blue green

blue green

“blue green” is track 3 of Oku Hanako’s 2014 album, “Kimi to Boku no Michi” / 君と僕の道. Out of the new songs on that album, this must have been the second one I listened to (the first one being Period / ピリオド). Just like Period / ピリオド did, this song left me breathtaken the first time I heard it.

We have a translation today by Edward from the Chinese translation. Be sure to head over to his site to read the translation notes. To quote Edward:

The lyrics appear to be about the singer breaking up with the listener. This surprised me because I found the tune mesmerising and tranquil, so I was expecting the lyrics to be about a reflection on living instead of on a romance.

Edward and I also exchanged some ideas about the meaning of the title “blue green”. Based on the information in an article about the meaning of colours in Japanese culture, we think it could refer to the purity or genuineness that the singer wants in her relationship. With all the references to the sky in the lyrics, it could also allude to the sky’s colour. While researching this, I also came across an interesting Wikipedia article discussing blue/green distinction in different languages.

blue green by Mochammad Farhan Amrozy [SoundCloud]

The reverberation in this song really adds the feeling of being alone in a vast expanse, and with all the references to the sky and being alone, it certainly fits. It kind of reminds me of “rebirth” with a drum line like Tsumiki / 積木.

Arrangement-wise, this song is actually pretty light in its instrumentation. From what I hear, the accompaniment is her keyboard with a lot of reverb, the drums and a synthesizer lead. I’m actually surprised that it sounds really full even with just these, but I guess a 16ths rhythm on the drums and adding lots of reverb is enough to do that.

Lyrics →


Translation for Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話

Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話: “On the phone with you”

anata / あなた
to / と
denwa / (でん)()

It’s about time I’ve posted another translation. You like listening to this song on your morning commute, so here’s Daniel’s translation of Anata to Denwa.

I think this is honestly one of the most adorable songs I’ve ever heard. I also think Oku Hanako’s voice is just perfect for this song. When I’m feeling down, this is a song I sometimes play to feel better (after a whole bunch of sad songs though, haha).

If you’re interested, Edward also has his own translation from the Chinese.

Lyrics →

Shiwakucha / しわくちゃ

Shiwakucha / しわくちゃ: “Wrinkled”

Happy Valentine’s Day! I had a bit of trouble deciding what song to post for the occasion, but I decided on this one after remembering Edward’s translation and I think it fits nicely.

“Shiwakucha” is track 10 on Oku Hanako’s 2015 album Kimi to Boku no Michi / 君と僕の道. It’s an upbeat song with beautiful lyrics about the singer wanting to be with her partner until they’re both wrinkled. I like how she mentions that they argue sometimes (occasional argument is actually a sign of a healthy relationship), and more importantly that she mentions that they make up in the end. I get vibes of true love (ai / 愛, not koi / 恋) reading these lyrics, much like with Shiawase no Kagami / しあわせの鏡.

Musically, it’s like Lip Cream / リップクリーム or Present / プレゼント but in her recent style. I’m also reminded of Wasurerareta Kinenbi / 忘れられた記念日 and Chocolate / チョコレート. Style aside, this song is unique because all the syllables she fits into the verses. It’s difficult to do that without making it sound too forced, and I think she does a decent job at it.

しわくちゃ (Shiwakucha) – Hanako Oku []

I echo Edward’s comment: this song is great, but I would love to hear a hikigatari rendition of it.

Lyrics →

Translation for 10 Nen / 10年

10 (Juu) Nen / 10年: “10 years”

Happy 10/10! 🙂

I must say, the nostalgia in this song hit me right in the feels. Some of my very best friends were the ones I met at school, and the different good, bad and crazy experiences we went through together is reminiscent of the special “bond” between old friends that Oku Hanako sings about. Readers, do you have any special memories or bonds with old school friends?

For today’s Japanese translation tidbit, I’ll share something interesting I learned from the first line of the song:

Kudaranai hanashi de waraiatte

kudaranai (くだらない) = “useless, empty”
hanashi (話) = “talk”
 (笑い) = “laugh”
atte (from au 合う) = “to come together”

Initially I thought this whole clause meant “to come together and laugh while speaking empty words/making small talk”… but that definitely sounded too unwieldy for such a short Japanese phrase. I looked it up, and discovered that au (合う) added to any verb makes it reflexive or collaborative. Some examples of this use are mitsumeau (見つめ合う, “to look at each other”), shiriai (知り合い, “an acquaintance”), hanashiau (話し合う, “to talk with each other”). Waraiau (or waraiatte in the progressive form) hence means “to laugh together”, and the whole phrase means “laughing together with empty words”.



Saying things like “Just like old times!”
Laughing together at empty words,
Friends meeting again after 10 years
Are almost like they were back in their school days

Even the kids who, after looking for jobs in their hometown, are always busy with work and romance
And the kids who, after getting married and being blessed with children, are starting to look completely like moms

Everyone, in their own ways, are carrying both different sorrows and joys as they go on, aren’t they?
Even if not much is said, an air of contentment can be felt.

