2013/07/27

MEGITSUNE

Released on 2013 Jun. 19th. [MV]
Lyric: MK-METAL, NORiMETAL / Music: NORiMETAL / Arr.: Yuyoyuppe

In short: BABYMETAL are the maiden-like female foxes that, without intention but with mysterious charm, let you get into a sweet illusion.

MEGITSUNE (Female Foxes)

  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]

Dressed-up Miss Fox
  [Ting-a-ling! Cheer up! Ting-a-ling! Cheer up!]
waves her twin ponytails in the air.
  [Fluttering! Cheer up! Fluttering! Cheer up!]
She pops and vanishes.
  [Whirling! Cheer up! Whirling! Cheer up!]
Let her show her various aspects!
[Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon!]

  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]

Ancient maidens,
you dance in the transient dream.
Getting over thousands years,
you live today.

Ah, it's right. Always women are actresses.
We're not foxes, not deceiving,
but maiden-like female foxes.

Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman.
Smiling at face, crying at heart,
saying "It's right", we never show our tears.

A fox, a fox, I'm a female fox.
Women are actresses.

  [Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Go! Go! Go! Go!]

  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Go! - Go! - Go! - Go! Go! Go! Go!]

Ancient maidens,
you sing in the transient dream.
Getting over thousands years,
you live inside us.

Ah, it's right. Always women are actresses.
We're not foxes, not deceiving.
Maidens...
... shouldn't be underestimated.

Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman.
Continuously, to keep blazing,
we shoot up the fireworks.

Ah, blooming and falling is the fate for a woman.
Smiling at face, crying at heart,
we're pure-hearted maiden-like female foxes.

  [Ah...]



  ROMAJI LYRIC AND NOTES ARE BELOW.


[i] & [ii] may misunderstand lyric writers' intentions. But, when asked "Why are maiden-like foxes not foxes?" or "How can ancient maidens live today?", I think most Japanese would answer something like this.

[i] About the Word "Megitsune"

"Megitsune" = "me"+"kitsune" = female+fox = vixen. Such changes as "k" to "g", "s" to "z", etc. often occur in Japanese compound words (it is called "rendaku" (= sequential voicing) ).

The Japanese folklore tells that foxes can change into anything and deceive people. So a man who was deceived by a (charming) woman feels like deceived by a vixen and calls her "megitsune". That is, he says like "she is as cunning as a vixen".

A man, however, very easily misunderstands the behavior of a charming woman and gets into the sweet illusion that she loves him, and, when he is disillusioned, he feels like deceived by her. She is, however, not to blame because she had no intention to deceive but she is just too much charming.

I think that the lines "We're not foxes ... but maiden-like female foxes." says like
  "we're not deceiving but we're so charming that you may get into a sweet illusion."
and so translate. "Maiden-like" is important to show not having ill intentions.

[i+] About "Women Are Actresses"

In an interview [on HotWave 2 (3:27-)], SU-METAL talked about this. People may think women are always disguising (as to makeup) and pretending. But she loves the lyrics "smiling at face, crying at heart" and said that adult women are so cool as they never show suffering, by acting quite as usual even in a hard time, and she hopes to be so too. For "smiling at face, crying at heart", see note #12 below.

[ii] About "Ancient Maidens"

Though writing "現代に" (= in the present) and reading it as "koko ni" (= here), here we can see no other maidens than BABYMETAL. So I think these lines say that BABYMETAL have inherited ancient maidens' spirits and so translate. The Japanese often say like "they live inside us" in this meaning.

Probably they are ancient "miko" or the like. Miko dance "kagura" (= a sacred dance) in a shrine, but they had a kind of shamanic character in the ancient times. In medieval Japan, there were famous dancers "Shizuka Gozen" (perhaps not a miko) and "Izumo no Okuni" (probably once a miko). Please see Wikipedia or elsewhere if you like to learn more about "miko".

The original lines have no grammatical subjects. Frankly speaking, to dance: probably ancient maidens, to get over: ... possibly "time" itself, to live: perhaps BABYMETAL, these are what come along when I listen to these lines. Perhaps most Japanese, too, and possibly even the writers themselves.

[iii] About the Call and Response(?) in Concerts

In the concerts of 2016 June, the call & response(?) has been inserted in the middle part (in "Soiya soiya soiya soiya" part), and the audience are requested to jump at the end. There have been some differences according to time and place, and I'm sorry if I misheard them.

[su] Here comes the Fox God.
[su] Everybody, clap your hands!

[su] On the count three, everybody, jump up with the Fox God!
[su] Are you ready?
[yui][moa] Soiya soiya soiya soiya...
[su] Are you ready?
[yui][moa] Soiya soiya soiya soiya...
[all] One, two, one, two, three, jump!


