Kaette Oide

帰っておいで (Kaette Oide) · 回来吧 · Come Home

In:
[Album] Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho – track 5
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- CD 2 – track 5

 

I like the calm melody in this song. It feels welcoming and warm, exactly the kind of feeling one would want upon returning to a place they belong. It also has a sense of simplicity, which is something that I think stands out in a life that is complicated by multiple commitments. This song has a translation credited to Aereldark.

 

English

Life’s not all happy things and things I want to do
Many things that have to be done fill my days

I feel like I’m going to be left behind by the rapid flow of people
In moments like this, there is someone who sings for me

When you’re hungry, come home; when you’ve finished work, come home
You’ve worked hard enough for today, and well done for doing it without grumbling

Come home, come home
If you’re about to cry, come home
Come home, come home
The place that never changes will be here to welcome you

On days seemingly between fantasy and reality, and something seems to be chasing you
The burden is too much for one person, it will be tiring at times

The same failures repeat and I hate myself
In moments like this, there is someone who sings for me

Don’t be depressed, come home; take a moment to rest, come home
You’ve worked hard enough for today, and well done for doing it without grumbling

Come home, come home
If you’re about to forget how to smile, come home
Come home, come home
A wonder unlike anything seen before will come tomorrow

Come home, come home
If you’re about to cry, come home
Come home, come home
The place that never changes will be here to welcome you

 

Translation notes

The Chinese translation of the title literally means “return here”. The song gives the context of “here” being a place that the listener can return to when feeling hungry, after finishing work, if feeling overwhelmed by the world, or for just having a rest. The place will also always be the same. In my opinion, this kind of place sounds like a home. Hence, I used “Come Home” for the title.

The title in Japanese appears to be a combination of 帰って (kaette), which has the base meaning of “to return” or “to come home” in the te-form (connective form), and おいで (oide), which can mean “coming” or “going”. This supports “Come Home” as the title’s meaning.

The Chinese translation and Aereldark’s translation are mostly similar. There is one difference that I’ll comment on, and the difference is in verse 3, line 1. Aereldark’s translation of verse 3, line 1 is:

If you are hungry, come back here, rest your back and work here

The Japanese lyrics for this line are:

お腹がすいたら帰っておいで 仕事をすませて帰っておいで
Onaka ga suitara kaette oide shigoto wo sumasete kaette oide

In Aereldark’s translation, the listener is invited to rest and then work “here”. In the Chinese translation, the listener is invited to return “here” after finishing work. In the Japanese lyrics, the word for work is仕事 (shigoto). The work is described with すませて (sumasete), which has the base meaning “to finish” in the te-form (connective form). I’m inclined to believe that the line is inviting the listener to return when work is finished.

 

Simplified Chinese

不是只有开心的事  也不都是想做的事
我的每天  有很多必须做的事

过于快速的人流  虽然好像快脱节了
这种时候  有人为了我而唱歌

肚子饿了就回来吧  做完工作就回来吧
今天的你够努力了  没有抱怨地做得很好

回来吧  回来吧
要是快哭出来  就快回来吧
回来吧  回来吧
不变的地方  会迎接你

在理想与现实之间  被什么追赶着的日子
一个人无法负荷  也有感到辛苦的时候

重复一样的失败  讨厌自己
这种时候  有人为了我而唱歌

别沮丧回来吧  偶尔也休息一下回来吧
今天的你够努力了  没有抱怨地做得很好

回来吧  回来吧
快要忘记笑容时  回来吧
回来吧  回来吧
明天会有任谁也不知道的美好事物

回来吧  回来吧
要是快哭出来  就回来吧
回来吧  回来吧
不变的地方  会迎接你

Shinderera

シンデレラ (Shinderera) · 灰姑娘 · Cinderella

In:
[Single] Cinderella  – track 6
[Album] good-bye – track 4
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – CD 1 track 6

 

With this post, I have completed all songs and liner notes in the album good-bye. I wanted to finish this album first because of the liner notes, which provide nice brief insights into Oku Hanako’s song writing thoughts. This song has also been translated by Kazabana.

