がんばれ = ganbare & くじけないで= kujikenaide

March 29, 2011 in Japanese culture, Japanese song

Share on reddit


= Ganbare Nippon

= Hang in there, Japan!!

It has been 2 weeks since the earthquake hit Japan.

We all have deep pain and sorrow in our hearts worrying about the people in the most affected areas.

Under these circumstances, it is easy to feel fear, sadness, despair, and depression.

But I don’t want to make a lesson based on any of these negative emotions. Instead, I would like to focus on people’s inner power and their kind hearts.

Today I would like to make a lesson to cheer us up!

First take a look at the picture above.


= Ganbare Nippon!

= Hang in there, Japan!

Note : 日本 can be read “Nihon” or “Nippon”.

But when we cheer, we tend to use “Nippon”.

Now let’s focus on the verb:

:rrrr: 頑張る = がんばる = ganbaru = to do one’s best, to try hard

We say this to encourage someone (or even yourself!).

:rrrr: がんばって(下さい)。

= Ganbatte (kudasai)!

= Hang in there! / Good luck!/ Keep it up!

(with 下さい= kudasai is more polite.)


がんばってね!(casual/female speech)

= Ganbattene!

:rrrr: I often tell you,

Ex. 日本語がんばってね!

= Nihongo ganbatte ne!

= Good luck with your Japanese!

がんばれ!(casual / male speech but women use it to cheer up someone)

= Ganbare!

If you encourage yourself, you say



=We (or I) should hang in there.

When you say がんばって(下さい)!= Ganbatte (kudasai)! がんばれ!= Ganbare! it often implies the feeling of wishing “Good luck!” showing your support.

But since they also mean to try harder, someone was answering an interview about the earthquake on TV and said

:rrrr: 被災地の人達にがんばってなんて言えない。がんばるのは僕たちだから。もっと私達に甘えて下さい。

= Hisaichi no hitotachi ni ganbatte nante ienai. Ganbaru nowa bokuara dakara. Motto watashitachi ni amaete kudasai.

= I can’t say “Hang in there” in the afflicted areas. It is we who have to work hard. Please let us do what we can.

It is so true. All the victims of Tsunami and earthquake have been がんばっている(=ganbatteiru), putting up with everything.

We, all the Japanese people are the one who have to がんばる(= ganbaru)to support them and Japan from now on.

And we hear all the encouragements from everywhere now.


= Ganbarou Nipon!

= We should hang in there, Japan!


= Hitotsu ni natte kono kabe wo norikoeyou.

= Become one and overcome this wall.


!to right! (Sorry Many of the videos are no longer available so I will just leave the quotes from the CM)

!star! From an encouraging CM By SMAP


= Anata wa donna toki mo hitori ja nai

= You are not alone — ever


= Bokura ga, Minna ga tsuite imasu

= We and everyone is with you.


= Tagai ni yuzuriai tasuke ai nagara

= We give and help each other


= Tsuyoku Tsuyoku mirai wo shinjite

= We strongly believe in our future


= Ima hitotsu ni naru toki

= It is time to be together


= Nihon no chikara wo shinjiteru

= We believe in the strength of Japan


= Nihon wa tsuyoi kuni

= Japan is a strong country


= Nagai michinori ni naru kamo shirenai keredomo

Note : He said しれんけど=shiren kedo)

= It may be a long journey but


= Minna de ganbareba zettai ni norikoerareru

= We can overcome if we all try hard


= Sou omou

= I think so


= Nihon no chikara wo shinjiteru

= We believe in the strength of Japan

Athletes have organized “Team Japan” to support Japan.

An AC commercial with soccer players.


= Chiisai koro Hanshin daishinsai wo keiken shimashita.

= I experienced the Great Hanshin Earthquake when I was little.


= Nihon no tsuyosa wa danketsuryoku desu.

= The strength of Japan is its bond of solidarity (=team work).


= Boku mo seiippai doryoku shimasu.

= I will do my best.


= Hitorijanai minna ga iru.

= You are not alone. Everybody is with you.


= Sekaijuu no hitotachi ga nihon wo ouen shite imasu.

= People around the world are supporting Japan.


= Minna ga egao ni naremasu you ni.

= May everybody smile.


= Hitori hitori ga dekiru koto wo yarimashou.

= Let’s do what we can do individually.


= Nihon ga hitotsu no chiim nan desu.

= Japan is one team.


= Minna de yareba ookina chikarani

= If we work together, it will be powerful.

People have been passing around a quote of a folksong singer 松山千春 (= Matsuyama Chiharu) on Twitter.


