Learn Japanese with Sakuramichi by Tohoshinki


I am a big fan of 東方神起(とうほうしんき・tohoshinki). I am a TVXQ!(their name in English) otaku.

This song is a story and a lot of beautiful description of the scene. Vocabulary are not definitely for beginner, it can be challenging, but I believe it is a worth to try! Word choices are so beautiful and I really enjoyed making this article.

If you know of 東方神起, this lyrics seems they are singing about them since they were 5 members when they debuted. They are one of the pioneers to open Korean culture to Japan. In 2009, when they were already very popular in Japan, 3 of them decided not to continue. A lot of confusion among their fans occurred. Actually, I got to know them in 2009 because this 東方神起’s split were on TV news every day (in Japan) and every one talks about them…

When this song was released, fans like me thought that this is a message for 3 members who left the group… We are hoping to see 5 of them someday in the future.

I hope you will like 東方神起! 😉


歌詞(かし):Lyrics

sakiwa  dokoe  tsudukunodarou?
さき*は どこへ つづくのだろう
未来(さき)は どこへ  続くのだろう

未来(みらい / mirai)

future

*In the lyrics, they sing as ‘saki’. saki means ‘ahead’ and normally written as 先(さき). Because this is the lyrics, it is possible to read the kanji differently than usual. please do not use that pronunciation for study.

どこ

where

particle after the place
similar to the particle に.
This is used to describe a destination of movement.

続く(つづく)

[verb] to continue

particle
の is used as a question for a casual sentence.

in daily conversation, this のwill be ん.
We shortened ‘no’ to ‘n’.

だろう?

It is used to show that you are wondering.
kimito  deai  wakaretamichi 
きみと であい わかれたみち
君と 出会い 別れた道

君(きみ)

you
*please do not use it in daily conversation.
that is rude.

(person)と

with

出会い(であい)

ますstem of the verb 出会う(であう・to meet someone for the first time.)

in writing japanese, ますSTEM is used as てform which is a conversational form.
ますSTEM sounds like public speech or official sentence.

translation will be ‘I met you and …’

別れる(わかれる)

[verb] to separate, to break up, to divorce, split up
This is used for people.

道(みち)

road
itsuka mata kokode...  to chikatte
「いつかまたここで」とちかって
「いつかまたここで」と誓って

いつか

someday

また

Again

ここ

Here

particle after place.

the lyrics says ここで…
it implies 会おう(あおう・aou:let’s meet up).

particle ‘quotation’

誓う(ちかう)

[verb] to swear, to promise
bokutachiwa  sorezoreni  mukatteitta
ぼくたちは それぞれに むかっていった
僕達は それぞれに 向かって行った

僕(ぼく)

‘i’ for boys

(person)たち

plural (only for person)

は (wa)

particle after the subject

それぞれ

each

particle after the place if the verb means movement.
それぞれ(の : to each way)(の向かうべき所 : to the place where each of them have to go),etc. are implied.

向かって行く(むかっていく)
: to go toward, to be headed

向かう(むかう):to face, to locate your body in front of something, to face certain direction and move toward the direction

行く(いく) : to go
*いく is used when something go far from you.
yakusokushita  konobashoniwa
やくそくした このばしょには
約束した この場所には

約束(やくそく)

Promise

した

[verb] the past tense of する(to do)

この(+ NOUN)

this (+ noun)

Alaway a noun follows after この

場所(ばしょ)

place

particle after the place

は (wa)

particle after the subject or topic of the sentence
kyoumo yasashii iroga matta
きょうも やさしいいろが まった
今日も 優しい色が 舞った

今日(きょう)

Today

Particle ‘also’
We use も right after a word which has changed from the earlier sentence.

example)
今日(きょう・Today)、晴れ(はれ・Sunny)です。:Today is sunny.
明日(あした・tomorrow)、晴れです。:Tomorrow is also sunny.

PARTICLE は・が・を WILL BE REPLACED TO を.
pARTICLE に・で cannot be replaced.

