16.8.22

Mr. Sakurai Has Officially Been Declared Corona-Free

As of a little past 9PM this evening, Fish Tank informed members via email that Mr. Sakurai had officially been declared corona-free, and had completed the required post-treatment quarantine, and therefore he will be back onstage this Friday, to celebrate Yagami Toll's 60th birthday. As Mr. Sakurai would probably shout if he were onstage right now, Whoo! You can all sleep soundly at night now! Go go on B-T train!


Anyway, everyone, stay safe, stay well, y'all. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. The best way to keep yourself from getting sick is to take care of your basic health on a daily basis. Also, for those of you living in areas that have been experiencing extreme heat waves (not gonna name names, *cough* Tokyo) - don't just drink water, make sure you get your electrolytes, too - if you don't like sports drinks, eating a little pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt with each glass of water you drink is what staves off dehydration, and dehydration and heat stroke are bad, bad news. Stay out of the sun and don't push yourself further than you can handle. If you start to feel sick, seek a cool place immediately. If you're really feeling ill, get in a cold shower or cold path, then use ice packs on your neck and face (plus tons of electrolyte fluids, a little at a time). But for now, let's revel in the good news.

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4.8.22

The Corona Report

Well... this isn't nice news. But we'd rather you hear it from us than The Net.

As of about 9:30 this morning, Buck-Tick were all ready set to go on tour to Fish Tanker's and Love and Media Portable (minus everyone overseas) in Nagoya... and then a little past noon, the fan club announced via email that Mr. Sakurai was not feeling well, had been examined by a doctor, and had tested positive for Covid-19. So, the tour is postponed, or possibly cancelled. The management have not yet made the call on whether to cancel or postpone the show, but have stated that due to issues with the venue, cancellation may be the only option.

How much does this suck? A lot. It sucks of lot of ducks. Will this affect next week's fanclub only show at Toyosu Pit, and the recently announced livestream? That depends on a negative test, most likely. Given Buck-Tick's celebrity status, we expect the management will err on the side of caution.

However, one thing we'd like to say is that the level of medical care in Japan is extremely high. The level of serious illness and complications in this country is much lower than in many other countries, most particularly the USA. Many of our friends and acquaintances here in Japan have tested positive in recent months and in most cases, they have either been minimally ill, or they got ill, but it hasn't been cause for serious alarm, though getting sick is never, ever fun. Mr. Sakurai has certainly been vaccinated and boosted, as per the needs of his job, and there is no question that he will receive whatever support he needs to get well as soon as possible. 

At the same time, after two years of cancelled tours, now this? We can imagine he's feeling very upset, disappointed and grumpy (at least that's how we'd feel if we were him right now). So, y'all, please, send prayers and positive energy his way. The power of prayer is huge. It has even been scientifically verified. Let's get him out of bed and singing again as soon as is feasible (though of course, he needs to take the proper amount of time to recover). 

And y'all... I feel extremely the opposite of happy about this and if you could leave a comment with some good vibes, please do it, for Mr. Sakurai, for the band, for the blog, and for little old Cayce. Frying pan into the fire, rock and hard place, come the fuck on, I want us all to be happy floating on cotton candy clouds riding unicorns and it's like sucker punch after sucker punch and just, [insert word of exasperation here].

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Update: The Fish Tanker's Only show on August 11th at Toyosu Pit has been postponed, pending possible rescheduling. For everyone looking forward to the live stream, it sucks, but I don't believe it's cause for concern as the general Covid policy in Japan is at least seven days of isolation, and really, having Acchan go onstage one week after testing positive just doesn't seem like a great idea even if he feels totally well and chipper by then. Health is first priority. For what it's worth, I do believe that even if the other shows are cancelled, Toyosu and the live stream will be rescheduled. If you're in FT, go ahead and write to their absolutely horrible Kafkaesque nightmare feedback service and tell them how much you hope the show will be rescheduled along with the live stream. The show scheduled for August 14th has also been postponed. Everything else depends on Mr. Sakurai's status of health... so what are you waiting for... if the postal service in your country still works (haha lol what a big IF, but yeah), send him a get-well card! Get-well cards can be mailed to the Fish Tank office, addressed to Sakurai-san. He might not be in the mood for reading mail but I'm sure a stack of get-well cards from overseas will give him some warm fuzzy feelings, even if he's totally recovered by the time he gets them. These last few years have been hard on us all. If you need the address, drop us a line.

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21.7.22

Bouyaku (Forgotten)

I am so, so sorry to keep y'all waiting for this translation for a whole year and a half... but in a way, I'm not actually sorry. This is, without exaggeration, the most difficult Buck-Tick translation I've ever done (runner-up, Guernica no Yoru.) 

It's not because "Boukyaku" is technically difficult in terms of words and phrases - it's not. But the meaning is oblique. Yeah, the lyrics to so many Buck-Tick songs are oblique in meaning, and I never let that stop me before. But at the nexus of the pandemic, the cancelled Buck-Tick tours, and the things I've been going through in my personal life through this time, this song aroused a lot of very strong emotions in me and I wanted to sit with it, tease it out, let it percolate before I translated it. Like so much of Sakurai's recent work, it's yin-yang level multi-faceted. Is it happy, or sad? It's both, and one in the other, and both in each, both because it's each, each because it's both. How best to express that?

If you just glance at these lyrics, maybe you'll think they're simple - and they are, deceptively so, like most of everything Sakurai has ever written. Let's start with the word "hitosuji," which he uses in the first verse to mean "stream (of blood)" (as in, one drop of blood dripping down), and in the second verse to mean "stream of a tear" (one tear dripping down). In Japanese, this word literally means "one line." So first, we have the comparison between a drop of blood flowing, and a tear flowing. The verb here, "nijimu," is one that Sakurai likes a lot, and we've seen it before very recently, in the lyrics to "Koi" and the lyrics to "Villain" - in both cases, to express oozing blood. Here, we see it to express both oozing blood and oozing tears - a upwelling and slow flow that leaves a trail behind - so, a drop of blood flowing down skin, a teardrop flowing down a face. 

But then, we have the ever-present "me vs. you" that Sakurai employs in his lyrics. He stated in interviews that in this song, he was trying to express the way that some people hurt others because of the pain in their past, because they can't get past it, because they can't help themselves - but that ultimately, through hurting others, they hurt themselves the most. Sakurai, the son of an abusive alcoholic father, who has spoken openly throughout his life about the trauma he has suffered, is clearly referring to himself in the victim role - but probably also in the perpetrator role. Why do I say this? Because he's written many songs where he laments having hurt other people without meaning to - "Rain" is probably the most notable, but there are a sheaf of others ("Megami," "Zangai," even "Guernica no Yoru.") On this album, "Villain" might get an honorable mention - not that he's admitting to cyberbullying (perish the thought! but just sit for a minute with the image of him typing spam comments on Buck-Tick's YouTube channel...), but in most of his lyrics about injury or crime/punishment, he maintains a sense of culpability, like he really doesn't want to turn a blind eye from the way everyone can be complicit in tableaux of abuse. He knows he is the next link in the chain of his family's trauma.

