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OtapediaSenbonzakura (song by Hatsune Miku)

"Senbonzakura" (千本桜), known by its official English title "Thousand Cherry Blossoms", was released on September 17, 2011, is a song written, composed, and arranged by Kurousa-P and is hailed as one of the most significantly important VOCALOID songs ever. It was released on the Internet and uses the voice synthesis software Hatsune Miku.

Summary

Senbonzakura is known as one of the most popular Vocaloid songs by Hatsune Miku among Netizens. In an August 2012 survey by online music distribution website RecoChoku, the song won first place in the "Favorite Vocaloid Song Ranking". It is also a favorite karaoke song where it placed first place nationwide in 2012, which at the time was the first time a Vocaloid song had ever reached the top.

In 2014, three years after its release, the song was ranked in second place nationwide by karaoke company JOYSOUND and remains highly-ranked to this day. The song has been used as part of musicals and novelized. In addition, the culture of cosplay has welcomed the outfits used in the music video and live performances of the characters of Senbonzakura have been held. Online, thousands of covers have been uploaded, not only singing covers but also musical instrument performance covers.

A song about the westernization of Japan during the Meiji Restoration period, it features somewhat dark topics despite its upbeat and oriental-style melody. The music video has a stylish, yet traditional feel and is popular when the song is sung at karaoke.

Rise to Popularity

To celebrate the song's anniversary, it was re-released in the album 1st ANNIVERSARY! ALL THAT Senbonzakura on September 12, 2012. The album also featured 8 remixes by a variety of different producers.

The song has been featured in television advertisements, covered by popular artists on national television, is featured in several arcade music games and has also been adapted to a musical, novel and manga.

On April 3, 2015, popular traditional Japanese and "Wagakki Band" performed the song live on TV Asahi's "Music Station" program. On September 23 of the same year, Hatsune Miku sang the song during the 10-hour special TV show "Ultra FES" and the first time in the program's history that a virtual singer was featured.

On December 31, 2015, famed enka singer Sachiko Kobayashi sang the song during the 66th NHK Kouhaku Red and White singing contest.

On February 11, 2016, Senbonzakura was the third Vocaloid song to reach 10 million views on Nico Nico Douga, following Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru and Melt.

At the Nico Nico Chokaigi 2016 event, held on April 29 and 30, an original kabuki performance of the song was presented using the latest technology from NTT. Hatsune Miku and famous kabuki actor Shidou Nakamura appeared together on stage.

Related Works

Musical

Kazuki Katou (Seine Kaito) and Haruka Ishida (Hatsune Miku) performed in the musical "Music Theater Senbonzakura" in March 2013. The song was the main theme of the show. It was one of the projects that was planned by Nico Nico Musical and the performance DVD was released by Toei Video in March 2017.
While the song sings of the Meiji Restoration and Miku takes the main role, the musical has a completely unrelated plot, and Kaito as a protagonist. In the musical’s universe, a disease infects people into becoming human-killing creatures, and Kaito is the leader of a squad that kills such infected people, referred to as “Kagetsuki”.

Collaborations

On April 5, 2012, Nagano prefecture and Hatsune Miku collaborated to celebrate Ueda Castle's Thousand Cherry Blossom Festival's 10th anniversary which was held in Ueda City, Nagano.

In 2013, a piano rendition of the song was performed by popular online pianist marasy and was used for a commercial promoting Toyota x Hatsune Miku Collaboration's Aqua vehicle.

Other collaborations include Oedo Onsen Story and Senbonzakura, Tokyo Joypolis and Senbonzakura, as well as BIG ECHO (karaoke chain) and Senbonzakura (Akihabara)

Japan's National Anthem

In 2013, a predominantly Internet-based fan group led a nation-wide proposal to make "Senbonzakura" Japan’s new national anthem. Reasons included having an updated anthem that appeals to the hearts of many, as well as lyrics that show Japan’s history yet also being contemporary. Additionally, the title itself showed a sense of beauty that fans felt reflected Japan perfectly.

The song has been viewed online a total of over 23 million times between Nico Nico Douga and YouTube.

Song Information

  • Kurousa-P (music, lyrics)
  • Hatsune Miku (vocal)
  • Hajime (guitar)
  • Ittomaru (illust)
  • Mienohito (video)

Links

『初音ミク』千本桜『オリジナル曲PV』 - Nico Nico Douga
「MV」 千本桜 WhiteFlame feat 初音ミク - WhiteFlame
初音ミクWIKI
小説『千本桜』
Wikipedia (Japanese))
Japan’s new anthem proposal - Senbonzakura

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