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

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9 thoughts on “Translation for Ashiato / 足跡

  1. It would be nice to have the song in the post. I can find a link to it, but it would be nice to listen to the song while reading the lyrics. This message will self-erase in five… four …

    • I always link the song name to the original post, so as a workaround, you can always open the original post in a new tab. I also add the translation to the original post, so you don’t even need to have the “new translation” post up.
      I don’t add the song in the translation post so that the focus of the post is on the translation, and so that if I ever need to change the source, I won’t have to remember to change it in more than once place. Plus, given what I said above, it becomes redundant.

      But hey, if you really want me to add it, I’ll consider it.

  2. I’m curious about your opinion that the “good-bye” album is the last of an era of Oku Hanako’s work. I checked through your post archive but couldn’t really understand why you said that. Could you make a post about it?

    • I think he means that an artist grows and changes. Fans would always want another typical “Hanako Oku record”. Fans sometimes balk when she experiments with something different we are not used to hearing from her.

      Like when Dylan went electric: “Its all over now baby blue.”
      Oku just said “Goodbye”.

      She has my heart firmly cradled in her gentle hands, and I would follow her anywhere.

    • I have actually been meaning to make a post on it, but I haven’t gotten around to it, partially because I haven’t refined it. If you look hard enough, I mention a “theory of threes” in a couple of places here, but there hasn’t been a post on it yet.

      Denny has the right idea. I borrow the term “era” from Solarblade who uses it to describe Oku-san’s different styles throughout her discography. Songs of any given album generally have the same basic feel to them.

      The idea behind the theory of threes is that her style changes significantly after three albums, which I label as an “era”. Each album has its own feel, but the style is more or less the same within the era. This is what I was alluding to when I mentioned the eras in the post. Consider her first three albums — Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho, TIME NOTE and Koi Tegami: the songs in these albums have a direct influence from the indies era and tend to be more piano-heavy. The next three albums — BIRTHDAY, Utakata and good-bye — have fuller arrangements, but they’re still influenced by the previous era and feature the piano heavily, although less so. The current era seems to further the arranging idea with a slight bias to strings, and the piano is now basically just another instrument.

      That stuff above might make it into a post when I get the chance if I can solidify it with examples and such. What do you think?

      • After listening to good-bye and Kimi to Boku no Michi with what you said in mind, I understand your point better now. I didn’t notice before how many instruments are used in any given song. When I listen to music I usually only pay attention to whether I like it or not. As for the change between styles or eras, good-bye seems more appropriate than Kimi to Boku no Michi to mark as a transition point.

        One example you might like to use is記憶 (Kioku). It stands out on Kimi to Boku no Michi because it starts with piano playing and is joined by a string instrument after halfway, unlike the other songs that have several instruments playing from the start. By the way, the first line is “If I were a piano, how would I want to be played?”

  3. Very beautiful and very true – and exactly what I would expect from Oku Hanako. Thank You very much for the translation – it is really appreciated!

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