Detailed look at the background of Haruomi Hosono’s album Hosono House.
A translation into English of the opening theme song from Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories (Shinya Shokudo) soundtrack, Omoide, by Tsunekichi Suzuki. I give a background on the songwriter, translate the lyrics, present the song in Japanese and English, and give a commentary on the translation.
But first thing’s first…
What does it mean to be “busu” 「ブス」or “minikui” in Japan?
In a world that worships at the altar of kawaii 「可愛い」, at saucer sized eyes and at double skinned eyelids. What is it like to feel like you don’t live up? And how can you live a life so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.
Twitter writer and Youtuber “Todoron” painfully, graphically and courageously lays bear her experiences of this situation for all to see on Twitter, and later Youtube. Her first tweet was a single Hiragana character. Her third tweet got 150,000 likes and 30,000 retweets.
She seems to having something that resonates with contemporary online Japanese society. She mixes simple-truth observations of the state of the world, and her own inner state. Topics she tackles include her history of cosmetic surgery, concepts of beauty and mental health.
Today I want to have a look at the language she uses around the issues.
For over a thousand years Japanese people have had a tradition of writing poems on their death bed. These poems provide an intriguing window into the most intimate thoughts of people far removed from us by time and geography. And yet they voice thoughts that are timeless and universal.
Here we take a lot a poem by Chirin from 1794, translate the poem, analyse the language and provide some correlations with English texts.