picture by ladic

【Requested by Darren Chiu

ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY’s lyrics are always long and far from being simple.
Tons of difficult words/kanjis and tons of hard-to-translate japanese idioms.
That’s what took me this long to translate this song. I actually planned on releasing it before, but I simply couldn’t.
Now I think it’s in a shape I can’t say I’m satisfied about, so it’s pretty much ready to be posted.
I remember saying that there’s always an ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY’s song that is over the top, inside each of their album.
That’s the case for this one. I mean, their songs are always good, but there are some like this and others I’ve already translated (and be sure not miss them! Search for “absolute castaway” in the search box down this page!) that are absolutely (seewhatIdidthere) outstanding.
The whole song seems to tell a story of sacrifices and rituals (a firefly sacrifice), which I must say sets a really intense mood.
I don’t know the details about it, but I really enjoyed translating this song to the point I had to review it more than once to make sure I didn’t f*ck up everything.
[2017 edit: I love this song so much.]


ほ ほ ほたるこい
ほ ほ ほたるこい

ho ho hotaru koi
ho ho hotaru koi

Come, fire, fire, firefly
Come, fire, fire, firefly

盛者必衰 永久は何処にもありません
命でさえも 瞬いた途端に消えるもの

joushahissui tokoshie wa doko ni mo arimasen
inochi de saemo mo matataita totan ni kieru mono

Eternity holds no whereabouts, for the prosperous shall perish along
Even the life is something that vanishes just the moment after flickering

贄を捧げて 厄を遠ざける村儀式
蓋を開ければ 醜い厄介払いでしょう?

nie o sasagete yaku o toozakeru muragishiki
futa o akereba minikui yakkaibarai deshou?

This village’s ritual is to offer a sacrifice to cast away misfortune
If you uncover this, isn’t it just a horrible way to getting rid of a nuisance?

玉響ゆらゆら揺れて 穢れ知らぬ蛍は
玉響ゆらゆら揺れて 淡く命燃やして
ほ ほ ほたるこい

tamayura yura yura yurete kegareshiranu hotaru wa
tamayura yura yura yurete awaku inochi moyashite
ho ho hotaru koi

Oh dew drops, roll, roll down; a firefly who knows no impurity
Oh dew drops, roll, roll down; will burn away its faint life
Come, fire, fire, firefly

見知らぬ者に玩ばれる前に 私のようになってしまう前に
ほ ほ ほたるこい

mishiranu mono ni moteasobareru mae ni watashi no you ni natteshimau mae ni
dare mo inai yami e to kieteshimainasai
mienai koe ni shishi o karamasete
ho ho hotaru koi

Before trifling with people one doesn’t know, before ending up becoming someone like me,
Go disappear in the midst of that darkness where no one lies
Let your limbs be entangled by a voice you can’t see
Come, fire, fire, firefly

佳人薄命 誰もが哀れみを嘯き
病の果てに 尊い贄へと仕立て上げる

kajinhakumei dare mo ga awaremi o usobuki
yamai no hate ni toutoi nie e to shitate ageru

No one recites their own compassion with emotion, for an unfair life awaits pure hearts;
We’ll hold preparations for the noble sacrifice that will set an end to your disease

皆口々に 全ては世の為、人の為と
素知らぬ振りで 小さきものを踏み躙る

minna kuchiguchi ni subete wa yo no tame, hito no tame to
soshiranu furi de chiisaki mono o fuminijiru

And each of their mouth is shouting “it’s all for the sake of this world, for the sake of our people”
With this feigned ignorance, their feet crush down a tiny being

玉響ゆらゆら揺れて 穢れ知らぬ蛍は
玉響ゆらゆら揺れて 望み崇めるならば
ほ ほ ほたるこい

tamayura yura yura yurete kegare shiranu hotaru wa
tamayura yura yura yurete nozomi agameru naraba
ho ho hotaru koi

Oh dew drops, roll, roll down; If a firefly who knows no impurity
Oh dew drops, roll, roll down; would pray for a desire, then…
Come, fire, fire, firefly

その契りは嗚呼 今宵壊してしまおう

sono chigiri wa aa koiyoi kowashiteshimaou
watashi no you na hotaru wa mou iranai

That pledge, aah, let’s tear it apart on this evening;
After all, they don’t need a firefly like me anymore

牡丹は散った 余韻も残さずに
ほ ほ ほたるこい

mizukara ano yami e to kieteshimaeba ii
botan wa chitta yoin mo nokosazu ni
ho ho hotaru koi

I’d rather disappear in that darkness by myself
The Peonia has withered without leaving a single trace
Come, fire, fire, firefly


“anatagata ga motometeiru mono wa, tsugou no yoi hitogata…
sonna ni mo, kono hotaru o agametai desu ka?
kirei goto o narabe, sonna ni mo mukuna furi o nasaritai no desu ka?

