/ Poetry

Yakozen: Juuji-ka

Translation

Piece: Cross / Ten O'Clock
Writer: Pistol Takehara

What's left is tired promises, and
distorted footprints, and that song for someday.
Whether it's to forget or to remember,
Last night was a night, and I drank too much of this again.

"What's something that gets darker, the more the morning light shines on it?
The answer is this life." I mumbled that—or something like that—as I opened the curtain.

Outside the window, faintly I could see,
faintly I could see, the neighborhood church's
Old cross
Old cross
Old cross
"O'Clock"
Ten O'Clock?
Ten O'Clock?
It's already ten o'clock? Oh no, I'm late for work again!!

What's left is tired promises, and
distorted footprints, and that song for someday.
Refreshing feelings zero, I stick my pay stub onto a sweaty patch of me;

One sigh: I walk the nighttime streets.
Two sighs: I walk trudgingly.
Ah, at a time like this, if only I were someone strong, who could depend unwaveringly on God.

When I looked up, faintly I could see,
faintly I could see, the neighborhood's church's
Old cross
Old cross
Old cross
"O'Clock"
Ten O'Clock?
Ten O'Clock?
It's still ten o'clock? Let's go get a drink somewhere.

"Old Cross"

Note

This one has a unique wordplay. The Japanese for "Cross" and "Is it Ten O'Clock?" are nearly homophones ("Juujika" or じゅうじか; Kanji: 十字架 and 十時か). During the chorus, he transitions from the former, to a vague pronunciation (and phonetic spelling) that could be interpreted either way, and then to the latter, as if to imply that looking at the cross reminded him of the time.

Because of the lyrical wordplay in this piece, I took some liberties with the translation in order to preserve what I believe is the more integral part of the song lyrics.

Japanese

歌:「じゅうじか」
作詞:竹原ピストル

残ったものは くたびれた約束と
ゆがんだ足跡と いつかのあの歌
忘れるためなのか 覚えておくためなのか
夕べは夕べで これまた必要以上に飲んだ

"朝日に照らされれば照らされるほど 暗くなってゆくものって な~んだ?
答えはこの暮らしです"とかなんとかブツクサ言いながら カーテンを開けた

窓の外 ボンヤリと
ボンヤリと街の教会の
十字架
十字架
ジュウジカ
じゅうじか
ジュウジか
十時か
もう十時か
もう十時か、ヤベェ、バイト また遅刻だ!!

残ったものは くたびれた約束と
ゆがんだ足跡と いつかのあの歌
爽快感ゼロ 粘ついた労働の汗に 給料袋 ペタンと貼りつけて

ため息ひとつ 夜道を歩く
ため息ふたつ トボトボ歩く
ああ こんな時一心不乱 神様にすがりつけるような強い人間だったらな

見上げれば ボンヤリと
ボンヤリと 街の教会の
十字架
十字架
ジュウジカ
じゅうじか
ジュウジか
十時か
まだ十時か
まだ十時か、どっかで一杯やっていこうか

じゅうじか

(Video)

Nick Giampietro

Nick Giampietro

Nick graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Japanese Literature and a minor in English, and works as a Software Engineer in Portland. He lives with his wife and dog-of-a-cat.

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