Friday 22 March 2013

Contenders for National Anthem

So the cooling systems for the spent fuel pools were brought to a standstill for 29 hours (see last post) by a small rodent which burned to a frazzle and shorted the system! It seems that while work was being done on two other switchboards, power had been diverted to the makeshift outdoor switchboard which, at that very same time, came under attack. While the NRA draw up safety standards for protecting nuclear plants from earthquake, tsunami, hijack and cyber attack, the system is brought down by a rat.
Taizan meido shite nezumi ippiki
which Wikipedia tells me comes from Horace, 'The mountains will be in labour and a ridiculous mouse brought forth'. Must be a moral in there somewhere.

Here in Koriyama it's spring at last. Some cold days still among the warm but the snow cap atop Mount Adatara is receding like the proverbial snow in summer.

Now for something completely different.
The wistful strains of the Japanese national anthem, Kimi ga Yo, are heard at sporting events but it's not exactly a catchy tune and no one seems to know the words. Since the disaster two other songs in particular have united the nation in a shared sense of purpose and emotion. They are Furusato 故郷 (Country Home) and Hana wa Saku 花は咲く (The Flowers will Bloom).

From the many offerings on youtube, I've chosen two children's choirs.  The lyrics, in both English and Japanese, are below. There's a good translation of Furusato by Greg Irwin. The other translation is not so good but it scans with the music - more or less. It's better in Japanese, believe me.

So here we go. This first one has a short introduction in Japanese by a member of an NPO which organised donations of musical instruments after the tsunami. The concert was organised in March last year to say 'thank you'. (You can skip the ads by clicking on the rectangle bottom right)
500 children from Ishinomaki sing Furusato

This next one is the Suginami Childrens Choir with images.
Children's Choir sings Hana wa Saku

Lyrics for Furusato
兔追いしかの山、 小鮒釣りし かの川、 夢は今もめぐりて、忘れがたき ふるさと
Usagi oishi kanoyama, Kobuna tsurushi kanokawa, Yume wa ima mo megurite, wasuregataki furusato
Back in the mountains I knew as a child
Fish filled the rivers and rabbits ran wild
Memories, I carry these wherever I may roam
I hear it calling me, my country home

如何にいます 父母、恙 無しや友垣、雨に風につけても、思い出ずる ふるさと
Ika ni imasu chichi haha, tsutsuga nashiya tomogaki, Ame ni kaze ni tsukete mo, Omoidezuru furusato
Mother and Father, how I miss you now
How are my friends I lost touch with somehow?
When the rain falls or the wind blows I feel so alone
I hear it calling me, my country home

志を 果たして、いつの日にか 帰らん、山はあおきふるさと、水は清き ふるさと
Kokorozashi o hatashite, itsunohinika kaeran, Yama wa aoki furusato, Mizu wa kiyoki furusato
I've got this dream and it keeps me away
When it comes true I'm going back there someday
Crystal waters, mighty mountains blue as emerald stone
I hear it calling me, my country home

Lyrics for Hana wa Saku
真っ白な 雪道に 春風香る、わたしは なつかしい、あの街を 思い出す
Masshiro na yukimichi ni harukaze kaoru. Watashi wa natsukashii, ano machi o omoidasu
Can you feel the spring breeze on the white snow-covered road.
It brings to mind my old hometown that I'll never see again.

叶えたい 夢もあった、変わりたい 自分もいた、今はただ なつかしい、あの人を 思い出す
Kanaetai yume mo atta, Kawaritai jibun mo ita, Ima wa tada natukashii, ano hito o omoidasu
I was always chasing rainbows then, I did want to change myself
I'm just holding onto my faith while I'm longing for my loved one

Dareka no uta ga kikoeru, Dareka o hagemashiteru, dareka no egao ga mieru, Kanashimi no mukogawa ni
I can hear you  sing to soothe the soul, I can hear you sing to be at ease, I can see you smile through the sorrow, I can see you smile after weeping

※ (Refrain) 花は 花は 花は咲く、いつか生まれる君に、花は 花は 花は咲く、わたしは何を残しただろう
Hana wa hana wa hana wa saku, itsuka umareru kimi ni, hana wa hana wa hana wa saku, watashi wa nani o nokoshita daro
Flowers will bud and bloom again, for you who will come into the world someday,
Flowers will bud and bloom again, have I done any good to stay in your heart?

夜空の 向こうの 朝の気配に、わたしはなつかしい、あの日々を 思い出す
Yozora no muko no asa no kehai ni, Watashi wa natsukashii, Ano hibi o omoidasu
Beyond the night sky I see the first dawn light in the darkness, It takes me back to the good old days that will never come again

傷ついて 傷つけて、報われず 泣いたりして、今はただ 愛おしい、あの人を思い出す
Kizutsuite kizutsukete, mukuwarezu naitari shite, Ima wa tada itooshii, Ano hito o omoidasu
Sometimes I hurt the one I love and hurt myself, only to cry, I just hold on, hold on now, longing for my loved one

Dareka no omoi ga mieru, dareka to musubareteru, Dareka no mirai ga mieru, Kanashimi no mukogawa ni
I can feel your thoughts, our ties to one another, I can feel your thoughts, coming home to me, I can see the gleam of dawn in your eyes, I believe you've started life again

※Repeat 3 times but last line:
Itsuka aisuru kimi no tame ni
For you will be in love with someone some day.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for the link and lyrics to the Ishinomaki children's Furusato video. It is delightful as well as very moving.

    Steve Solomon