Many posts later: old lyrics, new experiences, podcasting

Hi guys, it’s me!

I’m alive (?) and back. Not really. But I felt like I neglected this blog a bit too much and wanted to kinda put some words from me on the top page of the blog instead of some of my old works.

Speaking of old works, how did you like my reboots of some of my old translations? I personally found it a great experience that made me realize how pretentious I was, but also how much my Japanese skills have increased in the last years. So yeah, I kinda re-touched most of my translations up until July 2017, so you might want to give them a look, in case some doubts I had at the time have been cleared up.

I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post from now on. The reason is simple: I got my first full time job!!! Since it’s 40 hours per week, I can see myself kinda getting overly tired and unable to post anything, but I promise that I’ll give it a shot just for you! Also thank you for following the blog for this many years: I didn’t even realize, but WordPress just told me a couple days ago that this is the blog’s 5th anniversary. Like, how????

Finally, I have to do a shameless plug of my stuff here to. I’ve started podcasting. It’s a podcast in Japanese about two foreigner talking about Japanese culture and haiku in a comic and chill out vibe. The name is “ピアディーナ計画ラジオ” (Piadina Keikaku Radio), it’s on Spotify for free and we even uploaded our episodes with subtitles in Japanese, English and Italian on Youtube. Why not give it a listen? Honestly, I’ve a lot fun recording and editing it, so I’d love to see people sharing my same enthusiasm.

That’s it for now! Wish me luck for my new job and stay safe!

己龍 (Kiryu) – 百鬼夜行 (Hyakki Yakou) Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

Title: Night March of Demons*

 

You sew, patch up and sew again your disguise**, your fake smiles and allign to the norm,

once cut, it wriggles as if it was in pain, but that tongue of yours that speaks about your true feelings is just a lizard’s tail***.

 

Shackles, a life in chain, small light floating swaying here and there.

Wandering in the dark just like drowning in a sea of darkness, at the end of path of anyone following there’s just tedium.

 

One after the other, dripping and dripping,****

 

insects crawl inside your head.

 

One after the other, dripping and dripping,****

 

hesitation squirms and eats inside your plucked off nails.

 

What are you chasing? What do you desire? What are you clinging onto?

Without seeing or understanding any of that, you follow a night march of demons.

In the noisy orchestra of this feast, the insides of your heart cry and scream.

Only if you bite off the windpipe of lies your true voice will come out.

 

You are afraid of the lie of caressing the darkness, and so, like a wiggling light,*****

your life burns and melts, dying as a lie.

 

One after the other, dripping and dripping,****

 

insects crawl inside your head.

 

One after the other, dripping and dripping,****

 

the laid down insect eggs drip down like goo.

 

Tainted by the mud to which got used to, your mind becomes hazy.

While being led by a cruel hand, you follow a night march of demons.

In the noisy orchestra of the feast the present world agitates.

You plug your hears and tremble without stopping, both going ahead and going back are frightening.

 

The lie on which you ran your tongue is a sweet nectar, unable to wake up from your dizzines, you vomit again and again.

 

Nearby… suddenly, a disguise’s mask fall of, on the inside of it there are countless lies.

 

What are you chasing? What do you desire? What are you clinging onto?

Without seeing or understanding any of that, you follow a night march of demons.

In the noisy orchestra of this feast, the insides of your heart cry and scream.

Only if you bite off the windpipe of lies your true voice will come out.

 

Will I die struggling not to drown? Will I die pawing on the darkness trying to destroy it?

The night wind carries a wavering paper lantern, my life is nothing but incoherent footsteps.

 

Notes and Other

I’m extremely not confident about this translation, so please don’t hesitate to tell me if there are mistakes or thing I may have missed.

*=I chose to translate the title in a literal way, but it is an expression that means “veritable pandemonium” and “group of evil spirits and monster plotting something evil”. Forcing the meaning and try to see over the lyrics, one may say that the march represent the conformist society, forcing people to conform .

**=the expression generally refers to some kind of disguise, but turns actually into a pun in the context of this song since it literally translates as “a monster’s skin”.

***=lizard are infamous for cutting their own tail off in order to use that as a decoy to ran away. Kiryu reutilize that image for the tongue of fake people, who pretend to express their true feeling just to distract/deceive the other about their true nature.

