Kimetsu No Yaiba meaning – The full story behind Demon Slayer’s Japanese Name

Kimetsu No Yaiba meaning - The full story behind Demon Slayer’s Japanese Name 鬼滅の刃

What does the Japanese name of the cult Japanese anime Dragon Slayer, Kimetsu no Yaiba kimetsu 鬼滅の刃 mean?

Simply translated, Kimetsu no Yaiba means “Demon Killing Blade”. “鬼 ki” means “demon”, “滅 metsu” means destroy, “の no” means “of” and “刃 yaiba” means “blade”. So to do an extreme literal translation it would be “Demon Destroying, the Blade Of”. 

That doesn’t have much of a ring to it, so the translators wisely opted for something a little more catchy for Kyoharu Gotoge’s homage to zombie-like undead extermination, “Demon Slayer”

Japanese Reading Difficulty

3/12 Could be read easily by 3rd grade level student in Japan

Themes

Anime Titles

Text Type

Anime

Are 鬼滅の刃 Kimetsu no yaiba and “Demon Slayer” the same meaning?

At first glance, “Demon Slayer”, makes us think of a person that kills demons. But given the Japanese original meaning of Kimetsu No Yaiba, it is likely that Demon Slayer refers to the blade itself. It is totally natural for “Demon Slayer” to refer as much to an object as a person in English. Think other swords with names, such as “Excalibur” or “Kusanagi No Tsurugi”.

So, if you look at the name this way, it is actually a fairly close translation of the original. 


The series seems well named, given the centrality in the story of swords such as the “日輪刀” Nichirintou、or Blade of the Sun, to the plot. It is the only device capable of truly destroying the “demons”.

Breaking down the words and characters in Kimetsu No Yaiba

刃 Yaiba

The term “Yaiba” is a fairly rare, somewhat archaic sounding, word for blade or sword. It was one of a long list of words that can be used to describe a sword in Japanese. A partial list of words you could choose from to either refer to a sword in more or less generic/specific variations include:

 

剣 Ken

剣 Tsurugi

刀 Tou

刀 Katana

太刀 Tachi

日本刀 Nihonken

刀剣 Token

刃 Yaiba, Jin, Ha

 

And that’s only carving out a small chunk of the options that could be expanded by including more specific words such as:

 

脇差 Wakizashi for a sword you keep close to your “waki”, underarm area, or a 直刀 chokuto, meaning a straight sword.

It is not too long a bow to draw to say that Japanese have a bit of a thing for sharp weapons. 

That being said, the English speaking world also puts up a good fight with words like sword, sabre, cutlass, scimitar, rapier, dagger, hanger, claymore, backsword, broadsword, greatsword.

Maybe it is more accurate to say that humans are a cut above when it comes to knife-talk.

 

Etymology of “Yaiba”

The Yaiba, in Kimetsu no Yaiba, is also interesting in that it is the result of a phonetic change in a composite word 焼き刃 Yakiba. Yaki means, to fire something, such as in a kiln or forge. It can be seen in words like 焼き物 Yakimono for pottery, or more common food words that many non-Japanese people would be familiar with such as 焼き鳥 “Yakitori” for coal roasted chicken skewers or at the end of words like お好み焼き “Okonomiyaki” – which basically means “Fried Whatever-You-Want” (the Japanese equivalent of Bubble & Squeak). 

The 刃 “Ba” part means “blade”, and is pronounced “ha”  whenever not attached to another word. Interestingly, the other thing that is called a 歯 “Ha” are these, our teeth. So the language reminds us either that our teeth are really little slicing blades, or that our swords are extensions of our ability to cut people up with our teeth. 

So Yakiba could be literally translated as a “smelted blade” or “fired blade”. Over time, we can only assume that badass Samurai through the ages just didn’t have time to deal with all those consonants when dealing out hot feudal justice and cut “smelting blade” “Yakiba” to the somewhat sharper “Yaiba”.

The Chinese characters that are used to express the word Yaiba, or “Ha” or “Jin” as it can also be read, shows us connections in the language by being literally just one little dot stroke on one of the other words for sword 刀 katana. I like to think of it as being like a little drop of blood, but maybe that’s just me.

“Yaiba” can be used in a more specific sense to mean the pointed end of the sword, or meaning blade, or more generically as “sword”. As with most of the words for sword in Japanese, there is a lot more fluidity in their range of meanings than our “sword”.

nezuko cosplay

“鬼滅 Kimetsu” Meaning

If you look “Kimetsu” up in most Japanese dictionaries, you won’t find anything. The word is a  creation of the title’s author made by combining the characters for 鬼 “Oni”, roughly translated as “Demon”, and 滅びる “Horobiru” meaning to destroy or “overthrow” in its transitive form or to “die out” or “be extinguished” in it’s intransitive form. Of course, all Chinese characters used in Japanese have their 訓読み Kunyomi readings derived from Japanese, and their totally different 音読み Onyomi readings derived from Chinese, so Oni can also be read as “Ki”, and “Horobiru” as “metsu”. Hence, “Kimetsu” becomes a newly cut coinage destroying demons. Or “slaying”, if you prefer.

It is said that William Shakespeare made up somewhere in the vicinity of 1700 words. One of the cool things about Japanese is that the language makes this process of word creation easy by making it possible to kind of throw together any two characters that people will already know the meaning of to and have them get the gist of what the new word must be. I guess these are the equivalent of nualism portmanteaus in English such as “workcation”, “listicle” or “romcom”.

 Anyway, I hope that gives you a bit more of a deeper sense of what Kimetsu no Yaiba actually means. I actually first heard of the phrase, and the anime and manga, in 2020 when it appeared on the list of the 30 most popular words in Japanese for that year. You can listen to the original discussion I had with fellow Youtuber Moshi Moshi Yusuke at the time.

You may also be interested in our Demon Slayer Costumes and Cosplay page here or my Japanese language learning resource list here.

Moshi Moshi Yusuke Conversation Transcript

The next one is 鬼滅の刃

 

ですね。

 

刃、はい。鬼滅の刃 これはアニメですね。

 

見ましたか。

 

ええと見ていないです。今映画館でやってるみたい

なんでそろそろ観に行こうかなとは思ってます。

 

映画館でやってるんですか。

 

映画館でもやってるしテレビもやっていないですか。

 

テレビもやってますよね。

 

英語では何て言うんですか。

 

Demon Slayerでした。

 

昨日ちょっと

 

これだけは、ちょっと見ました。 1 話2 話ぐらい見ました。

結構面白そうと思いました。

 

そうですね。

これはすごく人気があって。

 

これからもたぶん人気続くんじゃないかなと思いますね。

 

これは人気があるのは映画にもなって映画館でもやってるんで。

 

特に今これが話題になってるんで流行語に入ったんだと思います。

 

昨日ちょっと見てみて

 

映像がものすごくきれいと思いました。

アニメとしてのアニメーションはすごいなと思いました。

 

おそらく進撃の巨人よりも絵がきれいだと思いますね。

 

そうかもしれないですね。

 

この言葉自体なんですけどはいこの

 

刃って初めて聞いたんですけど刀のことですね。

 

そういうことですね。刃は刀のことです。

 

刃を聞いて改めて思ったんですけど日本では刀を表す単語多いですね。

 

そうですねやっぱり刀を使っていた時代が長いですから多いですよね。

 

剣とか刀とか

 

そうそう。

 

特に刃っていうのは

 

刀があったら刃の部分を言う場合が多いですね。

 

鼻部分を言う場合が多い、刃だったら

 

刃というのは鼻部分言うことが多い。

 

刀というと持つところがあって刀を入れるケース鞘と言うんですけどそれを

 

全部含めて刀なんですけど刃というと鼻部分だけを言う場合が多いですね。

 

尖っている先っぽ

 

そう、切れるところ特にそういうふうに言う場合が多いですね。

 

刃でなんとなくなんというかな。やまと言葉っぽい気はしますけど。もともと日本

 

にあった昔からあった言葉っぽい感じはしますけどどうですか。

 

どうなんでしょうね。語源に関してはちょっとなんとも言えないですけど

どうどうなんでしょうね。あまり考えたことないですね、それは。

 

 

刃で、この

 

鬼滅も初めて聞いたんですけど。

 

辞書で、僕が持ってる辞書で調べたときは出てこなかったですね。

 

当然出てこないですね。おそらくこれはある種の造語だと思いますね。

 

日本人は鬼滅と言われてこの漢字を見させられれば内容

が分かるからこのタイトルにしたんだと思うんですね。

 

鬼滅というのは鬼を滅する、つまり鬼を倒すという意味ですね鬼を倒す。

 

の刃ですから鬼を倒す刀。

 

という意味ですね。

 

この「滅」は絶滅の滅?

 

そう滅亡の「滅」

 

じゃちょっと英語

 

の説明しましょうか。

 

So this is Kimetsu no Yaiba which has been translated into English as “Demon Slayer”, it’s a very popular anime. I guess we should take a look at what it looks like for people that haven’t come across this yet. So it’s an anime about people fighting “Oni” which is…

 

鬼ですよね, この「鬼」「鬼ですね」

So another reading for “oni” is “ki” and “metsu” being to…”destroy”ですかね、「滅」or “kill”.

 

And “Yaiba”,being sword. And we’re talking about how this is one of the many words for “sword” in Japan. They seem to have a lot of them including “Ken”, “Tou”, “Katana”, so there’s a lot of words that seem to mean sword. We’re saying that the “Yaiba” is particularly used about the end of the sword, the part, so not like the hilt of the sword or the sheath of the sword but the actual sword itself, and especially the end, the point of the sword. So “ki” being “oni”, “metsu” being “destroy”, “The Sword That Destoys the Oni”. でこの番組を見たときこの鬼は結構ゾンビー的な感じでした。

鬼ではないですよね、これ。

 

ね、でも何かそれが新鮮

 

な感じはしました

 

。So that’s something that has become very popular in Japan this year.

The next word we are looking at is

 

Kimetsu no Yaiba.

 

Yaiba, yes.

Demon Slayer.

 

This is an anime.

 

Did you see it?

 

No, I haven’t seen it.

 

I heard it’s playing in theaters now,

so I’m thinking of going to see it soon.

 

Oh, it’s in the movie theaters?

 

Yes’ it’s in theaters…

 

It’s not on TV?

 

It’s also on TV? How do

you say it in English?

 

Demon Slayer.

I watched a little bit of this yesterday.

 

I watched one or two episodes.

 

I thought it looked pretty interesting.

Yes, it is.

 

It’s very popular.

 

I think it will probably continue

to be popular in the future.

 

It’s so popular that it’s even been made

into a movie and played in theaters.

 

It’s especially popular now,

 

so

I

 

think that’s why it made it into the list

of the most popular words.

 

I watched it yesterday and I thought

the images were really beautiful.

 

I thought the animation was amazing.

 

I think the pictures are probably

better than Attack on Titan.

 

I think you might be right.

 

This is the first time I’ve

heard the word “Yaiba”,

 

but it refers to a sword right.

 

That’s correct.

 

A Yaiba is a sword.

 

When I heard “Yaiba”,

I thought again that there

 

really are a lot of words

for swords in Japan.

 

Yes, there are a lot of them because

swords were used for a long time.

 

Words like “Ken” and “tou”.

Yes, yes.

 

Especially, “blade” often refers to

 

the blade part of the sword.

 

Often say the nose part,

if it was a blade.

 

The blade is often referred

to as the blade part.

 

A sword has a place to hold it

and a case to put the sword in.

 

The pointed tip?

 

Yes, the cutting part

 

is especially associated with Yaiba.

 

Yaiba.

 

I feel that it sounds like a Yamato word.

 

It sounds like a word that has

existed in Japan for a long time.

 

I don’t know about that.

 

As for the etymology of the word,

I can’t say for sure,

 

I wonder.

I’ve never really thought about it.

 

Yaiba

 

Yaiba

 

And this is the first time

I’ve heard of this “Kimetsu”.

 

When I looked it up in the dictionary,

which I have, it didn’t come up.

 

It

 

‘s only natural that it would not come up.

 

I think this is probably some

kind of newly created word.

 

I think that Japanese people can

understand the the meaning from looking

 

at the kanji characters for “Kimetsu”,

 

and that’s whey they chose the title.

kimetsu means to “mesu” the “Oni”, meaning

 

to defeat the demon.

 

It is referring to a sword

that can defeat the demon.

 

Is this “annihilation” the annihilation

that can be find in the word “extinction”?

 

Yes, the same one that is in

“annihilation”.

 

So let me explain a little

bit about English.

 

So this is Kimetsu no Yaiba which has been

 

translated into English as “Demon Slayer”,

 

it’s a very popular anime.

 

I guess we should take a look at what it

 

looks like for people that haven’t

 

come across this yet.

 

So it’s an anime about people fighting

 

“Oni”. This “Ki” is “Oni” right?

 

That’s correct.

 

So another reading for “oni” is “ki” and “

metsu” being to” It’s “destroy” or “kill”.

 

They seem to have a lot of them including

 

“Ken”, “Tou “We’re saying that the “Yaiba”

is particularly used about the end

 

of the sword, the part, so not like the

hilt of the sword or the sword itself.

 

We’re saying that the “Yaiba” is

 

particularly used about the end

of the sword, the part,

 

so not like the hilt of the sword or

the sheath of the sword but the actual

 

sword itself, and especially the end,

the point of the sword.

 

So “ki” being “oni”, “metsu” So “ki” being

 

“oni”, “metsu” being “destroy”,

“The Sword That Destoys the Oni”.

 

So when I saw this show,

 

this I thought the demons were

pretty zomby-ish.

 

They’re not really “oni” are they?

 

So that’s something that has become

very popular in Japan this year.

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The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

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Graded Japanese Reading Practice

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

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Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Today we’re looking at Miki Matsubara and her debut 1979 Japanese City Pop song Mayonaka No Doa 真夜中のドア – Stay With Me. We have an English translation of the song and performance sung by Cake Sullivan, and then we’ll jump into the background. I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020

Japanese Reading Difficulty

4/12 Could be read by 4th grade level student in Japan

Themes

Love, City Pop

Text Type

Song Lyrics

Japanese Lyrics

To you, yes my love to you



私は私 貴方は貴方と

昨夜言ってた そんな気もするわ

グレイのジャケットに

見覚えがある コーヒーのしみ

相変らずなのね

ショーウィンドウに 二人映れば

 

Stay with me…

真夜中のドアをたたき

帰らないでと泣いた

あの季節が 今 目の前

Stay with me…

口ぐせを言いながら

二人の瞬間を抱いて

まだ忘れず 大事にしていた

 

恋と愛とは 違うものだよと

昨夜言われた そんな気もするわ

二度目の冬が来て

離れていった貴方の心

ふり返ればいつも

そこに 貴方を感じていたの

 

Stay with me…

真夜中のドアをたたき

心に穴があいた

あの季節が 今 目の前

Stay with me…

淋しさまぎらわして

置いたレコードの針

同じメロディ 繰り返していた…

 

Stay with me…

真夜中のドアをたたき

帰らないでと泣いた

あの季節が 今 目の前

Stay with me…

口ぐせを言いながら

二人の瞬間を抱いて

まだ忘れず 暖めてた

 

Stay with me…

真夜中のドアをたたき

帰らないでと泣いた

あの季節が 今 目の前

Stay with me…

口ぐせを言いながら

二人の瞬間を抱いて

まだ忘れず 暖めてた

 

Stay with me…

真夜中のドアをたたき

帰らないでと泣いた

あの季節が 今 目の前

Stay with me…

English Translation

My love, I send to you my love

Send to you my love

 

I am me and you are you

Last night I heard you talking

I swear it’s true

I saw on your grey jacket

A coffee stain that I’m sure I’d seen before

I thought, isn’t that just like you dear?

 reflecting in the shop window, right there I saw

 

Stay with me

Till the dark night turns into morning light

I was knocking on your door and crying with the seasons changing

Right before my eyes

Stay by my side

Stay with me

These words, how many times must I repeat?

I remember way back when how you would treat

Treat me so sweet

 

Love and affection

Are not the same thing

Last night I think

That’s what you said to me

And when the 2nd winter came

Seemed like our love just blew away

It’s only now I look back that I see

I always knew when you were right there with me

Stay with me

Till the dark night turns into morning light

I need something to help me fill this hole inside

And the seasons they change

Right before your eyes

Stay with me

Take my mind off how I get so damn lonely

Put the needle on that record

Play that melody

Over and over

And over on repeat

Why Did Miki Matsubara’s Stay With Me Blow Up In 2020?

The internet has a strange habit of regurgitating cultural artifacts up from the bubbling & voluminous ooze of human history. In this way, curios that have been previously looked over, passed on, loved in parallel worlds or inhabited worlds partially loved, somehow find new life. Matsubara Miki’s Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me, meaning “Midnight Door, is one such piece of shimmering flotsam to have surfaced on the digital tide.

The song started doing the rounds on Tic Toc in the dying months of the annus mirabilis of 2020. In an unprecedented year, it was an unexpected cover of the song by Indonesian-Muslim artist Rainych that set the spark of the viral fire that spread to social media, by uploading a cover of the song to Youtube on the 29th of October 2020. 

