuzen 外間守善 (1995). "Ryūka-ron 琉歌論". Nantō bungaku-ron 南島文学論 (in Japanese).