Sunday, December 27, 2015

Higashi e, Nishi e

My number 1favorite song by Bon DX is Higashi e, Nishi e, primarily because of two words that get belted out for the chorus - "dakara" and "gambare". For this reason, I've always thought the name of the song is "Gambare". Turns out, though, that it was originally written by Yosue Inoue in 1972 for his album "Inoue Yosue II - Sentimental," and has been dubbed the starting point of the Japanese surrealism genre. There are over 20 different cover versions on youtube (I didn't try counting them all; there's probably more), but Bon's is the only Ska interpretation I know of. I wanted to get a little more attention in the west for this version, so I took the Dec. 14th video footage and subtitled it in English as its own youtube video.

Direct youtube video

The original lyrics by Inoue, (c) 1972

昼寝をすれば夜中に 眠れないのはどういうわけだ
Hirune wo sureba yonaka ni nemurenai no hodou iu wake da
I took a siesta so now, in the middle of the night, I can't sleep.

満月 空に満月 明日は愛しいあの子に会える
Mangetsu, sore ni mangetsu ashita wa itoshii ano ko ni aeru
A full moon, in the sky a full moon, Tomorrow I'll meet a beautiful girl

目覚まし時計は 母親みたいで 心が通わず
Mezamashi dokei wa Hahaoya mitaide kokoro ga tsuuwazu
The alarm clock, just like my mother, has no heart

頼りの自分は 睡眠不足で  だから
Tayori no jibun wa suimin buzoku de dakara
I have to rely on myself, but I'm exhausted, therefore

がんばれ みんながんばれ 月は流れて東へ西へ...
Gambare, minna gambare, tsuki wa nagarete higashi e nishi e
Gambare, everyone gambare, the moon goes to east to west

電車は 今日もすしづめ 延びる線路が拍車をかける
Densha wa kyou mo sushidzume nobiro senro ga hakusha wo kakero
Again, the train is packed today, the outstretched tracks spur us on

満員 いつも満員 床に倒れた老婆が笑う
Man'in, itsu mo Man'in, yuka ni taoreta rouba ga warao
Standing room only, everyday standing room only, the old woman lying on the floor is laughing

お情け無用の お祭り電車に呼吸も止められ
Onasake muyou no omatsuri densha ni koyuu mo tomerare
Sympathy is futile, even breathing ends on this festival train

身動きできずに 夢見る旅路へ だから
Miugokidekizu ni yume miru tabiji e, dakara
Unable to move, dreaming of the journey, therefore

がんばれ みんながんばれ 夢の電車は東へ西へ...
Gambare, minna gambare, yume no densha wa higashi e nishi e
Gambare, everyone gambare, the dream train goes to east to west

花見の 駅で待ってる 君にやっとの思いで会えた
Hanami no eki de matteru, kimi ni yatto no omoide aeta
Going cherry blossom viewing, I wait at the station, after great length
I can finally meet you

満開 花は満開 君はうれしさあまって気が触れる
mankai, hana wa mankai, kimi wa ureshisa amatte ki ga fureru
Full bloom, the flowers are in full bloom, I can feel your great happiness

空では カラスも 負けないくらいに喜んでいるよ
Sore de wa karasu mo makenaikurai ni yorokondeiro yo
In the sky, the crows also, fight to be happy

とまどう ぼくには何にもできない だから
Tomadou, boku ni wa nani mo dekinai, dakara
Bewildered, I'm unable to do anything, therefore

がんばれ みんながんばれ 黒いカラスは東へ西へ
Gambare, minna gambare, kuroi karasu wa higashi e nishi e
Gambare, everyone gambare, the flying crow goes to east to west


zillustration said...

Great stuff! One of my favorite J-Groups has to be the Tokyo Ska Orchestra from the 90s - super fun. You can't beat a good Ska version of ANY song!

TSOTE said...

Hey, Z!
You then may be interested in a CD that Bon produced, called Back Beat Boppers. It's a sampler of Ska and reggae bands based around Kyushu. The reggae stuff is just so-so, but the Ska bands are pretty good. (Bon performs in both Bon DX and ARTS). I know that Rude Vibes has a few videos on youtube, but I haven't checked the other groups. The track list gives the following band names. If you want, I can try finding web sites or youtube video links for them for you.

Wave Islands (from Miyazaki)
Rude Vibes (from Kagoshima)
The Rhinocerosmiles (from Kumamoto)
The Convictions (from Fukuoka)
ARTS (from Kagoshima)
Ram Jam Vendors (from Fukuoka)
Club Sandinista (from Fukuoka)
The Little Bitch (from Kagoshima)
DUB creation (aka Dub Rockers) (from Fukuoka)
SKA'SH Onions (from Fukuoka
The Holidays (from Fukuoka)
The Ska-Phonics (from Oita)
Bon DX (from Kagoshima)
V.S. Honour (from Fukuoka)
No Kidding (from Kumamoto)
Vic Bongo (from Fukuoka)
The Explosions (from Fukuoka)
The Dicksweets (from Miyazaki)

zillustration said...

Sure! I'm always looking for new music. The most recent J-Group I've really been into and purchased has been Boris, which is pretty heavy stuff (shoe gazer) - I had access to a bunch of J-Music in the 90s (Mad Capsule Markets, Cornelius, Kyoshiro and the 2 3's, etc) - but my sources have moved on...
ping me at my gmail account: paulzdepski [at]
Thanks for the lead!