龍人秘抄 || Secret Notes of Humans and Dragons

hatsubanme-mono “ryuujin hishou”
The First Play: Secret Notes of Humans and Dragons

Vocals: nayuta
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: Love-Colored Master Spark [恋色マスタースパーク]

Requested by: Kaori Hanayama


The first play in a typical Noh performance is the kami mono (神物) or waki noh (脇能). In it, a deity takes on human form in the first half, before revealing their true nature in the second. This song is about a dragon, but it’s easy to draw parallels between the two after reading through the lyrics. See if you can pinpoint the point where the dragon’s true nature is revealed.

The original text is quite archaic, so my translation ended up being quite liberal. Still, I’m quite sure that I conveyed the main message of the song, though it’s open to interpretation.

The title is curious. It follows a similar pattern to old-fashioned literary works such as 連理秘抄 (A Secret Treatise of Renga Principles), 隣忠秘抄 (Secret Notes of Chikatada), and 梁塵秘抄 (Songs to Make the Dust Dance on the Beams). I decided to follow the style of the first two.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

O, freshly-woken dragonchild!
Your appearance is yet unseemly.
Without wings,
You crawl upon the ground and suffer.

Though the small dragonchild
Wept and wept,
Nobody listened to their cries.
Now, who will reach out to them?

O, wise human child!
By nature, you invite trouble.
Chased from your dwelling,
You live a solitary life and suffer.

Because the human child’s voice
Was so faint,
Nobody lent them an ear.
Now, who will reach out to them?

Living in such a sad world,
Both endured hardships.
Thus, the human and the dragon met…

The earthbound dragonchild
And the human child, unable to even walk on the ground,
Were subjected to slander
By all, with dreadful voices.

But they looked up at the heavens,
But they glared up at the heavens.
They left their lives on the scales, which became a curse…

O, wise human child!
You are still utterly ignorant.
In your hands,
You grasp something small and weak, which crawls along the ground.

In the deepest darkness,
They lurk within your hands.
They gaze into the darkness
And secretly smile…

O, freshly-woken dragonchild!
Thus, you deceive the humans.
You listen to their voices
And pursue the source of their power.

Such a wicked thing.
They once sealed you away
For your countless deeds…
Do they all know why you did what you did?

While living in this sad world,
While facing any sort of misfortune,
The dragon and human met and parted…

The freshly-woken dragonchild
Raced toward the heavens.
Though this world is so sad,
There are still voices noting how wonderful it is.

But they swam through the heavens,
But they hollowed out the earth,
Both swearing that they would meet again.

O, child left on the earth!
When you reach your dying hour,
They will surely fall from the heavens and come to you.
That is your unmistakable vow.

And so, the dawn came
When the grown dragonchild returned.
Repaying their countless debts,
They took the human’s body upon their back.

Now, they aim for the edge of the heavens,
Parting from this sad world.
The human rode upon the dragon,
Their figures visible in the sky.

Rise to the heavens! Climb, ascend, without end!
All who saw the pair wrote this, the secret notes of humans and dragons.

鬼顧 || The Oni’s Reflection

The Fifth Play: The Oni’s Reflection

Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: Battlefield of the Flower Threshold [華狭間のバトルフィールド]

Requested by: Vaati


The fifth play in a traditional Noh performance is known as the Kiri Noh (切り能) or the Oni Mono (鬼物), and it features the performer assuming the role of demons or monsters. They are apparently fast-paced, and make use of bright colours. Even from that brief description, it’s clear that an arrangement of Kasen’s theme is the perfect fit.

I decided to translate the title as “The Oni’s Reflection.” Oni (鬼) literally means ‘demon,’ but Oni are an established species in the Touhou universe, which is why I went with that. 顧 means something like ‘nostalgia.’ ‘Reflection’ isn’t quite an equivalent term, but I went with it because I think it relates to the underlying theme of the song. It seems like it involves Kasen becoming(?) an Oni, but using her arm as a symbol of her humanity. Therefore ‘reflection’ refers to Kasen looking back and remembering her past, but it also has a more literal meaning: Kasen looks at her reflection, and tries to come to terms with what she sees.

In other words, it seems like Kasen has both a human and Oni nature. Her Oni nature (demonstrated in the song through the phrase ‘when the Oni are here’) compels her to hunt and eat humans, whereas her humanity (represented by her arm) compels her to hold back and feel remorse.

Like the other tracks in this album, there are lots of archaic expressions and historical allusions. As always, I’d love to hear other interpretations, or even corrections in areas where I’ve misinterpreted the grammar, etc.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“The clothes that she wore
Were unlike those of any human.
Even so, her hair was brightly coloured—
The same colour as human flesh.”

