The film Inherent Vice has a great soundtrack, and it includes the 1960s hit and from the early 1960s too Sukiyaki sung by Kyu Sakamoto. It’s recognizable as a middle of the road classic which apparently sold around 13 million records. Try:

Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukou) – Kyu Sakamoto (English Translation and Lyrics)

On this version the Japanese words are translated into English and have such a melancholy ring though the song is somehow at the same time terribly hopeful. Perhaps it’s the smile of the singer. The song is ┬ábasically about continuing despite all the sad feelings and so on. Here’s a taster:

I look up when I walk /So that the tears won’t fall

And in a later verse

Sadness lies in the shadow of the stars/Sadness lurks in the shadow of the moon

What’s interesting is the song was written as the aftermath of a protest. it’s terribly catchy!