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
“you”
to / と
“with”
denwa / (でん)()
“phone”

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 →

Translation for Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 : “winter fireworks”

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

hana / 花
“flower”
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 →

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
“you”
to / と
“with”
denwa / 電話
“phone”

It hasn’t even been a year since Fuyu Hanabi was released, but I felt posting Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話 seemed fitting for some reason.

Anata to Denwa is the lighter song in the single, meant to contrast the sadness of Fuyu Hanabi.

Listen and see if it doesn’t make you smile.


あなたと電話 [music.163.com]

This song is another example of her supplying her own background vocals, something that’s more apparent in the instrumental version. I found that the song was similar to Fuyu Hanabi in its style. Like most of her songs, it ends with her signature arpeggiated chord, and thus ends satisfyingly.

Lyrics →

What happens in Hanako Oku’s music video for FUYUHANABI ?

Regular reader Denny Sinnoh posted an analysis of the music video for Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 on his blog. Admittedly, most of Oku Hanako’s music videos are of her playing or walking around, but Fuyu Hanabi had more substance to it. I find this analysis gives the song a little more meaning.

Denny Sinnoh

I have been enjoying my new Hanko Oku CD + DVD these past two weeks.  I am a huge Oku fan, however sometimes I cannot figure out exactly what is happening in some of her music videos.  In this report, I will provide my impression of  what is transpiring in the new video.  I know.  I might as well try to figure out the end of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” … but here goes …

Please note that I am providing my interpretation of the VIDEO — not the song.  The music video director may have a different vision than Hanako Oku did when she wrote the song.  My null hypothesis is that the song is basically about love gone wrong, or broken hearts.  It is a general Oku theme.  However, Oku-san is very good at musically fleshing out such concepts.  I’m going to assume that the Mariya Suzuki character…

View original post 554 more words

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 : “winter fireworks”

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

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

Oku Hanako’s new single is finally here! It was released today—actually, yesterday if you want to be technical. Lucky you: you get this week’s song early.
For those who don’t know, she made an announcement in late November. It’s been two years since her last single, Cinderella / シンデレラ .

If you were one of the early buyers, you would have gotten something like this, too:

Fuyu Hanabi clearfile

A sample of the clearfile given to early buyers

It’s the clearfile (size A5) that was given to early purchasers. Also given out were lottery tickets for attendance to the live event, both given with the purchase of the single.

I know you’re excited to hear it, so I won’t delay you any longer. Here you are, Fuyu Hanabi:

Hanako Oku – Fuyu Hanabi by Tadanga [JPopsuki]

My prediction was right: it is heavily arranged. It may not be as heavy as Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai or Garasu no Hana, but it’s heavy enough for me to count it.

When I listen to this song, I can hear elements from all over her discography: it’s mostly reminiscent of Utakata and good-bye, but a touch of vol.best is apparent, too. It’s almost like this is a bit of a summary of what she’s done so far, with some new things to look forward to. With every album, she seems to create a slightly new sound for herself while still keeping true to the overall “Oku Hanako” feel. Hearing Fuyu Hanabi, I don’t think her next album will be an exception.

I will be honest, I think that Fuyu Hanabi could use a little more “oomph”. Also, Oku Hanako and the other woman in the music video look a little robotic, almost putting them into the uncanny valley. The song itself, too, has this eerily familiar feel to it, as if someone else in my music library has done something like it, but I can’t seem to “put a finger” to it.

Criticism aside, I think it’s a fairly well-done song. I especially like what the strings do after the first chorus, going into the second verse. Now, as to the question of whether she arranged this song herself, I can’t say for sure. It would be very impressive if she did, but there are bits which don’t seem like something she’d do if she did arrange it. We’ll just have to wait until her discography page[jp] gets updated to find out. Update: According to the Japanese Wikipedia article for Fuyu Hanabi, she didn’t arrange it herself.

Lyrics →

Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 : A new single to be released in January!

UPDATE 2014-01-22: Fuyu Hanabi has been released!


I was wondering when she’d come out with new material. I’m very excited!

Yesterday, Oku Hanako posted about her upcoming single, Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 (“winter fireworks”). This will be her 13th single and it will be released on January 22, 2014 for ¥1,260 (tax included; in US dollars, that’s about $12.50, but of course, with shipping fees, it’ll come out to be much more).

The track list is as follows:

  1. Fuyu Hanabi / 冬花火 [“winter fireworks“]
  2. Anata to Denwa / あなたと電話 [“phone call with you”]
  3. Nukumori / ぬくもり [“warmth“]
  4. Fuyu Hanabi (Piano Hikigatari) / 冬花火(ピアノ弾き語り)
  5. Fuyu Hanabi (Instrumental) / 冬花火(Instrumental)
  6. Anata to Denwa (Instrumental) / あなたと電話(Instrumental)

From the track list, I gather that Fuyu Hanabi is arranged (something I would expect from one of her singles). Since it has a piano hikigatari version, it’s probably more heavily arranged, like Anata ni Suki to Iwaretai or Garasu no Hana (although Koi Tsubomi and Hanabi had a hikigatari version and weren’t that heavily arranged), or perhaps like Genki de Itene. If Fuyu Hanabi is heavy, Anata no Denwa will be lighter and more upbeat, further suggested by the inclusion of an instrumental version. Nukumori is probably going to be a slower hikigatari track to balance things out. (see the update about Nukumori)

Update 2013-11-30: She has just released the cover art:

Fuyu Hanabi cover art

Fuyu Hanabi cover art

The Generasia wiki page has also been updated.

According to her post, early purchasers and those with reservations to the premium live event will also receive a limited edition Oku Hanako-design mini clearfile (size A5; if anyone can enlighten me on what a clearfile is, please do so!). I misunderstood it. One of the things to be given out is “a special lottery application postcard to attend a premium live event” (generasia).

It’s only about two months until January 22. I can hardly wait!


Unfortunately, I won’t be able to post any of the material from this single for about a year because I have to let the YouTube videos stabilize (although if we’re lucky, Pony Canyon will post the music video for Fuyu Hanabi and I can post that). But don’t worry, she still has a lot more songs we can go through.

Sorry, I mention singles in this post as if you should know what I’m talking about. This is partly my fault because I haven’t gotten around to building the discography page. If anyone would like to help me, please contact me.