Why Shouldn't Super Mario Bros. Become Japan's Nat'l Anthem?

Composer Nobuo "Final Fantasy" Uematsu suggested in an interview that Japan change its national anthem from the imperially biased "Kimigayo" to the theme to Super Mario Bros.

I think there are a lot of talented composers these days compared to when we started back in the day. But if I were to name just one person then it would be [Koji] Kondo-san and his beats and music in Super Mario, just his upbeat tempos. I'm sure everyone in the world -- no borderlines or age limit -- everyone in the world who's come across Super Mario's music will never forget that melody... I think that the Super Mario song should be the national anthem for Japan. [Hums the death refrain] So when someone wins a gold medal at the Olympics, a Japanese athlete, the flag should go up with the theme song. Shoop! ...The world would have a different image of Japan if we use that.

While the theme to Super Mario Bros. is probably more widely recognized worldwide (oddly the same notion I had last night playing Mario Galaxy) I think the theme to The Legend of Zelda is more appropriately austere.

A Day in the Life of Nobuo Uematsu [1up.com via Kotaku via Go Nintendo]

Join the Conversation


  1. It would definitely be a continuation of the infantilization of modern culture! I like the tune, but it’s ‘cute’ – what country wants a cute, upbeat national anthem?

  2. I think an anthem says a huge amount about the basic character of a country. Canada’s is basically a hymn to the country. Star Spangled Banner is about the Americans getting their asses kicked by the British. God Save the King/Queen has obvious historical ties.

    So what does it say about the character of a people to propose an anthem based on a midi track from a video game?

  3. … what country wants a cute, upbeat national anthem?

    I think a lot of countries want a John Williams theme, so other countries will respect and fear them.

    Personally, I’d love something more upbeat, and given recent US foreign policy, I think the national anthem should be “I Can’t Decide” by Scissor Sisters.

  4. A theme about an ass kicking proletariat that never gives up and is out to save the love of his life from an oppressive dictator? Sounds like a great national anthem.

  5. The world would have a different image of Japan if we use that.

    No, I really don’t think it would. I think it would confirm a lot of things we’ve always known in our hearts.

  6. Most people only have the view japan being a weird place that creates anime and video games. Yes it is true that most people do not know japan national athnem but if japan has the mario theme or anime theme it will just ruin japan historal culture or anything else but the anime meidia in japan.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *