Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街

Translation Notes

You told me, “If you can hold back your tears, do your best”
Tears flowed as I remembered everyone’s smiling faces

In a town where I don’t know anyone, I go and walk in the midst of a crowd of people
I looked up at the fading sky and chased only after tomorrow

The kanji here is (まち), whereas I would more often see (まち), same as in the title. According to Tofugu, 町 means “district with boundaries determined by the government” or “neighborhood”, whereas 街 means “downtown area” or “bustling city streets”. It gets a little awkward if I translate it as “street”, and “town” gets the idea more or less across. The subtlety in meaning is lost in translation.

Walking while facing forward; that’s simple, isn’t it?
One by one, I check the roads that I’m walking on

I want to see it, I want to see it, the town where I was born
I saw a dream, and there was a cherished place where I meet with laughter

The original Japanese here is ()いたくて. According to Tofugu, 合う means “to match or suit,” “to do together,” or “to encounter or come across something” when used in the phrase 巡り合う.

Through the phone, I can hear everyone’s voices; they sound like they’re having fun
My seemingly defeated heart is warmly enveloped by it

Even the wind has become a bit chillier; it was fine in my childhood
Flower petals line up on top of my umbrella. They make a rainbow, don’t they?

I’m actually a little unsure of how to translate the second half of this line and how to fit it in with the rest of the line. The Japanese here is (へい)()だった()(ども)(ころ). 平気だった (“it was fine”) modifies the clause that follows, but I’m not sure whether it modifies 子供 (“child”) or 子供の頃 (“time of my childhood”). My translation suggests that 子供の頃 is actually separated from the rest of the line, as if it had a に after it to indicate the time of reference. I did this because that was the only way I could make it fit with the rest of the line; perhaps an alternative translation given that is “Even the wind becoming chillier was fine in my childhood”.

I want to see it, I want to see it, the town where I was born
I saw a dream, there was a cherished place where I meet with laughter

Sunny spots make me smile
Puddles give me the strength to jump over them
Though not for the sake of holding things I want in my hand,
I search for the things around me

I’m also unsure about this line. The Japanese is (みず)たまりは ()()える(つよ)さを. Based on the particles in this line, 水たまりは indicates that puddles are the “topic”, 飛び越える強さを indicates that the strength to jump over is the object. However, the line doesn’t contain a verb. I thought of two possibilities: the sentence continues on to the next line, or it implicitly repeats the verb from the previous line (くれる). I decided it was the latter based on the mirrored structure.

I won’t forget, I won’t forget, the town where I was born
No matter when, I will remember; a special someone is there
An orange flower blooms. Let’s go to discover the sky.


3 thoughts on “Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街

  1. Always good to hear it.
    A couple of years ago, I bought extra copies of “Time Note” to give to friends — hoping that they would also like Hanako Oku.

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