Kusabi (single) / 楔 -くさび-

Kusabi / 楔: “wedge”, or according to Generasia, “bridge”, or according to J-talk, “linchpin“. The single’s title includes the pronunciation in hiragana (くさび) like it did when the song first appeared on vol.4.

Oku Hanako’s 10th anniversary single is out! Her first release a major artist, Yasashii Hana / やさしい花, was released on July 27, 2005. If you haven’t been following along, in honour of her 10th anniversary as a major artist, she has arranged and re-sung Kusabi / 楔, one of her indies songs released on vol.4, and later vol.best.

The track list of the single is as follows:


Kusabi / 楔 cover art

  1. Kusabi / 楔-くさび-
  2. Hanabi / 花火
  3. Kusabi (Piano Hikigatari Live ver. at Zepp Tokyo 2013.1.19)
  4. Kusabi (Instrumental)
  5. Hanabi (Instrumental)

I can’t find Hanabi anywhere yet, and it makes it harder that it was another one of her indies, but from what I hear in some previews, it’s similar to the original hikigatari version with a guitar accompaniment. It’s very likely re-sung, especially since there’s an instrumental version. However, the inclusion of an instrumental version tells me that there’s probably more to the arrangement than just the guitar.

The live version of Kusabi, again based on a preview, is hikigatari and contains a very interesting piano accompaniment.

First-buyers got a bonus item: depending on where you got it, you would have gotten a sticky notepad with one of two designs (Chiro with a keyboard or a Piri with a grand piano), or a ruled letter opener:

A Chiro keyboard sticky notepad, a Piri piano notepad, and a ruler/letter opener tool

Kusabi bonus items

Enough background info. Let’s watch the music video:

Hanako Oku – Kusabi by Takumi [JPopsuki]

That video cuts off the first second or so of the song. If it bothers you, you can listen to the whole song at music.163.com.

As I had mentioned when the radio preview came out, I don’t think it’s any worse than the original, just different. While the hikigatari original gets to the core of the song, as hikigatari is apt to do, the arranged version gives the song more power, potentially at the loss of some sincerity in emotion. The original was sung that felt that she meant it, but this feels like she’s singing it for the song.

Do I like the new version? Yes. Do I think the arrangement is unnecessary? Also yes. The arrangement is nice and I like the countermelodies written for it, but the original shows that it doesn’t need to be there.

One could argue that the song represents, or is a good summary of, her musical career over the past ten years: built on her indies, mostly about love, and beautifully and powerfully arranged

The music video is another one of those with Oku Hanako playing the piano and walking around, although this time it doesn’t look irrelevant. Looking at the translation, the video picks up on things in the song like the train, shadows, and the longing to be with the other person. Also, there’s a scene in the music video that looks very much like the cover for BIRTHDAY, but I don’t think it’s actually the place.

Overall, I quite like the song and I’m sure it’s something I’ll be listening to a lot for the next little while.



Shuuden go no dare mo i nai michi ni futari no kanashi ge na hitotsu no kage
Mou nidoto mou nidoto awanai to kokoro ni chikaiatta natsu no yoru

Tada soba ni iru dake de warai ae ta sonna hi ga tsuduiteku to shinjite i ta
Anata wo kirai ni naru kurai nara kono mama futari de yoru ni naritai

Saigo no kuchiduke fureru dake de itai yo
Itoshii kimochi ga afure te anata wo kowasu mae ni

Dakishimete anata no ude de ato ichi byou dake demo kou shiteitai
Mou kenka suru koto mo mou yaki mochi yaku koto mo
Mou kao wo miru koto sae deki naku naru no

Fushigi da ne doushite hito wa sugu ni mamorenai yakusoku wo suru no darou
Hito no kokoro wo tsunagitomeru mono nado doko ni mo nai to shitte iru noni

Saigo no kotoba ga yasashi sugi te itai yo
Futari wa otagai no koto wakarisugi te shimatta

Idakiyose te watashi no mune ni kodomo no you na anata no kami wo nadetai
Mou yoko de warau koto mo mou yoko de nemuru koto mo
Mou namae wo yobu koto sae deki naku naru no

Kokoro wo tsunagitomerareru mono wa yakusoku ja nai
Yakusoku wa jibun e no kiyasume na no darou ka…

Dakishime te anata no ude de ato ichi byou dake demo kou shiteitai
Mou kenka suru koto mo mou yaki mochi yaku koto mo
Mou kao wo miru koto sae dekinai no nara
Mou ai taku natte mo mou iki ga deki naku te mo
Anata wo yoba nai to yakusoku suru kara
Anata wo yoba nai to yakusoku suru kara

Transliterated using the J-talk Kanji Convert


終電後の誰もいない道に 二人の悲しげな一つの影
もう二度ともう二度と 会わないと 心に誓い合った夏の夜

ただ傍にいるだけで笑い合えた そんな日が続いてくと信じていた
あなたを嫌いになるくらいなら このまま二人で夜になりたい

最後の口づけ 触れるだけで痛いよ
愛しい気持ちが溢れて 貴方を壊す前に

抱きしめて 貴方の腕で あと1秒だけでもこうしていたい
もう喧嘩する事も もうやきもち焼く事も

不思議だね どうして人はすぐに 守れない約束をするのだろう
人の心を繋ぎ止めるものなど どこにもないと知っているのに

最後の言葉が 優しすぎて痛いよ

抱き寄せて 私の胸に 子供のような貴方の髪を撫でたい
もう横で笑う事も もう横で眠る事も


抱きしめて 貴方の腕で あと1秒だけでもこうしていたい
もう喧嘩する事も もうやきもち焼く事も
もう会いたくなっても もう息が出来なくても

From okuhanako.net


On the road with no people after last train, there is one shadow of the two of us
Never ever, never ever meet again, we promised each other in the summer night

I laughed with you only when we kept together, I believed the day would continue
I prefer to be a shadow with you than to begin hating you

The last kiss stings by just touching
Before my loving feelings flood and break you

Please hold me with your arms, I want to be doing this in even the slightest seconds
I can’t have a quarrel, a jealous,
a glance of your face any more

I wonder why human make a failing promise easily
We know there’s nothing that can keep someone close anywhere

The last words sting because they are so gentle
The two of us had overknown each other

I want to hold childish you tight in my chest and stroke your hair
I can’t laugh at your side, sleep at your side,
even call your name any more

The thing that can keep someone close is not promise
Promises may be placebos…

Please hold me with your arms, I want to be doing this in even the slightest seconds
I can’t have a quarrel, a jealous,
a grance of your face any more
Even if I want to meet you, even if I can’t breathe,
I promise I won’t call you
I promise I won’t call you

Translation by Niji


8 thoughts on “Kusabi (single) / 楔 -くさび-

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