Calls and Chants

Football is nothing without chants from the supporters behind the goal, and particularly in Japan the organization of the supporters means that you get lots of people singing the chants at once, adding tons of atmosphere to the game.  Though there are several supporter groups in the stands that do flag/banner displays, when it comes to the calls everyone takes their cue from LA12, which provides the drums/trumpets at most games.

For the most part chants fall into one of three categories – normal game chants, player-specific chants, and conditional chants.

Basic Chants

You’ll Never Walk Alone – The famous football anthem, used by clubs such as Liverpool FC, was adopted by FC Tokyo as the club wanted to invoke an atmosphere of English-style football (somehow the unenthusiastic announcer DJ Steven is a part of this equation; why I still don’t know).  It is traditionally sung by the home supporters as the teams walk out onto the field, with the fans repeating the chorus 3 times before starting one of the homegrown chants.  During away games, fans will often sing the chorus as teams walk onto the field, and sometimes near the end of the game as well.

When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone
(chorus traditionally repeated 3x)

Minna De Utao (Everybody Sing!) – This has become the first song that the supporters dive into right after YNWA, usually in conjunction with the LA12 procession.

Ore no Tokyo, hokori o mochi!
Tachi agatte minna de utaou!
La la la la la la la la la la la
We have pride in Tokyo!
Everybody sing together!

LA EDOGAWA – Standard song, sung at most games home and away, often for long periods of time.

Tatakae, ore no Tokyo
Kyou mo shouri o shinjite
Hajikeyo, “Tobitakyu”
Makeru wake wa nai sa!

*at away games substitute “Inaka demo” for Tobitakyu
Fight, Tokyo!
We believe you’ll win!
Blow the game open at Tobitakyu
There’s no way we’ll lose!

*this means “even in the countryside”, implying that anywhere other than Tokyo is in the sticks.  Sounds about right.

Ore Ga Tsuiteru ze (We’re With You, Tokyo!) – Another standard song sung at all games.

Oh, ore no Tokyo
Kyou mo isshoni shouri mezase
Ike ike yo, Tokyo
Itsumo orera ga tsuiteru ze
Dare ga nan to io to
Mawari wa ki ni suru na
Jibun ni shinjite ireba
Shouri wa tsuite kuru
Oh, our Tokyo
Let’s aim for victory today too!
Go, go, Tokyo
We’re always with you
Whatever anyone says
Don’t pay attention to them
If you believe in yourself
Victory will come!

Tokyo Rhapsody – A favorite of mine.  Sung at a lot of games but is one of those songs that will be abandoned if the team’s not performing so well.  Apparently it’s got a history as well.

Tanoshii miyako
Koi no miyako
Yume no paradaisu yo
Hana no Tokyo!
The city of fun
The city of love
The paradise of dreams
The pride of Tokyo!

Blue and Red Corps (Ao Aka Guntan) – Usually sung before the second-half kickoff as supporters return from beer/bathroom runs and hype themselves up again.  The area tends to turn into a bit of a mosh pit, with tug-of-wars going on for no apparant reason, so one must watch out lest you get injured.  In recent times they’ve tried to tamp down on the moshing a little.

Na na na na na na na na
Na na na ~
Ao-Aka gundan arekuruu!Na na na na na na na na
Na na na ~

Orera mo makeji to arekuruu!

Na na na na na na na na
Na na na~
The Blue & Red army is rampaging!Na na na na na na na na
Na na na~

We’re gonna rampage with them!

Lupin the 3rd ’78 Theme – Generally sung at the start of the second half, supports ‘la’ their way through the verse before singing the chorus.  The theme is famously covered by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra but the ‘Tokyo Gas’ addition at the end of the chorus implies that the supporter song has roots from the TGFC era.

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la
La la la, la la la
Otoko ni wa
Jibun no sekai ga aru
Tatoeru nara sora wo kakeru
Hitotsuji no nagareboshi

Tokyo Gas!

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la
La la la, la la la
Men live in their own world
You could compare them
To the trail of a falling star
shooting across the sky

Tokyo Gas!

Player Specific

Only a select few players on the squad have gotten a special song from the supporters.

Shingo Akamine – His song’s actually lifted from the ’79 West German entry to the Eurovision song contest, Dschinghis Khan.  This has to be one of the most random references I’ve come across, but hell.

Goal, Goal, Goal, Goal, Ah- (Hey!) Ah- (Hey!) Akamine!

Youhei Kajiyama – This is a new one as of 2008.  Original melody is the opening strains of Rule, Brittania.

