Tanin no Namida / 他人の涙

Tanin no Namida / 他人の涙 : “tears of others”

tanin / 他人
“other people”
no / の
A possessive particle indicating that the previous word modifies the next word (almost equivalent to “of”)
namida / 涙

Don’t be deceived by the piano that starts this song: this is not a piano hikigatari track! There’s certainly nothing wrong with hikigatari, in fact, some of her best songs are hikigatari, but if you hold out until after the end of the first chorus, you’re missing out on a simple but great arrangement.

Again, nothing but a machine translation to work from, but thankfully I have Pekky, who is amazing at these kinds of things, to give us a little insight.

She is saying that in this world, everyone is selfish. In real life, as absurd as it sounds, we thrive off of the failures and sadness of others. Only in retrospect can we call ourselves happy but she wants to be able to understand other people feel, because she also wants someone to understand her.

Thanks again, Pekky!

Here you go, Tanin no Namida:

Tanin no Namida – Hanako Oku [zing.vn]
Lyrics →

Japanese Lesson: Rendaku / 連濁

In Ichibanboshi / 一番星 , I mentioned that the kanji is made of two parts: ichiban / 一番 and hoshi / 星 . If I only gave you the two separate parts, you may think the word would be pronounced ichibanhoshi / いちばんほし , and for good reason: because it’s intuitive. Unfortunately, it sounds just a little awkward. For this reason, similar in idea to the French liaison, Japanese has a phenomenon called rendaku / 連濁 .

Rendaku is the voicing of the first syllable of the second part of a compound word. Literally, it means “sequential voicing”. What do I mean by voicing a syllable? In the kana sets, a voiced syllable is indicated by placing a dakuten on the unvoiced kana. For example, ta / た becomes da / だ when voiced. I won’t be going over kana today, but here’s a list of unvoiced sounds and their voiced counterpart:

  • k → g
  • s → z
  • sh/ch → j
  • t → d
  • ts → dz
  • h/f/p → b

A good test to see if a sound is voiced is to place two fingers on your throat while making the sound; if you feel vibrations, it’s probably voiced.

To give some examples,

  • ichiban / いちばん / 一番 + hoshi / ほし / 星ichibanboshi / いちばんぼし / 一番星
  • hiki / ひき / 引き + katari / かたり / 語りhikigatari / ひきがたり / 弾き語り

Rendaku is common, although it is unpredictable sometimes. Even native Japanese speakers have trouble with it in some more obscure examples, like names. Despite its unpredictability, it has been observed to follow a few rules, each of which predicts where rendaku does not occur. One of the biggest rules is Lyman’s Law, which states that rendaku is not applied when there is a consonant in the second part that is made by obstructing the airflow. Wikipedia gives these examples:

  • yama / やま / 山 + kaji / かじ / 火事 → yamakaji / やまかじ / 山火事 (the ji / じ is voiced)
  • tsuno / ツノ + tokage / トカゲ → tsunotokage / ツノトカゲ (the ge / ゲ is voiced)

There are other rules, but I haven’t quite wrapped my head around all of them yet.

The easy way to figure out rendaku is to play it by ear: if it sounds right, it probably is right.

Source: Wikipedia

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 : A new single to be released in January!

UPDATE 2014-01-22: Fuyu Hanabi has been released!

I was wondering when she’d come out with new material. I’m very excited!

Yesterday, Oku Hanako posted about her upcoming single, Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 (“winter fireworks”). This will be her 13th single and it will be released on January 22, 2014 for ¥1,260 (tax included; in US dollars, that’s about $12.50, but of course, with shipping fees, it’ll come out to be much more).

The track list is as follows:

  1. Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 [“winter fireworks“]
  2. Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話 [“phone call with you”]
  3. Nukumori / ぬくもり [“warmth“]
  4. Fuyu Hanabi (Piano Hikigatari) / 冬花火(ピアノ弾き語り)
  5. Fuyu Hanabi (Instrumental) / 冬花火(Instrumental)
  6. Anata to Denwa (Instrumental) / あなたと電話(Instrumental)

From the track list, I gather that Fuyu Hanabi is arranged (something I would expect from one of her singles). Since it has a piano hikigatari version, it’s probably more heavily arranged, like Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai or Garasu no Hana (although Koi Tsubomi and Hanabi had a hikigatari version and weren’t that heavily arranged), or perhaps like Genki de Itene. If Fuyu Hanabi is heavy, Anata no Denwa will be lighter and more upbeat, further suggested by the inclusion of an instrumental version. Nukumori is probably going to be a slower hikigatari track to balance things out. (see the update about Nukumori)

Update 2013-11-30: She has just released the cover art:

Fuyu Hanabi cover art

Fuyu Hanabi cover art

The Generasia wiki page has also been updated.