****= Kiryu actually love these kind of expression that mimic the sound of a certain action, especially since they use it describe very crude images. The intent is, of course, to make them feel even more realistic.

*****=I still haven’t completely figured it all about this “light”. The term used is kinda vague, meaning that it may look like a “will-o’-the-wisp” of Japanese folklore (floating blue lights, usually said to be seen near graveyards), or like a lantern. I saw some Japanese listeners pointing out the term kinda comes back at the end of the song (but here they specifically say “a paper lantern”) where the light looks like one’s life direction. I want to like this interpretation, but I still feel like something is missing.

Yes, going through this song once again was hell (*sitcom laughtrack*).

The song is calling about in Kiryu’s fashion all the people who, too afraid of making their own choices, end up accepting other people’s lifestyle and just follow the norm. They basically “line up” behind everyone else, an image that Kiryu link to “the march of demons”, an expression used to describe a bad omen. All the details about it are explained in the asteriscs part, so give it a look!

 

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

ペンタゴン(Pentagon) – ポップコーンモンスター (Pop Corn Monster)

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

 

Let’s join this parade of dreams and hope holding our hands,

we are all friends, but you are marching all by yourself.

 

When we were child, the world we dreamt was like a panorama,

and it spun and spun like a merry-go-round, as if we were striving white rats*.

 

By getting to know only good and evil, the world will turn dimmerI

and the Ferris wheel will only lift up high the greed…

 

“So, to all the adults reunited here.

What do you think our young children lack?

Determination? Good-sense? Morals? Good environment? Resolution? Dreams? Hope?

 

That must be it. So, as we thought, what they lack,

shouldn’t we avoid to speak about it to our young children, should we?”

 

It’s not like that!

 

Popcorn Monster,

I’m not your toys,

I’m not a clown, so scream!

Popcorn Monster,

The dreams, the hope and all the rest have become dimmer and dimmer,

When you throw away everything, in the end

the dazzling world would already will be already dead.

 

If I look around you, there’s a misteryous mirror house,

it reflects everything and my dirty self is in it.

 

“So, dear young people.

I understand you saying you don’t want to do this and that,

but, you see, you don’t even find things you want to do,

if you start to work, you soon say you want to stop,

isn’t that too selfish, is it?”

 

Always saying that person is like that, that one is no good,

before worrying about the others, try to keep it together a bit more!”

 

Popcorn Monster,

you are not someone’s toys,

you are not a clown, so scream!

Popcorn Monster,

Sure is sad that coffee cup**,

spinning round and round.

 

Popcorn Monster,

let’s dance tonight,

come on, forget everything.

Popcorn Monster,

play with me,

come on, throw away everything.

 

Enjoy your holiday in this closed*** amusement park.

 

Notes and Other

*=maybe it’s obvious, maybe it’s not, I’ll clarify just to be sure. The association here is between the Ferris wheel of the amusement park (linked to the concept of dreams and hope) and the wheel usually put in the cage of hamsters and rats whose purpose is just to make them run without them acutally going forward. The mices are also white, creating a further association with lab rats, as if the “youngsters” weren’t treated differently from a product.

**=since the song references a bunch of amusement park attractions, this is not the classic cup of coffee, but the spinning carousel where people ride on big coffee cups.

***=it can be both intepreted as “closed off/secluded” and “exclusive”.

Once again, I got the main point, but I failed in the translation.

The song is an anthem for the younger generations of Japan who are considered lazy and unmotivated by the adults. Since the ’90s Japan is facing crescent tension in the relationship between generations and the attitude of the establishment, mainly composed by elderly people, is not helping the situation at all: this song is blatantly calling them out. The title plays on the concept of “popping up” (hajikeru in Japanese), which can mean “to pop up/explode” (like kernels becoming popcorn) and “suddenly becoming crazy/ doing something crazy”. While grown ups tend to consider newer generations “wretched” and “crazy” (hajikeru is a viable translation for both of these words) because they stray from the common norms, Pentagon play on the words indicating that, claiming that they and the newer generations are harmless and playful, just like pop-corns in an amusement park.

