In honor of the release of “Love, Yumi” I have taken both classic and modern J-pop songs that relate to the themes and feelings of the novel.
“HANABI ~episode II~” was initially chosen for its powerful and sad mood, but ultimately included because of the duality of the lyrics. What I mean is that they read as if they could come from either main character for a variety of reasons. They come from the heart of someone who has lost someone dear to them, either through death or breakup. The narrator keeps trying to live in the past but ultimately realizes that they must continue forward, choosing to release their dear memories into the world for safe keeping. (Hanabi is Japanese for fireworks, the imagery that is used to express the scattering of memories into the sky.)
Hey, why do I again
Retrace the steps that I left?
Hey, since then summers just
Keep on coming and going
Yet I remember everything
Your voice calling my name… your everyday habits…
Although I want to forget… I don’t want to forget…
Hey, was the path I chose
Hey, regardless of who I ask
There’s no answer anywhere
I’ve come to hate it, because I knew it
Someday I want to hear it from your mouth
That you’re happy. Then, laugh.
These memories are so beautiful.
I’ll preserve them by locking them away
Launch them toward the sky