2016/02/07

* Aogeba Tôtoshi

This is not BABYMETAL's song but a famous graduation song which Sakura Gakuin covered. The translation is of Sakura Gakuin's own interpretation of it (the lyric is old-fashioned, so Sakura Gakuin were told the meanings of the words and they interpreted the lyric in their own situation). In [At TowerRecords '15 Mar. 5th], Miss Yui said she hoped to let Sakura Gakuin's fans know what members felt on their graduation, so I have translated it. Their interpretation was displayed on the MV that was presented by Gyao only from 2015 Mar. 3rd to 8th.


Released on 2015 Mar. 4th.
Lyric: The Music Research Center of the Ministry of Education / Music: H. N. D. / Arr.: KenKen

Aogeba Tôtoshi (from Sakura Gakuin 2014)

If we look back, we were thankfully supported always by our graduates, our staff, and our fans.
Since we entered Sakura Gakuin, how many years have passed?
Though we have experienced various things, our school life has passed so quickly.
Now is the time to depart. Until the day we meet again.

When we were together, we felt everything we did to be delightful.
Even after graduation parts us away, our bonds shall never fade.
Towards becoming a super lady who can be active worldwide, we continue to advance.
Today is the day to depart. Until the day we meet again.

Until we got exhausted, we exercised together in our studio.
Feeling regret, we have cried many times. We have always faced seriously and supported each other.
The memories with the members, we will never forget, even after we grow up.
Now the time has come. Good-bye until the day we meet again.

We are parting now. Bye-bye.
This is a new departure. Bye-bye.
Until the day we meet again.



Romaji lyric, translation of the original lyric, the original lyric & their interpretation in Japanese are below.

About Sakura Gakuin (its jargons, its graduation system, etc.), see note [iii] of [that post].

[v] About "Aogeba Totôshi" & Other Graduation Songs in Japan

"仰げば尊し" (Aogeba Tôtoshi) was published in 1884 as one of "monbu-shô shôka" (= recommended songs of the Ministry of Education). It is a rip-off of an unknown American graduation song (discovered in 2011). The tone of the lyrics resembles the original, but 2 lines were added/replaced by the needs of Japanese then society: "Aogeba tootoshi wa ga shi no on." (= If we look up at, precious is the benefit given by our teachers) "Mi o tate na o age yayo hageme yo" (= To rise in the world, to win fame, let's try hard!)

Even after the World War II, almost all Japanese schools continued to sing it in their graduation ceremonies, but since about 1970?, schools stopped it one after another. Probably some students claimed like "We want to sing what we like (or teachers should not force students to thank teachers)". I was told "You can choose any song you like except Aogeba Totoshi" by our teachers. In 21st century, such ill feelings seem to disappear probably because the lyrics are too archaic for young people to understand.

Sakura Gakuin's version is arranged in a rock style by a rock musician. If released in 20th century, such arrangement should have been criticized by the old people (in 1984, a Japanese hardcore punk band "The Stalin" (ENDÔ Michirô) already covered this song).

"蛍の光" (Hotaru no Hikari; lit. "Fireflies' Glow") is also "monbu-sho shoka" (pub. in 1881) and popular as a graduation song. The melody is borrowed from a famous Scotch song "Auld Lang Syne". The title & the first line come from Chinese historical facts (see note #7 below).

"贈る言葉" (Okuru Kotoba; lit. "The Words to Give") is popular, too. It is the theme song of a school drama in 1979, and the singer of a band "Kaientai" who acted the class teacher wrote & sang it. He said like it was written as if to give to his ex-girlfriend who had left him. I think the lyrics are not so fit for the graduates to sing, but many Japanese seem not to care about it.

"旅立ちの日に" (Tabidachi no Hi ni; lit. "On the Day of Departure") may now be the most popular graduation song in Japan. There was a junior highschool that had overcome students' violence by the joy of singing. As the final stage, the principal wrote the lyric, the music teacher wrote the melody, and all the teachers sang it in their graduation ceremony 1991. Since the next year, the students sang it, and it gradually became famous in the neighborhood, then in Japan. The lyrics are fit for the graduates to sing except one line (not "we" but "you are going to fly away").