Flawlessly sung in Japanese by an Indonesian with almost no ability to speak a word of Japanese, the song perhaps represents a new watermark in the globalization of culture.

But who can really say why these things take off? I like to see it as an act of nature, or divinity, or divine nature, like a cyclone or an earth tremor, or a large wave. Perhaps it was the infamous hand of god, guided by the then only recently deceased maradona.

The internet is a surging ocean.

Whatever the providence, some of the appeal must have come from the cheesy, yet undeniably soaring, melody, performance and arrangement. Mayonaka occupies a late 70s, early 80s style jazz fusion, America-meets-rising-sun world, with a combo locking into a funky groove, in consummate session muso fashion. It’s got layers of muted horns, shimmering keys and extended harmony inflected strings. 

It also has a perfectly twinkling  Matsubara eye film clip if you watch one of the most prominent selections doing the rounds on Tik Tok. 

Hey, it was the year of the plague, so you can forgive the greater online diaspora for frothing for a little razzle dazzle.

Miki Matsubara & The Rise of Japanese City Pop

Of course, the song is placed in a larger wave of ironic nostalgia that has been rippling across the globe ever since Japanese and Western DJ’s started spinning the so called – Rare Grooves in the 90s. This was the music of the late economic bubble era 80’s Japan, one part of what had, rather uninspiringly been given the moniker of “New music”. Loosely tied up into an amorphous subgenre mirror ball called “City Pop”, people started seeking out this music deeply influenced by American AOR, Adult and Album Orientated Rock, depending on who you believe, which favored sophisticated, jazz and funk inflected grooves with a smooth, upbeat vibe. This music formed a soft rebellion against the more heart on your sleeve, socio-political movement-orientated folk and raucous rock that had taken hold in the mid 60s. The new music was all about personal fortune and misfortune, the world be damned. Musicians, such as Haromi Hosono and his band Happy End, who I looked at in my last Songs In Translation Video, and, even more characteristically, Sugar Babe, symbolised the start of the change in Japan.

By the time Miki Matsubara released the song in 1979, aged 19 and a year out of high school, the City Pop genre was just starting to launch into full flight.

Who Wrote Miki Matsubara’s Mayonaka 真夜中のドア No Doa Stay With Me?

The music and words to the Mayonaka No Doa Stay With Me were written by two jobbing hit makers Tokuko Miura and Tetsuji Hayashi, both of whom have enough song writing credits listed on their wikipedia pages to give you Carpal Tunnel just trying to scroll through them. Tokuko is perhaps best known as the behind the scenes wordsmith to pen many of Pop megastar Seiko Matsuda’s early hits. Mayonaka no Doa was the only song she worked with Matsubara on.

 

Many of the people Matsubara worked with describe her as being something special. Indeed,she was one of those people that was good at everything. At school, she was a top student, did well at sport, had a charismatic personality that everyone was drawn to. Everyone expected her to go on to a prestigious university. To her local community’s surprise at the age of 17, she courageously set out to the big smoke of Tokyo to pursue another of her many talents – singing. Within a year she was scouted after jumping on stage for an impromptu performance at a bar, and was promptly armed with some hit material and sent to the studio.

Miki Matsubara in Mid-Career

But she wasn’t just an object being acted on. She was serious about her music. From the start there was something mature, adult, about her. She didn’t fit the kawaii sugar puff idol mold. She was undeniably beautiful, but had something of the femme fatale about her. 

A guitarist from her band would later say in an interview that her attitude to music, that “you have to unflinchingly attack it head on”, had changed his life. In short, she was a pro.

At the age of 25, she started seeing many female singers around start to recede into the background, retire, as if being on the downhill side of one’s 20s was the time for a woman in music to quietly step down. Instead, Matsubara doubled down. She also began adding new strings to her bow. She started a band, Dr. Woo. She honed her skills as a songwriter and composer. She wrote theme songs, and anime soundtrack music. In this way, she spent the next decade and half not just as a singer, but as a productive music industry creator.

 

Then, shortly after the turn of the millennium, and entering her early forties, she sent an abrupt and startling email message to her friends. She told them she was cutting ties. Getting rid of her home phone, cancelling her mobile phone contract, closing her email account. Those that replied to the email got nothing in return. To many, it was like she just disappeared.

And she stopped making music.

In a message to her brother she said “I’ve got a favour. Please forget about the years of my life singing and making music.” 

To her close family only she confided the reason for the sudden change. Her message to her brother continued “I can’t help but feel that the way I have been living my life has brought about my sickness…I must find a way to reset myself.”

How Did Miki Matsubara Die?

Matsubara died of uterine cervix cancer on October 7 2004. In 2001, she had made a clean and complete break from music, and from her community to devote herself completely to battling her illness. She was an all-or-nothing person. A perfectionist. Her new life mission was life itself. Now she was a warrior fighting disease.

In the words of Tom Waits, it was a train that took her away, but a train couldn’t bring her home.

 

She was given 3 months to live.

Miki Matsubara Final Years and Legacy

In the end, she proved herself, as in all things, above average even as a patient. From the time of her withdrawal from the world, to the time of her ultimate passing, a span of 3 years passed.

In her last days she confided in her father “There are still so many things I want to do. I don’t want to die”.

He would later say, “she had always been independent, but in the last six months of her life, it was almost as if she became a baby, craving her parent’s love.”

On the 7th of October, she rapped one last time on midnight’s door and was admitted for the final time.

But her music has not so much lived on, as reincarnated. The music of the time has gone on to hold a strange fascination for many people throughout the world. Most notably, the sounds of City Pop have been championed, if not fetishised, by the proponents of Vaporwave (perhaps most characteristically in the Macintosh Plus album Floral Shoppe), that reference the stylised sounds of the early eighties, the more exotic the better, through filters, quotation and varying degrees of irony.

But before she was a meme, Matsubara was a human. Before she was a femme fatale, she was a talented daughter. Before she was a sparkling eye, she was an insightful mind.

And no matter whether she comes knocking on our door in the dead of night or not, she deserves to stay with me and you.

Stay With Me General And Buying Info

What Album did 真夜中のドア Stay With Me appear on?

Stay With Me first appeared as Miki’s debut single on the 5th of November 1979. It would go on to appear on her debut album “Pocket Park” on the 21st of January 1980, on vinyl and cassette. A CD version of the album in 1990 and was reissued in 2009.

The song has also appeared on several best of and compilation albums below.

Differences Between Album and Single Versions of Stay With Me

The intro section of the single version of Stay With Me features Miki’s vocals, while the album version only has back up singers. The album version of Stay With Me is also around 15 seconds longer than the single version, due to the inclusion of an extra chorus.

How Many Times Has Stay With Me been covered?

There are 28 cover versions of the song listed on the the Japanese version of Wikipedia. There have been countless other renditions of the song since it became popular on social media.

Miki Matsubara Soundtracks

Miki Matsubara wrote theme songs and contributed to the sound tracks for animations including Dirty Pair and Gundam 0033.

These are still available on DVD and Bluray:

Miki Matsubara Merch

Miki Matsubara Posters

Miki Matsubara T-Shirts

Other Miki Matsubara Stuff

City Pop Stuff

Vaporwave Stuff

Japanoscope uses affiliate links. Which means we may receive commisions when you click on some product links. We only link to products we believe in, use ourselves or think are genuinely good. This helps us keep all of the content on the site free of charge. As Monty Python once said, “We’re selling records in the foyer. Some of us have gotta eat too you know”.

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »
Japanese Learning Programs

Rocket Japanese Review 2021

I take an in depth look at the Rocket Japanese platform, 2021 edition, in depth and outline what I like, what I don’t like and what some of the alternatives are.

Read More »
Culture

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »
Graded Japanese Reading Practice

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Read More »

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Japanese Reading Difficulty

8/12 Could be read easily by 10th grade level student in Japan

Themes

New Japanese Words
Japanese Vocabulary
Japanese social trends 2020

Text Type

Interview

じゃあ7行きましょうか。AI超え。これはたぶん知らないですよね。知らなかったですけど 1 回軽くちょっとだけ調べました。でも説明あんまり。。。将棋のすごい選手今年出てきましたね。

そうですね。厳密に言うと今年ではなくてもっと前から有名だったんですけども藤井聡太という人がいるんですけど。

本来そもそも将棋というのは分からない人にわかりやすく説明するとチェスに似たルールのゲームです。

チェスと同じようにとても頭脳を使うゲームなので基本的には年配の人がプレーヤーであることはすごく多いんですけども藤井さんという人はまだ 10 代なんですね。たしか 18 歳か 19 歳かそれぐらいで。で将棋のいわゆるチャンピオンに対して何度も連続で勝つようなこの人ですね。

この人ですね。十八歳か十九歳か。すごく有名な人で若いのに本当に負けないんですよね。当時一番強いとされていた人と対戦したときにすごい難しい局面を迎えたときにチェスと同じで結構考える時間はあるんですよね。

20, 20 分以上考えてとった行動が本当に大逆転の一手だったんですけどね。後で人工知能 AI ですが考えて考えて考え出した最高の一手が藤井さんがやった行動とまったく同じだったんですよね。通常チェスでいうとコンピューターと人間だと大体勝率は同じぐらいかまだ人間が勝てると思うんですけども将棋の場合はコンピュータつまり人工知能と人間が対戦すると人工知能が勝つ場合が多いんですね。

それぐらい難しい競技でそれでコンピューターが打ち出した最高の手段というのをその場でコンピュータが出す前にやってしまったということで人工知能を超えたという意味で超。という言葉が流行りましたね。

じゃあこの藤井さんが、なに、AIに勝ったんですか。

実際に直接対戦したわけではないので勝ったわけではないんですけど人間が緊張した場面で考えだした。わずか 20 分くらいで考え出した手段に対して人工知能は何時間もかけて、出てきた答えが同じだったということは人間の方が勝ったということでAI声と言われているんですね。

 

Let’s go on to 7,

 

Supassing AI .

 

You probably don’t know about this, right?

 

I didn’t know about it, but I did some research. I couldn’t find out much. A great Shogi player came out this year, didn’t he?

 

There is a person named Sota Fujii. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t this year, but there is a person named Sota Fujii who has been famous for a long time.

 

Originally, Shogi is a game with rules similar to chess, to explain it  for those who don’t know.

 

Like chess, it’s a game that requires a lot of brain power, so there are a lot of older people who play it, but Mr. Fujii is still in his teens, maybe 18 or 19 years old and he has won many times in a row against so-called Shogi champions.

 

 He is18 or 19 years old. He is a very famous person, and even though he is young, he hasn’t really lost. When he played against the strongest player at the time, and he faced a very difficult passage of play, you have a lot of time to think, just like in chess.

 

The move he madeafter thinking about it for more than 20 minutes was really a big turning of the tables move. Later, the artificial intelligence AI thought and thought and thought, and came up with the best move, which was exactly the same as the move that Mr. Fujii had made. Usually, in chess, if it is a computer and a human, the winning rate is about the same for both, or the human can still win. But in Shogi, when a computer, or artificial intelligence, and a human play against each other, the artificial intelligence often wins.

 

That’s how difficult the competition is, and the fact that he did it before the computer could come up with the best method on the spot, means that he surpassed the artificial intelligence. That’s why the word “AI goe” became popular.

 

Then this Fujii-san, what, won against AI?

 

It doesn’t mean that he won because they didn’t actually play against each other directly, but a human came up with a play in a tense situation. The artificial intelligence took hours to come up with a method that took a human only about 20 minutes, and the answer that came out was the same, which means that the human won, and that’s why it’s called AI Goe.

 

 

 

So, we’re saying that this word AI Goe, so aI obviously means “artifical intelligence”  and “goe” means to transcend AI. So this Shogi 選手何なんと言ったらいいんですか Shogi player. By the name of Fujii Sota has become very famous in recent years. I’ve personally only noticed him in the news this last year or so but the last few years he’s become very famous as  being 18 歳でしだっけ18はい 18 Years old and being the new champion of this sport, I guess you would call it, and that in the space of 20 minutes when they gave the same problem for him and a computer to try and work out the best solution in the game, the solution that the computer came up with and he came up with proved to be exactly the same solution, so that’s where this “AI goe” is coming from。どうですか。このリストに載るぐらい使われてるというか有名な言葉になってるんですか。

いや実はそんなことはなくて超えAIという言葉が有名というよりも藤井聡太という人物がとても有名でその人を代表する言葉としてそこに入っただけだと思いますね。おそらく藤井聡太とそこに書いたほうがよかったんじゃないかなとは思いますね。他の人個人名が入ってるのもありますからね。

ちょっと不思議ですね。次行きましょうか。 8 Essential Worker英語圏の人だったら誰でもすぐわかると思うんですけど。

そうですね。これは例えば医者とか、看護師あるいはインフラに関わる人達がなくてはならない職業を指している言葉ですね。

これはよく使われていますか。

日常会話でエッセンシャルワーカーといったことはないです。おそらくニュースでそういった言葉が使われたりすることはあるんですけど流行語と言われるとどうでしょうね。日常会話では使わないですね。

僕から今回遠くから見てちょっと不思議に思ったんですけど結構このコロナ禍になってこういう英語の外来語使うことになりましたね。コロナ関しての外来語でなぜ不思議に思うかというとこういう危機的な時こそみんながわかる普通のその国の言葉を使うのが当然じゃないかなと思うんですけどわざわざ英語の外来語を使ってメッセージを伝えようとするのはなんででしょうね。

おそらくそれは 2 番目の新しい生活様式につながることだと思うんですけれども外来語を使う目的が何なのかはちょっとわからないんですけどおそらく。聞き慣れない言葉を出すことによって新しいものだという印象をつけたいんじゃないかなと思うんですよね。

じゃあその分みんな「これはなんだ」もう、危機的な気持ちになるということですかね。

おそらくそれが目的だと思いますね。今までなかったものを今までなかったものが出てきた新しい対応をしなければいけないというメッセージも含めて聞き慣れない言葉を使うということなんじゃないかと僕は思ってます。

そうか、外から入ってきたものだということを強調しようとしているところがありますかね。

うん、そういう意図もあると思います。

あと単純に外来語を使うのがかっこいいと思っている人がたくさんいるというのもあると思います。すごく単純な理由だと思います。

でもそれは何、芸能人の世界とかだったらわかるんですけど政治家とかそういう格好良さとか意識するところですかね。

やっぱり民主主義国家ですから投票で決まるわけですよね。ある種の人気投票でもあると思うんでやっぱりカッコ悪いよりいい方がいいとは思うでしょうね。

そうですか。なるほど、面白いですね。日本のニュースは結構見るんですけど今でもクラスターたぶんどっかに載っていると思うんですけど。

クラスターありますね。

ありますね。今でも大体そのクラスタという言葉をニュースで使うときは集団感染クラスタと言っていると思います。

もうコロナ禍になってもう何カ月くらい経つこの 8 カ月間くらいですかね。

2020 年の 1 月 2 月ぐらいからだから、もう 10 カ月近く 10 カ月以上経ちますかね。

ということはそれだけ時間が経っても集団感染クラスタを言わないといけないとニュースが思う、ということですね。

そうですね。

だったら集団感染だけ行った方が早いじゃないですかと思ったりしますね。

そうですね。

ただ僕がニュースを見ている限りは集団感染という言葉のほうが多く出てきますね、ニュースでは。なのでクラスターが起こったという言い方よりも集団感染が起こったという方が圧倒的に多いですね。きく言葉としては。ただ集団感染という言葉は今までにあった言葉でクラスターという言い方は今までになかったので新語ということなんじゃないかなと思います。

そうですね。

 

 

So, we’re saying that this word AI Goe, AI is artificial intelligence and goe  means to transcend AI. So this Shogi player. By the name of Fujii Sota has become very famous in recent years. I’ve personally only noticed him in the news this last year or so but the last few years he’s become very famous as being 18 years old, right? old and being the new champion of this sport, I guess you would call it, and that in the space of 20 minutes when they gave the same problem for him and a computer to try and work out the best solution in the game, the solution that the computer came up with and that he came up with proved to be exactly the same solution, so that ‘s where this “AI goe” is coming from. What do you think? Has this word become so popular that it deserves to be on this list?

 

Actually, I don’t think so. I think it was just that Sota Fujii is very famous and the word was included there to represent him rather than the word “AI Goe” being famous. I think it would have been better to write “Sota Fujii” there. After all, there are other personal names on the list.

 

That’s a little strange. Let’s go next. 8 Essential Worker, I think anyone from an English-speaking country can easily understand this.

 

Yes, that’s right. This is a term that refers to, for example, doctors, nurses or people involved in infrastructure.

 

Is this used often?

 

I don’t think people use “essential worker” in everyday conversation. Perhaps there are times when the word is used in the news, but I’m not sure if it’s a “buzzword”. People don’t use it in daily conversation.

 

I was looking at it from a distance and wondering why people have decided to use a foreign English words in the Corona disaster. The reason why I wondered about the use of foreign words in relation to Corona is that in times of crisis like this, I think it’s natural to use the normal language of the country that everyone can understand, but I wonder why people have gone to the trouble to use foreign words in English to convey their message.

 

I think that this is the second thing that leads to a new way of life, but I am not sure what the purpose of using foreign words is. I think they want to give the impression that it is something new by using unfamiliar words.

