Strine Songs - Unknown Nichigo

Waltzing Matildas In The Land Of The Rising Sun

Waltzing Matilda is probably Australia’s most famous song and it’s certainly a tune that remains powerfully iconic of Down Under, but has not had the impact in Japan of other Aussie tunes, like say, Click Go the Shears.

That’s not to say that Matilda hasn’t made it’s mark.

However, like many things Japan, it’s legacy lies not quite in the way you’d expect.

My understanding is that Waltzing Matilda is probably best known in Japan for being the jingle used to open Japanese language shortwave radio broadcasts on Radio Australia, which ended in 1990, so there’s a fair chance that my guess is well out of date.

Three-piece rock band The50kaitenz used the tune and undoubted influence of Waltzing Matilda on their song, Machiruda to Tabi wo, released on their 4th album in 2018. It didn’t chart.

But a much deeper influence was made upon performer Naohiro Tsurube, who used the stage name Odorou Machiruda (a translation of waltzing Matilda) with quite a degree of success in the 2010s before going on hiatus in 2019 (and performing under his real name since, apparently).

One of Odorou Machiruda’s songs is even called Odorou Machiruda, and though it’s not a Japanese version of the song symbolic of Australia, the influence is apparent.