Shoganai

Anyone that might read newspapers, or go to work over a period of 20 or 30 years, and for those of us who act within a commercial culture, even before we turn on satellite news from around the world – a reasonable person might despair. If all that is open to us is the information on offer, then life is too hard. So, perhaps a reasonable response is simply to give up. There’s nothing we can do.

In terms of the EP Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With, the Japanese title of the EP is Shoganai, which in Japan has a very, very different resonance. A French translation might be c’est la vie. An English approach would be that’s life. But neither of these quite have the flavour of the Japanese, which is more or less along the lines of two atomic bombs have gone off… that’s life! Well, it’s a bit more than that’s life! It’s shoganai.

Q: It’s fate?

RF: Well, that’s another expression. But if two bombs went off down the road from me, I think I might say a bit more than that’s fate! In Japan shoganai is a wonderfully multivalent word which covers just about every circumstance: from someone I love has just been crushed on the subway to there is no hope whatsoever. It can be a very powerfully emotive word in Japan. You have a sense of hopelessness and despair – a reasonable person might despair.

On the other hand, hope is unreasonable. And love is greater than this.


Robert Fripp is a genius. Thank you, mystery guy.

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