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Hirasawa Susumu (Unofficial) Lyrics & Other Sundry Translations

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"Phantom Notes" Note: Dagonfai in the Gallows 1
Hirasawa - Cookie
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Below is a translation of a blog post that's part of a longer series about events that happened in Thailand, and I will try to translate or summarize them in the future. This is the first part. It's interesting because it deals with issues of sexuality and takes the form of a dialog between Mr. Hirasawa and an American friend of his.

The only Hirasawa Vocabulary you might need to know this time is Kathoey, which is one Thai word for male-to-female transgender people. Mr. Hirasawa now uses different words (like "SP-2") for them, but this was back in 2003 when he still used "Kathoey." The reason for the change will be translated another day. ;)

Now on to the translation!

Dagonfai in the Gallows: Phase-1


Translation of post from July 19, 2003 (original post here)

θ=7 β=3

Notice: As usual, Thai Kathoey are the subject of this blog. You may be sick of it, but, well, I want you to read this. The impressions I gather from Thai Kathoey are always intense, and if I don't periodically spit out my thoughts like this, they overflow inside me and adversely affect my work. What would you think if my next album ended up as a bunch of chaotic, explosive material? That might be alright every now and then, but I suspect I would be entirely burnt out within a year or two.

Now then, I'll spit it out.

——Introduction

I failed. At any rate, I failed.

——Phase-1

I have no idea how on earth he got a hold of it, but an American friend of mine acquired some manga like those sold at Comiket. He was shocked to see that the manga depicted me as a homosexual. As he had apparently acquired a couple of varieties of manga, he was taken aback that almost all of them depicted me in the same way. He can't read Japanese interviews or lyrics, and the only way he can try to grasp what Hirasawa's work is about is by picking up clues from the few English keywords I use. From phrases like "Chaos Union," "Wire Self," "World Cell," and "Black in White," he discovered a constant rule and understood that this was a fundamental theme in my work.

     Yes, that's it exactly.

Disturbed by the content of the manga, he asked me a question:

"Are you really a homo?"

     No, I'm not.

This level of manga doesn't cause me any discomfort, but it seems that Americans consider it a considerable humiliation for a hetero person to be depicted as gay for no reason. Interpreting the manga, he said:

"I wonder if the manga authors engage in this kind of mischief because they're envious of the people you depict within your transsexualism?"

     I don't know.

"I think your transsexualism explains the paradoxes you deal with in the most straightforward manner. But I understand. I understand how Kathoey, who aren't even envied by anyone, have the potential to become paradoxes."

     Bingo!


Standard disclaimer: any inaccuracies in the translation are entirely my fault. Weird vocabulary is sometimes Mr. Hirasawa's fault, though in the end it's my problem that I can't always figure out what he's saying.

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/11503.html.

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I've wondered if Hirasawa doujinshi do in fact exist.
And apparently they do - the fact that yaoi Hirasawa (and P-MODEL too probably, though Hirasawa wouldn't publicly mention that I think) doujinshi? I find that rather hilarious in the whole "Rule 34 has no exceptions" (even if it was sold offline) sort of way. But hey, if you have attractive guys on the mind of a fujoshi, it's not really all unexpected
Doujinshi gets away with a lot though, in Japan. How many people here would sue for comics drawn about them and then bought and sold, even for little profit? Gay, straight, smutty, or clean, it wouldn't matter.
(And just judging by fanfiction and fanart done over here for random anime series Y, somehow I'm not thinking that's envy there).

By the way, how exactly was the Japanese equivalent for transsexualism used there? Just because I've never seen Hirasawa himself use that as a self-identifier. Well at least given the other sort of posts you've been translating, heh. At least from a direct one-gender-to-another meaning it usually has. If whatever he feels himself to be is a paradox in itself, I wouldn't be surprised.

(I do like his admiration for paradoxes because his brand seems to mess right with the usual dualities we think of - and I'm not much for strict dualities myself. His fondness for yin-yang fits right in.)

Just as there is real-person fic and such in the English-speaking fandom world, there have long been RP doujinshi in Japan, from what I can tell. XD

how exactly was the Japanese equivalent for transsexualism used there?

He used the word "トランス・セクシャリズム," which as far as I can tell is not the standard word for it in Japanese, as it's purely a katakana-ized loan word. But foreign loan words are sometimes preferred in the LGBT community for their "neutral" connotations--like lesbians using ビアン/bian (from "lesbian") instead of a native Japanese word like 女性同性愛者 (which by virtue of that load of kanji already looks less appealing).

Anyway, 性別移行 would be the word for changing from one gender to another, while 性転換症 would be "transsexualism" in terms of so-called gender identity disorder. I'm guessing his use of the katakana version instead of these other words might be due to the fact that this conversation was originally in English and/or that he does not like characterizing it as a disorder (which I think we discussed somewhere before). What exactly he meant with those statements, I do not know.

I do like his admiration for paradoxes because his brand seems to mess right with the usual dualities
THIS. Definitely. It's certainly forced me to think about things in new ways. :)

"he does not like characterizing it as a disorder (which I think we discussed somewhere before)"

(Can't find the original discussion, so I'll post here). I totally agree with this. I think too often the word 'disorder' becomes just another word for 'different', in a society where people are generally expected to live the same way. It's interesting that the kinds of things that are usually classed as a 'disorder' are in reality probably more like a spectrum, that all of us are on to some extent. Which fits in with what you were saying about messing with the usual dualities.

probably more like a spectrum, that all of us are on to some extent. Which fits in with what you were saying about messing with the usual dualities.

Ooh, I like this, yes. That's a nice way to put it. The idea of a spectrum transcends the supposed duality of the sexes--truly transsexual.

... I'm afraid that I still can't picture this in a mind of a 17 yr old girl like me, lol. But what I understood from his friend telling him "your transsexualism" and my personal point of view, is that Hirasawa doesn't defines himself as a man nor a woman, but a legitimate "gender" called Hirasawa, he in his purest human essence. Or how would you explain it?

Also, does this mean he doesn't refers himself as a man after all? ;-; lol welp

Thanks for the translations again <3

"your transsexualism" - how would you explain it?

To be honest, I really don't know what he means there, either, so I don't think it's your age that's the trouble. ;D I can imagine he doesn't want to be limited to calling himself or others only male or female when he perceives so many other variations of gender or defines it altogether differently. So I think you are on to something with the idea of "a legitimate 'gender' called Hirasawa."

The fact that he wrote it as "your transsexualism" each time also made feel like he was hinting at it being his own unique definition of transsexualism instead of a general one, but I may just be reading too much into it. The man is rather cryptic at times. :/

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