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Yoko Kanno, “Wo Qui Non Coin”


The esteemed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno wrote and sang this song for the Cowboy Bebop television series. She has such a stereotypical Japanese female voice, soft and yielding. Japanese women are taught to speak this way, because it’s certainly not genetic. In fact, when I learned Japanese, my instructors (some of whom were male, some of whom were female) taught our class to speak this way. I knew it was their private little joke, their way of ensuring the Japanese racial superiority over the ugly gaijin, by teaching us to speak in a submissive way to our Japanese betters. Whatever. That was a long time ago. Perhaps they do not teach it that way anymore. But you have only to listen to how a Japanese male speaks to hear the difference.

That said, this song is not strictly Japanese, but a mishmash of Japanese and French, a made-up language that Kanno uses  in some of her songs. It’s interesting. I like the nylon guitar.

  1. zzwerzy permalink
    2012-06-04T16:41:03-04:00 16:41

    Wo Qui Non Coin was sung, not by Kanno Yoko, but by Aoi Tada.


    • 2012-06-05T10:11:38-04:00 10:11

      Excellent, thank you!


      • zzwerzy permalink
        2012-06-05T14:59:00-04:00 14:59

        My pleasure. Of course, you know Aoi Tada as the voice of Edward! It’s a sad song about someone who lost their puppy, and every day they wish for its return… : (

        Here’s WeezyHeen’s translation:

        My puppy/has gone away/it had white feet and a white tail/
        Even though we were always together, oh
        My puppy/has gone away/it had white ears and a white back/
        Even though we were always together, oh
        I have shed every tear I could/Now I’m just living day-to-day/
        Hurry, Come home
        Rainy days and windy days/I always gave you walks
        So hurry, hurry, come home

        See the multi-talented WeezyHeen sing and play the song:

        I have an observant friend who, noticing this song’s stylistic similarity to a more famous Bossa Nova composition, has dubbed it “The Girl from Okinawa”.

        Love the Yoko!


      • 2012-06-05T16:10:38-04:00 16:10

        Fantastic, I had no idea it actually meant anything. I liked the character of Edward. Bizarre but fun. Similar to the character of Summer in “Firefly,” only less deadly.


      • zzwerzy permalink
        2012-06-07T16:03:26-04:00 16:03

        Ah. Browncoat, eh? (

        You are not alone in noticing the similarity – right down to River’s morphology and clothing. There is thinking among the Firefly and Bebop fans that this pairing of Ed-o and River Tam was intentional, and that in fact Joss Whedon’s inspiration for Firefly was Cowboy Bebop!

        I see it and agree, and the timing (1998 vs. 2002) is about right.

        You’re spot on, Marvin!


  2. 2012-05-31T04:31:04-04:00 04:31

    You had me at mishmash of Japanese and French. That’s pretty cool.


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