vendredi 25 septembre 2015

Tentai kansoku - 天体観測 (Eng)

With Tentai kansokutheir 3rd single (2nd in Major), the pop-rock / alternative rock band BUMP OF CHICKEN became a star of the J-Pop / J-Rock scene ! More than 15 years later, the song is still in the karaokes' Top 50.

Tentai Kansoku

Searching for my polestar

Version française ici.
English version: 25/09/2015.
Last update: 17/10/2017.



Bump Of Chicken (or BOC) starts their adventure in highschool in the 1990s and quickly gain a wide fan-base. From 1999 on, everything accelerates: they sign with an indies labe, then as soon as 2000, in Major. In 2001 comes the real success with Tentai kansoku, their 3e single (2nd from Toy's Factory label), which arrived 3rd of the weekly +ORICON STYLE. A success which never lasted.

With a fluid and catchy melody, and supported by the noticeable voice of Fujiwara Motoo, Tentai kansoku proves a great ability in writing and story-telling (which means long and hard to translate for me :-p...). The music video itself depicts a group of ingenious school friends ; along with the lyrics, it thus reminds of childhood souvenirs, of first love feelings, which probably contributes to its timeless success in karaoke.

Music Video

Below, the official Video-clip of 2001. There is another Promo Video for the DVD and Blu-Ray of their 2012 tour with lives images. 

Lyrics and romaji

According to the Top Karaoke on M-ON TV.

Tentai kansoku

午前二時フミキリに 望遠鏡を担いでった
Gozen ni ji FUMIKIRI ni, bôenkyô wo katsuidetta
ベルトに結んだラジオ 雨は降らないらしい
BERUTO ni musunda RAJIO, ame wa furanairashii
二分後に君が来た 大袈裟な荷物しょって来た
ni fun go ni kimi ga kita,  oogesana nimotsu shotte kitta
始めようか 天体観測 ほうき星を探して
Hajimeyô ka Tentai kansoku, hôkiboshi wo sagashite
深い闇に飲まれないように 精一杯だった
Fukai yami ni nomarenai yô ni, sei ippai datta
君の震える手を 握ろうとした あの日は
kimi no furueru te wo nigiroutoshita ano hi wa

見えないモノを見ようとして 望遠鏡を覗き込んだ
Mienai MONO wo miyou toshite, bôenkyô wo nozokikonda
静寂を切り裂いて    いくつも声が生まれたよ
Seijaku wo kirisaite, ikutsu mo koe ga umareta yo
明日が僕らを呼んだって    返事もろくにしなかった
Ashita ga bokura wo yondatte, henji moroku ni shinakatta
「イマ」という ほうき星 君と二人追いかけていた
"IMA" to iu hôkiboshi, kimi to futari oikaketeita
Yeah ! Hahan !

気が付けばいつだって ひたすら何か探している
Ki ga tsukeba itsudatte, hitasura nanika sagashiteiru
幸せの定義とか 哀しみの置き場とか
Shiawase no teigi toka, kanashimi no okiba toka
生まれたら死ぬまで ずっと探している
Umaretara shinu made, zutto sagashiteiru
さぁ 始めようか 天体観測   ほうき星を探して
Saa hajimeyô ka Tentai kansoku, hôkiboshi wo sagashite

今まで見つけたモノ 全部覚えている
Imamade mitsuketa MONO, zenbu oboeteiru
君の震える手を 握れなかった痛みも
Kimi no furueru te wo nigirenakatta itami mo

知らないモノを知ろうとして 望遠鏡を覗き込んだ
Shiranai MONO wo shirôtoshite, bôenkyô wo nozokikonda
暗闇を照らす様な 微かな光 探したよ
Kurayami wo terasu yô na, kasukana hikari sagashita yo
そして知った痛みを 未だに僕は覚えている
Soshite shitta itami wo, imadani boku wa oboeteiru
「イマ」という ほうき星 今も一人追いかけている
"IMA" to iu hôkiboshi ima mo hitori oikaketeiru
Yeah! Hahan !

背が伸びるにつれて 伝えたい事も増えてった
Se ga nobiru ni tsurete, tsutaetai koto mo fuetetta
宛名の無い手紙も 崩れる程 重なった
Atena no nai tegami mo, kuzureru hodo kasanatta
僕は元気でいるよ 心配事も少ないよ
Boku wa genki de iru yo, shinpai koto mo sukunai yo
ただひとつ 今も思い出すよ
Tada hitotsu, ima mo omoidasu yo

予報外れの雨に打たれて 泣きだしそうな
Yohô hasure no ame ni utarete, nakidashi sô na
君の震える手を 握れなかった あの日を
Kimi no furueru te wo nigirenakatta ano hi wo

見えてるモノを 見落として 望遠鏡をまた担いで
Mieteru MONO wo miotoshite bôenkyô wo mata katsuide
静寂と暗闇の帰り道を 駆け抜けた
Seijaku to kurayami no kaerimichi wo, kakenuketa
そして知った痛みが 未だに僕を支えている
Soshite shitta itami ga, imadani boku o sasaeteiru
「イマ」というほうき星 今も一人追いかけている
"IMA" to iu hôkiboshi ima mo hitori oikaketeiru
もう一度君に会おうとして 望遠鏡をまた担いで
Mô ichido kimi ni aou toshite bôenkyô wo mata katsuide
前と同じ 午前二時 フミキリまで駆けてくよ
Mae to onaji, gozen ni ji, FUMIKIRI made kaketeku yo
始めようか 天体観測 二分後に君が来なくとも
Hajimeyô ka Tentai kansoku ni fun go ni kimi ga konakutomo
「イマ」という ほうき星 君と二人追いかけている
"Ima" to iu hôkiboshi kimi to futari oikaketeiru
Yeah ! Hahan !
Hahan hahan
Yeah, yeah !

