The melody is sweet and familiar, but the song more commonly known as ‘Sukiyaki’ is not just a ballad of unrequited love. Transformed by the west into a love song, titled after a vague Japanese reference that has no meaning, the song was actually written by Rokusuke Ei as he pondered on the lack of freedom in Japan in the 60s represented by US troops remaining in the country with little to no opposition. The crooning voice of Kyu Sakamoto is heart rending as he sings

“I look up as I walk
So that the tears won’t fall”