DISCLAIMER: this posts may contain images and lyrics NSFW or not suited for an underage audience. Viewer discretion is advised.
Kanji (Taken from the video)
Title: Gekka – Midarebotan
Semishigure minatsuki no yoi wa atsukute
hana no ka ni izanaware
kiseru fukashite pukapukari
aa, utsurouna hitomi iro koi utsushi
iro wa ni ho he to itsuka chirinuru o
kusatta ari no naka maiodoru
botan wa watashi rin to sakihokoru
Kubisuji o nademawashi amai koto no ha
yakusoku da. koko kara dasou
Obi o toite kurukururi
aa, mitsu wa afurete toiki o kanade
Ageha wa anata
doko e demo tobete
chi no kaori o matou wa natsu no jin
hi fu mi ya kazoe hitori anata matsu
hoho o usubeni iro ni somete
watashi wa tada
natsu ga owaru
mou aki ga kuru
asaki yumemishi soshite yoi mo sezu
mayou koto naku hataji de kakeru
hana nashi ageha
tehashi wa mogarete
sora o tadatada aogi (ito awarenai)
hyakuya sugi ha wa migarete
namida no kawari ni chi o nagashite
ironashi botan uchiage hanabi
ato ni nanimo nokosazu
tsuyoku, hakanaku, hiki ni
Title: The peony blooming out of season** in the light of the Moon
Loud chirping of crickets, the June night is hot,
you get attracted by the scent of flowers
“Come a little closer, won’t you?”
You smoke your pipe, puff puff
Ah, and your lying eyes reflect the colours of love.
Colours and and smells are fragrant but will eventually scatter*
and I dance in the rotten cage***.
A peony am I, proud to blossom in the cold
“Come on, let’s play”
You caress my nape, and sweet words
“This is our love promise. From now on only Hell awaits us”
You untie my obi, round and round
Ah, honey overflows**** and you make my sighs echo like an instrument.
You, my swallowtail butterfly,
have flown somewhere,
and the War of Summer envelopes everything with the smell of blood.
I count so many nights waiting for you only,
please taint my cheeks of a light red…
and I’m still
waiting in vain.
Summer is gone,
Autumn already comes.
We shall not have superficial dreams nor be deluded*
Lacking of what I lost, I rush out barefoot.
A swallowtail butterfly without its flower
will lose its limbs because of weariness,
I gaze at the sky (but I can’t feel anything)
A hundred nights pass and the blade shimmers,
I let my tears turned to blood flow.
A peony which lost its colours, fireworks to the sky,
and then nothing remains…
Strongly, fleetingly, with elegance
Notes and other
Context: the story of the song takes place in the imperial court of Japan during the Heian Period as the setting has many points in common with the “Tale of Genji”, which can help you get a much better understanding of all the images of the song. In this period nobleman used to visit noblewoman during the night with secret encounters, usually flirting through short poems (waka) attached to letters, usually anonymous but able to suggest the writer by the style of the poetry. While men could easily go around the court without much restriction, women were actually forced to stay inside their pavillion, usually hidden behind one or many blinding screens (fusuma): the result was that usually entertained many licenzious relationship all at the same time, while women could only lure men to their pavillion for a single night every time, always waiting for an answer from their partner in a form of a letter. Of course, all of these encounters were to be kept hidden, in order to avoid the gossip of the court that could result in the expulsion from the higher ranks of the court and so these women were called by name of flowers that had something in common with their personality and/or physical appearance. On top of that, during this period Buddhism started to take a more prominent role in Japanese society, deeply conditioning the way of thinking of people. In particular, these kind of fleeting relationship were seen as something negative that could prevent someone to reach and enlightenment and trap into an infernal reality that was bound to be repeated at each re-incarnation. However, this added to the fascination to these kind of relationship, as they were seen as kind of inevitable temptation, an unescapable fate that was bound to condemn to damnation the two partner, tieying them in an unending circle of death and reincarnation that would always result in tragedy.
*= these sentences are part of a super-duper famous poetry of Heain Period (centuries from end of 700 and end of 1100) of whom you can find an accurate description here. The language is a nice mixture of contemporary and ancient Japanese, making it more easily understandable and really fun to translate/turn into romaji.
**=as said before, flowers were a way to refer to women in love letters. This term has always a sexual nuance, since it indicates the “cowgirl” sex position.
***=probably a reference to the pavillion in which the girl lived, pictured as a cage from where she cannot move and which impede her from go and meet her lover.
****= a common image for sexual intercourse, underlying the most sensual and lustful part of it.
The lyrics tell the story of a woman of Heain period and his love for a man that, unfortunately dies on a battle field, leaving the poor thing no choice but to wait and eventually commit suicide. People of that time saw such stories as an inevitable destiny in which love, passion and everything are just fleeting things that prevent from reaching Buddha’s Enlightment: all of this is shortened in the sentences that appear at the beginning of the video and say “Both loving and being loved are Hell, but it’s impossible to live in a world without colours”. Those who decided to promise to love each other had to suffer these consequences.
The woman compares herself to a peony, a flower that symbolize femininity and that usually blooms in spring: the fact that she “blooms” (which is a metaphor to say that she falls in love) in June, so out of season, suggest that she’s eventually going to wither prematurely (a metaphor again for “dying, committing suicide”). The man is obviously the swallowtail butterfly, seen as symbol of something that drifts away trough the reality.
I rembered that when this first came out I thought this was a great collab, since the singer is Yuuki from Lycaon, a band in which he usually dressed up as a woman and really stressed the sexual component of this role in his compositions.
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