Sutanpu Rarii

スタンプラリー (Sutanpu Rarii) · 收集戳章 · Stamp Rally

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 13

A stamp rally is an activity to encourage people to visit multiple locations that are involved in an event, as I am informed by a post on the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta website. Specifically, the activity is collecting rubber stamps (not postage stamps) on a sheet or in a book, with each location having its own distinct stamp design. The collection can be exchanged for a prize, or the collection itself can be the prize. It appears that some collections do not have a fixed order for collecting the stamps, which allows the collector to find joy in creating their own combination. For some collectors, perhaps, the joy is purely the thrill of the hunt. In any case, it’s a rather smart idea to drive foot traffic to each place.

 

English

Don’t keep your gaze lowered at 45 degrees
Bid a swift farewell to the world of the small screen
Where is your heart leading you? The shortest way there is unknown
If you miss the train then take the next one; yes, this is what life is

It’s not bad to continue onwards with your clumsy nature instead of acting cool

What makes me who I am? What is identity? The point of confusion is a good starting place
Everyone has a self in a world where decisions are made by following the majority
In the blink of an eye, today ends

Every day is full of unknowns, nobody wants to be embarrassed by them
A search can find out anything; life is so convenient
A power cut would break everyone’s connection and end everything
The mind wouldn’t know what to do next or where to do it

Don’t make hunting right answers an obsession; only search when you forget them

What is a man? What is a woman? Blue and pink cannot be separated
Before the ever-changing tomorrow passes by, make yourself an original stamp
In the blink of an eye, today ends

Whatever they say, however they see you, pay them no heed and stay on the middle way
Life is interesting when nothing goes as planned, don’t you think?

What makes me who I am? What is identity? The point of confusion is a good starting place
Everyone has a self in a world where decisions are made by following the majority
In the blink of an eye, today ends

 

Translation notes

Oku Hanako has written songs with life as the main theme, but this is the first one that I thought to be commentary about current social events. The opening verse refers to people looking down at small screens. Furthermore, the fourth verse refers to life being made very convenient by the ability to search for anything. To me, this strongly alludes to the present widespread use of smart phones and mobile internet. That being said, the search for personal identity and for answers is not limited to the present day. As such, I think Oku Hanako is still going with her usual style.

 

Simplified Chinese

稍稍倾斜45度  不要只是低头看
现在就跟小荧幕的世界说再见
随心所致  要去哪里呢  不需知道最短距离
错过车班就搭下一辆车  没错  这才是人生

依照笨拙的本性  不用耍帅  随心前进也不错

怎样才是我?什么才叫自我?从迷惘的点  开始就好
大家多少都有一个  需要多数人帮忙做决定的世界存在
在转眼之间  今天便结束了

充斥着未知事物的日常  不想踩到地雷
万物皆可以搜寻得到  好便利的生活
若电源被切断就完了  谁都连系不上
下个活动是什么约在那里  脑袋一片空白

别一味追求正确答案  那是忘记对答案时才需要的吧

何谓男子气概?何谓女人味?蓝色粉色无法分辨
在不稳定的明天过去之前  做一个自己独特的戳章吧
在转眼之间  今天便结束了

别人说了什么  被人如何看待  都不用在意  朝正中间道路前进就好
无法随心所欲  就是人生有趣之处  不是吗?

怎样才是我?什么才叫自我?从迷惘的点  开始就好
大家多少都有一个  需要多数人帮忙做决定的世界存在
在转眼之间  今天便结束了

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Koi no Hajimari

恋のはじまり (Koi no Hajimari) · 恋爱的开始 · The Start of Romance

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 2

 

This is another short song from Oku Hanako. I wonder why she left it so short. I think that Oku Hanako could have included a lot more, given her forte in writing songs about all the different aspects of love.

 

English

Falling in love is always unexpected; your voice is gentleness itself
I want to stay forever by your side to talk; a sigh marks the start of romance

Important things are always locked away and kept out of sight
But they are truly hoping to be noticed by someone

Am I in your heart? Do you see me there?
Just hearing your voice is enough for me

Falling in love is always unexpected; your voice is gentleness itself
I want to stay forever by your side to talk; a sigh marks the start of romance

 

Simplified Chinese

恋情的开始总在突然之间  你的声音  是如此温柔
让人想一直在你身旁跟你说话  一声叹气  这是恋爱的开始

重要的东西总是  被锁在看不见的地方
但其实却真心期望  有人可以察觉到它

在你心里有我的存在吗  看得见吗
让我听听你的声音  光是这样我便满足

恋情的开始总在突然之间  你的声音  是如此温柔
让人想一直在你身旁跟你说话  一声叹气  这是恋爱的开始

Puropouzu

プロポーズ (Puropouzu) · 求婚 · Propose

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 4

 

The track title includes “「MAST」TVCMソング” (MAST TV CM song) to say that the song was used in a commercial for MAST. The MAST referred to here is a real estate company, or at least a company in the real estate industry. I haven’t seen the commercial that uses this song, and my guess is that it is marketing housing to newlyweds. A second possibility is that the commercial is portraying the residence as a devoted partner to the occupier.

