Hotaru Koi

Words and music: Variant of traditional song.

Parts: 3

Range: 7 half-steps

Language: Japanese.

Difficulty: Medium.


The second voice comes in after the first ho.

Ho, ho, hotaru koi. Atchi no mizu wa nigai zo. Kotchi no mizu wa amai zo. Ho, ho, hotaru koi.

English translation, translated by Kat Tanaka Okopnik:

Fireflies, come! The water over there is bitter. The water over here is sweet. Fireflies, come!

Recordings elsewhere

Recorded by Libana: “Hotaru Koi,” on Fire Within. You can listen to a similar Libana performance on YouTube.


As far as we’ve been able to determine, the original non-round version of this song is a Japanese children’s song. We’re not sure who adapted the original melody into a round, but it may have been Rō Ogura.