YAPOOS – YOUR REIGN [KIMI NO YO] (1992)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

I kind of went back and forth on the translation of the title for this one. It can mean a lot of things – looking at it literally, one could interpret it as ‘your age’ or ‘your generation’ but I think that the most likely reference is to the Japanese national anthem, “Kimigayo,” which translates to ‘His Imperial Majesty’s Reign.’ The wording slightly differs – from ga to no – which left me with a conundrum. How should I translate it?

I ended up going with “Your Reign,” as I feel like it keeps the reference to the anthem while also opening up the context of who the kimi of the title refers to exactly by simply writing ‘your.’ Anyway, I think this is a love song, but wrapped in patriotism metaphors. It also could just be straight patriotism, but I’m not sure. I may consult the book on this one.

Translation and notes under the cut:

Oh you, born on a volcanic island
A boy raised on a bow-shaped island

Loving and treating me importantly
You would always snuggle up next to me

A golden aura, fire it until they fall! (1)
What a lovely person! You, my beloved

The color of fresh blood on pure white cloth
Flying over the country of one boy

Showa has become so far away now (2), but
A golden aura, fire it until they fall!

An unchanging smile, no matter how many years pass
An unchanging love – you, my beloved

A heart as wide as a continent
A golden aura, fire it until they fall!

An unchanging smile, no matter how many years pass
An unchanging love – you, my beloved


1: A slogan often used in WW2-era posters and on the battlefield. Literally means ‘don’t stop firing,’ but has the nuance of ‘don’t stop firing (until the enemy is defeated and the deed is done).’ Not used in modern Japanese.
2: A reference to a haiku by the poet Kusatao Nakamura, which I would translate as the following:

The snow falls heavy
Has Meiji truly become
So far away now

The author, who was born in the Meiji, composed it when he went back to his old elementary school and saw Showa in full swing. The phrase is now common as an expression of nostalgia.


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