Song: Sotsugyou (GRADUATION)

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credit: tumblr

These days, from the long list of songs I loved in my winamp and mp3player playlist, there is only this song that I listen to on-repeat, almost non-stop: 卒業 (Sotsugyou or “Graduation”) sung by Yutaka Ozaki, a rock-and-roll rebel famous for his heartfelt lyrics and inglorious death.

Sotsugyou, released on 1985, was the single that brought Yutaka Ozaki into the limelight of Japanese music industry. It was a grand classic-rock kind of song and, for lack of better words to describe it, was antique. I admit to have a penchant for antiquate songs, such as the prior posted Ue wo muite arukou.

Anyway, the point is that I am currently in love with this song. The melody is captivating and the way Yutaka sung his lyrics is certainly bewitching as well, adds his unique husky voice into the list—I am doomed to fall for this song.

So, of course, after having been charmed by this song for quite days, I looked for the lyrics, and… interesting, very interesting. The lyrics, I mean. I bet everyone that has experienced the life of rebelling youth—the make-it-or-break-it school time, the urge to escape the suffocating existed system, and then there is this graduation into the so-called adult world—will understand what message Yutaka wanted to say with the song.

Sotsugyou

Kosha no kage shibafu no ue suikomareru sora
Maboroshi to riaruna kimochi kanjiteita
Chaimu ga nari kyoshitsu no itsumo no seki ni suwari
Nani ni shitagai shitagaubeki ka kangaeteita
Zawameku kokoro ima ore ni aru mono wa
Imi naku omoete tomadotteita

Hokago machi furatsuki oretachi wa kaze no naka
Kodoku hitomi ni ukabe sabishiku aruita
Waraigoe to tameiki no howa shita mise de
Pinboru no haisukoa kisoiatta
Taikutsu na kokoro shigeki sae areba
Nandemo oogesani shaberitsuzuketa

Gyogi yoku majime nante dekiya shinakatta
Yoru no kosha madogarasu kowashite mawatta
Sakaraitsuzuke agakitsuzuketa hayaku jiyu ni naritakatta

Shinjirarenu otona to no arasoi no naka de
Yurushiai ittai nani wakariaeta daro
Unzari shinagara soredemo sugoshita
Hitotsu dake wakatteita koto
Kono shihai kara no sotsugyo

Dareka no kenka no hanashi ni minna atsuku nari
Jibun ga dore dake tsuyoi ka shiritakatta
Chikara dake ga hitsuyo da to katanani shinjite
Shitagau to wa makeru koto to iikikashita
Tomodachi ni sae tsuyogatte miseta
Toki ni ha dareka wo kizutsukete mo

Yagate daremo koi ni ochite ai no kotoba to
Risou no ai sore dake ni kokoro ubawareta
Ikiru tame ni keisan takaku nare to iu ga
Hito wo aisu massugusa wo tsuyoku shinjita
Taisetsu nano wa nani aisuru koto to
Ikiru tame ni suru koto no kubetsu mayotta

Gyogi yoku majime nante kusokurae to omotta
Yoru no kousha madogarasu kowashite mawatta
Sakaraitsuzuke agakitsuzuketa hayaku jiyu ni naritakatta

Shinjirarenu otona to no arasoi no naka de
Yurushiai ittai nani wakariaeta daro
Unzari shinagara sore demo sugoshita
Hitotsu dake wakatteita koto
Kono shihai kara no sotsugyo

Sotsugyo shite ittai nani wakaru to iu noka
Omoide no hoka ni nani ga nokoru to iu noka

Hito ha daremo shibarareta kayowaki kohitsuji naraba
Sensei anata ha kayowaki otona no daibensha nanoka
Oretachi no ikari doko he mukaubeki nanoka
Korekara wa nani ga ore wo shibaritsukeru daro
Ato nando jibunjishin sotsugyo sureba
Honto no jibun ni tadoritsukeru daro

Shikumareta jiyu ni dare mo kizukazu ni
Agaita hibi mo owaru
Kono shihai kara no sotsugyo
Tatakai kara no sotsugyo

___________
Graduation

On the grass in the shadow of the school building,
the sky drew me in.
I had feelings both real and imagined.
The bell rang, I took my usual seat in class
and I thought about what I should conform to.
My heart was restless
as I reflected aimlessly about what I had.
I was confused.

Stumbling around the city after school,
we were in the wind
loneliness in our eyes, walking sadly.
In shops saturated by laughter and sighs,
we competed at pinball for the high score.
We were bored, if only there was something to stimulate us.
We’d keep blabbering on in grandiose terms about anything.

I couldn’t be proper and serious.
I ran around breaking window glasses
on the school building at night.
I kept acting out, I kept struggling,
I just wanted to be free already.

In our battles with the untrustworthy adults,
what did we ever learn through tolerance?
Even if it pissed me off, I went through with it.
The one thing I learned was
that I was graduating from their control.

Everybody gets all worked up over someone’s retelling of a fight.
I wanted to know just how strong I was.
Stubbornly believing all I needed was power,
telling myself that to obey was to lose.
I tried to act tough even in front of my friends,
even if that meant sometimes hurting someone.

Eventually we all fell in love.
Words of love and the ideal of love,
that was all it took to capture our hearts.
They say in order to live you must have great plans,
but I believed strongly
in the straight forwardness of loving another.
What is important?
I was confused about the difference between
loving and what must be done to live.

I thought they could shove their “proper and serious” up their asses.
I ran around breaking window glasses
on the school building at night.
I kept acting out, I kept struggling,
I just wanted to be free already.

In our battles with the untrustworthy adults
what did we ever learn through tolerance?
Even if it pissed me off, I went through with it.
The one thing I learned was
that I was graduating from their control.

What has graduating taught us?
What stays with us aside from memories?
All humans are bound. If we’re all just fragile lambs,
are you the spokesman for the fragile lambs, teacher?
Where should we direct our anger?
What’s gonna bind me from here on?
How many more times must I graduate
till I reach who I really am?

No one realizes that freedom is a concotion.
Our days of struggle will end.
We’ll graduate from this control,
we’ll graduate from this battle.

credit: Yutaka Ozaki Unofficial Fansite

The lyrics has a deep meaning, and it’s easy to relate to. At least for me. Now, let’s take a brief look on Yutaka Ozaki, A Japanese Rock Martyr.


credit: tumblr

Yutaka Ozaki was dubbed as a legend by many for his charisma in creating music that many can connect with. Thanks to his early records which expressed the “frustrations of young people chafing under a conformist social system”, he also had, somewhat, become the hero of Japanese youth at that time. Later on his career, as stated in Yutaka Ozaki Unofficial Fansite, his music evolved into a more encompassing reflection on life, love, and the concept of “truth”.

Born on November 29, 1965, he met his demise on April 25, 1992 at the age of 27, leaving a wife and a son behind. On the early morning of his last day in this world, Yutaka Ozaki was found drunk, unconscious and naked in a Tokyo alley. He was still alive, however, and was immediately taken to the hospital. Soon after he regained consciousness he demanded to be brought home, where then he several hours later died from pulmonary edema. It was suspected that he was murdered since his body was covered in cuts and bruises. Petition sponsored by Yutaka’s Dad and Brother to open an investigation into his death was signed by fans, but as of yet, the mystery of his unexpected death lingered.

But death is not going to stop this legend from gaining more fans, me included. Without further ado, here is Sotsugyou performance by Yutaka Ozaki that I have been listening to nonstop at the moment.

Entry References:

  • http://ozaki-dream.net/
  • http://nippop.com/artists/Yutaka_Ozaki/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yutaka_Ozaki
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