Ruby annotations coming soon

As a result of a request of mine, WordPress.com now supports ruby annotations. Ruby annotations are usually used in the form of furigana, where the reading in hiragana is written on top of the kanji like this: (かん)().

You’re not restricted in the content that you can put in the annotations, so I could just as easily use the rōmaji reading instead: (kan)(ji). Similarly, you’re not restricted in the base text, so I could even do this: ka()n()ji().

All modern browsers should support ruby annotations natively, but for any browsers that don’t, (かん)() will show up as 漢(かん)字(じ).

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Kimi no Hana / キミの花

Kimi no Hana / キミの花: “Your Flower”

kimi / キミ
“you”. Written out in katakana, possibly for stress (i.e. “your flower” as opposed to “your flower“)
no / の
A particle indicating possession. Roughly equivalent to “of”.
hana / 花
“flower”

Oku Hanako’s new double A-side single, Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス has been released!

I’ve taken a listen to the songs on the single and it seems to be a bit of a departure from her usual style. If you’ve heard the TV size version of Kimi no Hana from either Seiren or the short music videos, you’ll know that the song features the piano less prominently and takes on a more rock style. I’ll briefly discuss my opinion on the other two songs afterwards.

I was going to publish this post yesterday, but I figured you wouldn’t mind the wait if it were to provide a good translation. I found a translation by Nakari Amane, but it needed so much editing that I ended up just making my own. My translation is available below, and my translation notes are available. As this is my first complete translation of a song, any corrections are appreciated.

Here’s the song. The first half of this video is the song; the latter half is the instrumental.


01 04 「キミの花」/奥華子 by YouTuber 5 [YouTube]

I’m actually okay with this. I still prefer her older piano works wish she would do more of that style, but I don’t think I’d complain too much if we got more of this. Although it’s not prominent, if you listen closely, the piano is still an important part of the song, where instead of the piano being singled out as being the more important instrument (other than the part after the pre-chorus), it works together with the others to create a beautiful song. The more I listen to this song, the more I appreciate it.

More thoughts and lyrics →

Kimi no Hana / キミの花 single short MVs released

I’m going to save my thoughts for the actual release date (February 22), but for those who want to be teased a little, Pony Canyon released the short versions of the music videos and a 60-second digest PV of Oku Hanako’s upcoming double A-side single Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス yesterday.

I’ll start with the 60-second digest:


奥華子『キミの花/最後のキス』60秒ダイジェスト映像 by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Kimi no Hana / キミの花:

キミの花/奥華子(Short Ver.) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

And lastly, Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス:

最後のキス/奥華子(Short Ver.) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Here’s hoping they release the full versions on the release date.

Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど

Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど: “Even Though I Have No Other Way to Say It”

sonna fuu ni / そんな風に
“that way”

sonna / そんな
“that”
fuu / 風
“style”
ni / に
A particle indicating a passive agent (“by”; Wiktionary etymology 2, definition 4)
shika / しか
“only”. Must be used with a verb in the negative form.
ienai / 言えない
“cannot say”. Negative potential form of 言う (“to say”). However, since this is used with shika / しか, the meaning is “can say” with a limitation.
kedo / けど
“but”

Valentine’s Day is here! Even though the majority of Oku Hanako’s songs are about love, it’s still difficult to choose one for today because about half of them are about unrequited love or a breakup.

“Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo” is one of Oku Hanako’s earlier songs, first appearing as track 4 on her first major album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / 優しい花の咲く場所, released in 2006. It was later released in her Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- 2012 collection as track 12 on disc 2.

Edward provides us with the translation for the title for today’s song (as well as the song itself). I chose his translation over the more literal translation “But I Can Only Say It That Way”, the one I put in the Generasia wiki, because I felt it fit better with the song. As usual, I encourage you to read his translation notes.


(MAD)うさぎドロップ~「そんな風にしか言えないけど」【奥華子】 by lemone [Nico Nico Douga]

This song was apparently also used as a CF song for a JA Kyosai[jp] commercial, but I unfortunately can’t find the commercial. According to Wikipedia, the English name for the company is the National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives. Edward has this to say about a possible reinterpretation of the song:

If the chorus is used in a commercial, as was the case when Kimi no Egao was used in a commercial, then a change in interpretation would be due to a change in who is delivering the message. In the song, it is someone who loves you. In an insurance company’s commercial, it’s someone who wants to do business with you. In the commercial, the message I imagine would be along the lines of “If you’re worried about something, why don’t let us worry about it instead? We can’t solve the problem for you, but we can insure you so that you don’t need to worry (about paying for anything) if the worst should happen”.

