The national anthem of Japan played at the opening ceremony of Olympic Games held in Rio City was the best music I have ever experienced.
The amazing version of our national anthem was arranged by Jun Miyake, a Japanese composer based in Paris, using incredible technique of mysterious harmony of Bulgarian Voice.
For many Japanese like me, Kimigayo is naturally ‘a poem’, rather than ‘a music’ to be played in a western harmonic texture. Because the lyrics for Kimigayo was first appeared in the “Kokin Wakashu”, the anthology of poetry edited in the 10th century, as a poem.
Given that Kimigayo is a poem, its performance must be more comfortable to be like a poetry reading, instead of a song.
I suppose what is behind the certain strangeness I have been always had when I sing Kimigayo is its complex history and structure. The lyrics was from 10th century’s poem; the melody was made in 19th century in Gagaku (the ancient Japanese court music) style, and was harmonized by a German military bandmaster soon after the creation of melody. I have never got successful in reconciling these painfully different elements while singing the 60 seconds song.
The Miyake version of Kimigayo, so clean, calm but with strong spirit of words, resolved the strangeness that all the other conventional versions of Kimigayo had.
He saw a being as if he had been a clairvoyant, not only with its form but sounds, anima, touch, scents, cells, flame and shadow.
Actually, his narrowed eyes captured anything or everything in another world than in mines. His works were always very quick.
Because he had any fine and thin details in him before he took up his paintbrush. He called me ‘Gato’ ,’Gata’ or ‘Gatita’ , as my Japanese family name sounds like ‘cat’ in his native language, and indeed, I was running around him day and night like a kitten while I was still confused with everything as a beginner in the fashion world.
We made a high definition fashion video, replacing a runway collection, 30 years ago.
Glass, metal, ceramic, marble, silver. The cold materials attract me with their elegant iciness.
When I return to my place, I feel comfortable with glass tables, silver holders, and a hard chair. No green, no flower, no insects, no life. No sense of life used to be essential to hold down my inner peace. Everything must be neat and orderly.
Yes. Used to be. Until I met a tiny creation with a cute but gorgeous long tail.
The cute creation, called Somali cat, stole my heart and my life has changed dramatically. The cuties are innocent, full of all light and smiles, joy of life.
Now I am living with three tails. We sing, dance and sleep together.
Learned Economics and Philosophy and earned BAs, then researched diplomacy and strategy at a higher institution, and earned MBA at a business school, I am never quite sure what kind of role that academia played in my journey.
Yet, I am holding an admiration for the world of academia and a tranquil life there. If I give the reason by myself, I am a keen seeker after the truth.
All the activities in life, working hard, eating, sleeping, meeting people, keeping friendship, laughing, loving someone, enjoying champagne, trying to find some laws from raindrop dancing must be means to seek or reach the truth.
I have been giving lectures titled ‘Media, Dialogue and Rhetoric’ at Sophia University in Tokyo for over 10 years. Preparation for the lecture each year is a fixed-point observation opportunity of my intellectual, mental, physical status for ‘seeking truth’.
My journey continues. I am making researches on real diplomacy and strategy to which I pay particularly close attention these years. To produce an article for publication in a scholarly journal from my unique perspective as a non-academic researcher and earn PhD is a milestone in the journey at this moment.