About

What will a Child learn sooner than a song?
What better teach a Foreigner the tongue?

–Alexander Pope

I currently teach British Literature and AP Literature and Composition in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the time to translate much lately, but I will update this blog with translations of Japanese lyrics and poetry as often as I can. This is as much a learning tool for me as it is a resource for those of you looking for English adaptations of Japanese songs and poems. I have found that many online translations sound stiff and awkward, so my goal is to adapt Japanese lyrics so that they sound natural in English. Unfortunately, I don’t always succeed, and I ask that you comment if you find any errors. I hope to someday post translations of short stories, as well.

To hear some great music, visit the favorites section of my YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/Tetsuos2ndComing?feature=mhee

All original content on this blog © Alex Fyffe, unless otherwise noted. All translations © Alex Fyffe and the original authors, unless otherwise noted.

26 thoughts on “About

  1. Greetings!
    I’ searching for a zen poem that I read in a book about zazen.It was called the butcher’s song of zazen,If I remember correctly.It described how a butcher who became one with his work was able to keep the same cleaver for many years while others had to keep replacing theirs.It was part of a story about a prince seeking how to run his kingdom.
    Beyond that and the fact it was of Japanese origin is all I can recall.Do you have any leads as to the book’s title it was found in?
    Sincerely Yours,
    K.Zirk

    • Hello K.Zirk!

      You’ll find the passage concerning Cook Ting in The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu, Chapter 3 “The Secret of Caring for Life” , tr. Burton Watson.

      Sincerely,

      S.N.

  2. Sure. Thanks for letting me know. I wish I had the time and the energy to tinker with them a little bit, but if you’re happy with them, feel free to re-post them elsewhere.

  3. Nice to meet you, Alex.
    I am a Japanese music enthusiast, who have just noticed your translation of Kengo Iuchi. Great work !
    I am enjoying your other translations, too.

    Now, since 1999, Mr.Iuchi seems not playing his music for a long time. I have recently heard from his fellow that he is still living somewhere in his home ground Shikoku area.
    He should be called a real prodigy of “Alternative Japan”. Surely I hope his return.

    • Nice to meet you, too, Hirotomo-san. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message. I have both of Iuchi’s late-90s albums, and they are terrifying. Great work. I wonder why he hasn’t produced any new material in all this time. Maybe he said what he had to say.

      Do you recommend any artists who you haven’t seen on my blog? I’m always looking for more music, and if you like Iuchi then you must know some other interesting musicians.

  4. Hello there Alex,

    I wanted to request you something. I have the Kazuki Tomokawa DVD Shibuya Apia and I wish to create english subtitles for everyone to understand the beautiful lyrics and the complexity of his poems. Your translations are the best I ever found on the internet and I would like to request if you’re interested in translating the concert (there are 15 songs in that concert still untranslated). If you you’re interested please mail me.

    I wanted to congratulate you for your amazing site too!

    Cheers!

    • I would certainly be interested in tackling more of Tomokawa’s work, but I can’t promise anything would be done in a timely manner. If you would still like to collaborate, though, let me know how I can get access to the material. Thanks.

  5. Hello,Alex.
    I am Serata Minami.

    Thank you for introducing a me’s manga.

    I am very happy to know that you read me’s manga in a place across an ocean.

    And, I’m glad that you like Japanese culture.

    I love American culture,
    especially music and movies.

    I am not good at English,sorry.

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    私の漫画を紹介してくれてありがとうございます
    海を渡った遠く離れた場所で
    あなたが私の漫画を読んでくれていることを知って私はとても嬉しいです
    そして、あなたが日本の文化を好きでいてくれていることは
    私にとってもとても喜ばしいことです
    私もアメリカの音楽や映画が大好きです
    英語が下手でごめんなさい

    ありがとう(^_^)

    • Serata-san,
      Thank you so much for commenting on my site. Your comics in AX 51 and 53 were my two favorites. I love the art style and the lovely coming of age themes. Truly wonderful work. I always wanted to translate 「ゆめふうりん」 at some point, but I haven’t been too active on the blog since teaching took over my life. One day, though, I would love to scan that story, too, if it is all right with you. Unfortunately, I do not have any of your other manga, but I would be thrilled to see more of your work in the future. Is there any way I could order your manga online? Do you have a manga collection? If so, you can e-mail me at alex.fyffe@gmail.com. I would be happy to hear from you.