 

English

Don’t cry, there is no need to always force a smile when you are on your own
I want to take everything on your mind into my heart

The miracle of meeting my true love in the passing stream of people

I want you to be happy, and I will never give up on this resolve
Whatever happens tomorrow, I will never let go of you
I will gladly fall in love with you again and again

I will go anywhere; as long as you are there I will go the distance
In times of sadness, let the tears fall silently

The miracle of meeting my true love in my one and only life

I want you to be happy, and I want to protect your smile
Whatever happens tomorrow, I will never let go of you

Right now, in this world, you are the one person I want with me

I want you to be happy, and I will never give up on this resolve
Whatever happens tomorrow, I will never let go of you
I will gladly fall in love with you again and again

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 1, line 1

Don’t cry, there is no need to always force a smile when you are on your own

The line in Japanese is

泣かないで もう一人で いつも笑顔じゃなくていいから
nakanai de mou hitori de itsumo egao ja naku te ii kara

In this line, the “when you are on your own” comes from “もう一人で (mou hitori de)”. The Chinese translation interprets this as “one more person”. “一人 (hitori)” means “one person”, so either interpretation sounds reasonable, depending on the context. A quick Google showed me two songs where “もう一人で” is translated to mean “alone” (song 1 and song 2), so I chose to use “when you are on your own” for this line.

 

2. Verse 6, line 1

I want you to be happy, and I want to protect your smile

I’ve watched enough subbed anime to be comfortable with seeing “protect your smile”. However, using it myself made me think about what it actually means. I think it is another way to say “I want you to be happy”, with a suggestion of taking care of the person too.

 

Simplified Chinese

别哭了  多了另一半  就不用强颜欢笑了喔
现在你所想的事  想用我的心全然接受

从擦身而过人群中  遇见相爱之人的奇迹

想让你幸福  是怎样也不会退让的坚持
不管明天会怎样  我也不会放开这双手
我愿一次又一次与你坠入情网

不论天涯海角一起走下去  只要有你就能努力
面对悲伤难过时  就让泪水静静地流

只有一次的人生  遇见相爱之人的奇迹

想让你幸福  想守护你的笑容
不管明天会怎样  我也不会放开这双手

在这世界  只要有你一个人在  现在

想让你幸福  是怎样也不会退让的坚持
不管明天会怎样  我也不会放开这双手
我愿一次又一次与你坠入情网

Saigo no Kisu

最後のキス (Saigo no Kisu) · 最后的吻 · The Final Kiss

In:
Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou [Album] – track 10

 

I love this song. I love the starting notes and rhythm. Just the first 25 seconds somehow gently hint at the emotions to come in the lyrics. I love the way the music starts with just the piano, which is then joined by strings. The percussion that joins in around the start of the third verse adds a nice little foot tapping beat. I love how the music builds up after the seventh verse, dies away for the eighth, and returns just as the eighth ends. And of course Oku Hanako’s singing is the cherry on the cake.

 

English

If we meet again, I want us to have become different people
The trouble I caused you must be because I loved you too much

If there were magic that could erase my yearning to see you
Then surely I would walk more naturally by your side

You said thank you, and my tears began falling again
You’re teasing, right, like you always do? You left behind your final kiss

Sadness, happiness, and fondness were all because of you
As long as we were together, we could find happiness anytime

I would say something selfish and immediately start a fight
Because I thought that whatever the next day would bring, you would be by my side

Even in loneliness, I was happy; even if my love had reached the end
I have these two hands so that I can hold you close

Only now do I realise that I was loved by you
“Stay with me forever”, why wasn’t I able to say that back then?

It’s okay that nobody knows I was in love with you
Please remember me for always being by your side

Sadness, happiness, and hatred were all because of you
If I could relive those days, I would want our paths to cross again

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 2, line 2

Then surely I would walk more naturally by your side

The Japanese lyrics here are

もっとあなたの隣で 上手に歩けたかな
motto anata no tonari de jouzu ni aruketa kana

The walking is described with上手 (jouzu). Romajidesu says that as an adjective it means “skilful” so I believe the literal meaning should be “skilful walking”, or “walking more skilfully” in this context.  The Chinese translation’s interpretation is that the singer feels more at ease when walking beside the listener. I think that perhaps “skilful walking” refers to walking in step, in the sense that the people look like they are walking together. Hence I decided to describe the walking as “natural”, which I think can work with the Chinese translator’s interpretation.

