Kagome Kagome

The Kagome song is used throughout the game and it is explained briefly a few times. Here I’ll give my interpretation of it.

Original

Japanese Romaji English
かごめかごめ
籠の中の鳥は
Kagome kagome
Kago no naka no tori wa
Kagome kagome
The bird within the cage…
いついつ出やる
夜明けの晩に
Itsu itsu deyaru
Yoake no ban ni
When oh when will you come out?
In the evening lit by the dawn…
鶴と亀が滑った Tsuru to kame ga subetta The crane and the turtle slipped and fell…
後ろの正面だあれ Ushiro no shoumen daare Who’s that behind you?

Analysis

Kagome

The game says the following about Kagome:

  • 籠目 (kago me) – A reference to a basket weave that forms a hexagram / Star of David
  • 籠女 (kago me) – A woman forced into prostitution (“caged woman”)
  • 囲め (kakome) – To be surrounded
  • 籠女 (kago me) – A pregnant woman (“cage woman”, with the “cage” being her womb)

TIP 089 (David) says that the Star of David was said to be a “demon-summoning charm”, but it is also a crest that protects from danger. The hexagram also takes on the shape of two overlapping triangles, or two overlapping trinities. This may represent the two transfer groups in the game (Kokoro-Satoru-Alpha, Hotori-Keiko-Omega).

Kago no naka no tori wa / Itsu itsu deyaru

The bird within the cage…
When oh when will you come out?

In the case that kagome means “pregnant woman”, that means the “bird” is the unborn child within her. Here we’re asking when the child will be born.

Yoake no ban ni

In the evening lit by the dawn…

Keiko says that “ban” doesn’t refer to the “the evening”, but rather to the character 晩.

女 (woman)   +   晩 (“ban”)   =   娩 (“ben”)

This character is part of the word 分娩 (“bunben”) meaning “childbirth”.

An alternate explanation is that since “evening” and “dawn” are contradictory, the song is referring to a non-existent time. The baby will never come out.

Tsuru to kame ga subetta

The crane and the turtle slipped and fell…

The crane and the turtle are symbols of good fortune and long life. Them slipping means can mean the coming of misfortune or death. This means that the baby will die in a miscarriage.

Ushiro no shoumen daare

Who’s that behind you?

A reference to Self, who stands “behind” the protagonists. It contains two contradictory terms, 後ろ (behind/back) and 正面 (front). It may be read as “who is the back’s front?”

Analysis

The song is full of contradictions. The “dawn” and the “evening”. The “crane” and “turtle”. The “back” and “front”. It’s an ambivalent song, and as Yuni says in the prologue:

They’re all two things that make up a pair by being the opposites of one another.
Light and shadow, yin and yang, male and female, imaginary numbers and real numbers…
This whole world is made up of elements that contradict each other, but at the same time need to coexist with one another.
I think that is what the Kagome Song tries to say.

Conclusion

This is a song about Self, which encompasses all contradictory terms and is symbolized by the word “Kagome”. It surrounds everything, acts as the “demon / protector / dual trinities” symbolized by the Star of David, and is an “unborn baby”, an unaware god-child with no sense of identity. Ultimately, it will die before being born.

Who is that behind you?

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