When was I born?
And when did I leave my human body behind?
Both answers came from within.
I remember the taste of blood.

Mount Ooe,
Deep in the mountains,
Became my dwelling.

There is no way of life left,
But my body must still persist
No matter what I become.

No matter what kind of soldiers they may be,
All humans are the same.
While the Oni are away, their hearts (1)
Where have they been invited to?
Will they never return to this transient world?

Be silent!
Hold your tongue!
Because of that arm of mine,
I will not lose my humanity.

“Adopting such a lifestyle
Was certainly her attempt to mimic humans.
Thus, the verdure illuminating her deeds
Surely resembled even the colour of human souls.”

In the past,
I was feared by humans.
However, before I knew it, I had placed myself in their power.
Listen to those metallic sounds…

Before the distant gates,
The foolish ones gather tonight…

Though I am able make a living,
I must live inside that body.
No matter what I become.

No matter what kind of principle it may be,
It applies equally to all humans.
While the Oni are here, this heart of mine
Begins to move.
O, those who are led away!
Eating humans is the law of things.

Be silent!
Hold your tongue!
I feel pain in my arm
And I do not lose my humanity.

All humans gaze upon the Oni resting within them
And tremble in fear.

All Oni gaze upon the human resting within them
Though they cannot regain human form.

All Oni are the same,
No matter what legends one considers.
When the humans were there, they would have been defeated.
No matter where it may be,
The path I am on is the heavenly path.

Be silent!
Hold your tongue!
I pray that, even if I restore my arm,
I will not lose my humanity.

The voices of Oni resound.
Their extermination yet continues…
I pray so I will not lose my humanity.

_ _ _ _ _

(1) This line refers to the proverb 鬼の居ぬ間に洗濯, which is equivalent to the English phrase “when the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

花ノ天使 || The Angel of Flowers

sanbanme-mono “hana no tenshi”
The Third Play: The Angel of Flowers

Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: Catastrophe in Bhava-agra ~ Wonderful Heaven [有頂天変 ~ Wonderful Heaven]


The third play in a traditional Noh performance focuses on refined music, flowing movements, and femininity. This track fits into that mold quite well – the speaker recounts a past experience, in which they encountered Tenshi, an angel. The way in which they refer to the angel is not consistent. Sometimes they refer to them as ‘you,’ conveying a sense of intimacy, whereas they also speak from a position of distance at other points.

Interestingly, Tenshi’s name (天子), is pronounced the same as the word for Angel (天使 – ‘tenshi’). So, anytime you see the word ‘angel,’ you can imagine that the speaker is also saying Tenshi’s name.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

She makes the scent of flowers waft through the air
Faintly, from somewhere.

A figure peers up at the sky—
It is you, known as an angel.

She raises her hands to the sky, with the trees at her back,
As if seeking to make the cherry blossoms bloom.

She is stubborn, selfish…
She is quite tomboyish for an angel.

We simply cannot dance together. The angel just smiles.

—A heavenly breeze.

It was like an illusion.
The flowers quietly bloomed somewhere in the sky.

—At the edge of the clouds.

Did the angel arrive
Together with the flowers
From somewhere far away?

She sings an unfamiliar melody,
Though it is hard to tell where it is coming from.

A figure gazes up at the sky—
It is you, who I referred to as an angel.

Though I knew everything,
All of it was in vain.

She is stubborn, selfish…
She is quite careless for an angel.

We simply cannot sing together, though I would be satisfied if the angel just smiled.
“How boring. I prefer useful things over flowers.” Her eyes are singing.

—A heavenly breeze.

Is this an illusion?
I saw that figure, yet I question my eyes.

—At the edge of the clouds.

The angel arrived
Together with the flowers
From somewhere far away.

But someday, the angel
Will fly back up into the sky.
And then…
Perhaps she will bloom once more beneath a sky unknown to her.
A sky unknown to all.

—A heavenly breeze.

If this is truly an illusion,
Then it seems I will be unable to bid farewell to the angel as she flies away.

—At the edge of the clouds.

I want to hold that figure,
Seen in a distant sky,
Inside my heart

For just a little longer…

心綺楼 || Shinkirou


Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: The Lost Emotion [亡失のエモーション]

Requested by: Rachelle Lee


This song is ‘Shinkirou,’ the play Kokoro wrote in collaboration with Mamizou in Forbidden Scrollery [Also Hopeless Masquerade’s Japanese title]. It is a comedic retelling of the events of the religious war, featuring exaggerated portrayals of each of the combatants…

Except Koishi.

