📆 Hobonichi 2022・Translating a quote a day

I enjoyed trying to translate all the quotes in my 2021 Hobonichi, so I decided to do it again this year. This thread is mainly here to keep me honest, but I would also love to hear other people’s interpretations :grin:


January

January cover page

You are like a meteor, cutting up the night sky. Your run is like a cold silver stream. Ah, you are shining. I can see the path you ran glowing white.

January 1

I expressly want to make time to write in my notebook. Not just to write in my notebook, but also to write letters and to organise my thoughts. About 2 hours several times a week. I like that sort of ‘expressly’.

January 2

Both my planisphere and my binoculars are my accomplices when I am looking up at the stars. The Orion Nebula, the stars of the Milky Way, Comet Hale-Bopp that leaves a trail or the total solar eclipse I saw in Egypt. It was my binoculars that I looked through while moved to tears. It brought my eyes a little closer to the stars for me. As for my planisphere, you can look up constellations at an instant with a smartphone app these days, but it makes me excited to line up the time and date by spinning it around.

January 3

The word ‘self-affirmation’ is often talked about and I want to celebrate a newly arrived year with self-affirmation to begin with as well. I think it’s ok for everyone to have hopes. That is what the words “Happy new year!”, which people say in unison when the year is renewed, are about, right?

January 4

After thinking “I can’t run away anymore” one year after my debut, when I was 17, I, ‘the insider’, began producing. I felt something like “If I can’t run away anymore anyway, why not create the image of a girl I’ve never seen before” and I thought “Let’s create a girl who makes me feel reliefed”.

January 5

When we look at all living beings in various ways, there are two very mysterious questions:
Diversity = Why is there so much of it?
Adaptability = Why is it working so well?

January 6

I also think that feelings of love are there in order to watch over that person. I don’t just love the bright parts of that person; the fact that I am interested in the gloomy parts shows a feeling of “Of all the people I have met in this world, this person is an important person, so I should cherish them and thus I should watch over them.”

January 7

When I reject an idea that I have noted down, if it’s on my phone, it doesn’t leave a trace once I delete it, but if it’s handwritten, I cross it out on top with a pen, so some traces remain. [A sense of] “Hm? What did I reject again…?” is left behind. Actually, those [notes] sometimes end up becoming important in the future.

January 8

If the first stroke is wrong, it means there is a discrepancy between my own thoughts. It won’t develop well in the end. If I’m able to write well at the start, even there is some slight inconsistency midway, I am able to absorb those mistakes. Because calligraphy is like life, you can recover some mistakes afterward. But if you make a blunder at the start, it’s clumsy to keep on writing that way.

January 9

My friend said, looking happy: “The other day there was a lottery at the shops. My daughter won! Return tickets to Disneyland!” Return tickets…? After a moment’s silence I errupted in laughter. The right phrase was “pair tickets”.

January 10

People who don’t lose the key to the realm of their child’s heart, are able to continue visiting a certain place of eternity even when they have become adults. That key, so to speak, is the feeling of continuing to ask “what is important to me?”. If you have that, you can advance to an even deeper place in that world of value. Further ahead, every time you gain a year.

January 11

The feeling of “love” is an amazing thing. “Love” is each person’s most valuable treasure. I feel like even if you’ve lost every conceivable thing, if there is “love”, you can live from that. Don’t you think it would be nice to write about “love” in one’s notebook every day?

January 12

I think that when [people] tell me their worries, that’s the moment I receive their approval as a human being. People’s stories, worries, love advice, work advice… I also love listening to my friends’ life advice. I am very happy I can get the time to think about other people’s lives. While I am asking them about their worries, there are also times when I think “Ah, I wasn’t paying attention to that”, so it is a very good influence. It’s delightful to be able to be besides other people’s lives.

January 13

I am weaving words. Textile and adaptations seem like they overlap. You can’t weave only the vertical threads first, and you also can’t weave the horizontal threads later. The fact that it takes time is similar too.

