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Archive for the ‘translations’ Category

Reijin was in 1982.  This gem here is 1972.  He really likes this taboo stuffs doesn’t he…… And it won him his first big prizes, I’m a bit puzzled. But maybe I shouldn’t be, because he managed to cry while singing this song at least 2 times.

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Doesn’t he look like the crying Nam Goong Min 10 years ago?  Moving on.  Let me go look up who wrote the lyrics for this masterpiece first. Michio Yamagami. Don’t know him. The tune isn’t even pleasant. Let’s see who wrote it. Kunihiko Kase. Whut! He’s supposed to be good. Why oh why….. Whatever. The point is, Julie sung this song and rose to fame in his early days.  I firmly believe it was his performance that gave any value to this crazy melodramatic song. I mean at least Goddess and Reijin were catchy, Goddess even had delicious lyrics. This tune is like crying over a dead cat.  I just bought my first Sawada record. It’s a 1976, I’m praying this song won’t be in there, but my hope looks slim.

許されない愛 – Forbidden Love (1972)
lyrics: Michio Yamagami
music: Kunihiko Kase

though it’s impossible to forget you
i still want to forget you
when we met it was already too late
after the fire of love burned
there was only ashes of despair left
i hold on to it tightly
and will continue to live on
but if you were here
if you were next to me, I would
run immediately to you and embrace you
i want to take you and run away

though it’s impossible to forget you
i still want to forget you
no one is willing to forgive this fated love
if you have a place you can go back to
then i can only pray for your happiness on my own
but if it’s the love that will consume your life
then i will be right by your side
and steal a place [for us] to run away

.
Which version of this hot mess should i feature first? Maybe his brown on bronze 1972 Kohaku performance?  I think he didn’t cry there but he looked damn near.

The reason why I brought this song up today is because of the next video. He won 2 prizes for it in 1972, “Japan Records Award” for his mad singing skillz and the “Japan Cable Award” for …. mad singing skillzzzz again.  The clip with him in an all pink suit (not sure if it’s his favorite princess pink suit or he actually went out and bought a peach one for the occasion) is when he won the Japan Records Award, a coveted prize.  His old time friend and fellow singer, Akiko Wada, who also won, was so excited (probably for both of them) that she grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him up on stage, it’s a famous incidence.  Sawada looked so meek following her up on stage because Wada was tall, short haired, and manly looking woman, while Sawada was the skinny long hair maiden lol..  You will notice that he used his hand to tap his head, which is what Japanese people do when they are embarrassed or feel foolish, I have seen him doing that when he forgot lyrics or when he sang badly.  When they got onto the stage, the Wada was still holding him firmly by the wrist and didn’t let go for another 5-6 seconds. You can even see that he put his other hand on her shoulder to help calm her.  All of this confounded him so the excitements of winning his first big award didn’t kick in until he started singing his winning (depressing) song.  And then he was just crying his eyes out ha ha.  And he rolled with it like a champ, sort of like hey this is a sad song! LOL  So cute.  It’s worth sitting through this Forbidden Love number the 2nd time….. By the way, the voice over the whole clip is his, he had some sort of talk show program that ran for quite a while, this show was broadcasted almost right after the award in 1972, his young voice sounds so charming.

This Wada-Sawada couple were gossip worthy materials back in the days, apparently.  But they were just good friends, going back to the days both of them were in Osaka.  The wiki article on Wada said that she was something like the the alpha delinquent girl on the street, but Sawada alone  would not bow to her.  (デビュー前、地元大阪では女番長(当時の類語としてズベ公、スケバン)として名を馳せていたものの、唯一沢田研二(正義感が人一倍強く、血気盛んだった)にだけは頭が上がらず、睨まれ縮こまってしまったほどである.)

Wada-san was so manly lol.

I remember now, later on she showed up in a comedy skit with Sawada, man she’s tall.

Here they are again, you can see that they are very familiar with each other:

This song’s only saving grace is that the lyrics are so easy to understand. Like you could have dumped the entire thing into google translate without needing me.

 

Sawada sang this song in the mid 70’s, a surprisingly somber song compared to his usual repertoire outside of recitals in my opinion.  I highly recommend it.  I like this song sung in Sawada’s young, still somewhat boyish voice. The weariness of the lyrics and the somber music make a great contrast to the sweetness of the voice and even a note of innocence in it.  I’m not sure if I have my reasons stated correctly, just a feeling. He sang it like a melancholy lullaby.

