…VOICE

bambooXZX's personal blog, mostly dedicated to song lyrics translation from Japanese to English.


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[Supplemental Materials] RADWIMPS – Aitowa

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 10, 2015

This is the fourth in a series of (currently) five related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)

The song that RADWIMPS uploaded on March 11, 2015 actually included an English translation in its upload description. This post contains all of the usual side information I would put with a translation – romaji and copy/pastable Japanese are useful for learning purposes, and artist comments are of great interest for songs like this. I feel like it would be better not to translate the song myself when there’s already an artist-approved version, so I’ll be leaving that out. I do have a few notes, though:
-The title, while written in slightly different Japanese spelling from usual, essentially means “Love Is“.
-The official English version uses the word “nuke” in a few of the choruses; it should be noted that the original Japanese word, 原発 (genpatsu), unambiguously refers to a nuclear power plant, not a nuclear bomb.

The official English translation can be found here.

A translation of the description:

We’ve made another song this year for this day.
Its title is 『Aitowa』. Please do listen.

Four years have passed since then.
People who never want to remember that day again.
People who don’t want to forget about people important to them.
People who wait for the return of people important to them even now.
People who turn to face new lives.
People who come and go in the space between.
I think none of them are wrong, and they alone, with their willpower, are able to decide what they do.
No matter how much I could try to understand, I don’t understand, and I wouldn’t even want to feel like I understand. No matter how far I extend my hand, I can’t go there, so I’d like to at least keep on facing the things that happened that day, the things that appear in my eyes, from where I am.
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RADWIMPS – Shuntou

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 11, 2016

This is the fifth in a series of (currently) five related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)

A translation of the Youtube description, written by Noda Youjirou (the band’s frontman and songwriter):

This day has arrived again this year.
It’s been five years since then.
It feels like it’s been a very long time, but it also feels like it passed by in no time at all.
People who were new middle school students are now seniors in high school. Children who were one year old are now starting elementary school.
I, who was 25 years old, am now 30.

Over the days and months of these five years, a disparity has appeared in the degree of 『reconstruction』 for different regions. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster still has not been resolved. It is not under control. There are many regions that have begun to move forward, with their evacuation orders lifted, their cities steadily restored. On the other side, there are many people who still can’t return to their hometowns. On one end, there are people living in provisional housing who await the day they return home, and on the other, there are many who have given up on the return home and have begun lives in new places. There are also still people dying from the disaster’s aftereffects.
There are complicated discussions on many topics, such as whether or not nuclear generators are necessary. It’s just that, if it were only the earthquake and tsunami, I believe the disparity in recovery and the number of people who have given up on returning to their homelands would be smaller than it is now. There were no zones that had restrictions on mere entry. I wonder how many more years it will take for the sound of the word 『Fukushima』 to evoke what it was before March 11, 2011.
As usual, I am only able to worry and just wish for recovery, so I’ve written another song. Its title, 『春灯』,  is read “Shuntou”.
Please do listen.  

I don’t know if I’ll write songs for next year and beyond. I might go on doing it just as I have been. While I’ve been cutting off the sorrow of that one day of March 11 and making individual songs from them, little by little, I’ve started to feel like something isn’t right. It’s because I think some of that is within all of our songs. In fact, in these five years, we’ve had tragic incidents, accidents, and great happiness, so many things. And then, constantly influenced by all of those things, we’re making music. We mix all that together, and it becomes the music of our selves that are living through the 「present time」.

I think we need to not forget that overwhelmingly large experience. If we can contain even a little of the damage from the next great disaster, whenever it happens, we can change the meaning of that day’s earthquake.
I think when you look over the entire world, tragedies are happening one after another, whether it’s the work of humans or nature. The world moves at a pace so frenzied that emotions can’t keep up with it. It’s almost crushing. But that’s why there is also latent strength in the people who have realized that. To the best of my ability, I’d like to turn my eyes toward the light. I’d like for us to live hand-in-hand.
Even in this kind of world, I’d like to continue creating the sounds that have meaning in their creation.

The people of Qotori film made the video again this year. I was unable to go due to recording, so this year I left it to the combined staff of Qotori. The sky is the sky above Minamisouma. Year after year, thank you so much. Take care when you’re driving back. As with other years, Sugai-san helped as the sound engineer. My thanks.
And I thank all of you who sent in your words and your videos. Just reading each one made me feel like I would cry.

May the souls of those who died in the earthquake rest in peace.
May peaceful days come those to continue to suffer even now.
And for all of the lives that were taken away by unreasonable forces, hands together in prayer.

Spring Lights
RADWIMPS

In this world that has people I want to see,
Maybe there’s some tiny bit of meaning, that I, at least, am alive.

Like an evening rain, the memories pass on through.
I have no umbrella, so it just beats down on me.

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RADWIMPS – Kaiko

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 11, 2014

This is the third in a series of (currently) five related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)

A translation of the Youtube description, 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. 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).