優しい(やさしい)

[adjective] gentle, tender,soft, mild, (people) Kind

色(いろ)

color

舞う(まう)

[verb] to dance, TO CIRCLE(BIRDS, snow, flower petals, ETC.)
bokuwa mewotoji kimiwo machinagara
ぼくは めをとじ きみをまちながら
僕は 目を閉じ 君を待ちながら

目(め)

eyes

閉じ(とじ)

ますSTEM OF THE VERB 閉じる(とじる・To close)

IN WRITING JAPANESE, ますSTEM IS USED AS てFORM WHICH IS A CONVERSATIONAL FORM.
ますSTEM SOUNDS LIKE PUBLIC SPEECH OR OFFICIAL SENTENCE.

translation will be ‘closed my eyes and… ‘

待ち(まち)

ますstem of the verb 待つ(まつ・to wait)

[verb ますstem] + ながら

while i do …
anoyoruno tsudukiwo nagameta
あのよるの つづきを ながめた
あの夜の 続きを 眺めた

あの(+ NOUN)

that (+ NOUN)
in the lyrics, it mentions unidentiied night in the past

ALAWAY A NOUN FOLLOWS AFTER あの

夜(よる)

night

particle ‘noun connecter’ の

‘NOUN CONNECTER’ の is used when we add details to the noun right after の.

続き(つづき)

continuation

noun form of the verb つづく

particle after the object

眺める(ながめる)

to see, to look at

・to see something while relaxing
・to stare at something while thinking something
・to see ENTIRETY OF something you can see
sakura furuyoruni kimiwo dakishimeta
さくら ふるよるに きみを だきしめた
桜 降る夜に 君を 抱きしめた

桜(さくら)🌸

Cherry blossom

降る(ふる)

something falls over a wide area from the sky or higher place constantly

often used with 雨(あめ・rain) and 雪(ゆき・snow).

in the lyrics, the petals of cherry blossoms fall.

PARTICLE AFTER A SPECIFIC TIME.

IN THE LYRICS, 夜(よる・NIGHT) IS A WORD OF TIME.

抱きしめる(だきしめる)

: to embrace someone tightly

抱く(だく: TO HOLD SOMEONE IN ONE’S ARMS)

閉める(しめる: TO CLOSE)
chiriyuku sekaiga tomatte utsutta 
ちりゆくせかいが とまって うつった
散り行く世界が 止まって 映った

散り(ちり)

ますSTEM OF THE VERB 散る(ちる)
(flowers, leaves) to fall, to fly around
(something gathered) to scatter, to disperse

IN WRITING JAPANESE, ますSTEM IS USED AS てFORM WHICH IS A CONVERSATIONAL FORM.
ますSTEM SOUNDS LIKE PUBLIC SPEECH OR OFFICIAL SENTENCE.

TRANSLATION WILL BE ‘cherry blossoms fly around and … ‘

行く(ゆく)

to go

sometimes, いく becomes ゆく because it is easier to pronunce.

世界(せかい)

world

止まる(とまる)

something stop / someone stop

intransitive verb
we never use particle を with INTRANSITIVE VERB.
Always, something/someone が 止まる

映る(うつる)

To be reflected, be mirrored, be imaged

appearance, form, shawow, etc. appears on something else because of reflexion.
douka konomamade
どうかこのままで 

どうか

[adverb] I beg you…, please…

どうか is used when the situation is negative for you. you are begging.

この(+ NOUN)

THIS (+ NOUN)

(この)まま

まま is a noun. まま CANNOT BE USED BY ITSELF. ALWAYS WITH NOUN の まま.
の is a particle, noun connecter.

“NOUN” の まま
“Noun” does dot change and keep as it is.

I see このまま is always translated as “at this rate” in every anime.
zutto konomamade
ずっとこのままで

ずっと

forever, long time
modoranai imawo tsunagitomeyoutoshita
もどらないいまを つなぎとめようとした
戻らない今を 繋ぎ止めようとした

戻らない(もどらない)

[verb] 戻る(もどる・TO BE BACK, TO RETURN)nagative form

今(いま)

now, right now

繋ぎ止める(つなぎとめる)
: to tie up, to fasten securely
[figurative]: to secure, to capture (memory, sb’s feeling)

繋ぐ(つなぐ): to chain, to link, to connect

止める(とめる):to stop something

よう

volitional form for ru verb

*what is ru verb?
Please watch my very first youtube video!

[verb’s volitional form] + とした
: tried to do, (but couldn’t…)

と:particle quotation

this form implies ‘but could not’.
dakedo konosakiga fuanna hibidemo
だけど このさきが ふあんなひびでも
だけど この先が 不安な日々でも

だけど

But
At the beginning of the sentence.
Casual

先(さき)

[noun] ahead (distance and time)

不安(ふあん)

な adjective

insecure, uneasy, anxious, fearful, unrest

When you try something new, you are excited, but at the same time, you feel 不安 because you are not sure if it is a right choice for you or not yet.