Even if we live in different towns,
Even if 10 more years were to pass,
Let’s meet again, alright?
We’ll be able to meet again, right?
I’m sustained by the never-changing memories

Those days, we did things however we pleased
There were times that we let loose, but
Since when did we start fearing getting hurt,
and being unable to do anything?

Exposing everyone’s weaknesses, there were times that we all cried together
Nowadays, as the number of things and people in our care grows,
Everyone everyday is fighting their own battles

Don’t you have any regrets,
Asking “What if, back then?” or “What if I hadn’t chosen this?”
Because the present—everything in front of our eyes—is a treasure

Even if our paths home are different,
And even if we don’t hear each other’s voices all the time
Keep laughing; wherever you are today, under the sky that connects us, I feel that I can keep going

If, for instance, from this moment onwards you are feeling hopeless and in the midst of adversity,
Don’t you forget that you have a supporting friend here too!

Even if we live in different towns,
Even if 10 more years were to pass,
Let’s meet again, alright?
We’ll be able to meet again, right?
I’m sustained by the never-changing memories

Translation by Rosanne

10 Nen / 10年

10 (Juu) Nen / 10年: “10 years”

nen / 年
“year”, counter for years

I thought it fitting to post this song with all the 10s floating around recently: Oku Hanako’s 10th anniversary of being a major artist, and with Windows 10 having been released yesterday, and even Thoughts on Oku Hanako’s second annviersary (2 is written 10 in binary).

10 Nen is track 7 on Oku Hanako’s most recent album to date, Kimi to Boku no Michi / 君と僕の道. I’d say it’s a pretty typical Oku Hanako song, but I again mean that in a good way; it even has her signature arpeggiated chord at the end, unlike a more recent song (yes, I’m still a little upset about that).

10年 []

I like this song. Maybe it’s my preconception of it, but for me, it invokes the feeling of “Look how far I’ve come! I’m glad I ended up where I am, and thank you to everyone who has helped me get here”; a sense of accomplishment, looking back, if you will.

Lyrics →

Translation for Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 : “winter fireworks”

fuyu / 冬
hanabi / 花火
“fireworks” (lit. flower-like fire)

hana / 花
hi / 火
“fire”. Pronounced bi / び because of rendaku.

Edward recently posted his translation of Fuyu Hanabi. While a good one, he did also link to one by Misa-chan. I’ve decided to give priority to translations from the original Japanese and that’s what I updated the post with, but they’re both worth a read.

To comment on the lyrics, they are indeed about a girl and her unrequited love being likened to winter fireworks, as I posted way back when we were still waiting for the single to be released. She likes a guy who likes another girl, one of her friends. The singer and the guy are presumably close friends because he confides in her about his feelings for her friend. I feel for her, and Oku Hanako does a great job at expressing those feelings in the song.

Unrequited love isn’t a new theme that’s explored in Oku Hanako’s songs. One that immediately comes to mind is Kataomoi / 片思い (“unrequited love”), one of her indies songs. However, Kataomoi takes a different attitude towards it because, as much as she wants to be together with the one she likes, the singer is more okay with being just friends.

Thanks again to Edward and Misa-chan for doing these translations!

Lyrics →

Translation for HIKARI

HIKARI: romanization of 光, meaning “light”

Reader Edward has graciously donated a translation for HIKARI, my favourite song on Kimi to Boku no Michi / 君と僕の道, based on the Chinese translation that came with his copy of the album. Although it’s a translation of a translation, it still seems true to the original song, from what I can pick out. It really brings out the beauty in the song.

Edward comments:

As luck would have it, I recently bought my first Oku Hanako albums and they were the ones for distribution in Taiwan. As such they came with extra booklets with lyrics in Traditional Chinese. I was taught in Simplified Chinese in primary school so I changed the script to Simplified Chinese and translated that to English. I have not used my Chinese regularly for several years now so translating took quite a bit of time and effort.

He has also been inspired to translate the other songs for which he has a Chinese translation for, and has set up a blog for it. Given the nature of the blog, I’ll likely shamelessly reblog everything.

Thanks, Edward, and good luck with the rest of the translations!



If I could convey my innermost thoughts to you
I would want to convey them much, much more expressively than saying thank you

In days that frustrate me, in days that I want to give up
You always believe I am fine
And that I can work harder. Encouraging me in this way
It is always you

Thank you, it is only because of you that I am able to continue on the path I chose
That always unchanging smile has helped me through hardship several times
I have many thanks for it

The first dream I imagined is being shared between us
My irreplaceable friend is closer to me

Laughing together and having cried together
Being like this does not need talking
Even if far apart I still hope these voices can reach each other. This is what I always think

Thank you for your light that always shines on me
I can be stronger at any time. Thank you for your warm light

Tears turn to smiles in the changing seasons
I hope I can also be a light for someone

I am thankful that our paths crossed. Now I really am happy
I have many thanks for that always unchanging smile

Thank you with all my heart

Translation by Edward