Anniversary Special #2

Chihiro First Heard: The Poisons in Her Words

To be honest, to be really honest, I didn't like INSOMNIA. What's more, it made me sick. I mean, I felt slight nausea. I regretted that I bought it. I should have rented a copy from the Tsutaya rental store.... But something (I don't know exactly what this "something" was) made me feel like listening to the album once again.

I suppose many of you (the visitors here) don't read Japanese very well. Since I'm a native Japanese, I understand Japanese lyrics fairly easily. I was both shocked and perplexed at the severity and introspection found in her words. Chihiro boldly exposes the ugliness, weakness, and whatever is negative within herself and hurls them at the audience with all her might.

Take "call", one of my favorites, as an example. This song has to be memorable for Chihiro because she sang an English version of this song at her audition. When its lyrics are ignored, this number may sound mild and peaceful. What is sung in this tune is, however, resignation and despair. The façade deceives you. I was thunderstruck to hear her profound and reflective words:

If you couldn't run away [from me]
Even after my body crumbled into decay
Would you cry over me again and again?
Because, for example
I ought not to ask you to pass away with me
When I'd be passing away
Say something, please, my dear

(From "call". Original text copyrighted by Chihiro Onitsuka. Translated and quoted by Folia in compliance with the Japanese Copyright Act.)

I thought, "No, I can't believe it. This can't be a work by such a young girl!"

Acute, painful, poignant, urgent, pressing, frantic, desperate, driven into a corner, at the end of her tether—these keywords set the underlying tone for her lyrics. The "poisons" she cherishes in her works were too much for me. Her songs seemed to me too emotional. I was poisoned.

# Of course, I'm comfortable with her songs now, intoxicated all right.

(To be continued.)



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