chôchô chôchô

nanohani tomare

nanohani aitara sakurani tomare

sakurano hanano hanakara hanae

tomareyo asobe asobeyo tomare

Butterfly, butterfly,

sit down on the flowers’ leaves,

after that, sit down on the cherry blossom,

from cherry blossom to cherry blossom,

fly and enjoy, enjoy and fly!

This song was already included in the first part of the already mentioned first Japanese music book for elementary school (1881) using lyrics of a folk song of the Aichi prefecture. These lyrics had already been included in a collection of Japanese folk song lyrics published by Akitari Nomura. Shûji Izawa who published the first music book for elementary school searched for Japanese lyrics that fit the song “Hänschen klein – Little Hans” and found these lyrics that coincidentally had the perfectly right rhythm. However, there had been a second strophe which fell into oblivion. Many Japanese music books refer to Spain as the origin of this song, but almost certainly, the melody originates from an area in which, at that time, German was spoken – namely Bohemia, today Czech Republic, where it had already been sung in the beginning of the 18th century.