Lyrics and Translations

[Translyrics] “ARIA” and Kara no Kyoukai: The Hollow Shrine

Back with another of my singable lyric translations for KnK. This one is the ED of the fourth movie, Garan no Dou (The Hollow Shrine). I think I’m really starting to get the hang of this… It was difficult translating the concept of “garan” (伽藍), which you’ll see more on in my notes at the bottom.


Salari maria konsoredia, sorte iviya derta

Salari maria sorte idiya, marti amida kuo

Glowing shards of a dream

You gave them each to me

Deep in the night forever un-dawning

One of two nestled stars

Plummets deep in the dark

The aria of dawn finally sounds, all hark

In the midst of this never-ending, pitter-pattering rain

No longer is there a need to beware of yesterday

Now see, the impending future with you gone from me

Is only right now, beginning

Here in this dark and merciless place

Your bonfire sets even the midnight ablaze

And blazing through all in its path

Through even my cloistered soul

It leaves a trace

Salari maria sorte idiya

marti amida kuo

All that live disappear

All that die persevere

The callous sky always stays high and clear

Talk to me of goodbye

Smile at me one last time

The arias of rue drone out a million sighs

Kama miche imeya eya

yasa na maricha, yamita

eiya meiya sola, mamicha

What say? For how long are we to stay all locked away?

Don’t we keep on yearning for another every living day?

Now see, your impending future: dazzling beautifully

Is only right now, beginning…

What kindness is I have not a clue

The kindness you gave me I’ll take it as true

It plants the seeds of nameless flowers

In even my cloistered soul

They start to bloom

I row my boat of solitude

Without you, your bonfire dies out by the brook

Hark now, within this cloistered world

One aria rings out alone like a multitude

Salari maria sorse idiya

sarti amida kuo


  • I used “cloistered” as a translation for “garan” (伽藍), even though I assume “garan” is used to signify emptiness here. In the Kara no Kyoukai world, garan refers to the hollow state of Shiki’s soul after losing her other half, and is also a part of the name of Touko’s supernatural investigation agency (here, probably just to sound cool?). The word is taken from Buddhism and means “temple.” Now, I don’t know why Nasu Kinoko connected Buddhist temples to emptiness – perhaps it’s because the aim of Buddhism is nirvana, where you see past everything worldly? But I doubt Buddhist monks and nuns would consider themselves to be hollow or unfulfilled people… Anyways, I wanted to keep the religious connotation there, hence the word “cloistered.” The feeling of hollowness the song and film focus on doesn’t convey as well this way, but I like the sound of it.
  • As is typical of Yuki Kajiura, it’s not entirely clear if the person being referred to is the same throughout the song. Considering that the film is about Shiki dealing with the loss of her other personality, I would say it’s mainly male Shiki we’re talking about. But what about how the person brings kindness to the cloistered soul? That’s certainly Mikiya’s role, if male Shiki is characterized by murderous intentions. I’d personally prefer more consistency, but oh well…
  • I also don’t why things change from “a future without you” to “your beautiful future.” The only possible explanation is that the speaker changes from female to male Shiki. Male Shiki is killed in the car accident, so female Shiki is the only one with the possibility of having a future.
  • I do find “the impending future…is only right now, beginning” to be quite redundant. It is, however, a fairly literal translation. Maybe I should have done something about that part?
  • As always, Kajiura-go lyrics come from the wonderful Kalafina/Yuki Kajiura fansite canta-per-me, where you’ll find more literal lyric translations and fun stuff like interviews and concert release dates.

knk hollow

11 thoughts on “[Translyrics] “ARIA” and Kara no Kyoukai: The Hollow Shrine

    1. Ah, that’s Kajiura-go. It’s a language invented by the composer, Yuki Kajiura, who writes words in the style of Latin but doesn’t actually try to express a meaning. It’s mostly there for effect.


  1. “All that live disappear
    All that die persevere
    The callous sky always stays high and clear”

    ^ I just love how you translated this :_) Very nice work.

    For “garan” (伽藍), I’ve always just chalked it up to Nasu going for wordplay rather than it having any deeper meaning — same thing with naming Araya “A(l)aya” in reference to to how his and Shiki’s name combined is “Alayashiki”; interestingly enough another concept pulled from Buddhism.

    ARIA kinda had to grow on me first before I could really appreciate it. My early favorites from Kalafina’s songs for Kara no Kyoukai were oblivious and sprinter, but “garan-no-dou” (and I might be in the minority for this) is one of if not my favorite movie in the entire series, so eventually I took a liking to the song as well. I really like the break at around the 3-minute mark. Also, ARIA being more Hikaru-centric, I believe this was the first Kalafina song that made me realize how Hikaru’s voice can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I found myself having to make a lot more assertive statements in translating, because Kajiura often left phrases incomplete in a way that doesn’t feel right in English. Like here, it was basically “things that disappear, thing that stay unchanged.”
      I was the same as you in that I appreciated Sprinter and Oblivious (and Fairytale too) more in the beginning. I only started liking ARIA after realizing how beautiful the verses are. I believe ARIA was the first Hikaru-centric Kalafina song (and second that she sung). Glad to bond with another fan!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love you and your lyrics really hit home for me but this one is so far from accurate it pains me 😀 ARIA is my favourite one and the only one I actually understood on my own. The best part to me is the part where Shiki (supposedly) shows gratitude towards SHIKI for his sacrifice allowing her to go on and continue a dream (sth along the lines of “You, who never knew kindness, but the kindness that you gave me….”). What I’m trying to say is. The person who never knew kindness was SHIKI, the person who that part is “said” to, not the person saying that part. It’s very poetic really and gives depth to SHIKI. Still, it’s how I felt it was much more wholesome and accurate to the episode, but then again, I have no degree in that matter so I can also be totally wrong 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thank you for commenting! I love your interpretation. As I mentioned, I did struggle with deciding on who the speaker (and recipient) is at different times, because Japanese grammar often makes it ambiguous at the literal level. After rewatching the film recently, I appreciate SHIKI’s role much more than when I first translyricized this.

      Based on lyrics alone, I think it makes more intuitive sense to interpret the lines as Shiki not knowing kindness until SHIKI (?) gives it to her, which isn’t a far stretch considering that neither of them have really known “kindness” as we do for most of their lives. Your reading definitely works out though.

      Thank you for dropping by, and thanks for the food for thought!


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