Happy Birthday to “The Pancake House Girl” Hanako Oku!

I reblog Denny’s birthday wishes to Oku Hanako every year, and this year will be no different. Sure, I reblogged them in previous years because I forgot to make a post, but I didn’t forget this year! My post will go up in about 13 hours so that the post is dated “March 20”, but in the meantime, to make up for the time zone difference, here’s Denny wishing her a happy birthday.

Denny Sinnoh

Japan is twelve hours ahead of me, so Snivy and I wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish “the Little Great One” Ms. Hanako Oku-san a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow (today) on March 20! She is lucky — her Birthday is always the Spring Equinox.

Ms. Oku has always been one of my favorites. Of course, Snivy is a huge fan. The adorable and talented Ms. Oku has written the opening theme song “Kimi No Hana” for the romance anime “Seiren” currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

The marketing geniuses at the Pony Canyon record company have blocked any and all Hanako Oku music videos in Unova, so it is difficult for us to share the song over YourTube, or Twatter, or Glueggle +, etc.  One of these links might work however.



It is a pretty good anime theme. A good anime theme always gets you…

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Prism / プリズム tracklist announced!

Oku Hanako made a post yesterday reminding everyone that the deadline for reserving the 10th anniversary edition of the upcoming album, Prism / プリズム, is today, September 28.

A tracklist for the album was included:

  1. Kusabi / 楔 -くさび- (“Wedge”)
  2. Statice / スターチス (“Statice“)
  3. Tokyo Kurashi / 東京暮らし (“Tokyo Life”)
  4. Sukidattanda / 好きだったんだ (“I Used to Like You”)
  5. Nagareboshi / 流れ星 (“Shooting Star”)
  6. Tomodachi no Mama de / 友達のままで (“Staying Friends”)
  7. Rashinban / 羅針盤 (“Compass”)
  8. Ame no Prism / 雨のプリズム (“Prism of Rain”)
  9. Taisetsu na Mono / 大切なもの (“Valuable Things”)
  10. Usotsuki / 嘘つき (“Liar”)
  11. Kimi ga Kureta Natsu / 君がくれた夏 (“The Summer You Gave Me”)
  12. Hanabi / 花火 (“Fireworks”)
  13. Ganbare / ガンバレ (“Do Your Best”)

Except for a few, these are my translations (with a bit of machine help). The translation for Sukidattanda is the one I’m most unsure about.

Out of these 13 tracks, 4 have previously been released, namely Kusabi, Taisetsu na Mono, Kimi ga Kureta Natsu, and Hanabi. As far as I can tell, the rest are new songs and not any of her lesser-known indies songs.

Excitingly, “Tokyo Kurashi” will be aired on radio soon, so we’ll get a preview of one of the new songs.

One more month until the release!

Gone for a week

It seems I won’t have Internet next week. I was hoping to have written a post to schedule while I’m gone, but I hadn’t gotten the chance after all that Prism / プリズム news. I won’t be available at all, so I’ll probably miss some news about the new album. Apologies also to new commenters who won’t get their comments approved until I get back.

If anything interesting comes up, please leave a comment either here or in the Discussion page.

Second anniversary on Thoughts on Oku Hanako

It looks like Oku Hanako isn’t the only one celebrating an anniversary. I can’t believe I forgot about it, but Thoughts on Oku Hanako turned 2 a few days ago. If my records are correct, I signed up for the pltgokuhanako.wordpress.com domain on July 20, 2013. I posted the arranged version of Garnet / ガーネット last year, but this year is all about the 10th anniversary.

I’ve been pretty busy this year, so I haven’t posted that much as I wanted to, but I’ve posted a lot of lesser-known songs, and we’ve had an increase of new translations thanks to Rosanne and Edward. To the two of you, your work is very much appreciated, and we look forward to more translations!

To the rest of you readers, thank you for yet another year enjoying Oku Hanako’s songs and adding your opinions. This blog is for you, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site.

Here’s to another year!

Gymnastics to Oku Hanako

Wow, I would never have thought to use an Oku Hanako song for a gymnastics routine, but these men competing at an intercollegiate event at Kokoshikan University pull it off quite nicely. The song comes in at around 2:14; can you name it? Leave your answer in the comments.

2015東インカレ国士舘大学 by H IWAZAKI

My Letter

It’s too bad I don’t have the original Japanese to post with this, but Edward has translated the Chinese translation of the letter that came with Oku Hanako’s 2012 BEST album (Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters-).

It’s certainly an interesting piece of text. I’ve always said that one couldn’t make such powerful songs as she does without experiencing it all herself, and the letter confirms it:

I wrote lyrics like I was writing a diary. At that time, the break up with a sweetheart, that stage of romance symbolised the theme that would often appear in my songs “Because it was lost, only thus was its importance discovered”.

Thanks, Edward! I’ll close with another quote:

I am very grateful.
For discovering me, supporting me, encouraging me, giving birth to me, listening to my songs, shedding tears because of my songs, breaking into smiles because of my songs, I am grateful for all of this.

Oku Hanako - Chinese to English

This is not actually a song. In the back cover of the lyrics booklet in the album Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- there is a letter titled My Letter. This is it.


I started writing songs in Senior High School1. I wrote lyrics like I was writing a diary. At that time, the break up with a sweetheart, that stage of romance symbolised the theme that would often appear in my songs “Because it was lost, only thus was its importance discovered”.

I began performing 14 years ago to today2 to let even more people know about my songs. Although a lot happened since I started, I could continue playing music and singing as I always did, and that to me was truly a miracle.

In order to make this Best Album, fans who understood Oku Hanako’s songs better than Oku Hanako herself were invited to…

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