Silkworm
RADWIMPS

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?”

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RADWIMPS – Buriki

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 11, 2013

This is the second in a series of (currently) five related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)

A translation of the Youtube description, written by Noda Youjirou (the band’s frontman and songwriter):

We’ve completed a new song.

The title is “Buriki.”
In the end, this is all that we can do, after all – all that we wanted to do.
Please do listen.

In this past year, exactly how much has changed, I wonder.
At the same time, it feels like so much has changed, yet nothing has changed.
It is important to make it through each day, to renew yourself and the world,
but I think it’s okay on this one day, at least, to just remember.

Hooray for this insane world.
Even so, I love you~.

The recording and photography were done by the same people as last year.
Thank you, Sugai-san the sound engineer, and everyone from Qotori film.

Again this year, the video came in last-minute.
Deepest thanks to Dai-chan and Sojiro, who gave it their utmost effort, all the way to the eleventh hour.
The sky in the video is today’s sky. Today’s evening sun. Today’s blue.
I’m glad the sky was clear. Maybe that made it easier for so many emotions to reach above the sky.

Finally, for all of the lives that were lost in the earthquake two 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. I transcribed the lyrics by ear myself (=耳コピ), and then I cross-referenced with a Yahoo Answers Japan post. Be aware that transcription accuracy is not 100% guaranteed.

In particular, there’s one word in the chorus that I’m not very sure of, in the second-to-last line – it’s pronounced either ‘se’ or ‘sei’, and there are a number of possibilities. I’ve seen transcriptions online that use せい (sei – ‘fault / cause’), which I might interpret as bearing the consequences of one’s own thoughts and decisions, but that didn’t feel right to me. One possibility I gave serious consideration to was 背 (se – ‘back’), as in to carry a burden on one’s own back, but in the end, I settled on 声 (sei – ‘voice’). It’s not a standard reading at all, and it may well be the least likely of the three possibilities I’ve mentioned, but it’s not unheard of in song lyrics, it ties in with constant motif of singing in this series, and it flows well into the next line’s mention of laughter. Anyway, when you read “by your own voice,” there’s something to keep in mind.

Tinplate
RADWIMPS

In a little while, maybe, just maybe,
The day will come when we can laugh and say,
“Maybe all of it was just a dream,”
So carry on as always, until that day,
And then, once again, through your strength,
The day will come when we can decide our own fate,
Everything, by those hands, by your own voice,
So to laughter and to pain, I say goodbye, we’ll meet again.

I caught the slightest scent of you.
It was a paper-thin difference from something imagined.
But thinking back now, all of it
Was the work of my misbegotten brain.

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RADWIMPS – Hakujitsu

RADWIMPS; originally released to Youtube on March 10, 2012

This is the first in a series of (currently) five related songs personally released online by RADWIMPS.
1: 『白日』 (Hakujitsu)
2: 『ブリキ』 (Buriki)
3: 『カイコ』 (Kaiko)
4: 『あいとわ』 (Aitowa)
5: 『春灯』 (Shuntou)

Note: I don’t believe an official transcription of the lyrics was ever released. I transcribed the lyrics by ear myself (=耳コピ), and then I cross-referenced with a Yahoo Answers Japan post. While I think nothing is terribly off, be aware that transcription accuracy is not 100% guaranteed.

Daylight
RADWIMPS

Setting our sights on places much too far away,
We’ve closed the lid on the end that will come someday.
We’ve long since lost our human shapes,
Heads of cosmic scale resting on twenty-five-centimeter legs.
In these top-heavy bodies, we still continue to walk on.

On the usual path, we’d start the long run-up approach,
And one day, those next footsteps never touched the ground,
Just floating in eternity, floating countlessly.

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RADWIMPS – Daidarabocchi

RADWIMPS, Zettai Zetsumei

Requested by nanashi.

Not sure what the significance of the title might be, aside from sounding similar to “hitoribocchi” (alone). For any more than that, Google can teach you better than I can.

Listening to this song makes me feel a little less lonely.

Giant
Lyrics: Noda Youjirou
Composition: Noda Youjirou
Performance: RADWIMPS

Being alone is lonely, but if everyone is alone,
It doesn’t feel lonely, because we’re not really alone.

“You’re a nice person.” In order to protect that title
That someone gave to me, I desperately tame myself.

But I’m tired of it now. I think I’ll step down.
I can’t be the kind of person who can put things simply.

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RADWIMPS – Kyuuseishu

RADWIMPS, Zettai Zetsumei

Requested by nanashi.

Savior
Lyrics: Noda Youjirou
Composition: Noda Youjirou
Performance: RADWIMPS

If you were to disappear,
I’m sure the world would end, too,
Because the world can’t revolve around anything but you.

If you were to have fun,
I’m sure the world would laugh, too,
Because the world can’t appear anywhere but inside you.

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