Category: Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- album

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

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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。

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

Boku no Shiranai Kimi

僕の知らない君 (Boku no Shiranai Kimi) · 我所不知道的你 · The Side to You That I Don’t Know

In:
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – CD 1 track 13
[Single] Chiisana Hoshi – track 2

 

English

I will not cry in front of you, I hope you will quickly look away
I still feel miserable because my love for you remains

You seem to have changed in the long time since we last met
You’re wearing clothes I’ve never seen and your hair has been cut short
But on your wrist is a familiar watch; it was the first gift I gave you
It made me happy that I still remained somewhere in your heart

As I expected I can’t return to being just friends with you
You are right beside me, but there is nothing I can do to let you know

I will not cry in front of you, I hope you will quickly look away
I still feel miserable because my love for you remains

What went wrong? Why did this happen?
Even if I go through all the questions, I won’t find any answers

“It’s not that I don’t like you”
Surely you know it hurts me a lot to hear you say that

I won’t cry in front of you, even if I am thought of as a memory
I still feel miserable because my love for you remains

Actually, I was hoping a little that we were going to start anew
But you have already fallen in love with someone else

I will not cry in front of you, I hope you will quickly look away
I still feel miserable because I want to hear your voice

If we happen to meet again, I wouldn’t want to be separated from you
So let’s bring an end to this, because I still like you

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 6

“It’s not that I don’t like you”
Surely you know it hurts me a lot to hear you say that

Of all the mistakes I have noticed in the Chinese translations, this one is the most obvious because the verse is missing in the Chinese translation. In order to complete the song, I attempted a translation by putting the Japanese text through Kanji Converter and using the little knowledge I have on Japanese grammar. I think I did an okay job at it. I also modified it after feedback from tPenguinLTG (see comment below). Here is the verse in Japanese:

嫌いになったわけじゃないと 言ってくれた言葉が
余計に僕を苦しめてること もう君は知っているでしょ

Kirai ni natta wake ja nai to itte kureta kotoba ga
Yokei ni boku wo kurushimeteru koto mou kimi wa shitte iru desho

 

For some reason that I can’t explain, this song sounds flat to me. Unlike many of Oku Hanako’s songs, this one doesn’t stir any particular emotions in me. If I had to guess, I think the cause is the rhythm.

Or perhaps it is the result of Oku Hanako’s attempt to convey the singer’s conflicting feelings. The singer is happy because she likes the listener and she sees him wearing the watch she gave him. But the singer is given reason to feel sad when she learns that the listener likes someone else and thus won’t treat her the way she wants him to treat her. Emotionally, the singer still wants to be close to the listener in spite of that. Rationally, the singer knows that she needs to move on from her unrequited love. Both these thoughts are apparent in the last verse. To me, this song is set in the moment when both thoughts appear together in the singer’s mind, leaving her unsure what to feel.

 

Simplified Chinese

在你面前我不会落泪的  希望你能赶快移开目光
因为我还是很不争气的  喜欢着你

好久不见的你  感觉似乎改变了
穿着我没看过的衣服  头发也剪短了
但是手上戴着我看惯的手表
是我第一次送你的礼物
在你心中某处还有我的存在  让我觉得很高兴

要回到朋友关系  我果然还是无法做到
你明明就在身边  却再也无法传达给你

在你面前我不会落泪的  希望你能赶快移开目光
因为我还是很不争气的  喜欢着你

到底是那里出错  为什么会变成这样
即使翻着问题集  也找不到答案

在你面前我不会落泪的  就算被当成回忆
因为我还是很不争气的  喜欢着你

其实曾经有所期待  想要重新来过
但你却已经开始  喜欢上别人

在你面前我不会落泪的  希望你能赶快移开目光
因为我还是很不争气的  想要听你的声音

若能再次相遇的话  我不会再让你离开
所以就让我们结束吧  因为我还是喜欢着你

 

Himitsu no Takaramono

秘密の宝物 (Himitsu no Takaramono) · 秘密的宝物 · Secret Treasure

In:
[Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – CD 1 track 7
[Album] Utakata – track 10

 

English

Around this time last year my chest felt hot because of how you held your pen in your left hand
By chance, I touched your arm; I want to follow you wherever you go

