Archive for the ‘journal entry translations’ Category
The Day of ‘I Want To Be’
On the album “Singer-songwriter,” released around this time last year, there’s a song called “Naritai [I Want To Be]” that I wrote on the theme of birthdays. I’m happy there are so many people who said they like this song. On your birthday, you measure how far you’ve come with your very own measure that no one else knows. It’s the best day to confirm how you’ve spent the past year and what you should do in the coming year.
Lately I’ve spent my birthday holding a live concert, but this year it’ll be while performing a musical in Fukuoka. I’ll still be onstage, but being myself at my own show and being Jerusha are pretty completely different. Maybe because of that, this year I’ve almost completely forgotten that my birthday is coming up, but actually I’m turning 34 soon.
That said, this is becoming customary, but here is my suggestion.
I’m grateful but also ashamed to get lots of presents around this time. My heart is overflowing with “gifts” from everyone on all days, not just my birthday, because you habitually purchase my products and cheer me on. Yet because there are people who say “But I want to celebrate you!” even if I say “I don’t need a thing,” allow me to suggest, as I have for many years, a different way.
For a limited time from my birthday of March 31 to a month later, we will be selling 2014’s birthday desktop wallpaper (1 download is 500 yen).
[links omitted -Trans.]
All of the proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.
I will consider every click of a download as a “Happy birthday” message to me from everyone, and have created the wallpaper to say “Thank you” as a modest return gift. Then our happy back-and-forth will be connected to someone else’s happiness in a different place.
By the way, the wallpaper design is in the same vein as the cover to “Daily Maaya Sakamoto – 0331,” so it’s like everyone who downloads it every year can add to their collection of that legendary magazine “0331,” only published on my birthday every year. Please be sure to check it out.
Jerusha says that instead of forever worrying about the past and getting blindly anxious about the future, you should take extra care to savor and live in the moment. Every time I sing those lines I ponder how true that is, but it’s quite a difficult thing to do, and I often get caught up in the past and future. But we can’t be perfect 365 days a year. Jerusha herself isn’t right all the time; she sometimes makes mistakes, says too much, and gets down. But that imperfection is part of her charm. Because she learns from her hurt feelings and failures and endeavors to overcome them.
To spend my birthday this year not as myself but as that wonderful Jerusha seems like it will make a special, somewhat unique memory.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2014.03’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2014-onward
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
“And so 2013 has begun.”
Well. Where should I start.
It’s been a month since the year began, but it’s been a month with as much volume as if a whole year had passed. A New Year’s Eve live concert, a musical, work on my album, and so on and so forth…
First there’s the “Mitsubachi” tour, which began in November of last year and finished successfully after 15 total shows. To everyone who welcomed me so warmly in each and every place, thank you so very much. I was so happy you came out in the midst of the end-of-year busyness and the cold. A tour based around “Singles Collection+ Mitsubachi” means that I am left with the impression of very flashy shows, as the set list naturally focused on songs from singles.
The final show was my very first countdown. I feel so, so, so, sooo grateful to think that so many people would show up who wanted to spend that important moment when one year ends and another begins at my show! I sang aware that I wanted to have a New Year’s Eve full of hope and smiles, starting the new year off with everyone feeling cheerful and having fun. The band and everyone on staff really got along so well, the laughter never stopped. Every day was so fun, I wish it had never ended! I was always making new discoveries while feeling the music that was changing and being nurtured day by day. Mitsubachi includes songs from singles from 2005 on as its focus, but looking back once more on the people I’ve met and challenges that filled those seven years, it was a precious time that makes me grateful for the past. It was heartening to my current self, given that in such an innocent way, that made it possible for me to, for my own sake alone, sing honestly.
