I'm trying to understand the lyrics of the song 細氷【さいひょう】. Here's the part of the lyrics I don't understand:



I see it as:

"your leaving figure (back)" + "ni" + "farewell".

I can't understand where this ni points to. I mean, who says sayounara to whom? I understand it can indicate both the source of passive verb and destination for active. Yet the verb seems omitted here. Or is it really omitted?

Also, does it mean

  1. "You leave and say farewell to me."; or
  2. "You leave and I say farewell to you."

According to the songs flow I'd go with the first option but the second one seems correct according to my maybe lacking grammatical knowledge.

1 Answer 1


A verb is surely omitted here. What verb is it, then?

Think about what you could do with a 「さよなら」 in quotation marks. You could either say it or hear it said to someone and that is about all you could do with a 「さよなら」, isn't it?

(Of course, you could write it but writing 「さよなら」 on someone's back would not be too romantic, would it?)

So, the omitted verb must be a form of 「[言]{い}う」 together with a quotative particle 「と」.

Normally, you say 「さよなら」 to someone face-to-face, but this is a song so, the author wants to say "saying 「さよなら」 to your back". The guy/girl (あなた)is already leaving. All you (the speaker) can see is his/her back now.

さって[行]{い}くあなたの[背中]{せなか}に 「さよなら」≒

さって行くあなたの背中に 「さよなら」と言う/言った

The 「に」 is needed because you are saying good-bye "to" a person's back.

「さって行くあなた」= "you, who is leaving"

Is it (1)"You leave and say farewell to me" or (2)"You leave and i say farewell to you"?

(2), of course.

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