MEGITSUNE (Female Foxes)

Romaji LyricEnglish TranslationNotes
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Omekashi kitsune san Dressed-up Miss Fox
  [CHIKI CHIKI wasshoi! CHIKI CHIKI wasshoi!]   [Ting-a-ling! Cheer up! Ting-a-ling! Cheer up!]2,3
tsuinte nabikasete waves her twin ponytails in the air.4
  [HIRA HIRA wasshoi! HIRA HIRA wasshoi!]   [Fluttering! Cheer up! Fluttering! Cheer up!]5
hajikete doron-shite. She pops and vanishes.6,7
  [KURU KURU wasshoi! KURU KURU wasshoi!]   [Whirling! Cheer up! Whirling! Cheer up!]
Iza yuke shichi-henge. Let her show her various aspects!8
[Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.] [Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.]9
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Inishie no otome-tachi yo Ancient maidens,10
karisome no yume ni odoru. you dance in the transient dream.
Ikusen no toki o koete Getting over thousands years,
ima o ikiru. you live today.[ii]
 
Aa soo yo itsudemo onna wa joyuu yo. Ah, it's right. Always women are actresses.[i+]
Kitsune ja nai. Kitsune ja nai. We're not foxes, not deceiving,[i]
Otome na megitsune. but maiden-like female foxes.
 
Aa Yamato-nadeshiku onna wa kawaru no. Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman.11
Kao de waratte kokoro de naite Smiling at face, crying at heart,12
"Soo yo ne"tte namida wa mise-nai no. saying "It's right", we never show our tears.
 
Kitsune kitsune watashi wa megitsune. A fox, a fox, I'm a female fox.13
Onna wa joyuu yo. Women are actresses.
 
  [Soiya soiya soiya soiya  [Go! Go! Go! Go!14
   soiya soiya soiya soiya   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya.   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Soiya soiya soiya soiya  [Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya.   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Inishie no otome-tachi yo Ancient maidens,
karisome no yume ni utau. you sing in the transient dream.
Ikusen no toki o koete Getting over thousands years,
koko ni ikiru. you live inside us.[ii]
 
Aa soo yo itsudemo onna wa joyuu yo. Ah, it's right. Always women are actresses.
Kitsune ja nai. Kitsune ja nai. We're not foxes, not deceiving,
Otome wa... Maidens...
... nametara ikan zeyo. ... shouldn't be underestimated.15
 
Aa Yamato-nadeshiku onna wa kawaru no. Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman.
Zutto itsumo kie-nai yoo ni Continuously, to keep blazing,16
hanabi o ageru no. we shoot up the fireworks.
 
Aa saite chiru no ga onna no sadame yo. Ah, blooming and falling is the fate for a woman.17
Kao de waratte kokoro de naite Smiling at face, crying at heart,
Junjoo otome na megitsune yo. we're pure-hearted maiden-like female foxes.
 
  [Aa.]  [Ah...](s)
 

Notes

  1. The enclosed phrase [---] marked with "(s)" is sung by SU-METAL, and other enclosed phrases [---] are sung by MOAMETAL & YUIMETAL (added on 2017 Mar. 31).
  2. These "sore" are the interjections to prompt someone to do something (= 3, 2, 1, sore!). In this song, it is similar to "wasshoi".
  3. Though "hirahira" & "kurukuru" (onomatopoeia) have rather clear meanings and they correspond to the previous lines, "chikichiki" doesn't (it only sounds like a metallic noise). Anonymous san on 2015 Jul. 18 & Anonymous san on 2016 Jun. 12 suggested it represents the sound of kane (= bell) in matsuri-bayashi (= Japanese festival music), so I changed the translation to "ting-a-ling" on 2016 Jun. 18th.
        At first, I thought "chiki" to be English "Check it!" which young Japanese sometimes say because I thought something corresponding to "omekashi" (= dressed-up) should come here like other two pairs. I had already known some matsuri-bayashi are represented as "kon chiki chin", etc, but this chant didn't sound like them to me because they have a kind of bounce beat (or swing or shuffle) and drums are dominant. But now I have learned BABYMETAL's lyrics are loose and such expectations of mine were wrong.
  4. "Wasshoi" is used in festivals to keep in tune all the breath of the carriers of "mikoshi" (= the potable shrine).
  5. "Tsuinte" is an abbreviation for "tsuin teeru" (= twin tails). This hairstyle is also called "pigtails" but not woven one.
  6. Many people wrote it as "Kirakira" and it may sound so. But the official lyric says "Hirahira" and it corresponds to "waves ... in the air"
  7. "Hajikete" (= hajikeru) means to "pop" of popcorn, and young Japanese also use it when they act cheerfully (after an examination, etc).
  8. This "doron" is "to vanish in a sudden smoke (and change into something else)", like ninjas, foxes, etc.
  9. "Shichi-henge" is literally "seven changing" and usually "changing seven clothes" (in a short time, in a traditional drama). This word suggests that a girl looks very different (cute, elegant, etc) in different clothes, and may also suggest that girls are capricious, based on a song "Yamatonadeshiko Shichihenge" sung by Kyoko KOIZUMI, 1984.
  10. Japanese people hear fox barking as "kon".
  11. This "yo" is used for the vocative case.
  12. It's not "Yamato-nadeshiko" but "Yamato-nadeshiku". "-ku" is one of the endings of the adjective and this non-authentic word sounds like "like Yamato-nadeshiko".
        "Yamato" means (ancient) Japan and "nadeshiko" is a pink flower called "dianthus". As a whole, "Yamato-nadeshiko" is the personification of an idealized Japanese woman (usually traditional one). Please see Wikipedia or something if you like to learn more about Yamato-nadeshiko.
  13. "Smiling at face, crying at heart" is often said in Japan for both men and women.
        It is not a superficial smile but a sad/lonely smile. In 20th century, most Japanese thought crying in public is inappropriate for adults probably because the fellows around can't ignore the crying person but they can do nothing to rescue her/him from sadness (careless comforting often hurts her/him). And people think, for example, if one's child or sweetheart says she/he wants to leave her/his hometown for her/his career, one should consent to her/his decision with a smile because she/he has already made up her/his mind though she/he knows how sad one will feel and one's tears can do nothing but torment her/him (one should have noticed before she/he made up her/his mind). Japanese people (in 20th century) smile at face & cry at heart in situations like this. (Appended on 2015 Aug. 29.)
  14. This line is sung on a melody borrowed from a famous Japanese traditional song "Sakura Sakura".
  15. This "soiya" is similar to "wasshoi", only used in festivals.
  16. "Nametara ikan zeyo" is a dialect of Kochi and became famous as said by gangster's daughter in a movie (actress Masako NATSUME in "Kiryu-in Hanako no Shogai", 1982).
  17. This "kie-nai yoo ni" is "(for a firework) not to go out". It's impossible. But the sky (= girl) can keep on blazing with the continuous fireworks.
  18. This "chiru" (= to fall) is contrasted with "kareru" (= to fade). It means "to fall before fading" like cherry blossoms and Japanese people like what disappears before fading.