The morning of New Year’s Day, coming home from the launch, for the first time in a while I slept in without setting an alarm. From the second I woke up, my next thought was of “Daddy” because I was about to get ready for the encore performance of “Daddy Longlegs.” Rehearsal was only the day before the opening day of January 4. I was prepared for the fact that it was going to be hard because I’d had a 3-month blank period of not playing Jerusha, but despite that it was definitely really rough! Slapping down and correcting my lines, having a staring contest with the music, confirming a ton of arrangements…… but it wasn’t just that, I also felt like because we were doing this, I wanted to get even closer than before to an ideal Jerusha. To put on such an unprecented encore performance with the fans’ support, despite the short run, I took the stage full of feelings of gratitude, reflecting on my joy in getting back in touch with this work again. It made all of us performing so happy that we could see all of you in the very first days of the year – we were so pleased.
And then, and then, from the moment the curtain went down for the last time, it was then time to go all-out on the “Singer-songwriter” album! I had been recording it the whole time I was on tour, but the switch that had been off during the musical was flipped on again. And! At last, it was finished.
Once more I want to have you tell me your thoughts at your leisure, but this time I’ve made my first album where I did the lyrics and composition for all the songs. There’s a tour based around it too. My birthday this year will be in Osaka. It’s still non-stop this year too!
Everyone, please have a fulfilling year. I ask your kind regard this year too.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2013.02’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2013-onward
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for each and every one of you who went to see “Daddy-Long-Legs.” Thanks to you, we were able to finish the run without incident at Fukuoka. Thank you very much. Once again, I want to tell you here that I couldn’t express myself well in saying hello to you at the final show.
For me, three years after a musical and two plays too, it was a difficult role with nonstop talking and singing. I challenged myself, but it took a great amount of determination and courage to step outside of my comfort zone. But I wanted to dive into it despite that because, first, the theme was my beloved “Daddy-Long-Legs,” and because I was really happy that John Caird sought me out personally. I love musicals, but I know better than anyone what about me is lacking, so I could never be positive about it. I have absolutely no idea why John, who should know a great deal of wonderful actors, somehow still had me in mind for quite a long time for the role of Jerusha, but if John could say that to me, I considered believing in his presentiment too. John always noticed all sorts of little things when we were together on Les Miserables. He was someone I trusted, respected, and could show myself to.
Under such a person’s guidance, I could meet Yoshio Inoue-san–the role of Jarvis–who also turned out to be the kindest, loveliest person. But I was full of inexcusable feelings since even though we’re actually the same age, I played a female college student and he was “Daddy.” Always neutral, and then positive. He played a warm lead against me, constantly liable to be about to blow my fuse. I was very fortunate to have Inoue-san as my sole co-star.
But when we first started rehearsals, I was honestly on the verge of throwing in the towel. Lengthy lines…… staying on the stage the whole time, constantly singing or talking or diligently converting equipment (laughs). So much to remember! Maybe because every nook and cranny in my brain was operating at full capacity, I know every day after rehearsal the inside of my skull got hot with a fever. I threw myself into it, changing everything about my lifestyle and not thinking about anything outside of the play. Now that it’s over, my heart is truly overflowing with gratitude to every single person. It was just two actors, but there were many musicians and staff members. Every day I was onstage I thought of them being there with me. And there wasn’t a single one of them that wasn’t sweet and good-natured! That is really great!
And. The spectactors who learned mine and Daddy’s secret, that is to say my accomplices. How much was I saved by the sense that I got from everyone’s existence, day after day, that our feelings were shared? During rehearsals, no matter how we imagined it, we couldn’t know the true shape of the production, but from curtain rise on opening night, I felt like I could finally see it in how you participated. At least especially in relation to me, there was really a lot of things you could learn. Thank you very much.
I love nothing more than the aftertaste left by this production. The curtain falls with light euphoria surrendered, laughing through tears. Happy endings are great. The time I lived as Jerusha was happy, and it was even closer to myself than the sense of playing a role. Isn’t that what’s called a “connection”?
Upon the reviews, we decided to do a special encore performance. Honestly, it was rough timing right after a national tour, so I thought over a lot of things before deciding, but my love for this production won out above everything. If I can live as Jerusha once more, and get to meet young master Jarvis and my wonderful friends once more!
Let’s meet again.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2012.10’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2012-onward
Thank you very much to everyone who downloaded the charity wallpaper we sold for a limited time during the month after my birthday (March 31). We already let you know on the home page too, but you allowed us to donate a total of 1,045,825 yen to the Japanese Red Cross Society as a Great East Japan Earthquake contribution. I’ll be happy if you like the wallpaper.
