Kumo Yori mo Tooku / 雲よりも遠く

Kumo Yori mo Tooku / 雲よりも遠く: “Further Than Even the Clouds”

kumo / (くも)
yori / より
“more than”
mo / も
A particle meaning “also” or “even”
tooku / (とお)

The Delta Aquariids meteor shower peaks this Friday night/Saturday morning, and meteors are certainly farther than the clouds.

“Kumo Yori mo Tooku” is the first track on her self-produced indies single vol.1, reappearing again as the second track on vol.best.

I never realized how much of a sad song this is. We have a translation today by Icepath that reveals the singer longing for a former lover who left her for someone else. Her love is out of reach, further than even the clouds. Heavy stuff; this is her indies for you.

The chorus features Oku Hanako trying to hit higher notes. Not surprisingly, she doesn’t hit them as well as she would today (for example, see Ai to Iu Takaramono / 愛という宝物); it comes out a little airy and a bit jarring. Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend having someone new to Oku Hanako’s works listen to this just yet. For those of us who have been fans for a while, we can use this to show just how much she’s improved as a singer. That said, I’ve heard this song enough times that it doesn’t sound out-of-place for me.

Kumo Yori mo Tooku-Oku Hanako **Sub español+ Letra romaji** by Azura Allazjward Kurosu [YouTube]

She really brings out the longing in her singing, and the hikigatari piano adds a fitting sense of loneliness.

On the lyrics, I wonder if the singer is actually meant to be male. The singer went to lengths to buy a ring, which is traditionally bought by the man, and she uses the masculine pronoun boku / 僕.

Lyrics →


Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく

Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく: “Drops of Love”

ai / 愛
no / の
A particle that acts as a modifier. Roughly equivalent to “of”
shizuku / しずく

In recognition of the upcoming All Songs Live! Blu-ray BOX, today’s song will be the titular song of Oku Hanako’s first indies release, the mini-album from 2000, Ai no Shizuku / 愛のしずく.

According to Generasia, the mini album was limited to only 1000 copies and was only sold at live events. As I had pointed out in a previous post, this release has been auctioned for even more than the Blu-ray BOX.

This song appeared as the opening track of the mini album. Outside of the mini album, the only other time this song has appeared in her releases was in her 2010 Christmas concert DVD released in 2011. It will appear again in the All Songs Live! Blu-ray BOX.

The old name for this song is “Good Night” and was listed so for the LAPIN ET HALOT performance on June 25, 1996.

奥華子 レア曲 by 爆走チャーリー [Nico Nico Douga]

Compared to the rest of the songs on the mini album, this is the one that sounds the most typical, even if Sonna Kigashita / そんな気がした ended up on vol.best and not this song.

Lyrics →

Translation for Hanabi / 花火

Hanabi / 花火: “fireworks”.

This translation is just in time for the summer, and for Oku Hanako’s 10th anniversary re-release of the same song. The lyrics of this song capture that wistful feeling of a lost summer’s love quite well (especially that last line!). One of the strongest and most poignant parts is the following few lines (direct translations in parentheses):

待ち合わせ 浴衣姿の君
Machiawase (a rendezvous) yukata-sugata no kimi (you, in the figure of a yukata)
(in embarrassment/awkwardness) nani mo ienakatta (can’t say anything)

You may have noticed that the lines above are almost entirely composed of just predicates. Aside from leaving out explicit pronouns, Japanese songs also tend to leave out prepositions and conjunctions (e.g. the Japanese particles for “at”, “in”, “and”). It’s both a cultural and a musical thing—if you think about it, many English songs also leave out those little connector words. Without these particles, it was a little tough to figure out what the song was actually trying to convey. Using the context, however, the lyrics could be interpreted as: “We met up (as planned), and you were in a yukata. (This time) It felt awkward, though, and so I wasn’t able to say anything.”

What do you think?



The summer’s day I fell in love with you,
Hearing the sound of ocean waves on the way home
That was the first time we kissed, wasn’t it?
We were always making promises to each other
Quietly sneaking out in the middle of the night, we searched for stars together

That day’s scribbles written on the sand
Still haven’t vanished from my heart, even now

The fireworks we saw as we looked up at the summer night sky
Burned in my heart until it hurt
You tried to reach for them on tiptoe countless times, and laughed
With your tears, and my weakness—I believed we would have the same future
I hid away into the night sky the feelings that threatened to spill out

If I had been more affectionate,
If I hadn’t been hesitant,
Would I have been able to take you far away?