These kind of songs have a large audience among the public of Visual-Kei, since most of their fans are minorities, from young woman to pretty much anyone who doesn’t feel at ease feeling in the general image of a “normal Japanese person” (whatever that might mean). No wonder then if they lyrics invite the public to join the band in sabotagin the establishment: both Pentagon and the fans are definitely on the discriminated part of Japanese society.

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

Reign – AKANE Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

Title: Madder Red

 

Please don’t cry anymore
I am always with you
Please don’t cry anymore anymore

 

That madder red* bids goodbye to you

who are going to a far away place.

If only that day we could have watched the sky together

until you and sun sunk, we would have…

 

“Hey, I want to stay a bit more with you…”

I prepared those words to say to you

but in the end I couldn’t let them go from my chest and, day after day,

my feelings got stuck in there.

 

And if they were to overflow, they’d do it so fast

that I couldn’t even breathe,

so painful and hurting…

If my feelings were to overflow

would I be able to convey what I want to tell you?

Overflow already, if you have to, and reach her…

 

That madder red* bids goodbye to you

who are going to a far away place.

If only that day we could have watched the sky together

until you and sun sunk, we would have…

 

I hide my hands in my small pockets, pretending in vain to look cool,

but I actually to reach out my hand to yours and gaze at the night sky,

one day, with you, when we’ll be adults…

 

That time I still didn’t know.

That time I still didn’t know what was the regret.

 

When I can’t meet you I call for your name

and alone, I talk to you, alone*.

For the first time I presented you with a bouquet,

but in reality I just wanted to see your happy face.

 

If my feelings had overflowed, if my feelings had overflowed, now you would…

 

Seeing you tainted by the colours of dush was a miracle until yesterday,

but I understood that I won’t meet you ever again,

so, (my feelings), overflow already!

 

That madder red* bids goodbye to you

who are going to a far away place.

If only that day we could have watched the sky together

until you and the sun sunk, we would have…

 

Notes and Other

Words in Italic are in English in the original lyrics.

*=the image is here is painted as if the main character is practising alone how to approach her loved one.

This song too needed some overdue polishing.

The better understand the imagery of the song, let’s try and picture the scenery of a brilliant sunset. It is perhaps the most “charged” moment of a day, as the sun (an extremely bright star) is visible as a sphere in the sky, as if its light was somehow constrained in a small circle that doesn’t seem enough to contain its force. The author wants to create link between this image and his feelings, boiling yet unable to get out of his chest because of his shyness. However, even though during the sunset the light seems to dim and more, it somehow feels like everything is more lit by such light: everything gets tainted by this yellow-reddish light. This is what makes the author associate his scorching pain generated by his unability to speak up to the sunset as something that looks like its about to explode, even though it’s actually getting darker and darker.

This is that for the more “poetic” part. If I were to offer a more cynical view on the song (and I will), I’d say this a love song written by a tsundere character, pretending be tough. But I still apprecciate the whole product: the song has energy and the harsh vocal of the singer that sometimes stand between the more “traditional” sound are something that is rarely seen. Something like enka went punk.

 

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

DIV – Butterfly Dreamer Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

 

The unending rain falls down in stripes and I, standing still, am its prisoner,

the wind which blows against me is the border, I’m caught in this entangled net.

BUTTERFLY DREAMER

 

Rain drops, someone’s tears are playing parade.

 

This trampled music sheet won’t be heard by the people who only care about being first,

while avoiding the puddles, they scramble for a [safe] foothold, but they are already too many*

no matter how many they kick down…

 

The unending rain falls down in stripes and I, standing still, am its prisoner,

the wind which blows against me is the border, I’m caught in this entangled net.

BUTTERFLY DREAMER

 

The scenery they gazed at on their tiptoes now looks like a mirage,

like a picture slowly falling down.

 

Secluded in a virtual world that they built over a grid,

who will be next target? It’s like an audition for who will be the next one to mock.

BUTTERFLY DREAMER

 

Fluttering, the proof of what we call “real” dims and fades away

until it will rot completely

it will be the dream of a butterfly.

 

An absurdly tall castle towers over everything, and only dreaming butterflies** are the ones looking up at the sky,

now, my song, open your wings made of dreams, and be heard to all of you!

