Madobe / 窓辺

Madobe / 窓辺: “by the window”, possibly “windowsill” in the context of the song. Composed of mado / 窓 (“window”) and be / 辺 (“place”)

This post is yet another horrible reference to a current event. Last week on August 24 was the 20th anniversary of the release of Windows 95. Incidentally, the meaning of “madobe” is why the official Windows OS-tans have it as their family name.

Madobe is track 6 from Oku Hanako’s first album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所, released in 2006. Like the rest of the album, easy and relaxing to listen to. Unfortunately, I haven’t a clue what the lyrics are about.


奥華子 窓辺 by みね [Nico Nico Douga]

Extra live performance and Lyrics →

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Translation for Ashiato / 足跡

Ashiato / 足跡 : “Footprints”

It’s about time I’ve gotten around to reposting this. Edward posted his translation and notes for Ashiato. I’ve reproduced his translation here, but be sure to read his notes as they do give some extra insight.

Reading this translation, I can see why Oku Hanako chose to close the album with this song. It’s nice to end with a reflective tone, and it’s very fitting for an album titled “good-bye”. I don’t know if she knew it at the time, but “good-bye” was a transition into a new Oku era, from the “Birthday”/”Utakata”/”good-bye” era to the “Kimi to Boku no Michi”/”Prism”/(probably also whatever the next one is) era.


Lyrics

Translation

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of people will you meet?
What kind of things will make you happy?
Where will you shed tears?

The seasons pass before your eyes
The warm light stirs your existence
Now, be strong in your chest to continue living

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

If you try retracing your footsteps
What kind of dreams did you have?
What kind of things will be fun for you?
Who will you shed tears in front of?

Looking back to yesterday, searching for words
Being surrounded by many people
Now, you are still alive in your chest

Sadness is not something that will disappear
It is something that should silently sleep in the heart
Happiness cannot be seen by the eye
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart

Gentleness is not something that can be given
It is something that, when realised, remains in someone’s heart
Happiness is not something that can be changed into
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart
It is something that must be slowly discovered in the heart
Translation by Edward

Gone for a week

It seems I won’t have Internet next week. I was hoping to have written a post to schedule while I’m gone, but I hadn’t gotten the chance after all that Prism / プリズム news. I won’t be available at all, so I’ll probably miss some news about the new album. Apologies also to new commenters who won’t get their comments approved until I get back.

If anything interesting comes up, please leave a comment either here or in the Discussion page.

Oku Hanako 10th Anniversary Rental Best ~NON STOP CD~

I have no idea where this thing came from, but there was apparently a “rental limited release” CD released on August 19, 2015, titled “Oku Hanako 10th Anniversary Rental Best ~NON STOP CD~” / 奥華子10th Anniversary レンタルベスト 〜NON STOP CD〜. I’m not sure how this is specifically a “rental best”, nor why they would call it “non-stop”.

10th Anniversary Rental Best cover art

Cover art for the 10th Anniversary Rental Best album

According to the blurb on Pony Canyon’s post, it’s meant to be the most representative of Oku Hanako, taking songs from all over her discography, most notably Garnet / ガーネット and Kawaranai Mono / 変わらないもの, the two songs that made her famous.

Tracklist →

8th Album announced: Prism / プリズム

A new album has been announced! Prism / プリズム will be Oku Hanako’s eighth album and it will be released on October 28, 2015. This is another 10th Anniversary release, and for some reason, it’s being called an “Original Album”.

This album will come in two editions: a CD-only edition, a CD+DVD edition, and a special 10th anniversary edition with 2 CDs and 3 DVDs (box set) that is only available by pre-order before noon of September 28 through Pony Canyon[jp].

Cover art for "Prism" (CD-only)

Cover art for “Prism” (CD-only)

Cover art for "Prism" (CD+DVD)

Cover art for “Prism” (CD+DVD)

Box art for "Prism" (10th Anniversary Edition)

Box art for “Prism” (10th Anniversary Edition)

Track lists and more comments →

Tsumiki / 積木

Tsumiki / 積木: “building blocks”

Out of all of Oku Hanako’s songs, Tsumiki has to be one of the most unusual. Like a lot of her other songs, it features only two elements: her singing and another instrument. However, that instrument isn’t a piano, nor is it even a trumpet.


奥華子 積木 by takayukikk [Nico Nico Douga]

The instrument is a drum set! A drum set, can you believe it? To my knowledge, she doesn’t play the drums, so either she really does play, she used a drum machine or other computer program, or she got someone to play for her. As for calling it “hikigatari” (“singing to one’s own accompaniment”), it depends: if she played it while singing (which would be quite impressive), then it would be, but otherwise not.

Tsumiki is the third track on Oku-san’s début mini album, Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく, released in 2000, making this one of her indies songs. That makes it even more curious: being an indies song, she must have come up with it herself; does that also imply that she also knows how to write a really good drum solo? If so, that would explain Garasu no Hana / ガラスの花 and blue green (especially blue green), two songs that have incredible arrangements that were arranged by her.

Tsumiki is actually quite impressive. To be able to pull this off well, the song has to have a strong melody, since it’s the only melodic element present; without it, it’s just a long drum solo. Similarly, the drum part has to be captivating, otherwise it’s just someone singing with an interesting metronome. Indeed, she sings with strong vocals, perhaps the strongest of all her songs, and she’s accompanied by a drum line that commands respect.

I’d make some sort of comment on the lyrics, but I can’t find even the Japanese. Considering this is one of her really obscure songs, I wasn’t expecting much.

Overall, a jaw-dropping performance by Oku Hanako from her indies days.

Lyrics →