Photo by the Author of the Pacific Ocean in Japan
us to see the scars transform
into shiny gems
* * *
As the 11th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunamis on March 11th, 2011 approaches, I’ve reflected on those who had lost their loved ones in the tragedies. In reflecting, I am also grateful for my own healing process from what had transpired in my life. I thank you for sharing this with me for over a year.
Last year in my article, “Healing,” I quoted the piece of beautifully moving song, 群青Azure. The lyrics were made from a collection of many poems that local junior high school students had written since the disaster. The students, who had lost the majority of their classmates either directly from the disasters, or their relocations to other parts of the country, had undergone tremendous emotional difficulties. So, their music teacher, Ms. Miki Oda, had asked them to write poems. She’d put the pieces of the poems together into the lyrics, and composed the music for them. In March 2014, the song was for the first time performed for their graduation from the school three years after the disaster. Later it’s become a national sensation and has been sung by many choirs of all generations throughout the country.
In this prose, I transferred the original Japanese lyrics and song composed by the junior high school students, and the music by Ms. Miki Oda. As shown below, I’ve also translated the original lyrics into English to carry the words and content as close to the original as possible yet enable them to sing along with the music. (One Japanese company, pana musica, had translated the lyrics and recorded. However, neither the translated lyrics nor the recording was found free in the public.)
Here is the YouTube link for the original students’ choir. As you listen to the song, you read the lyrics in English, or you can sing along with them.
あぁ あの町で生まれて 君と出会い
今 旅立つ日 見える景色は違っても
あの日見た夕陽 あの日見た花火 いつでも君がいたね
There, in the town, we were born and met each other
We held myriad sentiments while we spent time together
On this day of departure, you may have seen another landscape
but I know you are looking up this same sky as mine from somewhere afar
“Later,” you waved at me, but would I be sure to see you ’morrow?
I’d never forget the smile on your face, while you’re walking away
The sunset in scarlet,
The fireworks in the dark sky,
and all that we shared side by side
are true happiness out of something ordinary
The ocean where we took a ride on our bicycles,
and all the memories of “us,”
as I closed my eyes,
would brighten my heart in Azure
* * *
涙の後にも 見上げた夜空に 希望が光ってるよ
きっとまた会おう あの町で会おう 僕らの約束は
Three years have passed through in us and all that we experienced.
Yet as the breeze in March strokes my face, … I am thinking of you.
May our song resonate and reach out to you afar beyond the sky.
May our singing voice be sent to all we have loved.
After tears, as you look up at the night sky, hope would shine brilliantly
and wait for us in the town of Azure
Let us meet each other again in this town
Our promise would never fade away ‘cause we believe in our bond of Azure
Let us meet again in this town of Azure
* * *
Please kindly read my article in which I first mentioned this song, “群青Azure,” and our ways to heal our heart and soul in such tragic disastrous situations.