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 →

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

Kaette Oide / 帰っておいで

Kaette Oide / 帰っておいで: “Come back home”

kaette / 帰って
The te form of kaeru / 帰る, “to go home”
oide / おいで
“to come”, “to return”

“Come back here” is the translation given by the video below, and “come back to me” is the translation given by Generasia. There’s a chance that it’s wrong, but I think it works better if it’s “come back home”. I’ve tweaked the translation to match that. Please correct me if I’m wrong, of course.

Kaette Oide is the CF song (“commercial film” song) for the East Japan Railway Company’s ekinaka; the commercial is included later in this post. According to Yopie, The ekinaka (literally “inside a station”) is the space inside the train station that’s filled with shops. It’s actually a pretty smart idea, and business is growing.

As for the song itself, it’s relaxing and welcoming. Listening to it makes me feel like a student who wants to go back home for the summer. The song is really “nothing special”, but even that’s part of its charm.


Kaette Oide english and japanese by My Channel [YouTube]

Commercial and lyrics →

Time Card / タイムカード

Time Card / TAIMU KĀDO / タイムカード

I suppose you could say that “Time Card” is the titular song of the album, TIME NOTE, although that might be a stretch. “Time Card” is a hikigatari piece from 2007; I figured it’d be a nice change from the mainstream-sounding song from last week.

The song starts off somewhat slowly, and you might think it’s a little repetitive if you don’t understand the lyrics, but hold out until the chorus, because that’s where the song really gets its character.


タイムカード [music.163.com]

Admittedly, this is one of her more plain pieces and I wouldn’t call it one of her best, so it may take a slightly different approach to appreciate it fully. She plays well and sings beautifully, but I wouldn’t call this song very noteworthy, relatively speaking. However, I do find it enjoyable to listen to when nothing around me is moving.

Lyrics →

Hataraku Neko / 働くネコ

Hataraku Neko / 働くネコ: “Working Cat”

hataraku / 働く
“to work” (at a job)
neko / ネコ
猫, “cat”

If you’re lucky enough to have a copy of the special 3CD limited edition of “Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-” (or if you’re really lucky, the Hanako Box), then you would have heard this song on the third disc (“unreleased songs”).

Back in 2007, Oku Hanako was hired to provide the music for the renzoku called Yukipon no Oshigoto / ユキポンのお仕事 (“Yukipon’s Occupation”; English title “Working Cat a Go! Go!”. Official site[jp]). Hataraku Neko is the show’s theme song.

Hataraku Neko is… odd. Odd, but fun. I suppose the same could be said about the show.


働くネコ [music.163.com]

The beginning is the clip used to introduce each episode. I’ll be posting something about Yukipon no Oshigoto soon, so watch for it!

Lyrics →