exist†trace — Just One

This track is actually harder to translate because of the way it mixes Japanese and English. After reading miko’s blog about it, I’ve chosen to interpret it as for the most part the English words are about the unnamed “you” confronting the woman (the singers). There are places where the subject is really unclear, however. I’ve noted such instances in my translation notes.

You can see the Japanese text of the lyrics at Rock Lyric. The romanized lyrics are below. You can jump to the translated lyrics, or to the excerpt from miko’s blog where she talks about this song. Lastly, Happy July Igu Day!

Just One

What you said? sasayaku tsumori?
Stop that face waraechau ja nai
Like you are supesharu datte?
No more time hima wa nai wa

“I miss you” sukoshi zawameku
Just a girl ONNA desu mono
Beat you up tsuyogari nante
Way too stupid

What’s my name? demo suterarenai
Can’t you see? daijina mono wo
Like I am baka mitai deshou?
There’s no lie about me

watashi de aru tame ni

koukai dekinai kurai oboreta nara
mou raku ni nareru?
sore demo mayotte yureteshimau nara
tsuyoku fukaku tsume wo tatete

What you said? hagemasu tsumori?
Stop that face sunao ni narenai
Like you are supesharu ja nai?
There’s no reason

What’s my name? sagashiteru dake
Can’t you see? tatsu beki basho wo
Like I am meiro no you na
Far away from you

watashi wa doko ni aru

koukai dekinai kurai yogoreta nara
saa nani ka mieru?
sore demo namida no sen wo egaku nara
sotto akai kizu wo namete

aijou mo nikushimi mo kawaranai mama
sugiteyuku jikan ni shibararete
ushinau koto wo osorete nani mo ienai

“anata ni deawanakereba” konna kotoba
sou gara ja nai wa
sore demo kono mune nokoru itami nara
kitto kitto hikari ni naru
koukai dekinai kurai yogoreta kara
ima nani ka mieru
sore hodo nagedashi hoshigaru mono nara
tsuyoku fukaku tsume wo tatete

madoromu hima wa nai wa

What you said? sasayaku tsumori?
What’s my name? watashi wa koko ni

Just One

What’d you say? Was that supposed to be a whisper?
Stop making that face, this isn’t something you can laugh at
Like you’re special, you say?
No more time, I don’t have free time!

“I miss you” There’s a little stir
Just a girl? No, I’m a woman
Beat you up? Playing strong, that’s way too stupid

What’s my name? But you can’t throw it away1
Can’t you see what’s important?
Like I’m stupid or something, huh?
There’s no lie about me

In order for me to be myself…

If I drown in you to the point I can’t even regret it,2
will it get easier then?
But if I’m lost and wavering even then,
I’ll dig my nails in strongly, deeply

What’d you say? Was that supposed to be encouraging?
Stop making that face, you can’t be honest
Like you’re special, huh?
There’s no reason

What’s my name? You’re just searching
Can’t you see where you should be standing?
Like I’m something like a labyrinth
Far away from you

How do I fit into this?3

If I’ve been dirtied to the point I can’t even regret it,
well, will I be able to see something then?
But if I’m drawing tear trails on my face even then,
Then I’ll lick my red wounds in private, and sleep

Love and hate unchanging
Bound in place by the passing time
Afraid of what I’ll lose, I can’t say anything

“I have to meet you” These words…
That’s right, they’re so unlike me
Even so, if there’s pain remaining in my heart,
I’m sure, absolutely sure, it’ll turn into light
Because I’ve been dirtied to the point I can’t even regret it,
now I’ll be able to see something
If it’s something I want badly enough to sacrifice that much for it,
I’ll dig my nails in strongly, deeply

I don’t have time to doze off

What’d you say? Was that supposed to be a whisper?
What’s my name? I’m right here

Excerpt from miko blog, September 16, 2014

And next, “Just One!” This track was also re-recorded from the Diamond single. Why was this track included again? Well, that would be…precisely because this track also got excellent reactions at the live shows!

When I’m at the merchandise tables during a live show event, I get to hear various reactions from many different people. One of those times, someone said to me, “I got so excited during this song that I ran and busted up to the front!” That made me so happy I nearly cried!

Also, each time we perform this song live, the band members say, “I put my feelings into it way too much, and end up performing emotionally!” Apparently, that’s how strongly they empathize with the lyrics.

A woman with a strong sense of purpose takes on that which she herself has to do now, all while being toyed with by the presence of “you”. That’s basically what’s in the lyrics. When I write lyrics on love from a woman’s point of view, no matter what, I always end up creating this strong female protagonist. Aha…ha…

Maybe I’ll try writing a sweet, fluffy love song too someday…but it’ll be like that you know, where at the very last minute the music suddenly turns into a thunderous roar, and the lyrics and the singing are like “Ugyaaaaa!” It would have that kind of punchline. LOL

1. What this line literally says is “What’s my name? But can’t throw away.” There’s no subject, and in this case, I’m not sure from context what the subject is supposed to be. So this line could be “But I can’t throw you away,” “But you can’t throw me away,” “But I can’t throw it away,” or “But you can’t throw it away.” What is “it”? I would assume the relationship, or perhaps whatever it is making the “you” toy with the protagonist. I could be wrong.

2. The word 溺れる (oboreru, drown) in Japanese can also be used to mean “to be completely infatuated with something.” So, I could have also said “If I’m so crazy in love to the point I can’t even regret it…” but I like the imagery of drowning in love better for this song, as it’s not a “fluffy” love song.

3. Japanese has two main verbs to refer to existence, 在る (usually written only in hiragana as ある “aru”) and 居る (usually いる “iru”). In Japanese 101 you’re told that “aru” is only used to refer to inanimate objects, and “iru” is only used for living things. So why did miko say “aru” instead of “iru”? If you look up 在る in a Japanese dictionary, you’ll see that it can be used to refer to people. Apparently this was more common in older Japanese; a lot of fairy tales begin with “Long ago, there was (arimashita) a so and so…” The dictionary will also tell you that “aru” can also be used when the person’s location, not their existence itself, is in question. However, even in that case, it would have been more common to say “watashi wa doko ni iru” (the usual “where am I?”). I spent a lot of time reading a lot of stuff in Japanese about this, from Yahoo Chiebukuro pages (I found the answer under the “Best Answer” particularly interesting) to more scholarly writing, and the conclusion I came to was that miko meant “where am I” in the sense of “how do I fit into this (relationship)”. I could be wrong. Maybe she just meant “Where am I” and said something slightly unusual just for the sake of being different and I’m totally overthinking this.

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