We met up, you clad in a yukata
But in my awkwardness, I was unable to say anything

The fireworks we saw as we looked up at the summer night sky
Burned in my heart until it hurt
Colliding with a surging crowd and trying to cut through,
We were looking for a place to be alone by ourselves
I believed that the answer was on the other side of the passing breeze
I gripped your hand tightly so that our interlocked hands wouldn’t break apart

I love you,
I love you!
I shouted it out but my voice didn’t carry
The fireworks we saw as we looked up at the summer night sky
Burned in my heart until it hurt
I believed that the answer was on the other side of the passing breeze
I clung on tightly to the feelings that threatened to spill out

The summer’s day you were there

Translation by Rosanne

Namida no Iro / 涙の色

Namida no Iro / 涙の色: “Colour of tears”

namida / 涙
no / の
A particle indicating the possessive. Roughly equivalent to “of”.
iro / 色

“Namida no Iro” is another one of Oku Hanako’s indies songs. It first appeared on vol.2, and later on vol.best. If I remember correctly, this was one of my “original 14”, so this one brings back memories.

As with many of her indies songs, it’s a simple-sounding yet heartfelt song. She makes it clear that the speaker is saddened. I think “colour of tears” is metaphorical in that the song isn’t talking about the colour of the tears, but rather saying that the mood has or is painted with the colour of tears, or in other words, it’s a sad mood. It may also have a deeper meaning if you take iro / 色 to have something to do with love, but I don’t think that definition quite fits here.

涙の色 ♪奥華子 by Relation -of-the-heart [YouTube]

If you think that photo of the Lawson store (2:18) is out of place, it isn’t really: she mentions a convenience store (KONBINI / コンビニ) at that time in the song. (Yes, Denny, I’m addressing your YouTube comment)

Lyrics →



Here’s an odd one from her indies days. “ta.la.la” is the second track of her 2004 indies single, “Hanabi”. It’s odd in that it’s heavily arranged with voice layering, which contrasts almost all of her other indies works, which are hikigatari. Having said that, I’ve grown to appreciate it.

I’m surprised, that she agreed to do it, though, because the impression that I got from a machine translation of her history pages[jp] is that she refused to do anything but piano hikigatari.

Regardless, here it is for us to enjoy.

奥華子_ta.la.la by レオン・シュタイナー [Nico Nico Douga]

Lyrics →

Tsutaetai Kotoba / 伝えたい言葉

Tsutaetai Kotoba / 伝えたい言葉: “words I want to say”

tsutaetai / 伝えたい
“to want to say/convey/communicate”. This is the “desire” form of tsutaeru / 伝える (“to convey”, “to communicate”).
kotoba / 言葉

The translation on Generasia gives “cold words”, but I couldn’t figure out how that could be. Perhaps I should edit it.

Another one of her indies, and one of the better ones at that. Tsutaetai Kotoba first appeared in vol.3 and reappeared on vol.best. However, if I didn’t know that, I’d think that it’s from Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所.

From what I gather about the lyrics (and as usual, I could be completely wrong about this), the speaker is addressing one of her parents (I’m inclined to say her mother, but with little justification). I get the impression that her parent recently passed away and she wants to say “thank you” for all the things her parent has done for her. Given that, I don’t think Generasia’s translation of “cold words” fits at all.

伝えたい言叶 [music.163.com]

Oh, that interlude! She really knows how to build up energy and give feeling to the song.

This song reminds me a little of Tori to Kumo To Ao / 鳥と雲と青. They’re both indies-era songs, and although Tori to Kumo to Ao was on vol.1 and Tsutaetai Kotoba was on vol.3, the arranged version of Tori to Kumo to Ao was released on the next album (Yasashii Hana no Saku Basho / やさしい花の咲く場所). Come to think of it, there may not be any connection besides being from the same era.

Lyrics →

Wasurerareta Kinenbi / 忘れられた記念日

Wasurerareta Kinenbi / 忘れられた記念日: “forgotten anniversary”

wasurerareta / 忘れられた
“forgotten”. Passive form of the verb wasureru / 忘れる (“forget”).
kinenbi / 記念日

Whew, wasurerareta / 忘れられた is a mouthful! Just say it syllable by syllable: wa / わ, su / す, re / れ, ra / ら, re / れ, ta / た. Good!

“Wasurerareta Kinenbi” is one of Oku Hanako’s indies songs that didn’t make it to vol.best (which I find to be illogical because I consider it to be better than some of the songs on there). It appeared as the third track on vol.3, released in December 2004.

I’m not sure how the “forgotten” part of the title fits in with the song because the lyrics is about a couple’s second anniversary together.

Anyway, you’re in for a treat today!

奥華子全曲集 インディーズvol.1~4 by ichi [Nico Nico Douga]

If the beginning sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of Sonna Fuu ni Shika Ienai Kedo / そんな風にしか言えないけど, even if it is just the first note.

I can’t get over how cute this song is! I’ll even say that it pales TAKOYAKI in that respect. It’s not only the song, but the lyrics as well.

Excuse me while I go hit “Play” again…

Lyrics →