流転 — Wanderer (1976)
lyrics: Tokiko Kato
music: Katsuo Ōno

a man sees himself in a dream
he’s by himself and is blown by the wind
he’s left to be carried by waves and storm
and he’s alone in his lonely existence

along the way there had been companions
strangers met in glamorous metropolis
but if they wanted to talk, then the night was getting late
and in the morning, only painful goodbyes awaited.

the more they talked about dreams
the whiter lonelier the morning were
without a single word [each] turned their backs
no one talked to each other and got on the train

there had been women he loved
there had been women who clung
what was he looking for
was it a journey of endless goodbyes

looking back, when was it, how long ago
the dreams he used to have as a kid
the ship with white sails docking in the harbor
the men who crossed and returned from the turbulent seas.

Since then, not sure if it was because he was too busy
now all there’s left is a tired and worn out man
a wandering emptiness
wandering without knowing whither
wandering without knowing whither

 

recorded performance is below. I think Tokiko Kato, the singer, lyricist (etc., etc.) who provided the lyrics to this song, is the lady playing the guitar — I just googled, yep, that’s her.


バタフライ・ムーン — Butterfly Moon (1981)
lyrics: Yoshiko Miura
music: Kenji Sawada 

red scarves swaying in the wind
men are all surrounding
break into steps, whistle some music, carnival

on the tables along the path
tequila and champagne
if you drink like you are bathing in them
you can grow feathers on your back.

hey! life is butterfly,
always flying from one flower to the next
life is butterfly,
always flying under the moonlight, hey!

no matter, things you hate, people you hate
just link arms and dance til sunrise
foolish men and foolish women’s lives are all the same
it’s useless to bow your head to pretend what you are not

hey! life is butterfly
always light up and then it flowers
life is butterfly
burn bright until you reach the end

hey! life is butterfly
always  burn bright and then it flowers
life is butterfly
burn bright until you reach the end, oh yeah!

la la la butterfly la la la la butterfly
la la la butterfly la la la la butterfly
la la la butterfly la la la la butterfly
la la la butterfly la la la la butterfly

I like this song but there isn’t much to say about it.  Sawada wrote the tune and someone else gave him the lyrics.  I wonder if he wrote the tune with ideas about the lyrics in mind, and then went to the lyricist to ask for the words. The lyrics sound like him, the kind of song he likes to sing.
There only one live performance I could find on youtube:

 

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Kenichi Hagiwara ((萩原健一;  26 July 1950 – 26 March 2019) used to sing in a band called PYG with Kenji Sawada after The Tigers disbanded in 1971.  Originally Hagiwara was the lead singer of The Tigers’ rival band, The Tempters, but after the group sounds era was coming to an end by the early 70’s, Sawada formed PYG with lead singers from his 2 rival bands, The Tempters and The Spiders.  Sawada seemed to have maintained all of his friendships with these people after they went their own separate ways.  Before Hagiwara passed away, he was reported to have said that back in the group sounds (GS) days, one time after a concert, a bunch of GS singers got rounded up by the yakuza, shuttled to a high class club and ordered to sing for them.  Everyone was very frightened, but Julie alone refused to sing. He said it flat out.

I got this anecdote from a fan’s comment on youtube, the original text is here:

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That story reminds me that it’s probably the same Julie that punched the guy who called him “bumpkin Julie” on the bullet train in 1976 that ended up with “mouth injury” for the guy and “hand injury” for Sawada.  Last night when I pulled up the first video clip below, which I have been avoiding due to the godawful red-polka-dots-on-white suit that hurts my eyes, while combing through the comments for interesting stories or any useful info, someone said “His hand is injured.”  Ah. That footage was aired in 1976 :))

Here’s Julie singing sweetly in French after that train incidence (he had to go on national TV to apologize and then didn’t get a Kohaku invitation that year). It looks like both “Elle” clips were filmed for the French audience, so that would explain how he got out of his 1 month time out at home. They must have filmed him against a green screen and then shipped that to the French, the French cut him out and put him on a psychedelic background…… Watch his right hand. It will help you ignore the suit. He also has another purple polka dots on white suit which is equally godawful, I’m ignoring the clip with him wearing that suit for now.

Ha, it’s French! I can do French!  Kinda….. I mean sometimes his pronunciation got me muddled.  Kenji Sawada actually got, like, 4 French records released in europe, and about 2-3 English records released in Australia, England and elsewhere in Europe.  Watanabe Productions wanted to spread his fame abroad but it didn’t catch on. He did make a little bit of a name for himself in France when his first French record came out, it made it to the chart in France at one point, so some French people know about him, and you will occasionally see French comments under his video clips, especially the French songs.

