Gake no Ue no Ponyo (song)

"Gake no Ue no Ponyo" (崖の上のポニョ, "Ponyo on the Cliff") is the eponymous theme song to the Studio Ghibli film Ponyo, released on December 5, 2007 (though gaining popularity with the release of the film in August 2008).[1][2] It was performed by folk group Fujioka Fujimaki and then eight-year-old Nozomi Ōhashi.

"Gake no Ue no Ponyo"
Single by Fujioka Fujimaki and Nozomi Ōhashi
from the album Ponyo soundtrack
B-side"Fujimoto no Theme"
ReleasedDecember 5, 2007 (2007-12-05)
GenreJ-pop, folk
LabelYamaha Music Communications
Songwriter(s)Katsuya Kondō, Hayao Miyazaki, Joe Hisaishi
Producer(s)Joe Hisaishi
Fujioka Fujimaki singles chronology
"Oyaji no Kokoro ni Tomotta Chiisa na Hi"
"Gake no Ue no Ponyo"
"Zoku Oyaji no Kokoro ni Tomotta Chiisa na Hi"
Nozomi Ōhashi singles chronology
"Gake no Ue no Ponyo"
"Panda no Yume"



The song was written in collaboration between veteran Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi, with lyrics by the film's supervisor Katsuya Kondō and director Hayao Miyazaki.[3] When Hisaishi originally saw the storyboards for the film, he immediately thought up the melody for the song. However, as he believed it was too simple a melody, he did not mention it for two to three months. He eventually showed the song to Miyazaki and producer Toshio Suzuki as he could not get it out of his head. They both believed such a simple song was fitting for the film.[4]



Other than being promoted in commercials and in the film Ponyo, the song was used in commercials for Mitsuya Cider.[3] Fujioka Fujimaki and Nozomi Ōhashi performed the song on the new year's song contest Kōhaku Uta Gassen, making Ōhashi the youngest participant after 59 years of airing.[5]

Chart reception


The song was an extremely successful long-seller on Oricon's physical single charts. The song initially only charted for one week at #115 after its initial release in December 2007.[2] It began charting again lowly in below the 100 mark at the beginning of July, and broke into the top ten at #6 by the end of July.[2] The song then spent 11 weeks in the top 10, peaking at #3 for four weeks.[2] The song charted in the top 50 for 15 further weeks (breaking into the top 20 around new years, due to Kōhaku Uta Gassen), and finally stopped charting in the top 200 August 2009, spending more than an entire year on the charts.[2]

On the Billboard Japan Hot 100 (combined physical sales and airplay), the song peaked at #4, and was the 17th most successful song in 2008.[6][7] Digitally, the song peaked at #1 on RIAJ's monthly ringtone chart,[8] and has been certified platinum for full-length cellphone downloads and double-platinum for ringtone downloads.[9]

Track listing

1."Gake no Ue no Ponyo" (崖の上のポニョ "Ponyo on the Cliff")Katsuya Kondō, Hayao MiyazakiJoe Hisaishi2:44
2."Fujimoto no Theme" (フジモトのテーマ "Fujimoto's Theme" performed by Fujioka Fujimaki)Fujioka FujimakiHisaishi3:28
3."Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Karaoke)"Kondō, MiyazakiHisaishi2:44
4."Fujimoto no Theme (Karaoke)"Fujioka FujimakiHisaishi3:28
5."Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Nozomi-chan Demo)" (のぞみちゃんデモ "Nozomi's Demo Take" performed by Nozomi Ōhashi)Kondō, MiyazakiHisaishi2:30
Total length:14:54

Chart positions

Chart Peak
Oricon daily singles[10] 1
Oricon weekly singles[2] 3
Oricon yearly singles[11] 14
Billboard Japan Hot 100[6] 4
Billboard Japan Hot 100 yearly charts[7] 17
RIAJ Reco-kyō monthly ringtone chart[8] 1


Chart Amount
Oricon physical sales[2] 382,000
RIAJ ringtone downloads[9] 500,000+
RIAJ full-length cellphone downloads[9] 250,000+

English version

"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"
Single by Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas
ReleasedMay 4, 2010 (2010-05-04)
GenrePop, pop rock
LabelWalt Disney Records
Songwriter(s)Katsuya Kondō, Hayao Miyazaki & Joe Hisaishi
Noah Cyrus singles chronology
"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"
"Make Me (Cry)"
Frankie Jonas singles chronology
"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"

For the overseas release of the film, an English version retitled as "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" was released, sung by Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas (siblings of Disney teen stars Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers). The song was released as a digital download in May 2010, despite the film being released in North America in August 2009.[12][13]

Two versions of this cover were created: one, a direct stylistic cover of the original version, and another upbeat pop rock remix of the song.

Track listing

1."Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea"2:44
2."Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" (remix)3:02
Total length:5:46

Other versions

  • Joe Hisaishi (2009, self cover performed on piano, album Another Piano Stories: The End of the World)
  • Nana Hiwatari (2008, compilation album Ghibli the Best)
  • Yūko Kanzaki & Kentarō Hayami, (2009, compilation album Kodomo no Uta: Gake no Ue no Ponyo Hi wa, Mata Noboru)
  • Meja (2010, album AniMeja: Ghibli Songs)
  • Takashi Obara (2009, performed on piano on album Ghibli in Classic: Gake no Ue no Ponyo, Tonari no Totoro)
  • Sumi Shimamoto (2009, album Sumi Shimamoto Sings Ghibli)
  • Yumiko Tamura, Takashi Irie (2009, compilation album Kazoku Minna no Family Song: Fāmi Son Gake no Ue no Ponyo)
  • Kenji Yamahira, Keiichi Hosokawa (2008, performed on erhu, album Erhu Chūgoku Dentō Gakki de Kiku Studio Ghibli Sakuhinshū Best Selection)


  1. ^ 崖の上のポニョ (in Japanese). Yamaha Music Communications. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」". Oricon. Retrieved 2010-05-24. (subscription only)
  3. ^ a b JBook. "JBOOK:崖の上のポニョ:藤岡藤巻と大橋のぞみ:CD". Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  4. ^ Toshio Suzuki (2007-12-09). Toshio Suzuki's Ghibli Sweatmarks (鈴木敏夫のジブリ汗まみれ Suzuki Toshio no Jiburi Ase Mamire) (Radio show). Chiyoda, Tokyo: FM Tokyo.
  5. ^ "Nozomi Ohashi shines as little star of 59th Red and White Singing Contest". Japan Today. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  6. ^ a b "Hot 100|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2009-08-04. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  7. ^ a b "Hot 100 Year End|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2010-05-24.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b "レコード協会調べ 7月度有料音楽配信チャート(「着うた(R)」)<略称:7月度レコ協チャート(「着うた(R)」)>" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  9. ^ a b c レコード協会調べ 7月度有料音楽配信認定 <略称:7月度認定>. RIAJ (in Japanese). 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  10. ^ 『崖の上のポニョ』主題歌が発売から7か月で首位~『ゲド戦記』に迫る (in Japanese). Oricon. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  11. ^ "年間ランキング特集『2008年 オリコン年間ランキング大発表!』-ORICON STYLE ミュージック" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  12. ^ "Ponyo On the Cliff By the Sea - Single Noah Cyrus & Frankie Jonas". iTunes. January 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  13. ^ "Miyazaki's Ponyo Brings in US$1.2 Million on Friday". Anime News Network. 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-08-15.