= Chie ga aru yatsu wa chie wo dasou

= The one who has knowledge, give knowledge


= Chikara ga aru yatsu wa chikara wo dasou

= The one who has power, give power,



=Kane ga aru yatsu wa kane wo dasou

= The one who has money, give money,



= Jibun wa nani mo dasenai yo



=to iu yatsu wa genki wo dase

= The one who says “I can’t give anything” give good energy

The 全国高校野球選手権= Zenkoku koukou yakyuu senshuken = The National High School Championship at 甲子園球場 = koushien kyuujou= Koshien Baseball Satdium has just opened.

And here is a speech of the opening ceremony.


= Watashitachi wa juurokunen mae Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai no toshi ni umaremashita.

= We were born 16 years ago in the year of the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake


= Ima Higashi nihon daishinsai de ooku no toutoi inochi ga ubaware

= Having deprived many people of their precious lives


= Watashitachi no kokoro wa kanashimi de ippai desu.

= Our hearts are full of sorrow


= Hisaichi dewa subete no kataga ichigan to nari

= All the people in the devastated areas have become one and


= Nakama to tomo ni ganbatte oraremasu.

= they are working hard with one another


= Hito wa nakama ni sasaerareru koto de ookina konnan wo


= Norikoeru koto ga dekiru to shinjite imasu.

= With the support of friends, I believe people can overcome these formidable difficulties


= Watashitachi ni ima dekiru koto

= What we can do now is



= Sore wa kono taikai wo seiippai



= Genki wo dashite tatakau koto desu

= to play in this tournament and do our very best



= Ganbarou nippon

= Hang in there, Japan



= Ikasarete iru inochi ni kansha shi

= Being appreciative of our given lives



= Zenshin zenrei de seisei doudou to



= Purei suru koto wo chikaimasu.


= We pledge to play with all our strength and with all our hearts

We have seen on the news how resilient the Tohoku area people are, lining up for emergency food without complaining and keeping orderly and not panicking.

Those people have lost everything, but they teach us how strong people can be in the face of disaster.

Now I’d like to tell you about this graduation ceremony speech at


= Hashikami Chuugakkou

= Hashikami junior highschool

in 気仙沼(= kesennuma), area stricken by disaster

When it was broadcast, I am sure the speech of the 15 years old student moved all the people who saw it to tears



= Bousai kyouiku to ieba, watashitachi no Hashikami chuu to iwareru kurai

= When it comes to disaster prevention, there was no school like Hashikami Junior High School.


= Bousai ni wa chikara wo irete kimashita.

= Our school has been working on disaster prevention.


= Soredemo shizen no chikarawa ookiku saigai no mae ni watashitachi wa muryokude

= However, the power of Mother nature is awesome and we were powerless in the face of this disaster



= Taisetsu na mono gayousha naku ubawarete kimashita.

= It took many important things without mercy


= Kuyashikute tsurakute tamarimasen.

= It is mortifying and painful


= Soredemo watashitachi wa ten wo uramazu


= Tasukeatte ikkite ikou to omoimasu.

= Even so, we would like to live without holding a grudge (against) nature (of God)

Note : = ten refers to Heaven, sky or God



= Sorega watashitachi no shimei dakara desu.

= Because that is our mission. (destiny)


I would like to now tell you about a message from a 99 years old poet, 柴田トヨ = Shibata Toyo. She is the most well known female poet in Japan right now.

She started to write poetry when she was 92 years old. Ever since she posted her heartwarming message in the newspaper, she has became very popular. Her words penetrate our heart like a raindrops in the desert.

Her first book, くじけないで= kujikenaide = “Don’t be too frustrated” (or Don’t lose heart) has become a best seller.

Note : くじける = kujikeru means to give way, to lose heart

くじけないで = kujikenaide is a negative form and it means,

Don’t be too frustrated” ( “Don’t lose your heart.”) “Hold up one’s head!”

While がんばって (= ganbatte) is strong encouragement like “Cheer up!””Hang in there!” , くじけないで (= kujikenaide) is used to address people who are about to collapse and it sounds gentle while at the same time healing people’s wounded hearts.



= Kujikenaide

= Don’t be too frustrated / Don’t lose heart.

ねえ、不幸だなんて 溜め息をつかないで

= Nee fukou da nante tameiki wo tsukanai de

= Say, please don’t sigh thinking you are unhappy


= Hizashi ya soyokaze wa ekohiiki shinai

= The sunlight and breeze don’t favor (→You can get sunlight and breeze equally/They are fair)

Note : えこひいきする = ekohiiki suru = to treat people unfairly


= Yume wa byoudou ni mirareru noyo.

= You all can dream equally

私 辛いことがあったけれど

= Watashi tsurai koto ga atta kedo

= I have had hardships but


= Ikite ite yokatta

= I am happy that I have had lived


= Anata mo kujikezuni

= Don’t lose heart

And here’s her message towards people in the afflicted areas.


= Hisaisha no minasama ni

= To people who have suffered in the disaster

Note : 被災者 = hisaisha = victims

=あぁ なんということでしょう

= Aa nanto iu kotodeshou.

