Translation

exist†trace – Acacia

A bunch of fluffy yellow acacia flowers

Image source & credit: Alvesgaspar via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Sweetest Day and early October Igu Day!

I actually did most of this translation in early September, but then I got swamped with work and life again. Mostly life. It’s been rough, some things are better while others might be worse, but… I wanted to have at least a few hours wherein my life was mine again.

And so we come to “Acacia” from The Only Garden. In her blog post about the song, miko mostly focused on technical aspects such as what equipment she used to record. As far as the story or meaning of the song, she only mentioned that Jyou wears a certain hat while singing this song during live shows, and asks readers, “What do you think will become of the protagonist’s love?”

The most noticeable feature of this song is the use and repetition of what I’ll call “onomatopoeia” for the sake of simplicity. Unlike onomatopoeia in English, which are words that are meant to sound like the sounds they imitate, some “onomatopoeia” in Japanese are verbal sound effects for things that don’t actually make a sound, such as a wide smile or the feeling of pin pricks. So I’ve taken a bit of artistic license with this one in order to replicate the soundscape created by all the onomatopoeia. How fitting, right?

AKASHIA

akashia no umi de oyoide kimi made
jiri jiri jiri jiri jiri ni jiriyotte
marude puratonikku sono jitsu kyuukaku wo
kiri kiri kiri kiri kiri kirisaite

[ stand behind you ]
nagai kami sotto nade futari de nukedasou ka
[ no one noticed ]
kiiro ni saku hanakotoba Secret Love

UPSIDE DOWN
bokura wa sou dare ni mo mienai koi wo
LOOK AT ME
butsukeau shisen dake de moyasu no sa
Oh Oh Oh Oh
FALL IN LOVE
mata kensou no nami ni jouzu ni kakushite

akashia no umi ga hibiware shitatatte
chiri chiri chiri chiri chiri chirisattara
marude romantikku sono jitsu mou ichido1
zoku zoku zoku zoku zoku kuruwasete

[stand behind you ]
neratta you ni odoroita kimi to mata deatteru
[ no one noticed ]
meiro no naka owaranai Secret Love

UPSIDE DOWN
bokura wa sou dare ni mo mienai koi wo
LOOK AT ME
butsukeau shisen dake de moyasu no sa
Oh Oh Oh Oh
FALL IN LOVE
mata kensou no nami ni jouzu ni kakushite

UPSIDE DOWN
bokura wa sou deatte sae inakereba
LOOK AT ME
afuredasu netsu wa setsuna no akashia
Oh Oh Oh Oh
FALL IN LOVE
mata gensou ni kogare kogare kogarete

UPSIDE DOWN
bokura wa sou dare ni mo mienai koi wo
LOOK AT ME
butsukeau shisen dake de moyasu no sa
Oh Oh Oh Oh
hontou wa mada kimi to deatte sura inai kedo

I can’t stop lovin’ you

Acacia

I swim up to you in a sea of acacia
Edging closer inch by inch by inch by inch
Completely platonic—That truth rips through my sense of smell
Like a million teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy daggers

[ Stand behind you ]
Gently stroking your long hair  How ’bout we sneak out together?
[ No one noticed ]
The language of flowers blooming in yellow: Secret Love

Upside down
That’s right, we share a love no one can see2
Look at me
Just meeting your gaze sets me ablaze
Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Fall in love
So good at slipping back into the crowd to hide

The sea of acacia cracks, dripping
Shrinking, shrinking, shriveling up and scattering away
Totally romantic
That truth drives me up, up, up the walls in delirious joy again

[ Stand behind you ]
You were surprised, just like I wanted3  I’ve met you again
[ No one noticed ]
In the maze, an unending secret love

Upside down
That’s right, we share a love no one can see
Look at me
Just meeting your gaze sets me ablaze
Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Fall in love
So good at slipping back into the crowd to hide

Upside down
That’s right, if we had never even met
Look at me
This overflowing passion would just be a fleeting acacia
Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Fall in love
I’m longing, yearning, aching! for an illusion once more

Upside down
That’s right, we share a love no one else can see
Look at me
Just meeting your gaze sets me ablaze
Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Actually
I haven’t even met you yet
BUT

I can’t stop lovin’ you!


1. The liner notes say “mo ichido” at the end of this line, but I’m 99% sure that’s a typo. For one, it sounds like Jyou sings “mou ichido” (meaning “once again”) instead. Also, if it was supposed to have been “mo ichido,” it would have been written as 「その実も 一度」rather than 「その実 も一度」.

2. The verb is left unstated in this line; it’s only implied by the presence of the object-marker を (wo). Something like “We have a love no one can see” would also be an appropriate translation.

3. This part is a little weird because neither subject nor object is explicitly stated but I can’t see any other way to make these words make sense, as they literally say “As aimed, surprised.”

2 thoughts on “exist†trace – Acacia

  1. Thank you for putting the time in on this translation – your explanation of the “onomatopoeia” was fascinating. I found an interview where Jyou talks about her and Miko’s process concerning this song. I’ll DM you the link. 🙂

    • Oh, I don’t mind if you post links to interviews here. But thanks for the courtesy!

      https://livejapanmusic.com/en/existtrace-only-garden-interview/

      I had read this one before and remember thinking, it’s great how they can collaborate like that to make songs rather than just having the songwriter dictate how everything’s gonna go. I also couldn’t help but wonder if Jyou was having trouble with the drastic verbal switches between chorus & verse, and if that’s what she was trying to get miko to change.

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