I think Kokoro is the one performing this whole play, but since she takes on the personas of other characters, I tried to copy their speech patterns as best as I could, and I gave them a distinctive colour. Another thing about this song that’s quite neat is the little hints of each character’s theme you hear during their respective sections. Of course, you probably won’t notice it the first time you listen until it reaches Nitori’s section. Then you’ll want to listen to the song again to see where the others are…

And then you’ll realise once more that Koishi is missing. Well, at least she got her own album this time…

Though I haven’t listed all of the Diao ye zong-isms here, I tried to account for them in my translation. Some are quite standard, such as substituting 感情 (‘kanjou’) with 想い (‘omoi’).

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

All creatures, great and small!
How do you live those long lives of yours?
You live without getting answers, though you worry and worry.
If so, then make your lives bloom like flowers, adorning this moment!

O, infinite emotions! Become flowers!

You! Youkai over there!
You are before the Hakurei shrine maiden,
So give me your popularity!
While you’re at it, give me monetary offerings, too.

The firepower I set off
Is the result of diligent, daily work,
So it will surpass mysteries
And become hope!

According to the old man,
Our conflict is just.
Scum like you
Have already lost in terms of sheer scale!

I shall save the world.
I swear it upon my title as the strongest monk.
Displaying my power
Is like presenting the Three Buddhist Treasures in physical form.

Whilst faith continued to be disturbed…
Before that shadow secretly stretched out their hands…
I will rely on my heart and tell my tale!

Those infinite layers of emotion
Began to change, this instant.

If they are not peaceful…
Then I shall bewitch them! We shall fight!

Now, popularity explosion!
It’s a clash of great moves!

O, cries of joy! Become flowers upon this stage!

I am but a pawn.
‘Tis nary a cloud in mine heart.
You, over there –
Art thou a foe?! Then I shall set fire to thee.

Leave me!
Places full of hope can be found far and wide.
A new mask
Will become a new shape for your hope.

If a festival’s going on,
Then I’ll aim for loose purse strings!
This isn’t a game!
Even trials in hell run on something or another… (1)

The moon’s out –
It’s high time Futatsuiwa from Sado passed on by. (2)
Though I walk right through the Human Village,
They ain’t got no idea who I really am…

A time before hearts were disturbed and stolen away
By faith, which shifts from one thing to the next…
I will tell that tale to my heart’s content!

If a hopeless life awaits
Inside the darkness…

Just look upon it and smile!
As long as you’re alive, isn’t that great?

Now, popularity explosion!
Danmaku burst forth!

O, cries of wrath! Become flowers upon this stage!

One’s heart can be found in life—
It’s tale of numerous deeds
Done from person to person
Or thing to thing.

I don’t know how tomorrow will turn out
In this mirage.
Still, I’m going to follow my heart
And pass this legend on to tomorrow!

Though I gaze upon all the emotions I felt
From the beginning of this tale to its end,
My worries overwhelm me, and I feel empty…
I’m still not satisfied
So I will seek hope using these hands of mine!

The feast is in full swing
So I shall give them one last look at my wicked Noh!
I shall cover up the mood of the Holy Trinity! (3)
Do not bear a grudge, Menreiki!

And now I, too, cannot lose
For the sake of all hope.
I’ll dance once more for you!
Now, while I command this name – and my heart!

Popularity explosion!
Spells fly wildly about.

O, desire for hope! Become a flower upon this stage!

…Become flowers!

_ _ _ _ _

(1) This line is a corrupted version of the proverb 地獄の沙汰も金次第, which means something like “even trials in hell can be won with enough money.”
(2) These two lines are also used in the beginning of <正調>佐渡の二ッ岩, a track from Itazura [徒]. In that song, they are used in reference to the tanuki Danzaburou-danuki (団三郎).
(3) This refers to the three religious sects at war in Hopeless Masquerade: Shintoism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

祟神 || The Curse God

tsutae二番目物 「祟神」
nibanme-mono “tatari-gami”
The Second Play: The Curse God

Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: Tomorrow Will Be Special; Yesterday Was Not [明日ハレの日、ケの昨日]


I’ve been waiting for this arrangement my whole life and I didn’t even realise it.

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still – this is definitely my favourite arrangement of this particular theme. It’s so lively, and Merami does some great ‘character’ singing.

I feel like this song is about Suwako, who gradually gets more and more jaded after being beaten by Kanako. Even the humans who give her faith say one name while also saying another. They betray her, commit acts of violence against her, and are generally ungrateful of what she does for them. In the end, she just gives up and curses everything. That’s a bit of a shallow reading, but there’s a lot to get out of this song. Some very evocative phrases, too, so I hope you enjoy it!