January 14

In the Hyakunin Isshu there are words that occur often. Sea and river, and wind as well. Snow. Morning sun, evening sun. And the moon. The moon was awfully frequent. There mustn’t have been anything to do in the evenings, huh? Because, in an era where the things one saw were limited, everyone looked at the same things and composed poetry, you really needed talent. If you think of it like that, the Hyakunin Isshu is close to a 大喜利. “How good of an answer can you give to a common question?”

January 15

After all, “difficulty” is mostly a subjective impression, in my opinion.

January 16

If bugs or animals are living in the place where they are living now, they’ll probably have food and there are no unknown dangers, but for some reason there are certainly people people who fly far away, right? Even if 99.999% feel like they want to stay in their current place, just 0.001% go out into an unknown world for the purpose of hedging their bets for the survival of their breed.

January 17

How many people do I currently admire? And assuming I admire them, to what extent do I trace their outline in order for me to become like that as well? People stop growing when they stop admiring [others].

January 18

I feel like I calm myself down by drawing. Like I am resetting my feelings. By drawing, I am having a conversation with my other self. I am confronting my inner part, my feelings. Because I think that there are probably times when the thing I am drawing now is not something I am thinking of myself, or when it’s linked to some other person’s work.

January 19

I got a piece of the Berlin Wall from my mother, who said “When I was tidying the kitchen, this fell behind a shelf.” Why would such a thing fall in a kitchen?

January 20

After all, rugby is a sport that places the most importance on variety. If you stop with scrums and line-outs, almost all are athletes with a similar body type. It’s the sort of sport where variety is the main principle and that anyone can do without puting on defensive armour. The first established rule is that you can play freely regardless of nationality.

January 21

It’s something I learned from Tanosan. “It’s a lucky thing to have a place where you’re nervous”. Because you can’t be serious about a job you’re not nervous about and you won’t really prepare ahead of time.

January 22

If we assume a human life to be 100 years and a tree’s life to be 3000 years, trees live 30 times as long as humans. That means a tree’s time passes 1/30th as quickly as a human’s time. If that’s so, our 30 years are a tree’s 1 year. 1 year corresponds to 12 days, 1 month to 1 day, 1 day to 48 minutes, our 1 hour to a tree’s 2 minutes. If you think about it like that, you come to understand why humans hurriedly try to rush through their lives and why trees look to us to be relaxing.

January 23

There is no such thing as a “natural eye = ojective eye” that is not connected to anyone’s mind. Because seeing is already an activity of the mind.

January 24

In rakugo, it is said that one stage performance is more important than 100 practice runs. However, isn’t there another necessary thing besides practice and performances? I had a conversation with a senpai about whether there isn’t a need for meaningless dressing room talk and meaningless closing party talk. Rakugo story tellers do their work alone, but many of them lonely, aren’t they?

January 25

A confidential matter is a secret of yours alone, that you don’t tell to anyone and don’t show to anyone. When I say my lines, it would be nice if I could have such a ‘secret’ of mine alone. It would be pure joy when I perform.

January 26

For my first trip abroad I went to England and I saw an old teddy bear in some place like a museum. At the time, I thought “This is not the time for me to be doing such things!”. Since then I made up my mind, quit the company and started attending teddy bear classes while working part-time. I think that “love” has never changed, because of the sense that I continue to this day due to those days at teddy bear class.

January 27

I was working part-time at a book shop. I was asked by a customer “Do you have the first, middle and last volume of a book called such-and-such?” and when I had looked it up, I turned to the waiting customer, because it was in stock, and said with a loud voice: “Sir, the large, medium and small are all in stock!”

January 28

When I am thinking about something, I eliminate my own individuality and I think “What if I hurl question A at this response, make counterargument B and give a new response like C or D” like I’m in a debate. It feels like I am developing my answer. If I make A an absolute and only think of response A all the time, that’s where I stop, so I incorporate different perspectives as much as possible and don’t ever deny my individuality. That’s what it’s like.

January 29

If it becomes more fascinating, then it doesn’t necessarily need to be faithful to the original picture. The original picture is nothing more than a reference point; there is not really any need to make it like the original picture.

January 30

“A tes souhaits” means something like “May your wishes come true”. In France one says this phrase to someone when they have sneezed. “A tes souhaits” for people you are on familiar terms with; “A vos souhaits” for superiors and people you are not that familiar with. People who are told it respond with “Merci”.

