samedi 9 septembre 2017

Makenaide (負けないで) - Eng

While Japan is getting stuck in the recession of the "Lost Decade" after the collapse of a speculative and real estate bubble, ZARD encounters their 1st big hit in 1993 with a cheering song which will accompany the salarymen during their long overtime. A song which will take a more dramatical meaning 13 years later for the singer Sakai Izumi...

Makenaide (負けないで)

Endless struggle



1e publication : 06/09/2017
Dernière MaJ: 06/09/2017


Story


ZARD, the project of the singer Sakai Izumi, debutes in 1991, by the end of what Japanese call the "Bubble Jidai", a period of speculative bubble on stocks and real estate by the end of the 80s. Then begins the "Lost Decade", 失われた十年 Ushinawareta Juunen, (or even the Lost 20 Years for some people), with its bankrupts and real estate values in constant diminution which reduced the purchasing power of people and destroyed the Japanese myth of employment for life. Sakai Izumi writes the lyrics of Makenaide, her 6th single released on the 27th of  January 1993, to encourage youngsters taking college and company employment examinations, and for all these salarymen (women were still mainly expected to become housewives) who keep working longer in order to... avoid earning less. These young people are particularly in difficulty as they belong to the generation of the 2nd Japanese baby-boom (団塊ジュニア: "Dankai Junior"), offsprings of the 1st post-war baby-boomers, thus more numerous for less jobs.
And the reception exceeds the expectations as it becomes her 1st track n°1 of the weekly Oricon Charts, and sells to more than 1.6 millions units ! In fact, with its quite general lyrics, everybody can recognize oneself in the song. It is then quickly chosen to bcome the theme song of the charity show 24-Hour TV, destined to help several associations (illness, handicap...), which reuses it regularly since then. The album Yureru Omoi which is released on the same year reaches too the 1st place and exceeds 2 millions sales, launching the the legend of ZARD.


The music is composed by the famous Oda Tetsurou, who has already made several hits, such as the ending of the anime Chibi Maruko-chan... for which Sakai had tried (unsuccessfully) an audition ! In her 15-year career's Best of, she explains she wanted to change from the love songs she was making until then and when she heard the melody of Oda, she was quickly inspired to write a cheering song. She was particularly delighted writing it and finished it at once.

From 2006 on, Sakai Izumi, who was now one of the most famous Japanese singer, suffers from a cancer. Fidel to her 1st hit, she doesn't let it brings her down and goes on preparing her next album during her time in hospital. She also sings Makenaide to other patients to encourage them. Unfortunately she deceases during her cure without being defeated by her cancer: she dies after a fall in the stairs.😢 This tune is then elected as the singer's best song in an Oricon poll.

Music Video playlist

In the 1st video clip of this playlist, there is an official excerpt starting at 3min36s. The MV is quite simple, like most of ZARD's ones: the singer performs on a TV stage surrounded by a lot of multicolor highlights, as a remnant of the previous decade. While she had a short mannequin career, Sakai Izumi wears here too quite simple and casual clothes, in the then American mode (see the different pictures of this article).
Other versions follow, including a... Korean one (see Main Performers below).



Lyrics and romaji

Source : M-On TV Million Hits


ふとした瞬間に 視線がぶつかる
Futoshita shunkan ni, shisen ga butsukaru
幸運*のときめき 覚えているでしょ
Shiawase no tokimeki, oboeteiru desho
パステルカラーの季節**に恋した
Pastel color no kisetsu ni koishita
あの日のように 輝いてる あなたでいてね
Ano hi no you ni kagayaiteru anata de ite ne.

負けないで もう少し 最後まで 走り抜けて
Makenaide, mou sukoshi, saigo made hashirinukete !
どんなに 離れてても 心は そばにいるわ
Donna ni hanaretetemo, kokoro wa soba ni iru wa.
追いかけて 遥かな夢を
Oikakete, haruka na yume wo.

何が起きたって ヘッチャラな顔して
Nani ga okitatte, hechara na kao shite
どうにかなるサ***と おどけてみせるの
Dou ni ka naru SA to, odokete miseru no
”今宵は私と一緒に踊りましょ”
"Koyoi wa watakushi to issho ni odorimasho"
今も そんなあなたが好きよ 忘れないで
Ima mo sonna anata ga suki yo, wasurenaide !

負けないで ほらそこに ゴールは近づいてる
Makenaide ! Hora, soko ni goal wa chikazuiteru
どんなに 離れてても 心は そばにいるわ
Donna ni hanaretetemo kokoro wa soba ni iru wa
感じてね 見つめる瞳****
Kanjite ne, mitsumeru hitomi...

(Musical break)

負けないで もう少し 最後まで 走り抜けて
Makenaide, mou sukoshi, saigo made hashirinukete !
どんなに 離れてても 心は そばにいるわ
Donna ni hanaretetemo, kokoro wa soba ni iru wa.
追いかけて 遥かな夢を
Oikakete, haruka na yume wo.

負けないで ほらそこに ゴールは近づいてる
Makenaide ! Hora, soko ni goal wa chikazuiteru
どんなに 離れてても 心は そばにいるわ
Donna ni hanaretetemo kokoro wa soba ni iru wa
感じてね 見つめる瞳
Kanjite ne, mitsumeru hitomi...

