[maaya] 03/18/13 Journal Entry   Leave a comment


For some reason winter has felt especially long this year, so much so that I want to embrace “Spring!” with open arms. It’s been a really, really shiveringly cold winter, even for me who likes winter.
It’s like the cherry blossoms, sensing our anxious anticipation, started blooming a little earlier than usual.  My birthday at the end of March might see trees with new leaves instead of blossoms.

Yes, my birthday is coming up.
And as is totally customary by now, I have the same wish as every year…
I’m really happy to always get birthday presents from so many people, but you are putting yourselves out. I am grateful every day that I have you watching over me, habitually getting my CDs and books, showing up at my performances and concerts. So please, all I need is your warm feelings. And, well, especially this year, because my new album “Singer-songwriter” goes on sale March 27, so I’d like to ask you to support that instead of getting me a present. Of course I’ll say it, please support me with the album!

And, if by chance there are people who are thinking of getting me (even more of?) a present…… as with last year, allow me to introduce you to this. For a limited time from my birthday of March 31 to a month later, we will be selling 2013’s birthday desktop wallpaper (1 download is 500 yen). All of the proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society as a Great East Japan Earthquake contribution. [links omitted -Trans.]
After all, I will think of every click of a download as words of encouragement to me from everyone, and gain strength in my 33rd year as well using those messages as motivation. And I can share those strong feelings with the disaster area as well. Plus, I’m not the only one getting something, you can get the wallpaper as a modest return gift.

On the day I turned 30, it was the live concert at the Budoukan. I remember well the beauty of the cherry blossoms in full bloom at Chidorigafuchi.
For 31, at Nakano Sun Plaza, they weren’t blooming yet. It was mid-YCCM tour, after the earthquake. It wasn’t the time for birthdays, but exactly because it was then it was a birthday to look once more at life and living.
For 32, I worked and had dinner with my family like always. In a sudden departure from the feeling of tension of the previous year, it was a very “normal” birthday. I thought about how it had been one year since what happened. What’s normal is really precious. I’m sure that each time spring comes, I’ll be reminded of the earthquake. And each time, I’ll also be able to think about what I should do.
And so, 33.
I’ll take the stage again this year. What’s more, in Osaka for the first time. I feel the same way every year, but of course I feel like me right now is proceeding ahead more than last year, even by millimeters. So I can feel this way in a year from now too, and have that moment of praising myself with “There, there,” means that the time to experience tough challenges is starting again. One day to reflect on your joy and gratitude, then get fired up and make changes. That’s why I like birthdays.

I want to live my life (and express myself) at no one’s behest (nor at anyone’s leisure), without restraint, without conceit, without compromise, and while enjoying it above all else. The “Singer-songwriter” album gets really close to those feelings, so I am happy with it.
Everyone is singing an original song in tones no one else can produce, with their own unique nuance, at a tempo that resonates in line with their feelings. Isn’t that how life feels? Both you and I are “singer-songwriters.”



Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2013.03’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2013-onward


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