RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 11, 2014
A translation of the Youtube description, presumably written by Noda Youjirou (the band’s frontman and songwriter):
This year, we once again present a song for this day.
Its title is “Kaiko”.
I’m not sure if it’s fitting for today, but it’s a song born from what happened three years ago. Please do listen.
As of today, it’s been three years. Already three years. Finally three years. Only three years.
The people who are alive right now are the ones who are able to change things, I think.
Able to attach a meaning to what happened. And able to pretend it didn’t happen.
If seeds are planted alongside all of the pain, if the chance is there for us, I’d like to make them bloom.
Sugai Masayoshi-san and everyone at Qotori film handled the recording and photography, like the previous years. Deepest thanks.
And to everyone who contributed to the video with candle images, thank you.
May they reach the souls who are no longer here.
Again this year, the sky of the video is today’s sky. It was completely clear. After three years, the sky is still blue.
May this sky continue on forever.
I protest the opposition to public aid for the victims in a country that makes minimal progress, for the reconstruction support in afflicted areas, for the people who get by in temporary housing. I wish people would do the things that should be done now.
Finally, for all of the lives that were lost in the earthquake three years ago,
And for all of the human hearts that continue to suffer from the disaster even now, hands together in prayer.
Note: I don’t believe an official transcription of the lyrics was ever released, and I don’t think one ever will be. I transcribed the lyrics by ear myself (=耳コピ), and then I cross-referenced with a Petit Lyrics submission. While I think nothing is terribly off, be aware that transcription accuracy is not 100% guaranteed.
A note on the title: as the title is a Japanese word written in katakana, the true meaning is ambiguous. One significant possibility is 回顧, ‘recollection,’ which already makes so much sense, given the lyrics and context of the song. After reading other opinions online, though, I’ve decided to interpret it as 蚕, ‘silkworm’. While it might be a stretch, given that there’s not much imagery in the lyrics themselves to indicate that, I believe the symbolism is there as an undercurrent of all of these songs. There’s this recurring theme in the songs and in the upload comments, about what the disaster means to those who are still living, and this ties into the existence of the silkworm – for example, its life is both largely made possible and intentionally ended by human actions, and its death gives way to beautiful things… Anyway, maybe Recollection actually is the true title, but I believe this possibility shouldn’t be overlooked, at the very least as a double meaning (though I’ve chosen to take it as more than that).
They say that all people are equal under the eyes of God,
As the hands circle tightly around the base of the heart’s throat.
If it’s so clear, then why go to the trouble of preaching such things?
It’s like cramming raw meat into a stomach that’s already full.
It’s as though they’re directing these implications at me, and it’s just kind of irritating,
Like I’m being questioned, under suspicion – “Whose side are you on?”