Wednesday, 2 February 2011

"Spider and Ballerina" (Translation of the post on 27th Jan)


"Spider and Ballerina" is coupled with "Passion Fruit", Fujifabric's 9th single released on 5th September 2007.
Many of you might not so familiar with this song, but it is definitely one of the masterpiece of Fujifabric's songs!

Unusually for Shimura who normally avoids to abuse English words in the lyrics, he used the word "spider" instead of a Japanese word, "kumo" even in the title of the song.
Shimura was very careful to use English words in his lyrics because first, he believed he could express what he wants to say the best in his mother tongue, and also it was not his style to use many English words to decorate his song with superficial fashion.  Some young Asian musicians do love to use unnecessary English words in their songs for this particular reason, but Shimura was strongly against that.

クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますSo... why did he use the English word, "spider", this time?
Please look at the design of CD sleeve below on you tube video.  A ballerina in a white astronaut-like dress and a spider with a green wig on - B-men song is on the sleeve not A-men song! Those puppets reminded me "Punch and Judy" puppet show straight away, and it is my conjecture that Shimura attempted to set up an imaginary "Western World" in this song by using these effects above.

The derivation of the English word, "spider", is "a warrior, a fighter" (not sure if it is Latin) as the way a spider catching and eating its prey reminded a fighting warrior.  (Spider-Man in USA must share the same origin.) In English spoken countries, children sing "Incy Wincy Spider" since little looking at a cute illustration on a book.
Spiders are found worldwide on every continent (except for Antarctica), and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization.  In another words, spiders are everywhere!

Because spiders have been so common to us, they have been the focus of stories and mythologies of various cultures for centuries. They have symbolized patience due to their hunting technique of setting webs and waiting for prey.
Web-spinning also caused the association of the spider with creation myths as they seem to have the ability to produce their own worlds. The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped nature. They placed emphasis on animals and often depicted spiders in their art.
In Japan, spiders are connected with a sense of luck.
As the old Japanese proverb says, let morning spider go as it brings you a good luck, but ignore evening spider as it brings you a bad luck.
 A silk spider is called "Jorou-gumo" in Japanese language literally meaning "a prostitute spider" as its long slim legs and colourful appearance were associated with a courtesan in old days.  Being influenced by such an image, spiders are often found in ghost stories as being considered to be an eerie creature - not like a cute Incy Wincy Spider!

In the lyrics of "Spider and Ballerina", Spider is more like western rather than Japanese because it is taking a careful aim at Ballerina.
Ballerina is also very western for Japanes, a representative of gorgeous European world (the word, ballerina is Italian).

The music of this song was written by Soichiro Yamauchi, the lead guitarist of Fujifabric, and the lyrics was by Masahiko Shimura.  Let's take a close look in the lyrics tomorrow!

Today's song is, of course, "Spider and Ballerina".


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Jack Russell in Bangkok said...

Dear Someone,

Thank you for your comment yesterday!
Your words gave me so much good cheer.
Please accept ,my apology that I have not recently published articles in English ...
I will start again soon!

Fujifabric's music is another type of Japanese beauty. It is my pleasure that J-rock listeners abroad discover the world of Fujifabric more through my blogs.