BUTTERFLY DREAMER

 

Notes and Other

Words in Italic are in English in the original lyrics.

*= the term here is definitely business related, which kinda sounds out of place in the song, but it might also suggest that the song is jabbing to the mindset of big companies, which foster this absurd sense of competition and picture people as number of sellings instead of human beings.

**=the word literally translate to “dreaming bird”, but it is actually the way in which the butterfly of Zhuangzi’s riddle was translated. Basically, Zhuangzi, a legendary Taoist master, dreamt that he was a butterfly, then woke up and realized that he wasn’t sure if he was Zhuangzi dreaming to be a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming to be Zhuangzi. The whole point of the riddle is to point out how even the reality we see with our eyes might actually be a dream or even false and should make the readers question the true essence of existence.

I love how I was kinda on track with the references of the song, but how somehow I completely failed to identify the core message of the song.

The whole point of the song is to accuse people of having lost touch with reality: when people become numbers, when every information can be turned into data, is this world made by codes and number as real as the people from whom they extracted such infos? Perhaps, in our rush to optimize everything, striving to arrive earlier than anyone else, we forget that we are creating a system in which, eventually the weaker and us will crumble down. In that moment, what will be real? The system that feeds off people’s competition, or the sufferings of those who have been excluded by it?

Playing on such contraddiction, DIV picture the image of a dreamer, painted like Zhuangzi’s butterfly, showing how there can be a way out from such sand-castle-society that obstructs everyone’s sight.

 

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

己龍 (Kiryū) – 鵺 (Nue) Translation

Kanji: taken from a comment

Translation

Title: Chimera

Inside me there is “that thing”

no matter how many times I try to shed light on it, it disappears into nothing.

But every time I turn my back to it…

it screams with an animal’s cry.

In an endless variety of situation

I’m tormented by its many words

and I’m turning mad.

“You shall use my bigger power for your own good”*, it boasts

like winds playfully soaring through the wind.

Fluttering…

When I turn my head to one side, the opposite side seems to mock me,

and I mock that other side.

When I look to the right, it creeps to the right,

when I look to the left, it creeps to the left,

behind me it makes an awful and loud noise

and in front of me it shows a mask of purity.

In the end, you want me to punish you?

In the end, you want me to forgive you?

In the end, you want me to kill you?

or…do you want me to love you?

I keep being patted heavily, heavily,

but in truth… in truth it’s not there, so…

it’s a lie… but it’s not a lie

Just… I’m afraid of “something” that my eyes can’t see and…

…it comes…

Like playing hide-and-seek all alone,

What resound in the painted over night

is a singing voice saying “This is me, the others don’t know anything about me”

Just…I’m afraid of “something” that my eyes can’t see

and I’m becoming crazy…

Screams dance

in the screeching night.

So, what will happen?**

What remains of your former self keeps scarring itself,

you are chocking in your own pain…

and you cried like an animal.

No matter how much you try to sleep…

I keep being patted heavily, heavily,

but in truth… in truth it’s not there, so…

it’s a lie… but it’s not a lie

Just… I’m afraid of “something” that my eyes can’t see and…

…it comes…

Like playing hide-and-seek all alone,

What resound in the painted over night

is a singing voice saying “This is me, the others don’t know anything about me”

Just…I’m afraid of “something” that my eyes can’t see

and I’m becoming crazy…

(A thousand of chirps become the sound of the thunder)

When you’ll start to sing by grinding, grinding you teeth,

you’ll see that everything is real, therefore nothing exists.

Just… that “something” that you eyes can’t eyes, from the start

was inside of you,

always right here.

It spread its wings

and with a loud voice

it sings “this is me, the others don’t know anything about me”.

The only thing that my eyes can see was there from the start.

Look,

tonight it’ll be

a feast of grown wings.

Notes and Other

*= the expression used here is a saying which suggest to exploit powerful people’s power for one’s own good. I remodeled the sentence as if the chimera was saying that to the main character.

**= another famous saying. Aside from the meaning, it can be literally translated as “what will come out? A demon or a snake”, which is kinda fitting with theme of the song.

