Bradcat’s Japanese Word of the Week… Arigatou

Bradcat’s Japanese phrase/word of the week is “Arigatou” (ありがとう) which means “Thank you”

You’ve probably heard this phrase a million times in TV shows, movies, and songs. 
However most people pronounce it incorrectly. Similar to “Konnichiwa” where the emphasis is on the “N” being held which a lot of people miss, with “Arigatou” the focus is on the “R” which is more of a soft “L” sound. Try touching the roof of your mouth ever so slightly as you pronounce the “R” to make it sound a lot more natural.

There are also words you can add to change the meaning of the “thank you”:

Domo arigato (どうもありがとう) Thanks a lot.

Arigatou gozaimashita (ありがとうございました) To say thanks for something that’s been done for you.

Arigatou gozaimasu (ありがとうございます。) A very formal way of saying thank you.

So let’s say for example you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse in Japan, and someone smashes a zombie’s head, just as it was about to take a bite out of your arm. You could turn round and say…

“Sore o koroshite kurete arigatou gozaimashita” which means “Thank you for killing it!”

Bradcat’s J-Music Focus… Hanato Chiruran

I’m always on the look out for new Japanese music (After all, there’s only so much Scandal one man can listen to) which is how I stumbled across a podcast called “It Came From Japan“, an independent outfit ran by Daniel Robson. I listen to the podcast on a regular basis, and really enjoy all the bands Daniel suggests. However none of them really jumped out at me like Hanato Chiruran did.

Hanato Chiruran

I’ve always been a fan of bands with disjointed guitar riffs and jazz beats. The first musicians that jump to mind are Acoustic Ladyland and Giraffes? Giraffes! which is where I think Hanato Chiruran would fit in the west.

Hanato Chiruran are a Japanese rock band formed in Tokyo in 2008. They have had collaborations with many other musicians, including hip-hop artists, but over time they have changed their style to classic rock and roll. Releasing their first album “Dirty and Beauty” in 2009, they followed this up in 2010 with “Bulldozer” where they were picked up by a management team and began touring in Europe in 2011 and 2012 in places such as Germany, France, and Italy.

It’s hard to describe Hanato Chiruran’s unique sound without hearing it for yourself. Lead vocalist Yumiho has a beautifully haunting voice, combined with John Frusciante style guitar from Kokeshi, funky and lightning precise bass tones from Karuta, and indie trip-hop beats from Rossi. Altogether they give an amazingly epic sound for an indie band.

Hanato Chiruran – The Game

The track which caught my attention from the “It Came From Japan” podcast was “The Game”. I sent a tweet to Daniel asking if I could download the track from iTunes. He then messaged the band directly, which put me in contact with Yumiho. She was kind enough to explain that they had no digital version, only a CD, but she would send me a CD in the post!

“To Sean, Enjoy our CD, Thank you!” – A message from Hanato Chiruran / Yumiho

Hanato Chiruran – Bulldozer

I received the CD in just a few days and immediately imported it to my iTunes and it’s been sat on repeat for days now. There are segments of each track which are reminiscent of some of my favourite tracks by western artists including Bloc Party, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and The XX. “The Game” is still my favourite track, just for it’s haunting opening lyrics where Yumiho asks “Did we shoot a dice when we walked in for the first time?” as we realise this is a romantic song full of regret, but no sooner do we fall in love with her soft traditional Japanese vocals, that the rest of the band explode into action into a fast paced five minute belter. The video above doesn’t really do the track justice due to the recording quality of the video camera, but believe me, it sounds fantastic.

I’ll wrap up by leaving you with another track from the album, it’s called “JUMP”

Hanato Chiruran – JUMP

For more information on Hanato Chiruran, you can find their official links here:
Hanato Chiruran official website

Hanato Chiruran on Facebook
Hanato Chiruran on Twitter

Don’t forget to check out “It Came From Japan” too:
It Came From Japan official website

It Came From Japan on Twitter