Darko Zubrinic, 2005
U boj, u boj
It seems that a well known Croatian tune U boj, u boj from the opera Nikola Subic Zrinski by Ivan Zajc is taught in Japanese schools. Information by Mr. Nenad Bach, New York. Professor Vladimir Devidé, outstanding Croatian japanologist (and mathematician), considers this very probable: he remembered a very young boy walking on a Tokyo street Komaba, wearing a huge rucksack filled with books, and whistling the familiar melody - "U boj, u boj"! (this occured in 1961, during his first visit to Japan; personal information, 2004).
"U boj, u boj" for Japanese readers, with historical account, where you can listen to the tune performed by Japanese choir singing in Croatian!
I have noticed that in Japanese sources the song is sometimes interpreted as a Czech folk song, but this is wrong: the song is from Croatia, composed by Ivan Zajc, distinguished Croatian composer. Furthermore, the text of the air is written in Croatian language.
Provided by Kwansei Gakuin Glee Club, where you can find additional information.
Here is an excerpt from a Japanese web site with parallel Croatian and Japanese texts:
pl. Zajc (pl. = plemeniti =
noble), composer of the opera Nikola Subic
Announcement of the premiere of the opera Nikola Subic Zrinski in Zagreb, 1876
the announcement of the premiere of the opera Nikola Subic Zrinski,
The music for "U boj, u boj!" was composed by Ivan Zajc already in 1866 in Viena, Austria, for a quartet composed of Croatian students in that city. Later, when he lived in Zagreb, he incorporated this song into his opera "Nikola Subic Zrinski" in 1876. Many thanks to maestro Josip degl'Ivelio, Zagreb, for this information.
U BOJ, U BOJ - music score (pdf), edited by Maestro Youichirou Fukunaga
U boj - music score edited by Dr Bozidar Sirola:
A Japanese choir singing "U boj, u boj" 1989; source: U Boj Story
choirs singing "U boj, u boj"; source www.kg-glee.gr.jp
U boj, u boj - A choir of 1000 Japanese singers, conducted by Katsuaki Kozai, singing in Croatian, in Kokugikan Hall in Tokyo, 2006, in front of about 10,000 listeners!
U boj, u boj!
Male chorus glee club, 9th July 2006, Toyohashi city, Japan.
Almost "Funken glee club" members live in Toyohashi near Toyota city (famous for Toyota car construction).
Nikolas Zrinyi, tragedie en cinq actes, traduit par J. Nep. Millakovitch, Pest 1835.
(Zagreb City Library)
The following photos are from http://members.at.infoseek.co.jp/mannel/uboj.html
the beginning, the large Okayama Choir gave a joint concert of three
smaller groups of singers,
The above sentence and the
follow are obtained by automatic Japanese - English Google translator.
Three choruses and Kurashiki orchestra; an article by the Sanyo newspaper
Kurashiki Male Choir, Choir Lotus, Male Flannet (?) Choir
Kurashiki Male Choir, Choir Lotus, The Okayama University Glee Club
December 8, 2007, Tokyo, OAZO, Waseda University Glee Club singing U BOJ, U BOJ at the charity concert for refugee children. Source durianjp.com.jp
Vukov, Croatian pop singer, accompanied with tamburitza
Lipa male choir from the town of Vinkovci, Croatia, was singing U boj, u boj in the Trogir Cathedral in 2008, [MP3]
Dr. Drago Stambuk, Ambassador of Croatia to Japan, with Kwansei Gakuin Glee Club in Kobe in 2008, one of the best male choirs in Japan. About fifty singers sang "U boj, u boj" in front of the main building of the University of Kobe in honour of Mr. Stambuk on the occasion of his visit to the University. As a rule, Kwanesi Gakuin Glee Club choir always finishes public music performances by singinig "U boj, u boj", and this song is their trademark. For more information see www.croatia.org.
Dr. Drago Stambuk, Croatian ambassador to Japan, singing "U boj, u boj" with the Kwanesi Gakuin Glee Club choir in 2008, during an official visit to the Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe. For more information see www.croatia.org.
Angeles Men's Glee Club sings U
Nikola Subic Zrinjski - finale U boj
Croatian tenor Sasa Jakelic as Lovro Juranic and baritone Sinisa Hapac in Nikola Subic Zrinjski at HNK [Croatian National Theatre] in Split 2007, Croatia
Nikola Subic Zrinjski - finale U boj (excerpt)
Šubic Zrinski -
The impetus for creating this web page came as a result of the request of Maestro Kunimasa Katayama from Japan, asking Mr. Nenad Bach for music score and CD of "U boj, u boj" for the male chorus in Tokyo that sings this song under his guidance. We have obtained an e-mail by Mr. Katayama in July 2005, containing very intersting information about the interest for "U boj, u boj!" in Japan (boldings and links are mine, D.Z.)
Dear Professor Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb
I express my deep gratitude to Japanese colleagues who prepared a beautiful web page devoted to Nikola Subic Zrinski and his samuraian death in 1566 while defending the fortress of Siget.
In August 2005 Croatia has been visited by prof.dr. Teruhiko Awakura, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Faculty of Bioindustry, upon invitation of dr. Emin Teskeredzic from Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb. In the introduction to his lecture he said that his most favorite song is "U boj, u boj!". According to his information, the song came to Japan already in 1919. The song came after the WWI, when Czechoslowakian army [in fact, Austrian-Hungarian army, D.Z.] moved from Siberia to their country, and their ship stranded near Shimonoseki southwest of Honshu, Japan, in 1919. During the repair of their ship they stayed in Kobe, near Osaka, for about two months. During that period they exchanged courtesies with the members of glee club of Kansaigakuin Universty and when they left Japan, they presented the handwriting score of "U boj, u boj!". It was believed that the song was the Czechoslovakian song [Czechoslowakia did not exist at that time, and Czechs do not have a sea; Austrian-Hungarian crew was obviously composed mostly of Croatian mariners, D.Z]. The song soon extended to other glee clubs of Japanese Universities. In conclusion to his lecture he said:
When I was a university student, I took part in glee-club and we sang "U BOJ!" many times. From 1993, I am taking part in "Sapporo Male Choir" and also sometimes we are singing "U BOJ!".