      Take care.

      世良田さん、コメントありがとうございます!(日本語であまり書けないけど頑張ります)アックス51と53に世良田さんの漫画はいちばん好きでした。絵も成人のテーマも好きです。すごいマンガだと思います。いつか「ゆめふうりん」という漫画を訳したいけど、このブログ最近アップデートできなかって、以来ずっと英語文学の先生になりました。お許しいただけるなら、いつか「ゆめふうりん」を訳します。残念に、世良田さんのほかの漫画がありません。もっと読みたいです。漫画単行本(漫画のコレクション)がありますか?なら、オンラインで注文できますか?あれば、alex.fyffe@gmail.com でメールできます。お便りを待ちしています。

      お元気で。

  6. I’ve come across your blog today (searching for some poetry by Terayama Shuji) and I wanted to both congratulate you for the hard work and thank you. I am currently learning Japanese, and as I am also interested in Japanese culture, I’m always willing to discover more of its different aspects. English is my first foreign language, and I’m planning on making Japanese my second… Hopefully, in a few years! Anyhow, thank you for your hard work! I think your blog is wonderful!

  7. Also, I was wondering if you know of a piece of poetry by Terayama Shuji that goes like this ”When I am sad, I look at the ocean, When I am all alone at night, I also look at the ocean” (悲しいくなくた時に海を見に行く 一人ぼちの夜も海を見に行く or something like that – I’ve heard the bit in a movie, so I’m not that sure that’s entirely how it sounds, much less how it’s written). I loved the bit, but somehow I can’t get across it on mighty Google. I would be ever so grateful if you could cast some light upon the matter. Thanks in advance, and I suppose I should also apologise for being rather discourteous, given the fact that I just came about your blog and I’m already asking things. ^^

    • Ups, nevermind, I just saw you’ve posted the respective poem on your blog. I missed it on my first search. No idea how to delete the post, but if you could, I won’t mind. Thanks!

      • No problems. Again, thank you for your kind words. As you discovered, you can find the poem under “Whenever I am melancholy I go out to watch the sea,” I believe. I hope you like it.

  8. Hello Alex I hope you don’t mind a request for a song translation, but I cant find a translation for this song anywhere. The song is 死んだらそれでサヨウナラ by Usagi on their only album アケミさんとミドリさん. I actually can’t even find the lyrics in Japanese. I hope you like the challenge of getting the lyrics by ear. I understand if you are too busy to do this project, but i hope you will. Here is a link to a youtube video with the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGxPSUAt3X8. If I do end up finding the Japanese lyrics I’ll post them as a reply to this post.

    • Andrew White, thank you for the request–I’ve loved Midori for a long time, but I had never heard of Goto’s first band, Usagi. It’s a good listen. I had to dig around for the lyrics, but I was able to find them somewhere down there in the Web. You’ll find my (okay) translation posted on the main page under “When I Die, Then That’s Goodbye.”

      • Thank you Alex, I’ve been wanting to know these lyrics for a while now. Normally I don’t mind not knowing the lyrics, but she’s so emotional in the song that I think knowing the lyrics will make it that much better for me. I’m also glad now that there is a translation online for those looking like I was.

  9. Hello, I justo found a song アジアンリゾート/胸キュンディスコティック. I dont really know whats the title and whats the name of the artist, as I do not speak japanese haha, but I like the rithm and the tone of it. If you would be so kind as to traslate it or find the lyrics, I would really thank you. If you have time of course🙂
    http://mp3dll.xyz/track/203121536/hairsalon-sqhjoygywgdx Thats it, thanks

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