"桜" (Sakura; lit. "Cherry Blossom") is written & sung by a duo "Kobukuro" (rel. in 2005). The lyrics are like: "Every time cherry blossom petals fall and scatter, one more feeling which can't reach someone is wiped away by the tears and the smiles, and we grow a little older". Also other musicians have written & sing other "Sakura" and the tone of the lyrics somewhat resemble. In many areas of Japan, cherry blossoms bloom & fall in the weeks of graduation ceremonies & entrance ceremonies.

In Japan, there are many other songs that were written for graduation ceremonies or that students associate with graduation.


Aogeba Tôtoshi (from Sakura Gakuin 2014)

romaji lyric English translation
    of Sakura Gakuin's own interpretation
notes
 
Aogeba tootoshi wa ga shi no on. If we look back, we were thankfully
    supported always by our graduates, our staff, and our fans.
1
Oshie no niwa ni mo haya iku tose. Since we entered Sakura Gakuin,
    how many years have passed?
Omoeba ito toshi kono toshitsuki. Though we have experienced various things,
    our school life has passed so quickly.
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Now is the time to depart. Until the day we meet again.2
 
Tagai ni mutsumishi higoro no on. When we were together,
    we felt everything we did to be delightful.
Wakaruru nochi ni mo yayo wasuru na. Even after graduation parts us away,
    our bonds shall never fade.
Mi o tate na o age yayo hageme yo. Towards becoming a super lady who can be active worldwide,
    we continue to advance.
3
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Today is the day to depart. Until the day we meet again.
 
Asayuu narenishi manabi no mado. Until we got exhausted,
    we exercised together in our studio.
Hotaru no tomosibi tsumu shirayuki. Feeling regret, we have cried many times.
    We have always faced seriously and supported each other.
4
Wasururu ma zo naki yuku toshitsuki. The memories with the members,
    we will never forget, even after we grow up.
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Now the time has come.
    Good-bye until the day we meet again.
2
 
Iza saraba. We are parting now. Bye-bye.5
Iza saraba. This is a new departure. Bye-bye.
Iza saraba. Until the day we meet again.

Notes

  1. "Aogeba" (= aogu) means "to look up at/to" and "tootoshi" means "precious". Sakura Gakuin replaced these with "kureta" (= kureru; lit. "give"). This is a very common word which should be attached to every verb that refers to other's action that is beneficial to the speaker.
  2. Sakura Gakuin replaced "saraba" with "mata au hi made". I insert "good-bye" as supplement on the third time. "Saraba" is an archaic form of "sayônara". Both are most common words for leaving. Both literally mean "if it is so" & imply "if that is all to be done", etc., and the 'then' clause "then I leave you now", etc. is omitted.
        For "また逢う日まで" (mata au hi made), "お元気で" (o-genki de) or "お幸せに" (o-shiawase ni) or something is omitted (but not so often omitted). That is "{ Take care of yourself / I wish you happy } until the day we meet again". The date is, however, undetermined. This phrase suggests the day may never come. It was used as the title of a movie in which a man becomes a soldier and goes to war leaving his sweetheart.
  3. In many Japanese music textbooks, the whole second chorus is now omitted (since about 1980?). The publishers said some teachers had claimed "mi o tate na o age" (= to rise in the world, to win fame) is difficult to teach. In developing countries or in growing industries, those who really make the society rich, as a result, rise in the world and win the fame, but there are only few such honest chances in mature societies.
        Sakura Gakuin replaced these with "becoming a super lady" which is one of Sakura Gakuin's Principles. The goals are difficult to find. I don't want Sakura Gakuin's graduates to think it so seriously that they die young like rock musicians in 1960s & 1970s.
  4. Just like "蛍の光" (Hotaru no Hikari), "hotaru no tomoshibi" & "tsumu shirayuki" come from Chinese historical facts that, instead of lamps, one poor boy studied under fireflies' glow and another studied with the moonlight reflected by the snow, and afterwards both became high governmental officials.
        Sakura Gakuin replaced the facts with their own hard days, but those who don't know the facts may think this phrase simply means various things in summer and winter (= in a year).
  5. The original lyric doesn't contain these 3 lines.

