5 Best Sad Japanese Songs

If you're a fan of international music, then you're going to need to know the 5 best sad Japanese songs. These songs have been used in everything from music to anime and definitely echo the heartache of the artists and characters they are associated with. Whether you're looking for a new mood to put into your mp3 player or you want something that can parallel the pain you're feeling inside, you're sure to find it here. Get ready to break out the tissues, because here are the 5 best sad Japanese songs ever.

  1. "First Love" by Utada Hikaru. This ballad tells the tale of a woman who is on the cusp of losing her lover and is letting him know exactly how he's ripping her heart out. Images like, "The last kiss was like tobacco" evoke powerful images of lost love, while the English lyrics tell the tragic tale of a lady who just won't let go, because he was her first. The melody is as somber as the lyrics are, if not more so, making this one of the best sad Japanese songs from one of the best pop artists to come out of the country.
  2. "Dolls" by Ayumi Hamasaki. Another song from the realm of J-Pop, this melody evokes a sense of longing as well as listlessness. Ms. Hamasaki sings of the ephemerality of life and ponders the meaning of chance encounters with these tragic lyrics. She wonders what her partner is thinking at the moment while pointing out the useless of it all, since we are all but grains of sand. This one is definitely a tear-jerker.
  3. "Embryo" by Dir En Grey. Though these gentlemen are known for their thrashing guitar riffs and slightly melodic voices, these J-Rockers know how to make a great sad Japanese song. This power ballad decides to forego the message of long lost love in favor of something darker—a family being ripped apart from within. With strong evocative lyrics like, "Mother's neck is choked as she hangs down from the heavens," and "So rape me until I'm satisfied that I am yours, father," this one is definitely not for the faint of heart. Easily one of the best sad Japanese songs to come from a band that we least expected it from.
  4. "Last Song" by Gackt. One of the saddest songs by the prettiest J-Rocker in all of Japan, this echoes the somber tones of a forlorn lover wandering endlessly since he's lost his better half. The beauty here is the juxtaposition of the weather with his feelings, with phrases like "Falling sadness transforms into pure white snow." If this were a painting, it'd be him standing alone in the middle of a snowy white field—and it's because of these brilliant lyrics that we can come to that conclusion.
  5. "Still Alone" by Ayumi Hamasaki. Once again, we revisit Ms. Hamasaki for yet another sad Japanese song. This song echoes a different kind of heartbreak than before, in which the woman left her lover knowing that it would make her sad, but eventual turn out better for the two of them. The line, "I've learned a lot when I became alone for the first time," is unassuming on its own, but becomes heartbreaking when paired with the next line of, ""As long as you didn't let go of my hand, I felt like I do anything, or go anywhere." Ultimately, this song is less about breaking up but more about the youthful innocence that we all feel when entering a serious relationship for the first time.
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