BABYKARATE

Oct. 8th, 2016 11:17 pm
stormsewer: (death)
[personal profile] stormsewer
For better or worse, I'm a sucker for the mixture of elements that come together in Babymetal, so here's a transcription/translation of a favorite song from their newest album. (My last Babymetal translation, of a favorite song from their first album, is here.) This is actually my current Encouragement Anthem.





seiya seiya seiya seiya
soiya soiya soiya soiya1
osu! 2

namida koborete mo

even overflowing with tears
tachi-mukatte yukou ze
we will stand up and face it
hitasura seiya soiya tatakaun da
committed, we will fight, seiya soiya
koboshi o motto, kokoro o motto
more fist, more heart
zenbu zenbu togisumashite
honing everything, everything
madamada seiya soiya tatakaun da
still, we will fight, seiya soiya
kanashiku natte tachi-agarenaku natte mo
even in sorrow, even if we can't stand anymore
osu!

kokoro orarete mo
even if our hearts break
tachi-mukatte yukou ze
we will stand up and face it

[repeat previous lyrics]

hashire!
run!3

Note on the video: At the end and in a few other places you see them making a gesture that is a variant of the sign of the horns. This represents a fox, and is their symbol for the band. Given the content of the song where the meaning of this image is discussed most explicitly, you might not be wrong to say the gesture is a feminist repurposing of a heavy metal trope. Or maybe they're just secret fans of Longhorn Football?



1. I had some trouble with these phrases, but I was heartened to find that there are Japanese people confused by this as well. These are what are called kake-koe in Japanese: phrases that are shouted for encouragement and coordination during group efforts, especially physical ones. They are particularly associated with carrying mobile shrines through the streets on festival days. The Babymetal song "Megitsune" makes use of some similar terms. If I were to translate these, I might go with "all together," but I'll leave them as is, since they don't really have a clearly defined meaning and are used in a somewhat onomatopoeic way.

2. This is a term very much associated with karate and other Japanese martial arts, and even some American styles use the term. Its meaning is somewhat context dependent, but it's said to instructors to mean "I understand and will do as you ask." It can also mean something like "let's get started," and is also used as a general greeting in the dojo. This Japanese blog post waxes rather effulgent in listing several potential meanings of the term (the following are translations of the blue text): "I will discard my own knowledge and views and be receptive as pure white so as to not miss any of the teachings or views of my instructors or seniors." "In times of adversity I will patiently bear the heat and cold of training, the pain and suffering, and the positions and environments I am placed in." "I commit myself to constant and patient self improvement." And the one with the two arrows pointed at it at the end: "I will always have an attitude of respect in my interactions with my instructors, my seniors, my peers, and my juniors, and I will be grateful for environments that allow me to improve myself." So that's a brief survey of what sorts of meaning can be packed into a word like osu.' If I had a pick a single translation for its use in this song, I'd probably settle on "let's go!" but since it's such a slippery term and is used in many martial arts schools in the West, I'll just leave it as is.

3. In English the word "run" is often associated with escaping, but in Japanese, especially in contexts like this, its meaning is more akin to pursuing a goal with maximum effort.

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