“Hantoumei Shoujo Kankei” by Zazen Boys

半透明少女関係
向井秀徳

都市は騒 鳴る救急車か消防車
夕方時間 そろそろ火が付く甘い予感
北から南 全国共通の営み
肉体の欲求 全世界共通の呼吸

KANKEIない KANKEIない 俺と貴様は関係ない それでもどっかでつながる関係

半透明少女があそこで漂流しよるよ
DRIFTING GIRL そのとんがらがってる口元はKANKEIを求めてた
夕方時間をさまよって 関係者が見つかったかどうかは俺には関係ない

KANKEIない KANKEIない 俺と貴様は関係ない 夕方時間の関係

KANKEI KANKEI 俺と貴様は関係ない 俺と貴様は関係ない
関係ない 関係したい 関係もちたい KANKEI

「関係者出てこい」

だれかと繋がっとかんと自分の存在が消えてなくなりそうな不安と恐怖に駆られ女はひっきりなしに男を鞍替えしても満たされん関係欲求 そのうすっぺらい半透明の関係を漂流し続けているのは夕暮れの風景の中
コミュニケイション不能状態かなんか知らんばってんがたい だいたい、俺と貴様は関係ない 人と人との繋がりははかない それでもどっかで繋がるこの関係 半透明なKANKEI うっすらぼんやり見え隠れするこの世の諸行の背後関係

Transparent Girl Connection
Mukai Shutoku

The city is disturbed by the siren of an ambulance or fire truck
In the evening, a sweet premonition gradually catches fire
All over the country, from north to south, everyone goes about their lives
All over the world, everyone has desires of the flesh

No connection, no connection, there’s no connection between you and me, and yet, somehow, we are connected

Transparent Girl is adrift over there
Drifting Girl wishes for a connection out of the corner of her mouth
The evening drifts by, but whether or not they found a connection has no connection to me

No connection, no connection, there’s no connection between you and me, no connection to the evening

Connection, connection, there’s no connection between you and me, there’s no connection between us
There’s no connection, but I want to connect, I want to have a connection, connection

“Everyone, come on!”

Failing to form connections creates the anxiety that you will cease to exist and women are driven by fear to leap from one man to the next in a string of unfulfilling sexual relationships. These thin, transparent connections continuously drift by in the evening landscape
Lack of communication frequently leads to misunderstandings. There’s no connection between you and me, connections between people are fleeting, and yet, for some reason, we have these connections, transparent connections. Everything in this thin, vague, wavering world is connected by the past

NOTES:

Some of the dialect in the song was difficult to understand, but I think I’ve interpreted it correctly. For example, 繋がっとかん (tsunagattokan) is the same as 繋がっとおかない (tsunagattookanai), I think, and 繋がっとおかない is the same as 繋がっていない (tsunagatteinai), I think. However, if my understanding of this is inaccurate, please leave me a comment.

The last word in the song is 背後関係 (haigokankei), and both of my dictionaries translate this word as the background of a person or event. It seems that Mukai is also playing off of the word 関係 (kankei), or connection, within this word, as well, so I had to toy around with the ending for a while to come up with something fitting — a connection to the past. More literally, the ending would read, transparent connections, thin, vague, the background of earthly phenomena in this world that appears and disappears.

Mukai also plays with the word 関係 (kankei) by using 関係者 (kankeisha) to refer to the people he talks about. It means something like “concerned parties,” so, for instance, the end of the second verse might also read, and whether or not the concerned parties are found has no connection to me. However, I think he may want us to read 関係者 less as interested parties and more as people (者) with a connection (関係).

夕方時間の関係 — lit. evening time connection. I’m not sure what he means by this at the end of the second chorus. connection in the evening? sunset connection? It doesn’t seem to correlate to the rest of the chorus, so I took some liberties.

「関係者出てこい」 — lit. “Concerned parties, come out.” I thought about, “Everyone, come out,” or, “Everyone, come on out,” but simply writing “Everyone, come on!” seemed to work best. He’s calling those concerned to come out and join him, to get connected.

半透明 — lit. half-invisible, so semi-transparent would be more accurate. And, to paraphrase Frost, translucent is also great, and would suffice.

