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Utsusemi no koi
Ephemeral Midsummer Love

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Description: [Harukanaru Toki no Naka De] Tachibana no Tomomasa Song

sung by Inoue Kazuhiko

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Original / Romaji LyricsEnglish Translation
Lyrics from
yoimachi no kami no rusu ni shinonda heya
sarasara to hodoku obi wa ruri no koibumi
yami wo mau yubi wa shiroku hakanaki chou
tsumasaki ga hosoku shinari haru mikazuki

Lyrics from
In a room kept secret by the absence of the god who waits for twilight,
the eloquent murmur of an obi's loosening is a lapis-blue love letter.
A finger dancing in darkness is an innocent, ephemeral butterfly
on tiptoe upon the gossamer scenery lit by a springtime crescent moon.

Lyrics from
yuka ni chitta kariginu ga
nukegara ni miete... sameru...

Lyrics from
The hunting garb scattered upon the floor**
looks like the casting off of skin... and an awakening...

Lyrics from
hitori ne no yume   niji wo daku you ni
tookute utsukushii kimi wo   mune ni tojikomeru
utsusemi no koi yo

Lyrics from
In my dreams as I sleep alone, like embracing a rainbow,
you, distant and beautiful, are captured within my heart;
this is an ephemeral midsummer love.*

Lyrics from
enrai ni me wo samaseba yoru no tobari
tsumeato no akai hashi wo kaze ga wataru

Lyrics from
If the distant thunder wakens you, the breeze wanders 
over the crimson arch of nail-marks beneath the curtain of night.***

Lyrics from
tsumi no naki kimi no hohoemi
kono mune no ito (kanji: kinsen) wo... hajiku...

Lyrics from
As you weep with guilt, your smile
breaks all the strings of the harp of my heart.****

Lyrics from
samidare no yume   niji wo matsu you ni
sotto kuchibiru wo yosetai   kimi no hana shizuku
setsuna no eien yo

Lyrics from
In dreams amid the early summer rain, like waiting for a rainbow,
I want to brush our lips together, softly, like the dew upon your flowers
in this momentary eternity.

Lyrics from
hitori ne no yume   niji wo daku you ni
tookute utsukushii kimi wo   mune ni tojikomeru
kurenai (kanji: hi-iro) no yume   niji wo kou you ni
sotto kuchibiru ni umetai   atsuku moeru toge
utsusemi no koi yo

Lyrics from
In my dreams as I sleep alone, like embracing a rainbow,
you, distant and beautiful, are captured within my heart;
In scarlet dreams, like falling in love with a rainbow,
I want to bury myself in your lips, secretly, like their fierce-burning 
this is an ephemeral midsummer love.*

* The dictionary definition of utsusemi is "(n) cicada, cast-off cicada shell,
man of this world, the real world", and it has an additional poetic-usage
connotation denoting late summer (Julyish). "Man of the world" does seem
plausible, because Tomomasa has a reputation as an indolent charmer, but I
think it's trying to imply "hollow love" / "husk of love" and "transient love"
as much as or more than the "worldly/hedonistic/citified" connotations of "man
of the world". Negitoro from the AnimeLyrics forum says that to him it feels
equivalent to hakanai. I can't get all that into one English line and still
have it sound coherent, so I went with "ephemeral midsummer love" to try to
imply the way that the sound of cicadas makes people feel...

** A kariginu is a type of clothing that Heian noblemen wore; the components
of it mean "hunter's silks", and I think the image is of the hunter becoming
prey, being skinned like that which he hunts, so I didn't want to leave it
untranslated the way I might have despite the fact that it has a specific (and
somewhat untranslatable without a picture) definition as a unit of clothing.

***literally bridge rather than arch, and marks left by fingernails, but I
thought that condensing to "arch of nail-marks" sounded better than trying to
get all that into one sentence. Also, it's grammatically fuzzy what the image
of the curtain of the night was tied to; I also considered giving it as "if,
beneath the curtain of night, you are wakened by the distant thunder..."

**** the word is being pronounced in a way that just means "strings," but the
kanji written indicate koto (Japanese harp-like instrument) strings. In
English "the harp of my heart" sounds more natural than "the koto of my
heart," I think.

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