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:

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YAPOOS – VIP ~FROM RUSSIA WITH Y~ (VIP ~ROSHIA YORI Y WO KOMETE~) [1992]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

The title to this one is obviously a reference to the James Bond novel and film, From Russia with Love. Y is pronounced as wai in Japanese, and the original title of the Japanese film is Roshia yori ai wo komete, meaning the wai and ai sound alike.

Continuing the secret agent motif that Togawa likes so much, our protagonist now takes center stage in what appears to be a last blast of Soviet-influenced Cold War post-apocalyptic S&M romance.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – DADADAISM [1992]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by LION MERRY

It’s about art! What do you expect from a song that name-drops Dada? I’m going to try my best to explain all the references in here, I’m no expert in art history or anything but I like to think I know a bit on the subject.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – ROD-SHAPED SIN (BOUJOU NO TSUMI) [1995]

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

Probably my favorite song off of Like an Archangel, which I generally consider to be the weakest of the Yapoos albums. Though I am generally a sucker for anything with the theme of sin in it, just because of my ex-Catholic nature.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – I AM CURIOUS [WATASHI WA KOUKISHIN NO TSUYOI ONNA] (1992)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by YUICHI KONO

Track #5 off Dadada ism by Yapoos, this song takes its title from the classic Swedish film(s), I Am Curious. The title of the film(s) in Japanese is altered slightly – rendered more literally, it would be “I am a Strongly Curious Woman,” but I think that the reference to the film is more important to keep than the meaning of the Japanese translation of the title. As for the appearance of the phrase in the actual lyrics, I’ll render them closer to the literal translation of the title in order to better capture poetic usage and modification of the phrase within other lines of the song.

I’ve never seen this film but supposedly it’s… good? I know it’s avant-garde and features sex, I heard about it in one of the film classes I took in college, I think the professor made a joke about it. It’s been sitting around in my bookmarks for far too long, maybe I’ll finally get around to watching it this way.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – ACCORDING TO THE AFFIDAVIT… [KYOUJUTUSHO NI YOREBA] (1991)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

The final song to be translated off of Dial Y! and a song about… murder? Secret agents? It’s from the secret agent-y album so I assume it has something to do with all of that. Also, affidavit is clearly a legal term.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – THE STRANGER INSIDE ME [WATASHI NO NAKA NO TANIN] (1991)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by TOSHIRO SENSUI

The B-side to “Men’s Junan” and a tale of a lover scorned. Togawa plays with some of her common themes on this – ideas of the self, having other people inside you, things like multiple personalities. More than anything else, it’s a metaphor for how much one can change once they’re scorned.

Translation and notes under the cut:

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YAPOOS – FOOL GIRL (1991)

lyrics by JUN TOGAWA | music by NOBUO NAKAHARA

Track #8 off Turn the Y Dial! / Daiyaru Y wo Mawase!, and one of the two songs on the album to have an English title (along with “Men’s Junan”). Togawa’s English ability seems to vary from song to song but the one line she speaks in this is fine – it sounds like something she’d say in Japanese anyway and just adds to the song.

As for the content matter, it’s about alienation, I think. Like any good Togawa song is – no one can see what the narrator sees, no one acknowledges her, no one understands her.

Translation and notes are under the cut:

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