Hotaru no hikari

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  • First published: 1881, Shôgaku shôka-shû shohen'
  • Japanese: 蛍の光 (hotaru no hikari)

Hotaru no hikari (lit. "the light of fireflies") is a song which has become a standard in Japan at graduation ceremonies. Sung to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne" (by Robert Burns, 1794), it employs a set of lyrics, in Japanese, first published in 1881.

The Japanese lyricist is unknown, but the song is known to have first appeared in Shôgaku shôka-shû shohen ("Elementary School Songbook, vol 1"), organized by the Ministry of Education in 1881. The title of the song was given in that book as simply Hotaru ("Fireflies"), but it later came to be known as Hotaru no hikari.


  • "Hotaru no hikari," Sekai daihyakka jiten 世界大百科事典, Hitachi Solutions, 2013.