I will try. But this section may not be completed forever.

English Lyric for Singing.

Romaji LyricEnglish Lyric
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Omekashi kitsune san
  [CHIKI CHIKI wasshoi! CHIKI CHIKI wasshoi!]   [Ting-a-ling! Cheer up! Ting-a-ling! Cheer up!]
tsuinte nabikasete
  [HIRA HIRA wasshoi! HIRA HIRA wasshoi!]   [Fluttering! Cheer up! Fluttering! Cheer up!]
hajikete doron-shite.
  [KURU KURU wasshoi! KURU KURU wasshoi!]   [Whirling! Cheer up! Whirling! Cheer up!]
Iza yuke shichi-henge.
[Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.] [Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.]
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Inishie no otome-tachi yo In the ancient age, the sacred maidens *
karisome no yume ni odoru. * * * * *, * * the transient dream.
Ikusen no toki o koete
ima o ikiru.
 
Aa soo yo itsudemo onna wa joyuu yo. Ah. Well, it's right. Always women * * * *, * * * *
Kitsune ja nai. Kitsune ja nai. No, no. We aren't foxes. We're not deceiving,
Otome na megitsune. We are maiden MEGITSUNE.
 
Aa Yamato-nadeshiku onna wa kawaru no.
Kao de waratte kokoro de naite
"Soo yo ne"tte namida wa mise-nai no.
 
Kitsune kitsune watashi wa megitsune. Female fox, female fox. You know I'm a female_ fox.
Onna wa joyuu yo. Always women * * * *
 
  [Soiya soiya soiya soiya  [Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya.   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Soiya soiya soiya soiya  [Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   soiya soiya soiya soiya.   Go! Go! Go! Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
  [Sore.  [Go!1
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
  [Sore.  [Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore.   Go!
   Sore sore sore sore.]   Go! Go! Go! Go!]
 
Inishie no otome-tachi yo
karisome no yume ni utau.
Ikusen no toki o koete
koko ni ikiru.
 
Aa soo yo itsudemo onna wa joyuu yo.
Kitsune ja nai. Kitsune ja nai.
Otome wa...
... nametara ikan zeyo.
 
Aa Yamato-nadeshiku onna wa kawaru no.
Zutto itsumo kie-nai yoo ni
hanabi o ageru no.
 
Aa saite chiru no ga onna no sadame yo.
Kao de waratte kokoro de naite
Junjoo otome na megitsune yo.
 
  [Aa.]  [Ah...]
 

50 comments :

  1. Your explanations are fantastic. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many explanations are needed because this song is Japanesque and because the producer likes gimmickry too much.

      Delete
  2. I cannot thank you enough for this incredible job! It also help me a lot in my japanese studies, thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, sometimes I put too detailed notes to explain why I translate this way not that way to those who know Japanese.

      Delete
  3. This was a lot of work. Thank you, Enki. You must be a Japanese/English instructor.
    Eric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, but probably I can't be so because I don't understand the English nuance well.

      Delete
  4. you are the best sir! cheers

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your hard work and care! Your English is very very good. A couple of minor corrections: "noise" doesn't have a "z" even though it sounds like it does. And "Getting over thousands years" doesn't really make sense in English. Since I don't know Japanese, I don't know what this might actually be in English. One possibility might be "Over thousands of years" -- that is, something has been true for at least two or three thousand years. You could also say "For thousands of years," or "For more than a thousand years."

    But since the end of the sentence is "you live today," it wouldn't make sense to say "Over thousands of years, you live today." One possibility might be something like "Even after thousands of years, you are still alive today." This means the same as "Although you are thousands of years old, you are still alive." But from the other lyrics, it seems like there must be an additional meaning of "still vigorous," or "still youthful," or even "you will never grow old."

    Obviously this gets a long way away from direct translation. I think translating from Japanese to English must be some of the most difficult translation to do, since the languages and cultures are so very different. Congratulations on how successful your translations are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your corrections. I've fixed "noize". The oldest miko (referred as "ancient maidens") that is historically confirmed was about 1500 years ago.
      And "koete" (= koeru) is ambiguous: (1) jumping over, (2) overcoming, (3) simply "more than". If (1), they have made time travel to the present. If (2) or (3), they have lived for more than 1500 years.
      But, as said in notes [ii], there was no grammatical subjects in the original lines, and I think that not the maidens themselves but their spirits or souls have survived for more than 1500 years by the reincarnation or by the inheritance of tradition.
      Anyway I try to find better translation and explanation.