Personal Translation

We cross our eyes just an instant fortuitously; 
The chivers in happiness, you remember it, don't you.
I felt in love with you in these pastel-colored times**.
This person shining like these days is still in you, isn't it.

Don't let it get you down ! Just a little more, run through until the end !
No matter how far apart we are, my heart is always close to you.
Go, run after your distant dream.

What ever happened, you were kepping smiling:
"We'll find a way", and joking:
"Shall we dance tonight ?"
Still today this is that you that I love, don't forget it !

Don't let it get you down ! Hey, look: the goal is getting closer !
No matter how far apart we are, my heart is always close to you.
Don't you feel my lovely eyes on you ?

(Musical break)

Don't let it get you down ! Just a little more, run through until the end !
No matter how far apart we are, my heart is always close to you.
Go, run after your distant dream.

Don't let it get you down ! Hey, look: the goal is getting closer !
No matter how far apart we are, my heart is always close to you.
Don't you feel my lovely eyes on you ?

Notes d'interprétation

Makenaide means of course "don't lose" but is often translated as "Don't give up", because one barely control alone the result of a game. However I think the translation "Don't let it get you down" fits better the song as at the end giving up isn't it also a kind of defeat ? Et even in that case, the most important thing isn't it to stand up again to try once again or something else ? To not let things get you down gets then the meaning of standing again after the unexpected events, the catastrophs which regularly strike Japan. As La Fontaine said, the reed lies but does not break into the storm 😉...

幸運: it is normally spelt kouun and means "good fortune", shiawase meaning happiness in a more general meaning.
** kisetsu means "season", but I feel that time sounds better here.
***サ, Sa ! : "Well !..." when one has been thinking or waiting for a long time and gets in movement, whether one knows what to do or not, or also to reply to a question oneself doesn't know (sa~...). Both cases can apply to the song (Dou ni ka naru: "there will be some way" or "time will tell"...).
****litterally: "Feel my pupils which are staring at you", but it sounds a bit like a stalker in English, doesn't it ? So I try to soften it ^^'

Anecdotes, Posterity


With only 3min46s, Makenaide is the shortest of ZARD's singles.
The chorus part 「走り抜けて」, hashirinukete : "run through", was initially 「あきらめないで」, akiramenaide: "n'abandonne pas". This change is less redondant with "makenaide" and gives more movement, momentum, to the message.

This is the last single performed live on TV by ZARD as a band (on the Music Station stage in February 1993), Sakai Izumi emancipating from the support members her Maojr had chosen for her.

Makenaide is an ending of the drama Shiratori Reiko de gozaimasu! for which ZARD sings too Kitto Wasurenai.
The song is covered by the seiyuu (voice actress) and singer Katô Emily (加藤 英美里) as an ending of the 12th episod of the Lucky Star anime, broadcasted during the year of Sakai Izumi's death.
Several other shows and ads will use it until the 2010s, for instance at the time of the big tsunami of Fukushima in 2011.
In 2014, it arrived 1st of a great poll over 6000 Japanese about the "genki" songs, which cheer peoples. During the special show Ultra FES 2015 and 2016, Makenaide was still 40th among the genki songs that Japanese wanted to introduce to the world and 9th of the most impacting songs in Japan !

As a matter of fact, Makenaide symbolises an historical period of Japan, the begining of the great stagnation-deflation which undermined their economical and social model until the 2000, and in the same time also marks the start of glory for one of the greatest Japanese singers, while far from being a bling-bling pop-star. There is no doubt that this pop-rock mid-tempo song had influenced too a large part of the J-Music scene as this style became a major stream of J-Pop still today despite the competition of teen-pop by Idols since the 2000s and of pop-music RnB from the 2010s.

Similar songs

Makenaide is obviously in the same category as the Japanese all-tmie biggest hit... No, not "PPAP" ^^' , but Ue wo muite arukou by Sakamoto Kyû (1961), more known in West as Sukiyaki. This last one stays a bit more bittersweet in a theme. When Makenaide encourages people who are struggling, Sukiyaki would rather talk to people who lost a battle to consol and get them moving on again. One must add too Tomorrow by Okamoto Mayo which belongs to the same "Lost Decade" (1995) or also Nando demo by Dreams Come True (2005).

Main performers

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1993/07: 1st big success of ZARD, sold to more than 2 millions units; includes Makenaide (drama Shiratori Reiko de gozaimasu!)Yureru OmoiIn my arms tonight (drama Gakkô ga abunai)...
2016/02: Best of released for the 25th anniversary of ZARD's debut; includes the previously cited hits and Glorious Mind, sher posthum song for Detective ConanDon't you see (Dragon Ball GT and OAV of Yawara)...

FLASHBACK-Million Hits Cover On TV / V.A.
Vonda Shepard: the contract singer of the American series Ally McBeal was invited to sing it in a strange compilation concept of English covers of Japanese drama hits, under the title "Don't give up on us", in 2003 and a priori sold out.

Jeon Hye-jin (전혜진) covers it in Korean in 2004 for the drama Sharp (반올림) under the title Jijima (지지마).

Melodies / Tetsuro Oda
Tetsuro Oda (織田哲郎): the compositor of the song's tune covers it in 2006 in a compilation of his opus, with a more orchestral version.


It was also performed live by many artists like the Enka singer Ikkawa Yukino (市川由紀乃 )...

Links

Sources: wikipedia JP, reportages TV...

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