Quarantined Japanese Residents of New York City Record Video of Classic Song 'Sukiyaki'

A group of Japanese residents of New York City who work in creative fields banded together to release a vocal recording of “Sukiyaki,” a Japanese song that is often considered iconic within the country.

The footage, released on YouTube on April 16, was organized by Ryuma Matsuzaka, an actor and producer in New York, on behalf of The Japanese Artists Project.

“This is a difficult time not only for freelance artists like ourselves, but everyone from restaurant workers, students, family members and especially medical care workers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” Matsuzaka wrote in the caption accompanying the video. “Since the ‘New York State on Pause’ order took effect, I lost all of my motivation as an actor because we can not predict what’s gonna happen next. After watching Governor Cuomo’s press conference and world celebrities sing John Lennon’s Imagine, I regained hope. I am an artist. My mission is to deliver my message to you all by expressing under any circumstances. I thought it is time that we, as artists stand up together for all over the world and our Japanese community.”

Matsuzaka, who added that he had lost his job due to the virus, said he wanted to share this “classic song” with the world.

“Sukiyaki” – known as “Ue o Muite Aruko” (I Look Up as I Walk) in Japanese – was released in Japan in 1961 by Kyu Sakamoto and went on to become one of the world’s best-selling singles. Credit: The Japanese Artists Project via Storyful

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