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Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4

This is part one of what was mostly a cross-post of this Quora post.

The song is this one, and the lyrics go:

もしもこの世に汚れがなければ
姿を変えずに愛し合えたのに
どうして時は衆を分つの
ねえそばにいて今だけ

あなたがいるから私は強くなる
誓いの指輪きらきらきれいね
You will realize 小さな夢も
You are the one 心満たされる

夜のハイウエイバイクを飛ばして
はしゃいだ自由を持て余すくらい
この目で見て触れて分かる
確かなものがあったね

あの日の二人にすべて戻らせるなら
ひざまづく意志になるまでに祈るよ
We can still be free 百まで数えて
Never wanna stop 心解き放つ

あなたがいるから私は強くなる
誓いの指輪きらきらきれいね
You will realize 小さな夢も
You are the one いつか叶えられる

In transliteration:

Moshi mo kono yo ni kegare ga nakereba
Sugata wo kaezu ni aishiaeta noni
Doushite toki wa shū wo wakatsu no?
Nee, soba ni ite ima dake

Anata ga iru kara watashi wa tsuyoku naru
Chikai no yubiwa kirakira kirei ne
You will relize chiisa na yume mo
You are the one kokoro mitasareru

Yoru no haiuei baiku o tobashite
Hashaida jiyuu o moteamasu kurai
Kono me de mite furete wakaru
Tashika na mono ga atta ne

Ano hi no futari ni subete modoserunara
Hizamazuki ishi ni naru made inoru you
We can still be free hyaku made kazoete
Never wanna stop kokoro tokihanatsu

Anata ga iru kara watashi wa tsuyoku naru
Chikai no yubiwa kirakira kirei ne
You will realize chiisa na yume mo
You are the one itsuka kannaerareru

And this is the translation attempt I posted to lyricstranslate, with one or two edits:

Even if there were no impurity* in this world    LT has "contamination"
So that [we] could've loved each other without having to change our looks…
Why does time separate [simple] people?    "simple" was added here.
Hey, be by [my] side, at least now

Since you're there, I get stronger
The ring of [my] promise is sparkling, beautiful isn't it?
You will realize even [my] small dreams
You are the one, [my] heart is satisfied

On the highway at night riding a motorbike
Till [I] don't know what to do with the freedom of making merry
[I'll] see with these eyes and touch, and understand
That this has been real    [lit. That there has been a real thing [between us]]

If it will let everything return to [how it was] in the days of us two,
[I] will pray till [I] want to fall on [my] knees
We can still be free, count till a hundred
Never wanna stop, I will set my heart loose

Since you're there, I get stronger
The ring of [my] promise is sparkling, beautiful isn't it?
You will realize even [my] small dreams
You are the one, [my] heart is satisfied

I also asked a question on Quora about this attempt.

My first question about this song is about the first four lines. This is probably the biggest problem. So, I started from the animelyrics translation back in the day, which reads «Even if this world is not stained / We could've loved each other without having to change». What the heck is this consecutio temporum? Anyway, back then like now, I liked to do (or try to do) word-by-word analyses, so I looked at the Japanese, and:

  • moshi mo: even if;
  • kono yo ni: in this world;
  • kegare ga: dirt/filth (subject);
  • nakereba: didn’t exist;
  • sugata wo: aspect/look/figure (object);
  • kaezu ni: not changing, by not changing, without changing;
  • aishiaeta: could loved each other;
  • noni: although.

So, with double “although”, I translated this mentally as «Even if there wasn’t dirt in this world / We could have loved each other without changing».

Looking up “kegare”, I read that it is a religious term, indicating some kind of contamination, impurity. You can read more about that on Wikipedia. So I made the translation attempt, and was still like: what the heck does this kegare, this impurity/contamination/defilement, have to do with being able to love each other?

Wait, not so fast. There is another bit to this story before going to the attempt above: the Thai translation on LT. The first two lines read:

ถ้าเกิดโลกใบนี้มันไม่แปดเปื้อนไปล่ะก็
ฉันก็จะได้รักเธอในแบบที่เป็นฉันเองแท้ๆ

I speak zero Thai and don’t know the script at all besides the fact it’s an abugida and a messy spelling (almost like English), so I put this through Google:

If this world was not contaminated
so that I can love you the way I am

I looked it up, and “noni” can mean “although”, “because”, and “so that”. That’s because “no” is a nominalizer, so it turns what comes before it into something that behaves like a noun, and “ni” can mean “in” (hence “because” and “although”, two sides of the same “being in a condition” medal) but also “to(wards)”, hence “so that”.

