JUN TOGAWA – KOI NO CORRIDA (1985)

original lyrics by KEIICHI OGAWA | music by KOICHI HATTORI

new lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | arrangement by YOSHIHIRO KUNIMOTO

Why does this have so many credits?, you might ask. This one’s a bit difficult to explain. Essentially the song is parodic cover of the ending theme to classic 60s anime Rainbow Sentai Robin, “Robin’s Space Voyage.” The lyrics are totally different between the two, though the instrumentation and general structure of the song remains similar.

Also of note for explanation is the title – most likely it’s a reference to the song “Ai no Corrida,” first recorded by Chaz Jankel and later made famous by Quincy Jones, which is in turn a reference to the film In the Realm of the Senses, the Japanese title of which was Ai no Corrida, a combination of Japanese and Spanish often rendered as “Bullfight of Love.” I’ve decided to keep the multi-lingual title in this song as well, though it differs in one word – koi vs. ai. I don’t have the space to explain the difference between the two terms – they both essentially mean love in English, but the nuances and usages are different.

Translation and notes are under the cut:

I don’t remember if something happened
I’m gripping a hammer in my right hand
The morning sun is dazzling
And it illuminates a man outstretched

On a boat of kleshas (1)
I cross the river of karma
La la la I simply had a dream
About ego death

As I wipe up the bloodstains on the floor
I remember back to my childhood
Compared to that boy bent by blows
What a peaceful day this was

On a boat of kleshas
I cross the river of karma
I simply had a dream
About the destruction of rationality

The tide has risen on the lake of conquest
And it flows towards a waterfall of destruction
For whose sake do these glistening tears fall?
The person I love is in my hands

On a boat of kleshas
I cross the river of karma
I simply had a dream
About the destruction of order

My heart throbs deep in my chest
And my spirit can hear a voice
A Brahman cosmos in disorder (2)
Calling out to me

On a boat of kleshas
I cross the river of karma
La la la the bullfight
Of an ego death love


1: Kleshas are a Hindu and Buddhist concept translated as ‘poisons,’ ‘afflictions,’ or ‘destructive emotions.’ They are “mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions,” according to Wikipedia. (I’m linking the one for Buddhist kleshas because it’s more complete, though there is also an article on the Hindu kleshas.)

2: This one is difficult for me to understand, so I’m again just going to supply Wikipedia’s explanation – “In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.”

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