Note: Chihiro, a Dallas Baptist University student, is the guest writer for this post. I asked students in one of my classes to analyze a favorite secular song and compare its worldview with that of the Christian praise song “Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. Chihiro chose a melodious Japanese song called “Eiko No Kakehashi.” You can listen to it in Japanese with English captions at this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXue70-vLAk To hear “Because He Lives,” click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M-zwE33zHA
The following is a very condensed version of Chihiro’s essay, used by her permission. (I haven’t figured out how to change the post’s by-line.)
One of my favorite songs is “Eiko No Kakehashi,” sung by Yuzu. It came out in 2004 and became popular among all ages in Japan. I chose this song because my homeroom teacher in elementary school selected it for our graduation. I really liked the idea in the song that sadness, fear, and regret could be overcome and lead to the “Bridge to Glory,” which is the title of the song in English. I had nights that I could not sleep because of fear, and there were tears I did not show anyone. However, I was able to move through life with the support from others. This song represented my life at that age and motivated me to move forward.
“Eiko No Kakehashi” encourages people in Japan to cheer up. Many young people are stressed out because of harsh words they hear and low self-esteem, but this song encourages its listeners to have confidence and not give up. It tells us that we have made it up to here, so we can do it from now on, too. It motivates us to look at what we have done well. When people are in darkness, they do not see things objectively. Because this song can help discouraged persons to realize that there are people who care for them, it can give more hope.
Although I like “Eiko No Kakehashi” and its positive message very much, I see a problem in the song. It does not say where people can get the glory. It just tells people to keep going and even mentions an “endless journey” in one of its lines.
There is a significant difference in the worldview of “Eiko No Kakehashi” and “Because He Lives.” “Because He Lives” clearly says that the bridge of glory is to know Jesus and that heaven is a place of eternal glory. It tells us that because of Jesus, life is worth living and that we can face tomorrow and have no fear.
As a Christian, I agree with the worldview of “Because He Lives.” I believe that God exists and that He is good. I can see light and hope even in sadness and pain. Without Jesus, I believe there would not be light at the end of life’s difficulties. Therefore, I seek to live close to God, and that becomes my purpose in life.
Many thanks to Chihiro for sharing her insights!
If you enjoyed listening to “Eiko No Kakehashi,” you might like a Japanese song called “Sakura” (“Cherry Blossom”), sung by Moriyama Naotarou. (It’s not the traditional folksong also called “Sakura.”) I came across the song while searching for “Eiko No Kakehashi.” It’s at this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GxUa69laLc Listening to it made me feel like I was in Japan again.