Sorry I have not written anything for almost an entire year. What can I say? Just plain laziness and lots of things happening, work as well as personal. It's been a pretty rough 2015, and I can't wait for it to be over. Meanwhile, looking back on the past year, I think I've still achieved something. At least, I feel like I've corrected some mistakes, or bad decisions really, that dated back 4 years ago. I think what I've corrected is going to pave for a better future, or at least that's what I hope.
Before we jump into the topic of the day, a few words about Kouhaku (紅白歌合戦). First, I'm happy to see new faces for the hosts. Technically, Haruka-san (綾瀬はるか) is not really a new face since she had hosted before. On the other hand, if my memory serves me well, it's been a while since they have a new host for the white team that's not called SMAP or Arashi (嵐). Second, I hope Seiko-san (松田聖子) would redeem herself from her subpar performance last year. They honor her again as they make her the last red team singer. I wish her well and hope she doesn't screw up. Lastly, I like Akina (中森明菜), but I don't hate Matchy (近藤真彦). I don't know any of his songs because I don't listen to them. I hold no grudge against him. So, I also am going to wish him well and a sparkling performance. Sorry to all Akina fans out there but it's been 26 years since the "incident". I think Akina herself has already moved on, so I think it's time for all her fans too... I mean, it's as though you guys got hurt more than Akina herself...
Sometimes, I wonder why such a strong emotional attachment still exists among some of Akina's fans. In fact, some of harshest critics of Matchy are female fans! When we fall in love with our idol, are we unconsciously personalizing our idol's experience, albeit filling in a lot of spaces with our own imagination? When we saw first reports of Akina dating Matchy, did we feel as if we ourselves fell in love with Matchy too? And therefore when Akina and Matchy finally broke up, did we feel the same outrage and heartbreak as if we were breaking up with our lovers? Now, 26 years later, when NHK announced that Matchy will be performing at Kouhaku, did it invoke a kind of feeling akin to bumping into our ex-lover?
And so, suppose you bump into your ex one day at a train station or bus stop on your way home after work, what would be your first reaction? If he/she didn't see you, would you alert him and say hi to him/her? Or would you rather put your head down, trying to hide from him/her? What if he/she recognized you and said hi to you? Would you feel bitter? Would you feel nostalgic? Would you secretly glance at his index finger, trying to spot any signs of a wedding ring? What if he/she deliberately hide his/her hand in the pocket? Would you feel jealous? Would you have mixed feeling? And if you're still searching for your true love, how would you feel when you're walking alone towards home that day?
So, here's Midori Karashima's (辛島美登里) story in her song "Ieji" (家路), or "Way Home".
Why are you calling my name?
Didn't we agree that we would not see each other ever again?
Time has stopped for the two of us
While the crowd is hurrying home
The days when there's nothing but love between us
The days when we both hurt the person we cared
"Now that I understand everything, however...."
Those were the last words you softly whispered
Please don't let my memories come back to you, I'm begging you
Your kindness, once again, makes me crumble
Your clothes and hair have changed
But how could this alone suppose to make me forget that it's you?
You're trying to hide the wedding ring in your pocket, aren't you?
I knew it already... but still I can't overcome my endless jealousy
I cannot bring myself to treat this as just two friends meeting coincidentally
On the other hand, I feel a never ending nostalgia
Without asking me anything, you sent me off
There's no one home waiting for me, however
I begin walking under the twilight
As none of us are able to return to those days
Do you have similar experience and feeling like the girl in the song?
In scene 2, Midori Karashima will tell her 2nd story of "Suppose you bump into your ex one day..." through another song of hers. I hope you don't need to wait too long. Until then, enjoy this X'mas holiday season.
Once again, Merry X'mas!