January 31

“Maybe I should try singing for myself”. That’s how I felt. That’s right. It wasn’t for anyone else. I sang it for myself.

February

February cover page

It was raining. Big and heavy snowflakes were pouring down as if they were sinking into the cold air. Looking up to the heavens, the sky was white and in it innumerable faint silhouettes of grey were blurred.

February 1

If my future “me” were to be grateful to my current “me”, what would it say thank you for? That is “what I can do” now, let’s think of that.

February 2

I try to think of bad things once bad things have happened. It’s a competitive world, so given the circumstances both good things and bad things happen. Even if it turns out for the worse, there’s no use complaining about it. Because if it’s after the game has ended, or even if it’s during the game, it is in the past. Even if it’s 3 minutes ago, it’s in the past.

February 3

“Thinking” and “being biased” are two sides of the same coin. No, rather, they are equivalents. There’s this opinion, and there’s that opinion; if you put them all on equal footing, what would happen? You couldn’t call that “thinking”.

February 4

At the Sochi Olympics, due to my camera positioning, I couldn’t photograph Hanyuu’s performance from a camera position in the front. I was at the top of the audience seats and when I tried to take a picture from a distance of him unfurling the flag, Hanyuu came skating over with a smile, possibly because there was just someone he knew on the side of the audience seats. At that point he wasn’t very good at unfurling the flag yet, but for that mere moment where he came to our side, the Japanese flag was dancing in the wind and I managed to capture that instant.

February 5

If I were to speak figuratively, “literature” is in contradiction with “knowing a city that no one knows”. Even though no one has seen it yet, there are people walking around. There are people living there. It’s such a lie.

February 6

‘Stone rubbing’ means ‘applying paper to the characters that are engraved onto monuments and such, and making a duplicate by rubbing over the top with sumi’. It was my grandfather’s hobby and I thought that I, being his grandson, would one day have to take over. So finally, once I obtained some simple sumi for stone rubbing and started ‘rubbing’, whenever I discovered uneven signboards all over town, I started getting turned on profusely like “I wanna rub it”. I’m spending my daily life nonchalantly making sure with my finger whether characters that catch my eye are uneven.

February 7

When you try to turn on a snowboard, if you try to turn suddenly and forcefully, you’ll fall over, right? That’s why, that feeling where you arrive at your intended destination by slowly and widely changing your direction, like ‘ahh, I’m turning’, while looking into the distance, such a feeling is ideal for me.

February 8

The reality is that work is rapidly being mechanised and it won’t come round to me [anymore]. But, feeling that I had to do my best and change my outlook at a time like this, I wrote “opportunity is a pinch” in big letters with an ultra thick marker and put it in front of my work desk. Until I had my mistake pointed out to me by my daughter, I really hadn’t noticed… My determination to turn a pinch into an opportunity looks like it’s breaking.

February 9

I am sometimes told by people ‘you’re lucky’, but I don’t think so myself. But there’s something I’ve learned by looking at other people. Lucky people are without a doubt cheerful people. Cheerful people have a high likelihood of being treated kindly by people.

February 10

Eupatorium with yellowed leaves is written about in the Manyoushuu. There is a preface where empress Kouken [in classical Japanese] “plucked a stalk of Sawa-Araragi (Eupatorium) and wrote a poem” and “I wonder if there is always frost in this village. The grass I saw in the fields of summer had turned yellow like the leaves of autumn.” A poem like ‘Had there been frost in this village, I wondered. Even though it was summer, the grass I saw had a colour like autumn leaves.’ This has been determined to be the world’s oldest record of a virus.

Because that’s why the leaves are yellow: due to a viral infection.

February 11

There are people you ‘get along with’, even though your opinions might differ, your tastes might differ, or your values might differ. When I try to think what that means, it might be that our sense of embarrassment is alike?

