I'll Go to Tokyo

I'll Go to Tokyo

Updated Jan 23, 2015 at 03:58PM EST by Alex Mercer.

Added Jan 06, 2010 at 06:48PM EST by Mellow.

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“I’ll Go to Tokyo” (Japanese: 俺ら東京さ行ぐだ; Ora Tokyo sa Igu da) is an 1980s’ Folk-rock enka[1] song performed by Japanese singer Yoshi Ikuzo (吉幾三), who has since been given the nickname IKZO in the Japanese net after a slew of remixes based on his song were produced by users of the video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga during 2008. These mash-ups often consists of playing the track in juxtaposition with songs from various genres, in a similar fashion to remixes of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme on the English-speaking web.


The song I’ll Go to Tokyo[2] was originally written and sung by Japanese singer/songwriter Yoshihito Kamata, known by his stage name Yoshi Ikuzo, and was released in Japan on November 25th, 1984. The song is set around a young cow breeder living in the countryside, who longs about moving to Tokyo and to make it big. Upon its release in 1984, the song became quite popular across Japan, to the point when some local agricultural villages took offense and protested the lyrics.


Its lyrics are sung in Tōhoku dialect, giving it a more authentic and campy sound, to which Ikuzo often claims it was written as Hip-hop song, though being played in a Folk-rock style.

terebi mo ne rajio mo ne
kuruma mo sore hodo hashittene

piano mo ne baa mo ne
omawari mainichi gu-ruguru

asaogide ushi tsurede
nijikan chotto no sampo michi
denwa mo ne gasu mo ne
basu ha ichinichi ichido kuru

ora konna mura iya da--
ora konna mura iya da--
toukyou e deru datoukyou e dedanara
zeniko a tamede toukyou de beko kauda

mo ne sutereo ne umarete kono kata
midagoto a ne

kissa mo ne tsudoi mo ne
mattagu wakamono a ore hitori

baasan to jiisan to
juzu wo nigitte sora ogamu
kusuriya ne eiga mo ne
tama ni kuru no ha kamishibai

ora konna mura iya da--
ora konna mura iya da--
tokyo e deru da toukyou e deda nara
zeniko a tamede toukyou de basha hiku da

disuko mo ne nozoki mo ne
re-za- disuku ha nanimono da?
karaoke wa aru keredo
kakeru kikai o midagoto a ne

shimbun ne zasshi mo ne
tamani kuru no wa kairanban

shingou ne aru wake ne
ora no mura ni wa denki ga ne

ora konna mura iya da--
ora konna mura iya da--
toukyou e deru da toukyou e deda nara
zeniko a tamede ginza ni yama kau da!
No TV, no radio
there aren’t even cars driving by

No pianos, no bars
The one police car just circles around

I wake up, take the cow out
for a little two hour stroll
no phones, no gas
the bus only comes once a day

I hate this village--
I hate this village--
I’m going to Tokyo, once I get to Tokyo
I’ll save my money and raise cows there

No guitar, no stereos
Never even seen’em in my whole life

no coffee shops, no hang outs
the only young person is me

grandma and grandpa
just pray to the sky
no drug stores, no movies
sometimes the kamishibal visits

I hate this village--
I hate this village--
I’m going to Tokyo, once I get to Tokyo,
I’ll save my money and drive a horse cart

No discos, no peeping tom
who is “laser disc?”
we do have karaoke
but never seen a machine that does it

no newspapers, no magazines
sometimes there is that one newsletter

no traffic lights, not like there even would be
my village doesn’t even have electricity!

I hate this village--
I hate this village--
I’m going to Tokyo, once I get to Tokyo
I’ll save up and buy a mountain in Ginza!


Although Ikuzo’s soulful enka tunes are often remembered by older generations in Japan, I’ll Go to Tokyo was rediscovered by those of the internet age, and later becoming a source of remix due to its comically self-deprecating lyrics and unusual style of delivery that’s sort of similar to rap. One of the first of these remixes (shown below) was a mash-up with the Dance Dance Revolution track Brilliant2U (Orchestra Groove), uploaded by Niconico user kuu on May 25th, 2007, where it would receive over 110 thousand views since its upload.

Towards the beginning of April 2008, a handful of remixes and MAD videos began appearing in large numbers on Niconico, and in response, Japanese netizens began referring these remixes as IKZO, a variation of his stage name Yoshi Ikuza, which means “Alright, Let’s Go!” in Japanese. The mash-up series would reach it’s peak of interest when a remix titled “IKZOLOGIC” (shown below) was uploaded to Niconico on April 25th, 2008. The mash-up utilized an original mix created by DJ Novoiski, which featured songs by capsule, Daft Punk, and the Beastie Boys, and was uploaded to his Niconico account on a month prior on March 16th, 2008.[4]

The remix became a major hit with Niconico users, becoming as one of the most viewed in the IKZO series with over 1.5 million views as of September 2013. The mash-up phenomenon was soon being accepted by other remix-friendly communities like TM Network and Mixi. Since then, over 2,000 videos relating to these remixes has been uploaded to Niconico[5] as of September 2013, and many have been reprinted to YouTube.[6]

Notable Examples

Nisemonogatari OP Platinum Disco

Ghostbusters Theme

Spice Girls’ Wannabe

Dangerous Series

Cowboy Bebop OP Tank!

TM Network’s Get Wild ’89

Search Interest

External References

Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original videos listed in this section.

[1]Wikipedia – Enka

[2]Wikipedia – 俺ら東京さ行ぐだ (Japanese)

[4]Nico Nico Douga – StarrySky YEAH! Remix / Posted on 03-16-2008

[5]Nico Nico Douga – Search results for IKZO OR 俺ら東京さ行ぐだ

[6]YouTube – Search results for ikzo OR 俺ら東京さ行ぐだ

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