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I want to translate this twitter status of AKB48 member. She wrote about the graduation(retirement) of one of the member, but I'm not sure what 儚い mean in this context.

According to Jisho, it can mean

  1. fleeting; transient; short-lived; momentary; ephemeral; fickle; vain
  2. empty (dream, etc.); mere (hope); faint (possibility)​

I was wondering what does she mean here?

EDIT: I'm currently confused between

  1. Mayu's beauty is fragile and delicate (cause she does have that pure idol image)

    or

  2. The fact that she is leaving, so her beautiness and cuteness is leaving as well (kinda like poetic way of saying? I dunno)

3

儚い or 儚げな can be used positively to describe some "static" type of beauty found within weak/unstable/delicate things or people. It may be similar to so-called wabi-sabi. It's the opposite of dynamic, glamour, strong or gorgeous kind of beauty (like that of AKB48 or Lady Gaga).

I think Japanese cherry blossoms are typical 儚い things. Ill-fated/薄幸系/幸薄い系 person such as Cinderella is one 儚い stereotype. The following articles may help:

Please don't ask me how this explanation fits the まゆ's case; I don't know much about her, but I'm not sure how these pictures can be described as 儚い because they look very energetic and happy...

EDIT: Oh, so she retired that day? Then I think 儚い refers to that fact; you won't be able to see Mayu in idol costumes soon, and she's emotional about that.

  • I don't quite follow your usage of some "static" type of beauty. The main words that come to mind for me as a non-native user of Japanese but native speaker of English is "fleeting" or "fragile." – virmaior Dec 27 '17 at 6:59
  • Yes it is her last performance, so I'm confused whether this twitter means 1. Mayu's beauty is fragile and delicate (cause she does have that pure image) or 2. The fact that she is leaving, so her beautiness and cuteness is leaving as well (kinda a poetic way of saying) – Maru Dec 27 '17 at 12:46
  • @Maru Neither. It's saying「まゆちゃんは儚い (as well as 綺麗だ & 可愛い)」, not 「まゆちゃんの綺麗さや可愛さは儚い」 I mean, 儚い and 綺麗/可愛い are not directly related with each other. I think the sentence is just saying she's emotional about her leaving. – naruto Dec 27 '17 at 13:03
  • @virmaior Thank you, I definitely have to learn how to use the word "fleeting", but for now I'd rather not use words I'm not familiar with. – naruto Dec 27 '17 at 13:13

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