      Delete
  6. Thanks your awesome translation
    [Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.] This is an imitation sound of fox barking,isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but partially. Usually "kon" or "kon kon" is used for fox barking. That phrase is too long and too rhythmical for a simple imitation.

      Delete
  7. Love your article. Thanks for the enlightment
    I just watch babymetal today, at first I was like WTH but then I quickly fall in love with this megitsune song. I'm looking forward to listen to their other song and your awesome translation. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  8. The bridge of the song is NOT "Go! Go! Go! Go!" lol...

    It's actually "Sou Sou Sou Sou Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry!" (You're right... You're right... You're right... You're right... Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am fully confident of my transcription of this part and my interpretation in notes #1, #3, #14.

      Delete
  9. 8.11.
    http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/yamanade/
    http://www.tbs.co.jp/yamanade2010/

    13.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhttacfTfMU

    15.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8dvCHHSXDI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZW-Nb6llrM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for links, but TV-Tokyo's anime & TBS's drama seem to have little relation to "yamato-nadeshiko" or "shichi-henge" because they featured the good-looking boys around the heroine and the heroine was pushed aside.

      Delete
  10. The word "CHIKI CHIKI" has no particular meaning in Japanese.
    There is no meaning therefore untranslatable.

    The movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968 UK) is in Japan has been named "CHIKI CHIKI BAN BAN".
    "chitty chitty" sounds "CHIRI CHIRI" for Japanese people.
    And "CHIRI CHIRI" means a small fire burning.
    So it probably changed "CHIKI CHIKI".
    Theme song sung by Japanese singer is well known.
    (Perhaps, young people do not know.)

    In addition, the anime "Wacky Races" (1968 USA) is in Japan has been named "CHIKI CHIKI Machine MOU Race".
    MOU=猛=hard, intense, or tough

    ReplyDelete
  11. 匿名でのコメント失礼いたします。

    チキチキワッショイ!の「チキチキ」部分ですが、これは祭り囃子の鐘の音を形容する「こんこんちきちき」から来ているのではないかと思います。
    この曲のスクリームにはお祭りを連想させる言葉がちりばめられていますし、ちょうど「こんこん」という言葉も入っていて良い感じがします。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ありがとうございます。確かに祭囃子の鐘の音をチキチキと表しますね。
      こんなに速い鐘連打の囃子を知らなかったのと、ここもツインテ→ひらひらのような関係が有るはずだという思込みで、鐘の音は思いつきませんでした。
      Thank you for your suggestion. The bell sound of Japanese festival music is indeed expressed as "chiki chiki".

      Delete
  12. have you seen this cover of this song with english lyrics ? I think that this girl got the meaning and a more correct translation to english than your version. She says it's not 100% correct but it is interpreted the way real english would be spoken.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQcBXZiphNI&list=LLDqys-sOOAndJahkIJgDuHA&index=35

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for late reply.

      I saw that video soon after it was uploaded. I don't think the English lyrics would be a correct translation unless you confirmed that by personal communication with the lyric writer(s) or you yourself are the writer.

      The lyric of a song must have the rhymes that correspond to the melody, so it is very hard to make English lyrics that are correct translations of original lyrics. If a singer or a listener has, in some sense, the same feeling as when she/he sings or listens to the original, or if the synopses of the lyrics are the same, the English lyric might be a correct translation no matter how it literally differs from the original.

      I don't think, however, this is that case. In the English lyrics, I see "to break", "to set us free", etc. which have no corresponding elements in the original. She may have wanted to protest against the conventional (Japanese) ideal woman which is depicted in the original. It's alright, but she seems to have misunderstood, at least, "kao de waratte kokoro de naite". It implies not a superficial smile but a sad smile or crying with least facial expressions.

      Delete
  13. These are my thoughts on the song. I think a good translation would be "we are not foxes, we are (maiden) vixens" in English, a vixen literally means a female fox but it also means a woman who is sexually attractive and behaves in a hot tempered or spiteful way. They also sing about how maidens should not be underestimated... So the part of the video where she takes a sword out of her microphone symbolizes to me that she is an attractive woman who takes no shit from men. In Japanese folklore it was said that kitsune were hot tempered, vengeful and enjoyed punishing the immoral? So the message is "yes I'm attractive but mistreat me and you are in for a nasty surprise" Does that make sense? Obviously this is my interpretation of the song but as someone from the west, does it still make sense to apply this meaning to the Japanese lyrics?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sorry for the long post but I thought your translation was excellent and informative so I wanted to ask you about the megitsune/vixen theory I had

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for suggestion.
      Probably I chose "female fox" instead of "vixen" after some consideration, to avoid too much implication. The word "megitsune" is listed in Japanese dictionary as like "a woman who deceives a man, e.g. a hostess girl of that kind". I think attractiveness is important to use it, but some people use it for a female swindler who seems not attractive, and younger people seem to have less implication about this word or simply don't know it.

