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The day a star is born

Sat 18 Dec 2010 by mskala Tags used: ,

This is my last posting from the desktop machine before I take it down to pack - a little earlier than I'd first planned, but I'm trying to get my packing done with as much safety margin as possible and now that the paper deadlines are past, I don't need the main computer to be online in this location any longer. I can use my laptop for networking in the next few days before my move.

Since my last Japanese lesson on the 10th, I'm on my own as far as continuing my studies, and one thing I'm doing is translating song lyrics. Another I might do is post entries on the Japanese side of this site. Anyway, although I'm not promising to share much or any of whatever is created by my learning process - it depends very much on amount and nature of reader response - I'm going to post a song translation in this entry. It seems appropriate.

This is 『星の生まれる日』 "Hoshi no umareru hi," or "The day a star is born," by Cocco. The transcription is heavily cross-checked against the Net - and I think in fact it may be "official" in the sense of appearing on the booklet that comes with the CD (I already packed my copy and can't easily check) - but the translation is mine. To English speakers the phrase "a star is born" suggests someone becoming a celebrity; and I think that implication may be intended to some degree; but the main meaning in this context should be understood as referring to the East Asian idea of the spirits of dead people, and especially of unhappy lovers, becoming stars in the sky.

星の生まれる日The day a star is born
Let me be your ladder
To ascend into the sky
Climb up my hair
To place your feet on my head
It's okay if you go leaping off now
To begin your journey far away, but
Oh, when you are with the stars
Oh, then I'll cry alone
Broken happiness is combined
With the crimes I've committed
Better to braid a rope
And bind our lives together
I would escape this dried punishment
Not burdened by my feelings
Oh, I hope I can forgive yesterday
Oh, I hope I can love tomorrow
Let me untie your hands
Let me release you to the Western sky
Oh, when you are with the stars
Oh, then I'll cry alone
Oh, I hope I can forgive yesterday
Oh, I hope I can love tomorrow
わたしを忘れてしまえばいい。 Better that you should forget me.

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Lovely poem!

The association of the star with the unhappy lover is essential to understand what the poet is saying and what he means. The magic of a foreign tongue! Enjoy.
Spyros - 2010-12-18 22:14
Wonderful! I love the braid analogy. And "I hope I can love tomorrow" - a universal prayer. "Dried punishment" must conceal an image in the original which is difficult to put across.
Axel - 2010-12-19 11:47
The word is "乾いた" - kawaita, "dried"; it's definitely the past tense of a verb meaning "to become dry" as in "not wet"; but I'm not sure what that means in relation to punishment. Quite possibly another cultural reference I don't get.
Matt - 2010-12-19 22:12
Could be that the dried punishment is connected to tears.
Cernael - 2010-12-19 22:58

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