So, "senketsu hitosuji," or "stream of blood." How is it relevant? Well, a stream usually only flows one way. It flows from me, to you (or you, to me?). That's just like time, which is the other theme of this song, and also a one-way road. Time flows from then, to now. And yet, there's the implicit duality in the lyrics, the pas de deux of perpetrator-victim. There is a sense of back-and-forth flow, as the pain inflicted rebounds on its originator. (Which connects well with the ambiguous back-and-forth perpetrator-victim dialogues in "Villain" and "Urahara-juku.") At first I thought of translating "hitosuji" as "track," as in "tracks of my tears." But does a "track" flow? In writing this translation, I thought a lot, even more than I usually do, about word choice - not just the denotations and connotations of the words, but the way they sound when you speak or sing them. I really wanted this translation to flow, like blood, or like tears. "Track" sounds harsh, stopped-up, thick. So instead, I chose "stream," to express that flowing feeling - the nature of blood, tears, emotions, time, memory and wind - the main themes in this song.

There's a connection here to the theme of Buck-Tick's album One Life, One Death (2000). The title of this album comes from the lyrics to the song "Cyborg Dolly: Soramimi: Phantom" (by Imai), which go "You live on the straight line / We’re born once, we die once / We die once, only once." We doubt that Sakurai was thinking of this when he penned the lyrics to "Boukyaku," but the two form another sort of dialogue. "Hitosuji," the straight line, the arrow of time, the thrust of a sword into a wound - same as Imai's thesis statement, "we die once, only once." Sakurai comes to more or less the same conclusion at the end of "Boukyaku," with the line "all these irreplaceable days." Life's a one-way street. You can't go back. And yet, in "Boukyaku," there's still this sense of flow, of connection, of return - that everything is not quite as linear as it might seem.

Another main theme in this song is wind. This is another deep one. In Japanese poetry, the image of strong wind is often used as a metaphor for adversity, though it can also be used as a metaphor for positive support, with the word "oikaze" ("tailwind.") In this song, I couldn't help but also think of Bob Dylan's famous anti-war/protest anthem "Blowin' in the Wind" (if you don't know it, look it up, please.) It's not entirely clear whether Sakurai wrote this whole song before or after the pandemic began, but it seems like he finished it up following the pandemic. But even if he didn't... it doesn't really matter. "Wind" is also breath. The breath that we breathe in and out every minute (and isn't that theme of breath pandemic-relevant, despite Sakurai's insistence that he didn't want to let the pandemic affect his lyric-writing). But "wind" is also the spirit of life. 

The English words "spirit," "inspire," "respire," and "conspire" are all derived from the Latin root "respirare," meaning, "to breathe." Spirit = "that which breathes." Inspire - "to be given breath." Respire = "to breathe again." Conspire = "to breathe together." But this connection is by no means limited to languages influenced by Latin - it goes much, much deeper into human consciousness. In Japanese, the phrase "kaze wo hiku" ("to catch a cold") literally means "to pull the wind." Also, the kanji for "kaze" (「風」, "wind"), when read with its on-yomi, or Chinese-derived reading, "fuu," means "feeling," "vibe," "atmosphere," or "flavor." It can be found in words like 「風」 ("fuu," "manner/vibe"), 「風味」 ("fuumi," "flavor"), and 「風景」 ("fuukei," "scenery/view"). There is, naturally, a deep-seated sense in human beings that the flow of wind and breath is what propels life forward. Each breath we take marks the time we live on this earth. Wind travels from one part of the earth to another, carrying messages. In Western occult symbology, the element of air (wind) represents ideas, concepts, dreams, and imagination. Things that float past. Things that have no substance. Spirits, vibes. Things that travel from here to there, like sound waves, and like time. Things that flow, like sound waves, and like time. The stuff of thought, or memories. Wind and water have a commonality in the fact that they flow, they are never still, and Sakurai draws on this commonality in these lyrics, not just by mentioning both tears/blood (i.e. water) and wind, but also connecting the two with the image of "toori ame," or "passing rainfall." The wind blows the rainstorm across us, over and away, as the water falls, then ceases.

Overall, the connection of these two images lead us to the heart of the song: nothing ever stays static. Everything flows onward. You can't hold onto anything. The passion and the pain both rain down and then blow away. And, depending on your perspective, this could feel like grief, or like a blessing. On the one hand, there's often so much we want to hold onto from the past - the beautiful moments with people and places now lost. On the other hand, there's so much we want to be able to let go of. The pain of the times we were wounded or abused. The pain of the memories of the times we ourselves were the ones who caused the pain or abuse. 

In this song, Sakurai says, "let it go." He says that it's okay to let go of the past, that it doesn't define you, good or bad. His invocation of "the rainbow you saw today" underscores this. How many moments of wonder, joy, and beauty have we forgotten, or let us pass us by? In the last stanza, Sakurai says, everything passes by anyway, and it's fine to forget about it - but, remember, it's irreplaceable. He doesn't come and say it outright, but the ultimate implication is, you have to live in the moment. Be here now. Feel what you feel. It's kind of the opposite of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It's, "see that rainbow before it fades." (And then there was this adorable post on Imai's Instagram, about the rainbow his daughter saw in the park.) In any case, in my final draft I chose to translate the final line as "Oh, all those irreplaceable days." But my second choice translation was, "Today's the only day, every day." So I've also written an alternative ending.

In translating this song, my biggest question was, who is Sakurai really referring to when he says "you"? In the first verse, it seems clear that the "you" is another person, someone he (or the narrator of the song) hurt, but as it goes on, it gets less and less clear. When we get to "Ah, but when I am embraced by you / All my tears, they slowly vanish," I started to wonder. Is this a tale of forgiveness and redemption? Is this "you" the same person who was hurt, or another person who has forgiven the song's narrator his past sins and absolved him with love? Or, is this "you" a more cosmic "you," the love of the entire Universe, as it takes our souls back into its arms after our brief mortal lives here on this Earth? The answer, as usual, is probably, "all of the above," and/or "you decide." But I wanted to draw attention to the ambiguity here.

There is a strong belief in Eastern religion and philosophy, going back many thousands of years, in the non-linear nature of time - cosmic cycles and reincarnation. But if we are reincarnated, why don't remember our past lives? The answer is an idea called "the veil of forgetting." Each time we're born, our souls pass through this veil, and temporarily lose all memory of their previous lifetimes. Then, each time we die, we return through the veil, to the outer cosmos, and regain the memories. Buck-Tick have dealt a lot with themes of reincarnation over the course of their career, hell, they even made a whole album about it (Six/Nine). So, why forget? What's the point of reincarnating if you have to start everything over? Why can't you keep what you've learned? In fact, in many cases, people do keep some of what they've learned - whether through flashes of past life memories, or more nebulous things like dreams and gut feelings and inexplicable attractions to certain places, people, or activities. But the point of forgetting everything before each new birth is so that each new lifetime can be experienced afresh - so that you can live in the moment again, as the new you, having new, authentic experience, without being weighed down by what might be tens or hundreds of lifetimes' worth of not only joy and pleasure, but also pain, regret, sorrow, and trauma. Between lifetimes, and also within lifetimes, forgetting can be salvation. 

As always, if you enjoyed this translation, please consider supporting us on Ko-Fi. Times are tight and your support is much appreciated!


