Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nakamori Akina 中森明菜 - Nanpasen 難破船

If you asked me why I like Akina (中森明菜), I would certainly say it's because of "Nanpasen" (難破船).

Around 4-5 years ago, when there're still a lot of Akina's "Nanpasen" videos, you could see that every time she sang this song on TV, she would become very emotional and try to hold back her tears.  In one instance, the TV host noticed that Akina's hands were trembling while singing the song.  He later asked her if she noticed it but Akina said she was just nervous.  It is her emotional delivery of love songs that I find attractive and impressive.

"Nanpasen" was released in 1987.  According to the media, her relationship with Matchy had become quite rocky at that time.  If "Nanpasen" was a true reflection of their relationship, it would seem too sad, and scary too.  I would like to mention in passing that the Hong Kong version of "Nanpasen" was Anita Mui's (梅艷芳) "No one would love me" (無人願愛我). (During the 80s, Japanese covers were really everywhere in Hong Kong)

One mystery remains.  Even to this day, I am still not sure whether it's Akina who covered Kato Tokiko's already existing "Nanpasen" (this seems to be the case), or it's Tokiko who wrote "Nanpasen" for Akina.  Let me know if you know the definite answer.

Update on January 5, 2014:
An anonymous visitor made a comment in the Chinese version of this post.  He pointed me to this interview with Kato Tokiko.  Tokiko originally wrote the song for herself.  But the protagonist was supposed to be a 20 something lady, and so at 40, she thought it's a mismatch.  Tokiko thought Akina was the perfect singer for this song and so she gave it to her.  Tokiko rarely performed Nanpasen, so it gave me the wrong impression that it's not a cover song.  But in fact, Tokiko sang it first and then Akina covered her.



たかが恋なんて 忘れればいい
泣いたいだけ 泣いたら
そんな強がりを 言ってみせるのは
さびしすぎて こわれそうなの
折れた翼 広げたまま
あなたの上に 落ちて行きたい
海の底へ 沈んだなら
泣きたいだけ 抱いてほしい

ほかの誰かを 愛したのなら
追いかけては 行けない
別れの苦しさ えらぶわ
そんなひとことで ふりむきもせず
この淋しさ 知りもしない
おろかだよと 笑われても
あなたを追いかけ 抱きしめたい
つむじ風に 身をまかせて
あなたを海に 沈めたい

あなたに逢えない この街を
無口なまま 通りすぎる
たかが恋人を なくしただけで
ひとりぼっち 誰もいない


Composer, Lyrics: Kato Tokiko

It's just a relationship
It will be fine if I forget about it
I only want to cry
If I cry, perhaps a different kind of love will start to appear in front of my eyes
Showing such a pretense
Is for trying to disremember you
It's exceedingly lonely
And seemingly in collapse
I am a love's shipwreck
With my fractured wings remain open
I want to land upon you
If I were to sink towards the bottom of the ocean
I would only want to cry
I am longing for you to hold me

If I were to fall in love with somebody else
It would be wrong to pursue you
Instead of continuing this miserable relationship
I would rather choose the pain of departure
With the above words, I did not even turn back
In the morning after we bid goodbye
This loneliness I did not know
I am a love's shipwreck
People may be laughing at my silliness
But I still want to pursue you and hold you tight
Leaving my body to the whirlwind
I want to submerge you into the ocean

On this street where we would never meet
Tonight I was walking alone
Pretending not to know anyone
Crossing in silence
It's only my lover whom I've lost
But that alone made everything vanished
In solitude with nobody in sight
I am a love's shipwreck

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