 

English

I saw azure clouds on my way home; ever since the day I admitted my feelings
My happy place was right by your side

The awkward ways we called out each other’s name and held hands
Those moments are nostalgic, I wanted to always be together

It feels painful to love you so much, I want to trust you but I have my doubts
When someone says “Let’s break up”
It’s because they want to be told “I don’t want to break up”

Thank you for everything to this day, I really do like you a lot
Because I know that you’re not one to tell jokes like that
I’m suddenly like Cinderella after the magic faded
The present moment still cannot become a memory

The matching pair of mugs, everything that we chose together
Along with the feelings of affection, are the things you left behind

I can’t sleep, I’ve cried my eyes out, I just want to see you again
As I wait for your reply, in my hand
Only the words “no new messages” are glowing

I truly am happy that I met you
Though I can’t openly admit it with a smile right now
I’m like Cinderella after she lost something precious
I can’t walk without my glass slipper

All the time I spent with you will always be treasured
Even on days when we fought, you stayed by my side

Thank you for everything to this day, I truly always liked you a lot
I will be able to openly admit that with a smile
I’m suddenly like Cinderella after the magic faded
Our days together will turn into memories

 

Self Liner Notes

Being in love is like being under a spell, the whole world looks like it is shining, it feels like you’re riding in a pumpkin carriage, just like in the fairy tale of Cinderella ~ That is what I thought about as I started composing this song.

It’s a song I didn’t have before, a very positive song about being lovelorn, so I got a new pair of black glasses and a skirt, it’s a song worthy of an anniversary (laugh).

In the MV I played the piano on the snow fields of Biei, Hokkaido, it was a precious experience.

 

Translation notes

The Chinese translation and Kazabana’s translation are mostly similar in meaning. The main difference between them is in verse 3 and verse 4. More specifically, it is verse 3, lines 2-3, and verse 4, line 1.

The literal meaning of the Chinese translation is:

Like you too much so feel hurt; want to trust but have doubts
Say “Let’s break up”
Because want to hear the sentence “Don’t want to break up”

Up to today thank you, truly like you very much
Because know you are not someone who tells this kind of joke
I suddenly like Cinderella with the magic released
Right now still cannot become memory

The Chinese translation does not clearly indicate a specific person saying the lines “Let’s break up” and “Don’t want to break up”. I didn’t notice anything to help in the Japanese lyrics either. In verse 4, when the singer says that she knows the listener would not make “this kind of joke”, I thought that it was referring to pretending to want to break up as a way to check how the other person feels. As such, my interpretation was that the singer mentioned the lines in verse 3 as a general case, and implied that the listener said he wanted to break up, which the singer believed to be his honest feelings:

It feels painful to love you so much, I want to trust you but I have my doubts
When someone says “Let’s break up”
It’s because they want to be told “I don’t want to break up”

Thank you for everything to this day, I really do like you a lot
Because I know that you’re not one to tell jokes like that
I’m suddenly like Cinderella after the magic faded
The present moment still cannot become a memory

Kazabana’s translation is:

I loved you too much that it became painful
Even though I wanted to believe you, I had doubts
I said “Let’s break up” because
I only wanted to hear the words “I don’t want to break up with you”

“Thank you for everything until now, I truly loved you”
Because I know you weren’t joking when you said that
I am like Cinderella when the spell suddenly ended
Even now, I still can’t turn it into a memory

Kazabana has the singer saying “Let’s break up”, which would not be strange because the line immediately before is from the singer’s point of view. The not-a-joke by the listener is now the first line of verse 4, which is said by someone in response to the statement of breaking up. I think that this interpretation makes sense and is a good interpretation. I do, however, lean slightly towards preferring the thank you statement to be said by the singer because that way it matches the thank you statement attributed to the singer in verse 9.

 

There is one more difference in verse 2 line 1. The Chinese translation says that the singer and listener were awkward with one another whereas Kazabana’s translation says that they were not awkward.