Lyrics →

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Kimi no Hana / キミの花 cover art released!

The cover art for Oku Hanako’s upcoming double A-side single Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス was released today her blog as well as on the Pony Canyon news site.

Here’s the cover for the regular edition:

Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス regular edition cover art

Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス regular edition cover art

And here’s the cover for the Seiren edition, featuring the three main girls of the series – Tsuneki Hikari, Touno Kyouko and Miyamae Tooru:

Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス Seiren edition cover art

Kimi no Hana/Saigo no Kiss / キミの花/最後のキス Seiren edition cover art

In addition, the Pony Canyon post includes this as promotional art:

Promotional art

Promotional art

One more month to go!

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Track list for Kimi no Hana / キミの花

The track list for Oku Hanako’s upcoming single, Kimi no Hana / キミの花, was announced on Oku Hanako’s blog earlier this week! It turns out that it’ll be another double A-side single, with the other song being Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス (“Last Kiss”).

There will be two editions of this single: a Seiren edition and a regular edition. I wondered why the Seiren edition will be cheaper when it was first announced, and apparently it won’t have the third track.

Here’s the track list:

  1. Kimi no Hana / キミの花 (“Your Flower”)
  2. Saigo no Kiss / 最後のキス (“Last Kiss”)
  3. Tsumiki / 積木 (“Building Blocks”)

Do any of these songs pop out at you? If you’re familiar with Oku-san’s more obscure works, Tsumiki / 積木 should. Tsumiki was released on Oku Hanako’s first indies release, the 2000 mini album Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく. The original was just her singing with a drum accompaniment. Later preformances purpotedly had a piano accompaniment. I predict this arrangement will have both, possibly with electric guitars. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing this one.

As for the main song, Kimi no Hana, we have the TV edit available to us. After all, it’s being used as the OP for Seiren.


Seiren OP[“Kimi no Hana (キミの花)” by Hanako Oku] by Rin Eleksra [YouTube]

The song is very unique in her discography. It’s the only song that I know of that is restricted to a rock band arrangement (keyboard, guitar, bass, drums). Like Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物 from her last single, it seems the keyboard is no longer the featured instrument.

There are translations on Lyrical Nonsense and Dreamsland Lyrics. There’s also a translation in GJH’s fansub release of the anime.

According to the Pony Canyon announcement, Saigo no Kiss will be like an opposite to Kimi no Hana. It will be a “broken heart” ballad with grand strings and dramatic heartfelt singing. I’m not sure what to make of that, but I’m looking forward to hearing it.

If I’ve interpreted this correctly, this cover art is only for the digital release of “TV size” release of Kimi no Hana, available on iTunes and Rekochoku:

Kimi no Hana (TV size) cover art

Kimi no Hana (TV size) cover art

If that’s the case, I expect the cover art for the February 22 release to come out in a few weeks.

Meguriau Sekai / めぐり逢う世界

Meguriau Sekai / めぐり逢う世界: “Encountering the World”

meguriau / めぐり逢う
“to meet fortuitously”. The kanji for au / 逢う (“to meet”) has the nuance of a “fate encounter”.
sekai / 世界
“world”

We open the new year with meeting the world! “Meguri Sekai” was released as the last track on Oku Hanako’s 2008 album, Koi Tegami / 恋手紙.


MAD-PV:奥華子「めぐりあう世界」×「秒速5センチメートル」 by tomoka_thanks [Nico Nico Douga]

Perhaps it’s influenced by the title, but I feel the slow tempo, broad strings and reverb creates a grand atmosphere. It’s a good contrast from the more upbeat first track of the album, Saishuu Densha / 最終電車 (“Last Train”). Interestingly, one of the lines in this song mentions two people at a (train) station.

This line caught my eye:

心の奥で君に語りかける どんな言葉も物足りなくて
kokoro no oku de kimi ni katarikakeru donna kotoba mo monotarinakute
I speak to you with my inner feelings. Words will not do.

No, I don’t have a translation of the song, but I included my translation of the line there. What caught my eye wasn’t so much the meaning, but the first three words: “kokoro no oku” / 心の奥. Does the last kanji look familiar? It should, because her name is 奥華子. The phrase itself means “inner feelings” (kokoro / 心: “heart”, “feelings”; oku / 奥: “inner part”); it’s very much a stretch, but what if we also interpret oku / 奥 to be Oku-san? If we consider Oku Hanako as the speaker, interpreting 奥 as referring to her wouldn’t really change the meaning of the line because “my inner feelings” would be the same as “Oku’s inner feelings”, but it would more strongly affirm that she writes from her heart.

Lyrics →