      In Japan, there are some works that give people good images of foxes, e.g. "Gon-gitsune" (Gon, the Little Fox), a story adopted by many textbooks since 1980's. Therefore, contrary to older people, those (including me) who are familiar with these works seem not to have bad impression of foxes.

      "Nametara ikan ze yo." (= You shouldn't underestimate me.) is the word of gangster's daughter (note #15). She said this to gangsters. That is, this implies "though I am female" & "though I am young". Therefore, I think this phrase is opposite to certain attractiveness.

      It seems that someone intends BABYMETAL not to sing love songs or something. Most lyrics of Japanese idol songs are like [ Syncopation ], and such songs are also sung by 10-15 yr. girls of Sakura Gakuin which is the base of BABYMETAL.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry, my reply seems to miss the points. I wanted to say:
      Firstly, there seems no commonly shared interpretation/concept of megitsune or "foxy lady" in Japan.

      Secondly, most BABYMETAL's songs don't depict some specified or vivid situations which present some interpretation/concept of something (love, megitsune, etc), so I think we should not suppose there must be something specified unless we feel it vividly, though we can freely imagine it within the vague context. As to the chorus part of this song, I think it says "adult women smile at face and cry at heart", etc. only abstractly.

      Thirdly, I think most BABYMETAL's songs are free from "sensuality in any meaning". I don't know whether it is because someone intends so or simply because abstract songs can't be vivid, therefore, can't be "sensual in any meaning".

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  15. Your translations Rock! Thank You! very much!!

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  16. 日本語で失礼します。英語を学んでいる日本人です。ベビーメタルのこの曲は確かに訳しづらいですよね。ここまで読ませていただき、ふと気づいたことがありましたので思わずコメントさせていただきました。
    どうも海外の方にとって”今を生きる”のくだりがわかりにくいようですが、彼らに”刹那”、つまり、”刹那の美”や、ラテン語の”今を生きる”、つまり、”seize the day"(carpe diem)を説明してあげたらわかりやすくなるのではありませんか?有名な映画ですので、これを説明したら、きっと日本独特の”儚さ”や、桜の美しさの理由や、まあ、引いて言えば、”平家物語”に代表される日本独特の”時の概念”みたいなものが理解してもらえるような気がします。
    この曲は彼女らの歌の中でも特に日本の古代からの歴史に着想を得て書かれたものの様な気がします。・・・すみません、自分でそう思ったなら、そのまま自分で説明すればいいじゃないか、と思われるかもしれませんが、正直、私の英語はそこまで上手くありません。もし、あなたが私の意見と異なっていたなら出しゃばって申し訳ありません。また、私はこれをあなたが日本人であるという前提ではなから日本語で書かせていただいております。日本の方でなかったら申し訳ありません。

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    1. Thank you for suggestion.
      I will consider some explanation about it, but it's difficult to explain.

      ご提案ありがとうございます。
      何か説明を考えるつもりですが、説明するのが難しいです。

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  17. ブログの説明読みました。日本人の方なんですね。驚きました、英語お上手ですね。英語でBabymetalの世界を掘り下げてくださっている事にとても感謝しています。しかも、翻訳もコメントもかなり丁寧に対応していらっしゃる。尊敬します。
    差し出がましい提案というか、「ちきちき」の部分なんですが、これは過去に狐の事を「こんこんちき」と呼んだ事から来ていると思います。(「こんこんちき」で検索すれば辞書の定義が出てくると思います。)江戸時代あたりからよく使われていた言葉みたいで、短縮して「こんちき」とも呼ばれます。(こちらも「こんちき 狐」あたりで検索すれば用例が出てくると思います。)現在ではなかなか聞かないかもしれませんが、私は何度も芸能人が狐関連の話で「こんこんちき」と発言するのをテレビなどで聞いたり、あるいは小説で読んだりした覚えがあります。しばらく前にはもっとメジャーな言葉だった気がするのですが、今では使う事は少なくなっているようですね。このような経験をしている方ならば、狐と関連する言葉としてこんちきを歌詞に採用してもまったくおかしくないと思います。(傍証になりますが、にっぽん昔話の『キツネのお産』という話に、恩のある狐に対し「ハハァ、おらが山のご先祖様よ、コンコンチキチキ大明神。ハハァ、コンコンチキチキ大明神。」と祈るシーンがあるそうです。)
    この言葉は二つに分けて繰り返しても音がおもしろく感じるというのは、日本人ならば直感的にわかる事だと思います。それに、「こんちきこんちき」と繰り返すよりも、「ちきちき」「こんこん」とそれぞれ繰り返した方が気持ちいい音になるというのも、わかると思います。それで、作詞者の方は分けて繰り返させたのではないでしょうか。
    まあ、リズムのいい音として使っただけでしょうから、あまり曲全体の意味とは関係ない部分でしょうが一応コメントさせていただきました。
    本当に長くなりまして申し訳ありません。

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    1. Thank you for comment. I will think about "chikichiki" again.

      コメントありがとうございます。"チキチキ" について再検討します。

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  18. I think the [Kon kon kon ko, kon kon ko kon.] part from what I'm learning/have learnt in Japanese is the fox a sound would make (コンコン). This would obviously link to the song as it is about foxes, but I don't know what this sound would be in English (even though it is my first language!). Maybe research a bit further into this as I might not be correct.