The song talks about the transformation of the main character into a chimera. In Japanese folklore demons are nothing but humans transfigured into horrible creatures but some kind of negative feelings. More specifically, there have been many depiction of the Japanese chimera, and since some of them show the beasts covered it feather, this might explain its sound described as a chirping throughout the song.

In the backstage video of the song, the main guitarist and composer of the song Sakai Mitsuki describes this song as process of someone who accepts its own nature for what it truly is. More in detail, he says that we usually tend to see ourselves according to the image that the others have of us: from this perspective, we truly are a chimera, an image composed by the many different opinions of the others. However, if we accept being ourselves, we are no longer monsters, we are just that “something” that we always have been, indipendent from the others.

This interpretation sounds also very in tune with classic Visual-kei themes, where negative figures tend to be re-interpretated into positive character that won’t fit into society’s general conception of “good” and “bad”.

R-指定 (R-Shitei) ーラストレイン (Rasuto Rein) Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

Title: Last Rain/Last Train*

 

A non-stop early summer rain falls down,

and the freshness** of the coming month of June is quickly gone

without waiting for the season to change.

 

Swallowed by the last train,

you and me are fixed in the memories of that day,

with an end like an happy ending of a film

let’s say our goodbye now.

 

You, who used to hate crowds,

hide your face with your red umbrella…

I have a feeling that you want to tell me something,

I’m scared and I can’t really laugh.

 

While I even tried not to sleep,

the lyrics I scribbled will be of some comfort for my soul?

I link dot to lines***,

and the melody on whom I put and sing on knocks on the window.

 

Since I have to go home with the Yamanote line****,

I’ll take you to the express for Oda****,

even tonight there’s this hateful rain.

Under the same umbrella, in the night tainted of the same colour,

I wish you hugged me.

 

A rhapsody in blue*****

would really fit us who had an incredible first meeting, don’t you think?

You try to look more adult and being more mature than me

you say a kind lie: “See you again”…

 

Memories pile up, Shinjuku Station, at the east exit a crowd of people,

the umbrellas bloom vividly, they look like hydrangea flowers, isn’t it a beautiful scene?

 

Even though I look for someone who looked like you,

as if the cold rain choose me,

every single drop, icily, resounds like an instrument.

A lonely Fender, I can’t give up on this love

I want to compose a song about it!

 

Swallowed by the last train,

you and me are fixed in the memories of that day,

with an end like an happy ending of a film,

when we’ll wave our hands it will be the end.

A rain of spilled tears falls…

 

Your goodbye taught me

what is really important…

 

Notes and Other

*=The title is a pun: it says “last rain” but sounds like “last train”.

**=  the word itself refers to the colour blue, however the same colour is often used as a symbol for manother things, like freshness, youth and much more: it’s likely that the singers is implying many other meanings other than the one I chose.

***=It refers to “writing musical notes” (because the musical notes are dots with a line) but also to “go from a train station to another” (because in Japan train stations are referred with “dot” and the railways that connect them are called “lines”): extremely clever lyric trick.

****=All of these are real name of train station or trains.

*****=Rapsody in Blue is a famous song in which many different genres are mixed together creating a very harmonious symphony: I’m not sure but it may be a paragon with the date of which the song talks about (like they are so different but they work so good together).

After many years I felt like I managed to translate this song in a proper manner: my previous attempt was not incorrect, but it failed to convey the general images of the song.

The song revolves around the image of the tipical rainfalls of the rainy season in Japan (end of May, June), linked with many other tropes of the season, like hydrangeas (the flower assigned to June in classical Japanese literature) and the people flooding through Shinjuku Station with their colorful umbrellas that recall the many small flowers of the hydrangea. In this gloomy yet colorful scenario, the main character sees from afar a previous love interest, but, unable to reach her, remembers the way they parted, pretending they would meet again. A true feels trap for Japanese and me as well: I feel like this is one of the song that has been on my playlist since the dawn of my musical tastes.

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

己龍 (Kiryu) ー 暁歌水月(Gyouka Suigetsu) Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

Title: A song whose beauty cannot be conveyed by words*

 

The end is harsh, my consciousness faint, I let go of your hand

the tears that flow while you pray and remember me are of the colour of the rain, and they flow and flow away.

