Category: Kimi to Boku no Michi album

Maboroshi no Hibi

幻の日々 (Maboroshi no Hibi) · 梦幻的日子 · Illusory Days

In:
[Album] Kimi to Boku no Michi – track 5

 

English

The answer is always within you, where I keep on swimming
Yes, you shine with a dazzling light that is everlasting

Why did you tell such lies? Why are you able to smile like that?
How deeply must I be hurt to satisfy your heart?

I don’t need you, I never want to see your face again
I don’t need love, if these days can be called love

Loss is a scary ordeal, but I never had anything to begin with
What was I doing on my own? I was the laughingstock of the world

How much must I blame you before my heart can be saved?

You’re filthy, get away from me!
I won’t let you see these tears of mine

Right now, I’m actually terrified
I feel like I’ll never trust anyone again

I dream, I dream, I want to sleep on and on
Doing so will stop the arrival of tomorrow without you

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 1, line 1

The answer is always within you, where I keep on swimming
Yes, you shine with a dazzling light that is everlasting

“Swim” is the literal translation of the lyrics in Japanese (泳ぎ (oyogi)) and Chinese (泳). When the next line is included to expand upon the context, it can invoke the image of someone swimming in dark water towards a light. So, my guess is that “swim” is being used along the lines of “wander” or “chase”.

 

This song surprised me with how depressing its lyrics are and how conflicted the singer appears. Oku Hanako has written songs about sadness in relationships, but this is the first one that has made me feel that the singer is in an almost helpless state. Even in songs about one-sided crushes, at least there is the possibility of the singer bringing herself to move on. In this song, it feels like the singer is being abused and needs to leave the listener, yet she cannot bring herself to do that. The singer recognises that the listener is causing her misery, but there is still something about him that she can’t let go. As the singer can’t make herself leave, she instead tells the listener to leave.

My view is that this song is an experiment by Oku Hanako on her sad love song style. I think it’s good for her to try something new, and I hope that it will lead her to produce something that will surprise and delight all of her fans.

 

Simplified Chinese

答案总是在你心中  我不断在其中泳着
是的你以炫目的光  燃不尽地闪亮

为何要说那样的谎?为何可以如此带着笑?
要伤我多深  才能满足你的心?

不需要你  不想再看见你的脸
不需要爱  若这些日子称为爱

失去是可怕的  但我从一开始就什么都没有
我一个人在做些什么  我是大家的笑柄

要责备你到几时  我的心才能被救赎?

你好肮脏  滚到远远的吧
不让你看见的泪  是属于我的

我现在  其实还怕得不得了
好像无法再相信任何人

作梦  作梦  想要一直睡着
这样  没有你的明天就不会到来了吧

 

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Aimai na Kuchibiru

曖昧な唇 (Aimai na Kuchibiru) · 暧昧的唇 · Vague Lips

In:
[Album] Kimi to Boku no Michi – track 6

 

English

The words “I like you” are not enough
But “I love you” seems too much
Maybe the words that say you are just right
Are falling somewhere in this room

We huddle together in this loneliness that cannot be eased
Although we know that we are deceiving the present and ourselves
My voice filled with false bravado and my frail sigh
Are both silenced by your lips

Between the captivity of love and the freedom of solitude
The two of us must be just right
Don’t ask about anything, just give a little smile
If you open the door, I will forget again

The heart should have more than one place to belong
I will accustom myself to being pampered again
If I have nothing, then I won’t lose anything
I said gleefully; hey, tease me

Between the captivity of love and the freedom of solitude
Let me stay here a little longer
The words that say you are just right
Still can’t be found anywhere

The words “I like you” are not enough
But “I love you” is too much

 

Translation notes

In Japanese, 曖昧 (aimai) can be translated to mean “vague; ambiguous”. In Chinese, 暧昧 (pronounced quite similarly as ài mèi) has that meaning too, and, when applied to relationships, it means that the people in the relationship behave closer than friends but are not lovers. Curious as to whether this meaning is also used in Japanese, I searched and found some evidence for it to be so. Further evidence may be this song because that is the type of relationship that the lyrics describe.

