Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街

Boku ga Umareta Machi / 僕が生まれた街: “The Streets Where I Was Born”

boku / (ぼく)
“I”, usually masculine
ga / が
Particle indicating the subject of the modifying clause
umareta / ()まれた
Past tense of umareru / ()まれる, “to be born”
machi / (まち)
“street”, “district”, “quarter”

“Boku ga Umareta Machi” is the second track on Oku Hanako’s 2007 album “TIME NOTE”. Fittingly, it was used as the CM song for a 2007 Chiba Prefecture tourism commercial (she was born in Chiba).

Unlike her more recent albums, half of the songs on “TIME NOTE” were hikigatari. This song was in the half that wasn’t.


奥華子_僕の生まれた街 by レオン・シュタイナー [Nico Nico Douga]

While coming up with things to say in this post, I accidentally wrote a translation (apparently in less time than the rest of the post). I haven’t checked it for any idioms and less obvious subtleties, but I think it’s clean enough to post. My translation notes are available.

Commercial and lyrics →

Genki de Ite ne / 元気でいてね

Genki de Ite ne / (げん)()でいてね: “Take Care”

genki / (げん)()
“healthy”, “energetic”, “good mood”
de / で
A particle marking indicating the means by which to do the action
ite / いて
te / て form of iru / いる (“to be” for animate beings). The te / て form makes this a request.
ne / ね
A particle that adds (light) emphasis.

The ne / ね is lost in translation, however, it need not be. You could translate the title as “Take Care, Okay?” to make the ne / ね explicit.

Today is Oku Hanako’s birthday! She turns 39 today. Because of time zones, the day is already mostly over for them in Japan.

The song I picked for today is a song of inspiration and perfectly says what I want to say to her this year: “Do your best, take a step forwards so you don’t regret doing nothing, and take care this year.” Genki de Ite ne was first released as the second-last track on Utakata / うたかた in 2010, and the seven years since then have been quite a journey for her. We have a translation of the lyrics from Edward today, and as always, make sure you read his translation notes.

This song has also been on a bit of a journey: at least two other notable versions of this song have appeared in her releases. The first is the 2012 acoustic version included as the second-last track on the Ai no Uta disc of her “Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-” compilation. The second is an a cappella live version included with her “CONCERT TOUR ’12 Hikigatari ~5th Letter~” DVD release. These two versions are considerably more mellow than the original. The version I’m featuring today is the original upbeat pop-style version.


元気でいてね 奥華子  genkideitene okuhanako YouTube by 大畑浩士 [YouTube]

Happy Birthday, Oku Hanako! お誕生日おめでとうございます!

Lyrics →

Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど

Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど: “Even Though I Have No Other Way to Say It”

sonna fuu ni / そんな風に
“that way”

sonna / そんな
“that”
fuu / 風
“style”
ni / に
A particle indicating a passive agent (“by”; Wiktionary etymology 2, definition 4)
shika / しか
“only”. Must be used with a verb in the negative form.
ienai / 言えない
“cannot say”. Negative potential form of 言う (“to say”). However, since this is used with shika / しか, the meaning is “can say” with a limitation.
kedo / けど
“but”

Valentine’s Day is here! Even though the majority of Oku Hanako’s songs are about love, it’s still difficult to choose one for today because about half of them are about unrequited love or a breakup.

“Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo” is one of Oku Hanako’s earlier songs, first appearing as track 4 on her first major album, Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / 優しい花の咲く場所, released in 2006. It was later released in her Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- 2012 collection as track 12 on disc 2.

Edward provides us with the translation for the title for today’s song (as well as the song itself). I chose his translation over the more literal translation “But I Can Only Say It That Way”, the one I put in the Generasia wiki, because I felt it fit better with the song. As usual, I encourage you to read his translation notes.


(MAD)うさぎドロップ~「そんな風にしか言えないけど」【奥華子】 by lemone [Nico Nico Douga]

This song was apparently also used as a CF song for a JA Kyosai[jp] commercial, but I unfortunately can’t find the commercial. According to Wikipedia, the English name for the company is the National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives. Edward has this to say about a possible reinterpretation of the song:

If the chorus is used in a commercial, as was the case when Kimi no Egao was used in a commercial, then a change in interpretation would be due to a change in who is delivering the message. In the song, it is someone who loves you. In an insurance company’s commercial, it’s someone who wants to do business with you. In the commercial, the message I imagine would be along the lines of “If you’re worried about something, why don’t let us worry about it instead? We can’t solve the problem for you, but we can insure you so that you don’t need to worry (about paying for anything) if the worst should happen”.

Lyrics →

Trump / トランプ

Trump / TORANPU / トランプ: “Playing Cards”

No, this has nothing to do with the current US presidential election.

My first encounter with Trump was while reading solarblade’s reviews back in 2013 or 2014. Piano ballads aren’t really his thing, so of course he found it was boring and said that it wasn’t really worth listening to. Unfortunately, having read his reviews, I listened to the song and, being influenced by his opinion at the time, also found it boring.

However, I listen to it now and I think it’s great, even if the lyrics are a bit painful. She also has a live version of this song on Cinderella, her 2012 single, which I think is just as good, if not better (and as usual, that will be posted eventually).


トランプ by ぐーちゃん [Nico Nico Douga]

I’ve included Edward’s translation below, but as always, you should go read his translation notes as well.

Lyrics →

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 →

Kataomoi / 片想い

Kataomoi / 片思い: “Unrequited Love”

Today we step into some Oku Hanako history. Kataomoi, according to her old biography page, was made in 1996 and is her first completed song. Her friends were making songs, so she gave it a shot. She was 18 at the time.

Kataomoi was first released as track 7 on vol.best and a live version was later included in her 2007 TIME NOTE concert release.

片想い - 奥華子《歌詞付き》・・・他の人を思っていても そんな事はどうでもいいの… by dm2green7coralreef [Dailymotion]

I found a translation of this song by Nakari Amane which I’ve included later in the post. I edited it somewhat because I felt certain lines could have been worded better and I have to say, the lyrics are quite impressive, especially for her first song. The lyrics are very rich. The lines that hit me the most are the last two lines of the last chorus:

片想いでも 友達でもいいから あなたを好きでいたい
Kataomoi demo tomodachi demo ii kara Anata wo suki de itai
でもいつか私の気持ちに 答えてくれると信じさせて
Demo itsuka watashi no kimochi ni Kotaete kureru to shinjisasete

which Nakari Amane translated as (with my edits):

It’s fine even if it’s unrequited, even if we’re just friends
I still want to love you
But let me believe that someday you will answer my feelings

Lyrics →

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 →