    (after writing this comment I researched what sound a fox makes and it would be a light bark or yap. Here is a video of a fox call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6NuhlibHsM )

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    1. Thank you for linking. 1:30- Bark and Scream sound to me like "kon kon".
      Scientists report that only native Japanese speakers (& Polynesians) process the calls of animals, the sound of rainfall, etc. with language brain (usually right hemisphere) while other people process them as meaningless noise with the other hemisphere. Probably that's why Japanese has many onomatopoeiai.

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  19. At Rock In Japan 2016 instead of saying Sore! at the beginning they yelled out Jump. (Just FYI)

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    1. Thank you for information. I think I should update several notes about call & response.

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  20. I've read reviews of the song (http://www.m-on.press/music/0000006563?show_more=1), and many seem to note that in the festival-style song, it has a fusion of metalcore and "和". What is this "和" that they are talking about?

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    1. This "和" (wa) refers to (native) Japanese elements:
      Japanese festival chants "sore", "soiya", "wasshoi",
      the sound of a Japanese music instrument "shamisen" at the intro,
      a famous Japanese song "Sakura Sakura" in the middle.

      And at "aa" before "soo yo itsudemo", etc, Miss Suzuka sings like a singer of Japanese melancholic ballad "enka", but the writer didn't mention it.

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  21. Hi Du Enki san,

    I haven't written here for a while but these next days (or weeks) I think I'm going to read your translations more carefully so it's quite possible that I make some questions if you don't mind.

    I any case, one thing about Megitsune I wanted to comment is not exactly a question but only a comment. It's about the translation of the (catch-)phrase, "nametara ikkan zeyo" from the 1982 movie "Kiryuin Hanako no Shogai" by Hideo Gosha which I had seen a couple of times before getting to know BM and your blog (which happened around the same time three years ago, since immediately after I went crazy with/for BM I needed to know what they were singing about, hehe). This movie is normally called 'Onimasa' in Western countries (Onimasa is the name or the nick of Tatsuya Nakadai's character in the movie). I guess your translation of the phrase "you shouldn't underestimate me" is literal. The other day finally I decided to find the scene in the movie, which I did, but I was surprised with the English (and French) translation in the subtitles, which you may find of interest and possibly don't know since you don't need subtitles for Japanese films ;) In the English subtitles, the phrase by Masako Natsume is translated as "Watch out, the shit will hit the fan!" And in the French subs, it's different but quite similar: "faites gaffe, ça va chier!" And then I found that the en.wikipedia article on Natsume mentions that "one of her lines from this movie [= Onimasa] 'Don't you shit with me!' became a very popular catchphrase in Japan". I guess these translations try to translate the intention and tone of the phrase instead of the literal words? Any thoughts about them?

    Saludos, take care

    Fernando :)

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    1. Thank you for comment.
      The literal translation of "underestimate" is "mikubiru" or "kashô-hyôka suru". "Nameru" literally means to lick (= to pass the tongue over), and figuratively means to look down on or to underestimate.
      "Nameru na" or "nametara ikan zeyo" is mainly to intimidate the opponents as in the scene of the movie, so it was translated to "don't you shit with me" or something. However, though we should never say this phrase to our teachers, we (somewhat jokingly) say it to our family or friends when we play ball games, video games, etc. and our skill is underestimated.

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    2. Thanks for the explanation! Very clear as usual, thanks.
      Yes in the movie the scene is impressive, because Natsume's character is usually the "Yamato-nadeshiku" type you describe above, very reserved and apparently shy, and then in this scene she faces some yakuza guys trying to intimidate her, but then she gets angry and says that phrase, showing whose daughter she is! (well, adopted daughter... but they don't know it anyway) But no, I won't tell that to my teacher :D

      F. :)

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  22. I don't understand this at all

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  23. Hi again Du Enki san,

    I wouldn't say the same as Kaiden above but I'm starting to think this lyric (the debut of your blog btw) may be the most difficult in all of BM's discography. The "Kitsune ja nai. Kitsune ja nai. / Otome na megitsune" lines are pure hell (black metal? ha) and give me headaches :D I think I've finally understood your bold (or so it seems to me) translation and the last part of note [i]. But seeing even Japanese native speakers can't be sure about the meaning... oh well. It's very annoying because these lines are obviously very important in the song.
    That said, I tend to favour your interpretation. Mainly because otherwise it would be a truism to state that "we are female (foxes), not male (foxes)", we all realise that it's three girls singing, and if that's the meaning, then that's a stupid line to sing, even if you add the virgin/maiden-like note. The meaning should be, "being Megitsune is not exactly the same as being (male) kitsune", and not only because of a difference of genre. So, the line needs, absolutely, interpretation (adding something that is not explicitly there) and boldness. So, thank you for the effort and boldness ;)

