At first listen, I thought this was going to be a happy, heartwarming song, especially because of the line “boku wa kimi ga suki da yo” / 僕は君が好きだよ (“I love you”), but I realized I was mistaken as I was translating it. Nope, this is Oku Hanako we’re talking about: of course it’s not going to be a happy love song. I have a translation for you to read, along with my translation notes.
From a musical perspective, this song doesn’t seem to feature much piano. Yes, there is some, but it isn’t featured prominently.
Sayonara wa Iwanai Mama / サヨナラは言わないまま: “I Won’t Say Goodbye”
sayonara / サヨナラ
“goodbye”, with a connotation of finality.
wa / は
A particle indicating the topic.
iwanai / 言わない
“Will not say”. Negative form of iu / 言う (“to say”).
mama / まま
“to stay in a certain state”
A more literal translation might be “I Will Leave Goodbye Unsaid”.
It’s been quite a while since my last post, but no, this isn’t me saying goodbye (nor saying goodbye without actually saying it, as the song might suggest).
“Sayonara wa Iwanai Mama” is track 5 on Oku Hanako’s 2012 album, “good-bye”. It’s one of the few hikigatari pieces on the album, and my, what a powerful one it is.
We have a translation by Edward today. As usual, you can go over to his site to read his translation notes, as well as a translation of Oku Hanako’s self liner notes for this song.
It appears that the song is about a pair of secret lovers, and it seems that the listener has to leave for good, leaving the singer behind. The singer decides not to say goodbye, because saying goodbye would signify finality, something that she does not want to accept.
The hikigatari really drives the point in. Oku Hanako singing solo with just a lone piano highlights the loneliness of the singer. She sings with emotion, perfectly conveying that the singer really doesn’t want this and is emotionally strained. Musically, the song is written in the key of E♭ minor, which further enhances the sadness (minor keys tend to sound sad).
Sayounara / さようなら (or sayonara / サヨナラ, as in this song; the usage of katakana here likely functions as italics or quotation marks), has a connotation of finality to it. When you say goodbye to your friends at the end of the day, you’d normally use something like jaa ne / じゃあね or jaa mata / じゃあまた, which you can translate as “see ya” or “see you again”. You’d probably say sayonara / さよなら if they were leaving for an extended period of time. In the second line of the first verse, the listener says jaa ne / じゃあね instead of sayonara / さよなら, either out of habit or familiarity, or possibly implying that their relationship isn’t over yet and they’ll see each other again sometime.
When I first heard this song, I liked it as another one of her hikigatari pieces, but now that I’ve taken the time to analyze it, my appreciation for it has grown deeper.
Oku Hanako’s newest video release, “Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆” / 奥華子の弾き語りダークナイト☆, came out a few days ago on June 20! I don’t have much to add to the previous announcement post, other than the cover art:
Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆ cover
I’m somewhat surprised they spelled “hikigatari” wrong. Sure, 語り is katari / かたり on its own, but when put after hiki / 弾き, rendaku applies, turning the ka / か into a ga / が.
Mangekyou no Hitotsubu / 万華鏡の一粒: “Kaleidoscope Bead”
mangekyou / 万華鏡
“kaleidoscope”. The characters literally mean “ten thousand”, “splendor”/”shine”, and “mirror”
no / の
A particle indicating modification.
hitotsubu / 一粒
“A single bead”
I haven’t been very good at posting in the last couple of months, so I’ll treat you to something a little extra today.
Have you ever looked through a kaleidosope? If you haven’t, you should do yourself a favour and buy one or make one for yourself. Pictures and videos don’t do the experience justice.
In 2011, Oku Hanako went on a trip to Hokkaido and was featured for the second season of STV’s “Hokkaido Under Sky” series[jp]. The four videos are posted on YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4). She visits a kaleidoscope museum in the second video and composes a song inspired by it in the fourth; the song is called “Mangekyou no Hitotsubu” / 万華鏡の一粒.
To my knowledge, that video is the only place where this song appears, so I was surprised when I saw that someone posted the lyrics for the song[jp]. I haven’t done any translation work in a while and I missed it, so I decided to try my hand at a translation. My translation notes are available and feedback is always appreciated.
I highly recommend watching the videos (later in this post) to get the context and other goodies like her improvised melody in the second video, but if you just want to listen to the song, here it is:
Oku Hanako is releasing a Blu-ray of the live event she had in Osaka on November 23, 2017. It will be called “Oku Hanako no Hikigatari Dark Night ☆” / 奥華子の弾き語りダークナイト☆, after the concert, and it will be released on June 20, 2018. There will be two editions: a limited edition restricted to PCSC (Pony Canyon Shopping Club) preorders, worth ¥5875, and a regular edition, worth ¥5000. Preorders for the special edition are being accepted until May 17. Details can be found on the Pony Canyon page for the release.
There’s no cover art yet, but Pony Canyon released a digest video on YouTube: