The World of Shogo Kato, “Mikan no Hana Saku Oka”

 On 25 June 2023, I received an invitation from Mr Takeyuki Nakazawa of the Japan Shoka(song) and Children’s Song Education Society to attend a public lecture on children’s songs. The event took place on the fifth floor of a bakery called TAKASE Sugamo, and was attended by about 30 people.
 I was grateful that he introduced everyone to the Association for the Preservation of the UN Peace Bell at the beginning of the course.
 The lecturer was Ms Michi Kato, daughter of lyricist Shogo Kato, who wrote the lyrics to ‘Mikan no Hana Saku Oka’ (The Hill Where the Mandarin Oranges Bloom) and ‘Kawaii Sakanaya san’ (The Lovely Fish Shop). I listened to her talk about the secret stories behind the creation of the songs and nostalgic episodes of her father’s life, which I would not normally know, and felt a sense of overflowing emotion towards him.
 I learnt for the first time that Mr Shogo Kato established shoka(song) and children’s songs as a pedagogy and founded an academic society.