 

So I guess that may help everyone have a sense of urgency, like “What is this?”

 

I think that could be the purpose. I believe that the use of unfamiliar words includes the message that we need to take a new response to something that was not there before.

 

So, is there a function of trying to emphasize that it is something that came in from the outside?

 

Yeah, I think that’s the intention.

 

I also think that there are a lot of people who simply think it’s cool to use foreign words. It could be as simple as that.

 

But, I guess, if it was in the world of entertainers, I could understand, but politicians and the like, are they conscious of trying to be “cool”.

 

It’s a democracy, so positions are decided by vote. I think it’s also a kind of popularity contest, so I think it’s better to be cool than uncool, right.?

 

I see. I see, that’s interesting. I watch a lot of news in Japan, and I think the word “cluster” is often on the news.

 

You do hear cluster.

 

Yes, you do. I think they still generally refer to “cluster” in the phrase “cluster – or mass infection” when they use that term in the news.

 

How many months has it been since the corona disaster, about eight months?

 

It started around January/February of 2020, so it’s been almost 10 months, more than 10 months.

 

So it seems that the news still feels it necessary to say “cluster or mass infection” all that time.

 

Yes, they do.

 

If that’s the case, I think it would be faster to just go to the Japanese word for “mass infection”, don’t you?

 

Yes, it would. But as far as I can tell, the term “mass infection” is used more often in the news. So the term “mass infection” is much more common than the term “cluster”. It’s just that the term “mass infection” has never been used before. However, the word “mass infection” has been used before, but the word “cluster” has never been used in the past, so I think it is more appropriate for a new word list.

 

 

Um, so we’re just having a discussion about this one, the “Essential Worker”  and just saying that there have been a lot of words that have been brought in from English to describe the whole Corona situation, which seems a little mysterious to me. It seems to me that in a time of crisis, that country would use very simple language from their own language that everyone already understands to try and get that message across clearly. But we’re saying that maybe they’re using it for a couple of reasons. Maybe they’re using these words, one, because maybe it’s a bit “cool” or something, which I was saying I could understand in the world of entertainment, but you would think in the world of politics that they wouldn’t care about that sort of thing so much. But we’re saying in a country where politicians have to get elected, they do think about what sounds cool and that sort of thing. Yeah, but it’s interesting that all of these words have come into Japanese this year to describe this situation.

次も似たようにお家時間、ステイホームどうですかこれ?

やっぱりこれも残念ながらコロナ関係の話ですね。

そうですね。お家空間でどういう風に使うんですか。

お家空間。例えば仕事が休みの日に。お家空間は何やってるの。っていう感じでしょうね。

あまり使わないかな

ステイホームはどちらかというと家にいなさいと言う意味。。。

そうですね。

お家空間はそういう風に使う?

使わないないですね。

おうち時間はただあくまでも家にいる時間のことを言ってるだけで stay home とはちょっと違いますね。うーん不思議ですね。一緒に入ってるのはこれ。ちなみにちょっと飛んでしまうんですけども二十三万も違うことが一つの枠に入ってると思うんですよね。

テレワークつまりリモートワークのことなんですけどワーケーションはワークバケーションですよね。まったくその。違う言葉ですよね。テレワークとワーケーションは内容が全然違うんで。

そうですね。

なぜここに一緒に入っているのかちょっと僕には分からないですね。ただ確かにこのテレワークあるいはリモートワークという言葉が流行りましたね。

そうですね。日本のニュースでよくこれを聞きましたね。テレワーク。オーストラリアでそんなに使われてないですね。でも徐々にちょっと聞くようになってきたんですけどひょっとしたら僕が初めて聞いたのが日本のニュースかもしれないですね。

なるほど。テレワークにしてもワークにしてもお家 時間にしても stay home にしても。

まあ。やっぱり日常会話にはそんなに出てこないですね。ただテレワークに関しては仕事中に出てくる言葉なので結構会話では出てきます。特に会社員はよく使う言葉だと思いますね。

結構使うんですか。多分こっちはほとんど説明的に”work from home”とか”today I’m going to work from home” or “are you working from home”がほとんどだと思います。

やっぱりそうですよね。でも、まあ、使いますよ、結構 。

「ワーケーション」ってどういう意味だったっけ。Work-Vacationしながらちょっと働くということ

働きながら自由な 時間をもつということかな。どういう意味なんでしょうね。

どういう意味でしょう。ワーケーション

ワークとバケーションが合体した言葉ではあるんですけどおそらく、まあ、それこそお家時間と同じような内容なのかなと思いますよね。

そうですか。お家時間

お家時間。

お家時間、ちょっといまだによくわからないですが。お家時間。仕事のコンテクストで使うんですか。 お家時間って

お家時間は仕事だけではないですね。

休みの日も含めてですね。

コロナの関係の言葉ですね。

 

Um, so we’re just having a discussion about this one, the “Essential Worker” and just saying that there have been a lot of words that have been brought in from English to describe the whole Corona situation, which seems a little mysterious to me.

 

It seems to me that in a time of crisis, that country would use very simple language from their own language that everyone already understands to try and get that message across clearly, but we’re saying that maybe Maybe they’re using these words, one, because maybe it’s a bit “cool” or something, which I was saying I could understand in the world of entertainment, but we’re saying that maybe they’re using it for a couple of reasons. I could understand in the world of entertainment, but you would think in the world of politics that they wouldn’t care about that sort of thing so much.

 

But we’re saying in a country where politicians have to get elected, they do think about what sounds cool and that sort of thing. Yeah, but it’s interesting that all of these words have come into Japanese this year. All of these words have come into Japanese this year to describe this situation.

 

Next, in a similar way, we have “stay home”, how about this one?

 

This is a Corona-related story too, unfortunately.

 

Yes, it is. How do you use ouchi jikan?

 

Ouchi Jikan. For example,when you take a day off work you might say, “what are you doing with your Ouchi Jikan?” I guess.

 

I don’t know if I use it much.

 

Stay home means you must stay in your house?

 

Yes.

 

So is that, how you use Ouchi Jikan?

 

Not exactly

 

Ouchi Jikan just refers to the time you spend at home, which is a bit different from stay home. It’s strange that it’s lumped in with the others. By the way, it’s a bit of a jump, but I think there is another word at number 23.

 

Telework, which is remote work, but a work vacation is a work vacation. It’s a different word. Telework and work vacation are completely different in content.

 

Yes, they are.

 

I’m not sure why they’re in here together. It’s true that the terms “telework” or “remote work” have become popular.

 

That’s right. You often heard this on the news in Japan. Telework. It’s not used that much in Australia. I think I might have heard about this the first time on the news in Japan.

 

There you go. Whether it’s telework, workation, ouchi jikan or stay home, they don’t come up that much in everyday conversation. However, telework is a word that comes up during work, so it comes up in conversation quite often. I think it’s a word that is often used especially by company employees.

 

Do you use it a lot? Over her we usually use explanatory phrases like “work from home” or “today I’m going to work from home” or “are you working from home”.

 

That makes sense. But, well, I use it a lot.

 

I don’t know what “work vacation” means, I guess it means working a little while having a vacation.

 

I think it means having free time while working. I wonder.

 

I wonder too. Workcation.

 

It’s a word that combines work and vacation, but perhaps, well, that’s what Ouchi Jikan is all about, isn’t it?

 

Okay. Ouchi Jikan.

 

Ouchi Jikan.

 

Ouchi Jikan,. I still don’t understand it. Ouchi Jikan. Do you use it in the context of work? Ouchi Jikan?

 

Your Ouchi Jikan isn’t just for work.

 

It includes holidays.

 

 

So we’re talking about this one お家時間 which literally means time at home, which they’ve grouped together with “stay home”, which, I don’t know,  we’re not sure why they’re grouped together so much. “Stay home” seems to be used more as a “telling people to stay home”, whereas I think we’re saying お家時間 is more just talking generally about any time that you’re at home and talking about being home. So these seem a little different. And we’re also talking about “telework” and “workation”. And it’s strange that on this list they’ve “telework” and “workation” have been listed together, even though they seem like quite different things. But who are we to decide how the list should be? Let’s go on to number 10.

オンライン。これは何か抜けているかな。

まるまるオンラインなになに。

何だったかな。ちょっともともとのリストをみてみましょう か。

オンライン。まるまるなんでしょうね、は。

オンライン例えばオンライン会議とか今までオンラインでやらなかったことをオンラインでやるようになった。そのことに対してオンライン何々ですね。オンライン会議が一番多いですかね。あとはまあ、あまりないかもしれないけどオンライン面接とか会社ではよく使いますね。

なるほど。なんでもオンラインになりましたということですね。

そうですね。

So this ones just a fairly generalised “online” just saying that there’s an online something. So online meetings, online interviews, that, just this word has started to be used a lot more. That’s relatively simple I think. これはいきましょうか。顔芸・恩返し。

はいはいこれはドラマですね。

半沢、半沢直樹。

ありましたね。最近復活したんですね、今年ぐらいに。

数年前に流行ったドラマなんですけれどもまた今年はじまってすごく人気があるドラマなんですけれどもそのドラマの出演者がすごく顔を大げさにリアクションするんです。それでそれを顔芸という風に言うんですよね。

顔芸ちょっと見てみましょ。

これですねこの人。これが半沢直樹の主役。これが同じ人ですか。

違う人の声ですね。これが主役ですね。

これが顔芸ですかね。

とそう、そのな表情がそのドラマの特徴なのでそれを顔芸という風に言うんですよね。

どういう風に使うんですか。

この言葉は使わないですよ。日常生活では使わないですよ。

でも半沢直樹に関してどういうふうに使うんですか。あの顔芸はすごかったねとか。

そうそうそう。そうですね。あとは恩返しと書いてありますけどこれがドラマの内容ですね。顔芸。顔芸、そうですね。これなぜ顔芸って言われるかっていうと出演者のみんなではないですけど結構出演者の何人かは歌舞伎俳優なんですね。

あ、そうか。 

普通の俳優ではなくて歌舞伎俳優なんで歌舞伎っていうのはすごく表情豊かなものなんですよね。なのでそれがドラマの中で出てしまったんだと思うんですよね。

歌舞伎、ちょっと英語でやろうかな。かぶきFace多分出てくるんじゃないかな。こんなんじゃないね。こんな感じかな。

こういうのもありますよね。

こんな感じ。こういうのとか。

そうですね。

ちょっと少ないですけど。

いわゆる日本の伝統芸能ですね。

ええ、面白い興味深いですね、これは

でこの日本の伝統芸能をやってる人たちは歌舞伎をやってるだけではなくて非常に演技も上手なんでこういう半沢直樹のような現代劇にも登場します。

この半沢直樹の主役をやった役者さんも歌舞伎もやっているんですか。

 いや、この人歌舞伎俳優だったかどうかちょっとわからないですね。

So we’re saying “kao” means “face” and “gei” means, I guess in this context it’s like a “trick” that you do with your face, or something you can do with your face, literally sometimes translated as art, but doesn’t make sense in that context. Yeah, like a facial “trick” I suppose. And we’re saying that there’s this show called “Hanzawa Naoki”, which is the name of lead character, Hanzawa Naoki, which has been very popular in Japan this year. It was originally popular, I watched the show, I don’t know, it feels like 4-5 years ago that I watched the original. It’s kind of about a bank worker 銀行で働く人だったと思います。

見ましたか、この番組?

 ええと見たり見なかったり、全部は見てないです。

僕あはたぶん前の 4、5 年くらい前じゃなかったかな、見ましたけど最近のやつは見てないですね。

Um, so we’re saying, yeah, it was a drama that was based around a bank worker that’s trying to kind of move his way up in the world of finance. And he’s become very famous for having these super expressive faces I guess you would call them. And we’re saying that, we’re not exactly sure about the lead actor, but there are definitely actors within the program that have come out of the world of Kabuki and Kabuki is very well known, you know, for having these, sort of, facial expressions that are very big and expressive and…舞伎の顔の何か名前があるんですか。言葉があるんでうか。「決まり顔」とかそういう

いやそういう風に言われないですね。

Anyway, he’s become very famous for these big facial expressions that are asort of similar in some ways to Kabuki. So this show has become very popular, and that’s why it’s on the list of words for this year

昔の最近のやつ見てないですけど4、 5 年くらい前にやっていた時にたぶん一応全部全部見たと思うんですけど結構面白かったです。面白かったですけどそういう演技が何でも大げさでよく日本のドラマでそういうふうに演じていることが多いですね。なんか、リアルに現実的に演じるんじゃなくて、結構大げさにリアクションとかすごい大げさにやって演じることが結構あるんですね。

ありますね。

僕から見てすごい不思議に思うんですけど。

僕もすごい不思議に思うんですけど一番最初の話に戻るんですけど愛の不時着っていう韓国ドラマがあるんですけど韓国ドラマもいやむしろ韓国ドラマのほうがすごく大げさに演じる傾向があるんですよね。

僕はちょっと不自然だなと思ってますね。もちろん日本のドラマもそうですね。ちょっと大げさですよね。

でもきっとそれわざとそういうふうにやってるはずですね。

そうですね。

ということはどういうことでしょうね。そういう歌舞伎の伝統とか繋がったりするんですかね。どう思いますか。

通常考えればつながってないとは思うんですけど。ただまあ。出演者で歌舞伎出身の人がいるから多少は半沢直樹に関しては多少はそういうのがあるんじゃないですかね。普通のドラマあまり歌舞伎と繋がってるとは考えにくいですけどね。

でもなぜかそういう演じ方はあるのは事実です。多分そういう、。いやどうでしょう。それわざとやってる。としか思えないぐらい大げさにやってますね。

そうそうそう。普段の生活で見るような見ることがないような動きをしたりしますよね。あれは僕はちょっと好きじゃないですけど一般的になってますね。

でもそうじゃない映画の世界とかすっごい現実現実的に描いてる映画とか「万引き家族」とかありますね。だから全貌はそうだということじゃないですね。

そうですね。

流派的なものですかね。

あるかもしれない。監督の考え方とかそういうのもあるかもしれないですね。

そうですね。はい、「顔芸」でした。

So we’re talking about this one Ouchi Jikan which literally means time at home, which they’ve grouped together with “stay home”, which, I don’t know, we’re not sure why they’re grouped together so much. “Stay home” seems to be used more as a “telling people to stay home,” whereas I think we’re saying I think we’re saying “Ouchi Jikan” is more just generally talking about any time that you’re at home and talking about being home.

 

So these seem a little different. And we’re also talking about “telework” and “workation”. And it’s strange that on this list they’ve “telework” and “workation” have been listed together, even though they seem like quite different things. Who are we to decide how the list should be? Let’s go on to number 10.

 

Online. I wonder if I’m missing something in this.

 

online something something.

 

I wonder what it was. Let’s take a look at the original list.

 

Online. 

 

Online, for example, online meetings. Things that we didn’t do online before, we’re now doing online. That’s what online is on here for. I think online meetings are the most common. And maybe not so much, but online interviews are often used in company contexts.

 

I see. So, I guess we are just saying everything is now online.

 

True.

 

So this ones just a fairly generalised one. “Online” just saying that there’s an online something or other. So online meetings, online interviews, that, just this word has started to be used a lot more. That’s relatively simple I think. Let’s move on to “Face tricks”, and “returning a favor”.

 

Yes,  this is a drama show.

 

Hanzawa. Hanzawa Naoki.

 

That’s the one? It’s been revived recently, I guess this year.

 

It’s a drama that was popular a few years ago but started again this year and is very popular. The actors in the drama exaggerate their facial reactions, and it’s called “kaogei”.

 

Let’s take a look at a bit of kaogei.

 

This is it. This is the guy. This is the main character of Hanzawa Naoki. This is the same person?

 

That’s a different person. That’s the star of the show.

 

Is this the kaogei?

 

Yes, the facial expressions are a feature of this program, so it’s called kaogei, isn’t it?

 

How do you use it?

 

I don’t use this word. I don’t use it in my daily life.

 

But how would you use it in relation to Hanzawa Naoki? Like, “That kaogei was amazing”?

 

Yes, yes, yes. That’s right. And it also says “return the favor,” but that’s what the drama is about. The reason why it’s called “kaogei” it is because some of the actors are kabuki actors, not all of them.

 

Oh, right.

 

They are kabuki actors, not regular actors, and kabuki is known for very striking facial expressions. That’s why this has continued into this drama.

 

Kabuki, I think I’ll type a little English. Kabuki Face. Maybe it will comej up. It’s not like this. It’s like this.

 

This is the kind of thing that people do.

 

Like this. Like this.

 

Yes, it is.

 

There aren’t so many here.

 

It’s a so-called traditional Japanese art form.

 

Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s interesting.

 

And the people who are doing these traditional Japanese arts are not only doing kabuki, but they are also very good actors, and they appear in modern dramas like Hanzawa Naoki.

 

Is the actor who played the main role in this Hanzawa Naoki also a Kabuki actor?

 

 No, I’m not sure if he was a kabuki actor or not.

 

So we’re saying “kao” means “face” and “gei” means, I guess in this context it’s like a “trick” that you do with your face, or something you can do with your face, literally sometimes translated as art, but doesn’t make sense in that context. I guess in this context it’s like a “trick” that you do with your face, or something you can do with your face, literally sometimes translated as art, but doesn’t make sense in that context.