Listen to very beautiful recording of U boj, u boj! sung by Japanese choir where professor Awakura is singing (in Croatian!).
Many thanks to dr. Ivancica Pizeta, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, for this information and for ppt file of prof. Awakura's lecture.
It is worth mentioning that in September 2005 the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra had a series of concerts in Japan. Especially successful was the concert held in the hall of the Tokyo opera, named Memorial Takemitsu in honour of a famous Japanese composer. The programme included "U boj, u boj", but this time sung also with participation of singers from an amateur choir from the Tokio district of Roppongi, who expressed their wish to sing together with Croatian Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a moving gesture of Japanese singers who sang the song in Croatian, and a great honour for Croatian orchestra.
A Japanese choir composed of 1000 singers conducted by maestro Katsuaki Kozai sang "U BOJ, U BOJ" in the Kokugikan Hall in Tokyo in February 26, 2006, watch and listen to YouTube. This concert attended by about 10,000 listeners has been organized among others by Croatian embassy in Japan. In the introduction to the concert it has been said that this very popular tune was brought to Japan by Croatian mariners (then within Austrian-Hungarian army), immediately after the end of the WWI. Namely, while retreating from the Russian Far East front, a taifoon carried their ship to Japanese coast near Kobe. The Japanese liked very much "U BOJ, U BOJ" sung by Croatian mariners, and since then it became very popular throughout Japan.
Darko Zubrinic, 2005
Japanese male choir
This a tribute to Nikola Šubić Zrinski, a great Croatian hero who deserves more appreciation in our country. Tip: read quickly! Nikola Šubić Zrinski or Miklos Zrinyi (in Hungarian)(1508--1566) was a Croatian soldier in service of the Habsburg Monarchy and member of the Zrinski noble family. He distinguished himself at the siege of Vienna in 1529, and in 1542 saved the imperial army from defeat before Pest by intervening with 400 Croats, for which he was appointed ban of Croatia. He later beat the Turks in the Battle of Babócsa and the Battle of Somlyo. Zrinski resigned as ban in 1561. In 1566, from August 5 to September 7, his small force (2,300 soldiers) heroically defended the little fortress of Siget against the Turks (90,000 soldiers and 300 cannons), led by Suleiman the Magnificent in person. The Croatian forces of Zrinski repulsed 3 all-out Turk assaults for several weeks. Despite their inferiority, the imperial army did not send them any reinforcements. After days of bloody struggle, the defenders retreated into the Old City; with the majority of Croats already dead, this was their last stand. The Turks tried to lure Zrinski into submission, offering him rule over all of Croatia but to no avail. Zrinski said: "nobody will point his finger on my children in contempt." During the Siege Suleiman died on 7th September. But the news was kept secret so that it would not ruin morale at the end of the siege. The next day the final battle was conducted. The castle of Siget was burnt down to ruined walls and the all-out attack by the Turks began who swarmed against the Old City, drumming and yelling. Zrinski prepared for the last charge, addressing his men: "..Let us go out from this burning place into the open and stand up to our enemies. Who dies - he will be with God. Who dies not - his name will be honoured. I will go first, and what I do, you do. And God is my witness - I will never leave you, my brothers and knights! Zrinski led an exit force of 600 troops from the castle. He was heavily wounded at his chest and his head by Turkish bullets. At the end, his dead body was beheaded. The Turks took the fort and effectively won the battle. Only 7 defenders managed to get through Turkish lines. The Turks suffered heavy losses, estimated at 18,000 cavalrymen and 7,000 elite janissaries and several high-ranked officers. Croatian composer Ivan Zajc created a masterpiece opera titled Nikola Šubić Zrinski which debuted in 1876. It is a patriotic play which depicts the heroic Croatian struggle against the Turks. It is still in production today. A square surrounding a large park in the center of Zagreb is named after N. Š. Zrinski, commonly known as Zrinjevac. Check out wikipedia for more information on him and the battle of Siget (Szigetvar- in Hungarian including the text of the last part('U boj') of the opera ''Nikola Šubić Zrinski'' which is also the bacground music of my movie.
World champions 07/20/2008
Brodosplit male choir from Split, Croatia, world champion at the 5th World Choir Games in Graz, Austria 2008, in the category of male chamber choirs.
Povijesno surječje (historical context, in Croatian)
A praise from Croatia to people of Japan embedded in this song, "U boj, u boj" from the opera "Nikola Šubić Zrinski"
Song lyrics at http://www.justsomelyrics.com/1533500/U-Boj,-U-Boj-Lyrics
Klapas Kastav and BA from Croatia singing in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Many thanks to Mr. Joza Vrljičak, Buenos Aires for this information.
Some Japanese choirs sing "U boj" in Japanese translation from Croatian:
O, MARIJANA, a well known Croatian tune by Vlaho Paljetak, sung in Japanese and Croatian by Seiji Tanaka in 1976.
Glazba za himnu čileanske ratne mornarice
preuzeta je iz opere Nikole Šubić Zrinski, Ivana pl. Zajca. Vidi članak
Zlatka Mumleka o muzičkim automatima, [PDF], str. 9.