    On the other hand, I have a grammar/semantic doubt about the translation of the line: "Aa Yamato-nadeshiku onna wa kawaru no" as "Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman". If you understand "like an ideal woman" as an adverb, then what is it that they're becoming to? Or maybe you meant only that they're becoming more and more (like) this Yamato-nadeshiko? But I'm not sure this "more and more" makes much sense... so I checked Duane Metal's attempt at translating the line. He's not very clear (and he usually forgets to give a global interpretation that is needed, as in this case) but he understands the -ku ending (in Yam.-nad.) as and adverb mark (like the English "-ly") and translates "kawaru" as "changing", so his translation goes something like "they are always changing in a Yamato-nadeshiko way". Not speaking Japanese at all I can't decide, but I think this reading makes sense because it's coherent with other parts of the song, I mean, about the magic fox-like ability to change or disappear à la ninja and so on: in this verse, we would get to know that the generic fox transforming (changing) abilities, in the megitsune have this special and different character/mark – they are "Yamato-nadeshiko like". An this would imply, for instance, the absence of malice (at least I have an idea that the ideal Yamato nadeshiko, someone like the usual Setsuko Hara characters for instance, would't hurt or lie on purpose unless she needed that for protecting herself or her loved ones). I hope I'm clear with what I mean. I know your translations are very well-thought, but I wonder if this alternative interpretation would make sense to you.

    Thanks as usual,

    Fernando :)

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    1. I mean "girls are becoming (an) ideal woman(s)". I used "more like" because I had found some examples of it: "St. Francis was becoming more like Christ", "The Arctic Ocean is becoming more like the Atlantic", etc.

      If the "-ku" form of Japanese adjectives attaches to a verb, it is usually treated as adverbial, but if it attaches to the verb "naru" or "suru", it serves as a complement: e.g. "utsukushiku naru" = "she becomes beautiful", "utsukushiku suru" = "It makes her beautiful". And if it attaches to the verb "kawaru", it is ambiguous: "utsukushiku kawaru" = "she beautifully turns to (something)" or "she turns beautiful". I mentioned these two possibilities for "Yamato-nadeshiku" at first, but discarded the former later.

      The lyric writers may mean "(Japanese) women are always changing in a Yamato-nadeshiko way", but "changing in a Yamato-nadeshiko way" is quite vague. Probably most Japanese can hardly imagine what it is like without explanation or examples though Japanese people share a rough idea of Yamato-nadeshiko,

      It is natural to think the lines in the same section (stanza?) (i.e. Smiling at face... our tears / Continuously... shoot up the fireworks) have some connection with "Yamato-nadeshiku" line. They, however, don't seem to describe some change, so I discarded the adverbial interpretation and naively thought (the lyric says) they are what Yamato-nadeshiko do and girls begin to do them, but I may be wrong.

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    2. Thank you very much for the reply. So, "kawaru" can be intransitive (and vague) like in the "utsukushiku kawaru" example you give. My problem with "girls are becoming more like an ideal woman" (the form is correct, as you say) lies with the meaning: more than ever? more than some years ago? Or, without the 'more': girls are becoming that now, but didn't do it some time ago? I don't have direct contact with Japanese culture of course, but (from watching films, etc.) I would have said quite the opposite: the yamato-nadeshiko model (ideal) is possibly in crisis since WW II and even more since the sixties, I know tradition in Japan is stronger that in the Western world but even so... And that's why I prefer the other (adverbial) reading. "Changing" alone is vague of course. But women change, don't them? "La donna è mobile..." And they like to show off their changes ("shooting fireworks"). And furthermore here we have a lyric about foxes and female foxes with magic powers that at least partially consist precisely in their ability to change (transform) themselves, implied in the line "Iza yuke shichi-henge" as you translate it. So, here we have the "changing", and now it's not so vague. Adding "in a yamato-nadeshiko way" would emphasize again the difference between kistune and me-gitsune: the female way is different and, we're told now, it's different... in a yamato-nadeshiko way, that would mean elegant, gentle, noble or, as you wrote, "not deceiving". That would be my provisional interpretation of the line.

      On the other hand, a guy I know through an internet forum, he's Spanish but speaks good Japanese and his wife is a native Japanese who teaches the language in a languages school, told me that in Japan calling a woman "megitsune" is a strong insult, almost equivalent to "you bitch!" or similar. You mention this somehow in note [i] but maybe in a too soft, indirect way. I think this may be important. In that sense, the fact that BM call themselves "Megitsune" in a song would be, firstly, quite risqué (I suppose no woman wants to be called that), but, secondly, it would mean that they want us (or you people from Japan) to reconsider what "megitsune" really means, to re-interpret the word, in the sense that it shouldn't be an insult. And that would be a very important idea, maybe the key, in this song. In any case, in Spanish it's even worse, we don't have a particular mythology for foxes, but "zorra" (female fox), as well as meaning a woman who deceives etc., is often a synonym for "whore". So, you can imagine the difficulties trying to translate this song to Spanish :D

      Thanks again for the thoughtful explanations, they were an excellent answer indeed.

      Saludos,

      Fernando :)

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    3. Sorry for late reply.
      I interpret the line at issue this way: When a girl learns to keep smiling while she feels like crying, she gets one step closer to an ideal woman, and when the girl learns another thing that an ideal woman does, she gets one more step closer to an ideal woman.

      I'm sorry if my translations fails to convey the nuances of the originals, but there are usually some hints for vague or difficult-to-understand phrases in the same section or somewhere in the song: "Omekashi" (= dressed-up) hints that "shichi-henge" means not a cos-play but just wearing various beautiful clothes. "Getting over thounsands years" connects "ancient maidens" to "today". "Joyuu" (= actress) sets the focus on the fascinating side (not the deceiving side) of "megitsune".