 

Our farewell gift will be the minced fragments of me

and the pain that will remain here.

 

Until our life will be exhausted, we will …. dreams**

come on, let’s sing it together.

…. our screaming voice**

will be the words*** that we sob while our hearts are torn.

Tainted faintly by the light of the perfect day for a farewell,

let’s wave our hands goodbye with a smile.

All the lies fade away, reality slumbers

in a transparent twilight.

 

But even now I can’t understand that “something” which keeps on burning me and turning me into smoke,

I just keep walking

following the path of dreams.

 

I keep feeding myself with the pain and the sadness which twist my voice…

 

Because the silence that gets closer and closer is scary.

 

Until our life will be exhausted, we will …. dreams**

come on, let’s sing it together.

…. our screaming voice**

will be the words*** that we sob while our hearts are torn.

Tainted faintly by the light of the perfect day for a farewell,

let’s wave our hands goodbye with a smile.

All the lies fade away, reality slumbers

in a transparent twilight.

 

And while we dream within a dream, the horizon turns hazy…

 

Notes and others

*=The title is a pun on the expression 暁花水月 (read in the same way as the title) which is literally “flowers on the image of the moon reflected on the water” indicating the concept of  “a beauty that cannot be conveyed by words”. In the title of the song instead of 花 (“flowers”) there’s 歌(“song”): I tried to combine the pun and the meaning in the title I chose.

**=since this is a song to thank the fans (so a “must” song during the live) the lines are left with no verb so that everyone can say whatever they prefer while song is performed: I find this thing extremely genial.

***=The expression for “words” here doesn’t refer to “common words” but to “the words of classical Japanese poetry”. They were seen as unique since they were used to talk about one’s own feeling with honesty and elegance (and actually with a lot of other things).

This song is all about the concept of farewell, that’s why the band usually uses it to close their live performance.

While translating this song, I really felt the lack of words to convey the real beauty of this song: there’s just so much behind each and everyone of these words that I could spend lines and lines to explain everything and I still wouldn’t be able to completely clarify their meaning… I did my best anyway.

There are many reference to Buddhism, starting from the video itself which is a Buddhist funeral, and the expressions “reality will slumber”, “lies fading away” and “dream within a dream” which are famous concepts in Buddhist thinking.

 

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

Plastic Tree – 落花 (Rakka) Translation

Kanji

Translation

Title: Falling Flowers

Is this feeling of emptiness really appropriate? I’ll try to make a song about this, here you go

The dawn has reached the most saturated gradation

How many thousand times have I already felt like this? It would be ridicolous to say that I have gotten better at it,

but today*, well, let’s say today too, and tomorrow as well I will continue being like this.

There are many option in front of my eyes and I choose according to my selfish desires,

and without being nor wrong nor right, the days go on.

The flowers bloom incontrollable, and falling, they scatter all around, where is the wind carrying their soul**?

It’s hard to forget and when I chase my memories, only myself brightly shows through.

Suddenly, I realized that I’ve slept for two or three minutes, but the second hand of the clock keeps moving and goes on.

Do you understand this sensation of ceasing to exist and disappear without feeling it?

I resolved that I should forget any conclusion, but claering both my fate and my self-criticism

is really necessary or not? The days pose this question…

The season forget about me and disappear in an instant, but the words*** in the wind won’t stop echoing.

Is the cycle of happiness and sadness never ending? While stil being filled with life, it will end as if it was a dream.

Hey, can someone please stay by my side forever?

This way even my naive action will have a meaning

Hey, do please dance as you like,

but we’ve already ran out of time, lights out, emptiness.

The flowers bloom incontrollable, and falling, they scatter all around, where is the wind carrying their soul**?

It’s hard to forget and when I chase my memories, even if you are so vivid, I don’t really know who are you.

Therefore, since I understood that all of this is just a fantasy, one day I’ll say farewell

and will sink into the world.

Notes and Other

*= the sentence starts as if “something is going to be different today”, but then the singer quicly correct himself, stating “today too and tomorrow as well will be the same”.