Personal Translation

Astronomical observation

2AM at the railroad crossing, I brought the refracting telescope over my shoulders,
The radio attached to my belt ; it seemed it would not rain.
2 minutes later, you came, with an overweighting bag on the back.
"Shall we start the observation, to look for the comet ?"
As not to be drown by the deep obscurity, I was eager to try and
hold your trembling hand, on that day.

In attempt to see invisible things, we were staring through the refractor.
Breaking the silence, several voices raised.
Tomorrow was calling us but I hardly answered,
I was chasing the comet "Ima"* with you.
Yeah ! Hahan !

When you think about it, we are always looking for a lone thing:
The definition of happiness or the sadness dump.
From birth to death, we are always searching.
So, shall we start the astronomical observation, and to search the comet ?

I remember everything I found until today,
The pain of not having hold your trembling hand too.

In attempt to know unknown  things, we were staring through the refractor.
I was looking for a faint light that would enlight the darkness...
Then, the pain I felt, I still remember it now.
Nowadays, alone, I still chase the comet "Ima".
Yeah ! Hahan !

Along with my growing size, the things I'd like to pass on to you have grown too,
Letters, without your address, among others ; it is piling up, at the edge of collapse.
I'm fine, I don't have much concern.
However I still remember now a thing:

Getting wet by an unexpected rain, I am about to cry /*or: like a sudden sob*/
I didn't manage to hold your trembling hand on that day.

We missed that (celestial) object  which is here yet**, I take back the refractor on my shoulder.
I ran through the silence and the darkness on the way home.
Then, the pain I felt is still supporting me now.
Nowadays, I'm still chasing alone the comet "Ima".
In attempt to meet again, I bring again the refracting telescope.
As before, at 2AM I run to the railroad crossing.
"Shall we start the observation ?" Even if you don't come within 2 minutes
I will go on chasing the comet "Ima" with you.

Interpretation notes:

* ima to iu, "called "Now"", in katakana and between brackets indicates that it is the name of the comet and the metaphor of it way of life in the present time only, without caring about future (for the first occurrence).
Concerning the last occurrence, we may understand that either he observes alone and chases the dream - or the nostalgia - of a present wit her lost friend, or at least whose interests have changed... Or that he makes a statement about the fact that they each have their own present to pursue, which would at least make them to share a common point :-/ But we may also hope that his friend will eventually show up... :-).

** We may also interprete that her friend doesn't see his feelings, or in a larger way (since words seem to be chosen for this kind of freedom of interpretation), that "one never see what we have just at hand".

About the sob: I'd rather think that it talks about the rain which ruins his "plan". However we could make a parallel with the rain which would materialize his disappointment for not having the courage to hold this hand.

And you, what do you think ?

Anecdotes, Legacy

Astronomy is a recurring thema with BOC. It comes mainly from the fact that the singer and songwriter Motoo is fond of it since he received a book in his childhood. You can notice that the MV draws a parallel between the 4 kids and the band. All the more since the 4 members effectively know each others since kindergarten !

Tentai kansoku will even inspire in the following year the so-called drama, in which it is of course an insert song along with several others of the band !! This drama is called "Searching for my polestar" for international distribution, and depicts indeed a group of friends, former astronomy club members, who try to  meet again a few years later. Another point is that the bar where they used to meet is called "Jupiter", like the B.O.C.'s album containing the song.

This 2nd exposition will definitely install the song among the must-know standards of the Japanese karaokes, despite the obvious difficulty due to both length and complexity of the lyrics. More than 15 years after her release, it is still ranking in the Top 50 of karaoke (~30th in 2015-2017) !

You may also enjoy listening to :

This music video and this text can be compared to the ones of the famous ending by supercell: "Kimi no shiranai monogatari", or to the classic hit of GreeeeN : "Kiseki".

Main performers

BUMP OF CHICKEN (detailed presentation here): male pop-rock band created and performed it in 2001. It can be found in the album "Jupiter" or their 1st Best of (see below).
02/2002: 1st album in Major; includes Tentai Kansoku, Halcyon...
07/2013: Best of 1999-2004; includes Sailing days (One Piece animation movie), Arue, Tentai Kansoku, Halcyon, Snow Smile, Only lonely glory, Lamp, Glass no Blues...

Goose House: this famous cover band on YouTube performed it in 2012. They then started in Major. It is a more pop version.


Other sources : M-on,, Wikipedia JP...

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