Forgotten
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi

I sit alone here waiting
For nightmare
Fresh, a stream of my flowing blood
Like tears falls

Oh, how I have wounded you
Deeply, oh, so deeply
And so, too, have I wounded me
Deeply, so deeply

In the quiet, my panting breath
Unravels
Fresh, a stream of my flowing tears
Still falling

Ah, but when I am embraced by you
All my tears, they slowly vanish
Ah, and when I'm wrapped up in you
The tears all melt away

Ah, let go and let it be forgotten
Pass over like a brief-falling rain
Like on a sunny day spent doing nothing
Wind blowing, let it blow it away

In the wind


But when I melt into you, the pain
Ah, slowly it leaves me
Ah, and when I'm wrapped up in you
The pain, it leaves you, too (1)

Ah, let go and let it be forgotten
Pass over like a brief-falling rain
Like on a sunny day spent doing nothing
Wind blowing, let it blow it away

Ah, let go and let it be forgotten
Just like that rainbow you saw today
Like on a sunny day spent doing nothing
Oh, all those irreplaceable days (2)

Everyone
Everybody lives them through

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[Alternate ending]
Ah, let go and let it be forgotten
Just like that rainbow you saw today
Like on a sunny day spent doing nothing
Today's the only day, every day (2)

Everyone
Everybody lives it through


Note on the title: "Bouyaku" can be translated as "oblivion" or "forgetting." After much consideration, I settled on "Forgotten," because I think the theme of this song is less about the way everything vanishes with time (though it certainly is about that), and more about how it's okay to live in the moment and let the past go. Happy or sad, don't hold onto regrets, hold onto love.

(1) This isn't quite a literal translation - in the original Japanese, it's unclear whether the pain belongs to the "I" or the "you" or to both. However, Sakurai stated when this song was released that one of the themes he wanted to express is the way in which our past pain leads us to hurt others, but when we hurt others, we hurt ourselves, too - so I added the "you" into this line to help keep that back-and-forth balance (which has been a big theme in Sakurai's lyrics since day one.)

(2) Sakurai stated explicitly that, in addition to being about the general "you can't take it back" nature of life, this line was about his feeling of poignant regret, come the pandemic, that Buck-Tick tours are probably never going to be what they used to be - the sense of loss on realizing that, despite him singing about death all the time, it still hurts when you realize things you thought were forever can vanish in an instant.


忘却
作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:今井寿

悪夢を待っている 独り
鮮血一筋 滲む

あなたを傷つけた 深く とても 深く
そしてこのわたしを 深く 深く

呼吸は静かに 乱れ
涙が一筋 落ちる

あなたに抱かれている 痛みが消えてゆく
あなたに包まれて 消えてゆくよ

忘れ去られてゆけばいい 通り雨のように
何気ない ある晴れた日 風が通り過ぎる

風が

あなたに溶けてゆく 痛みが消えてゆく
あなたに包まれて 消えてゆくよ

忘れ去られてゆけばいい 通り雨のように
何気ない ある晴れた日 風が通り過ぎる
忘れ去られてゆけばいい 今日の虹のように
何もない ある晴れた日 かけがえの無い日々

誰も 通り過ぎてゆく


Boukyaku
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi

Akumu wo matteiru     hitori
Senketsu hitosuji     nijimu

Anata wo kizutsuketa     fukaku     totemo     fukaku
Soshite kono watashi wo     fukaku     fukaku

Kokyuu wa shizuka ni     midare
Namida ga hitosuji     ochiru

Anata ni dakareteiru     itami ga kieteyuku
Anata ni tsutsumarete     kieteyuku yo

Wasuresararete yukeba ii     toori ame no you ni
Nanige nai      aru hareta hi      kaze ga toori sugiru

Kaze ga

Anata ni toketeyuku     itami ga kieteyuku
Anata ni tsutsumarete     kieteyuku yo

Wasuresararete yukeba ii     toori ame no you ni
Nanige nai      aru hareta hi      kaze ga toori sugiru
Wasuresararete yukeba ii     kyou no niji no you ni
Nani mo nai      aru hareta hi      kakegae no nai hibi

Dare mo     toorisugite yuku

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7.7.22

Why, Fish Tank Tour Goods?

Welp, we can't post the photos of the goods here because they're all too fucking tiny. Web design, in Buck-Tickistan? What country do you think this is, eh?

But, while they have all the money and the lack of web design skills, we have the WHYs y'all are looking for. So, here's why.

1. Imai-designed Masks and "Half Pants" (c'mon Imai, these are call shorts. I know, I know, "shorts" is a euphemism for "panties" in Japan, but if Acchan-chan did it, so can you.) So, why? Chiropractor, kids. For his old man brokedown hip. We recently sprained our non-corporeal knee and we've been commuting once a week to the generously insurance-underwritten chiropractor, where we lie on an air conditioned bed listening to 90's and 2000's pop (both Japanese and Western... by the way, we are never, ever ever getting back together.) while receiving exotic services such as electric massage and chiropractic manipulations by an extremely handsome, charismatic young man who should probably be a televangelist or a used car salesman instead of a chiropractor, but we respect him the more for the fact that he isn't. And what happens when you go to a Japanese chiro clinic with a sprained knee, folks? They have you change into these standard-issue "half-pants" that look pretty much exactly like the ones Imai's got on offer. The masks go without saying. Cuz corona is gonna kill you but them masks will save you. Vax or no vax. So you're snorting into your mask and your half-pants and just wishing that that 90's playlist included "Dress," which of course, it doesn't. Mr. Imai, 9500 yen is a lot of money for some chiro clinic pants, and you know it. But your hip still hurts, and you really, really want to get back up onto those ridiculous boots, so we get it.


2. Yutaka: Serious Bear Round Squishy Ball Keyholder. Well, well, well. We know that aside from Mr. Imai, Yutaka is the most happily married of the bunch in Buck-Tickistan, and what Serious Bear doesn't love to lightly squish a nice, squishy, squishy ball? At 2000 yen, this is very cheap, fit for an everyman... every man who wants a nice, squishy ball. Yutaka, my but you're sweet. Squish squish, it's a boob, it's a ball, it's a stress reliever (is there any difference?) Why does poor Serious Bear look so glum? Probably because none of us can attend the tour and that fucking sucks. But we could buy this thing and squish all of our latent, long-lost longing for Buck-Tick into it, and even if that doesn't make things feel better, it does help that this baby is very cute (and would also make a good cat toy, probably. If Yutaka has a cat. Or if he goes to visit Acchan-chan, which is unlikely.) Yutaka, you are the sweetest, the bestest. We love you.


3. Yagami Toll: Super Ice Cold Ultra-Chilled Sake Set, anticipating our annual global warming 36-degree summer here in Japan. Toll is going to turn 60 on August 19th, kids. Right in the middle of that sauna. Will it be 36 degrees? Will it be 37 degrees? Let's hope to fuck it's not 60 degrees, or we really will all die. But yeah, what does Toll like? Nihonshu. That is to say, "Japaneez sake" (as Mr. Sakurai sings in "Goblin"). When does he like it? Whenever he goddamn well pleases. He has surely earned that right, by now. But if you buy this sake set, you not only get to enjoy that cute zombie-with-a-mohawk Toll graphic, and remember that Toll was ready to give up rock music for a life of drinking away his misery before he ever joined Buck-Tick (see Love Me on This is NOT Greatest Site for more info), but also, Toll has been drinking sake that entire time and he's still alive and pushing sixty, so really, the point is, what you can learn from Toll's life is that you should do what you love, *if* doing what you love involves painstakingly reviewing each and every video of your drumming post-concert (while drinking nihonshu), lecturing to young drummers (while drinking nihonshu) that they shouldn't be so show-offy and should pare their style back to something more refined and Japanese minimalist so as to better show off Mr. Sakurai's voice (like nihonshu), and just plain ol' drinking nihonshu. While maybe checking out your super-duper cool mohawk in the mirror (and toasting your reflection with nihonshu), even though you're alone in your house. (Who says he doesn't do that? Can you prove he doesn't do that? No, you can't!)


4. Hide: Hairband, With Bow (presumably intended to be affixed to your dog's head as she goes running with you.) Why? Well, Hide is an over-50 soccer dad whose very uncool hobby is getting up at 5AM to go jogging along the river. Why does he do this? To stay in shape for playing soccer? Nope. He's just that kind of guy that likes to get up very early in the morning to go jogging. And he's secretly flattered by the groups of 80-something year old ladies who regularly and unabashedly hit on him, with pickup lines like "oooooh look at the handsome prince!!!" They have no idea who he is, no idea that he's famous, no idea what a Buck-Tick is or where to buy one. All they know is they saw that silver fox in his hairband, modestly priced at a department-store price of 2500 yen (price of the man or the headband, you decide, this is a choose your own adventure), because he's an everyman, jogging by the river with his little dog, and their jaded hearts were stirred by his purity of spirit, and by his well-exercised muscles, and by his chiseled features, and his silver beard. 


They heckle and heckle, because when you're 85, you're just over it. "Nice pecs!" "Nice beard!" "Nice biceps!" "Nice bxx!" "Whoo-hoo!" "We like a man with a nice dog!!" "We like a man with a nice headband!!!" And somehow, Hide feels just as small and shamed as any 18-year-old girl getting cat-called by construction workers... and yet... he's still flattered. His ego is inflated and deflated in equal measure (as are other parts of him). Because he knows, work that thang when you still can (and how long can he?? Oh, god, don't go spiraling down this loop anymore...). Because secretly, loss of self-confidence is a very real fear for this extremely handsome, talented, six-foot-tall professional rock star jock. Because everyone's life has to be hard somehow!!! But look, early-morning jogging is a slippery slope. By the time Hide's 70 (oh dear we said it perish that thought now kill it with fire), his wake-up time will have moved back to 4AM. Fun fact: one time Cayce was walking along the seawall in Yokosuka in the middle of winter at 4AM (please, please don't ask why.) And we kid you not, there were not one, not two, but a whole steady stream of very old Japanese people (we mean like octogenarian old), wrapped up in anoraks, jogging along. And, kids, they looked so very, very miserable, running through that blistering wind. They were cold and it was still pitch dark out, and their were heavily hoisting their venerable bodies along the road, and we couldn't help but want to ask them... my dudes, why don't you just wait until it's like 10AM and it's sunny and warm out here and you can see the ocean while you jog? We've got nothing against jogging, exercise or health. These are undoubtedly good things, keeping Japan with the longest life expectancy in the world. But, why put yourselves through this sadness and hardship, at a time in your life when you could and should just be kicking back and working in the garden and cuddling with your cats? Is misery virtue? Welcome to Japan, a country where that question has never been satisfactorily answered.


5. Mr. Sakurai. Hanky Panky Hankies. Okay, we know what you're thinking. You know we know what you're thinking. Lace handkerchiefs into which to loose your impotent fantasies is so much more romantic than tissue paper. "You are the honey I spill all alone" ("Sasayaki"). So much more elegant with a hanky than a tissue from the grocery store, ain't it? And ain't nobody getting any younger. You think he can still actualize those fantasies of his? What woman would do it? What woman could do it? They are all listening to K-Pop and playing otome games now, he's an old, old, OLD man, like 5666666 years old, and those fantasies of his, well, they are epic. Nope, Acchan-chan is alone, alone, in a world of plastic-surgified very young very perfect-faced male idols and very, very scary large and overripe fangirls, and he's a hikikomori who prefers to stay safe at home in his own home sweet home house, thank you very much, and make his own "fun." With some nice, lovely, silk handkerchiefs. 

Except, kids, that's not even what's going on here. You know what Acchan-chan loves, even more than sxx (fun fact: he gave that up long ago, he's faking it, no one is worth it anymore, Covid ruined everything, goodbye, I don't even watch porn anymore, it's all an act, signing off. Nen nen korori yo.) Acchan-chan loves watching really sad, scary, and/or twisted movies. His favorite Ghibli film, by his own accounting in multiple sources, is Grave of the Fireflies. He's currently penning lyrics all about how fucking pissed he is that there is another fucking war in central Europe/Asia. And you know what happens when you write lyrics about the war in Ukraine while watching Grave of the Fireflies on repeat? You cry, kids. You bawl. You snivel. You hork snot and then you snivel some more. Because what the fuck even is this life and why the fuck does it have to suck this much, kthxbai. It sucks for everyone, Ukrainian, Russian, Japanese, American, every fucking person, it just blows (like you blow your nose in that hanky panky hankie). Jobs suck. Being bombed sucks. Being blacklisted by the world through no fault of your own sucks. Being ruled by oligarchs and megalomaniacal egomaniacs sucks. Late-stage capitalism is what's sucking us all dry.

Japan sucks a lot less than the rest of the world in many ways, but when you're Acchan-chan, you feel ALL of the world's feels at once, so you're in constant pain, but you are too gentle and retiring to complain enough to get a well-insured appointment with that spiritual chiropractor. And furthermore, Sugar does not have the time or the patience to be Acchan's napkin on which to rub his bogeys, even though he would prefer Sugar's fur (Kurumi would just scratch his lovely old old OLD 56666666 year old face and glare at him and have done and he just doesn't have the heart to inflict his misery on Maru because for him Maru is a little angel and maybe the only scrap of loveliness this world has left, because Sugar is guilty of Gluttony and Kurumi is guilty of Envy and in a way that makes him feel closer to them bc 7 deadly sins and all but he needs to feel something of the divine just to get the energy to get out of bed and into the studio each morning). But, he's Acchan-chan. He has class. He has style. Whether or not he's getting any hanky-panky, he needs a fucking hanky. Here you go. A whole 4500 yen's worth (per color!), and you can't even go to the tour - he's got that covered, too. This is your hanky to cry in. Can't go to the tour. It sucks. Cry with him in solidarity.  

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19.4.22

Villain

Hey, kids, we're here with the long-awaited (long-lost?) translation of "Villain," in our antepenultimate bid to round out our translations of the lyrics on Abracadabra (damn, it's so great to find a place to use the word "antepenultimate" in common speech.) We'll be with you again soon with the latest news from Buck-Tickistan (sunglasses, dollies, and masks, oh my!), but for now, we'll focus on this: how Mr. Imai's ode to Disney villains hooks up with Mr. Sakurai's screed against cyber-bullying. As in our previous post, we are using text colors that don't appear satisfactorily on mobile phones, so, for best viewing, please view on your PC. 

