nokosareta namae -toori kazoe uta-
Names Left Behind: A Counting Song
Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Manima (随) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: Reitaisai 14 [RTS14]
Original theme: Japanese Saga [ジャパニーズサーガ]
Requested by: Kaori Hanayama
A bit of context: counting songs are commonly used to remember things like numbers or the names of streets/houses. There’s even one to help you memorise the digits of pi. In this song, each section refers to a fictitious place named after one of the children of Are [2-8 are included, and some liberties are taken with the spelling]. We don’t really know the significance of this to begin with, but I think there are deep links to death, especially later on. Is this how each child of Are met their end…? Or does it refer to unrelated tragic events that happened at each place…? I’ll leave that up to you.
This song is written in two ways: some parts are only in hiragana, and some parts are written with a mixture of hiragana and kanji. I’ve indicated the hiragana sections in blue, and the mixed sections in purple. What is the significance of this? I think the two sections are sung by different people. It’s quite vague, but I think the blue parts are sung by some village children, and the purple parts are sung by Akyuu. I decided upon this because of the very last line of the song. It seems like Akyuu adds her own verse, aware that she, too, will pass on one day, leaving her name behind.
[I also read some commentary from a Korean translation of this song, and I had a look at the Japanese 2chan Diao ye zong thread, which helped inform my interpretation of the song.]
By the way, Diao ye zong made another song about the children of Are. Perhaps the two are linked…?
In the Hieda mansion,
A child was born one night, long ago.
Were they the child of a human or a demon?
They will not cross over that barrier.
With soft, soft footsteps, let’s return home…
Furuiwa Aji Street
Leads toward the unstable barrier.
You can never think back
Upon what lies beyond the two roads,
Let’s return directly home, lightly, lightly treading upon the old road…
The river Minakami Ami.
Someone peeped, as quick as you can blink,
Into the water that flowed through, disturbing the water’s surface.
They did not stop there forever.
Let’s leave the strangers behind and hurry home…
The Yoimachi Ayo Bridge.
The fearful tengu is watching,
Searching all through the night, each night, for that child.
They were led away to a distant mountain.
Let’s hurry home before we cross the path to Hades…
Words lightly fall
From their mouths.
As they walk down the road,
They continue their chant
Though they do not know what it means.
At Ago Hill,
The priest’s corpse waits for someone in vain.
It was covered up beneath a stone.
The grass grows thick and wild there.
Let’s turn back as fast as we can. Let’s hurry and return home…
Down Mutsumata Amu Lane
The maiden walked, slow on her feet.
The figure of an angry youkai stood before her.
Driven away, she fell to her knees.
It was not a tragedy, not at all. Let’s return home quietly…
Nanasato Ashichi Hill.
They continued on, without knowing where it would end.
Perhaps it was because of an illness brought on from their long journey,
But they could not cross the hill in the end.
With slow steps, let’s return home at a steady pace…
The tomb of the Child, Aya.
Who sleeps beneath its roof?
In place of a noble human,
They gave everything in exchange.
Let’s seal our lips and return home in an orderly fashion.
Little by little,
They follow the memories.
As they walk down the road,
They continue their chant.
They do not know what it means.
My name, left behind,
Will cross over to tomorrow.
That day is still distant.
If I embrace this name,
Then though I may one day sleep beneath the cherry tree,
As long as I exist in this way
My funeral rites will not be performed
Sing, children, while you can still sing. Now come—let’s return home…