The line in Japanese is:

お互いの名前の呼び方も 手の繋ぎ方も ぎこちなくて
Otagai no namae no yobi kata mo te no tsunagi kata mo gikochinakute

The way we called each other’s name and the way we held hands were <insert meaning of ぎこちなくて (gikochinakute)>

Romajidesu says that ぎこちなくて (gikochinakute) appears to be the て-form (connective form) and ない-form (negative form) of ぎこち (gikochi). However, it appears that the base form is ぎこちない (gikochinai), which already means “awkward”, or more specifically is “action that is unrefined and not yet smooth due to lack of practice”. As the ない is part of the base form instead of modifying it, the singer and listener’s behaviour should be described as awkward.

 

Simplified Chinese

回家路上看到蓝色云朵  从告白那天起
我的幸福之所  就是你身边

彼此喊着对方的方式  牵手的方式  都还很青涩
那时真令人怀念  要一在一起这么久喔

太过喜欢你而感到痛苦  想相信却怀疑
说出“分手吧”
是因为想听到“不想分手”这句话

至今谢谢你  真的好喜欢你
因为知道  你不是会开这种玩笑的人
我突然  好像魔法被解开的灰姑娘一样
现在  还不能当成回忆

成对的马克杯  全部都是我俩一起挑选的
和喜欢这份心情一起  是你留下的东西

睡不着哭累了  想再见你一次
我的手中  等着你的回信
却只是“没有新的简讯”这行文字发着光

和你相遇  真的好幸福
我现在  还不能带着笑说出口
就像  遗落了重要东西的灰姑娘一样
穿着玻璃鞋  我没办法走路

和你一起度过的一切永远都是珍贵的
吵架的日子  你也在我身边呢

至今谢谢你  真的好喜欢你  永远
我会  能带着笑说出口的
我突然  好像魔法被解开的灰姑娘一样
我俩的日子  渐渐变成回忆

 

Self Liner Notes

恋爱时就像被施下魔法一样、全世界看起来都像在发着光、正如灰姑娘的故事里、坐上南瓜马车时的感觉~边这么想着边开始写下这首歌。是以往没有的、很积极的失恋歌曲、所以换了新的黑色眼镜也挑战了裙子、是值得纪念的一首歌(笑)。

MV是在北海道美瑛的雪原上弹钢琴、是一次很珍贵的经验。

Rosu Taimu

ロスタイム (Rosu Taimu) · 伤停时间 · Loss Time

In:
[Album] good-bye – track 1

 

This song has also been translated by Rosanne.

 

English

I like you so much that it makes me lonely; I still hurt you even though I am regretful
I always indulged in your kindness

We teased each other over petty issues; we lightly kissed our entwined fingers
I cried at the ticket gate even though I would see you very soon

It was you who taught me how to feel lonely and uneasy, and how to love someone
My final request is please teach me how to forget the person I like

Our meetings, our partings, all of our days were like a dream
To this day, thinking of your voice and warmth still stops me in my tracks

Your face as you sleep, your mouth when you’re annoyed, the two aligned moles on your back
You saying “I don’t want anyone to see these”, that is how I remember you

It was you who taught me lovingness and loneliness, and how to be pampered
My final request is please teach me how to forget the person I like

The talks about our dreams, and the places we have walked through together
The joys and pains we shared will never fade; I don’t want them to fade, not a single one

We argued a lot and I cried a lot, but for some reason the memories that I recall
Are all of us laughing together, of all the places where we laughed together

Our meetings, our partings, all of our days were like a dream
Thinking of your voice and warmth still stops me in my tracks
I won’t forget them; I don’t want to forget them; never ever

 

Self Liner Notes

After breaking up with a lover, it would be much easier if you could hate the other person… I used to think that way. Actually, the title for this song was initially “The Person I Like”.

But as I listened to the guitar prelude being recorded in the recording studio, I slowly got the impression that “Loss Time” was a more suitable title for the song, so I decided that this would be the title.

 

Translation notes

The Chinese translation of the title is usually used to mean “injury time”, i.e. the extra time added on after full time of a football match ends. As an aside, there is TV drama called Loss Time: Life, where each episode focuses on a new character who is about to die and is given a little more time to live. There appears to a Japanese version (aired 2008) and a Korean version (aired 2015).