We might be noticed if we’re alone together, so I knowingly said something nasty

Stop me; stop me before my fingertips touch you…

Can’t I like you?
Can’t I want to see you?
I want to know your feelings, but you just tease me as you always do

In the corner of the notebook I lent to you, I saw a scribbled drawing
Although I know it was nothing important, from that day on it was a treasure to me

If I shared my thoughts with you now, you might mistake it for a joke
I won’t get anywhere; I won’t get anywhere if I’m scared of being hurt…

What would happen if I said I like you?
Can’t I stay beside you?
I don’t know your feelings, so let’s stay as we are for a little longer

I want to be the person closest to you; I hope you will also feel the same way
Can’t I like you? Can’t I want to see you?
You really are too precious to me, so let’s stay as we are for a little longer

 

Translation notes

1. Verse 4, line 3

I want to know your feelings, but you just tease me as you always do

The Japanese and Chinese do not agree on who usually teases whom.

The relevant part in Chinese is

如往常般的都是我先起头闹你

Chinese identifies the subject and object by placing the subject before a verb and the object after the verb. Here, 闹 – tease – is the verb, 我 – I, me – is the subject, and 你 – you – is the object. So, the Chinese says “I tease you”.

The relevant part in Japanese is

いつも通りあたしをからかっていて
Itsumo toori atashi wo karakatteite

Japanese identifies the subject and object by using particles. The particle used here is を (wo), which is placed immediately after the object of the verb. The object here is をから (atashi) – I, me – and the verb is からかっていて (karakatteite) which has the base form からかう (karakau) – to tease. So, the Japanese says “[you] tease me”.

 

2. Verse 5, line 1

In the corner of the notebook I lent to you, I saw a scribbled drawing

The Japanese and Chinese do not agree on who borrowed the notebook.

The relevant part in Chinese is

跟你借来的笔记

In Chinese 借 can be used for both “to borrow” and “to lend”. The distinction can often be made by adding other words. If the word 给 – give – is added, it makes 借给 which means “to lend”. If the word 来 – come – is added, it makes 借来 which means “to borrow”. Furthermore, the structure 跟 [person] 借来 means “borrow from [person]”. The Chinese translation is 跟你借来, and 你 means “you”, so it is saying “[I] borrow from you”.

The relevant part in Japanese is

あなたに貸したノート
anata ni kashita nooto

Japanese has distinct words for borrowing and lending. “To borrow” is 借りる (kariru) and “to lend” is 貸す (kasu). Here, the word used is貸した (kashita) which has the base form貸す (kasu). Furthermore, the particle に (ni) is placed after the indirect object that the action is directed towards. Here, the lending is directed towards あなた (anata) – you. So, the Japanese says “[I] lend to you”.

 

I don’t particularly like the tune, but the lyrics have something sweet that appeals to me. Perhaps it’s how the lyrics create an image of the singer being someone who is nervously in love. Perhaps it’s how the singer appears vulnerable as she realises that she is caught between her desire to get closer and her fear of having her feelings rejected. Perhaps it’s because she will say something that is “not cute” to hide her crush from other people.

Or maybe I’ve seen one too many anime shows where two characters obviously like each other but neither one will make the first move.

 

Simplified Chinese

因左手拿笔的模样  而胸口温热是在去年的此时
不小心碰到你的手  想要追随你到任何地方

若两人独处好像就会被发现  所以故意说了不可爱的话

在指尖触碰之前  阻止我  阻止我…

不能只是喜欢吗
不能只是想见面吗
虽想知道你的心情  但如往常般的都是我先起头闹你

再跟你借来的笔记角落  看到了随兴画的画
虽知道这没什么大不了  但从那天起这就是我的宝物

要是现在告诉你我的心意  可以说是玩笑敷衍过去
若害怕受伤就哪儿也去不了  去不了…

若只是说喜欢会怎么样呢
不能只是在身旁吗
不懂你的心意  所以再保持一下这样的我俩吧

比谁都想接近你  希望能有相同的心情
不能只是喜欢吗  不能只是想见面吗
你果然还是太重要了  所以再保持一下这样的我俩吧