日々(ひび)

days

The kanji ‘々’ is used when the same kanji is duplicated.
we do not write 日日

(sentence) でも, (2nd sentence)

even though, even if (1st sentence), (2nd sentence).
kimiga waraunara maeni susumanakya
きみが わらうなら まえに すすまなきゃ
君が 笑うなら 前に 進まなきゃ

笑う(わらう)

[verb] to smile, to laugh

in the lyrics, “to smile”.

(verb simple form present or past / adjectives, nous)なら

if…

conditional

前(まえ)

[noun]

place)
[direction] forward, AHEAD
[place] front


time)
[verb present tense]+前:before verb,
[counter for seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years]+前:ago

進む(すすむ)

[verb]

(verb casual negative = ないform) + なきゃ

have to do, must do

[colloquial] なきゃ(いけない・ならない ARE IMPLIED AFTer なきゃ)

[writing form] vなければ、いけません(Vなければ、なりません)
kitto daijoubu hanaretatoshitemo
きっとだいじょうぶ はなれたとしても
きっと大丈夫 離れたとしても

きっと

without fail, surely, certainly

90 % and more sure

大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)

all right!, it’s okay, it’s fine, It works, no problem, I am good, you(we/i) can do it, etc…

離れる(はなれる)

[verb] to be apart, to be separated

the image is the distance between 2 people/things get wider.

(verb た form)+としても

[conditional] even though verb (happens),

と:particle for quotaion
して:て form of する(to do)
も:even
kitto daijoubu zutto tsunagatteiru
きっとだいじょうぶ ずっと つながっている
きっと大丈夫 ずっと繋がっているWOW~

ている

(verb て form) + いる

similar to “-ing” in english

in japanese, verb te form + いる INDICATE “DURATION of time”.

in conversation, we drop い between て and る.
If you catch the singer did not say い, that totally perfect!
arekara suunenga sugite
あれから すうねんが すぎて
あれから数年が過ぎて

あれ

that (one overther)
When we can point things out, あれ means that one over there.
Something far from both speaker and listener.

あれ is also used when we cannot remember the name of object, and to talk about a certain event in the past.

in the lyrics, あれから implys that the story before あれから was in the past. with the word あれから, it is like we time travelled from the past of them to now.

(noun) から

since, from


*Be careful*

Students get confused with ‘because’.
if you want to mean ‘because‘, that will be ‘(noun)から’.

数(すう)+ counter

a few

in the lyrics, he said 数年(すうねん).
年(ねん) is a counter for year, so 数年(すうねん)means ‘a few years’.

過ぎる(すぎる)

[verb]
(time) TO PASS BY, to pass away, to expire (for the specific date)
(way) to pass through
(level) to exceed, surplus
kawattakotomo kawaranukotomo
かわったことも かわらぬことも
変わったことも 変わらぬことも

変わる(かわる)

[verb] to change

こと

untangible thing

i.e. experience / event / idea, etc.

変わら

here is equivalent to ない.
we can just replace ぬ to ない.
ない is basic and often used in conversation.
On the other hand, ぬ is writing form, very formal.
omoidoorino imajanakutemo 
おもいどおりの いまじゃなくても 
思い通りの 未来(いま)じゃなくても

思い(おもい)通り(どおり)

思い:[NOUN] an idea, a thought
+
~ 通り:[NOUN] ~通り MEANS IT IS SAME AS ~.
通り CAN BE TRANSLATED TO ‘AS, ACCORDING TO’

– for examples –
言った(いった)通り:aS SOMEONE SAID,
注文(ちゅうもん)通り:as ordered,

思い(おもい)通り(どおり): as I dreamed, As my wishes

★思い(おもい)通り(どおり)の:Satisfactory

** 未来(いま)

今(いま) means now, current

on the lyrics, time changes before and after the chorus.
The kanji 未来 is read みらい basically.
From the perspective of the past, now is the future, and that is why the lyrics use the kanji 未来 as いま. Very poetic.

じゃなくても

let’s break it down!

じゃない: nagative form for a noun and な adjective.
it means ‘it is not’


くて: te form for い adjectives.
you need to replace い at the end of い ADJECTIVE to , then you add て. this is how we make te form for i adjectives.

negative form + も: even (if / though)

the lyrics will be ‘even though it was not the future(now) i imagined‘.
kiminimata meguriau soushinjita
きみにまた めぐりあう そうしんじた
君にまた 巡り会う そう信じた

巡り合う(めぐりあう)


: to meet (again) by chance, come across

巡る(めぐる): to move around,
(image of the verb is to make a circle around something.)