 

Yeah, like a facial “trick” I suppose. And we’re saying that there’s this show called “Hanzawa Naoki”. And we’re saying that there’s this show called “Hanzawa Naoki”, which is the name of the lead character, Hanazawa Naoki, which has been very popular in Japan this year. I watched the show, I don’t know, it feels like 4-5 years ago that I watched the original. It’s kind of about a bank worker.

 

Did you see this show?

 

 Well, I’ve seen bits and piecees, I haven’t seen it all.

 

I saw it about 4 or 5 years ago, but I haven’t seen the latest one.

 

Um, so we’re saying, yeah, it was a drama that was based around a bank worker that’s trying to sort of move his way up in the world of finance. And he’s become very famous for having these super expressive faces I guess you would call them. And we’re saying that, we’re not exactly sure about the lead actor, but there are definitely actors within the program. There are definitely actors within the program that have come out of the world of Kabuki and Kabuki is very sell known, you know, for having these, sort of, You know, for having these, sort of, facial expressions that are very big and expressive and Do you have a name for the face of Kabuki?

 

Is there a word for it? Do they have a word for it?

 

No, they don’t.

 

Anyway, he’s become very famous for these big facial expressions that are sort of similar in some ways to Kabuki. So this show has become very popular, and That’s why it’s on the list of words for this year

 

I haven’t seen the latest one, but when it was on about 4 or 5 years ago, I think I saw the whole thing, and it was pretty interesting. I think I saw all of them and they were quite interesting. It was interesting, but the acting was exaggerated. You often get that sort of acting in Japanese dramas. Instead of acting realistically and realistically, they often beef up their reactions and act in a very over-the-top way.

 

Yes, they do.

 

From my point of view, it’s really strange.

 

Going back to the first point, there is a Korean drama called “Love’s Crash Landing” and Korean dramas also tend to have exaggerated acting.

 

I think it’s a bit unnatural. Of course, Japanese dramas are the same. It’s a bit exaggerated, isn’t it?

 

But I’m sure they do it that way on purpose.

 

Yes, they do.

 

I wonder what that means. Is there a connection with such Kabuki traditions? What do you think?

 

I don’t think you’d usually see them as connected in that way. But well. Some of the actors are from Kabuki, so I guess there is a little bit of that in Hanzawa Naoki. It’s hard to think that ordinary dramas are connected to Kabuki.

 

But it’s true that somehow there is such a way of acting. Maybe that’s how it is. I don’t know. I think they are doing it on purpose. It’s so exaggerated that you can’t help but think that it must be intended.

 

Yes, yes, yes. They do in away that you don’t see in everyday life. I don’t like it, but it’s becoming more common.

 

But there are movies that are not like that, movies that portray reality in a very realistic way, like “Shoplifters”. So I don’t think that’s the whole story.

 

Yes, that’s true.

 

Is it a stylistic school thing?

 

It might be. It could be the director’s way of thinking or something like that.

 

That was “Kaogei”.

Language Learning Program Reviews

Japanese Learning Programs

Rocket Japanese Review 2021

I take an in depth look at the Rocket Japanese platform, 2021 edition, in depth and outline what I like, what I don’t like and what some of the alternatives are.

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Culture

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

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Graded Japanese Reading Practice

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

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Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Hosono House Background and Translation of Boku Wa Chotto

Hosono House Album Themes

Hosono Haruomi’s debut solo record is all about being at home. So much so that he called it “Hosono House”. It was recorded shortly after he returned from a West Coast Tour of the United States,  a country which was as much his spiritual home as the one listed in his passport.

「当時の僕は終末感にさいなまれ、その上、ある精神的なショックのフラッシュ・バックなどもあって、身も心もズタズタに分裂してしまうような状態に落ち込んでいた。」 "At the time, I was struck by a premonition of some kind of apocalypse. On top of that, there was a flashback mental shock. I was depressed to the point of my body and mind being shattered."

Where was the “Hosono House”?

Haruomi’s home in Japan at the time barely qualified as being really in Japan. He was in the “American Village” of the suburban Sayama area, about an hour’s drive north west of Tokyo. American Village, is the remnants of the Johnson Air Base, established by the U.S. occupation after the war, on the site of an earlier Japanese air base from the 1930s. The Johnson Town – American Village is a chunk of America plonked down in the far East. I guess you could say it’s a more militarised version of the Disneylands that you can find utterly unchanged, uncustomized and unrepentantly celebrating The Tales of Tom Sawyer and the Wild West from Hong Kong to Shanghai, except with with more of an emphasis on aerial bombardment than nighttime “Celebrate Imagination” firework displays. It’s a case of soft toys for soft power and hard toys for hard power.

 

The America that American Village celebrates is that of the suburbs. It consists of white weatherboard homes, replete with porches, lawns and picket fences, that huddle along a single bitumen road. You can almost see the American officers lingering around the hot dog stands as they return to their abodes after a long day coordinating fire-raids of Pyongyang in the Korean War. The American Village of Sayama is a glob of burger cheese that has dripped out and stuck to the Kimono sleeve of Tokyo.

Haruomi and the “American Village”

It might seem strange that a young, long haired, social drop-out hippy like Haruomi would choose to settle down in such a historic seat of military activity. But it was cheap. After all, which self respecting Japanese would want to live in such strange abodes, devoid of Tatami mats, sliding doors and genkans. There wasn’t even a space to remove your footwear. The previous residents hadn’t bothered with taking their shoes off. So the area attracted the bohemian types, and a little community of artsy weirdos came to occupy the surreal mickey-meets-military, mini-homesteads on Tokyo’s fringe.
It suited Haruomi. He had spent most of his life obsessing over American music in a way that those around him found unhealthy. His band Happy End had become the progenitor of a rock that was able to fully meld the rhythms of American beats and the Japanese language for the first time. In many ways, he too was a piece of American cheese gunk sullying up Tokyo’s svelte look.

Happy End

Retreating to the Sayama hills, by a patch of idyllic greenery that the Americans had, without a touch of self awareness, referred to as Hyde Park, made sense to Haruomi. He was retreating in more ways than one. The band he led, Happy End, not able to sustain the upbeat promise of its name, was breaking up. He said at the time that he felt like the captain of a ship that had weathered a great storm, but was now stranded in a windless ocean. Listening to anything with a rock beat set him on edge.

Pictures of Hosono House Recording Session

Influences on Hosono House

In his troubled state, he found solace in the soothing sounds of the country revival taking hold in early 70s U.S.A. In his recent tour of the motherland, he had sat in with some production sessions with Van Dyke Parks

「ヴァン・ダイクの『ディスカバー・アメリカ』っていうアルバムを徹底的に聞き込んでいくうちに、あのアルバムをとっかかりにして、ぼくの感覚が過去に戻っていったの。たとえば、ぼくが子供の頃に聞いていたハリウッドの映画音楽とか、そういうノスタルジックな世界を思い出したんだね」 "While listening to Van Dyck's" Discover America "album, I got taken back, it was like I was a kid again. I remembered the Hollywood movie music I was listening to, and that kind of nostalgic world. "

「ロック・ビートがイヤになったんだよ。だから古いカントリーを聴き直したり、シンガー・ソング・ライターものを聴いたりしていたわけだ」 "I didn't like rock beats, so I was re-listening to old country and listening to singer-songwriters."

He could almost see the musicians sitting on the porches when he put on records by Tom Rush, Gordon Lightfoot, John Hartford. Most of all, he was impressed by the big down-home sounds of The Band on Music From The Big Pink.

「ロック・ビートがイヤになったんだよ。だから古いカントリーを聴き直したり、シンガー・ソング・ライターものを聴いたりしていたわけだ」 "I didn't like rock beats, so I was re-listening to old country and listening to singer-songwriters."

Recording Sessions for Hosono House

「自宅でメンバーが合宿状態でレコーディングするということは、正味に使える時間が長いという利点とともに、一つ 間違うとしまりなくダラダラやってしまう危険性とが同居していました。そこで、1時から6時までとレコーディング時間を区切り、三日やったら1日休むとい うやり方にしました。」 "Recording at home, it’s as if you’ve all gone off to some kind of live-in boot camp has the advantage that you can really maximise on those “peak” productive periods. The flip side is that you run the risk of wasting time endlessly faffing around. So we created a routine: 1 o'clock to 6 o’clock and after three days, we took a day off. "

So what is a wounded hippie rocker to do with a broken dream and a crate full of country? Head to the hills in search of the Yamato Appalachia.

At the same time, recording technology was getting smaller. Well, still huge really, but small enough that you could, with the help of a few stout buddies, put it in the back of a light truck. This opened up possibilities. The possibility to get away from the pay-by-the hour pressures of a commercial studio. The possibility to record somewhere where you can spend the afternoon getting the right sound, then sit down to a meal with your bandmates, maybe play some cards. The possibility to combine art-life and home-life.

Hosono House Recording Schedule and Dates

So that’s what Hosono and his buddies did (he even gave them band a name “Caramel Mama”, so the album is perhaps not strictly a “solo album” at all). On the 15th of February 1973, they set up in the bedroom of Hosono’s house, because the living room was too boomy. They recorded from roughly 1-6pm, three days on, two days off for the period of around a month, celebrating the end of the process with a party on the 12th of March 1973.

リビング・ルームにシグマ社製16トラックのミキシング・コンソールが置かれ、演奏には8畳ほどのベッド・ルームが使われた “A Sigma 16-track mixing console was placed in the living room, and a bedroom of about 8 tatami mats was used for the performance.”

The Hosono House Sound

「作品とは思えないわけよね。頭で創ったものじゃあないから。何かもっと、恥ずかしいものだね。作品として客観的に見れるものじゃないから。習作の時代だから」 "I don't think it's a “”work of art””. It's not something I created with my head. It's something more embarrassing. It's not something that can be seen objectively as a ““work””. It was “”period of study.”"

The music sounds warm and real, with an immediately recognisable similarity to Music From The Big Pink. In the mix down, they had to struggle with bringing the sound of the vibrating floor under control. The drums were in the bass mic, so if you tried to turn up the bass, you turned up the snare, toms and cymbals too. You could hear the room. It was as if the strange old American air force officer’s dwelling had become an instrument.

The tracks themselves, though very much in the American-country folk style of the time, and exulting in the domestic, also already hint at some of the vagabond eclecticism of his later work, both solo and with legendary electronic-pop-prog band Yellow Magic Orchestra. There are elements of exoticism, adventure, strange references thrown in here and there.

「意図っていうのは、ノヴェルティ・ソングなんですよ。決してラヴソングでもないし、何かをメッセージするわけでもない。ノヴェルティ・ソングというのはどうやって訳せばいいかわからないけど、そういうジャンルがあるんです。冗談音楽もその中の一つだし。昔はトニー谷とかそういう人たちがいっぱいいたけど、その後日本にはなくなっちゃったものなんです」 "The intention was to write novelty songs! A novelty song is not a love song, it doesn't contain a message. I don't know how “novelty song” translates into Japanese, but there is such a genre. I guess in Japan, one “Joke music” might be one type of music contained in it. There used to be a lot of people doing that stuff, like Tony Tani, but after that it pretty much disappeared from Japan. "

Hosono’s Musical Philosophy

Hosono_Haruomi_from__No_Smoking__at_Opening_Ceremony_of_the_Tokyo_International_Film_Festival_2019_(49013189233)

Haruomi has said it takes a lot of effort to be devoted to a genre. It’s like being an athlete.  You work away at one discipline, a certain movement, a certain routine, over and over until you achieve tiny incremental gains that put you ahead of the competition.

Haruomi has no stomach for it. He’s not an athlete. He’s a tourist. In the years since Hosono House, his wanderlust has taken him to the kingdoms of rock, country, exotica, electro-pop, ambient and, most recently, pre-rock boogie woogie. He would rather ride his bike through the countryside than grind it out on the cycle-machine. Life is like a box set of Hosono albums, you never know what you’re going to get.

「この頃は、一般的に70年代に流れていた音楽がどんどんつまらなくなってきちゃったというのがあるな。それで、ジェイムス・テイラー、ヴァン・ダイク・パークス、トム・ラッシュ、ゴードン・ライトフット、ジョン・ハートフォード……そんなのばっかり聴いていた。そしてさらには、はっぴいえんどからここに至るまでには、すっかりハリウッド漬けになってたんだ」 "Around this time, the music that was generally played in the 70's became more and more boring, so James Taylor, Van Dyke Parks, Tom Rush, Gordon Lightfoot, John Hartford. Hartford ... I was just listening to that, and even more so, from Happy End on, I was completely immersed in Hollywood. "

Hosono House Lyrics

The lyrics  on Hosono House deal mostly with Haruomi’s immediate surroundings. He wanders through the hills, the houses, the environment, and melds it with the feelings, the hopes and dreams of the time.

「『ホソノ・ハウス』の詞っていうのは、あの頃のぼくの生活、あの場所から出てきたもので、それ以上のものも、それ以下のものも書けなかったんだ」 "The lyrics of 'Hosono House' came out of my life at that time, that place. I couldn't have written anything more or less than what I did."

Song In-depth: Boku Wa Chotto

By way of illustration, today I’ve done a translation of track two on the album “Boku wa chotto”. The title itself is prosaic, matter-of-fact, maybe almost akin to the “it’s so boring it’s good” aesthetic of late teens Melbourne dole-wave. It means “I’m a little…” or “Maybe, for me…”. It’s equivocal, an unfinished thought. It seems to reflect the uncertainty that Haruomi was feeling in this period in his life, in his art, in his sense of place.

But mostly, Boku wa chotto is an attempt to banish these uncertainties in a sun-drenched ode to the quiet life. The singer is sun-bathing, chatting over tea, going out for strolls, listening to country music, and ultimately deciding to keep quiet. It even has a reference to the white houses of the American Village he was living in at the time.

レコーディングは毎日午後に5時間ほど行われ、3日に1日休むペースで進み 後に細野は「日本語のロックがどうのこうのという騒ぎの中心にまつり上げられた“はっぴい”も過去のこととなったし、少し静かにしていたいという思いを込めて“僕はだまるつもりです”と歌ったのだが、その後のめぐり合わせで入ってしまったキャラメル・ママのおかげで、一層落ち着く暇などなくなってしまったものだ」[3]と語っている。 All that stuff about Happy End being “Japanese rock lyric trail blazers” and had come to an end, and I was thinking things might quieten down. I put that sense into Boku Wa Chotto. As it turned out, once I started doing things with this “Caramel Mama” band, things weren’t nearly as quiet as I had expected!

Japan, The Sun and the “Hi No Dezuru Kuni” 日の出ずる国

The only line that jolts us out of this at-home bliss is the refrain, as many good refrains do. The line appears three times and refers to the nation of Japan, another home reference, but this time at much more bird’s eye level. He uses an archaic name for the country 日の出ずる国, “the country where the sun rises”. Our term “Land of the Rising Sun” is a translation of this phrase. The modern Japanese name for Japan is a variation on this theme ”日本”, meaning literally the “The origin of the sun”. At first glance this sounds kind of conceited, like the Japanese had come up with a name for their own country that made it so central that it was where the sun itself originates. But in reality, the name was bestowed by China, who were the ultimate superpower in the region of the time, much as America is now. Japan is roughly East of China, so it made sense to refer to the country as “the place where the sun rises”.

Either way, the sun has a central place in Japanese culture. Their striking flag has a sun on a white background. Their Emperor is meant to be descended from the Amaterasu, the ancient Goddess of the sun. So Haruomi’s numerous references to sunshine, rays of light, glistening and shimmering is rich in deep cultural reverberations.

Hosono House Cultural Context

The other cultural context we can’t ignore is that of the massive riots that raged through the 1960’s Japan, which were only just beginning to quiet down in the early 70s. Amongst the many issues that had brought people onto the streets, the most universally mobilising was that of the Japan-America Security Treaty which placed American army and air bases throughout Japan, in return for protection. Many viewed, and still view, this mafioso-like arrangement as an infringement on Japanese sovereignty and an act of American imperialism. Perhaps the ironic thing about this movement and the security bases themselves, was that the U.S. bases often became places of congregation for radicals, partly because of the anti-war publications that were distributed from US activists themselve.

So, though Boku wa chotto is not an overtly political song, and Haruomi has never shown a particular proclivity towards activism, I think that it is safe to say the songs has references to the political climate of the time and to the dueling urges of nationalism, anti-imperialism, pacifism and the love-hate relationship between the United States and the 日の出ずる国.

 

That’s a lot to bite off. No wonder the upshot of Haruomi’s domestic, sun-soaked, Japanese-Americana riffing is that he’s going to take a quiet moment.

僕は一寸 Boku Wa Chotto In Translation

This is rough translation of the song. It’s translated more for rhyme and to capture the general feel than as complete word-for-word translation.

ひなたぼっこでも

していきませんか

そこにまあ すわって

お茶でも飲んで お話を

どんな話をしゃべりましょうか

日の出ずる国の明日の事でも・・・

 

散歩がてらに 歩きませんか

そこから 立ちあがって

服のすそでも はらって

どんなところを歩きましょうか

日の出ずる国の輝く道でも・・・

 

道のぬかるみ 入り日が映り

だまりこくる 夕焼けの午後

僕は一寸 笑うつもりです―

 

ここら辺りに住みつきませんか

あそこを ひきはらって

生で聞けるからカントリーミュージック

白い家でも見つけましょうか

日の出ずる丘に彼女と2人で

 

外の日溜り 枯木に埋まり

だまりこくる 家の中の午後

僕は一寸 だまるつもりです―

Don’t be shy

We could just sit here in this sunshine

We could put the kettle on

Talk about whatever we want

 Shall we talk about

What’s over the horizon

For me and you and everyone

And the land of the rising sun

Why don’t we go

Out, go for a stroll

Climb up over the hill

Just like Jack and Jill

Which path should we go down. we could go left or right, I don’t mind

Or follow that glistening one

On the road to the rising sun

 

And the mud on the path

Is shining just like glass

As the afternoon keeps quiet

And the sun just keeps on shining

I’m gonna let that time pass

The only plan I’ve got is to laugh

 

Why don’t we live around here

Mov outta that old place

Listen to the people play their country music, every day

 

find a house that’s white

Paint it any colour we might  like

Maybe we could find one

On the hill beneath the rising sun

Splashes of sunlight

Cover up the trees all dying

The afternoon’s still silent

Maybe we could stay inside

Sometimes it’s alright

To stay quiet

Hosono House Track Listing

1.”Rock-a-Bye My Baby” (ろっか・ばい・まい・べいびい Rokka Bai Mai Beibī)3:15

2.”Boku wa Chotto” (僕は一寸)3:52

3.”Choo Choo Gatagoto” (CHOO CHOO ガタゴト)3:25

4.”Owari no Kisetsu” (終わりの季節)3:12

5.”Fuyu Koe” (冬越え)3:15

6.”Party” (パーティー Pātī)2:02

7.”Fuku ha Uchi Oni ha Soto” (福は内 鬼は外)2:28

8.”Jūsho Futei Mushoku Teishūnyū” (住所不定無職低収入)2:35

9.”Koi wa Momoiro” (恋は桃色)2:47

10.”Rose and Beast” (薔薇と野獣 Bara to Yajū)4:24

11.”Aiaigasa” (相合傘)0:18

Where To Listen to Hosono House?

Yellow Magic Orchestra Stuff

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The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »

The 30 New Japanese Words of 2020 日本の新語・流行語2020について日本語と英語で話す

Each year the Japanese company U-Can put out a list of 30 new Japanese Words, called 流行語 ryukogo or 新語 shingo, that have entered the Japanese language. 

In the audio/video/text presented here, I have a conversation with youtuber Moshi Moshi Yusuke about these Japanese words, and the Japanese social trends they are connected with.

Japanese Reading Difficulty

8/12 Could be read easily by 10th grade level student in Japan

Themes

New Japanese Words
Japanese Vocabulary
Japanese social trends 2020

Text Type

Interview

今日は今年の新語・流行語について話します。友達の「もしもしゆうすけ」さんと話して今年どういう言葉が流行ったか、日本社会においてどんなことが あったか、そういう話、日本語と英語でします。



リストの全体を見て第一印象とか、そういうのはありますか。どう思いましたか。

そうですね第1印象は知らない言葉が結構あるんだと思いました。

結構あったんですか。

そうですね。

まあ多分流行語っていうのは、日本全体に広く行き渡ったものもあるし、中にはピンポイントのもの、例えば子供達にだけヒットした言葉、

あるいはアニメが好きな人だけにヒットした言葉とかそういうのが入ってるんで 

まあ僕 の知識 が全然 足りない 僕 の 知識 がない ものも ありますね。

うーん、まあ、そうでしょうね。こう社会ってもうみんな が同じというわけでもないしね。あのコミュニティの中にいろんなコミュニティが あるからね。

そうですね

一緒じゃないですから。まあ当たり前でしょうね。 えー1回ちょっと英語で説明しましょうか。

So we’re just looking at the what’s called the 流行語 which means words that have become popular popular words, so these are new words that have been added to the lexicon this year, so each year this is a list that put together.

 

これは毎年出てくるんですよね、こういうリスト。

そうです毎年出てますね。

で誰々が作ってるかわかりますか。 

ええと、ユーキャンという会社がやってるそうです。 

ユーキャン。

教育関係の会社だと思いますね。

なるほど。確かあの辞書を作る会社、どこの会社だったかなのMerriam Websterという 会社でも英語でもこうこういうリストを毎年きっと作っていたと思います。そういうのは聞いたことありますか。

いや、聞いたことなかったですね。

 

Yeah, so we’re looking at this list of words that have been chosen by the “U-Can” as being the words that have particularly taken hold in Japan as being, yeah, important to the culture for that year.

 

で僕の第1印象は、あのう 新しい言葉というより、何かの作品の名前とか、人の名前とか結構多い。。。そうなんですよね。おっしゃるとうりで新語・流行語大賞と言っているにもかかわらず新語でもないし人の名前が入ってたりちょっとその審査基準は 曖昧ですね。

そうですね。

今までのリストをどれだけ覚えてぽ言ってるかわからないんですけど、だいたいこんな感じですかね。

そうだいたいこんな感じですね。人の名前が入ったり、ちょっと曖昧ではあるんですけど、もうただ実際によく使われるようになった言葉だと思うんで、流行語は 流行語で間違いないと思います。

でこの中に、まあ、11つちょっと見に行きたいと思うんですけど、パッと見みて、 結構面白いと思ったのはどれですか。何かありましたか。これが。。。

そうですね、まず 今回はやっぱりコロナ関係が圧倒的に多いですよね。

うんそうですね。5、6っこぐらいがありそうですね。

もうちょっとあるかもしれないですね。 あの逆にピーターさんがこれを見て 全くわからないものって あります?半分くらいわからないんじゃないかなと思うんですけど。。。

半分くらいわからなかったですね。一応軽くいくつかちょっと調べたんですけど、まあ、あまりちゃんと調べてなんですけど、多分半分ぐらいわからなかったですね。でも半分くらいは英語から来てる気がするから まあそういうのは全部分かったんですけど。 こういうのとか「なんなんでしょう」と思ってます。香水とか。

説明しましょう。

じゃあそこから行きましょうか。

はい、15番香水 これは日本で流行った音楽のタイトルですね。 

ええ、バンドのパフュームじゃなくて?

パフュームでではないですね。。 

関係ありそうだけど関係ないですね。 ただ僕はこの音楽実はよく知らなくて 

曲名ですか。

曲名だそうです。で流行っているというのは聞いたことがあったんですけど ええ流行語に入るほど流行ってるっていうのはこのリストに乗って初めて知りました

So, I might just put in a bit of explanation here. So we’re just talking about our overall impressions of the list. We have said that we think that there’s quite a few here that have something to do with Corona. And we got talking about this number 15, which is 香水, which is perfume, which seems like it does have something to do with music, I thought maybe it had to do with the band perfume but Yusuke-san says it’s not that it’s actually the name of a song.

1回これをgoogleに入れてみましょうか. 何が出るか。

あ、出ましたね。

こういう人ですね。名前は何ですか。

瑛人

今年流行ったんですね。

流行ったらしいです。ごめんなさいよくわからないですね。これは。

 Tiktokで話題の香水になってますね。

らしいですね。

Tik Tokは若い世代ですね。僕がやるものじゃないですね。

そうですね。なんか踊ったりする。

そうそう。

うちの息子がちょっとやっているというか、みている。 あの1時的に アメリカで使えなくなるという話がありましたね。トランプ。。。

今使えるんですか。 

えーとまだ使えていると思います。 僕はアメリカにいないからよくわからないんですけど。なんかティックトックとwechatもそうですよね。

そうですね。日本、日本じゃなくて中国と関係しているから、関係しているというか、中国の会社が待ってるから禁止しますというのは出てでもその後、買われなかったですか。他のアメリカの会社に。 

うん、あそうかもしれない。ティックトックは買収されたかもしれないですね。ただWe Chatに関しては 中国の会社ですよね。今でもね。 

そうですね。でティックトックってまだ日本で 使えているでしょうね。まだ人気ありますか。

うん若い世代には人気ありますね、今でも。 

結構人気出ていますね。

そうですね。

じゃ香水。他のをみましょう、結構あるから。

そうですね。

1番上からいってみましょうか。

はい

愛の不時着 第4次韓流ブーム。

かんりゅうあるいははんりゅう、 どっちでもいいですかんりゅうでもはんりゅうでも大丈夫です。

 は何ですか。わかりますか。

わかります。これは愛の不時着という韓国ドラマですね。 ええと、ネットフリックスだけで放送されていた韓国ドラマだそうです。実際日本では 韓国ドラマを強烈に好きな人がいるんでおそらくこれが入ったんだと思うんですけど、ただ僕の周りでは韓国ドラマ見てる人は全然いなくて 愛の不時着っていう名前を聞いた時に まあ韓国ドラマ だったような気がするっていう程度でほとんど、みんな知識がなかったですね。だからこれがノミネートされたのは ちょっと驚きでしたね。 

ゆうすけさんはみましたか。見てないんですか。

全く見てないです。

僕も見てないです。多分、あの、こちらでは、さっきタイトル調べたんですけどねネットフリックスでも、こっちのネットフリックスでも載ってましたcrash landing on you。

So this is this number one is is the Japanese translation of 不時着 is the “crash landing” part of it and 愛being love, yeah so this is a Korean TV show that’s taken off in Japan on Netflix.

この英語の題名みたらCrash Landing On You というのが結構不思議な運感じはします。

で文法的にこれはあっているかどうかちょっと 疑問に思うんですけど日本語の方はどうですか。

そうですね、変な感じはしますね。 愛の 不時着まあちょっと不自然なタイトルではあると思いますね。 

でこの第4次韓流ブームというのは4かいこういう韓流 は来ているということですね。

そうですね。

4次というのは4回目ということですね。

123は何だったかわかりますか。 

冬のソナタっていうのがありましたね。

あれは多分第1次だと思います。

その後第2次第3次はわかりません。

でも結構前から韓国のドラマとか音楽でもそうだと思うんですけど、 まあ特にドラマが日本で人気ありますね。

そうですね。特にええと年齢の高い人たちが韓国ドラマが好きな傾向があると思いますね。 はいそういうことでした。

So this one is a Korean drama and we’re saying that it’s the 4th wave I suppose of Korean drama becoming popular in Japan.

2行きましょうか。新しい生活様式 new normalどうですかこれは?

そうですねたぶん ピーターさんわかりますよね、なんとなく。 これはコロナに関してですね。 

そうですねどちらの方がよく使われているんですか、新しい生活様式がNew Normal?

新しい生活様式の方が多いですね。まあこれに関してはよくニュースで 聞きますね。あの、今までのように生活して マスクをして距離をとって 新しい生活様式で生活して行きましょうということですよね。まあこれはもうコロナ関係ですよね。

そうですね。日本で何が1番変わったんですか何がNew Normal,新しい生活様式になったんですか。

ええととマスク、で1番変わったのは働き方だと思いますね。 もちろんみんな働いているわけではないんで主婦の人もいるし、学生の人もいるけれども、1番変わったら働き方ですね。 今まで日本ではまあ会社によるんですけど 仕事が多ければ残業して当たり、前仕事がたくさんあればそれはありがたいことだから土曜日日曜日に仕事して当たり前という雰囲気の会社がすごく多かったんですけども やっぱりコロナが流行って体調管理最も大切な事になった時に うーん、土曜日曜はしっかり休む。 残業しない。体調を1番に考えるという スタイルにほとんどの会社が変わったこれが この新しい生活様式で日本が1番変わったところだと思いますね。 

じゃ残業が少なくなったと言うことですか。

そう、まあ、会社によると思うんですけど、 残業が少なくなったのもあるし、 うーんまあ 交代で平日休んだり有給休暇を使いやすくなったりというのはあったと思います。がちなみに僕が働いている会社では有給休暇あまり採りやすくなかったんですけど 。。。

それよくある話ですね

よくありますね。ただ結構今取りやすいですね。 

取りやすくなったんですか。

ゆうすけさんは今家から仕事していないですか。もう普通に会社に行って。。。

そうです。 

会社に戻っている人が多いんですか。

会社にいる人多いですね。あの交代で休んだりはしてますけども えっと基本的には会社に通勤するというスタイルに戻ってます。

どうですか戻って良かったですか。

よくないです。

もっと家にいたかったんですか。

 あの僕は電車で通勤してるんですけどえっとやっぱり電車って結構中に人がいますよね。

ちょっと怖いですね。

何となく怖いですね。

ただ、まあ、海外に関して今どんな状況か分からないですけど まあ日本人はもともとマスクをする習慣があるんで。

そうですね。

なので、まあ、ほとんど全員マスクをしていますし、マナーの悪い人はあんまりいないんで、特に心配はしてないですけど、ただ電車で通勤するのあんまりよくないですね。

何となく怖いですね、こっちでも。ちなみに オーストラリア、僕が住んでいるビクトリア州というんですけど、今週毎日感染者0でした。

素晴らしいですね。

もうすごく減りました。3ヶ月ぐらい前に1気に増えてっ 1番多い時に1日800人くらいだったかな。。。になって、でそこから結構、都市封鎖まで言うかな、まあ結構ロックダウン的な状態になってもうやっと この1週間ゼロになりました。

うーん、まあ、特にオーストラリアはこれから夏なんで温度湿度が上がってくると自然に感染症ってのは減ってくるのかなと思いますね

まあそれは少しあるかもしれないですね。

でもヨーロッパの状態とかアメリカの状態とか 結構ひどい、ひどくなっていってるところがあって、もう日本のニュースを見てこの2か月ぐらいずっと数値が横ばいしてるような感じですね。それがすごい 不思議な気がしますね。こっちは、もう、頑張って頑張って、まあ、0になったんけど、

いや、頑張っていないですよ。 

だから何で増えないですか

なんででしょうね。あのーまあ それは後になってわかることだと思うんですけどまず日本人はハグしない それからキスする挨拶もしない

もともと据わったりする習慣はあまりないですね。

そう、後、握手もほとんどしないですね。はじめて会った人だと握手する人もいますけどそうでない限りは握手もしないですし、あと声が小さいんで 飛沫感染

飛沫、なるほど

後もう1つ、家に入る時は必ず靴を脱ぐ。おそらくそういう生活習慣の中に感染しにくくする要素があるんじゃないかなと思うんですね。

うん、そうですね。まあ日本人は結構きれい好きですね。もう何でもきれいにする習慣はしっかりあって そういうのも

ただ日本人が綺麗好きというのはたぶん日本は夏湿度が高くてうんえっとまあばい菌が発生しやすいっていうのもあるのかもしれないですね。で昔からの習慣で特に夏、 まあ夏前に6月ぐらいに ええ梅雨という雨の季節があるんですけどそれぐらいから、大体それぐらいから病気が発生したりとか、感染症が発生したりというのがあるんで、 ええ、まあそれはわかってるんで事前にできるだけきれいにするという習慣がついているんだと思いますね。

いや、もううまいこと、まあ減っていないんですけど、うまいこと横ばいの数字を保っているように見えますね。

そうです。あともう一つ 2011年夏に東京オリンピックがあってそこで東京に一気に人が集まってくると 東京で 問題が起きるかもしれないですね。

ね、どうなのでしょうね。 でニュースで握手する習慣はあまりないとおっしゃったんですけどえーとニュースでよく日本の政治家こういう挨拶してるのを見かけるんですけど、うん、それはどういう意味があるか ちょっと意味不明と思うんですけどね。手と手触ってるんじゃないですか。それはすごく不思議に思います。ええ、はい、新しい生活様式。。。あ、英語全然喋っていない。

So we’re saying 新しい生活様式 and talking about the new normal in Japan. Yeah I guess 新しい生活様式 is pretty much direct translation I suppose it’s probably come from there. It means basically the same thing. And we’re talking about how Japan has been able to have numbers that are basically going, moving along in a parallel line rather than moving up. Here in Australia we’ve been able to do a lock down over the last couple of months especially where I am here in Melbourne, in Victoria. We’ve gone from about 800 cases down to, we’ve had one week of 0 cases now. So we’ve been able to really lock everything down and get on top of the virus here at this stage. But in Japan they seem to be relatively…have freedom of movement, and that sort of thing, and still just have this parallel line of the last two months or so of somewhere between 500 to 1000 cases per day. And we’re saying that we think that that’s probably because of the fact that Japan has, I guess, a longstanding tradition of being very clean about the way they go about their life anyway, in terms of coming home and washing hands and, yeah, that sort of thing. And wearing masks has obviously been a thing in Japan for a long time. Ao yeah it’s interesting that while a lot of the world is sort of seeing the numbers just drastically increase, in America and Europe, Japan just sort of has this parallel line. It’s quite interesting.

次行きましょうか

あつ森

あつ森って何ですか。これはゲームです。任天堂が出したゲームです。

集まれどうぶつの森 でしたっけ?

そうですね。これは特に話すこともないですね。 

はなすことないすか。なんでですか。

ゲームですからね。ゲームが流行るっていうのはいつの時代、もねえ、ありますよね。

やったことありますか、ゆうすけさんは

ないです。

あまり興味ないですか。

そうですね。

まあ、子供の間で流行ってるのかな、まあ、大人もやってる人がいるかもしれないですけど。結構人気あるみたいですね、このゲーム。

そうですね。

ほとんど知らないですけど。でも任天堂ってすごいですね。もう長年わたって結構強いですね、任天堂。

そうですね。ゲームはね、今までは日本のゲーム結構人気ありましたけど これからどうでしょうね。あの、結構中国も新しい面白いゲーム出しているみたいですし。

ねェ、いやでも任天堂はすごいと思いますね。京都の会社だから自分の妻が京都の人だからちょっと勝手に誇りに思っています。 全然京都の 人じゃないですけど。でもこのあいだ友達と話したんですけど日本でものすごく古い会社が多いんですね。日本ニンテンでもでも100年以上の歴史があると思うんですけど。それもまた凄いですね。 古くからやってるあの会社が多いというのは。

そうですね。日本で新しい会社が育ちにくい環境にあるというのも、もう1つの理由としてあるのかもしれないですね。

で任天堂はもともと花札を作っていた会社らしいですね。 

そういうボードゲームとか作ってた会社ですよね。

昔いろんなことやったみたいですね。この前ちょっと任天堂の歴史の本を読んだんですけど、 ええと、ラブホテルとか経営やってた時期もあったらしいです。

いろんな事やってますよね。で花札とかそういうのは結構かけ、ギャンブルとかにあのまあ昔からちょっと関わっている。 ことだったから、 結構そういう闇の世界と繋がったり。。。

そうですね。まあ、日本ではギャンブル基本的に合法ではないですから。そうですね。

まあ、任天堂はすごいです。もう、長年にわたって新しいゲームがヒットしてもう感心します。

はいあつ森でした。 

4番アベノマスク。

これは結構面白いですね。アベノマスク、アメリカでは 笑いものにされてましたけど、オーストラリアではどうですか。聞いたことありました?

聞いたことはなかったです。聞いたことなかったですか。 僕はアベノミクスは聞いたことあったんですけど、多分ほとんどの人 アベノミクスでさえ 聞いたことないと思います。

僕は日本に関心がある人だから聞いたことあったんですけどアベノマスクは初めて聞きました。

本当ですか。

まずアベノミクスに関してはレーガノミクスのパクリですね。言葉としてね。でまあ 2020年9月に退任した安倍総理大臣が 自分の 経済政策をアベノミクスと言ったんですよね。 でそのアベノミクスを流行らそうとしたんですよね。まあ実際まあ経済効果があったんですけどまあそれは別の話でこれもこれが関係の話になるんですけど、 コロナになってほかの国では どんどんいろんな経済政策をやっていたんですけど、安倍総理がなかなか経済政策始めなくて1番最初にやったのが国民全員にマスク2枚を配るだけということやったんです。で みんな大批判ですよね。あのーまず真っ先にお金を配るっていうのが普通の政策だと思うんですけど

そうですね、マスクじゃなくてお金欲しいですね・

 マスク2枚じゃ何もできないっていう。。。

マスクの中に5万ぐらい入ってなかったですか。

入ってなかったですね。僕の家にもマスク2枚届きましたけど 使ってないですね。だってそこら辺にマスクいっぱい売ってますからね。それを、まあ、いわゆるそのアベノミクス に アベノミクスという言葉を基本とした造語ですよね。されたということだと思いますね。それで阿倍野マスクと言ってまあバカにされたわけですよね。

うん馬鹿にする言葉でした。

そうマスク2枚を阿部さんが配ったことに対してそれを批判する言葉で表す句という言葉が流行ったんですねええ。

面白いですね、この言葉。

面白いです。この言葉ちょっと好きになりました。 使うことはないと思うんですけど。

回答使いたくなりましたけど使おう という道はないですね 

でも配られたマスクアベノマスクと名付けられたんでみんな面白くて使わないで家にとってありますよ。 

うーん、そうか記念として?

記念として。

あとサイズが結構合わなかったりする話。。。 

あのサイズが小さいんですよ。 あの普通のマスクだとだいたいそのまあこの辺ですね鼻からアゴ下にかけて覆うマスクなんですけどアベノマスクは鼻の頭から唇の下ぐらいまで結構小さいマスクで これ使えないよねっていう話でまあそれも含めて笑い話ですね。 

この言葉を検索したら何が出てくるか

間違いなくマスクが出てくると思います。

阿部さんとマスクが出てくると思います。

出てきました。つけようとしている写真が面白いですね。

そうですね。ちょっと小さいんですよね。 まあちなみにこの 日本の政治家の中で安倍マスクをつけていたのは安倍さんだけですね。 

阿部さんがつけてるのはアベノマスク。これですか。このまん中の?

そうです

このマウスが動いてるのは写ってますか。写っていますよ。

このマスクはアベノマスクですね。

そうですね。

そうか、そういうこといつもニュースを見ているときに なんか阿倍野マスク小さいなーと思っていました。 

あのどれが小さいかというと安倍さんがあのマスクを付けて喋るとだんだん口が見えてくるんですよね。 

そういうことでした。勉強になりました。

So we’re just talking about this, this word “Abe-no-mask”, which is basically taken from, so, Prime Minister Abe, who recently retired, and so he was famous for having his “Abenomics”, which is a portmanteau of Abe and economics. So his style of economics was called abenomics, so people have started using this word Abe-no-mask because Abe gave out these masks at the start of Corona, when Corona hit, to encourage people, everyone to wear a mask. But it was kind of a bit ridiculous for everyone because, for a couple of reasons, because you could just go down to the shop and buy one of these anytime. And rather than giving people a mask, a lot of people would have liked to have been given some money to support them through this crisis that was happening. So this is kind of a word to poke fun at Abe and his policy which people felt was, well some people felt, was a bit ridiculous. And there was also the fact that the mask itself was very small, so we talked about how the only one that actually wore the Abe-no-mask was Abe himself and that’s why whenever you saw him on the news he would have this really small mask, because yeah he was wearing the Abe-No-Mask.

あつ森英語をしなかったかな。

Just to go back to “Atsumori”,  that was, we talked about how that’s a game released by Nintendo this year, which looked kinda like this, probably, I think it’s been very popular around the world so I’d say a lot of people…

あ、選挙のやつもありますね。

これ、実際日本の政治家が 選挙活動に使おうと思ってまあ売名行為ですね。選挙活動に使おうと思ったんですけど結局選挙に使ってはいけないということになって使えなかったんですよあ、そうですか。

So that’s the Atsumori, alright, so let’s cheque out the next one shall we.

行きましょうか。 5番アマビエ

アマビエ知っていますか。うんアマビエ軽く聞きました。あの守り神ですか。

そうですね。妖怪ですね。

妖怪。

アマビエは150年くらい前に日本にいた妖怪と言われています。 実際いなかったと思いますけど、まあ、疫病を事前に しらせてくれてアマビエの絵を書いてみんなに 見せることによって 疫病封じ込める妖怪だそうです。

So we’re saying that the Amabie is, I’m going say…

妖怪なんと訳したらいいかな。モンスターかな。

モンスター。。。

なんでしょう。

Amabie is a mythical figure that is meant to Ward off viral diseases.

ちょっと1回これをあの グーグルにに入れましょうか。

はい。

たぶんが絵出てくると思いますね。

はい、あ、これですね。

こんな感じの絵、妖怪。 

で、この妖怪なんで 出てきたんですか。

ええとね、これがなぜ出てきたのかはみんなよくわからないんですね。

みんなよくわからない。

ただネットで徐々に広まっていって これを絵に書いて ハッタリ いろんな人に見せたりすると 疫病が抑えられる。まあ、つまりこれもコロナ関係の話題だと思うんですけども、 まあコロナは流行っているので これも流行ったんでしょうね。なぜこれが突然出てきたのかは、みんな理由がよく分からないですね。

ゆうすけさんこのコロナかの前にアマビエ知っていたんですか。

知らなかったです。おそらくほとんどの日本人は知らなかったんじゃないかなと思うんですよね。そんなに有名な妖怪ではないですね。

So we’re saying yeat, this is a yokai that’s only just recently started to become well known in Japan and Yusuke doesn’t know, he’s not aware of this, or wasn’t aware before the Corona thing happened that this guy even existed.

で、これが出てきてなんで妖怪か、ちょっとわからないんですけど、僕最初守り神と言っちゃったんですけどうん よく日本のお寺とかではお守り とか売ってますね。そうですね。

そういう感じですか。それと関係ないですか。

関係ないですね。 Talisman. 誰なんて言うから英語では 違うのかな。その日本のお守りって言うとまたちょっと違うんですね。でもやっぱりモンスターと近いと思いますね。

うんモンスターが守ってくれるというのが不思議に思いますね。

そうですね。 

結構いろんなところに貼っていますか、今でも。あまり見かけないですか。

あまり見かけないです。今これが流行ってる、まあ実際はネットでこれを貼り付けている人がいると聞いたことがあるんですけど、まあ僕はそんなにネットを見てるわけじゃないんで、 うーんあんまり見ないですね。

じゃ普通に道を歩いてそんなに見かけることがそんなにないということですか。

無いですね。多分1時間歩いても全く観ないと思いますね。でももしかしたら東京の 混んでるところまあ渋谷とか原宿とかそういうところに行けば当たるかもしれないですね。

で貼っている人はそれが実際に効果があると思っているんですか。

それともまあ、どういう気持で

面白くてやってるんじゃないですか。 後はその今暗い話題が多いのでやっぱりこういう何ていうのかなこういう面白いキャラクターが出てきて少しでも世の中が明るくなればいいなという気持ちでやってるんじゃないかなと思いますけどうんなるほど。

So we’re saying that we think that rather than so we’re saying you don’t actually see so many of these around the streets of Japan generally it’s, it’s probably something that appeared more online than anything else. And so I was asking Yusuke if the people that do have these displayed think that it has, like, a genuine power to Ward off Corona virus. And we’re saying that we think the people probably don’t actually think that, and it’s more of a, I don’t know like, it’s something to a fun sort of thing, I suppose, to lift people’s spirits maybe or to…yeah just have a bit of fun I suppose.

楽しいことことで呼んだらいいかな。このくらい場をちょっと明るくしましょうという気持ちですかね。

そうだと思いますね。

面白いですね。

これは面白いですね。

So I hope that was of interest, we’ll come back, we’ve done some more talk around the rest of the words on the list, we’ll do that next time. Hit subscribers if this is of interest to you and catch you next time.

またリストに残っている単語いくつかあるからまた次回でやります.

よかったらサブスクライブしてまた聞いてください。 バイバイ。

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Japanese Learning Programs

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Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Ponponpon Lyrics in English and Japanese

Ever wondered what the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Yasutaka Nakata’s PonPonPon lyrics are all about? I did too. So I’ve done translated the song into English. While I was at it I did a thorough research into the background of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Yasutaka Nakata, and the history of the song.

First of all here’s my translation, then you’ll find all the background info below.

Japanese Reading Difficulty

6/12 Could be read by 6th grade level student in Japan

Themes

Individuality

Text Type

Song Lyrics

ぽんぽんぽん歌詞

Ponponpon Japanese Lyrics

あの交差点で みんながもしスキップをして
もしあの町の真ん中で 手をつないで空を見上げたら
もしもあの町のどこかで チャーンスが掴みたいのなら
まだ泣くのには早いよね ただ前に進むしかないは イヤ イヤ

 

 

 

ポンポン出して しまえばいいの
全然しないの つまらないでしょ?
ヘッドフォーンかけて リズムに乗せて
ウェイウェイ明けて 私の道を

 

 

ポンポン進む 色々のこと
どんどん聞いてる あなたの気持ち
ポイポイ捨てる 悪い子はだれ?
そうそういい子 アアYOU MAKE ME HAPPY!

EVERYDAY ポン!

EVERY TIME IS ポN!
MERRYーGOーROUND乗りたいの!
EVERYDAY ポン!
EVERY TIME IS ポN!
多分、そんなんじゃ だめでしょ・・・

ポンポン出して しまえばいいの
全然しないの つまらないでしょ?
ヘッドフォーンかけて リズムに乗せて
ウェイウェイ明けて 私の道を
ポン・ポン・ウェイ・ウェイ・ウェい
ポン・ポン・ウェイ・ポン・ウェイ・ポン・ポン
ウェイ・ウェい・ポン・ポン・ポン
ウェイ・ウェイ・ポン・ウェイ・ポン・ウェイ・ウェイ

ぽんぽんぽん英訳

Ponponpon English Lyrics

Tell me what it would be like
If everyone just started skipping round at the street lights
And won’t you tell me
Would it just be alright
If we all held hands and looked up at the sky
Right here in the middle of the busy city
Maybe there’s a chance right here for you and me
And don’t you think that maybe it’s too soon to cry
All we really can do is keep moving, you and I

Go go, oh my love, let it out, let it out
Don’t don’t keep it in, sing it loud, sing it loud
Put on those headphones and let the rhythm carry you
Clear clear the way, we’re coming through, we’re coming through

Keep, keep going on, whatever it is you want
Hear hear, hear that song, feel it coming on so strong
Throw throw it all away, if you’re the bad guy who’s to say?
The whole damn world is sad maybe
But you make me happy

Every day you’re gone
Every time you’re gone
riding on that merry go round
Every day I’m gone
Every time I’m gone
But listen out, can you hear that sound?

Keep, keep going on, whatever it is you want
Hear hear, hear that song, feel it coming on so strong

The Story of PonPonPon

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, PonPonPon and The Simpsons

Recently, I’ve come to use the Simpsons as a tool to measure fame. I needed to find a way of measuring notoriety when my son reached the age of 11 and became suddenly obsessed with wanting to know exactly how famous each musician he heard was. Let’s call it a “streaming media generation problem”. 

Concert attendance, youtube plays, Spotify monthly streams, there are a lot of ways you could measure something like that. But, I’ve found it’s simplest to use the metric of “They’re famous, but are they appear-on-The-Simpsons-famous”.

Though it is obviously a western-culture centric measure, one artist that qualifies as “appear on The Simpsons famous” is Japan’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Indeed, she was famous enough to soundtrack a love-montage scene of the character of comic book store owner geek Jeff, in a Simpsons episode from 2014. 

Now let’s contextualise this by saying Japanese musicians don’t have a strong history of crossing over to America. It has been more than half a century since a Japanese song has been number one on an American music chart. You have to go back to 1963’s ue wo muite aruko (bizarrely released under the title of Sukiyaki in the States) by Sakamoto Kyu. 

 

So the Simpsons nod to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is significant.

So how did Kyary make her way to the animated streets of Springfield from the anime saturated streets of Tokyo?

 

Early Years of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

In many ways, Kyary is one of those “plucked from the streets and catapulted to fame” stories we love to fetishise. Through the naughties, magazines featuring photos of people snapped on the streets, especially around the Harajuku district in Tokyo, were huge. The shots captured the outlandish outfits of the socially hoi paloi but fashionably ooh la la types. These glossies are testament to the explosion of color, creativity and kawaii cutesiness that spilt out like rainbow coloured acrylics across Japan at the time. 

Harajuku Cuteness

Cuteness has been a thing in Japan for a long long while, but in the naughties it was as if someone took all the pink, all the pouting, all the high pitch and cranked it, in the immortal words of Spinal Tap, up to 11. 

But it wasn’t just straight-out cuteness. It was cuteness put through a sausage grinder, twisted, manipulated, mixed with the grotesque, the aesthetic of the street, the plain ridiculous. It was pretty cute, but the cute wasn’t always pretty.

In some ways, there are even parallels with the Flower Power hippy movement of the 60s, which has sadly come to be thought of in retrospect as somewhat vacuous, naive, even facile, but which at the time was counter-cultural, courageous and deeply confronting. 

Though kawaii and Japanese decora is not as overtly political or heart-on-your sleeve let’s-change-the-world as the summer of love, there is something about a massively oversized glowing polka dot bow ribbon matched with, say a torn skull themed top and a riot of colour too-too below, which issues an aesthetic challenge all of its own. Cuteness was elevated to an artform.

Akamoji-kei 赤文字系 and Aomoji-Kei 青文字系 Japanese fashion

Kyaray Pamyu Pamyu is considered representative of the fashion style of Aomoji-kei.

Emoji-kei means “red letter style”. It refers to the magazines that are popular with female office workers that often had red lettering on their covers. Titles have included “JJ”, “CanCam”, “Vivi”, “Ray” and “JJ”. They are characterised by fashions that are more “aware of the male gaze” and more traditionally “feminine or cute in the eyes of men”.

To differentiate the fashion styles that were happening in Harajuku, the term “Aomoji-kei”, “blue letter style”, started to be used to refer to fashions that were less overly playing up to this male concept of female beauty. These fashions often introduced more boyish elements, such as street wear or trousers. They were less afraid to be “off-the-wall”, and brazenly colorful. 

It is ironic that Kyary, who in many ways is the poster child of “cuteness”, is also the poster child of a fashion movement that is actually associated with being less feminine or “cute”. Although Kyaray is undeniably interested in the idea of cuteness, it is not the sort of pure, male centric, cuteness that is characterised by Akamoji-kei.

