Jiyuu no Kame / 自由のカメ

Jiyuu no Kame / 自由のカメ: “free turtle”, or the “tortoise of liberty”

jiyuu / 自由
Freedom, liberty
no /
A particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word
kame / カメ

I’ll feature this song for her piano-playing; she doesn’t often play like this, but when she does, it’s a treat. Even though this is one of her indies songs, it’s one that can be presented to an inexperienced Oku Hanako listener (that’s not to say that her other indies works can’t, but sometimes it’s better to wait until they can fully appreciate it). Jiyuu no Kame was one of the first songs of hers that I heard on YouTube, I couldn’t figure out what album it came from, so I couldn’t get it.

The best way I could describe this song is “happy”. Perhaps you can do better; listen to it:

Oku Hanako 自由のカメ with English lines by mokade3 [YouTube]

For those of you waiting for an arranged song, don’t worry, I’ll post one next week.

Lyrics →


Kusabi / 楔

Update 2015-07-22: Re-sung and released as the 10th anniversary single

Kusabi / : “wedge”, or according to Generasia, “bridge”, or according to J-talk, “linchpin“. In its original release on Jishu Seisaku Oku Hanako vol.4 / 自主制作 奥華子 vol.4 , it was labelled 楔-くさび- , showing the pronunciation.

I don’t know what it is about Kusabi / that makes it so popular. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song, it’s just that its popularity on YouTube puzzles me because it’s one of her indies songs and has only appeared one other time in her discography (in her 2009 DVD Mochiron Hitori de Hikigatari! / もちろん一人で弾き語り! ); to my knowledge and research, it hasn’t been featured in any anime (correct me if I’m wrong).

Nonetheless, it’s a nice song with a respectable piano line and good vocals. It was one of the first ones I got. Have a listen:

Oku Hanako 楔 Kusabi with English lines by mokade3 [YouTube]
Lyrics →

Makoto in a still-frame from "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"

Garnet (Hikigatari) / ガーネット(弾き語り)

Garnet / GAANETTO / ガーネット: Transliteration of “garnet“, the January birthstone

Garnet / ガーネット(弾き語り) is the theme song for the 2006 Madhouse movie The Girl Who Leapt Through Time / Toki o Kakeru Shoujo / 時をかける少女 (official site[jp]). I won’t go too much into the movie (I’ll save that for another post), but it’s about a girl named Makoto who gains the ability to “leap” through time, which she uses carelessly until she finds out the consequences. She also falls in love with a boy, Chiaki, and complications arise towards the end of the movie. “Garnet” is about Makoto’s feelings towards Chiaki.

“Garnet” is the song that made her famous, and I’d say most people who listen to her music started with this song; this holds true at least for the Westerners, if not also for the Japanese.

By the way, the word hikigatari / 弾き語り means that it’s just her and her piano; according to the J-talk translator, it means “singing to one’s own accompaniment”.

奥 華子/ガーネット(弾き語り) by ponycanyon [YouTube]

Don’t ask me why she’s sleeping in a piano; I didn’t make the video.

“Garnet” is a beautiful song and you can expect more like this from her. I’d say it’s one of her representative hikigatari works. I remember watching the movie and being in awe at even just the first few notes. When she started singing, wow! I was speechless; I knew I had heard something special.

I’m not into anime, but I’ll recommend “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, for the music if not also for the story.

EDIT 2013-09-14: At first, the title of the song may not seem to relate to the song. After reading an interview, I realized that it actually fits quite nicely. Garnet is the birthstone of January and it symbolizes constancy, true friendship, and fidelity.

For those of you who aren’t really into hikigatari piano (I’m looking at you, Solarblade), don’t worry: she has some really good arranged works, too. I’ll be posting some, so watch for them!

Lyrics →

Welcome to “Thoughts on Oku Hanako”!

Congratulations, you have found your way to Thoughts on Oku Hanako! “Finally, a site dedicated to her in English!”.

I’m tPenguinLTG, the author of `The Penguin’ says… . Please note that this is just a fan site; this site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Oku Hanako or Pony Canyon. I do not own any of the songs or images, and no copyright infringement is intended.

I don’t like repeating stuff unless I have to, so I’ll direct you to this site’s About page, which explains what kind of content this blog will host and why this blog exists, including how I came to find out about Oku Hanako. If you want to learn about Oku Hanako, visit the About Oku Hanako page (it’s still mostly under construction, but I’ve provided links that you might find useful).

If you notice any errors or find a broken link or video, please tell me about it so I can fix it.
If you’d like to contribute as an author, send me a request and I’ll consider it. Please include in your request a reason why I should let you contribute as an author.

Check this site every week: the plan is to post a song or playlist (usually from YouTube) every Saturday at 0:00 UTC (that’s Friday in the Western hemisphere). I hope you’ll enjoy her music as much as I do!