Music Monday|MINMI — Shiki No Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo)

Music Monday|MINMI — Shiki No Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo)

Happy Music Monday BAYOG Fam! We’re continuing our summer themed music posts today!~ Today’s post is on MINMI’s “Shiki No Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo)”! It’s actually a 2019 remake of her and the late Nujabes’ “Shiki no Uta”. It’s famous for being one of the ending themes for the Samurai Champloo anime.

So first, let’s talk about MINMI/ミンミ. She was born Michiko Evwana. She’s a musician that specializes in Japanese hip-hop and reggae. Apparently she’s also the first soca (soul-calypso) artist in Japan. I’ll be honest, I don’t know -THAT- much about her. I also don’t really follow her music. I just really like Nujabes and “Shiki no Uta”. It’s probably one of my favorite Japanese tracks of all time.

As I said before, the original “四季ノ唄/Shiki no Uta”, or “Song of the Seasons”, was used as the ending theme for the Samurai Champloo anime. The anime aired from May 2004 – March 2005. “Shiki no Uta” and majority of the soundtrack albums was produced by DJ Nujabes. Nujabes basically did the beat/production while MINMI did the vocals. The track had Nujabes’ signature hip hop x jazz sound.

Nujabes/ヌジャベス was a prolific Japanese DJ, record producer, and songwriter whose real name was Seba Jun. He was really well known for sounds that had hip-hop, jazz, and rap. Again, he was one of the top contributors to the Samurai Champloo OST. In fact, you’ll find that the beat from “Shiki no Uta” is basically Nujabes’ [Beat Laments the World] from his 2003 album Metaphorical Music. I’d say they’re basically the same, it’s just that “Shiki no Uta” has vocals and some more elements added to it. Unfortunately, Nujabes did pass away in 2010 at the age of 36 due to a car collision. However, his name and music is still widely known. “Shiki no Uta” is probably his most famous work.

Artist: MINMI
Album: Shiki no Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo)
Year: 2019
Language: Japanese/English

Now the original “Shiki no Uta” came out in 2004. So imagine my surprise when I find out MINMI had a single called Shiki no Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo) come out in August 2019! It was completely re-recorded and had more of a softer and reggae kind of sound to it. Of course this means the reggae sound makes it sound more like MINMI’s style. I felt like it had more of a chill vibe to it. I also feel like MINMI’s voice sounds a bit softer and more chill as well. Despite the 2019 version having a softer and more simpler sound than the original, it does still has a groove to it. There are 2 tracks on this album. There’s an English version and a Japanese version.

You can find Shiki No Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo) on Spotify, here:

You can find the original version on Spotify, here:

English Version

I was already surprised that “Shiki no Uta” had a 2019 remake and release. I was even more surprised to find out that the first track was an English version! This is the version that MINMI released a music video for as well. It’s got summer vibes with the beach and sunflowers as MINMI sings in a kimono. I thought the video’s aesthetics were really pretty. However, as I was listening to the lyrics….I thought, “Wait…this sounds oddly familiar…” I’ve got a pretty good memory when it comes to music I’ve heard before. So after a few seconds, I realized that I had indeed heard these English lyrics before! The lyrics were from an [English cover by Sapphire] that was done years ago.

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At first, I was like “Wow! That’s really cool! It’s awesome that an artist she liked had liked and used her lyrics!” That is until I realized, “Wait…there’s like no credit or any mention of Sapphire for the English lyrics…” That’s when I realized and found out that they apparently never communicated to Sapphire about it. Which is really awkward and not really nice. Especially because the lyrics were Sapphire’s original lyrics that had been inspired by the original, and not a translation. I myself [write/sing English covers of Thai songs], and sometimes [other songs] ([Korean], Mandarin Chinese, or Japanese). I’m happy when the original artist [tells me] [they love my lyrics] or want to share it. I’d also be ecstatic if they ever want to use my lyrics. It’d be a dream come true if an artist I respected decided to sing my lyrics. However, it does take time and effort to write lyrics. So I think it’s only right that there’s some credit or at least a mention of it. Though artists haven’t sung my versions, I am glad that [they do] [reach out] and [credit me] for my work. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Sapphire…

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Sapphire says she’s okay with it though, and she’s just happy as long as her own cover doesn’t get taken down. I mean it’s cool MINMI wanted to do an English version of her song…and yes, MINMI owns the rights to the original song. However, it’s just really sketch that there was no communication, credit, or even a mention of the person who wrote said English lyrics… I honestly would feel pretty disappointed if an artist I respected did that to me… That’s just my 2 cents on it though…

Japanese Version

Lastly, the second track is the Japanese version. Which of course is the same instrumental, it’s just that it’s with the original Japanese lyrics. English lyrics credits aside, I think I do like the Japanese version better though. I do wish that there was a music video for the Japanese version as well.

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While the 2019 isn’t bad, I honestly still prefer the original. I’m just more into the jazz hip-hop vibes and sounds. I still think it’s kinda sketch that MINMI and her company didn’t even drop a mention or credit for the English lyrics. It’s still pretty cool that they remade and re-recorded the track. While I do prefer the original, I can tell that the 2019 version has more of MINMI’s own personal style to it. Anyways, what do you think? Do you prefer the 2019 version or the original? Let me know in the comments, our Discord, or through Twitter! Stay safe, take care, and have a wonderful day fam!~

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I’m BAYOG’s hella basic Asian chick, Real People Stuffs expert, and boba addict. I’ve been a part of the BAYOG Crew since 2017~ I fangirl and mostly blog about music, live action movies/dramas, and manga/webtoons~ When I’m not blogging, I’m usually writing/singing Thai-English covers~

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Take care y’all. Please stay safe and take care of yourself. All jokes and fun aside…please, please, please, pleaaaase always wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask! I’m serious. Please take COVID-19 seriously. It truly is a matter of life and death. It’s something that needs to be taken seriously. It’s not just about the death of if you or someone you know gets it, but it also heavily affects those left behind. There are also aftereffects for those who are able to get through COVID-19. Be responsible. Be safe. Take care y’all. Have a wonderful day.


This is a difficult, but necessary matter to address. I’m not good at putting things into words, so I apologize. We all know the matter regarding the unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others. The current Black Lives Matter protests are being covered globally. I’ve even seen it being covered daily by the Thai news. Racism is a very real thing. Being Asian, I’ve personally encountered bullshit racism on a daily basis. So I can relate and understand the struggles. However, I’m also aware of how much more difficult and blatant it is for black POC. AS A GROUP OF BIPOCBAYOG strongly stands with Black Lives Matter. We’ve individually done several donations. Of course, donations to support the cause and support change isn’t the only thing needed. Support for the cause and change also requires conversation. Make sure to have those conversations. Aside from donating, I had several conversations with my family. I explained things to my parents, especially since some news stories were being reported inaccurately. I was afraid it’d be a bit difficult. However, as fellow BIPOC and human beings, it was a necessary conversation. My parents and grandma understand, and now stand on the same page regarding BLM as well. Please remember to be an active supporter, be it through donations, sharing information, and/or conversations and speaking up.

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Keep it up fam!

If you can, please consider donating. I’ve donated more than once as well. For one of my donations, I donated through the BTS ARMY x BLM project. I recommend that if you’re unsure of where to donate. This is because the donation will be split amongst several different non-profit organizations. Of course, you can also choose a specific organization(s) if you wish as well. You can find that [HERE].

You can also check out the following:

Stay strong. Fight racism, brutality, injustice, and bullshit. Don’t lose sight of the goal. We’re witnessing and being a part of history. Be allies and make sure change happens. Once again, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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6 Replies to “Music Monday|MINMI — Shiki No Uta (Tribute to Samurai Champloo)”

  1. Ooh, fellow translyricizer! Yeah, not asking for permission isn’t a great move. The English version works well, but I think I still adore the original more. I actually came across this song before watching the anime, and you can say that j watched the anime partially because of this song!

    1. I feel the same way. The English lyrics work, but I just enjoy the original alot more haha~ I actually came across the song before watching it too! Actually I just happened to flip the channel on when the ending theme was playing. I really liked the song, and that’s also why I started watching Samurai Champloo lol

  2. I also prefer the original japanese version.
    And for english, Sapphire’s voice is so jazzy its perfect for me.

    1. Also, thanks for the detailed post!
      I didnt even know there was an official english version until I read your blog.
      Now I remember I saw the comment on Sapphires video, but I thought “they used my lyrics” was about Youtube captions or something similar lol

      1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post! I was really surprised to find out about the official English version. I figured there were people who were also unaware haha. Yeah, I think at the time she was also having issues with YouTube’s spotty copyright system. But I guess a bunch of fans brought up the issue of the lyrics to her. It just sucks. On one hand, it’s like, “WOW! My lyrics got used!” And on the other hand, it’s like, “Oh…my lyrics got used…but I didn’t get credit.” I’m glad she was able to get her cover back up though.

    2. Hey! Sorry for the late reply! WordPress notifications have kind of been buggy. ^^”
      I’m glad to see someone else also preferred the original version as well!~ I also agree about Sapphire’s voice. Her voice had the perfect jazzy vibes for the track~

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