This is not actually a song. In the back cover of the lyrics booklet in the album Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- there is a letter titled My Letter. This is it.
I started writing songs in Senior High School1. I wrote lyrics like I was writing a diary. At that time, the break up with a sweetheart, that stage of romance symbolised the theme that would often appear in my songs “Because it was lost, only thus was its importance discovered”.
I began performing 14 years ago to today2 to let even more people know about my songs. Although a lot happened since I started, I could continue playing music and singing as I always did, and that to me was truly a miracle.
In order to make this Best Album, fans who understood Oku Hanako’s songs better than Oku Hanako herself were invited to choose the songs they love most, and using that list of songs as a reference, I chose the songs for the album myself. So although a lot of the songs on the list were not chosen by most people, these songs were chosen for the album simply because I like them (laugh).
Furthermore, I also re-recorded versions of “Koi” and “Genki de Itene” that produced a change in a concert3, and I recorded my new song “Ai wo Mitsuketa Basho” that developed from my debut song “Yasashii Hana”. In this way 30 songs were chosen and separated into “Songs of Infatuation” and “Songs of Romance”4.
Looking back, with becoming a singer-songwriter as my goal, in the gap between the ideal world I imagined and the real world, I began singing on the streets, and this led to a big change in my music life. People I did not know would stop in their tracks to listen to my songs, and even give me beautiful smiles. These simple responses, just like that would make me feel very happy. This has not changed to today, and it has become the basis of everything.
I am very grateful.
For discovering me, supporting me, encouraging me, giving birth to me5, listening to my songs, shedding tears because of my songs, breaking into smiles because of my songs, I am grateful for all of this.
Thank you to all the people I met and you too.6
- Senior High School is the direct translation from the Chinese words and this corresponds to 15-18 year old students.
- For those unfamiliar with the album, “today” presumably refers to 2012 when the album was released.
- “在演唱会中产生变化” directly translates to “produce a change in a concert” which I suppose could be understood as meaning that the songs were well-received. On the other hand, it would make sense to say that the songs (Koi and Genki de Itene) were changed for a concert, rather than that they created a change in a concert.
- To the best of my understanding, in Chinese “恋” refers to shallow and transient love (like puppy love) whereas“爱” refers to deep and lasting love (i.e. romantic love).
- “生下了我” literally translates as “gave birth to me”. I thought of replacing it with “creating me” by considering it as a metaphorical birth. Then I thought it might be addressing her parents, so I left the translation as “giving birth to me”.
- If the use of commas and sentence structure appear slightly awkward in places, it is because I decided to keep the content between the commas the same. I think this is better at conveying the progression of thoughts in the letter.
给现在在此相遇的所有人 还有你 谢谢。