Kumiko and Reina

“Ai wo Mitsuketa Basho” played in Hibike! Euphonium

At the end of the latest episode (ep. 8) of the ongoing anime “Hibike! Euphonium” / 響け!ユーフォニアム, two of the characters, Kumiko and Reina, played Oku Hanako’s Ai wo Mitsuketa Basho / 愛を見つけた場所:

Hibike! Euphonium HD Sound- Last Song EPISODE 8 by TheAnime Uploads

It’s refreshing to hear a brass cover, and the playing is done quite well, too. I think it captures the song’s beauty fairly well, even for just a euphonium and a trumpet.

I haven’t actually watched the series yet and wasn’t really planning to, but who knows, maybe this is enough to give me an excuse to watch it; either way, I’d wait until the series is done. (EDIT: I finished the first season on January 21, 2016) Anyway, I didn’t find out about this from watching the series, but rather as a result of a big spike in this site’s page views in the last couple of days:

Stats for pltgokuhanako as of 2015-05-28 22:26

Spike in views in the last couple of days

I did a little investigating and found out that the source of the majority of these views was a post by Eliana (glassdestroyer) on Tumblr and its numerous reblogs, so a special thanks goes out to Eliana! I fixed up the post a bit, most notably replaced the broken video, because this is probably going to be the bulk of the traffic for the next week.

Incidentally, you all set a new record of 201 page views on the 27th. Congratulations, and thank you!


Suteki na Michi / 素敵な道

Suteki na Michi / 素敵な道: “lovely road”

suteki / 素敵
na / な
A particle that attaches to an adjectival noun to make them act as adjectives (Wiktionary)
michi / 道

“Suteki na Michi” is one of the songs on Oku Hanako’s 2011 compilation album, Kimi no Egao / 君の笑顔, that was previously unreleased. I can track the first appearance of the song to April 16, 2006, on her radio show, Kame Kame House / カメカメハウス, which suggests that this song might be from her indies era. This version is the re-recorded version; I’ll post the radio version some other time.

In my opinion, this version is the better one, but I’ll leave you to decide when I post the radio version.

素敵な道 [music.163.com]

It kind of reminds me a bit of Ashita Saku Hana / 明日咲く花. The song isn’t hikigatari, but it still has a very acoustic feel to it. It starts off with an acoustic guitar (possibly more than one), and the piano comes in at the end of the first chorus. Oku Hanako sings beautifully, and the song shines as a result.

Lyrics →

Translation for HIKARI

HIKARI: romanization of 光, meaning “light”

Reader Edward has graciously donated a translation for HIKARI, my favourite song on Kimi to Boku no Michi / 君と僕の道, based on the Chinese translation that came with his copy of the album. Although it’s a translation of a translation, it still seems true to the original song, from what I can pick out. It really brings out the beauty in the song.

Edward comments:

As luck would have it, I recently bought my first Oku Hanako albums and they were the ones for distribution in Taiwan. As such they came with extra booklets with lyrics in Traditional Chinese. I was taught in Simplified Chinese in primary school so I changed the script to Simplified Chinese and translated that to English. I have not used my Chinese regularly for several years now so translating took quite a bit of time and effort.

He has also been inspired to translate the other songs for which he has a Chinese translation for, and has set up a blog for it. Given the nature of the blog, I’ll likely shamelessly reblog everything.

Thanks, Edward, and good luck with the rest of the translations!



If I could convey my innermost thoughts to you
I would want to convey them much, much more expressively than saying thank you

In days that frustrate me, in days that I want to give up
You always believe I am fine
And that I can work harder. Encouraging me in this way
It is always you

Thank you, it is only because of you that I am able to continue on the path I chose
That always unchanging smile has helped me through hardship several times
I have many thanks for it

The first dream I imagined is being shared between us
My irreplaceable friend is closer to me

Laughing together and having cried together
Being like this does not need talking
Even if far apart I still hope these voices can reach each other. This is what I always think

Thank you for your light that always shines on me
I can be stronger at any time. Thank you for your warm light

Tears turn to smiles in the changing seasons
I hope I can also be a light for someone

I am thankful that our paths crossed. Now I really am happy
I have many thanks for that always unchanging smile

Thank you with all my heart

Translation by Edward

Translation for Ashita Saku Hana / 明日咲く花

Ashita Saku Hana / 明日咲く花: “the flower that blooms tomorrow”.