I’m extremely pleased, as well, to receive so many warm wishes of a happy birthday from many people this year too. Because last year, and the year before last–for two years consecutively–I’ve happened to hold a live concert on March 31, I keep spending my birthday surrounded by the bustle of many people around me, but because it felt just as special after all as if I had had a simple birthday, it became a turning point where I decided a new objective, tightening my feelings in just the same way. If my joy at being able to turn a year older and my feelings of gratitude at how I am supported by others could turn into just a little bit of strength by reaching yet another person, I’d be even happier
By the way, I think some people realized it when they saw it, but the wallpaper design is in the same vein as the cover to “Daily Maaya Sakamoto – 0331” that was made around the time of the Budoukan live concert on my 30th birthday the year before last. We made it like some imaginary second cover. That means the 2012 publication of “0331,” only available during the past month, is a momento.
It’s been over a year since the earthquake, but even after this I want to do everything I can to try to get everyone to make progress while supporting each other.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2012.05’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2012-onward
Almost my birthday
It’s almost my birthday this year too. I’ll be 32. From here on I’d love to be able to get just a little closer to the future I envision, raising myself up more and more.
And, I’m once more grateful to all of you who have always supported me. I’m totally an adult already, held up by a lot of people! I still have a lot of deficiences, but I will hold firm in my quest so let’s get along well from here on out too.
Every year, I receive gifts from really a lot of people. Thank you so much for the presents that filled my heart with warmth. And like every year, I’ll say that because you are the ones who habitually listen to my CDs, come to my live concerts, and fully watch over me, you do not have to do anything because it’s my birthday. Just your feelings are more than enough, you know, is what I’ve been saying. And yet of course there are lots of people who color my birthday brightly for me.
If there’s anyone who might be thinking of getting me some present this year too…… please go to the limited-time present reception area on the official goods site and the cell phone fan club site ☆ For a limited time of one month between March 31, my birthday, and April 30, we’ve prepared a commemorative birthday wallpaper you can download. At 500 yen per download, all of the proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society as a Great East Japan Earthquake contribution. If a lot of people participate, I’ll feel really happy that this year too a great number of people remembered my birthday, so I’ll be able to share everyone’s warm feelings received as presents with the area struck by the disaster. And I don’t just receive from you, I can give you the wallpaper as evidence of my gratitude!
Pollen allergies are rough, and yet I love this time when spring is before us because it’s a season of hopes and premonitions in the air. I’m sure no matter how old I turn, I’ll love my own birthday.
Spring is a time that feels pivotal for anyone, no matter who. May all of you, no matter who, make spring your impetus to take one step forward to something.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2012.03’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2012-onward
Yccm tour is done.
On March 5 the “You can’t catch me” tour began. With the Sendai performance on June 15, we accomplished all 10 performances. Four performances had to be postponed due to the unforeseen Great East Japan Earthquake incident, but we were able to hold the replacement performances in June, so it’s finally done. It took a long time. No, it was over in a flash. No, more than that, some…… some mysterious flow of time has me wrapped up in it now.
I’m not able to look back at the tour and synthesize it yet. With too many feelings and memories, I want to properly take the time to put them into words. And as much as I can I want to memorialize them in an accurate shape. So I decided to make it in the shape of a book that would document all of this tour. It’s labeled a photobook, but I plan to express it through words too. I’d like you to be so kind as to be sure to peruse it at your leisure once it’s complete.
Right now I simply want to express the nothing but overflowing feelings of gratitude in me.
Everyone who looked forward to this tour, everyone who showed, everyone who couldn’t come but supported us, I truly, truly thank you so much. There were a lot of things that happened, but any time I was on stage, I had fun and felt completely happy. I felt that no matter the venue, the audience wanted to have fun in this limited time and atmosphere, and opened their hearts opposite me. I had the sense that each of us, myself included, were creating the live concert as one, savoring it together. Also, after the earthquake we gathered a lot of donations. We will send your precious money to those in need by way of the Japanese Red Cross Society.