合う(あう): together, interactive action

そう

so

信じる(しんじる)

[verb] to believe

そう信じた means ‘I believed so.
chiisana fuanto kibouni
ちいさなふあんと きぼうに
小さな不安と 希望に

小さな(ちいさな)

[なadjective] small
** な adjective 小さな is very limited use. It is different from other な ADJECTIVEs.
we use 小さな when we describe a noun.

the meaning is the same as ちいさい.

不安(ふあん)

[noun] anxiety, uncertainty, uneasiness
[な adjective]

希望(きぼう)

[noun] a hope, a wish, a desire

[particle] when movement have a direction, we use に after the destination of the movement.
muneno otowo kasanenagara
むねのおとを かさねながら
胸の音を 重ねながら

胸(むね)

[noun] (a body part) chest, breast

胸 is where we feel the feelings.

音(おと)

[noun] sound

重ねる(かさねる)

[verb] to pile up, to put something on top of another
shikaino nakani kimino kagewo
しかいのなかに きみのかげを
視界の中に 君の影を

視界(しかい)

[noun] a field of vision, visibility

中(なか)

[noun] inside

影(かげ)

[noun] shade, shadow

in this sentence, it can be a silhouette.
kinjiteha konotewo nobashita
かんじては このてを のばした
感じては この手を伸ばした

感じる(かんじる)

[verb] to feel, to become aware of

verb te form + は、verb…

this sentence describes repeating action (verb in the teform).
Translation will be “everytime i do (with the verb in te form), i do (did) this.”

on the lyrics, we can see that Everytime he feels her, he tried to catch her.

手(て)

[noun] hand

伸ばす(のばす)

[verb] to lengthen, to make something longer

手を伸ばす: to put out one’s hand
furimuita kimi
ふりむいたきみ
振り向いた君

振り向く(ふりむく)
: to turn one’s face back, to look back

振る(ふる):to shake (head), to wave (hand)

向く(むく):to face toward, to face, to front
nagare dashita toki
ながれだしたとき
流れ出した時間(とき)

流れ出す(ながれだす)
to start flowing

流れる(ながれる):to flow

出す(だす):verb ますstem + 出す means start doing.

時(とき)

[noun] time
maiochiru sakura
まいおちるさくら
舞落ちる桜

舞い落ちる(まいおちる)
: to fall (petals, snow) while dancing

舞う(まう):TO DANCE, TO CIRCLE(BIRDS, SNOW, FLOWER PETALS, ETC.)

落ちる(おちる): to fall
futariwo tsutsunda
ふたりをつつんだ
二人を包んだ

二人(ふたり)

2 people

包む(つつむ)

[verb] to wrap, to cover, to bundle up
tomatta kodouga futatabi kizande
とまったこどうが ふたたびきざんで
止まった鼓動が 再び刻んで

鼓動(こどう)

[noun] heartbeat

再び(ふたたび)

again

刻む(きざむ)

[verb] to chop (foods), to engrave (memory), to beat (time)

in the lyrics, 刻む is describing the heartbeat continue to beat so that we can see the time is flowing.

eienni tsuduku kanenoyouni hibiita
えいえんつづく かねのようにひびいた
永遠に続く 鐘の様に響いた

永遠(えいえん)

[noun] forever

鐘(かね)

bell

(SOMETHING の)様(よう)

[metaphor]  like something

響く(ひびく)

[verb] (sound) to be heard far away, to echo
anotokino mamani kimiwo dakishimeta
あのときのままに きみをだきしめた
あの時のままに 君を抱きしめた
anotokiyorimo tsuyoku tsuyoku dakishimeta
あのときよりつよく つよくだきしめた
あの時より強く 強く抱きしめた

~より

than ~

あの時より 強く: STRONGER THAN THE LAST TIME.

強い(つよい)

[い ADJECTIVE] STRONG

い adjective

we always need to change at the end of the adjective if the adjective is used to add more details to the verb.
Before the verb, always changes to !
mouichido arukou isshoni arukou
もういちどあるこう いっしょにあるこう
もう一度歩こう 一緒に歩こう

もう

again, more

一度(いちど)

one time, once

歩く(あるく)

[verb] to walk

(Verb)oう!

let’s walk! volitional form for U verb.

一緒(いっしょ)に

together

*if you mean together, に is necessary.
一緒 by itself means “the same“.
sakuramichiga hora asue tsuduiteiru
さくらみちがほら あすへつづいている
桜道がほら 明日へ続いている

ほら

see!, look!, voila!