“The person you were seeking for was a human who could meet the conditions…
Even so, you want to worship this firefly?
Are you going to ignore this all and pretend to act pure?

分かりませんか? ……ならば、私があなた方の正体を、この村に巣食う醜い姿を曝け出しましょう」

oni yori, ayakashi yori mo, nani yori hito koso ga osoroshiku ozomashii mono…
wakarimasen ka? …naraba, watashi ga anatagata no shoutai o, kono mura ni sukuu minikui sugata o sarakedashimashou”

Men are creature way more repulsing and frightening than demons, than ghosts, than everything…
Can’t you understand it? …If that’s so, I’ll show you all my true form and haunt this village with my horrible appearance!”


“…hora, kono watashi no doko ga, kegare no nai nie de arimashou?”

“… See? How can a pure clean sacrifice be done to someone like me?”

掘り潰した蛍は 私自信

awaremi no me akui e to kawaru
nigiritsubushita hotaru wa watashi jishin

The eyes of pity change into evil looks;
The firefly that has been crushed with bare hands is me

鬼の住まう闇へと放なる人々が どんなものより狂気に満ちていた
空蝉の鬼 名付けて然るべし
ほ ほ ほたるこい
ほ ほ ほたるこい

oni no sumau yami e to yoru hitobito ga donna mono yori kyouki ni michiteita
utsusemi no oni nadzukete shikarubeshi
ho ho hotaru koi
ho ho hotaru koi

The people approaching the darkness where demons lurk are filled with madness more than everything else
They’re empty demon shells, that’s their most suitable name
Come, fire, fire, firefly
Love, fire, fire, firefly


– Let’s start off with the whole “ho ho hotaru koi” thing. “koi” can have billions of meanings, and it’s probably left in hiragana so one can grasp them all. I think it’s a 来い (koi), which means “come, come here”, but it’s pretty obvious, looking at the rest of the lyrics, that it’s also implying a possible 恋 (koi, “love”) reading. After all, ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY loves to play with words. I kept “love” only on the last stanza, because it’s spoke in a slight different way and I find very interesting this choice. Feel free to view that last one as “come” too, after all that’s only something I decided to make, it’s unclear whether or not it’s true.
– In the second stanza, 永久 (eikyuu, “eternity”) is read as “tokoshie”. It’s not a special reading, it’s simply a different and old-fashioned way to read this word.
– This song uses two yojijukugo, in other words idiomatic phrases composed of four kanjis. Here’s the list and their meaning, so you can guess how I turned them inside the translation: 盛者必衰 (joushahissui) “The prosperous will decay” (second stanza) and 佳人薄命 (kajinhakumei) “The good have a short life” (sixth stanza). You can say they’re like proverbs. Keep on mind those meaning so you can figure out why I choose to turn them the way I did.
– I did some researches. The Peonia flower (牡丹) is a symbol of wealth, but at the same time of taking a risk on something you care about. That’s probably why in this song it ended up vanishing without leaving a trace. The hope is lost.
– Fifth to last stanza, 人形 “ningyou” (doll) is read as “hitogata”, which are the other two readings of the same kanjis. By doing this, the word seems to assume the meaning of “shapes of people”, rather than “dolls”.
– Second to last stanza, 視線 “shisen” (vision field) is read as “me” (目, eyes). The meaning doesn’t change so much.
– Last stanza 放なる is not read as “hounaru”, I’m sure of it. I’ve found the lyrics on a website, but there wasn’t wrote anything on this. I keep hearing “yoru” which can mean “to approach” (寄る). No matter how much I listened to it again, I still can’t hear anything but “yoru”. I’ve decided to put “yoru” instead of its normal reading, I’m positive it’s the right one.


Title: 玉響蛍(tamayura hotaru)(firefly’s dew drop)
Album: 喫茶りどる (kissa ridoru) (Tearoom Riddle)
Vocals: Nakae Mitsuki
Lyrics: Nakae Mitsuki
Arrangement: 如月秋祐
Release Event: M3-2011 (Spring)
Source: Original

Author: Shion

Who the hell is shion no tsukai?

3 thoughts on “[REQUEST] ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY – 玉響蛍”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: