Translation for Ichibanboshi / 一番星

Ichibanboshi / 一番星: “First star” (of the evening).

Today I’ve decided to feature a translation of “Ichibanboshi” by new translator, Daniel. He expressed his desire to contribute translations to the site about two months ago and will be doing so by posting them to his Tumblr blog. There are seven more that I will post sometime.

Before I read the translation, back when I first heard the song and didn’t know any Japanese, I had assumed it was a wish on the first star of the night. Of course, this being Oku Hanako, it isn’t as simple as that.

The singer is reminded of someone when she sees the first star of the night and she wants to use the star as a way to communicate to that person. It reminds me a lot of the song “Somewhere Out There” by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt from the movie, An American Tail.

There’s a lot of interesting language used in this song, some that you don’t typically find in her other songs. What interesting lines do you see in this song? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks again, Daniel, for your hard work! I look forward to reading more of your translations.

Lyrics →

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Translation for Tomoshibi / 灯ーともしびー

Tomoshibi / 灯: “light”, “lamp”, or “lamp light”; possibly also referring to the light source. The pronunciation is given in hiragana (ともしび) because 灯 can be read in multiple ways.

Here we have another translation from Edward, this time of Tomoshibi / 灯. He actually posted this about a month ago, but as evident in my lack of recent posts, I hadn’t gotten the chance until now to share it. As always, I highly recommend you read his translation notes in his post.

Even with such a clear translation, I still have no idea what this song is about. Anyone with any insights, please do leave a comment and share.

Lyrics →

Translation for Ashita Saku Hana / 明日咲く花

Ashita Saku Hana / 明日咲く花: “the flower that blooms tomorrow”.

Happy (middle of) May! Cherry blossom season just ended in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and so this song is quite apt. Speaking of which, this was possibly the most difficult translation I’ve done yet! There are just some Japanese phrases that don’t have a literal English translation upon first glance. For instance:

もう一度は僕らは 想い描いてゆく 真っ白な世界を
Mouichido bokura wa omoi egaite yuku masshiro na sekai wo

Omoi (思い) means thoughts or feelings; it can be connected with verbs like dasu (出す, “to come out”) to become a new verb (in this case, omoidasu: 思い出す, “to remember”, or literally “to draw out a thought”). Now, egaite yuku (描いてゆく) means “to draw/paint away”… so when you string that with omoi, what do you think it means?

At first I thought it meant “to paint from one’s feelings”. Then, I decided to look up the (semi-)infinitive form omoiegaku (思い描く). It turns out it means “to imagine”! Literally, it means “to paint thoughts”. What a beautiful way to convey that concept! 🙂

I don’t think I did this song justice, but I hope you get a feel for its beauty through this translation!


Lyrics

Translation

I want to search for it,
All the way to the place that shines,
In order to entrust to you the flower that blooms tomorrow

Being swayed away by the wind, still walking along an unseen path,
At my feet, there is a small seed that has fallen onto the ground

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
I want to show it to you—this seed that sparkles like a gem
Right now, it’s even illuminating the path that I must face

To someday be able to go to the place that shines,
I will continue to search for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
What I found, what you lost
We’re starting to walk once more

I wanted you to see the beautiful seed, but when we met up,
The seed had already lost its glow inside this hand of mine

Just when did I forget those precious things?
This seed can’t go on living in the palm of my hand

I’m sure I’ll be able to return to the place that shines, so
I will continue searching for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
The way things should be, the strength that holds fast,
Once again, we’ll be imagining away a pure white world

Beneath the expansive sky, time is flowing on
Passing through the ever-changing seasons
Making our flowers bloom

To someday be able to go to the place that can shine,
I will search for the light that exists somewhere in this earth
What I found, what you lost
In order to be able to pass on the flower that blooms tomorrow
The way things should be, the strength that holds fast,
We’re starting to walk once more

Translation by Rosanne

Aoi Heya / 青い部屋

Aoi Heya / 青い部屋: “blue room”

aoi / 青い
“blue”
heya / 部屋
“room”

“Aoi Heya” appeared as the eight track on her 2009 album, BIRTHDAY. As Solarblade put it, “She really shows off her skills in the song”, and I agree: her piano playing is really captivating in this song. Her singing is pretty good, too: it’s clear and controlled, but with a lot of emotion.