Aogeba Tôtoshi (original 1884)

romaji lyricEnglish translationnotes
 
Aogeba tootoshi wa ga shi no on. If we look up at, precious is the benefit given by our teachers.  1
Oshie no niwa ni mo haya iku tose. In this school, how many years have we already spent?  6
Omoeba ito toshi kono toshitsuki. If we think back, so quickly these years have gone.
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Let's part away just now! Farewell now.  2
 
Tagai ni mutsumishi higoro no on. We were intimate with each other. Those days are the benefit.
Wakaruru nochi ni mo yayo wasuru na. Even after we part away, never forget it!
Mi o tate na o age yayo hageme yo. To rise in the world, to win fame, let's try hard!  3
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Let's part away just now! Farewell now.
 
Asayuu narenishi manabi no mado. We were always familiar with this class room.  7,8
Hotaru no tomosibi tsumu shirayuki. Fireflies glowed in summer. White snow lay in winter.  4
Wasururu ma zo naki yuku toshitsuki. We shall never forget for a moment these passing years.
Ima koso wakareme. Iza saraba. Let's part away just now! Farewell now.

Notes

  1. "Oshie no niwa" is literally "the garden of teaching". It is an obsolete idiom for a school campus.
  2. "Asayuu" is literally "morning & evening", but it is used here to mean "all the day" or "every day".
  3. "Manabi no mado" is literally "the window of learning". It is an obsolete idiom for a class room.

仰げば尊し (original 1884)

仰げば尊し 我が師の恩
教への庭にも はや幾年
思へばいと疾し この年月
今こそ別れめ いざさらば

互いに睦し 日頃の恩
分かるる後にも やよ忘るな
身を立て名を上げ やよ励めよ
今こそ別れめ いざさらば

朝夕馴れにし 学びの窓
蛍の灯火 積む白雪
忘るる間ぞ無き 行く年月
今こそ別れめ いざさらば

(* In some texts, some words are written in kana insteatd of kanji.)

仰げば尊し (from Sakura Gakuin 2014)

振り返ってみると、いつも支えてくれたのは、卒業生や先生方 そして父兄の皆さん
さくら学院に入学して何年たっただろう?
色んなことがあったけど、あっという間の学院生活
さぁ、旅立つ時 また逢う日まで。

一緒にいると何をしてても楽しく感じた日々。
卒業して離れ離れになっても、褪せることのない 絆
世界で活躍できるスーパーレディーに向かって、歩み続ける
さぁ、旅立ちの日 また逢う日まで。

クタクタになるまで一緒にレッスンしたスタジオ
悔しくて何度も泣いて、どんな時も本気で向き合って、支え合ってきた
みんなとの想い出、大人になっても絶対忘れないよ
さぁ、時が来た また逢う日まで。

これでお別れだね、じゃあね!!
新しい出発だよね、バイバイ!
また逢う日まで。

2 comments :

  1. Du Enki san,

    thanks a lot for the transcription and translation and notes for the song!!

    A small correction (sort of): "in 1984, a Japanese hardcore punk band "The Stalin" already covered this song". Yes but no, I mean, it wasn't The Stalin who recorded it, but Michiro Endô in his solo (cassette) album, "Vietnam Legend", with Jun Obiga (The Willard) and other musicians. Nevertheless (and that's why I said it was only 'sort of' a correction) I think The Stalin (by that time, a name for Endo's band, with constantly changing new members) were playing Aogeba totoshi live by 1984 and as a fact "they" recorded it in their 'last' concert from Feb. 1985. BTW I knew the song for the first time via Endo's version; I guessed it was some popular old song and then I found it in different places like, say, Kinoshita's "24 Eyes" movie (Nijushi no hitomi, 1954) where it's sung several times. I was surprised when the Sakura Gakuin version appeared, since I thought it was a song most of the people in Japan rejected nowadays (in relation to what you explain in this post). The song has an article in the English Wikipedia.

    Well I guess I wrote too much for today. See you! ;)

    Fernando :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for correcting.
      I've added his name. I knew the song was released under the name of ENDO Michiro but wanted to show the name of The Stalin.

      When Japanese schools still had much authority, young people felt antipathy toward it and therefore toward this song. Now most Japanese rarely feel oppression of authority, so young people don't felt antipathy toward this song even if they are told the meaning of the lyrics.

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