Elle (エル) — She (1976)
(no clue who wrote it)

elle, like a sweet symphony
played softly
in the middle
of the night
a child’s dream
and i love her, oh i love her

elle, like the italian sky
with a flock of white birds
like a whole life 
that makes time dance
and I love her, oh I love her

elle, she’s so beautiful
and she’s distant
an image oh~
elle, unreal like a dream
a faraway journey 

elle, like the drops of rain
falling on my day 
a nostalgia
a foolish memory
and i love her,oh  i love her

elle, she’s so beautiful
she’s faraway
like an image oh~
elle, unreal like a dream
a distant journey

elle, she’s so beautiful
she’s faraway
like an image oh~
elle, unreal like a dream
a distant journey …..

I found another clip of him singing the same song, this time with only 1/2 the amount of bandaging.  I think I remember now, even though he didn’t win much domestically, this was the year his Elle record made it to the chart in France, so some people from France showbiz came over to present him with some….thing.  I’ll dig that clip up in time.  This checker light blue suit didn’t make my eyes feel any better. Perhaps Elle is cursed with bad fashion, that’s why she ran away.

I mentioned earlier that I found him to be a boyish sort of man when he is not wearing his Julie persona.  The best videos so see him in this aspect are the ones he was the victim of Japan’s Candid Camera program.  They played all sorts of practical jokes on him, some are pretty tame, like this one where they got a Shinto priestess to do some weird stuffs with him, and he sniffed it out, so the joke failed. But other ones, they took his car apart, or they sent a beautiful actress to pose as his hardcore fan and stripped naked in front of him etc….  The Sawada featured in this clip is incredibly cute though.  Appearance wise, you wouldn’t be able to imagine how beautiful he can get, judging by the footages, lol.

 

 

I’m at the point where whatever Julie touches, that can also get translated or studied, so here’s a fun song with a sizzling hot singer/actress.  I had so much fun watching this video, I want to feature it.  This is me guessing my way through my trusty google translate and fanyi engine.

愛の水中花 – Flower of Love
lyrics by: Hiroyuki Itsuki
music by: KOMATSUBARA MASASHI
singer: Keiko Matsuzaka

this is love, that is love, maybe love, surely love
I’m so lonely and I can’t cry
I want tears to softly wet my cheeks
I am alone on the bed  in my room
dreaming of a little blue love 

so give this dry flower some water
one golden lemon
please squeeze in on my chest 
I’m a flower of love 

this is love, that is love, maybe love, surely love
because I’m sad, and I can’t get drunk
I want to try it softly on you chest
it’s true life isn’t like a drama
so just let me dream tonight at least

give this dry flower some water
a glass of rosy wine
please gently pour it over my chest
i am the flower of love 

this is love, that is love, maybe love, surely love

You need to watch Keiko Matsuzaka as she walks toward the guys before the fun begins.

Here she is singing the whole song while sizzling:

 

渚のラブレター Love Letter By The Shores (1981)
lyrics by: Yoshiko Miura
music by: Kenji Sawada 

it’s the last night, so let’s go for a walk
two people on the nearly empty path
this makes me remember
when we first met, how it felt

acting like lovers, walking side by side
sometimes leaning for a kiss, acting like heros
we walk toward the cold winds,
heading for the shores 

my quiet whistling
is my love letter
baby, the goodbye you said
there is still time to take back

you kept your silence
and listened to our footsteps
since this is our last night together
let me just be honest with you
you’re the only one
that i have ever shed tears
i won’t be able to find another

my quiet whistling
is my last love letter
baby, the goodbye you said
there is still ltime to take back
last love letter 

.

Today I was watching some Japanese music program that talked about Kenji’s Sawada songs in the 80’s, and the critics agreed that his voice is what’s called a velvet voice. That cleared up a lot of confusion for me. I’m not very knowledgeable about music in general, so sometimes I find it hard to categorize stuffs or describe stuffs. Like it took someone to say “Sawada’s voice is sweet” for me to jump in delight and agree, yes! that’s it! his voice is sweet.  But sweetness doesn’t completely describe it, especially when you hear him going from the low notes rising with force into the high notes, it’s always something I greatly enjoy listening to.  In that ascendence, there is thickness and richness to it, but it’s not strong, it’s more liquid.