The song is a sad one, and even with a translation, I still don’t quite understand it. Regardless, the way she sings and plays makes you understand that the speaker is suffering, and that’s one of the things that makes this a good song.


青い部屋 [music.163.com]

The end of the bridge could have used a pedal thud, though. Other than that, great job, Oku-san!

Lyrics→

Tomoshibi / 灯ーともしびー

Tomoshibi / 灯: “light”, “lamp”, or “lamp light”; possibly also referring to the light source. The pronunciation is given in hiragana (ともしび) because 灯 can be read in multiple ways.

I just had a thought that Shunkashuutou / 春夏秋冬 may have been a more fitting song to post given the start of autumn and all, but Tomoshibi seemed to fit better in a playlist after Aisareteitai / 愛されていたい. They’re both very similar, anyway, so I suppose it wouldn’t have made too much of a difference. They’re both slow songs, so don’t expect to enjoy them too much if you’re up for an upbeat song. Having said that, Tomoshibi is a very calming and thought-provoking song, so you may find yourself surprised if you are in the mood for an upbeat song (provided you can get past the first chorus).

Tomoshibi is the last track on Oku Hanako’s 2009 album, BIRTHDAY. I’m not sure what it is about the song, but I find it has a familiar feel to it. It’s warm and somewhat reminiscent of Kaette Oide / 帰っておいで (2006) or the stuff on her radio show.

She shows of some of her best vocals from the album in this song, so this song is definitely worth a listen.


[中文字幕]奧華子 灯-ともしび-.wmv by Sasha Lin

We hear her experimenting a bit with voice layering in this album, and it turned out quite well with this song. The addition of the instruments after the first chorus help add energy and move the song along; apparently, it was enough for Solarblade to like the song, so you know it has to be good.

Lyrics →

Fireflies

Hotarubi / 蛍火

Hotarubi / 蛍火: “glow of fireflies”

hotaru / 蛍
“firefly”
hi / 火
“fire”. Pronounced “bi” / び because of rendaku.

“Hotarubi” is track 10 on Oku Hanako’s 2009 album “BIRTHDAY”. The first time I heard this song, I was in a dark room with not much more light than that from my laptop. That’s probably part of what contributes to my opinion here, but I think the feel of the song is very fitting to its title: dark, with a soft source of light.

A little warning, though: don’t listen to this song when you’re in the mood for something upbeat because you probably won’t appreciate it. Try listening to it before you go to bed.


蛍火 (Hotarubi) – Hanako Oku [zing.vn]
Lyrics→

Translation for Chocolate / チョコレート

Chocolate / CHOKORĒTO / チョコレート

I decided to translate this song because it sounded sweet (ha-ha), light-hearted and fun! Despite its cuteness, though, there are still some sad undertones that caught me by surprise. Like bittersweet chocolates indeed.


Lyrics

Translation

I wonder when I started to fall in love with you
Feeling happier just by gazing at it,
Not letting anyone else see,
Wanting to keep it to myself—
This love is like sweet chocolates in a box

Straight away, straight away
I leapt right into your heart

Saying “I love you” many times over
In an almost-crushing embrace
Hand in hand, I felt that we could go anywhere
I want to gaze at you always
And be closer to you than anyone else
My heart feels so warm, that the sweet chocolates
Look as if they’ve already melted away

Even if I stretched myself, I wouldn’t be able to close the distance with you
And it’s a little painful, like bittersweet chocolates
Just being by my side, even my uneasy feelings are forgotten
Don’t laugh at me on the side for being so naïve

Wherever you are,
Whatever you’re doing
I can only think about you

Always saying “I love you”
In an shy-like embrace
This scent, this place—
I don’t want to give it away to anyone else
Your hand on my shoulder has made me melt even further
I’ll try to hide them in the refrigerator
The sweet chocolates are already only mine

Straight away, straight away
I leapt right into your heart

Saying “I love you” many times over
In an almost-crushing embrace
Hand in hand, I felt that we could go anywhere
I want to gaze at you always
And be closer to you than anyone else
Two people’s hearts melting together;
It looks as if the sweet chocolates have already melted
Translation by Rosanne