Jun 4, 2011

Das Nasobem and Hi-Ai-Ai Island

In the 2011 spring tour, Hikashu regularly played "Hi-Ai-Ai Island," an album cut from the 1988 "Ningen No Kao" album. The song was revived at their gig after a long absence.

The arrangement was basically the same with the live version found in "Hikashu History," but this time it preceded a recitation of a poem by Mita Freeman. The poem is "Das Nasobēm" by Christen Morgenstern (wikipedia). Mita read it in original German.

Das Nasobēm

Auf seinen Nasen schreitet
einher das Nasobēm,
von seinem Kind begleitet.

Es steht noch nicht im Brehm.
Es steht noch nicht im Meyer.
Und auch im Brockhaus nicht.

Es trat aus meiner Leyer
zum ersten Mal ans Licht.

Auf seinen Nasen schreitet
(wie schon gesagt) seitdem,
von seinem Kind begleitet,
einher das Nasobēm.

The Nasobame

Striding on its noses
there comes the Nasobame,
with its young in the tow.

It isn't yet in Brehm's
It isn't yet in Meyer's
And neither in Brockhaus'

It trotted out of my lyre
when it came first to light.

Striding on its noses
thereon (as I've said above),
there goes the nasobame.

The lyrics of the song, penned by Makigami, was based on a strange book called "Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia" by Harald Stümpke (wikipedia). It's about Hana Aruki, an imaginary creature described in the book. "Hana Aruki" is the Japanese name, endowed by Hidaka Toshitaka, the renowned scientist and the translator of the book. In original German, it's called Nasobēm. In English, it's called Rhinogradentia (wikipedia).

The original notes on the album, uncredited but probably by makigami, explains the song as follows:

Based on a book called "Bau und Leben der Rhinogradentia" by H. Stümpke, the song is about the descriptions and the impressions of Rhinogradentia, a creature walking by its nose.

The island which completely browned out by an atomic bomb experiment and the study of Rhinogradentia make a mockery of the common sense vividly. Also pretty inspiring. A mysterious song.

The Japanese edition of the book was published in 1987 and soon recognized as a minor classic by the connoiseurs. Makigami, an avid reader, was quite impressed with the book and wrote a song based on it.

Hi-Ai-Ai Island
words - makigami, music - mitama

The amazing nostrils
The spur of life
The warmness of nature
Hana Aruki

The living nostrils
Morgenstern was surprised
and wrote a poem about it.
Hana Aruki

The island was full of noses.
I wanna know your nice secrets.
Tidings on noses

Hana Aruki in despair
A pointless experiment was executed,
Then everything sinked
and disappeared.

The poem Morgenstern wrote referred in the song is no other than "Das Nasobēm."

Related Entry:
Hikashu - Ningen No Kao (1988)

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