Here’s an example of the differences between Japanese culture and our own: Since the 1970, it’s been not uncommon for Japanese companies to have a company song, that serves as a sort of morale-boosting anthem. In the early ’90s, Sega decided they needed a theme song of their own.
Mike Fischer, a former CEO of Square Enix America, worked at the Japanese headquarters of Sega Enterprises Ltd. in 1990, and told Polygon, “Right after I joined Sega in 1990, the company’s business really started taking off — especially in the international (non-Japanese) markets with the launch of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console. The company started to expand rapidly, and as most large companies in Japan had a company song, the decision was made that Sega should have one, too.”
Company mascot Sonic was an idea submitted by an employee, so they decided to use the same approach for a company song, and the winning composition was “Young Force” by Eiichi Takahashi. If there’s one thing the song is, it’s cheesy: The instrumentation is string-laden like a national anthem, and the lyrics were based on company mottos.
“These mottos were part of the Monday morning ritual long before the song was ever created, and we would recite them together at the start of the meeting,” Fischer said. “The main slogan was ‘Creativity is Life’ but there were several other company values and slogans we’d recite. Some of them made it into the song, some that didn’t. There were phrases like ‘advance society with intellectual property’ and ‘work together to achieve our objectives.’ (They sound just as clunky in Japanese).”
Listen to the song for yourself below, read more about its history over at Polygon, and if you feel so compelled, send along your ideas for a Nerdist company song, since we just realized we don’t have one and it’s now our main priority as a business.
Featured image: SEGA