Ameagari / 雨あがり

Ameagari / 雨あがり : “after the rain”. More commonly written as 雨上がり .

ame / 雨
“rain”

Don’t ask about the rest. The definitions I get for agari / 上がり doesn’t match up with the meaning of the whole word.

Fitting, isn’t it? Last week, I posted a song called Rainy Day.

Ameagari / 雨あがり is the opening track of Oku Hanako’s first album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所 . In my opinion, it seems fitting to be an opening track, because the rest of the album has an overall light and playful feel to it, and this sets the tone quite nicely. It reminds me of a little kid going out and enjoying the day after a rainstorm.

A little warning before you start: this one is a little pitchy (but not out of tune). If you aren’t familiar with Oku Hanako’s works, don’t judge the rest of her songs based on this one.


雨上がり 奥華子 by azure1925 [YouTube]

To be honest, this isn’t one of those songs I would take every chance to listen to, but there are times when I find it fitting. It’s not bad, but I don’t have much to say about it. Perhaps you should add your opinion.

Lyrics →

Poll: Thoughts on “Kimi to Boku no Michi”

It’s about time I’ve posted a poll here. After all, the “Thoughts” part of “Thoughts on Oku Hanako” would be too biased if I didn’t have any opinions from others.

This one is about her newest album, Kimi to Boku no Michi / 君と僕の道. So go ahead, cast your vote; it’ll be interesting to see what everyone thinks of it.

Go to the poll →

What happens in Hanako Oku’s music video for FUYUHANABI ?

Regular reader Denny Sinnoh posted an analysis of the music video for Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 on his blog. Admittedly, most of Oku Hanako’s music videos are of her playing or walking around, but Fuyu Hanabi had more substance to it. I find this analysis gives the song a little more meaning.

Denny Sinnoh

I have been enjoying my new Hanko Oku CD + DVD these past two weeks.  I am a huge Oku fan, however sometimes I cannot figure out exactly what is happening in some of her music videos.  In this report, I will provide my impression of  what is transpiring in the new video.  I know.  I might as well try to figure out the end of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” … but here goes …

Please note that I am providing my interpretation of the VIDEO — not the song.  The music video director may have a different vision than Hanako Oku did when she wrote the song.  My null hypothesis is that the song is basically about love gone wrong, or broken hearts.  It is a general Oku theme.  However, Oku-san is very good at musically fleshing out such concepts.  I’m going to assume that the Mariya Suzuki character…

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Cocktail2 cover art

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

Here we dive into a little Oku Hanako history. “Rainy Day” is one of her really early indies songs, before her vol.x indies CDs. “Rainy Day” was released in 2003, and vol.1 in 2004. This song appeared as track 4 in an omnibus called “Cocktail2”, part of the Cocktail series released by King Records containing piano hikigatari songs by indies artists. (Maybe it was a competition; I don’t remember).

Cocktail2 cover art

Cocktail2

If the artists selection page means anything, then Oku Hanako is the left-most one on the cover.

2003 was before she started wearing glasses:

Oku Hanako in Cocktail2

Oku Hanako in 2003 as she appears in Cocktail2

This is taken from page in the Cocktail2 booklet:

Oku Hanako in Cocktail2

Oku Hanako’s page in the Cocktail2 booklet

Now then, the song that was put in the release:


“Rainy Day” by Oku Hanako by mokade3 [YouTube]

She doesn’t often go that low, but when she does, she pulls it off really nicely; this is no exception. Her singing, her playing; the song is beautifully done. It’s a sad song, but beautiful nonetheless. Even this early in her works she impresses me! Simply amazing…

Lyrics →

Hane / 羽

Hane / 羽 : “wing(s)”

“Hane” / 羽 is the insert song for the video game Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X / テイルズ オブ ファンタジア なりきりダンジョンX, the one for which Oku Hanako wrote and performed Garasu no Hana / ガラスの花.

Too bad Hane only appears once (twice if you count the DVD) in her discography; it’s a really nice song. It has a bit of a European folkish feel to it, but it doesn’t like something she wouldn’t do (then again, the album, Utakata / うたかた , was full of songs like that).


Hane – Hanako Oku [zing.vn]

If you can get over the observation that the verses sound uncannily like Kawaranai Mono / 変わらないもの, it’s a very nice and relaxing song to listen to.

Lyrics →

Translation for BIRTHDAY

I have a translation for Birthday! I asked my friend Shiori (she’s from Japan!) if she was willing to do some translations. She said she would like to help but will probably be too busy to be the site’s regular translator, but she did translate Birthday, my latest post at the time.

Below is Shiori’s translation, with some of my edits. Thanks, Shiori!

Translation →

New discussion page!

Thoughts on Oku Hanako now has a discussion page! The Discussion page is where you can discuss things with other readers, possibly about Oku Hanako. I know, a forum would be better suited for this, but I don’t have enough readers yet to make a full-blown forum worthwhile.

Credit goes to reader Andreas Straub for suggesting the idea.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the Discussion page and start discussing!