The lyrics of 夕焼けの歌 by Masahiko Kondo contains the following parts:

あの頃と同じ 夕焼け空
アスファルト 蹴りつけ

あの頃と同じ 夕焼け空

I have 2 questions about these 2 parts:

  1. Why just 3 seasons (without 冬 - winter) has been mentioned in the lyrics?
  2. What is the meaning of 2 particles (と and も) after 春夏秋…?

2 Answers 2

  1. I don't think it's possible to logically explain why 冬 is missing here. It has nothing to do with Japanese grammar or culture. Maybe the lyricist thought it would sound more profound, interesting or emotional if such a well-known phrase wasn't uttered until the end.
  2. This と is this, and this も is just "also/and". も might sound relatively a bit emphatic here.
  • So can I translate "春夏秋…" to "every time"?
    – HK boy
    Mar 10, 2023 at 1:09
  • @HKboy It depends on what type of translation you are doing. Of course it's far from a literal translation, but sometimes a bold paraphrase is necessary if the translation is to be actually sung.
    – naruto
    Mar 10, 2023 at 1:53
  • I want to do a literary translation -- to able to explain the meaning of the lyrics (in general).
    – HK boy
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:21
  • @HKboy What's blocking you from translating it simply as "Spring, summer, autumn, ..."?
    – naruto
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:28
  • Just a question that the main character doesn't want to love in winter...? P/s. The song was released on Feb 3, 1989 (it was winter in Japan, right?)
    – HK boy
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:37

I was trying to think through this for a bit, and I can not provide a direct answer.

Remember that people make their own connotations of words. I can equate this in English to saying "wake me up when September ends"; September in itself does not pose any meaning here, except it means something to the song-writer (in this case the reminder of a person).

For here, the songwriter uses the evening glow (夕焼け) to represent his emotions in the song, and perhaps this is subjective: is this evening glow visible in the winter as much? I can only say this much. Further, based on the song's message (I would assume you would better understand), is there a symbolic reason to remove 冬?


Alternatively, this may be a frivolous question to ask to begin with. Based on the cadence of the song, fitting in 冬 would sound weird. Given that Japanese tends to cut off sentences and shorten words, maybe he was implying all the seasons (the typical word used), and just expected the listener to put them all together. I note that a transcription of the song (likely made by a native speaker) does not correspond with the original video I saw, as it does not make 春秋冬 into a single word, but instead makes the word trail off, and then continues with the song:


We can always overcomplicate a songwriter's intention, but perhaps he was implying 春夏秋冬, but just could not fit it in with the rhythm of the song. For you, it might be best to just not think the exclusion of 冬 as meaning anything; it does not seem to be an important part of the song anyway, as evoking the seasons is very common in Japanese songs.

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