Also, to reiterate what we said before - Google Sites has completely changed their platform and it's completely unacceptable in terms of editability and general visual appearance. Due to this, we are unable to make updates to This is NOT Greatest Site. We are not a web designer, and if there's anyone with expertise in this area who would like to help us out fixing up a new site that looks nice and is easily navigable, please contact us directly at the mad aristocrat [at] gmail [dot] com.

A third thing - to that person who translated the "official international edition" of Abracadabra - we know you're a solid professional just doing your job. It wasn't your fault that Buck-Tick's management decided to hire someone who was eminently qualified to translate marketing boilerplate and patents and subtitles for corporate training videos, but had never read or written poetry, let alone listened to Buck-Tick. We are not blaming you. Giant paycheck or not, you're not the villain here. We've all gotta hustle for a living in this miserable late-stage capitalist hellscape nightmare RPG game called "life," so, y'know, giant paycheck ftw and all that jazz. It's not your fault that some of our readers decided that they don't care if we finish translating this album because there is already an "official international edition." Everyone's got free will, they're entitled to read whichever translations they want to read. So, readers - if you feel our translation is redundant, go on, see yourselves out. It doesn't matter. We won't stop you. We can't stop you. We wouldn't even if we could, but we can't. It's not like we know who you are, anyway. The anonymity of the internet preserves you from any judgments we could render upon you (not that that internet anonymity protects you from data mining and mass surveillance - but that's not our problem). To us, you have no name. You have no face. Ciao.

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Villain
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi/Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

They're born to be the anti
At extraordinary level
So carelessly they do it
They're the Flowers of Evil (1)
They don't know any fear
They're the wellspring of sin
It's their single-minded goal:
Unleash the madness within
Hello, taboo
Ciao, smile
Hello, taboo
Ciao

hey i know you! you, yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who raped me, i know it's you!
you're so ugly! yeah! the villain sore! (2)
oozing thru my heart i feel the villain sore!
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you nameless jerk!
i know it's you!

The world is still outrageous
It murders the absurd
You spirits who aren't in the trap
Don't let it take you in
It's all the more magnificent
Uncommonly high-level
So carelessly it's blooming
It's the Flower of Evil (1)
Hello, taboo
Ciao, smile
Hello, taboo
Ciao

hey i know you! you, yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who killed me, i know it's you!
the oozing blood! yeah! the villain sore!
yucky yucky aching it's the villain sore! (3)
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you have no face!
i know it's you!


hey i know you, you, yeah, i know it's you
you're the one who raped me, i know it's you
it's so ugly, yeah, the villain sore
oozing through my heart i feel the villain sore

you make me sick! yeah! i know it's you!
you're the one who killed me, i know it's you!
the oozing blood! yeah! the villain sore!
yucky yucky aching it's the villain sore!
yeah i know you! i know it's you! 
you make me sick! you make me sick!

i know it's you!


Note on the title: Sakurai and Imai stated that they wrote their parts for this song independently of each other, and "it just so happened" that "Villain," Imai's working title for the song, forms a perfect double-entendre with the Japanese "biran" (糜爛), which Sakurai said was his main keyword when he started writing the lyrics. "Biran" is a fancy literary word meaning something like "oozing sore." For supposedly not having discussed anything together before writing the song, the two sections fit together uncommonly well - so either there's something Messrs. Sakurai and Imai aren't telling us, or they're telepathically connected (or what they're not telling us is the fact that they're telepathically connected, which, let's face it, is entirely likely.) 

Imai didn't discuss why he chose the theme "villain," but since at the time of this song's release, he's the father of an elementary school girl, we suspect Disney villains might have something to do with it (Disney, and Disney villains, are hugely popular in Japan). Imai's part of the song appears to narrate the psychology of absolute evil. 

Sakurai, meanwhile, stated that his inspiration for this song was his anger at anonymous cyberbullying. He said that he feels filled with disgust at the way that people think online anonymity gives them license to bully others with impunity. He said "I want to let people like that know, I see you. I know who you are." Cyberbullying has certainly become a major issue worldwide, and Sakurai mentioned being angered by several high-profile cyberbullying incidents that were covered in the Japanese media, but considering that Sakurai never writes lyrics about themes that aren't of personal significance to him, I suspect that there's another layer to this song that he's not discussing openly - namely, some serious incidents of cyberbullying among Buck-Tick's Japanese fan base. Incidents of fan bullying have been happening since the band first became famous, but the anonymity of the internet affords a much greater reach for the spreading of vitriol and defamatory lies. In fact, we have witnessed some of this personally, and it wasn't pretty. Because the types of fans who bully others are also the types who tend to spend the most money on the band, Sakurai probably feels like he can't call them out directly - though, then again, these lyrics are a pretty direct call-out when you stop to look at them carefully. Whether the Cyberbullies of Buck-Tickistan realize they're being repudiated is another matter - bullies don't tend to be the most self-reflective types. 

Sakurai stated that he used the short, percussive phrases and excess exclamation points to echo the style of aggressive online flame comments, but also to underscore his own anger at this type of behavior. To reflect this in the English translation, I used all lowercase letters for the sections sung by Sakurai. Sakurai's sections appear to be back-and-forth dialogues between the bullies and the narrator of the song (Sakurai himself?) but, as in "Urahara-juku," it's ambiguous who is speaking which line - so, use your imaginations - if it's ambiguous, it's because he meant it to be that way.

1) "Aku no Hana" is the Japanese translation of the title of French poet Charles Baudelaire's poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil). Aku no Hana was also the title of Buck-Tick's best-selling 1989 album, released after Imai's release from six months of house arrest for possession of LSD. Aku no Hana remains the best-selling album of the band's career, and the song "Aku no Hana," the title track and lead single, is one of the band's best-known hit songs, along with "Just One More Kiss." Imai claimed that he didn't intend the phrase "aku no hana" in these lyrics to be a reference to Buck-Tick's earlier album, but... this is from the guy who claimed that the album title Mona Lisa Overdrive had nothing to do with the William Gibson novel of the same name. This is from the guy who claimed that the "Atom" in Buck-Tick's album title Atom Miraiha No. 9 had nothing to do with the Tezuka Osamu manga Tetsuwan Atom (known in English as Astro Boy)... and then went on to produce official Astro Boy tie-up goods for the tour. So... come on.

2) As explained in the note on the title, the word in this line, "biran," forms a word play with the song's title "Villain," since in Japanese, the two words are pronounced more or less exactly the same. In Japanese "biran" means "oozing sore" or "inflamed wound." Sakurai seems to be expressing that the anger and hatred in the hearts of people who engage in anonymous bullying are akin to an oozing wound. Or, conversely, that bearing witness to such bullying incidents causes his own heart to feel like an open wound.

3) In this line, the Japanese word "yumeyume," which I translated here as "yucky yucky," is not Sakurai's usual beloved 「夢夢」, meaning "dreamy dream," but a completely different word spelled in different kanji, 「努努」, which doesn't really have any meaning in its own right - rather, it serves as an emphatic like "absolutely" or "absolutely not," to underscore the force of the whole sentence. What's brilliant about this word choice is that because the emphatic "yumeyume" is a homophone of the dreamy "yumeyume," it creates a world play expressing the way that the hatred in the hearts of the bullies is fueled by their own dreams, or delusions - especially true in the case of fan bullying, which is generally fueled by jealousy of fans for other fans. 