Tokyo no juuban wa, Ooh Kajiyama You-hei!

Sota Hirayama – Though he continues to not quite live up to the heavy expectations placed on him by the team and the fans, Hirayama does have his own little melody.

Cabore – FC Tokyo’s Brazillian striker has a song that supporters only generally use after he scores, but I can’t find it on YouTube quite yet.

Special Chants

Some chants get saved for special occasions, whether it be a win or a Derby match.

Nemuranai Machi – Traditionally sung as the final minutes tick down on an assured victory for the team.

Tokyo, Tokyo,
nemuranai machi
Ao to aka no,
orera no hokori, whoa~
Tokyo, Tokyo
The city that never sleeps
We have pride
In red and blue!

We Are Tokyo! – Chanted after the players bow to the back stand following a victory.

Sha! Sha! Sha! – Players who performed particularly well are called out for a curtain call by the behind-the-goal supporters.  This started with Amaral, I believe.

Jofuku Tokyo – Song honoring manager Hiroshi Jofuku following a win.

Jofuku Tokyo, Tanoshii Tokyo
Ore to omae wa yume no naka!
Jofuku Tokyo, Fun Tokyo
We’re in the middle of a dream!

Verdy Dake Ni Wa Makerarenai – anti-Verdy chant

Verdy dake ni wa, makerarenai! Oretachi no chikara,
misete yarouze!
There’s no way we’ll lose to Verdy!
Let’s show them our strength!

Verdy Kawasaki – Quick chant based off of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”, which is the basic melody for chants used by about half of the soccer-playing world.  In any case it’s used to make fun of the fact that Verdy claims to be a Tokyo team.

Oh oh oh oh, oh Verdy Kawasaki
(repeat as necessary)

Isshou Ao to Aka – anti-Verdy chant sung to the theme from the Great Escape – the one that kinda sounds like Colonel Bogey’s March.  Sometimes its sung at non-Verdy matches, especially when Verdy’s losing its match or when we’re simply feeling festive.

Ore, ao to aka,
Issho ao to aka,
Ore, ao to aka,
Midori ga dai-kirai,
I’m blue and red
I’ll be blue and red until I die
I’m blue and red
But I hate green

Tokyo Ondo (Tokyo Refrain) – Now we descend in the depths of hardcore supporter wonk territory.  This is actually the main song of Japanese baseball club Yakult Swallows.  The two teams share a common enemy; the Yomiuri media empire has a stake in both the Giants and Verdy.  They’ve collaborated on some merchandise, including flags featuring both team logos as well as blue-and-red mini umbrellas, as commonly displayed by Yakult fans.  The song is actually really old (something like 90 years) and I shouldn’t even bother trying to translate it since I’ve probably screwed it all up, but here goes.

Kutabare Yomiuri, Kutabare Yomiuri
Kutabare Yomiuri, Kutabari Yomiuri

Oh~ odori odoru narabachoito
Tokyo Ondo (Yoi! Yoi!)

Hana no miyako no,
hana no miyako no mannaka de
Yatto na sore Yoi! Yoi! Yoi!
Yatto na sore Yoi! Yoi! Yoi

Go to hell Yomiuri, go to hell Yomiuri
Go to hell Yomiuri, go to hell Yomiuri

Oh~ if we’re dancing,
this must be a Tokyo Ondo (Yay, yay!)

In the middle of the city,
In the middle of the city of flowers
At last, we’re singing!
At last, we’re singing!

Tokai March – This is a really nifty one.  Back in the JFL days, Tokyo Gas FC was playing against Tokai University, and Tokai’s supporters used this chant:

La la~ La la~

So naturally Tokyo supporters changed the last two letters from A-I to Y-O and it became one of ours.  Sometimes the last line of ‘la’s gets taken out and T-O-K-Y-O is repeated, which causes some overlap when different groups sing it in different ways.  This chant is notorious for its appearance in the 2004 J.LEAGUE Cup Final against Urawa, where fans believe that the team, exhausted after extra time and with a penalty shoot still remaining, was brought back to life when the supporters began singing it.  Despite its awesomeness it’s only sung during special matches such as the Tokyo Derby or against Urawa (mainly because it pisses the hell out of Urawa supporters)

3 thoughts on “Calls and Chants”

  1. Thanks so much for all the info. Being a life long Liverpool supporter, it was amazing to go to the Ajinomoto stadium and see 30,000 Japanese singing the song we love so much (against Shimizu on 10-05-15). Now I can learn the words to the other songs, so thanks! great site and great supporters

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