 

Simplified Chinese

喜欢这句话  不足够
我爱你  好像又太夸张
要表现你  刚刚好的话语
有在这房间的某处  掉落着吗

无法满足的寂寞  我俩互相依偎
就算知道是在敷衍现在与自己
我逞强的声音  软弱的叹息
都用你的唇  填塞

名为爱的束缚与  名为自由的孤独之间
我俩一定  刚刚好
什么都别问  只要微笑就好
只要打开门  我也会忘怀

心的归所  不一定只要一个
自己也会渐渐习惯撒娇
要是什么都没有  就不会失去任何东西
有点得意的这么说  呐  笑我吧

名为爱的束缚与  名为自由的孤独之间
让我再多待一会儿吧
要表现你  刚刚好的话语
还是到处都找不到

喜欢这句话  不足够
我爱你  太夸张了呢

blue green

blue green

In:
[Album] Kimi to Boku no Michi – track 3

 

English

I never knew the resemblance was so strong until now when I realised
I had been telling lies and had locked my heart away

I always stared at the distant sky because I was unsure

blue green; my days of crying and searching will never fade away
blue green; I don’t need a false love, not anymore

Even if your voice dazes me, even if I hurt you again
I have to be honest with my feelings; I won’t run away from them anymore

Even if the clouds change shape, nobody will ever notice

blue green; the things I embrace will be forgotten like dreams
blue green; I wait not for love, but for something that resembles love

Although you did no wrong, we will not meet again

blue green; my days of crying and searching will never disappear
blue green; I don’t need a false love, not anymore

 

Translation notes

The use of “blue green” in the lyrics is a mystery to me. I’m aware that the Japanese word 青い (aoi) may be translated as either blue or green. The Wikipedia entry on this says that it’s because the distinction between blue and green is not exactly the same in Japanese and English. I’m not aware of any particular significance to attach to the colours in the context of the lyrics. I like how it connects to the sky and clouds mentioned in verses 2 and 5, respectively.

The lyrics appear to be about the singer breaking up with the listener. This surprised me because I found the tune mesmerising and tranquil, so I was expecting the lyrics to be about a reflection on living instead of on a romance.

 

Simplified Chinese

我从不知道  真的很像  现在  终于发现
说着谎  对自己的心  上了锁紧闭着

会看着遥远天空  是因为总是迷惘着

blue green 哭泣索求的日子  永远不会消失吧
blue green 不需要虚伪的爱  已经不需要了

就算被你的声音  迷惑  就算又伤了你
也要对自己的心意诚实  不会逃去任何地方

就算云朵变换形状  任谁也不会发现

blue green 怀抱着的  会如梦般  忘却吧
blue green 等待着的  不是爱  是似爱的东西

虽然你没有错  但不会再见面了

blue green 哭泣索求的日子  永远不会消失吧
blue green 不需要虚伪的爱  已经不需要了

Anata to Denwa

あなたと電話 (Anata to Denwa) · 与你通电话 ·Talking to You on the Phone

In:
[Album] Kimi to Boku no Michi – track 8
[Single] Fuyu Hanabi – track 2

 

English

It’s almost 11 o’clock at night; I am nestled in my futon as I talk
Talking to you on the phone is the prize at the end of a day
About the litter of kittens born in the neighbourhood, or the movie I want to see
Or the somewhat difficult story reported on the news this morning

Our conversations never end even though we talk on the phone every day
After saying good night, while waiting for one of us to hang up first, we start talking again

It would be great if we could always be laughing together like this
Just hearing your voice makes my heart melt
After saying good night, before I hang up first
I am happy to hear you say that you feel lonely1

I’m about to meet you very soon; before the meeting time
I fretted over my clothes, nails and hairstyle many times before deciding on them
You are wearing a loose parka and well-chosen denims2
You remove your earphones while walking over to me

“Where do you want to go?” you ask as you earnestly hold my hand3
I have nothing to say; I’m happy to just walk with you

It would be great if we could always stay together like this
You see me off in front of the ticket gate after we say goodbye
I glance back once again to see that you are still watching me
At any time, I always receive kindness from you

It would be great if we could always be like this without changing
I want to talk about us all the time; there is still a lot that I don’t know
After saying good night, I don’t mind hanging up first
I’m not lonely because you are so close to me

 

Translation notes

1.

This line might be translated incorrectly here. The reason requires me to talk about Japanese grammar, which I know next to nothing about and hence shouldn’t comment on. But I’ll make an effort to clearly explain why this line might not be translated correctly.

This line in Japanese is:

寂しいよね と言ってくれる あなたが嬉しいから
sabihii yo ne | to itte kureru | anata ga ureshii kara

In particular, look at the third part of the line, as separated by the spaces (the lyrics source included the spaces):

あなたが嬉しいから
anata ga ureshii kara

In Japanese grammar, が (ga) is a particle that “indicates sentence subject (occasionally object)”. It could alternatively be called an “identifier particle” that is used to identify a specific person, thing or idea. For example, 君がくれた夏 (Kimi ga Kureta Natsu) can be broken down into (kimi – you), が (ga), くれた (kureta – an inflection of くれる (kureru) used for “give me”, as opposed to あげる (ageru) which is used for “give you”), and (natsu – summer). In this example, が (ga) identifies the one who gave “me” summer was “you”, so a literal translation might look like “The summer that someone, who is you, gave me”. Note that it is translated as “The Summer You Gave Me” on Generasia.

Similarly, あなたが嬉しいから (anata ga ureshii kara), which breaks down into あなた (anata – you), が (ga), 嬉しい (ureshii – happy), and から (kara – used to show causation in the form: [reason] から [result], though the reason or result may be omitted if it can be inferred from the context), may be expected to translate as something like “because you are (the person who is) happy”.

However, the Chinese translation explicitly states that it is the singer who is happy, not the listener. I don’t know what the identifier particle should identify when the whole line in Japanese is considered. As such, I’ve followed the Chinese translation.

By the way, there is a similar grammar situation in the last two lines of the first verse in 恋 (Koi). The particular phrase is shown in italics here:

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

The translation from Kazabana translates the lines as:

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

The Chinese translation I have is:

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

Its meaning is:

What bothered me even more than how well you two matched each other was
Your bright smile that I had never seen before

 

2.

The lyrics use パーカー (paakaa) and デニム (denimu), and that is why I went with parka and denims. My initial translation of the Chinese translation was hooded jacket and jeans.

 

3.

The Chinese translation and Japanese lyrics describe the hand holding differently. The Chinese translation goes “总之一直 [hold my hand]”. 一直 means “always” and 总之 is equivalent to saying “to sum up” or “in short” to finish a long discussion. This sounds like the singer is replying “Anyway, always hold my hand” to the listener’s question. The Japanese lyrics go “ひたすら (hitasura) [hold my hand]”. ひたすら (hitasura) means “nothing but; earnest; intent; determined; set on [something]”. I can’t think how the Chinese translation was made from this. Based on the meaning of words, I followed the Japanese lyrics.

It did occur to me that this line may be linked to the next line and thereby translate as something like:

“Where do you want to go?” you ask; if you will always hold my hand
Then I have nothing to say; I’m happy to just walk with you

However, the lyrics say that the listener asked the question while doing something. This is explicitly shown in both the Chinese translation (indicated by 边) and the Japanese lyrics (indicated by ながら (nagara)). The only thing mentioned in the lyrics that the listener can do at the time is to hold the singer’s hand.

 

Simplified Chinese

快要晚上11点  在棉被里  包的紧紧地讲话
与你的电话  是1天结束前的嘉奖
附近的猫生了小猫  想看的电影
今天早上新闻说的  有点困难的内容

每天讲电话  也有说不完的话
说了晚安后  为了谁要先挂电话  又开始聊了起来

要是能一直这样  一起笑着就好了
只要听到  你的声音  心就渐渐融化
说了晚安后  先挂电话的我
对我说  好寂寞喔  这样的你  令我开心

很快  要见到你了  到约定的时间前
烦恼了好几次终于决定的  服装指甲和发型
你穿着宽松的连帽外套  还有讲究的牛仔裤
边拿下耳机  边往这边走来

要去哪里  边这么说着  总之一直牵着手
没什么要说的  和你走在一起  就是好开心

要是能一直这样  在一起就好了
说了再见  在票口前目送我的样子
再一次回头  你  依然看着我
无论何时  总是  从你那儿得到温柔

要是能一直这样  不要变就好了
我俩的事  想一直说着  还有好多不知道的
说了晚安后  先挂电话也没关系喔
不寂寞  因为你  离我这么近

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