Official Site Redesigned

I visited Oku Hanako’s official site[jp] earlier today and I was greeted with a change of face:

Screenshot of Oku Hanako's homepage on June 25, 2015

Oku Hanako’s official site on June 25, 2015

The old site worked and did what it needed to, but this update is a nice change. According to the modified time for some of the external files, this new design may have gone up as early as June 21.

See what’s different →


Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai / 月のそばで眠りたい

Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai / 月のそばで眠りたい: “I want to sleep next to the moon”

tsuki / 月
no / の
a particle indicating the previous word modifies the next
soba / そば
“vicinity”, “side”
de / で
a particle indicating location
nemuritai / 眠りたい
“-tai” / -たい (“desire”) form of nemuri / 眠り (“to sleep”)

“Tsuki no Soba de Nemuritai” is a musically interesting song. Most of the songs you hear are in a major or minor key. When you listen to this song, you immediately hear something a little “off” about it. That’s because the verses are neither major nor minor: they are sung in the Dorian mode of E. The Dorian mode gives it a bit of a mysterious primitive feel. The chorus is in a familiar E major key, giving it a bit of a more down-to-earth wishful feel.

As for the lyrics, it looks and sounds like it’s just full of sentence fragments, which is somewhat fitting for a song such as this.

月のそばで眠りたい []

It seems the first chorus is simple enough for me to translate myself:

I want to sleep next to the moon
I want to cut dust-covered hair
I want to grasp love in this hand

They may not be sentence fragments, but it definitely seems cryptic.

Lyrics →

What’s the song on the 10th anniversary pop-up?

If you go to Oku Hanako’s official site, you’ll be greeted with a pop-up message:


There’s a music score in the background, and being the musical guy I am, I just had to figure out what it is. You can probably guess, but after playing through it in my head, I concluded that it’s a snippet of Kusabi / 楔, specifically the end of the pre-chorus until a little after the end of the chorus (the chorus starts at [C]).

No wonder I haven’t been able to work out the chords by ear. I knew the chords, which are written above the staves, were somewhat complex, but I didn’t think they were to this degree. You have major chords, minor chords, slash chords, sus4, add9 (both major and minor), and even some combinations of them. Don’t worry if you understood nothing in this paragraph: just know that it’s appreciatively complex.

Gymnastics to Oku Hanako

Wow, I would never have thought to use an Oku Hanako song for a gymnastics routine, but these men competing at an intercollegiate event at Kokoshikan University pull it off quite nicely. The song comes in at around 2:14; can you name it? Leave your answer in the comments.

2015東インカレ国士舘大学 by H IWAZAKI

Kusabi / 楔 cover art revealed!

The release of Kusabi / 楔 is about a month and a half away and the cover art for the new release has been revealed:


Kusabi / 楔

I wonder if that photo was taken in one of the subway stations or one of the streets where she used to perform. If so, it would give the cover a deeper meaning.

It’s quite reminiscent of the older covers, too. The first one that came to mind was the one for Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星:

Chiisana Hoshi cover art

Chiisana Hoshi / 小さな星

My Letter

It’s too bad I don’t have the original Japanese to post with this, but Edward has translated the Chinese translation of the letter that came with Oku Hanako’s 2012 BEST album (Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-).

It’s certainly an interesting piece of text. I’ve always said that one couldn’t make such powerful songs as she does without experiencing it all herself, and the letter confirms it:

I wrote lyrics like I was writing a diary. At that time, the break up with a sweetheart, that stage of romance symbolised the theme that would often appear in my songs “Because it was lost, only thus was its importance discovered”.

Thanks, Edward! I’ll close with another quote:

I am very grateful.
For discovering me, supporting me, encouraging me, giving birth to me, listening to my songs, shedding tears because of my songs, breaking into smiles because of my songs, I am grateful for all of this.

Oku Hanako - Chinese to English

This is not actually a song. In the back cover of the lyrics booklet in the album Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- there is a letter titled My Letter. This is it.


I started writing songs in Senior High School1. I wrote lyrics like I was writing a diary. At that time, the break up with a sweetheart, that stage of romance symbolised the theme that would often appear in my songs “Because it was lost, only thus was its importance discovered”.

I began performing 14 years ago to today2 to let even more people know about my songs. Although a lot happened since I started, I could continue playing music and singing as I always did, and that to me was truly a miracle.

In order to make this Best Album, fans who understood Oku Hanako’s songs better than Oku Hanako herself were invited to…

View original post 464 more words

Kusabi / 楔 track list announced!

A new header image was put up on June 1 on Oku Hanako’s official site:

2015-06-01 header image showing Kusabi / 楔 track list

Header image on the official site as of June 1, 2015

The text at the top, I’m guessing, briefly explains that the 10th anniversary for Oku Hanako’s major début is July 27 of this year, and to celebrate, they’ll be releasing a 10th anniversary single called Kusabi / 楔-くさび. The single will be sold for at least ¥1000.

Tracklist →