A side note: according to good old Wikipedia, the second play in a traditional Noh performance involves a famous samurai pleading for salvation, culminating with a re-enactment of their death. I feel like the other plays in this album fit the original format a bit better, but it’s also possible to fit this track in as well.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Everywhere in the heavens, (1)
Rouge-coloured rain falls.

And across all the land,
I step upon rust-coloured soil.

If losing and winning is the way of the world,
Then there’s no option but to obey.

But with this infinite malice…
Will things be allowed to end like this?

The sky glows a brilliant red,
And the ears of rice lower their heads heavily.
But there is no trace of a saviour
At the edge of the lordless land.

I walk upon the loser’s path!

To those who walk upon the mountain of corpses,
One or two steps alone is not enough.
Without being allowed to go forwards or backwards,
They walk the road of carnage, never to return.

Walk upon the victor’s path!
…It’s endless. How long does it last?

I govern the best patch of land. Like that, take everything and go!

The world is ever-changing.
You are abandoned by the gods, and you are saved by them. (2)

I pray that my people will survive using the outsiders’ hands.

Even so, are you aware
Of whom your violence is aimed towards?

I will never forget it.

The name of that god – that usurper –
I’ll resent it for ever and ever and ever!

The same mouth calls out different names.
Felicitous bonds are empty.
No matter how sunny yesterday was,
They are ignorant of how tomorrow will turn out.

This is the loser’s road!

Because those who are protected are weak,
Always live in the shadow of someone stronger!
Whose sake are these prayers for?
How absurd. Nobody knows.

Will they reach the victors?
…How long will it take? How long?

All the faith I had bundled together… I threw it all away, just like that.

The world is ever-changing.
You are abandoned by the people, and you are saved by them. (3)

I pray that my people will survive in the outsiders’ arms.

Even so, are you aware
Of whom your ingratitude is aimed towards?

I will never forget it.

I will curse that traitor’s name
For ever and ever and ever!

They sicken others and populate to a calamitous extent
Without growing even a blade of grass.
What sort of resolve does it take
To appease the impurity I gathered up?

The world is ever-changing.
There is no world to abandon you, no heaven to save you.

I pray for the lives of the outsiders.

Live and repent
So destruction will never come to pass.

So you won’t forget it, and so you won’t forget my name,

I’ll curse the heavens and the earth
For ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever!

_ _ _ _ _

(1) The characters representing ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’ in these two stanzas (乾 and 坤) come together to make the word 乾坤 (‘kenkon’ – heaven and earth / universe).
(2) This is an old proverb that, in general, means ‘when one door shuts, another door opens.’ It reappears in increasingly corrupted forms thoughout the song.
(3) 神 (‘kami’ – god) is replaced with 民 (‘tami’ – nation/people) here, but ‘kami’ is still sung.

幻想萬歳楽 || Illusory Manzairaku

gensou manzairaku
Illusory Manzairaku

Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: Tsutae (伝) 【Official Site】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C91
Original Theme: The Lost Emotion [亡失のエモーション]

Requested by: Petalite Yuu


This track heavily borrows from ‘Okina’ [翁], a traditional work of Noh theatre. The main mask involved is the titular ‘old man’ mask, which Kokoro appears to be wearing on the album’s front cover.

Because it’s based on a Noh play, the language used is more traditional, which made it a challenge to translate. Overall, though, it deals with life. The speaker wishes good health and a long life for all.

Also, I’ve… actually brought some resources along this time! The first resource is Frank Alanson Lombard‘s An Outline History of Japanese Drama, published in 1928. It’s available to read for free (?) on Google Books. Though the book is almost 90 years old, it contains a translation of ‘Okina,’ from page 92, which informed my own translation of this track. This is another English-language resource talking about the details of the play, though it does not offer a translation. Finally, this Japanese site also discusses the play.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

To to tarata tararira
Tarari agari rararido
Chiriya tarari tararira
Tarari agari rarararido (1)

Together with the endless lives of the tortoise and the crane,
We rejoice, with hearts overflowing happily.

May life be granted, even for a thousand years.
May everyone’s lives continue for a thousand autumns!

Bloom for a thousand years
And last forever!
I shall dance, celebrating the joy
Of a thousand, ten thousand years!
Though people sit close by,
This dance
Is our prayer today.


May life be granted forever.

As said above,
This is how things are.
And thus…

I pass it down, together with
This Manzairaku.

Be born, and live
As the peaceful, tranquil ‘old man.’ (2)

Even in the place I dwell in,
Auspicious things are present. May they continue!