“Love Letter By The Shores” (渚のラブレター nagisa no love letter) is Sawada’s own music composition, lyrics by Ms. Yoshiko Miura. Behold frenchman Julie — if I hadn’t run across “velvet” today, I would have titled this post “frenchman Julie”. First up are the most popular versions of the song, it was also sung this way in his 1981 CD.  I favor the video from dailymotion, but if that doesn’t work out, the youtube video is acceptable.

in this version, he missed a note :))

The second version I’m posting here is a slower and artsy version of this song. I like it because the closeups of Sawada in this video is so pretty.  I am saying this coming out of 6 hours watching him in the 1975 noir-soap-opera called 悪魔のようなあいつ.  I’ve now concluded that Sawada has one of those “model” faces, the kind that doesn’t look too striking or amazing or radiating like normal beautiful people do.  But he has individual charms in his features, and if you do something about those features, he’s 100% transformed.   Also, he’s not special until he looks at you, and speaks to you.  I don’t know if you have ever met people like that, but i have. His eyes are not beautiful until they settle on you, same thing with his mouth.  That’s why he looks so amazing in his music videos or on stage, because he’s always directing his looks and his singing at the camera. Also watch for his high notes in this song ❤

The third version of the song is sung by Julie on stage when his colleagues celebrated his 33rd birthday in the summer of 1981. He’s  relaxed and happy.

random short interview regarding this song with Sawada acting like his usual self. Hiroshi Miyagawa (a composer) said something ugly about Sawada on the newspaper regarding Sawada’s composition “To speak plainly, it’s not good”. In response to that comment, Sawada said something like this song has been selling really well (I think that’s what he said??) and then something else  before the “ha ha ha” and running off :))

Hiroshi Miyagawa used to write songs for Sawada and also arranged at least 1 song for him.  Like this one, for example, which Sawada wrote lyrics and music, Miyagawa did the arrangement.

found another version

In 1982, Kenji Sawada was invited to the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen for the 10th time. The previous year, his appearance caused quite a stir, I was expecting to see him even more crazy in 1982, but no, he appeared almost motionless for the first part of the song.  But the nearly motionless Julie was fascinating to watch nevertheless.  His makeup got much more suitable for his face, like this time he actually wanted to look good.  The music itself has some surprises for the viewer, because at first I thought I knew where it was going, but no, half way through it got loud and also passionate.  I think Sawada’s performance matched well with the stage’s UFO background.  The tune is strange, not what you would typically expect to hear.  He won awards for this song — one from Japan Record Award and the other from Japan Music Award.

6番目のユ・ウ・ウ・ツ– the 6th melancholy (1982)
lyrics by: Yoshiko Miura
music by: Akira Nishihira

Whenever I feel like crying
I am always looking at the Maddona’s smile…  hey
take that lace hankerchief
and give it to me
good lover

the lipstick that’s on my lips
…. don’t wipe it off
i can see
everyone is daydreaming with you
so just let me go alone 

the room is overflowing with love
this room is so warm
just like a safety zone

every single day, I cannot fall asleep
so depressing, hah! hah! hah!
every single day, I cannot live
and cannot love ha ha ha

— even if i hold you–
— even if you hold someone else–
both still make me melancholy 

to you they are glass slippers
to me they are ice slippers…. so fitting
I want to pursue
the dream that never ends
surely it must be better than right now
Like blood that keeps on bleeding
if there is an unknown knife that cuts
that area must be a misty zone 

 every single day, I cannot fall asleep
so depressing hah! hah! hah!
every single day, I cannot live
and cannot love ha ha ha

–even if i hold you–
–even if you hold someone else–
both still make me melancholy 

every single day, I cannot fall asleep
so depressing hah! hah! hah!
every single day, I cannot live
and cannot love ha ha ha

–even if i hold you–
–even if you hold someone else–
both still make me melancholy

(English translation made possible with the help of the Chinese translation on this blog)

There are many versions of this song on youtube, and for a good reason.  He was going all out with the MV’s for this song. I recently found one MV where he had it set up like a musical, and the feel of that stage made me think of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.  You see for yourself.  Must have been hundreds of extras on that set…..

Next up is a noir version.  At one point I thought he would take off his glasses and toss them into the audience, but no, he hung on to them and carefully put them into his pocket :))

And last but not least, it’s a rather famous version of this song, Sawada wearing a glitter jacket with his own face on it :))

Here’s a fun clip of him explaining what the female voice sings at the beginning of the song (I heard I dont need your la fa sol, la fa sol, la fa sol, oy) . Just wait for it, you will see his mad English skillzzz


happenings right now

Later!

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