Anyway, the site I linked earlier alleges that “loss time” is how the Japanese refer to “injury time”. It makes sense to say “lost time” instead of “loss time”, as Rosanne does in her translation of the song title, because the extra playing time is to compensate for time that was lost. That being said, other internet sources refer to the TV drama as Loss Time, so I guess that Loss Time may be the more “familiar” translation for ロスタイム.

In the liner notes, Oku Hanako says that she initially named the song “The Person I Like”, but changed her mind. Maybe she’s secretly a football fan?! The initial title choice “The Person I Like” is not a bad one, in my opinion, because the song focuses on the singer’s thoughts and still lingering feelings for her ex.

I do like the mystery and sense of discovery that “Loss Time” brings to the song. Why has she composed a song about being at a football match with a boyfriend?! The name doesn’t give away anything about the song, unlike “The Person I Like”. After knowing that the song means, and thinking about what “loss time” is, I find a kind of thrill in making a connection between the two. Full time for a football is 90 minutes, yet after the clock has reached full time, the players can continue to play because of injury time (extra time is a separate matter). In the song, the singer’s relationship has ended (reached full time), but she hasn’t moved on yet and continues to love her ex (she’s still “playing” in injury time).

If I were to search for a deeper, hidden meaning, I would say that the title also alludes to the singer hoping that she can return to being lovers with the listener. In a game of football, there are times when the result of the match at full time is changed by events that happen in injury time. So, the singer may be hoping that there is something she can do or that something will happen to let her and the listener make up.

I don’t have any comments on comparing Rosanne’s translation and the Chinese translation because they are largely similar.

 

Simplified Chinese

喜欢的过了头  好寂寞  虽然觉得抱歉还是伤了你
你的温柔  一直依赖着

因为一些小事  互相闹着  交叠的手指  轻吻了一点
明明很快就能见面  但却在剪票口哭了呢

你  教会我  寂寞不安  还有爱人的方法
最后求你  也教我怎么忘记喜欢的人吧

相遇  分离  所有的日子都如梦一般
你的声音  你的温度  一想起就无法动弹  现在也是如此

睡脸  沮丧时的嘴型  背上两颗并列着的痣
说着不想让任何人看见  想起了这样的你

你  教会我  深爱及孤独  撒娇的方法
最后求你  也教我怎么忘记喜欢的人吧

谈论过的我俩的梦  我俩一起走过的  每个地方
我俩一起分享的  喜悦悲伤  不会失去  不想失去  一切都是

吵了好多架  大哭好多场  不知为何回想起的
都是我俩笑着  与你笑着的模样

相遇  分离  所有的日子都如梦一般
你的声音  你的温度  一想起就无法动弹
忘不了  不想忘  永远

 

Self Liner Notes

和恋人分手后、如果能讨厌对方会有多么轻松呢…曾这么想过。其实这首歌、一开始的歌名是“喜欢的人”。

但是在录音室录音时听着前奏吉他的声音、印象就渐渐浮现、觉得“伤停时间”这个名字比较适合这首歌、所以决定了这首歌名。

Koi

恋 (Koi) · 恋 · Romance

In:
[Album] Time Note – track 5
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- CD 1 – track 3

This is a special song to me because it’s the one that got me interested in looking for more of Oku Hanako’s songs. I heard the song in an anime music video featuring Fujibayashi Kyou and her feelings for Okazaki Tomoya. In case you are unfamiliar with them, they are characters from Clannad.

There is another translation by Kazabana.

 

English

I happened to see you two on the street
That girl is your girlfriend that you mentioned before
The fact the two of you looked well matched was bothersome
But your bright smile that I had never seen bothered me even more

Why can’t it be me?
Why must it be you?

I like you so much …
I hide in my heart the feelings that I cannot convey to you
It hurts so much that even breathing is difficult
Will I come to like you more than ever?
If only I could like someone who will like me in return, that would be enough

If there is someone who shares your personality
And shares your looks, that would be great
While talking about something trivial like that
I imitate you by drinking bitter coffee

I thought of giving up many times
I tried to hate you many times

I let myself be deceived by these feelings for a little longer
I’m lonely; I want to hear your voice
How much longer can I yearn for you like this?
If only I could like someone who will like me in return, that would be enough

Why can’t it be me?
Why must it be you?