I feel fear
Once more,
And thus, I cast away
The life dwelling in my body.

Happiness is,
As said above,
A single dance.
It is the art of those with life in their bodies.


This peace is yet unending…

As said above,
This is how things are.
And thus…

I sing about it, together with
This Manzairaku.

Because I have not yet arrived at my destination,
I waver to and fro, and live.

Bearing emotions that I still do not comprehend,
I look upon this body of mine favourably.


May life be granted forever.

As said above,
This is how things are.
And thus…

I pass it down, together with
This Manzairaku.

_ _ _ _ _

(1) These sections refer to either the sound of flowing water or an ancient liturgy (Lombard 1928, 92).
(2) The ‘old man’ refers to the mask used in this play: ‘Okina’ [翁]



Vocals: Meramipop (めらみぽっぷ)
Lyrics: RD-Sounds
Arranged by: RD-Sounds
Album: UROBOROS 5 【Website link】
Circle: Diao ye zong (凋叶棕)
Event: C89
Original Themes: –Lunatic Eyes ~ Invisible Full Moon [狂気の瞳 ~ Invisible Full Moon]
-The Rabbit Has Landed [兎は舞い降りた]

Requested by: Eiki
Subtitled video courtesy of Quwanti:


Update [02/01/2017]: This track also appears in Diao ye zong’s C91 album, Tsutae (伝), under the title 狂言「跳ね玉兎」 [Kyougen: MoonJumper]. The lyrics are exactly the same, and unfortunately, the missing lines are still missing. At (1:50), an extra part is added: “Mayday, mayday, emergency!”
Update [22/08/2018]: Minor alteration to the 4th-last stanza (with thanks to Linkhyrule5 for pointing out the error!)

This track starts with a fairy tale:

What did the moon rabbits see and jump to?
They landed on the ground, though it was impure.
Someday, surely,
Everything will become a fairy tale.

And then it continues on from there. For a change, RD decided to write all of the lyrics in Hiragana, avoiding Kanji completely. This means we don’t get his tendency to hide hidden meanings in the Kanji… but he decided to omit about 4 lines worth of material from the booklet instead. I should have tried to transcribe it, but it was taking so long to work through this one that I decided to cut my losses and not worry about it.

As a whole, it seems to chart Seiran and Ringo’s journey to Gensokyo. But since Reisen’s theme is arranged, it’s possible that it includes her, too…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!”
They must be in a dream,
Dreaming without end. Come, come!

The asagi-coloured rabbit jumped. (1)

She searched for a new dwelling.

Well now, the place she ended up in was quite terrifying.

Still, even so, she could not draw back.

She could not turn back from this path.
Did she know? Did she not?
Lightly, lightly, her feet kicked the ground.
Even if, say, she would become impure as a result,
She faced the moon and jumped – moon jumper!

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!”
They must be in a dream,
Dreaming without end in this land of dreams. (2)

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!” They make a fuss.
They ride upon our waves
And cross, cross – they travel far away.

The tachibana-coloured rabbit jumped. (3)

She searched for the truth, for reality.

But what she saw… was quite suspicious.

And she took something quite terrifying in her hands.

She could not turn back from this path.
She knew. She knew.
Lightly, lightly, her feet kicked the ground.
Even if she would become impure as a result,
She faced the moon and jumped – moon jumper!

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!” If they are singing,
Then surely they must be in a dream,
Dreaming without end. Meanwhile…

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!” They make a fuss.
And whilst knowing nothing,
They sing in the distance, far away.

Whilst dreaming,
Play! Play!

And with the impure ones,
Play! Play!

Whilst looking far away,
Play! Play!

And with those who do not die,
Play! Play!

The moon rabbits sing:
“Come, come!”
Surely, both must be in a dream.
Dreaming without end – forever…

The moon rabbits, even now
Are dreaming in some place or other.
If, say, they are in an endless dream,
They will dream forever if they do not wake up.

Usually, there is nothing amiss in the world.
The moon, over yonder, also exists without changing.
Even so, having said that,
What did the rabbits see and jump to – moon jumper?

_ _ _ _ _

(1) Asagi (浅葱色) is a traditional Japanese colour. Its blueish-green hue can be seen as a symbol of Seiran.

(2) かいあん (槐安 – ‘kaian’) refers to a traditional tale – a lot like Alice in Wonderland – in which a man falls asleep at the base of a tree, and is whisked off to a distant kingdom. The phrase is commonly used to refer to transient things, or dreams, as a metaphor.

(3) Tachibana (橘) is a type of mandarin/orange. It’s orange hue can be seen as a symbol of Ringo (or, possibly, Reisen).