“If You’re Happy and You Know It, Te o Tatakou”

“Teams were assigned a minder,” Victor Warren explained to me. “Our guide, our liaison, our gal was Michiko, a delightful young lady. When we won, which was rare, she cried. When we lost, she cried.”

Warren, a member of the Canadian field hockey team at the 1964 Tokyo Games, explained that one day, Michiko handed out a song sheet to the team. It was the popular children’s song,  “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands”…except it was in Japanese. “The wording was shiawase nara te o tatakou or something like that. We all sang it on the bus, and it was delightful.”

One of the hottest singers in Japan, and the world, at that time was Kyu Sakamoto, who had released this song in 1964, 5 months before the start of the Olympics.

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