= Oh dear…

NoteWe say なんということだ。= Natou iu kotoda. →(more polite) なんということでしょう = Natou iukoto deshou

when we are surprised.

テレビを見ながら 唯(ただ) 手をあわすばかりです

= Terebi wo minagara tada te wo awasu bakari desu.

= I can’t do anything but watch TV and pray

Note : 手をあわす= te wo awasu = to put both hands together = to pray for something



= Minasama no kokoro no naka wa

= In your heart,


= Ima mo yoshin ga kite

= aftershocks still follow and



= Kizuato ga sarani fukaku natte iruto omoimasu.

= the mark of wounds has become even deeper I believe.


Note : 傷痕 or 傷跡 = kizuato = a mark of wound, scar


= Sono kizuato ni kusuri wo nutte agetai

= I would like to apply medicine to that scar


= Ningen dareshimo no kimochi desu.

= This is how every human would feel

私もできることはないだろうか? 考えます

= Watashi mo dekiru koto wa naidarouka? Kangaemasu.

= Is there anything I can do? I wonder


= Mousugu hyakusai ni naru watashi

= I will be 100 years old very soon


= Tengoku ni iku hi mo chikaideshou.

= The day when I go to Heaven is also very close.

その時は 日射(ひざ)しとなり

= Sono toki wa hizashi to nari

= When the time comes, I will be the sunlight and


= Soyokaze ni natte

= become the breeze and


= Minasama wo ouen shimasu.

= I will support (cheer) you

これから 辛い日々が続くでしょうが

= Korekara tsurai hibi ga tsuzuki deshou ga

= The hard days will continue from now but


朝はかならず やってきます

= Asa wa kanarazu yatte kimasu.

= the morning comes for sure


= Kujikenai de!

= Don’t get discouraged.


!CHECKHEART! 応援歌 = ouenka = cheering songs collections!

Music with encouraging lyrics cheer us up! Many of us are craving for songs to cheer us up. I will link to some of the encouraging songs that have been supporting many Japanese people through these hardships.

!CHECKHEART! The theme song of あんぱんマン= Anpanman.

Because of its encouraging lyrics, it has become quite popular in Japan now.

It reminds us of courageous 自衛隊=Jieitai = Japanese Self Defense Army, HyperRescues, firemen, workers of Tokyo Electric Power Company whose lives are endangered right now.

I never expected the day when I would cry to the Anpanman theme would come!

!yflower! 私にできること by KOKIA

= Watashi ni dekiru koto by KOKIA

Actually KOKIA made this song after the Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake hit in 2004.

boucingheart! 上を向いて歩こう by 坂本九

“Ue wo miuite arukou” by Kyu Sakamoto

Well, this is a super famous song known internationally as “Sukiyaki”.

!onpu! 上を向いて歩こうよ 涙がこぼれない様に…

= Ue wo muite arukouyo. Namida ga koborenai you ni…

= Let’s walk looking up in order to not let our tears fall down.


(Again, many of the videos are gone. Please buy the music if you are interested in.)

!CHECKHEART! 君を忘れない by 松山千春

= “Kimi wo Wasurenai” by Matsuyama Chiharu

= “I will not forget about you” By Chiharu Matsuyama


!heart! 負けないで by Zard

Makenai de by Zard

!onpu! 負けないでもう少し最後まで走り抜けて

= Makenai de moushikoshi saigo made hashiri nukete

= Don’t give up. You’re almost there. Just a little bit further.


!CHECKHEART! Tomorrow by 岡本真夜

Tomorrow by Maya Okamoto

!onpu! 涙の数だけ強くなろうよ…..

= Namida no kazu dake tsuyoku narou yo…

= Let’s be as strong as the drops of tears we’ve shed!…


= Ashita wa kuru yo, kimi no tameni

= Tomorrow will come, for you!



= Ai wa katsu by KAN

= Love will win by KAN


= Donnani konnan de kujikesou demo

= Even though how hard your situation is and you feel like giving up


= Shinjiru kotowo kesshite yamenaide

= Never stop believing!


!heart! YELL~エール~by コブクロ


boucingheart! 勇気100% by Hey Say Jump

Yuuki Hyakupaasento By Hey Say Jump

:rrrr: 勇気= yuuki = courage


!heart! Jupiter by 平原綾香

= Jupiter by Hirahara Ayaka

マギー先生より = Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei


=Nihon wa fukkou ni mukete nagai michinori wo aruki hajimemashita.

=Japan has started the long walk towards reconstruction.


= Mina ni egao ga modori masu you ni.

=May everybody smile again.


= Soshite Kaigai kara sasasete kureteiru minasan, aratamete arigatou!

= And thank you again for all your support from all over the world.

:kk: Prayers from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, for Japan

English version : Check here!