桜坂 – Sakura Hill by 福山雅治・Fukuyama Masaharu

Sakura Zaka

As the title gives away, this beautiful song plays also on the theme of Sakura (cherry blossoms). The time when Japan is plunged into a sea of white and pink flowers, is maybe one of the most romantic, on the other hand it may also be a time of longing and heartbreaks. Fukuyama Masaharu’s (福山雅治) Sakura Zaka or Sakura Hill tells such a story.

The major difficulty with the translation of the lyrics here, lay mainly in implying the unsaid, grasping the circumstances, not the vocabulary in itself. Why was that? Whether it is in daily conversation, in writing or song lyrics, Japanese people more often omit or abbreviate (省略・しょうりゃく), leaving the interpretation to the audience. For a non-native to read between the lines so to speak, poses then one of the challenges of the language. From a native point of view though, this allows room for one’s own imagination and embellishment. So actually, each person may have a different perception of the same subject, a personalized version of content, for instance for this very song.

Through this activity here, I became aware of that and no matter how a song is translated, in the end, the result will be the product of my own imagination. This is what I present you herewith:

君よ ずっと幸せに 風にそっと歌うよ
It’s you, I want you to be happy forever, I sing it gently into the wind.

Woo Yeah 愛は今も 愛のままで
Woo Yeah Love, also now is still love

揺れる(ゆれる)木漏れ日(こもれび) 薫る(かおる)桜坂
Flimmering sunlight filtering through trees, sweet smelling Sakura hill

悲しみに似た 薄紅色(うすべにいろ)
The pale pink color a resemblance of sadness

君がいた 恋をしていた
You were there, we loved each other

君じゃなきゃダメなのに ひとつになれず
Even though it can only be you, we can’t become one

愛と知っていたのに
Even though I knew love (I let you go)**

春はやってくるのに
Even though spring has come (we are apart from each other)**

Woo Yeah 夢は今も 夢のままで
Woo Yeah a dream, also now is still a dream

頬(ほほ)にくちづけ 染まる(そまる)桜坂
Like a cheek does from a kiss, dying Sakura hill
(alternative 1: Sakura hill turning into the color of that of a kiss to the cheek)
(alternative 2: Like a kiss to the cheek, dying Sakura hill)
(alternative 3: As a kiss dyes the cheek, so dyes the Sakura hill)
(lit. A kiss to the cheek, dyeing Sakura hill)

抱きしめたい気持ちで いっぱいだった
I was full of feelings to hold you close

この街で ずっとふたりで
Together forever in this city

無邪気(むじゃき)にすぎた約束 涙に変わる
The innocent promise once made, turns into tears

愛と知っていたのに
Even though we knew love (we separated)**

花はそっと咲くのに
Even though the flowers bloom

Woo Yeah 君は今も 君のままで
Woo Yeah You, also now, you are still yourself

逢えないけど
But we can’t meet

季節は変わるけど
Yet season changes

愛しき人
my beloved one

君だけが わかってくれた
Only you could understand me

憧れ(あこがれ)を追いかけて
I chase after aspiration

僕は生きるよ
(but)** I am still alive

愛と知っていたのに
Even though I knew love

春はやってくるのに
Even though spring has come

Woo Yeah 夢は今も 夢のままで
Woo Yeah a dream, also now is still a dream

君よ ずっと幸せに風にそっと歌うよ
It’s you, I want to see happy forever, that’s why I sing it gently into the wind.

Woo Yeah 愛は今も 愛のままで
Woo Yeah Love, also now is still love

**inferred from the context

Source: https://www.youtube.com/

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