      However, though "changing in a Yamato-nadeshiko way" is more difficult to understand than "becoming a Yamato-nadeshiko", there seem no such hints for elegant, gentle, noble changing in this song, so I interpret it as complement rather than adverbial. But, if the lyric writers are not kind enough to give such hints, then I am wrong.

      Some Japanese may think "megitsune" is an insulting word, but the largest Japanese dictionary doesn't use the phrase "ののしって言う語" (nonoshitte yuu go; a word abusing (something)) that is used in the explanation of almost every insulting word. I think it makes not so much difference whether to call a woman "joyuu" or "megitsune" if she or everyone knows she disguises something.

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    4. Hello again, Du Enki san,

      now it's me the one with the late reply, sorry.

      Part 1. So, the "girls are becoming more like an ideal woman" translation is not saying that they are doing it now more than before (as suspected! ha, ha), but that they do it when they grow. For me, the 'more' is a bit confusing. The meaning would be: girls are always becoming (or trying to become) like the ideal woman. I'm not saying that what you wrote is wrong, I'm only saying it is a bit ambiguous and it definitely confused me ;) But remember I'm not a native English speaker either.
      As for the adverbial interpretation, I still think it makes sense. You say there are no further hints, but we have a giant/gigantic hint, i.e., the sole mention of the Yamato-nadeshiko, you put it together with actress, megitsune, and I don't think anything else is needed. In fact, it favours your interpretation of Megitsune being not-deceiving.
      On the other hand, I see in that line you translate 'onna' as 'girls', but in the "adverbial version", onna as woman/women would work well too (woman are actresses in a yamato-nadeshiko way, for instance).

      Well I dont want to sustain the debate forever, basically because my knowledge of Japanese is not very far from zero, so I can't really argument much (I took the idea from Duane Metal, yes, but I can't speak for him anyway, and in his video he barely stops to further explain the meaning of the line). But the fact that there's two different possible interpretations is interesting and I'm glad we talked about this issue, thank you!

      Part 2. Again, I can't say much. These people (one of them, a Japanese lady) told me about 'Megitsune' being an insulting word, and I myself watched recently a movie (from late 50's-early 60's), a Japanese noir film, where a man called 'megitsune' a woman in a very bad mood, and the translation in the subtitles went something like 'bitch!' or similar. But you seem to think very differently, and the other day I was watching this interview you transcribed, Hotwave 2, and the interviewer asked the girls different questions about Megitsune, japanesque things in the song, etc., but he never asked something like, "how come you girls are calling yourselves megitsune when for most people this a word full of spite, isn't that a bit risky for girls your age?", no, he didn't say anything like this. And I thought, if it were so obvious that this word can be an insult, this would be a good question to ask BM about. So, again, I don't really know, but in this moment I kinda think that it is you who is right about this matter ;)

      Oh, one thing more. Typo: The other day I saw a 'beleve' (for 'believe' without the 'i') in your transcription of THE ONE, in case you want to fix it.

      It is quite possible that in the next days I come again with questions about the lyrics of the 2nd album; meanwhile... SEE YOU! :D

      Thanks & saludos

      Fernando :)

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    5. About Part 2:
      Some people can't think of the word "megitsune" separately from insult while others use it without the intention of insulting because there is no alternative word to refer to a woman who takes full advantage of men's misunderstanding about her and they think it is another thing whether or not to blame her. Similarly, some BM fans dislike such vulgar or abusive lyrics as "Sis. Anger" no matter what contents they have while other fans think it is interesting that they contain some advise.

      And thank you for pointing out typo. I've fixed it.

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    6. Thanks for this last comment. I think it helps a lot clearing the matter (for me at least!). Yes, sometimes words can be insulting for some group of people and absolutely otherwise for other group. And in Japanese, I've heard/read lots of times, that the tone you use when using a word or phrase can change completely the meaning, so it isn't words alone that mean this or that. I have the feeling I was too much trapped in the "Are dotchi? Kore dotchi?" cage :D
      About Sis. Anger, I was surprised the other day discovering Duane Metal stopped making videos around the end of the year, and he mentioned (in comments section) one reason was, the lyrics of the 2nd album were less girlish, and particularly he wasn't eager to translate "Sis. Anger" because of the abuse words. I wonder if your translation is a bit softened, hehehe....

      Thanks again for this reply. I'm going to check the others..

      F. )

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    7. About Sis. Anger:
      I myself don't think I've softened my translation except "zakken ja nee zo" to "stop kidding" instead of "stop screwing around" suggested by Christopher Leapock san, but the lyric contains many (somewhat) offensive expressions that can't be translated such as "omae" (instead of "kimi"; = you), "nee" (instead of "nai"; = not), "zo" (instead of "yo"; emphasizing particle), etc.

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    8. Don't take me so serious, it was a bit of a joke ;) I trust your translation. I can't think of BM (or BBM) singing a lyric full of f-words or similar. ("Screwing" is pretty strong, I don't think it would fit either.) According to what I read (and Duane Metal's comment etc) the rudeness of 'Sis Anger' lies basically on its tone, maybe a spiteful non-elegant language, that's not easy to translate. Maybe more slang, but without straight abuse words. But I still think your translation, with the notes about omae, etc., is very good and well thought. Don't get me wrong, I was just kidding (so you can say "zakken ja nee zo" to me, ha)

      Saludos & thanks,

      F. :)

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