Fun Link Friday: Musical Calculators

This week’s Fun Link Friday is a tweet by あたりめ (@atarimae_400), a Twitter user who regularly posts incredible videos of him using electronic calculators, the simple keystroke chimes of an iPhone, and the like to reproduce complex musical compositions.

In this recent post in particular, あたりめ reproduces a whole series of JR train station chimes in Tokyo, seemingly using just the one-tone chimes of individual keys on his electronic calculators. If you’ve ever spent time in Tokyo, you’ll recognize these chimes which play as a train from a certain line is stopped at a certain station.

A Japanese website called Sound of Station ( allows you to listen to the chimes for a wide range of train lines – both JR and private – all across the country.

I don’t know if I could consciously identify any station by its tune (or vice versa), but I’ve long wondered whether I’ve perhaps developed a subconscious sense for whether it’s my stop or not by listening to the tones. I think I have for the Okinawa Monorail, if not the Tokyo trains.

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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