**=the word that I translated with “soul” is full of many different meanings and can be interpreted in many ways. First of all, it can also mean “mind”, “feelings”, “essence”, and it’s unclear if it’s referring to those of the singer of those of the flowers or both. I’m actually pending for third option, since the sence of emptiness that the songs mention at the beginning as a feeling of the singer is often linked in classical literature to the image of scattering flowers in the wind: I’d say that the protagonist aims at identifying himself with those flowers and the way they’re feeling when they’re swept away in the wind while in full bloom.

***= in Japanese the term “word” has a very unique origin, as it stems from the term “leaf of utterances”, which now sounds as a rather archaic expression, but it is deliberately used in such a way in this song. This term is central to one of the very first work of Japanese poetry where the compiler describes the word (leaves of utterances) as the product of feelings that only Japanese people feel, described as “seeds of the soul”. In the context of the song, the wind may carry away the flowers (and the main character as well), but the words (leaves) still offer to the main character a way to express his feelings.

While the songs states pretty clearly that the main theme “the sense of emptiness”, the rest is pretty much open to interpretation: let’s go step by step. Since it’s Plastic Tree, most likely the song has something to do with a love relationship and there is actually a “you” that seems to be slowly fading away in the memory of the main character. The sense of emptiness is often associated with the lack of feeling towards specific things, so my guess is that the main character, even though he remembers vividly the features of the past lover, has lost contact with the feelings that were attached to them. A similar destiny is shared by flowers (most likely cherry flowers) whose beauty is always remembered in everyone’s words, but their actualy body gets lost everytime in the wind. And so, once the fantasy of love is over, every memory is destined to fall down, just like petals from flowers, and get lost in the wind.

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!

Dadaroma – 雨のワルツ(Ame no Warutsu) Translation

Kanji-Romaji

Translation

Title: Rain Waltz

Filthy rain. You become filthy by rain.

“greed”
The grown-ups try to make money
from pure and childish dream.
We keep on living without realizing.

“greed”
The teacher said that we’re
all equal since we were born.
He was only reading out what
was written in the book.

I’ll bring down the curtain on this world, which seems a crystal ball where only the things I don’t want to see float
Rather than small guns, they make children keep in their hands sharp and anonymous rifles.
The wind which caresses the bodies from the gaps between the building, quietly stops without anyone noticing it
and wriggling clouds cover the sun of tomorrow.

The muddy water turns into
clouds and rains heavily over the world.
We believe it to be blessed rain
and drink it without doubting it.
The small flower which blooms by
the wayside grows from it.
A filthy colored flower blooms.

It nails me down

this rain waltz that won’t stop echoing
and you dance without opening your umbrella
but the flowing tears are swallowed by the people.

They turn their back to the pain,
and from the flower that grown despite people stomping on it
petals fall and they are trampled as well.

and without being hit by the sun, its 4 petal wither more and more…

I’ll bring down the curtain on this world, which seems a crystal ball where only the things I don’t want to see float
Rather than small guns, they make children keep in their hands sharp and anonymous rifles.
The wind which caresses the bodies from the gaps between the building, quietly stops without anyone noticing it
and wriggling clouds cover the sun of tomorrow.

The tomorrow in whom we will live in,
even if it’s an artificial future,
I hope it will bloom here
as the tomorrow you dream of.

The rain waltz won’t stop echoing
and you dance within the tragedies,
these flowing tears, will they ever reach them?

Without turning your back on the pain
you keep dreaming and ideal place for the tomorrow
and you get hit by the rain and trampled by the people.

I dreamt I started to forget
those petals floating on the water,
I’ll scoop one
for your sleeping heart.

Notes and other

Words in italic are in an incredibly comprehensible English in the original lyrics (finally).

I’m not only stunned by the good quality English of this song, but also amazed by the talent that this band is showing in every single release even being so young. The song is a critique to the society through the image of the rain, which in classic japanese culture is a symbol for salvation ( the rain which falls on the battlefield after a battle and washes away the blood), but here it is a polluted rain which stains everything. In the end anyway there’s message of hope for the listener (but not for the artists): don’t try to look away from the pain, embrace it and keep dreaming of tomorrow.

If you liked the article you might consider tipping me a coffee on my ko-fi page. It’s a cheap and effective way to support the blog and the work I put in it without being forced to any monthly subscription of sort. You can also attach a message to your donation!