YAPOOS – LIVING IN THE FOREST [MORI NI SUMU] (1988)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by MITSURU KOTAKI

One of my personal favorite tracks off of Like an Archangel / Daitenshi no You ni, this “Living in the Forest” sees Togawa on home turf, using naturalistic metaphors to describe a depressive, disassociative state in which she becomes one with the forest. The entire song reminds me of the concept of ego death, the flattening of one’s consciousness into their surroundings… Togawa doesn’t state her reasons here (other than that she’s tired), so that’s up to us to figure out. Is it heartbreak? Is it existential anguish? All of the above?

Translation and notes under the cut:

My bones are branches, creaking in the night
My hair is ivy slithering up the wall
And from my green eyes stretch strings
And as my tears flow, my legs, withered –
Stretch as roots across the ground
I live in the forest (1)

Lan la la la
Lan lan lan

I’m tired, I’ll just rest here
I’ll cast away everything I carry on my back
Inside memories, fading away
The consciousness of the trees flows into me

Lan la la la
Lan lan lan


1: The word ‘live,’ in the original Japanese is sumu, but not with the usual kanji – one would use 住む to express living somewhere, but the kanji Togawa uses is 棲(む), which means more along the lines of ‘dwell’ or ‘inhabit,’ a slightly primitive or natural nuance to it.

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