I like you so much …
I hide in my heart the feelings that I cannot convey to you
It hurts so much that even breathing is difficult
Will I come to like you more than ever?
If only I could like someone who will like me in return, that would be enough

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 1, lines 3-4

The fact the two of you looked well matched was bothersome
But your bright smile that I had never seen bothered me even more

Kazabana’s translation is:

Even though she is suitable for you
Your smile, which I had never seen before, was frustrated

In both the Chinese translation and Kazabana’s translation, there are ideas that agree – that the listener and his girlfriend look compatible with each other, that the listener is smiling, and that someone is frustrated. The two translations don’t agree on how the ideas relate to each other.

The Japanese lyrics are:

お似合いだった事よりもずっと
見た事もない あなたの笑顔が悔しかった

Oniai datta koto yori mo zutto
Mita koto mo nai anata no egao ga kuyashikatta

In the Japanese lyrics, roughly between these two lines is the word より (yori), which is used for making a comparison. I don’t know enough Japanese grammar to say for certain, but I’m inclined to believe the Chinese translation is correct in comparing the listener’s smile with how compatible the listener and his girlfriend appear.

“Your bright smile” comes from the Chinese translation “你 … 的灿烂笑容”. The Japanese lyrics say “あなたの笑顔 (anata no egao)”, which would be “your smile”. I think “your bright smile” works better because it implies that the smile the listener shows to his girlfriend is better than his usual smile.

 

2. Verse 3, line 4

Will I come to like you more than ever?

Kazabana’s translation is:

I wonder if I can continue to think about you any more

The Japanese lyrics are:

これ以上あなたを想い続けられるかな
Kore ijō anata wo omoi tsuzukerareru kana

There is nothing I recognise in the Japanese lyrics that implies the singer’s love will grow stronger. I do recognise 続け (tsuzuke), which is an inflection of 続ける (tsuzukeru) meaning “to continue”. As such, I think Kazabana’s translation is more correct.

 

3. Verse 3, line 5

If only I could like someone who will like me in return, that would be enough

Kazabana’s translation is:

It would be good if you could like only the person who likes you

Both translations have the same idea, but from different perspectives. The Japanese lyrics imply the subject instead of stating it outright, so pick the perspective you like. I think that Kazabana’s translation makes the singer sound more selfish because she wants the listener to change to fit her preference. There’s nothing wrong with that impression, especially in a song about unrequited love that is more likely from the perspective of a pubescent girl than an adult woman.

 

4. Verse 4, line 4

I imitate you by drinking bitter coffee

Kazabana’s translation is:

Pretending it was bitter coffee, I tried to swallow

The Japanese lyrics are:

苦いコーヒー 真似してあたしも飲んでみた
Nigai kōhī maneshite atashi mo non de mita

According to RōmajiDesu, the word 真似 (mane) can mean “imitation” or “pretence” or “behaviour”. The Wikitionary entry lists “imitation” and “mocking” as the meanings. I think that perhaps it applies to pretending to be a living thing or copying the behaviour of a living thing.

Consider the whole verse for context (both translations agree on the context):

If there is someone who shares your personality
And shares your looks, that would be great
While talking about something trivial like that
I imitate you by drinking bitter coffee

I think that the singer copying the listener’s behaviour fits the lyrics better in the sense that the lyrics go from “the same personality” to “the same looks” to “the same behaviour”. That being said, it is poetic to liken the singer trying to accept that there is no one like the listener to drinking something bitter. As an aside, there is a phrase in Chinese (吃苦) that has the literal meaning “eat bitter”, but is used to mean “endure hardship” or “suffer hardship”.

 

Simplified Chinese

偶然  在街上看到了你们
那女孩就是你过说的女朋友吧
比起很配的你们二人  更让我不甘心的是
你那我从没见过的灿烂笑容

为什么我就是不行呢?
为什么一定要你才行呢?

如此的喜欢···
无法传递出的思念  藏在我的心中
如此的痛苦  连呼吸都变得困难
我还会变得更喜欢你吗
如果能喜欢上会喜欢我的人就好了

如果有跟你一样个性
长得跟你一样的人就好了
边说着这种无聊事情
我学你喝着苦涩的咖啡

好几次想要放弃
好几次试着想要讨厌你

再让我以这种心情欺骗自己
好寂寞  好想听你的声音
我还能这样喜欢你多久呢
如果能喜欢上会喜欢我的人就好了

为什么我就是不行呢?
为什么一定要你才行呢?

