Nagori-yuki (なごり雪)

Last week I learned a new Japanese word “syuusetsu”. It literally means “last snow”, the last snow of the season: not winter, but the beginning of spring. Spring came, the weather is getting warmer, but one day it suddenly becomes cold and it starts snowing... the snow is called 終雪.

There is a similar, beautiful word “nagori-yuki”. The meaning is the same as syuusetsu, but I like nagori-yuki better. Nagori means “traces”, but this word often has a nuance of “miss someone or something”. Thus, nagori-yuki is snow which misses the passed winter, or, it describes a feeling of a person who sees the snow and misses the winter that's passed.

Also, there is a Japanese famous song titled nagori-yuki. This is an old song, released in the 70s (before I was born!), but this is one of my favorite songs. There is a deep, nostalgic story in this song. The lyrics are beautiful, and the refrain is sad and heart-aching.

I found a video of this song on YouTube, so I'm going to share you the link. The singer is not the original one, however, this version is beautiful enough.

A friend of mine asked me the meaning of the lyrics. It's a bit difficult to understand the lyrics even for Japanese people because these are close to a poem. So I’m going to try to explain the meaning.
友達の一人が歌詞の意味を聞いてきました。 この歌詞は詩に近いので日本人にとっても少し理解しづらいです。なので意味を説明してみます。

There are two people in the lyrics, a young guy and a young girl. They, at least he, were too young to realized their love to the other. But at the time she leaves, he finally realized his own heart. That’s why he suddenly found that she had become much more beautiful than last year. Nagori-yuki is falling as though it is missing the past season, and he misses the past years when she has been close to him.

The below sentences are a part of the lyrics including the main part.

なごり雪も降る時を知り(なごりゆきも ふるときを しり)
なごり雪 knows the time when it should fall.
-> なごり雪 seems as though overlapping his feeling.

After the seasons that they have acted like children,
-> They would have spent a long time together, but they have not realized their love to the other. They have just spent the time like children.

時が行けば幼い君も大人になると気づかないまま(ときがゆけば おさないきみも おとなになると きづかないまま)
I didn’t know that the little girl would grow up after the time passed,

(the main part)
今春が来て君はきれいになった(いま はるがきて きみはきれいになった)
去年よりずっときれいになった(きょねんより ずっときれいになった)
Now spring came, and you have become beautiful.
You have become much more beautiful than last year.
-> A new, hopeful season came, and he suddenly realized his love. He found that she had become much more beautiful than last year. But just at the time, she left.

Well, my English might not be good enough to describe the worldview𿘅