Congratulations, you have found your way to Thoughts on Oku Hanako! “Finally, a site dedicated to her in English!”. Please note that this is just a fan site; this site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Oku Hanako or Pony Canyon. I do not own any of the songs or images, and no copyright infringement is intended.

Hello, tPenguinLTG here, the author of `The Penguin’ says… . I never thought I’d ever get into Japanese music, let alone make a whole blog about a Japanese artist.

Just to be clear, I am not into J-pop. Read my story to see why I make an exception for Oku Hanako.

Adding to the story, I started a “playlists” mailing list to share my music with my friends more easily (this list eventually ended up on my blog along with the other lists). It seemed that I was making Oku Hanako playlists more easily and more often. Eventually, I started emailing my closest friends who helped me through The “Predicament” various things about Oku Hanako, including new songs that I got and some little tidbits that I’ve learned about her. It became a mailing list without me realizing it. As with my other mailing lists, I figured it would be better on a blog, but I couldn’t put it in `The Penguin’ says… because it didn’t fit (in more than one sense), so I started this blog. Besides, to my knowledge, there are no other sites in English that is dedicated to Oku Hanako; they’re all in Japanese!

My plan is to post a song or playlist every Saturday at 0:00 UTC.

If you notice any errors or find a broken link or video, please tell me about it so I can fix it.
If you’d like to contribute as an author, send me a request and I’ll consider it. Please include in your request a reason why I should let you contribute as an author.
If you have a trustworthy translation, please submit it.

I hope you’ll enjoy her music as much as I do!


  • When listening to a song, listen up to at least the end of the first chorus. By doing that, you give the song a fair chance by letting it reach a local apex. Hanako-san often has little gems hidden in the notes leading up to and in the chorus.
  • This blog uses Japanese characters. If you don’t have a font with support for Japanese characters, you may see squares, blocks or question marks in the place of these characters. This Wikipedia page will help you test for support and includes instructions on how to add support if you don’t have it.
  • Since this is a blog in English, it wouldn’t be fair for me to send you to a site in a different language without warning you first. Therefore, external links pointing to websites in Japanese will be postfixed with [jp].
  • The convention used on this blog for presenting both the Hepburn romanization (traditional) and the Japanese script is roumaji / ローマ字 . That is, the romanization (half-width), a space (half-width), a forward slash (half-width), a space (half-width), and the Japanese (full-width). For simplicity, this will only be done the first time the Japanese name/song/word/whatever is mentioned in a post.
  • The pltg prefix in pltgokuhanako (in the site URL) is taken from the capital letters in my username: tPenguinLTG.


  • Uncategorized: Posts filed here doesn’t fit into the categories below.
  • Japanese: Little tidbits of Japanese that I’ve learned as a result of “The Predicament”.
  • News: News about Oku Hanako.
  • Oku Hanako: Anything to do with Oku Hanako

    • Images: Images featuring Oku Hanako.
    • Playlists: Playlists of Oku Hanako’s music. Playlists will occasionally contain songs from other artists. The playlist tracks will be embedded into the page.
    • Songs: Posts dedicated to one of Oku Hanako’s songs. Songs will be presented in an embedded player; the source will primarily be YouTube, but may also be a stream from Zing, 163.net or others if I can’t find the song on YouTube.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,

    today I found an english translation of one of my favorite songs from Hanako – Hatsukoi (actually one of the very few songs using a big arrangement that I really like of her, normally I prefer her and a keyboard alone).

    I always expected that the lyrics must be pretty sad by just listening to the song, but I was still very much moved by reading the actual words. This makes this song even more intense for me – and even more wonderful!


    PS: here the lyrics:

    First Love

    By Oku Hanako

    I thought I know everything about you
    your clumsiness, your cat-like tongue, and your awkwardness over the phone

    but there’s one thing that I didn’t know
    it was that you had said you didn’t like me anymore

    when did it begin to change
    why do I never realize it?
    with all memories that we had together
    I thought from now on, we will be together forever

    you’re a friend, from today on, you’re a friend
    I’ll never say I like you anymore
    don’t go further than this, I don’t care if the only thing I can do is looking at you
    I won’t call you by your name, I won’t walk by your side
    I won’t call you if there’s nothing important
    that’s why, please, don’t say that we’re not going to meet anymore

    I always show you beautiful things that I found
    and even now, I still have a habit of taking pictures of it

    I copy the way you walk and talk on my way to bus stop
    I’m sorry that I got mad and sulk easily over trivial thing
    I wish I could be more honest

    your profile, your speaking habit
    I hurt them too much that it hurts
    don’t go further than this, I don’t care if I could only look at you
    I’m fine with being just friend, I’m fine with not being special
    I won’t cry in front of you anymore
    that’s why, please, don’t say that we’re not going to meet anymore

    you’re a friend, from today on, you’re a friend
    I always tell that to myself
    the place where you laugh
    is a place that we cannot go to anymore

    walking together under the sakura lined path, watching the fireworks together by the shore
    when the dried leaves fall, the pure white snowy day
    you were always with me and I will never forget that
    because I will never call you by your name anymore, because I will never walk by your side anymore
    because I will never call when there’s nothing important anymore
    that’s why, please, don’t say goodbye

    • Woah, I should make a rule about posting lyrics…

      I already had the translation for it, but thanks anyway. Also, make it a habit to link back to your source (“cite your source”) so we know where it’s from. This is by Tsukiokuhime, isn’t it?

      A small request: please post general comments at the bottom of the Contact page so we don’t clutter up the About page (I don’t remember why I left comments open here, but it’s a little too late now…).

      Hatsukoi is very moving, even if it is a little overused. I especially like the energy built up through to the interlude. As with most of her songs, she sings it as if she has personally experienced it, although whenever I read translations of interviews, I always get the impression that she says she writes these songs because someone else experienced it. It’s a sad song indeed, and the music video fits very well.

      The plan was to post this song in October. I can’t post all her singles too soon and run out; I have to spread them out a little. The single was released in March, but it feels like an October song for me.

  2. Hi,

    I can fully understand what you experienced! I followed the same route and consider myself today a real fan of Hanako Oku. Her songs are a mix of the simplicity of a childs song combined with sometimes really exciting musical ideas. Her presentation always gets me right at my heart. Just wonderful!

    Andreas from Munich/Germany

    • Ooh, a fan all the way from Germany. Welcome, Andreas! I hope you’ll enjoy the posts and contribute to the discussions.
      Her songs touch us all, sometimes inexplicably. Perhaps when I have enough regular readers (and the number is steadily increasing) I’ll put up a poll to compile a list of reasons why we like Oku Hanako to finally figure out this mystery.

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