In a single word, Sakurai expresses both the general condition of the mindset of bullies - who are often perpetually excessively focused on perceived slights which have little to do with reality - and also the dark flipside of the beautiful romantic world he creates on stage - the way his romantic fantasias have inspired some of his fans to attack others in impotent jealousy based on their own wildly skewed perceptions ("X band member likes that girl better than me, I hate her, so let's kill her," etc. The essence of fan bullying.) Sakurai returns to this theme of fantasy vs. reality, and his own complicity in the whole fan delusion, in "Maimu Maimu." It's further interesting that "uzuku," the word which appears after "yumeyume" in this line, has generally been used by Sakurai in previous lyrics in a sexual context - most notably in "Baby, I want you" ("anata mo uzuitekuru darou baby" / "you're aching for it, baby"). For those familiar with Buck-Tick's lyrics, this creates a second layer of meaning expressing how unfulfilled desire is often a big motivation for fan bullying behavior, and bullying in general. 

Here, I translated "yumeyume" as "yucky yucky" in order to preserve the general prosody and violent feeling of the Japanese words, and add some more sharp attack to the "k" sounding in "aching."


Villain
作詞:櫻井敦司・今井寿
作曲:今井寿

生まれながらのアンチ 稀に見るレベル
軽々とまさに 惡の華
恐れを知らぬ 諸悪の根源
ただひたすらに 狂気の沙汰
ハロー タブー チャオ スマイル
ハロー タブー チャオ

おまえを知っている! そう! おまえだ!
俺を犯したおまえだ!
醜い! そう! 糜爛が! 俺の胸にある糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 名無しの!
おまえを!

理不尽な世界 不条理を殺す
囚われぬ魂 逸脱せよ
あまりにも華麗 稀代のハイレベル
軽々とそれは 惡の華
ハロー タブー チャオ スマイル
ハロー タブー チャオ

おまえを知っている! そう! おまえだ!
俺を殺したおまえだ!
血が滲む! そう! 糜爛が! 努努 疼く糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 顔の無い!
おまえを!

おまえを知っている そう おまえだ
俺を犯した おまえだ
醜い そう 糜爛が 俺の胸にある糜爛が

気味悪い! そう! おまえだ!
俺を殺した おまえだ!
血が滲む! そう! 糜爛が! 努努 疼く糜爛が!
おまえを! 知っている! 気味悪い! 気味悪い!

おまえだ!


Villain
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi/Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

Umarenagara no anti     mare ni miru reberu
Karugaru to masa ni     aku no hana
Osore wo shiranu     shoaku no kongen
Tada hitasura ni     kyouki no sata
Hello    taboo     ciao     smile
Hello    taboo     ciao

Omae wo shitteiru!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo okashita omae da!
Minikui!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Ore no mune ni aru biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Nanashi no!
Omae wo!

Rifujin na sekai     fujouri wo korosu
Torawarenu tamashii     itsudatsu se yo
Amari ni mo karei     kitai no hai-reberu
Karugaru to sore wa     aku no hana
Hello    taboo     ciao     smile
Hello    taboo     ciao

Omae wo shitteiru!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo koroshita omae da!
Chi ga nijimu!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Yumeyume     uzuku biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Kao no nai!
Omae wo!

Omae wo shitteiru     sou     omae da
Ore wo okashita     omae da
Minikui     sou     biran ga     ore no mune ni aru biran ga

Kimi warui!     Sou!     Omae da!
Ore wo koroshita     omae da!
Chi ga nijimu!     Sou!     Biran ga!     Yumeyume     uzuku biran ga!
Omae wo!     Shitteiru!     Kimi warui!     Kimi warui!

Omae da!

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9.4.22

Go Go B-T Train

Happy cherry blossom (and tulip) season! The weirdness of the world continues apace, but thank god that never stopped the flowers from blooming. On the one hand, the stuff that's going on right now in Ukraine (and Afghanistan, and many other places) is terrible, and we're also sending our thoughts and prayers to our many friends and readers in Russia - we know you are not your government, that many of you are praying for peace just as much as the rest of us, and that the sanctions are hitting a lot of people who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (just like the people who are getting hit by the bombs). We hope all you readers in every part of the world join with us in praying for world peace everywhere. Because really, we are one human family. Can y'all imagine a war between the black cats and the ginger cats? Maine Coon vs. Siamese? Persian vs. Siberian? Bengal vs. Scottish Fold (oh god, we really went too far there, pleez y'alls bless and sanitize us with some of your holy water, for we have sinned...) but seriously this shit is ridiculous. Human beings are human beings are human beings, and your prayers matter. Let's blast a cotton candy sparkle unicorn rainbow of peace so hard across this world that the cherry trees up and decide to bloom an encore for us! (...while in the meantime, secretly eagerly awaiting what kind of trenchant saltiness Mr. Sakurai has in store for us this time, because let's face it, if there's going to be one good thing about yet another stupid, pointless war, it's going to be listening to Mr. Sakurai getting operatically and theatrically Very Very Angry.)

In any case, we beg your apologies on making you wait so long, but spring is doing us a world of good, physically and mentally, and so we are at last pleased to bring you the translations and notes for "Go Go B-T Train" and "Koi." We will be posting them on NOT Greatest Site as soon as we figure out how to revamp it on a new platform to our liking. In the meantime, you can enjoy the translations here on Blog-Tick. If you appreciate our work and would like to support us, please do buy us a Ko-Fi. Also, if you're looking at this on your phone - Blogger's phone interface doesn't support the background and font colors we like to use. For the best visual experience, we recommend that you view this post on your PC. As usual, the English translations of these songs are singable with the original melodies.

Go Go B-T Train
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi

And so the dream continues Baby
I'll show you pomp and circumstance
And now the boarding bell is ringing
You, too, get on and come with us

This is a one-way journey only
A beautiful trip
It's time to kiss the earth good-bye
With you, two-lips (1)

Deep in my heart now
Oh light my fire
Run run on B-T Train
Running on love now (2)
Go rumble Baby (3)
Oh fly, my B-T Train

And so the dream continues Baby
La la la off to everywhere
Clickety-click clackety-clack (4)
Over the fields into the dark

Go blow a kiss out 
To the steamwork crescent moon (5)
We'll kiss the Universe good-bye
Tulips with you (1)

Deep in my heart now
Oh light my fire
Run run on B-T Train
Running on love now
Rumble on Baby (3)
Oh fly, my B-T Train

Running on love now
Running on love now
Run run on B-T Train
Rumble on Baby
Go go on Baby (3)
Oh fly, my B-T Train

And so the dream continues baby
La la la off to everywhere


Note on the title: Many long-time Buck-Tick fans probably saw the title of this single and on first blush assumed it was a case of Mr. Sakurai picking up Imai's working title for the demo song and running with it. Not so! Mr. Sakurai was at pains to tell all the magazine interviewers (who also initially assumed that the title had been authored by Imai) that the "Go Go B-T Train" concept was all his own. He said, "I heard the lumber of a train in the demo tape," and further elaborated that he thought very carefully about which words to use, and deliberately settled on "train" rather than the likes of "express," because he wanted to evoke an old-fashioned, clickety-clack, driving through the endless countryside, stopping at every station, we'll get there when we get there kind of feeling, rather than kowtowing to the speed-is-king "innovations" of modern life. He said that writing this song was his re-commitment to taking the project of Buck-Tick as far as it can possibly go, "until it disintegrates into scrap." He went on further, saying "maybe this wording sounds lame, but I don't care." 

