Strange use of the "を" particle:

こんにちは、みんなさん!

I was listening to this song titled “The World’s Continuation” (link to the video here) which is sung by the character “Uta” from the One Piece Red movie. In the chorus the first time round (timestamp 1:07) after repeating the lines ”しんじられる? しんじられる?”, which I think roughly translates to “Do you believe it?”, the lyrics on screen say this:

あの星あかりを
海の広さを

before repeating the lines about believing again. What I’m confused about is the use of this ”を” particle, which from my knowledge always indicates some sort of direct object. But here I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. The subtitles on the video say “out there beyond the open sea, out in the starlight,” but that doesn’t fit with my understanding of ”を” at all. From my limited understanding I would’ve thought it would be something like ”広い海の向こう”, or ”星あかりに”, for the lines “out there beyond the open sea” and “out in the starlight”. Unless it’s being really poetic in a way that the subtitles miss, and literally saying “do you believe in the starlight and the width of the sea”, I don’t know what’s going on here.

Can anyone explain, if not as a direction object marker, how the particle ”を” is being used here?

Thanks!

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It seems more like the 信じられる? is being applied to each of those lines, just shuffled around partly because it’s poetry and partly because sometimes you just will add the object after the verb (like for emphasis or because you didn’t think it needed to be there until you finished the sentence, etc.; it’s not technically “correct,” but you’ll see it, and that を is still the direct object marker)

So with more natural/correct grammar, those lines would be:
あの星あかりを信じられる?
海の広さを信じられる?

[original]
Can you believe? Can you believe?
In the light of the stars, in the wideness of the sea

[more natural]
Can you believe in the light of the stars?
Can you believe in the wideness of the sea?

You see the same thing used later on in the song, too, in the second verse:

信じてみる 信じてみる
この路の果てで 手を振る君を
I’ll try believing, I’ll try believing
In the you waving your hand at the end of this road

(pronouns may not be right since I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the song for context)

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Firstly: song lyrics are poetry, so like they sometimes do weird/non-grammatical things for effect
so in this case it’s just an incomplete sentence
like roughly ‘That starlight is …/The sea’s expanse is…’
and there’s an implied, unsaid verb (either because it makes it flow better and/or creates an emotion, like whatever is happening is Really Exciting and they’re building up to it, or maybe it’s really sad and the singer is having trouble finishing the sentence in case it makes them cry)

I don’t know this song but lets imagine the verb is ‘miru’ ‘to see’
so the full sentence would be like ‘The Startlight that I can see/The expanse of the ocean I can see’
but songs are poetry
so it’s like
‘The lights of the stars- The width of the ocean- Finally within sight!’
(ok that’s a kind of crappy song but like I’m not a songwriter, my point is that it probably makes sense as a thing within the song even if as a sentence it’s more fragmented, like if I was just writing simple sentences, I would write ‘I can see the starlight. I can see the sea.’ but that’s more boring and less evokative)

Edit: I was giving an example in English for ease, but part of my point is that things will be done different based on Japanese grammar and this is why its important to understand Japanese on it’s own terms and not 1:1 with English

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As others have said, it’s more of an implied verb. You’ll see it in not only song lyrics, but also in expressions and such.

いおとしを(むかえて)- Have a happy New Year
幸運こううんを(いのる)- Good luck

You’ll see it on advertisements and such as well, often used as a tagline (I made these ones up so take them with a grain of salt, I couldn’t find any specific examples):

満足まんぞく青春せいしゅんを(たのしんで/きて)- Enjoy your youth
たくさんのおいしいものを(食べて/し上がれ)- Eat a lot of delicious food

It’s also used in the full Japanese name of the manga/anime Konosuba:

この素晴すばらしい世界せかい祝福しゅくふくを - God’s blessing on this wonderful world (idk what the appropriate missing verb would be here)

I was also confused when I first encountered them, but when you get used to seeing them and when you stop relying on English translations, they start to make more sense.

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I think there is grammar for this, but I can’t recall now.

Anyway it is explained here, under archaic / literary sectionを - Wiktionary

EDIT: I now see it as simply an object particle を.

Hmm, it is emphatic in a way, but I don’t know if I’d say it’s the same as the one used here.

Instead of just being a reordering of the usual を.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

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This is just a side note, but in your original post, you wrote “みんなさん”, which is wrong. It’s either “みんな” or “みなさん”. I thought you might want to know.

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Huh… :no_mouth:

Based on this, it was taught like that on WaniKani before:

I’ve seen a lot of people, me included, write it like that as well.

Even here, it does say irregular, but it’s still there.

I did search and you’re right…

My life is a lie.

Edit: after saying it 100 times, I guess it was only a writing issue, because I don’t pronounce the extra n, it does feel weird.

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