There is a Japanese article with pictures here

Kyary Pamyu "Street Snaps"

The first key moment for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu personally was when she had her photo taken on the streets of Shinjuku in 2009 by the magazine Kera. From there, she would go on to appear regularly in street photos, in increasingly adventurous clothing, and later in more staged pics in magazines such as Zipper and HR. Her Cinderella story from street to weirdoid bubblegum idol, to full blown music-fashion monster had begun.

 

But in other ways, the street Cinderella narrative isn’t quite right. From the start, Kyary was also an auteur, a net based omni creator with a blog and a suite of social media channels. She was an influencer before that was even a thing. In 2010, while still in high school, her blog on the popular Ameblog platform had 2 million hits a day. This is the equivalent of your niece appearing at the academy awards every day after coming home from school.

 

When Kyary Pamyu Pamyu talked about, say, a certain lotion, or beauty cream, the manufacturers would notice a rise in sales. In 2012, her twitter account was ranked the number one celebrity account in Japan. She had her own online channel to publish her self produced videos. She even wrote a manifesto outlining her world view. She may have been a Cinderella with a glass shoe, but she was also a Cinderella with a self made online production apparatus.

 

 

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu meets Yasutaka Nakata

The 2nd key moment for Kyary came at a nightclub in 2010. She was still in her final year of high school but had already started DJing at clubs. It was there that she had a chance meeting with Yasutaka Nakata.

 

In her own words,  “I working as a DJ at the TAKENOKO, a club event for minors, and the organizers got Nakata Yasutaka to handle the production. I talked to him a number of times and in no time he started to handle my production. I first met him at the “Harajuku Style Collection”, and at that time he had black hair for some reason, so I didn’t recognize him. He often keeps me up to date with gourmet news. He is very knowledgeable and always has an answer for my questions. He is like a fun big brother to talk to. “

Yasutaka is perhaps the ultimate Faceless Man hitmaker of the Japanese music world. There are obvious parallels with a figure like Phil Spector in the sixties guiding a revolving door of mostly female singers to stardom, backed by signature walls of sound that tended to dwarf the sculpted pretty young things toplining the tunes out front.  

If anything, Nakata is more of a one-man-show than was Spector. Nakata generally does absolutely everything involved in the creation of a piece of music, he writes the song,  he writes the words, and then does all the engineering and production. 

Where Spector worked with the songwriting factory of the Brill building of New York, Yasutaka’s 1619 Broadway is in his own small personal studio consisting of a computer, a keyboard, and an embarrassingly small vocal booth around the size of a broom closet. Considering the sounds that come out of there, it is the musical equivalent of a Tardis. And rather than a revolving door, it’s probably more accurate to say that camp Nakata is more like an ever growing tent with a flap in a constant state of unzipping. 

 

The Tardis
Yasutaka Nakata's Studio

Many artists never leave the tent. His relationship working with the trio Perfume has seen him steer the group to hits across two decades. His production relationship with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has lasted several olympic game cycles. To mash up metaphors, Nakata’s tent is a tardis, and the Tardis is a Hotel California from which you can check out but never leave.

 

This is also testament to the fact that, in contrast to Spector, Yasutaka understands the first fundamental rule of showbiz, don’t shoot the talent.

 

About PonPonPon Lyrics

The song that we’re looking particularly at today, Pon Pon Pon, is a Nakata masterpiece. Or perhaps an abomination, depending on which way you look at. But that’s probably true of most things that make a bold statement. Visually, the video clip and aesthetic that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu brings is equally masterful.

The first thing that personally  struck me when I heard the song was the nonsensical refrain. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom may be one kind of genius, but it takes another kind altogether to craft pop gold out of two monosyllables, pon and wei. Though neither of these sounds strictly has any meaning, they are both rich in association. The sound “pon” in Japan is often used as an onomatopoeic word to describe something that is bursting or being struck and is actually similar enough in both sound and meaning to be something of a distant cousin of our own English word “pop”, separated as it is by a single alphabetic flick of the fingers. I smell a linguistic conspiracy. 

The other sound, “wei”, is related to the English word way, but is also close to the exclamatory sound “yay”, which has been incorporated into the Japanese vernacular sounding more like “iei” .This lends the wei a care-free fun vibe. 

The song lyrics themselves are a somewhat garbled take on the need for a person to find their own “way” in life. If only Frank Sinatra had lived long enough to put a version of this song into his set as a medley with “I did it my way”.  Surely, there’s a mash up waiting to happen. 

 

The lyrics certainly can’t be described as deep, but they can’t be written off as shallow either. Yes, the main protagonist in the song wants to skip through the streets, and ride on the merry-go-round, and get lost in whatever rhythms are drumming out of the headphones. But she is doing so to keep from crying, as a way of moving on. It is a song of radical defiance, a refusal of depression and a challenge to the listener to find a way to live with meaning in a meaningless world. A wei-pon wei-pon way.

In crafting my translation, I’ve reimagined the words somewhat in places, while trying to remain as true in spirit as I could.

There were some sections I just couldn’t bring myself not to mess with a little. Namely the somewhat ridiculous snippets of cultural appropriation that are the English sections , sections that you so often get in Japanese pop music. Probably the main offender is:

“Everyday is pon, every time is pon, I want to ride a Merry-go-round”.

These I’ve changed to more of a love related motif with, 

“every day you’re gone, every time you’re gone, riding on that merry-go-round”. 

In this context the merry-go-round becomes more of a metaphor for the hurl and burl of life.

Generally though, I’ve tried to keep things pretty close, whilst allowing for a singable, rhyming translation.

My Arrangement of PonPonPon

Musical arrangement-wise, I’ve aimed at a shadow image opposite of the original. Mine is dark. It’s acoustic. I tried to resist using anything electronic as much as I could, but I did allow myself the liberty of a little electric guitar. Creation process wise-it’s not dissimilar to Nakata’s original, in that it’s just me tinkering away from wo to go. Although, in a little suburban tin shed in albion, rather than in a high rise apartment in Tokyo.

I guess you could say I was trying to find my own way to wei pon wei.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Fashion Books

Japanoscope uses affiliate links. Which means we may receive commisions when you click on some product links. We only link to products we believe in, use ourselves or think are genuinely good. This helps us keep all of the content on the site free of charge. As Monty Python once said, “We’re selling records in the foyer. Some of us have gotta eat too you know”.

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

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The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »
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Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Read More »

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Midnight Diner Theme Song Omoide by Tsunekichi Suzuki Translated and Explained

Today I present 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…

Who sings the theme song on Netflix Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories?

The opening song for Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories (深夜食堂 Shinya Shokudo) is the song Omoide 思ひで by Tsunekichi Suzuki. It was first released on his 2006 album ぜいご Zeigo.

Zeigo Tsunekichi Suzuki Album

Japanese Reading Difficulty

9/12 Could be read by 10th grade level student in Japan

Themes

Impernance

Text Type

Folk Song

Background To Midnight Diner Song Omoide and Tsunekichi Suzuki

In 2015, Japanese singer-songwriter Tsunekichi Suzuki wrote on his blog about how he left his home country at the age of 61 to go on an adventure to China. The trip was one of a handful of international music tours he made in his life, a life which would end just five years later in 2020. 

Tsunekichi’s blog describes how, after a soundcheck for one of his Chinese tour dates he went to have a cigarette on the street and a youth waiting outside asked him “is this where Tsunekichi Suzuki is playing tonight?”

Tsunekichi told him it was. The young person asked “is Tsunekichi Suzuki famous in Japan, like he is in China?”

Tsunekichi just mumbled ineffectually. He didn’t really know what to say.

Later, on his blog, Tsunekichi said “I should have just told the young man straight out, no Tsunekichi Suzuki is not famous in Japan…None of the people waiting outside the gig knew it was me they had come to see. I thought it had been suspicious when people told me I was popular in China”.

Tsunekichi Suzuki and Midnight Diner

But the truth is, he had become kind of big in China, and in Korea, and in several other countries to boot. He had achieved this level of international notoriety because of a TV show called Shinya Shokudo in Japan but you may know the show by it’s Netflix international release name “Midnight Diner”. 

Midnight Diner uses several of his songs in its soundtrack . If you don’t know the show, it’s set in a wood-paneled Tokyo bar, that caters to a midnight to morning clientele of colourful fringe dwellers. 

Midnight Diner Soundtrack

The show opens with a long sequence of the bright downtown lights of Tokyo, sans street noise. The footage is strikingly off-set to Tsunekichi’s gentle acoustic Irish Folk influenced song “Omoide” or Remembrance. 

This was the proverbial 2nd wind for the singer. A significant time had passed since Tsunekichi had first experienced a fairly short, but intense, few weeks in the national spotlight in 1989. His band, Cement Mixers, had appeared on the TV show “Ikasu Bando Tengoku”. They sounded like this:

Tsunekichi Suzuki & Cement Mixers on Ikaten (いかすバンド天国)

The TV show’s title Ikasu Bando Tengoku いかすバンド天国 translates as “Cool Band Heaven”, and it was kind of like bandstand meets battle of the bands meets eurovision, but read right to left, Japanese style. 

This show was a phenomenon in Japan and coincided with what came to be known as the バンドブーム “Band Boom”, where young groups playing guitars wrested prominence for a time from the studio manufactured “idols” that dominated the charts of the second biggest music market in the world. 

The Ikasu Bando Tengoku show even got it’s own shortened nickname いかてん“Ikaten”, which had particular out of left field resonance with the word “Ikaten” also meaning “Deep fried Tempura Squid”. Many of the bands grew out of the 歩行者天国Hokosha Tengoku “pedestrian paradice” scene of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district where 100s of bands would perform on the street on the weekends. This scene had its own nickname too, the “Hoten”. The two “tens” Ikaten and Hoten became inexorably entwined. Now all the record indie execs had to do to scout their next big thing was to take a trip down to the swinging parklands of Tokyo and literally pick a band off the street.

The whole thing didn’t last though, because the good residents of Harajuku didn’t take so well to their neighbourhood becoming a default outdoor live band arena where the music and wacky fashion raged 24/7. The Ikaten program was taken off the air at the end of 1990 and the bands were largely turfed out of the streets of Harajuku. In 1991, the bubble of the Japanese economic post war miracle came to an end and ushered in what is now known as the 失われた10年 “Ushinawareta 10 nen”, or the lost decade.

You can watch a 2007 television program looking back at the Ikaten program here:

Post-Ikaten Tsunekichi 

It seems Tsunekichi’s hopes of superstardom were also lost somewhere along with those ten years, after his band released one album on a major label, to some critical acclaim, and promptly broke up. He formed another band つれれこ社中Tsurereko Shachu, which managed to release one album later that decade, in 1997. Tsunekichi wasn’t to reappear greatly in the public consciousness again until his 2006 solo album ぜいご Zeigo, which was lauded by one of the songwriters I’ve translated here in the past 高田渡 Wataru Takada. The album was ultimately picked up to form the raw materials of the soundtrack to the Midnight Diner tv show many have now watched on Netflix around the world.

Omoide’s 18th Century Irish Folk Origins

One of the strange circularities of this story is that the song Omoide, featured in the opening scenes, is itself based on an 18th century folk song from another island people half way across the world. It is essentially a re-working of the catchily, and perhaps pastorally racily, titled  Irish folk song “A pretty girl milking her cow”. Judy Garland made the song world famous by singing it in the 1940 movie “Little Nellie”.

A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow Lyrics

The English version is attributed to Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

It was on a fine summer’s morning

The birds sweetly tune on each bough

And as I walked out for my pleasure

I saw a maid milking a cow

Her voice was so enchanting, melodious

Left me quite unable to go

My heart, it was loaded with sorrow

For the pretty maid milking her cow

Then to her I made my advances

“Good morrow most beautiful maid

Your beauty my heart so entrances”

“Pray sir do not banter,” she said

“I’m not such a rare precious jewel

That I should enamour you so

I am but a poor little milk girl,”

Says the pretty maid milking her cow

The Indies afford no such jewel

So bright, so transparently clear

I do not add things to my funeral

Consent but to know me my dear

Oh, had I the Lamp of Aladdin

Or the wealth that gold mines can bestow

I’d rather be poor in a cottage

With the pretty girl milking her cow.

An interesting aside about this song for Australians is that this song was apparently sung by Jack Jones,  teenage son of Anne Jones the publican of the Glenrowan Inn (Victoria, Australia) while it was under siege by the famous Ned Kelly Gang bushrangers.

Tsunekichi’s reworking of the Irish tune

Tsunekichi gives the song about girls milking cows a much more ethereal feel, and an ephemeral theme. Here it becomes a Japanese musing on the impermanent nature of things, as the song’s protagonist muses on such questions as what becomes of a breath once it is exhaled, and if you pierce through the sky and the clouds, do you find another sky and clouds waiting there beyond?

I’ll let you ponder those questions as you listen to these Japanese and English versions of the song Omoide, or “Remembrance”.

Omoide Lyrics and Translation

君が吐いた白い息が
kimiga ha i ta shiroi i kiga
今ゆっくり風に乗って
ima yuku ri kazo notte
空に浮かぶ雲の中に
sorani ukabu kumo no nakani
少しずつ消えてゆく
sugo shi zuttsu kiete yuku

遠く高い空の中で
tōku takai sorono naka de
手を伸ばす白い雲
tewo no ba su shiroi kumo
君が吐いた息を吸って
kimiga ha i ta ikio sute
ぽっかりと浮かんでる
pok karito ukan deru
ずっと昔のことのようだね

zutto mukashino kotono yō da ne
川面の上を雲が流れる
kawa mono u e o kumo ga naga re ru
照り返す日差しを避けて
teri kae su hizashi o sa ke te
軒下に眠る犬
noki shita ni memoru i nu
思い出もあの 空の中に
omo i de mo a no sora no nakani
少しづつ消えてゆく

sugo shi zuttsu kiete yuku
この空の向こう側には
ko no sorano mukō-gawa ni wa
もうひとつの青い空
mō hitotsu no aoi sora
誰もいない空の中に
daremo i na i sorano nakate
ぽっかりと浮かぶ雲
pok karito ukanbu kumo
ずっと昔のことのようだね
zutto mukashino kotono yō da ne
川面の上を雲が流れる
kawa mono u e o kumo ga naga re ru

君が吐いた白い息が

 

kimiga ha i ta shiroi i kiga
今ゆっくり風に乗って
ima yuku ri kazo notte
空に浮かぶ雲の中に
sorani u ka bu kumo no nakani
少しずつ消えてゆく
sugo shi zuttsu kiete yuku
少しずつ消えてゆく
sugo shi zuttsu kiete yuku

See your pale breath floating over there

As it slowly drifts off in the air

See it billow into the clouds in the sky

And vanish before your eyes

See the white clouds reaching out there hands

In the sky so far above the land

Breathing in the air you breathed out

Rolling on, Rolling On, Rolling On

And do you remember

The clouds streaming by ‘bove the river?

And didn’t they look just like this?

Or maybe my mind plays tricks

And do you remember the glaring sun

And the dog sleeping there ‘neath the eaves

And all of these memories

Fade into the sky as they leave

On the other side of the sky

There’s another sky there so blue

There’s not a single soul or a sound

But there’s a rolling, rolling cloud

And do you remember

The clouds streaming by ‘bove the river?

And didn’t they look just like this?

Or maybe my mind plays tricks

See your pale breath floating over there

As it slowly drifts off in the air

See it billow into the clouds in the sky

And vanish before your eyes

And vanish before your eyes

What is Midnight Diner Shinya Shokudo?

Shinya Shokudo is originally a Manga. It has appeared in the Big Comic Original in serialized form since 2006. It was later turned into serialised and movie screen adaptations.

Where Can I Read Shinya Shokudo in English?

Many editions of the comic have been translated here on the Internet Archive.

Where can you buy shinya Shokudo Comics?

Shinya Shokudo are available in the original Japanese from Amazon Japan here.

Where Can You Watch Midnight Diner Shinya Shokudo?

You can watch Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories on Netflix, or you can buy it out right on Bluray here:

Are there Midnight Diner Cook Books?

There’s not an official Midnight Diner Cook Book available at the moment, but there are several books that feature similar recipes:

Or if you can read Japanese you could try these:

Hungry for Midnight Diner Merch?

Cool, a t-shirt of the sign on the Midnight Diner restaurant ”めしや” “Meshiya”, which is a colloquial term for “restaurant”. Simple & understated. Nice.

Or give the Midnight Master some love.

Language Learning Program Reviews

Japanese Learning Programs

Rocket Japanese Review 2021

I take an in depth look at the Rocket Japanese platform, 2021 edition, in depth and outline what I like, what I don’t like and what some of the alternatives are.

Read More »
Culture

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »
Graded Japanese Reading Practice

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Read More »

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Translating Kiyoshiro Imawano’s Slow Ballad

Kiyoshiro Imawano, King of Japanese Rock

Many musicians have been appointed as rulers of a given musical domain. Sinatra was the chairman, Elvis was the King, Bowie was the Duke, Springteen the boss, and there have been many more fathers and godfathers than there have been mothers and godmothers similarly anointed to go around.

Well, other countries have their own musical monarchs too. Japan may be lorded over by an Emperor, but realm of rhythm is ruled by a King of Rock. His name is Kiyoshiro Imawano and he inhabits are persona somewhere between Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Van Morrison.

 

Today I’ve translated his song “Slow Ballad”, which was released as the 6th single for Kiyoshiro’s band RC Succession.

