Japanese songs
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倍書千恵子~世界の約束

This is the ending song of Howl’s moving castle. The song is sung by 倍賞千恵子・ばいしょうちえこ Baisho Chieko who is a Japanese actress and singer. She also gave her voice to Sophie in the film and interprets both young and old Sophie (two different actresses made the English version). That’s funny because it never occurred to me that the singer who sings the ending song was the actress who gave her voice to Sophie. To me, she has a very different voice when she speaks and when she sings.

Howl’s moving castle is far from being my favourite Ghibli film but it has a fantastic music. I find the ending song very sad, it leaves me with the same melancholy than the ending song of Spirited Away and From up on Poppy Hill.

涙の奥にゆらぐほほえみは
時の始めからの世界の約束

  • 涙・なみだ tears
  • 奥・おく inside, interior
  • ゆらぐ to swing, to sway
  • ほほえみ・微笑み smile (the verb is 微笑む・ほほえむ to smile)
  • 約束・やくそく promise

いまは一人でも二人の昨日から
今日は生まれきらめく
初めて会った日のように

  • 生まれ・うまれ birth (the verb “to be born” is 生まれる・うまれる)
  • きらめくto glitter, to glisten
  • Noun+のように means “like”, “similar to”

思い出のうちにあなたはいない
そよかぜとなって頬に触れてくる

  • 想い出・おもいで memories
  • うち inside
  • そよかぜ・そよかぜ gentle breeze, soft wind
  • I am not sure about “~となる” but I guess it is used together to say “to become”, instead of “~になる”.
  • 頬・ほほ cheek
  • 触れる・ふれる to touch. It is used with the grammar ~てくる which indicates a direction: the gentle breeze comes and touches the cheek.

木漏れ日の午後の別れのあとも
決して終わらない世界の約束

  • 木漏れ日・こもれび sunlight filtering through the trees.
  • 別れ・わかれ parting, separation, farewell
  • 決して・けっして never, by no means
  • 終わる・おわる to end. Here in the negative form 終わらない・おわらない

いまは一人でも明日は限りない
あなたが教えてくれた
夜にひそむやさしさ

  • 限りない・かぎりない endless, boundless, unlimited
  • 教える・おしえる means “to teach”, it is used with the grammar ~てくれる which means that the action made was made for the speaker, I don’t think that it can be translated directly into English.
  • ひそむ to be hidden, to lie dormant
  • 優しい・やさしい means “kind”, “gentle”. By replacing the ending い by さ it transforms the adjective into a noun: the kindness.

思い出のうちにあなたはいない
せせらぎの歌にこの空の色に
花の香りにいつまでも生きて

  • せせらぎ small stream
  • 香り・かおり aroma, fragrance
  • いつまでも forever, eternally
  • 生きて・いきて this grammar form is an imperative form but I wonder if it’s not better to understand it as 生きている with the grammar ~ている that describes a state.

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