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“SABAKU” by Zazen Boys

SABAKU

作詞:MUKAI SHUTOKU

ゆれている日曜日 すり抜ける人混み
雨上がりの空は黄色い 気持ち晴れたつもり

東京湾に群がるミヤコカモメの集団
くちばしに食わえたどっかの国のゴミ袋
体毛は黒と白とねずみ色の合間
腹ん中、コンクリートが詰まっていっぱい
反射した品川の鈍い光 まどわされてふらつき
肌、ただれる雨が酸性 染みこんでとてもむずかゆい
夢に触った跡がない 流されていつのまにか消えた
赤くさびた釘 心臓に刺さったまんま

心臓に刺さってる 赤くさびた釘を早くぬいて
心臓に刺さってる 赤くさびた釘を早くぬいて

終末思想ずっと漂う街の気配
でも終わりはぜんぜんやってこないみたい
300円の傘の先端を地面に突き刺す
手ぶらで歩き出す 雨はもう降ってない
砂漠に。砂漠のどっか真ん中に
砂漠に。砂漠のどっか真ん中にいるかんじ
わりと意外なほど、とてもさびしい

ゆれている日曜日 すり抜ける人混み
雨上がりの空は黄色い

割と…さびしい

* * *

Desert

Lyrics: Mukai Shutoku
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

I work my way through a crowd of people on a drifting Sunday,
after it has rained and the sky is yellow, in order to clear my mind

A flock of seagulls are gathered at Tokyo Bay
clutching trash bags from another country in their beaks
Their feathers are shades of black and white and grey
and their stomachs are packed full of concrete
I stagger in a daze in the dim light reflecting off Shinagawa
The acid from the blistering rain has seeped into my skin and itches
Nothing remains of the things I touched in my dreams — they are washed away, suddenly gone
replaced with these red-rusted nails stuck in my heart

Hurry and pull them out, the red-rusted nails stuck in my heart
Hurry and pull them out, the red-rusted nails stuck in my heart

I see signs of the end times in this ever-drifting city
and yet the end never seems to come
I stab the tip of my 300-yen umbrella into the ground
and walk empty-handed now that the rain has stopped
In the desert. Somewhere in the middle of the desert
In the desert. It feels like I’m somewhere in the middle of the desert
and it’s lonelier than I thought it would be

I work my way through a crowd of people on a drifting Sunday
The sky is yellow after the rain

and a little… lonely

Notes:

Trans. 6/6/2009. Revised 10/18/2011.

Another special thanks to Grady Martin for all of his help.

Shinagawa is the name of a river.

I’m not exactly sure what he means by どっかの国のゴミ袋, but it literally translates to “trash bags from a country somewhere.” Whether or not he is implying a specific country without saying it, I don’t know.

“Kimochi” by Zazen Boys

KIMOCHI

作詞:MUKAI SHUTOKU

現代。
着地点はねえ ずっと飛んでるキブン
ヘンタイの思想は共感できん
四季が巡り 色とりどりの人類模様
俺はいつも動揺を押さえきれん
・・・伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

伝達できん自分に腹が立つ
生まれ育ったその環境、歴史、思想すべてブチこんで
表すことが出来ればいい
意味がわからん言葉で意志の疎通を計りたい

犬猫畜生と分かち合いたいのだ
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

伝えたい 伝えたい
貴様に伝えたい 俺のこのキモチを

* * *

Feeling

Lyrics: Mukai Shutoku
Trans.: Alex Fyffe

Present day.
There’s nowhere to land. I feel like I’m forever flying.
I can’t sympathize with perverse thoughts.
Seasons change with all the colors of the human condition.
I can’t contain this constant trembling within me.
. . . I want to explain this feeling.
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

I get frustrated with myself when I can’t communicate.
I wish I could express
my devotion to the environment, history and ideals that gave birth to me.
I want to measure my ability to communicate with words I don’t understand.

I want to share it with the dogs and the cats and the beasts of the field.
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

I want to explain, I want to explain,
I want to explain to you what I’m feeling.

Notes:

Trans. 2008. Revised 2011.