According to her post, early purchasers and those with reservations to the premium live event will also receive a limited edition Oku Hanako-design mini clearfile (size A5; if anyone can enlighten me on what a clearfile is, please do so!). I misunderstood it. One of the things to be given out is “a special lottery application postcard to attend a premium live event” (generasia).

It’s only about two months until January 22. I can hardly wait!

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to post any of the material from this single for about a year because I have to let the YouTube videos stabilize (although if we’re lucky, Pony Canyon will post the music video for Fuyu Hanabi and I can post that). But don’t worry, she still has a lot more songs we can go through.

Sorry, I mention singles in this post as if you should know what I’m talking about. This is partly my fault because I haven’t gotten around to building the discography page. If anyone would like to help me, please contact me.

10 WordPress.com Followers!

10 WordPress.com followers achievement badge

10 WordPress.com Followers!

You guys are great! Just earlier, Thoughts on Oku Hanako got the 20 likes badge. Now, a total 10 WordPress.com followers, all in the same day! I’d say “keep it up!” again, but I think you’ve proven that you already will. 😉

Update: Not only have you proven that you would, but you’ve demonstrated it, too! A record for the day with the most follows was broken that day, now with 5 follows in one day.

Anyway, this blog is not about the blog itself, so let’s get back to Oku Hanako.

Ichibanboshi / 一番星

Ichibanboshi / 一番星 : “First star” (of the evening).

ichiban / 一番
hoshi / 星
It is pronounced boshi / ぼし (with a b instead of an h) because of a phenomenon called rendaku / 連濁.

Let me change it up a little and give you an upbeat song this week.

Ichibanboshi is basically an implied wish upon the first star of the night, talking about how seeing the stars reminds her of her (lost?) love (I’m probably wrong; please correct me). Anyway, I’ve linked to a Spanish translation; assuming it’s fairly accurate, you should be able to get something more coherent from that than translating from the Japanese directly.

EDIT 2016-08-17: Daniel has provided us with an English translation.

I smile every time I hear this song. It’s just so cute! It starts off cutely, and you’re in for a treat when the bridge comes. The song is well-arranged, complete with drums, electric guitar, electric bass, strings, and of course, Oku Hanako on the keyboard and vocals. Let yourself loose and have a little fun with this one!

If you’ll be listening to this song with headphones, it’s important to use both, especially for this song because it takes advantage of the split stereo tracks; you’ll miss out on some of the good stuff if you don’t. If you really must use just one, listen to it with the right ear or in mono sound.

一番星(Ichiban Hoshi) – Hanako Oku [zing.vn]
It’s getting frustratingly difficult to stable find YouTube videos of her songs. I hope you don’t mind.

Some say that Oku-san’s voice is nasally, especially here. I like to overlook that and say it adds to the cuteness; honestly, it doesn’t bother me because I almost never notice it.

Lyrics →

Chiisana Kagayaki -a song for Borneo- / 小さな輝き-a song for Borneo-

Chiisana Kagayaki / 小さな輝き : “small ray”

chiisana / 小さな
“small”, “tiny”
Kagayaki / 輝き
“ray” (of light)

I’m not quite sure what this song is about because I couldn’t find a proper translation and the machine translation is hardly worth looking at, but I couldn’t not do something for the situation in the Philippines here. If you take the ray of light of the title to be symbolic as a ray of hope, then I shall dedicate this post to the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.

I find Chiisana Kagayaki one of Oku Hanako’s most relaxing songs, if not the most.

This song appeared as a previously unreleased song on the third disc of Oku Hanako’s compilation album, “Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-“. If I understand it correctly, this third disc was only available in special limited editions or in the Hanako Box.

Update: According to the Japanese Wikipedia article, this song was inspired by a visit to Borneo in 2011.

小さな輝き -A Song For Borneo- (Chiisana Kagayaki -A Song For Borneo-) – Hanako Oku [zing.vn]
Lyrics →