On March 11th, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the coast of northeastern Japan. This composition is frequently performed in memory of the tragedy, with encouraging hope for the restoration of the culture of northeastern Japan.
Fantasy on Saitara Bushi (Sea Chantey) was commissioned in 2009 by Izumitateyama H.S. Band in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
Saitara Bushi, a traditional Japanese folksong from the Matsushima Bay area, was compiled into a songbook by folksong scholar Tosui Goto of Miyagi Prefecture. It is now known as a famous sea chantey, a celebratory song for the big catch.
The lyrics are:
En-ya-tot-tot En-ya-tot-tot(Prelude chant)
Matsushima no sa-yo- Zuigangi hodo no(Lyric)
Ha korya korya (Short chant)
Teramo nai toh-e-(Lyric)
Arewa eh-eh etoso-rya (Lyric)
Taigyo da eh- (Lyric)
The main melody from the beginning of this composition is the prelude chant. The articulation represents a nautical onomatopoeia. Later the simple, heroic main melody of the original folksong is developed and transformed into various styles.