len ~錬~ || Forge

Album art.
Album art.

len ~錬~

Vocals: 茶太 (Chata)
Lyrics: shuriken
Arranged by: NSY
Circle: N+
Album: spill over [Official site]
Event: C95
Original theme: The Mysterious Shrine Maiden Flying Through Space [宇宙を飛ぶ不思議な巫女]

Update (20 February 2022): Track description updated with its subsequent appearance on the circle’s debut album released at C95, replacing the details of its initial appearance on a C91 event-limited single. My original commentary is retained below.

You’d expect this track to be filed under Sally, or even Touhou Jihen, but the disc itself makes it very clear that it’s by ‘N+’ (it even has a logo). Basically, it’s NSY ‘+’ other people. This time, it’s NSY + Chata and shuriken, continuing on with the kanji series seen in NSY’s former circle, Sally (see min, wan, etc.). I know it’s from an event-exclusive CD, but since NSY made up a new name and logo, I have a feeling that this isn’t the last we’ll see of N+…

As for the song itself, shuriken’s lyrics are as wonderful and vague as usual, filled with infinite possibilities. The kanji used in the title is often written as 練 (as in 練習). Here, ‘forge’ means taking something and turning it into something else.

非公式の英訳/Unofficial translation

“Inherit my will, take me along…”
I listen, again and again, at your memorial.

Assassins and dream eaters
lay hidden along the road
and rain, like makeup,
is scattered as far as the eye can see.

I lash out with my feelings,
my words a single, long sword.
Nothing is certain
and the bronze blade begins to hesitate.
It is a compass, leading me to my unconsciousness.

Don’t mock me!
My heart is choked with tears, wetting you, the wicked one.
I wonder what awaits me at my destination?
If I disobey, I will suffer.
O, little boy! So the world will not vanish,
reflect upon it in poetry.
Spirits await in my patchwork destination…

Fallen to ruin, and burnt to the ground…
I guess this is farewell to the wizened trees.

When the heron, which went too far in, splendidly departs,
where in the darkness will it head toward?
Perhaps it follows something like a shadow…

I am wet up to my shoulders in the darkness of the drainspout
but my late night’s labour has borne fruit.
Every night, the car wheels screech and creak.

Hey, let me see deep down to your core,
from your fingertips to the nape of your neck.
Spring only comes because you endure winter
and a halberd is used to mourn past deeds.
In the hellfire—the baku’s reward—
gather up the particles of each day
and show me
an ideal world, drawn up by you…

If parting leaves you with fury, then weep.
I own a deranged deity.
As for secretly switched memories…
Adding to them is useless.
My sweat creeps down like ivy,
as if I feel disgust.
Are you sad? Of course you are
but it’s all over now.

One day, I’ll be here once more
and I’ll hear the melody you sang.
I close my eyes and see Shangri-La projected there.
My heart is at peace, yet I feel uneasy, as if I’ve watched a play.
Heaven does not smile upon me.
The water’s flow is still gentle.
Dreams flourish within humans…


  1. Hello. Thank you for your translation.

    I cannot figure out what the theme is.
    The theme might be 錬 as the title goes, but I cannot associate it to the lyrics.
    Do you have any idea?
    This is just a guess; I came to have an image that Doremy Sweet eats someone’s precious but sad dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I listen to this song, I think of death. I think it follows a spirit along their journey from the land of the living to hell, perhaps using the dream world as a path to get there. In this case, I think Doremy is either the one who guides them, or the ‘ruler’ of hell. So, the person involved is being ‘forged’ into something different than what they were previously.

      I like the idea of eating someone’s dream, though. It’s interesting, and I must admit I didn’t think of it that way before. That’s what I like about shuriken’s lyrics – they mean something different to everyone 🙂


      1. Thank you for your reply.

        When I listen to this song, I feel cold. It may be similar to that you think of death.
        Your idea about ‘forge’ is interesting. ‘Forge’ should be the key to interpret the lyrics, but they are too vague…
        I wonder how the lyricist wrote this song.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well then, here’s my “late to the party” interpretation:

        Firstly, for the title, rather than translating 錬 as “Forge” I’d use the word “Refinement”, which naturally brings about the word “Purification”.

        Looking at the lyrics from this perspective then, I’d assume that the song follows a person whose loved one have committed suicide. Haunted by nightmares, they wound up in Doremy’s dream world, where she proceeds to devour these nightmares, slowly replacing that person’s memories of their beloved, trading sorrow and fear for resentment and acceptance, and thus “purifying” them of the weight of their loss. Meanwhile the felo-de-se is being painted in a more negative way as the song goes on, with the singer refering to them as “yokoshima-ya”(wicked/nefarious one) or “kisama”(probably the rudest way you can refer to someone in modern Japan). It’s knid of bittersweet in a way.

        Then again, the original lyrics are very cryptic and hard to make sene of. Had me stay up late for several night trying to figure out what it all means.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your comment! I enjoyed reading your interpretation, and I definitely see why ‘refinement’ fits your interpretation.

          I think the imagery of weaponry is very strong, with halberds and swords. This, coupled with the flames and fire strewn throughout, make ne think that either the physical world or Doremy’s world resemble a hell.

          There’s a bit of an anachronistic image, since we hear about the wheels of cars screeching juxtaposed with traditional weapons. I thought that was interesting, too.

          One of the images that sticks with me the most is rain, scattered around like makeup. Shuriken wrote more about this track on their Twitter – I need to read it more closely. Either way, I look forward to translating the other tracks from spill over!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. While we’re still on the topic, I thought I’d leave something I only figured out after posting the original comment.

            I agree that the imagery of weapons, fire, and crumbling trees in the background gives the scenery a rather hellish vibe, and since in the text itself it’s referred to as “Baku’s reward”, I would assume that this is, in fact, a dream weaved by Doremy with the goal of magnifying the feelings of the singer’s eventual disappointment and fury after journeying through this landscape and finally coming face-to-face with her beloved (thus “inhereting her will”), only to find their reasoning for their departure from the world of the living lacking (most likely made up by Doremy as well).

            Though, regarding the weapons, I think that perhaps one instance of them appearing in your translation (“And the bronze blade begins to hesitate.”) may be misused. From what I’ve seen, the original text literally reads as “wavering bronze”. Personally, the first image that comes to my mind when I think of bronze is the bronze mirror. As far as I know, in aincient China and Japan, they were usually decorated with patterns closely resembling that of a compass, which would tie in nicely with the next line in the song. But besides that, they were often considered to be a charm, bringing good luck and warding off evil spirits, or in this case, keeping the painful memories at bay. The fact of it wavering then would serve as an indicator of Doremy’s influence taking hold of their mind.

            I suppose reading any further into it would just become my wishful thinking though, so I’ll stop here.

            Liked by 1 person

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