Implicit in the train motif is the image of a circus train, carrying the performers from city to city, extending Buck-Tick's long-running Parade metaphor. (For great examples of this trope in action, see the song "Casey Junior" from the Disney film Dumbo (no relation to Cayce Pollard) and Erin Morgenstern's novel The Night Circus.) It feels slightly poetic, if bittersweet, that this re-commitment to the band's creative enterprise came at the exact time that Mr. Imai broke his hip and the planned fall (haha "fall," haha) 2021 tour to support this single had to be cancelled as a result. "The Buck-Tick train broke a wheel and had to stop for repairs," Mr. Sakurai quipped to multiple news outlets. "But we'll keep on chugging as soon as we're able." Every time Mr. Sakurai has stepped up in taking more creative authorship in the band's work, it has resulted in a great leap forward in the band's creative output, so, Imai's pain aside (take care on those goddamn boots, Imai!) maybe this was a blessing in disguise. "Maybe this sounds strange, but it seem that you've become the wholesale promoter of Buck-Tick these days," journalist Ishii Eriko remarked in her interview with Mr. Sakurai in the October 2021 issue of Ongaku to Hito. "I know what you mean," Mr. Sakurai responded. "I felt a little like I was one step below the idea that Buck-Tick=Imai Hisashi. But, from long before now, I've been coming to understand that Imai does Imai, and I do me. In that sense, I feel I'm much more instrumental in promoting the band than I was in the early days."

1) In Japanese, the word "churippu" or "chuurippu" can mean "trip," "two-lips," or "tulip." Sakurai openly stated that he used this wordplay to tie the song together, and I have endeavored to preserve the triple meaning in my translation. Judging from the imagery in the music video, I think we can safely assume that "trip" refers not only to a physical trip, but to a psychedelic or psychological trip. Two-lips obviously refers to a kiss (as is echoed by the tulip imagery and the red lips imagery on the single jacket and in the music video.) 

In flower symbolism, tulips have long been a symbol of perfect, unconditional love in Turkish and Persian folklore, centering around variations on a folktale of the perfect love between Farhad (usually represented as a commoner tradesman, such as a stonecutter), and Shirin (a beautiful woman generally represented as being above Farhad's social station). Various permutations of the tale exist, but most end in tragedy, with red tulips blooming on the site of the lovers' spilled blood, symbolizing their everlasting love for one another. (Side note: wouldn't it be nice to live in a world of "and then they lived happily ever after" instead of "our spilled blood turned to tulips, which are indeed lovely, but, wouldn't it have been nice if we could have stayed alive to enjoy love instead of being martyrs for it?" Just sayin'.) Sakurai used this same trip/tulip wordplay in the lyrics to "Kick ~Daichi wo Keru Otoko~". Underlying the entire metaphor is Sakurai's lifelong thesis statement that life is an endless journey in search of ever-deeper love.

2) The phrase here, "ai wo moyase," literally means "burn love," but Sakurai clarified in the magazine interviews that he means this in the context that the B-T Train runs on by burning the love of the fans as fuel. The burning bouquet of tulips in the music video would seem to suggest an additional interpretation, that love is a trip, and it's better to go for it (burn it) than to hold anything back, because life, whatever we might wish, is always a journey of no return.

3) The word here, 「轟轟」 ("gou gou,") means "rumbling" or "roaring," but Sakurai ties it together as a word play with "go go," evoking the rumble of the B-T Train as it go-goes on over the tracks. I have attempted to preserve the dimensions of this wordplay by altering my translation of the various lines where this phrase appears. Use of the phrase "gou gou" can also be seen in Imai's lyrics to "Igniter," on the album No. 0. There is, of course, also a nice tie-in here with the use of the word "go-go" in relation to nightclub performance, and by extension rock shows, a meaning which Imai has used with relish in his songs with his side project Lucy, "Anaconda a Go-Go" and "Lucifer a Go-Go." (And, by loose extension, Lucy's "Gaga Disco" and Buck-Tick's "Dada Disco," as well as "Les Enfant Terribles.")

4) As mentioned in the note on the title, Sakurai stated to multiple media outlets (Ongaku to Hito, Rock & Read, The Majestic Saturday Night, etc.) that he deliberately used the word "train" rather than "express," in order to evoke a slow, old-fashioned, clickety-clackety train. He stated that the band might not be able to go fast, but they will keep going for as long as they can, "until we turn into a pile of scrap metal." He also waxed poetic to several magazines about his love of train travel, and his desire to get on a train and be whisked away to destinations unknown, stating that the "train," for him, held a romance and promise that the "express" didn't, and he wanted to preserve this in Buck-Tick's music to the very last.

5) This tongue-in-cheek steampunk reference underscores the image of an old-fashioned steam train, as opposed to a state-of-the-art superfast electric train of the kind that are common in Japan. The word here, "jouki jikake," meaning "steam-powered," was also used by Imai in the lyrics to "Once Upon a Time," on the album Arui wa Anarchy, to refer to a steampunk Sphinx. It would appear to be a Buck-Tick in-joke, perhaps a concession to the fact that Sakurai took over this song wholesale from Imai, who is a known steampunk fan.


Go Go B-T Train
作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:今井寿

夢の続き Oh Baby 派手に魅せてやろう
君も乗りなよ さあ 発車のベルが鳴る

片道だけの素敵なTRIP
サヨナラネ地球 アナタトチューリップ

この胸に 火を付けて 走れ B-T TRAIN
愛を燃やせ 轟轟 On Baby 飛ばせ B-T TRAIN

夢は続くよ Baby ランランラン 何処までも
ガタガタ & ゴトゴト 野を越え 闇をゆけ

蒸気仕掛けの 三日月投げキッス
サヨナラネ宇宙 アナタトチューリップ

この胸に 火を付けて 走れ B-T TRAIN
愛を燃やせ 轟轟 On Baby 飛ばせ B-T TRAIN

愛を燃やせ 愛を燃やせ 走れ B-T TRAIN
轟轟 On Baby, Go Go On Baby 飛ばせ B-T TRAIN

夢は続くよ Baby ランランラン 何処までも


Go Go B-T Train
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi

Yume no tsuzuki Oh Baby     hade ni misete yarou
Kimi mo nori na yo     saa     hassha no beru ga naru

Katamichi dake no suteki na TRIP
Sayonara ne chikyuu     anata to chuurippu

Kono mune ni     hi wo tsukete     hashire B-T TRAIN
Ai wo moyase     gougou On Baby     tobase B-T TRAIN

Yume wa tsuzuku yo Baby     ran ran ran     doko made mo
Gatagata & gotogoto     no wo koe     yami wo yuke

Jouki jikake no     mikazuki nage kissu
Sayonara ne uchuu     anata to chuurippu

Kono mune ni     hi wo tsukete     hashire B-T TRAIN
Ai wo moyase     gougou On Baby     tobase B-T TRAIN

Ai wo moyase     ai wo moyase     hashire B-T TRAIN
Gougou On Baby, Go Go On Baby     tobase B-T TRAIN

Yume wa tsuzuku yo Baby     ran ran ran     doko made mo




Love
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Hoshino Hidehiko

For so long I felt it, you see
I felt it deep within me...
It was somebody who you knew
I knew you (1)
Please, oh won't you show me your face?
Please show me your smile
Oh please, I want you... to call... my name

I burn
With romance (2)
A dream
A fantasy

But now you say it's time to sleep, tired from dancing, ah
From the pure-white tips of your toes, the blood dripping, ah 

You're already climbing the Stairway to Heaven, ooh (3)

And so now I go it alone
Oh I'm all alone now
Out into the new-falling rain
Like everyone
Do you have the courage to go
To walk through the darkness?
I told you that I'm not afraid
I told you... a lie...

