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Feature: Japanese girl rewrites Chinese song to help fight COVID-19

(Xinhua)    09:50, April 06, 2020

TOKYO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- "When the warm spring will come, please always believe in your heart ..." A video clip of three girls singing a Japanese version of "Waiting for Your Triumphant Return" in downtown Tokyo has become an internet sensation amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Chinese song was rewritten by Ayaka Nakata, a 23-year-old graduate from Hiroshima University. The Japanese girl studied at the Capital Normal University in Beijing for a year as an exchange student.

Nakata told Xinhua that after watching the documentary titled "Emergent report: A city sees no more new confirmed cases" highlighting Nanjing's battle against COVID-19 by Japanese director Ryo Takeuchi, she learned that China has made incredible sacrifices in fighting the pneumonia-causing virus, which has led to continued improvement in the country's epidemic control.

She wanted to do something to help bolster the efforts to contain the outbreak. Inspired by a Chinese anti-epidemic charity song "Waiting for Your Triumphant Return" on the internet, she rewrote the song with Japanese lyrics, which is dedicated to the health workers who were fighting COVID-19 in China.

"I would like to offer a prayer and wish to warm the ordinary people in both countries who are suffering from the coronavirus with the song I can sing," said Nakata. "We also want to let the Japanese know what China has done to fight the epidemic and how people feel about life during the epidemic."

However, rewriting a song is no easy work. Because of the language and cultural differences between China and Japan, she spent about a week rewriting the lyrics, incorporating the mood she wanted to instill to others, and making the song understandable to Japanese people.

When she performed the song on the street for the first time, she was very shy and nervous. Fortunately, she had her friends singing together with her.

Some passersby stopped to enjoy the song, while others took photos of a placard that read, "Never lose to the novel coronavirus." "When I saw people listening to us on a cold night and clapping and cheering, I felt a little bit relieved," she said.

Liu Yuxuan, a male singer from northeast China who performed the Chinese song, told Xinhua that he was heartwarmed to watch the video clip of Nakata and others singing on the Tokyo street and praised their excellent version.

"The fight against COVID-19 is now a shared struggle for the whole world," he said. "I hope the Japanese people will boost their confidence and overcome the outbreak at an early date."

Nakata added that she was glad to see China and Japan help each other in the face of COVID-19 and give each other a large amount of medical supplies. What moved her most is the romantic poems printed on the shipments, such as "although we are in different places, we are under the same sky" depicting the long-lasting friendship between China and Japan. In her eyes songs, like poems, convey strength and make people heartened.

"Our common enemy is not a person or a country, but the novel coronavirus," she said, adding that she hoped the Japanese government could take decisive measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with all parties.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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