And from behind the scenes, I basked with all my heart in the passion of the band and staff who have been supporting me with tremendous energy, wanting to have fun on stage together, and wanting to send out the best music. It was truly a great number of people that took part, even including those in places not seen by the audience, and every one was shining from their station. Their figures, proud to be devoted to my work, were really beautiful and moving. Since I trusted everyone strongly, whatever happened I could go on stage as I was. I was grateful every day for the good fortune that led me to meet such wonderful company. Thank you.
Oh, I have so many things I want to express, but it’s too important for me to put it easily into words.
In any case the live concerts were truly lovely!
I’m full of loneliness that the tour that had come to be stacked full of precious things is totally over, but I’m already pushing forward now, facing new objectives. Since there are still things I can do, there are still things I want to try to do. I will do my best.
I’ll be looking forward to the time when I can meet everyone again.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2011.06’).
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2012-onward
The Last Fruit
I do nothing but search.
It’s probably not just me but everyone.
For reasons, for causes, for plans, for truth.
We’re always, always searching and wanting to know.
In seeking out that knowledge, it’s not easy, but rather tiresome, so we soon think that we want to forget all about it. And yet, I know that throughout our lives we can never escape that desire called “I want to know.”
Moreover, the truth is we don’t really think about being able to find it someday. We plan to find it, but soon enough we lose sight. And this happens over and over. Somehow or other we resign ourselves to having that kind of unending game of chase throughout our lives.
We keep getting closer to answers while gathering hints that have been dropped here and here. And yet, it’s never just kind touches. Getting hurt a lot, breaking down, one by one we tire of it all. Because we get a little sulky, we chase after it again.
Despite all that, we want to know – “loving,” “living on,” what kinds of things are those after all?
Though we know that no matter how far we go we’re alone for eternity, what is it with these feelings of thinking we want to be with someone?
What’s the difference between a perpetually-constant eternity and a moment that continues to change?
Maybe it’s even that the answer is different from the shape of what I wished for, and is just trying to listen with an open ear.
When I murmur “Tell me” from the bottom of my heart, I feel like the world seems to simply nod its head without saying anything.
Le Dernier Fruit
Moi, je ne fais que chercher.
Il est probable que ce ne soit pas seulement moi mais tout le monde qui fasse ça.
À la recherche de raisons, de causes, de dispositifs, de la vérité.
On cherche toujours, désirant savoir.
Être en recherche, ce n’est pas reposant mais plutôt fatigant, donc on croit déjà qu’on voudrait oublier complètement tout cela. Néanmoins, on sait que toute notre vie on ne peut jamais s’échapper de ce souhait nommé « je désire savoir ».
De plus, l’idée de le trouver un jour – en fait on pense trop à cela. On a l’intention de le trouver, mais aussitôt on le perd de vue encore. Et il répète de plus en plus souvent. Sans savoir pourquoi, on se résigne à être en compagnie de ce jeu de piste sans fin toute notre vie.
On continue d’approcher en rassemblant les indications qui sont tombées ça et là. Néanmoins, ce ne sont pas toujours des choses qui touchent doucement. On a un verre de blessures, on se soit foulé – petit à petit, on devient fatigué. À cause de devenir un peu boudeur, on commence le jeu à nouveau.
Malgré cela je désire savoir : « aimer », « vivre », quelles sont ce genre de choses finalement ?
On sait qu’on sera seul pour éternité, peu importe jusqu’où on va, mais quel est ce sentiment de désirer être avec quelqu’un ?
Quelle est la différence entre une éternité qui est constante pour toujours et un instant qui continue à changer ?
Il est possible que la réponse soit différente de la forme que je souhaiterais, mais plutôt essayer d’écouter avec l’intention d’attraper.
Quand je marmonne « Dites-moi » du fond de mon cœur, j’ai le sentiment que le monde à l’air d’acquiescer tout bonnement, sans dire rien.
Original Japanese entry here (under ‘the id’ dropdown list, Back Number ‘2007.11’).
Translations © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2007-onward