Happy (middle of) May! Cherry blossom season just ended in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and so this song is quite apt. Speaking of which, this was possibly the most difficult translation I’ve done yet! There are just some Japanese phrases that don’t have a literal English translation upon first glance. For instance:

もう一度は僕らは 想い描いてゆく 真っ白な世界を
Mouichido bokura wa omoi egaite yuku masshiro na sekai wo

Omoi (思い) means thoughts or feelings; it can be connected with verbs like dasu (出す, “to come out”) to become a new verb (in this case, omoidasu: 思い出す, “to remember”, or literally “to draw out a thought”). Now, egaite yuku (描いてゆく) means “to draw/paint away”… so when you string that with omoi, what do you think it means?

At first I thought it meant “to paint from one’s feelings”. Then, I decided to look up the (semi-)infinitive form omoiegaku (思い描く). It turns out it means “to imagine”! Literally, it means “to paint thoughts”. What a beautiful way to convey that concept! 🙂

I don’t think I did this song justice, but I hope you get a feel for its beauty through this translation!



I want to search for it,
All the way to the place that shines,
In order to entrust to you the flower that blooms tomorrow

Being swayed away by the wind, still walking along an unseen path,
At my feet, there is a small seed that has fallen onto the ground

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
I want to show it to you—this seed that sparkles like a gem
Right now, it’s even illuminating the path that I must face

To someday be able to go to the place that shines,
I will continue to search for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
What I found, what you lost
We’re starting to walk once more

I wanted you to see the beautiful seed, but when we met up,
The seed had already lost its glow inside this hand of mine

Just when did I forget those precious things?
This seed can’t go on living in the palm of my hand

I’m sure I’ll be able to return to the place that shines, so
I will continue searching for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
The way things should be, the strength that holds fast,
Once again, we’ll be imagining away a pure white world

Beneath the expansive sky, time is flowing on
Passing through the ever-changing seasons
Making our flowers bloom

To someday be able to go to the place that can shine,
I will search for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
What I found, what you lost
In order to be able to pass on the flower that blooms tomorrow
The way things should be, the strength that holds fast,
We’re starting to walk once more

Translation by Rosanne

Yasashii Hana (Piano Hikigatari) / やさしい花(ピアノ弾き語り)

Yasashii Hana (Piano Hikigatari) / やさしい花(ピアノ弾き語り): “Gentle Flowers” (solo piano version)

yasashii / やさしい
hana / 花

It’s that time again for “May flowers”, although I think I’ve almost run out of songs with that theme.

Yasashii Hana is Oku Hanako’s first single and debut release as a major artist, being released in 2005. It was a CM song for a JA Kyosai service dog commercial. (If anyone can find the commercial, leave the link in the comments! The commercial is in the comments)

This isn’t one that I would usually spring for (pun intended?), but as with almost all of her songs, especially the early ones, it’s a beautiful song. It evokes an intimate mood, one that if you were with someone you love, you’d be content to just be with them and not say anything.

Yasashii Hana (Piano Hikigatari) – Oku Hanako [zing.vn]

This song comes in two versions: the regular arranged version, and this piano hikigatari version. I chose to post the hikigatari version first because I prefer it over the arranged version; although the arranged version is arguably sung better and sounds fuller, there’s just something about the arrangement that annoys me slightly and I don’t know what.

Lyrics →

Preview of the new Kusabi / 楔 single

Oku Hanako’s upcoming single was aired today the JFN radio station(?).

YouTube user sasasa has uploaded the song (although I think the first couple of seconds are cut off). If you’re impatient and can’t wait until July to hear it, now’s your chance before it gets taken down.

楔-くさび- / 奥華子 by sasasa [YouTube]

I’ll reserve my opinion until it’s released in July, but I’ll say that I don’t think it’s any better or worse than the original, just that it’s different.

Namida no Iro / 涙の色

Namida no Iro / 涙の色: “Colour of tears”

namida / 涙
no / の
A particle indicating the possessive. Roughly equivalent to “of”.
iro / 色

“Namida no Iro” is another one of Oku Hanako’s indies songs. It first appeared on vol.2, and later on vol.best. If I remember correctly, this was one of my “original 14”, so this one brings back memories.

As with many of her indies songs, it’s a simple-sounding yet heartfelt song. She makes it clear that the speaker is saddened. I think “colour of tears” is metaphorical in that the song isn’t talking about the colour of the tears, but rather saying that the mood has or is painted with the colour of tears, or in other words, it’s a sad mood. It may also have a deeper meaning if you take iro / 色 to have something to do with love, but I don’t think that definition quite fits here.

涙の色 ♪奥華子 by Relation -of-the-heart [YouTube]

If you think that photo of the Lawson store (2:18) is out of place, it isn’t really: she mentions a convenience store (KONBINI / コンビニ) at that time in the song. (Yes, Denny, I’m addressing your YouTube comment)

Lyrics →