如此的喜欢···
无法传递出的思念  藏在我的心中
如此的痛苦  连呼吸都变得困难
我还会变得更喜欢你吗
如果能喜欢上会喜欢我的人就好了

Rashinban

羅針盤 (Rashinban) · 指南针 · Compass

In:
[Album] Prism – track 7

This is my least favourite Oku Hanako song. The main reason is because it sounds like Oku Hanako is trying to rap, and I think it doesn’t work. I respect her freedom to experiment with her style as she likes, but I’m glad it was only for one song in this album.

This song is also unusually short for Oku Hanako. At 2:28, this is the only song under 3 minutes play time in the 4 albums I have, which cover 67 unique songs in 68 unique versions. 君の笑顔 (Kimi no Egao) appears twice in an album version and a regular version, and the versions are about 20 seconds different in length. The second shortest song is 曖昧な唇 (Aimai na Kuchibiru) at 3:15.

 

English

I want to be loved, remembered and noticed; I don’t want to be lonely
What kind of person am I to always take without giving?
How many years do I intend to live, and thus lived until today?
Who will I cry for? And who do I want to see me?

A-ah, there are nights when I think of someone

If I don’t go anywhere now, the words I wrote will break
I am a nobody who relies on the sound of the door opening as my compass for living

I don’t want to do, I want to be saved; I don’t want to anger people or be hurt
What kind of person am I to run away from everything?
What happiness should I believe in? What direction in life should I follow?
Do I want to avoid letting anyone see me take a wrong step?

A-ah, there are times when I laugh together with someone

I’ll now take the invisible light in my hand and head into the darkness to continue fighting
I am a nobody who relies on the beating of my heart as my compass for living

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 1, line 1

I want to be loved, remembered and noticed; I don’t want to be lonely

In the Japanese lyrics on okuhanako.net, the line says that the singer does not want to be noticed (気付かれない kizukarenai; wanting to be noticed would be 気付かれたい kizukaretai). When I listen to the song, I’m pretty sure I hear 気付かれたい kizukaretai, so I’ve translated the line to say that the singer wants to be noticed. This is also what the Chinese translation says.

If I took some liberty with translating this line, I think it could be more elegantly written as:

Love me, remember me, notice me, don’t leave me alone

Similarly, verse 4, line 1 could be put more elegantly as:

Do it for me, save me, don’t be mad, don’t hurt me

 

Besides being an unusually short song, I think this is an unusually melancholic song. Where Oku Hanako’s sad love songs show a singer coping with her broken heart, this song shows a singer in a bout of depression. The image of the singer is of a person who lacks self-confidence, feels lonely, and doesn’t know what to do.

The end of the song suggests that the singer has found resolve within herself to continue her fight. However, I don’t think it is a positive end, because her resolve appears to be based on her belief that she is alive as proven by the beating of her heart. I feel that the singer could lose faith in her heart beats as proof that she is living.

I don’t want to end my notes like this, so I’ll close with a somewhat relevant quote with quirky humour. It’s probably funnier if you know the context.

It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

– Miracle Max, in The Princess Bride

 

Simplified Chinese

想被爱  想被思念  想被察觉  不想变得寂寞
只会一味要求的我  究竟是谁
究竟是为了要活到几岁  而生活下来直到今天
为了谁而哭泣  想要让谁注意呢?

啊啊  也有过思念着某人  这样的夜晚

如今  若是哪儿也去不了  就这样打破所写下的文字
那开门的声音  是无名小卒的我赖以为生的指南针

不想做  想被拯救  不想惹人生气  不想受伤
只会一味逃避的我  究竟是谁
相信着何谓幸福  该往何处前进生存呢
踩空的那一步  不想被任何人看见吗?

啊啊  也能有过与某人共同欢笑的时候

如今  收我看不见的光  往黑暗中持续奋战
还紧扣心弦的声音  是无名小卒的我赖以为生的指南针