I burn
With romance (2)
My dream
Disintegrates

But now you say it's time to sleep, tired from dancing, ah
Out from my circling arms, I feel you slipping, ah

You're already knocking on Heaven's Door, ooh (4)

Dancing, dancing, dancing, you - you are love
Delicate, so delicate like watercolor, my romance (5)
Dancing, dancing, dancing, you - you are love
Delicate, so delicate dissolves my romance (5)


Note on the title: Japanese has two main words for "love," "ai" and "koi." Japanese teachers tend to say that "ai" can mean any kind of love, including cosmic love, familial love, romantic love, and all shades of love in between, while "koi" tends to mean specifically romantic love. When this single was released, various media outlets (such as Ongaku to Hito, Rock & Read, and Chiwaki Mauymi's radio show The Majestic Saturday Night) asked Sakurai what his personal view was on the difference in meaning between "ai" vs. "koi." He said that for him, "ai" was something existential, heart's-blood deep, while "koi" could be something lighter and more innocent. 

He said that in this song, he was trying to capture a feeling of youthful purity, platonic, rather than sexual, and that he was trying to sing the part of a pure, gentle, innocent character. He went on to state that a number of people in his orbit have recently passed away, and while on the one hand he felt it wasn't his place to tread on the grief of others or to overly aestheticize death and grief, he nonetheless made the decision to write these lyrics as a sort of vicarious expression of the grief that the people around him were experiencing. He also stated that it was in part inspired by the yearly summer melancholy he feels in August, around the time of the anniversary of the atomic bombings. 

However, for various reasons, we suspect that this song is in large part about one very specific person. Who it is, we're not at liberty to say. Let's just leave it that it was someone who was very, very close to one of the Buck-Tick members, not Sakurai, also a personal acquaintance of Cayce, and much, much too young to go. Our two cents: this song is a truly beautiful send-up to the memory of the person in question. Sakurai was not overstepping bounds here. He was doing this person a great honor.

Fun fact: Sakurai is the one whistling during the instrumental break. He told Rock & Read that the whistling was originally Director Tanaka's idea, and at first, whistling in the studio made him (Sakurai) so nervous that, in his words, "I went home and practiced so much I made myself sick... my lips were swollen from me licking them too much."

1) This line is ambiguous. Depending on interpretation, it could mean "you knew someone," or "I knew who you were." Sakurai may be evoking the feeling we sometimes get when we meet someone important in our lives, that we already know the person, even though we've only just met - or sometimes, the feeling we get before we meet someone important, a sense of premonition that someone who will be very dear to us in the future is about to walk into our lives.

2) The literal translation of this line is "I burn with love," but I translated it as "romance" instead, in order to underscore the airy, youthful quality Sakurai said he was aiming for with his word choice of "koi."

3) "Stairway to Heaven," released in 1971, is the most famous song by the classic English rock/metal band Led Zeppelin, and widely regarded as one of the most influential rock songs of all time. It's impossible to overstate how enormously influential Led Zeppelin were on Buck-Tick's generation of rock musicians in Japan. Yagami Toll is a particularly enthusiastic Led Zeppelin fan.

4) "Knocking on Heaven's Door" is a song by American singer-songwriter and Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan, originally released in 1973. The song was most famously covered by Eric Clapton and Guns N' Roses, but was also covered by dozens of other well-known artists, including Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Lana Del Rey, Roger Waters, and Nina Hagen.

5) This line literally means "delicate, delicate, blurring, my love." I translated it the way I did to better evoke the visual quality of the word "nijimu," which implies something wet spreading, oozing, or blurring. Sakurai used the word "nijimu" earlier in the song to describe oozing blood, but "nijimu" is also often used poetically to describe slowly welling tears (or the way that fallen tears can blur writing, pictures, etc.) I chose the word "watercolor" because of the connection with tears, and because I felt it fit with the general light, ethereal atmosphere of the song, and with the band's stage performance of the song at the DIQ 2021, in which Sakurai sang the song wearing a women's furisode juban (under-kimono), as if expressing a lost youth, and the color of the ephemeral cherry blossoms, which bloom and fade so quickly.


作詞:櫻井敦司
作曲:星野英彦

ずっと前から そう わたしの中に..
あなたが誰かを 知っている
お顔を見せて  ねえ  笑って見せて
私の名前を  呼ん で  欲し い

恋  焦がれ   夢  幻

あなたは踊り疲れて 眠る ああ
真っ白な爪先 血が滲む ああ

天国への階段  登ってゆく

ひとりでゆくのさ ひとりきりだよ
降り出した雨に 誰も
暗闇を歩く 勇気はあるかい
怖くは無いよと わた し  嘘 を

恋  焦がれ   夢  破れて

あなたは踊り疲れて 眠る ああ
わたしのこの両手 すり抜ける ああ

天国への扉を 叩いている

踊る  踊る  踊る  君は  愛
淡く  淡く  滲む  僕の  恋
踊る  踊る  踊る  君は  愛
淡く  淡く  滲む  僕の  恋


Koi
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Hoshino Hidehiko

Zutto mae kara     sou     watashi no naka ni...
Anata ga dareka wo     shitteiru
Okao wo misete     nee     waratte misete
Watashi no namae wo     yon   de     hoshii

Koi     kogare     yume     maboroshi

Anata wa odoritsukarete     nemuru     aa
Masshiro na tsumasaki     chi ga nijimu     aa

Tengoku e no kaidan     nobotte yuku

Hitori de yuku no sa     hitorikiri da yo
Furidashita ame ni     dare mo
Kurayami wo aruku     yuuki wa aru kai
Kowaku wa nai yo to     wata  shi     uso     wo

Koi     kogare     yume     yaburete

Anata wa odori tsukarete     nemuru     aa
Watashi no kono ryoute     surinukeru     aa 

Tengoku e no tobira wo     tataiteiru

Odoru     odoru     odoru     kimi wa     ai
Awaku     awaku     nijimu     boku no     koi
Odoru     odoru     odoru     kimi wa     ai
Awaku     awaku     nijimu     boku no     koi

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To all of you who've written to us - thank you so much for your correspondence and support. We will write you back as soon as we are able. More translations and news coming soon.

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