 

2. Verse 3, line 2

You’re teasing, right, like you always do? You left behind your final kiss

The first time I translated this line, I connected the “like you always do” with the kiss instead of the teasing. At the time, my reasoning was that “final kiss” meant a goodbye kiss, and that the listener kissed the singer goodbye just as he had in every previous non-final farewell. Eventually, while reviewing my translation, I realised that the “like you always do” could be referring to the teasing, which would make more sense, and made the change

 

3. Verse 5

I would say something selfish and immediately start a fight
Because I thought that whatever the next day would bring, you would be by my side

The Chinese translation omits the “I thought that” in the second line. I included it because the Japanese lyrics for verse 5, line 2 are

どんな明日も あなたがいると思えてたから
donna ashita mo anata ga iru to omoeteta kara

思えてた (omoeteta) is an inflection of 思える (omoeru), which means “to seem” or “to appear likely”. So I think the meaning is that the singer believes that she can get away with saying something selfish and causing a fight, not that the listener has assured her that she can.

 

Simplified Chinese

若能再次相遇  想变成不同的两个人
一定是我太喜欢你  让你困扰了吧

若是有一种魔法  能将想见你的心情消除
一定能更自在地  走在你身旁吧

你对我说了声谢谢  泪水又再度决堤
是在捉弄我吧  一如以往  留下了最后的吻

悲伤  喜悦  爱怜  全都是因为你
只要两人在一起  随时都能发现幸福

说着任性的话  马上就吵起架
是因为不管明天会怎样  你都会在我身边

即使寂寞也很开心  就算恋情已走到终点
我这双手是为了紧紧拥抱你  而存在的

直到如今  我才了解到曾经被你爱着
永远陪在我身边吧  为何当时无法说出口

即使无人知晓也无妨  我曾经喜欢过你
请别遗忘  总是在你身旁的我

悲伤  喜悦  厌恶  全都是因为你
若能重回那些日子  我想再次与你邂逅

Aisukuriimu

アイスクリーム (Aisukuriimu) · 冰淇淋 · Ice Cream

In:
[Album] Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou – track 12

 

When I got my copy of the album Haruka Tooku ni Mieteita Kyou (with Chinese translation of lyrics included), this was the song that I was most curious to learn the meaning of the lyrics. In another song with a snack as the title, the singer was able to overlook the bad points of her partner because of the delicious takoyaki he would occasionally make. How would Oku Hanako relate love and ice cream?

 

English

You are always hard to catch, even when I want to see you
“Sorry about yesterday, what’s the matter?” is like melted ice cream

If you have grown cold, if you have become selfish
Then even how to be in love will be unclear, however much time passes

Have you also thought that it’s now or never?
Neither of us has noticed, and we just walk pass each other over and over

I want you to always be with me, I want to have more chemistry with you
Even something trivial turns into a precious memory if you’re with me
I want to be all that you see, and I want to see nothing but you
Let’s eat the cold ice cream before it melts

If only you could notice without a word being said
Where was I deceived to be unaware of what is lacking?

I’m still thinking about you, like I did when we met
The clothes I want to wear are no longer the clothes that look good on me

I want you to hold me close, I hate the troubling nights
If only we could feel in our hearts the words that we want to tell each other
I want to be all that you see, and I want to see nothing but you
Let’s eat the cold ice cream before it melts

 

Translation notes

Verse 4, line 1

I want you to always be with me, I want to have more chemistry with you

The “have chemistry” comes from “擦出火花” in the Chinese translation. Its literal meaning would be “create sparks”. I’m not sure whether the Japanese lyrics carry the same meaning. From what I’ve found, it looks like it may or may not. The relevant part of the Japanese lyrics is

もっとぶつかり合いたいよ
motto butsukari aitai yo

The line contains ぶつかり (butsukari), an inflection of ぶつかる (butsukaru), which can mean “to meet”, and 合いたい (aitai), an inflection of 合う (au), which can mean “to meet” or “to agree with”, with the tai-form to express desire.

In my limited experience, I’ve usually seen 合いたい (aitai) translated along the lines of “I want to see you”. I don’t know what effect is achieved by adding ぶつかり (butsukari). Maybe both retain the meaning of “meet” to emphasise meeting, or maybe it is “to meet” modified with “to agree with” (perhaps along the lines of “to have a meeting that goes well”?).

 

Simplified Chinese

连想见面时  你都一样难以捉摸
“昨天真抱歉,怎么了?”像溶化的冰淇淋一般

若是冷却了  若是变任性了
连怎么谈恋爱都不清楚  任时光悄悄消逝

现在不做的话不行  你也会这么想过吧
彼此都未能察觉  不断反复地擦身而过

想要你永远在我身边  想与你擦出更多火花
即使是鸡毛蒜皮小事  只要与你一起  也能成为重要的回忆
好想你只注视我一人  目光只想停留在你身上
趁冰凉的冰淇淋尚未溶化前  两人一起吃掉吧

什么也不说  你便能察觉到就好了
不知道有所不足  是那里被敷衍行事了吧

就像我们相遇那时  我仍想念着你
想穿的衣服与适合的衣服  已经都变得不一样了吧

还是想要你紧紧拥抱我  讨厌令人不安的夜晚
若是两人心中  能互相感受到  彼此想传递的话语就好了
好想你只注视我一人  目光只想停留在你身上
趁冰凉的冰淇淋尚未溶化前  两人一起吃掉吧