明日(あす・あした)

[noun] tomorrow

あす is more formal. on news paper, it is always used あす.
あした is more daily use.
hitorikiride nagameta keshikiwa  doremo munashiidakede
ひとりきりでながめたけしきは どれもむなしいだけで
一人きりで眺めた景色は どれも虚しいだけで

一人(ひとり)

one person

(person +)きり

only, alone

(person +)で

group of people

一人で= by myself
二人で= WITH 2 people (INCLUDE YOU)
4人で= with 4 people (INCLUDE YOU)
家族で=with family (include you)

景色(けしき)

[noun] scenery, landscape, view

どれも

(in affirmative sentence) any, all, every
(IN negaTIVE SENTENCE) none, no, neither

虚しい(むなしい)

[い adjective] empty, fruitless, ineffective, unavailing

だけ

only
umaranai kokoro  kimiga inai seidato kiduita
うまらないこころ きみがいないせいだと きづいた
埋まらない心 君がいないせいだと 気づいた

埋まる(うまる)

[verb] to be filled up (with), be embedded (in)

埋まらない is in the negative form.

心(こころ)

[noun] heart where you feel.
* this is not an organ.

いる

[verb] existance of living thing. (people, animals, insects and ghost)

いない is in the negative form.

せい

[noun] because of
sounds accusing someone.

this だ is necessary because before the particle と(quotation) is a noun (せい).

気づく(きづく)

[verb] to realize
hanareta jikan no bun maeyorimo fukaku
はなれたじかんのぶん まえよりもふかく
離れた時間の分 前よりも深く

時間(じかん)

[noun] time

分(ぶん)

[noun] a part, a portion, a share

前(まえ)

before, the last time (the other day)

深い(ふかい)

[い adjective] deep
kimiwo motto  sukini natta
きみをもっと すきになった 
君をもっと 好きになった 

もっと

more

好き(すき)

[な adjective] like

なる

[verb] to become

★grammar point★
noun / な adjective なる
verb / い adjective なる
sakura furu yoruni  kimiwo dakishimeta
さくらふるよるに きみをだきしめた
桜 降る夜に 君を抱きしめた
chiriyuku sekaiga  tomatte utsutta
ちりゆくせかいが とまってうつった
散り行く世界が 止まって映った
kimiwa anomamade  bokumo konomamade
きみはあのままで ぼくもこのままで
君はあのままで 僕もこのままで

きみ (you):あのまま
ぼく (I for men):このまま

this is a good phrase when we learn about あの and この.

あの is used when the speaker is talking about something very far from him/her. ‘きみはあのまま’ means ‘you are still the same old you.’ because in that story, they were separated for a while and finally they met each other again. きみ (you) were somewhere far from the speaker and he is comparing to the past きみ (you) and current きみ (you). That is why あの IS USED.

この is used when the speaker is talking about something close to him/her. in the lyrics, ‘ぼくもこのまま’ I am still the same old me.

te form of noun

it can be translated ‘and‘.

と is ‘and’, but it can only be used between two nouns.
dakedo tewotsunagi  susunde itanda
だけどてをつなぎ すすんでいたんだ
だけど手を繋ぎ 進んでいたんだ

だけど

But

this ‘but’ is at the beginning of the sentence. ‘but’ with capital b.

Verb んだ

we use ‘verb んだ’ when we want to put emphasis on to the sentence.

from ‘VERB んだ‘, we can understand that he realized the fact that he was moving forward while holding each other’s hand.
haruka  konosakiga  mienai michi demo
はるか このさきが みえないみちでも
遥か この先が 見えない道でも

遥か(はるか)

[な adjuctive]
(place) far, in the distance
(time) long time ago
(level) by far, much (more than)

遥か sounds farther than 遠い.
we often use both together ‘遥か遠く’.

見えない

[verb] cannot see

negative form for 見える (can see).
kimiga waraunara  maeni fumidasuyo
きみがわらうなら まえにふみだすよ
君が笑うなら 前に踏み出すよ

踏み出す(ふみだす)
: to step forward, to advance, to take a step

踏む(ふむ):to step on, to tread on

出す(だす):VERB ますSTEM + 出す MEANS START DOING.
dakara saa arukou  futaride arukou
だからさああるこう ふたりであるこう
だからさあ歩こう 二人で歩こう

だから

[conjunction]
so,

だから is casual.
なので is a bit formal than だから. however, it is only for conversation.

さぁ

this is hard to translate. we say さぁ to invite someone to do something and let him/her do something.

possible translations are
here (we go)! : さぁ、行こう!
C’mon!
let’s go!
go, japan! go! : さぁ日本!行け!

二人(ふたり)

two people
kitto daijoubu  zutto tsuduiteiru
きっとだいじょうぶ ずっとつづいている
きっと大丈夫 ずっと続いている WOW~


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