Kioku

記憶 (Kioku) · 记忆 · Memories

In:
[Album] Kimi to Boku no Michi – track 1

All alone in the moonlight / I can smile … Sorry, Grizabella, please stop there. Thank you for making an appearance, I do like Cats, but this site is about Oku Hanako. Also, your song is titled “Memory”, not “Memories”. In Chinese, all nouns can be either plural or singular depending on the context, so the title of this song could be translated at “Memory” or “Memories”. The same seems to be true for Japanese.

 

English

If I were a piano, how would I want to be played?
I’d want to be played smoothly, as gently as possible, to have beautiful timbre

If I were a mirror, what expressions would I want to see?
Although there is no end to sadness and anger, I hope to often see smiling faces

If it were you, how would you answer?

I want to sing songs of love that use simple words
At this moment, I want the memories of you and me living here to remain

If I never met you, what would I be doing now?
I would be feeling lonely by myself, unsurprisingly, because I’d be singing a similar song

If it were you, how would you answer?

I want to sing songs of love that are secrets known only to me
I just want the memories of you and me loving each other to remain

I just want the memories to remain

If I were you, what would I want me to be like?

 

Notes

Kioku feels like a very personal song for Oku Hanako. She plays the piano and uses the piano in her songs, which may be what the piano playing in the first verse refers to. In the second verse, the hope to see smiling faces may refer to the people whom Oku Hanako saw when she performed on the street (suggest reading My Letter). Her songs are mostly love songs, apart from the few that I would call reflections on life, so that can be linked to the desire to sing love songs mentioned in the fourth and seventh verses. The fourth verse also mentions using simple words for the songs. I am completely ignorant about judging the complexity of lyrics, but it feels like simplicity is a core part of Oku Hanako’s lyric writing.

I have one last point and it is purely speculative. I think that Kioku was written with her late pet dog Picasso in mind. Picasso passed away in October 2013 and Kimi to Boku no Michi was released in March 2014, so at least the dates do not contradict my guess. Besides that, Oku Hanako has used the death of a pet as inspiration for a song, so there is a precedent. Moving on to the lyrics, I believe it is not far-fetched that Oku Hanako would wonder about Picasso’s view of her because of her empathy. The desire for memories of their time together to remain would also make sense in the context of Picasso’s death. Finally, the tune has a melancholic feel that suggests sadness in recalling the memories that the title refers to.

 

Simplified Chinese

如果我是钢琴  会想要被怎么弹奏呢
美丽的音色  平稳地  越温柔越好

如果我是镜子  会想看到什么表情的人呢
悲伤忿怒  虽不会停  但希望能常看到笑容呢

如果是你  会怎么回答呢

想唱出爱之歌  用平凡的语言就好
你与我  在这儿生存的记忆  现在  想留下

若没遇见你  现在  我在做什么呢
一个人果然还是  好寂寞  因为唱着类似的歌曲

如果是你  会怎么回答呢

想唱出爱之歌  当成只属于我的秘密就好
你和我  相爱的记忆  只是  想留下

记忆  只是  想留下

如果我是你  会想要怎么样的我呢

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