Japanese Language Difficulty

5/12 Could be easily understood by 5th grade level student in Japan

Themes

Love

Text Type

Songs In Translation

About RC Succession's "Slow Ballad"

The song is a meta-power ballad about a young man hearing a slow song on the radio while he’s sleeping in the car with his girlfriend. Slow Ballad has a soul feel that would not sound out of place sung by, say, Otis Redding, replete with horns provided by American group Tower Of Power, who happened to be touring in Japan around the time the song was recorded. But the song is made by Kiyoshiro’s passionately, impained, rasp of a vocal that is on the edge, often over the edge, of losing control. 

Nicholson Baker once wrote that to write a poem all you have to do is describe the most significant moment of your day. Slow Ballad is right on cue. Kiyoshiro’s moment is of two people on a frigid night, in a municipal car park, in a sedan, wrapped in a blanket sleeping while the tunes play. The strength of the song is in the fact that it never tries to break out of the instant. And yet, you still get the sense that the moment is part of some larger inexorable, and most probably darker, pulse of time. 

Released six years after the band’s first single, Slow Ballad appeared at a time when few people were buying the band’s music or coming to shows. And it would not be until the release of their 9th single another four years later that the band would see large-scale success. Kiyoshiro himself would ultimately go on to eclipse the band and have cross-over mainstream success another two years later after collaborating with Ryuichi Sakomoto on the track Ikenai Rouge Magic.

 

 

But the song Slow Ballad has lodged itself in the popular consciousness of Japan, as a record of the humbler and leaner days of the man who would go on to become rock royalty. From the municipal ground car park, kiyoshiro would claim his own country’s mantle of the King of Rock, and take his own throne at the table of the international council of dionysian lords of song.

Lyrics

昨日はクルマの中で寝た
あの娘と手をつないで
市営グランドの駐車場
二人で毛布にくるまって
 
カーラジオからスローバラード
夜露が窓をつつんで
悪い予感のかけらもないさ

あの娘のねごとを聞いたよ
ほんとさ 確かに聞いたんだ
 
カーラジオからスローバラード
夜露が窓をつつんで
悪い予感のかけらもないさ
ぼくら夢を見たのさ
とってもよく似た夢を

Last night I slept in a car
Hand in hand with a girl neath the stars
In the carpark at the municipal ground
With a warm warm blanket wrapped around us

And the radio played a balad so slow
As the night dew shimmered on the wind screen window
And I didn’t have a single bad feeling no no

And I tell you I heard her talk in her sleep
But what she said is a secret I’m gonna take with me
And the radio played a balad so slow
As the night dew shimmered on the wind screen window
And I didn’t have a single bad feeling no no
And the two of us dreamed a dream
So alike, that just one it may well have been

 

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »

Moshi Moshi Yusuke – 30 Top Japanese New Japanese Words In Japanese in 2020 P.II

Do you know these Japanese words? AI超え おうち時間 顔芸 These are some of the new Japanese vocabulary that entered the lexicon in 2020. Japanese language, like any tongue, is a living, breathing thing. It’s constantly changing. This means the process of learning Japanese is an ongoing one. But a fun one! Each year, the education company U-Can releases a list of the 30 new words, called 流行語 or 新語, that have entered the Japanese for that year. I chatted with Moshi Moshi Yusuke もしもしゆうすけ about the different words on the list. We talked about the different social movements in Japan that have occurred over the year that have lead to these new words coming into the Japanese language.

Read More »

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。3年間京都市立芸大の大学院として、一年間ワーキングホリデーとして日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Record Collecting Japanese Vinyl

Japan is a collector’s dream. Whether its toys, comics, or video games, there are stores filled with everything you want. What’s more, CD’s never really went out of fashion in Japan so there’s still large music stores such as Shibuya’s Tower Records which has seven levels divided by genres and themes.

I spoke with two record collectors about their hobby and what makes Japanese records and CD’s stand out from the rest.

I first spoke with Dave from djshadowreconstructed.com , a collector from the UK whose passion is DJ Shadow. So how did Dave get hooked?

“I guess I’ve always been a bit of a collector. I started to buy a lot of CD’s and things in my teenage years, and then my actual DJ Shadow collection probably [wasn’t started] until 2006…What started it was, I was getting more and more into Shadow and I was looking to try and track down every track its physical form, whether it be on vinyl or CD. So that started me on the road to buying multiple versions of things like a different copy of Endtroducing for example for the In / Flux bonus track.”

The bonus track appeared on the Japanese edition of DJ Shadow’s debut album Endtroducing from 1996, and at the time it was one of the few places to hear it on CD. This helped make the Japanese edition of the album highly sought after by collectors.

I next spoke to Brian from Australia who also goes by the name AstroBboy. With a nickname like that it will come as no surprise that Brian collects Hip Hop and Astro Boy merchandise. Or at least he did, because as he told me he no longer collects. So what happened?

“When it comes to records, I guess it started when I was 15 or 16. I was really into the Beastie Boys and a second hand CD/record store near my school had a copy of She’s On It. That single wasn’t released on Licensed To Ill so I needed that song to complete my collection at the time. So when I purchased this single it was just for that one song, and I was pretty happy…but then after collecting 500 Beastie Boys records it got a bit out of control. [Later] I was moving a lot and as you can imagine records weigh a lot. It was also getting to a point where it was more about collecting than the music, so I sold off the collection.”

What Is Special About Japanese Releases On Vinyl

While CDs and records are pressed all over the world, Japanese pressings are sought after by collectors for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there may be different artwork or bonus tracks, but an added curiosity is the obi strip. The obi is a piece of paper which is wrapped around one side of a CD or record packaging and they often contain information on them such as price, translated titles, and advertisements for other releases. The obi is uncommon outside of Japan leading to people sometimes throwing them away, which means collectors will often pay more for an item with an obi than without. Especially if they’re a completist.

Japanese Record With Obi Strip

Japanese Exclusive Songs and Albums

Part of the fun of collecting is finding interesting items, and Japan is full of them. While the unique artwork and obi strips can be cool, for me the main attraction is the bonus tracks, and Brian told me about one I had never heard.

In 2005 Beastie Boys released a compilation titled Solid Gold Hits which featured a remix of their song Right Right Now Now exclusive to Japan. The remix is titled RRNN: Straight Outta Shibuya and features a rap in Japanese by Takagi Kan. Kan is part of the Major Force group who released several Hip Hop records in Japan during the 1980’s and 1990’s. We previously wrote about his song Last Orgy, and how his TV show with Hiroshi Fujiwara inspired BAPE’s Nigo.

But Straight Outta Shibuya wasn’t the first time Takagi Kan collaborated with the Beastie Boys, as he actually contributed Japanese linear notes to some Japanese editions of Beastie Boys albums, including Licensed To Ill in 1986. Straight Outta Shibuya was later collected on a special digital deluxe edition of Beastie Boys To The 5 Boroughs album meaning more people have the opportunity to hear it now.

While “exclusive to Japan” may have once meant you were unlikely to find something outside of Japan at all, these days thanks to the internet and websites such as eBay or Discogs, you can get just about anything delivered to your door. So what exclusive items should I look out for? Dave gave some suggestions for a potential collector:

“There’s a few Mo’ Wax compilations which feature DJ Shadow, like Build & Destroy, Mo’ Groove, Ape Shall Never Kill Ape box set. Mostly the [interesting DJ Shadow] Japan stuff is promotional variations with unique artwork or track listings.”

I also asked Brian about Beastie Boys items and he told me about some “cute” 3” mini CDs. While CDs are generally 5”, in the 1980’s and 1990’s some bands released songs on 3” CDs, including the Beastie Boys’ Japan exclusive Get It Together single. Then in 2005 the band played with size again when they released a copy of their Licensed To Ill album on CD, but in a 12” packaging, replicating a vinyl release. Again, this was exclusive to Japan.

Keeping Track Of Your Collection

It’s hard to imagine ever keeping track of so many unique releases, and both Dave and Brian have found different ways to solve this by using the internet. 

Brian helps run Beastiemania, a fan website dedicated to everything Beastie Boys. But the collection on Beastiemania doesn’t all belong to Brian, and it’s instead been put together by a huge list of fans from all over the world, making it the most complete and detailed Beastie Boys discography online.

Meanwhile, Dave runs an Instagram page @thedjshadowcollection, which he uses to share his collection with the world. Through his page Dave shares regular posts with updates of new or interesting items, some of which are extremely rare. This has led to him meeting other collectors from around the world, and Dave is currently collaborating with some other fans on a new DJ Shadow fan site, DJ Shadow Reconstructed.

With so many people collecting now you would almost expect there to be nothing of interest left in stores. But when I was recently in Japan, I was struck by how well stocked their record stores are. It seemed I could find anything if I was willing to spend enough time digging through crates. 

Why Do People Like Japanese Vinyl

While I was impressed by all of the stock in Japanese record stores, I was even more impressed by how the CDs and records were all in such amazing condition, and often looked brand new. As a final question, I asked Dave and Brian about why they thought this was, but neither were too certain. While this aspect of collecting must remain a mystery, they both did agree that even if you’re buying something online from Japan it will always arrive with utmost care.

It seems that the reason people like Japanese records comes down to the following:

-Exclusive artwork

-Bonus tracks

-Obi Strip and Inserts (Lyrics Sheets, Linear Notes, Poster)

-Second hand items that look brand new

-Items which are posted to you undamaged

So, while you may not be able to visit Japan right now, it is perhaps the perfect time to start saving for your next trip so you can experience firsthand Japan’s exclusive records and CDs, and fill up the gaps in your collections. Even if you collect something other than Beastie Boys or DJ Shadow, Japan will surely have what you need tucked into a crate somewhere for a few hundred yen.

Where To Buy Japanese Vinyl Records

While there’s record stores all over Japan, here’s some of our favourites.

Tower Records Tokyo

The Shibuya store is a massive 7 floors, and the Shinjuku store has a great vinyl only floor filled with almost anything you could want. These stores are great if you want to find some new CD’s or records, but beware of the price!

Their website gives you an idea of their stock, and provides services to ship worldwide. http://tower.jp

Disc Union Tokyo & Osaka

These stores are spread all over Tokyo. Their main Shinjuku store is 8 floors, while they also have smaller stores dedicted to Jazz, Metal, and Soul. Disc Union are the best place to find second hand records and CDs, and some even sell cassette tapes. There website has a handy map of all their stores, and there’s even an English version. https://diskunion.net/st/shop/

Marking Records Matsumoto

A beautiful store, Marking sell new records, CDs, cassette tapes, and zines. Their focus is on Alternative music so take a look at their website to get an idea of what to expect. https://shop.markingrecords.com/ 

 

Time Bomb Osaka

Recommended by AstroBBoy, a great collection of second hand records across various genres. They also ship overseas if you buy online. https://timebomb.co.jp/en

Jet Set Kyoto

This store sells every genre of music, as well as books, magazines, and DVDs. They have a selection of new and used records to browse, and you can also buy online with international shipping.

https://www.jetsetrecords.net

Yahoo Auctions

This is the #1 place to buy random stuff from Japan if you’re overseas. It’s similar to eBay so there’s magazines, merchandise, and book alongside CDs and records, and a lot of Japan Exclusive items are available here. It can be complicated to use if you’re not in Japan, but you can use a service like Buyee to buy things on your behalf. https://auctions.yahoo.co.jp

Mercari

Similar to Yahoo Auctions, Mercari is filled with exclusive Japan Only items like records and magazines. Just like Yahoo Auctions, they use Buyee to allow international purchases. 

https://buyee.jp/mercari/ 

Contributor

James Gaunt is an Australian writer who published his book Making Psyence Fiction in 2020. James previously lived in Tokyo, Japan but has recently returned to Melbourne, Australia. He maintains a keen interest in Japanese music, and publishes regularly on Medium http://medium.com/@jimmyjrg

The Story Of Miki Matsubara & Mayonaka No Doa – Stay With Me

Miki Matsubara 松原みき Mayonaka no doa 真夜中のドア with English Lyrics and translation sung by Cake Sullivan.
I track the history of the song from the 1979 original version, through to the Rainych Youtube cover, to Mayonaka blowing up on TikTok in 2020.
Along the way I answer questions such as how did Miki Matsubara die? How did her music fit into the larger genres of Japanese City Pop and New Music?

Read More »

Transgender Women Accepted Into Japanese Women’s Universities

We’ve translated some Japanese media and social media about recent moves for the Women’s Universities in Japan to welcome transgender women as students.

There are a group of Women’s Universities in Japan that have recently come out to say that they will soon start accepting transgender women. This is, of course, a major change in the country and has been covered in several major news outlets and provoked a lot of discussion, of a more or less civil nature, across social media.

Today we’ve translated some excerpts from Asahi News, The Huffington Post Japan, and a selection of tweets from twitter to get an overview of the coverage.

We present the selections in Japanese, then in English, then sentence by sentence in Japanese and English for those that are interested to get down in the weeds of the language a bit more

Japanese Reading Difficulty

11/12 Could be read by 10th grade level student in Japan

Themes

Gender, Transgender, Education in Japan

Text Type

Newspapers & Social Media Posts

トランス女性OK、深化する女子大 課題はハラスメント

(2020年8月13日付け朝日新聞より)

 

生まれた時の性別が男性で、性自認が女性のトランスジェンダーの学生の受け入れが今春、お茶の水女子大(東京)と奈良女子大の国立2大学で始まった。

実際に入学したかどうかは明らかにしていない。

来春は宮城学院女子大でも始まる。

受け入れを検討する女子大が増える中、大学側に当事者を保護する取り組みを求め声もあがる。

 「全ての学びたい女性に開かれているのが女子大。それは、戸籍上の女性に限らないということ。女子大の使命の延長線上にある」

 この4月、トランスジェンダー女性の受け入れを始めたお茶の水女子大の三浦徹副学長はそう話す。

同大は2018年7月に受け入れを表明。19年4月に対応ガイドラインを制定し、準備を進めてきた。

どう接すれば…受け入れ前は不安の声も

 受け入れにあたっては「性自認が女性である」ことをどう認定するかが問われた。

同大では、受験前に申告書を出してもらい、性自認の確認や、受験時や学生生活を送る上での態勢などについて必要があれば面談をする形にした。

医師の診断書は必須ではない。「性自認は変化する。あえて多面的にした」と同大は説明する。

Trans women allowed, Women’s Universities Deepen, Harassment Challenge Remains

 

From this Spring, two public universities, Ochanomizu Women’s University (Tokyo) and Nara Women’s University, have begun accepting transgender students whose sex at time of birth was male but who identify their gender as female.

It is not clear whether any transgender students have yet been admitted.

From next Spring, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University will also begin admitting transgender students.

As women’s universities that accept transgender women increase, so do the voices calling for safeguards for students.

“It’s the Women’s Universities that provide all women wishing to learn a safe place. That does not apply only to women who are listed as such on the official Family Register. This is an extension of the mission of Women’s Universities.”

So spoke Ochanomizu University Vice Head of School Toru Miura in April.

The university announced that they would accept transgender students in July 2018. Since drafting guidelines in April 2019, preparations have been proceeding.

Prior to the changes, voices expressed their unease at how they should interact with the students 

Questions have been raised about how “people that identify as female” should be validated under the new system.

At Ochanomizu, prospective students are asked to submit an application document prior to sitting the entrance exam and, where necessary, are asked to have an interview to confirm status of their gender identity in relation to exams and student life.

There is no necessity for a medical certificate from a doctor to be produced. “Gender identity changes. We now presume that it is versatile.”

室伏学長(お茶の水女子大学) は会見の冒頭で次のように述べた。

 

学ぶ意欲のあるすべての女性にとって、真摯な夢の実現の場として存在するという国立大学法人としての本学のミッションに基づき判断した。

今回の決定を『多様性を包摂する女子大学と社会』の創出に向けた取り組みと位置づけており、

今後、固定的な性別意識にとらわれず、ひとりひとりが人間としてその個性と能力を十分に発揮し、『多様な女性』があらゆる分野に参画できる社会の実現につながっていくことを期待している。

はるか以前の社会と比べると格段に進歩したが、それでも様々な場で女性が職業人として活躍するには困難がある。

その現状を変え、女性たちが差別や偏見を受けずに幸せに暮らせる社会を作るために、大学という学びの場で、自らの価値を認識し、社会に貢献するという確信を持って前進する精神をはぐくむ必要があると考える。

それが実現できるのは、女性が旧来の役割意識などの、無意識の偏見、そういったものから解放されて自由に活躍できる女子大学だろうと考えている。

本学はすべての女性たちがその年齢や国籍等に関係なく、個々人の尊厳と権利を保障されて、自身の学びを進化させ、自由に自己の資質能力を開発させることを目指している。

その意味からも、性自認が女性であって、真摯に女子大学で学ぶことを希望する人を受け入れるのは自然な流れだろうと思うし、多様性を包摂する社会としても当然のことと考えた。

As a national university corporate body, this decision was based on our mission of providing a place to all women who have a sincere desire and dream to learn.

We see this decision as part of a movement to create a women’s university and society that embraces diversity

We dream of a society where “diverse women” can participate in a variety of fields and where each person can achieve their own expression of their own unique human abilities, unrestrained by rigi