Then I looked for other translations. I’ll mention this Chinese one first:

若是这个世上没有污秽 | If there were no dirt/filth in this world
我们便可坦诚相爱 | We could then love each other frankly and sincerely

Basically my old reading of these lines. This English one though is far more interesting:

If ever, if I wasn't impure like this
We would've fallen in love without changing my real self

Hmm. So we’re putting the kegare in the hands of the singer, huh. Gotta love a language which basically has possessive dative but then implies said dative, masking the possession as existence of the possessed thing, right. «Even if in this world I wasn’t so contaminated». I can get behind that. «We would’ve fallen in love»… wait, aishiaeta is potential (it’s not aishiatta), so “could’ve” is the correct choice. And “my real self”? Not really. “Sugata” means “look” or “figure” or that kind of thing. «figure ● form ● shape ② appearance ● dress ● guise ③ state ● condition ● picture ● image ④ form (of a waka) ⑤ dressed in ... ● wearing ... *», as per JEDict. «figure, appearance, form, aspect, shape», as per Wiktionary. Japanese Wiktionary with Google translation:

  1. 身体の形。からだつき。[body shape. With a body.]
  2. (整った)みなり 、風采 。容姿 。[(well-equipped) Minari, appearance. appearance.]
  3. 人や動物などの存在 。現前 。 すがたを見せる(見せない)/すがたが見えない/すがたを消す[presence of humans and animals. Presence. Show Sugata (do not show) / Can't see Sugata / Erase Sugata]
  4. ものなどの全体 的な様相 、性質。 街のすがた/日本の真のすがた/太古のすがたを残す [The overall aspect or quality of something, etc. The appearance of the city / The true appearance of Japan / Preserving the appearance of ancient times]

Then again, does falling in love really require changing looks for them? How superficial, right? And again, what does kegare have to do with any of this?

Also, after Kazuhito Minato's answer to my question, I added "simple" to the translation, is that a good way to render the difference he pointed out between unusual "shū" and usual "hito"?

So I guess the sum-up is still 5 questions, but splitting them apart really just means crowding the site for no reason since they're all about the same 3 lines of the song.

  1. What is the appropriate way to render のに at the end of l. 2: "so that", "although", "since"…?
  2. What is the best way to render "kegare" in this passage?
  3. What does the existence of kegare have to do with the two of them not being able to love each other "sugata wo kaezu ni"?
  4. How do I render "sugata"? AFAICT it means "form" or "looks" or "appearance", then one translation renders it as "my true self", is that translation plain wrong?
  5. What is the best way to render shū in this passage?

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The biggest problem in your interpretation seems to be that you tried to interpret もしも as "even if". もしも is just "if"! "If" and "Even if" are as different as night and day! A literal translation of the first sentence would be:

もしもこの世に汚れがなければ、姿を変えずに愛し合えたのに。

If there was no corruption in this world, we could have loved each other without changing our forms.


  1. What is the appropriate way to render のに at the end of l. 2: "so that", "although", "since"…?

This のに is technically "although", but you can think of this like a sentence-end particle that adds the sense of regret/discomfort. You can read about it here.

  • お金があればフランスに行きます。
    If I have money, I'll visit France.
  • お金があればフランスに行くのに。
    Although I would visit France if I had money...!
    → If I had money, I would visit France (but regrettably, I don't have money).
  1. What is the best way to render "kegare" in this passage?

(Spiritual) impurity, taint or corruption. Note that it's not a term associated with a particular religion.

  1. What does the existence of kegare have to do with the two of them not being able to love each other "sugata wo kaezu ni"?
  1. How do I render "sugata"?

The basic idea here is, since this world actually is full of dirtiness and since no one is pure like a small child, adults need to deceive, outsmart or lie to others to obtain someone's love. If everyone was innocent like a small child, you don't have to worry about dirty tactics about human relationship.

姿 is just "(person's) shape/appearance", and 姿を変える refers to disguising or shapeshifting. Of course an ordinary person doesn't have to do this to be loved by someone, and it may seem like an eccentric metaphor, but remember that this is a theme song of Detective Conan (you know about its story at least a little, right?).

I added "simple" to the translation, is that a good way to render the difference he pointed out between unusual "shū" and usual "hito"?

I don't think so. 衆 is just a rare word for "people" here, and I don't know why you thought you needed "simple".

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  • I added "simple" because a native Japanese speaker on Quora suggested to render it as "masses" and said he'd understand it as (quoting from memory) "relatively low-income people".
    – MickG
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:40
  • I do know about Detective Conan, having found this song as the credits soundtrack for one of his movies. So we're saying the kegare is the criminal organisation with that apotoxin, and sugata wo kaeru refers to Shin'ichi Kudo shrinking into Conan Edogawa or something like that?
    – MickG
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:42
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    @MickG 衆 is very rarely used this way, but I don't think it's related to any historical usage of the word. I don't think the sentence says anything more profound than "Why does time separate us?"
    – naruto
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:42
  • For the record, here's the exact quote: <<And 衆 can be used for non higher class or even not for middle class. It is traditional expression and I imagine from 衆 as "Relatively low-income ordinary people". It's hard to imagine just from “people".>>
    – MickG
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:44
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    @MickG I know the kanji 衆 can have a connotation of "commoner" or "mob" in many contexts, but I don't see how such a connotation fits the context of the lyrics. Let's just take it as "us" or "people" and go forward.
    – naruto
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:50

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