February 12

People are not impressed by a sloppy 70 from a person who has the capacity for a 100. On the other hand, when a person who has the capacity for a 60 exerts themselves for their personal best of 60 and goes beyond oneself, with complete devotion, overcoming their limits, and approaches 61, his expression flourishes. The people who see it are deeply moved, as if their heart is shaken and their soul is being released. People don’t want to see something that’s “skillful”, but something that is “brave”. I think they want to see people having courage and blooming with a force that awakens them to their potential power.

February 13

Whether it’s in the middle of a deep, dark forest or the beach of an isolated island, floating on the ocean, there is always one person who is your supporter. Look out over your surroundings and around you. Your biggest support is that person who is looking around.

February 14

I believed that if I made good chocolate it would sell, but that’s not what the customers wanted. I wanted something that is easy to get to in Tokyo, on a stylish street corner, with a shop interior with a pleasant atmosphere, unexpected, delicious, with cute packaging, that also keeps a long time and that is gratefully accepted if you give it to friends. It’s not like I adopt all of these things, but I have come to put myself in my customers’ shoes instead of my own.

February 15

Really, everyone becomes someone else’s strength just by being alive, don’t they? It’s just that you don’t realise that just by being there you are supporting someone, isn’t it?

February 16

Usually, even if I thought “ah!”, I would move on and leave that thought as is, but [now] I stop in my tracks and think ‘ah, maybe this’ll be a poem’. Then, I look for the words. Such moments being created is what makes me think ‘writing tanka is the best’. I think that it, in short, ends up being ‘living life thoroughly’. That’s why creating tanka really is savouring life thoroughly, spending time thoroughly, that sort of pursuit.

February 17

I often lose things. The other day at the company my stamp was missing. Anywhere I looked, it wasn’t there. My junior colleague at the desk to me, who saw me looking troubled, is a mother of three. She gently said to me: “Did you pon pon your pocket?” She was very embarrassed.

February 18

Even if I recommend to someone to watch Kita No Kuni Kara, I really don’t think they would watch it. I get it [when I look at it] from the opposite perspective. Because I do that as well; I’ll actually think that something that came recommended on “Ametaaalk!” looks interesting, but forget about it the next day.

February 19

Speaking of a “good company”, you need to have the phrase “for someone” in your head. In short, no matter how “good” a company is said to be by people, if it isn’t “a good company for you”, that’s no good in my opinion.

February 20

It’s not like I went to the actual site wanting to shoot winning scenes. I’ve been going to the Olympics for a long time, but, you know, it’s a “desire to see it with my own eyes”. It’s not wanting to celebrate them winning together or mourn them losing, but a desire to see their prospects with my own eyes, not knowing what will happen next.

February 21

Though one might say “let’s have imagination”, there is no such thing as perfect imagination. While I don’t understand everything, I try to keep in mind that I want to remember that my world cuts out just a small part of the real world. Such a simple imagination is more necessary than a perfect imagination.

February 22

Dogs often come over when they see their owners, but cats aren’t like that. Cats have very good ears. Humans have a hearing range of up to about 20,000Hz, but cats can hear up to 100,000Hz. Cats read humans’ emotions. If they’re not there and you call their name with an anxious state of mind, cats also become anxious. They’ll be even less likely to come out. That’s why ‘how to be relaxed when you call them’ is important.

February 23

So at concerts I am already “memory lapse Nakajima”. Just as a I draw in a breath to start singing, I forget. Because the applause would come in, right, like “we’ve been waiting!”. Hahaha. Afterwards, the fans would share information among themselves: “she forgot this part today”.

February 24

If there is one thing makes me feel happy that I chose to go into design, it is that I can experience ‘the unknown’. Unknown movies, unknown novels, unknown art. I am sometimes able to feel like the world is still full of interesting things. It’s one after another, that kind of thing. So long as I don’t stop searching by myself, [I will] undoubtedly [be able to find them] until I die.

February 25

If it were only for my own sake, I wouldn’t be able to feel pain. However, when you think that there are 14 other teammates in front of and behind you, when you think that there are people in the audience who are cheering for you, [and] you put your body on the line against better judgment, that’s rugby.

February 26

In the movie After the Storm, Kirin Kiki featured in the role of an elderly lady. Kirin Kiki, when told that “I respect my grandmother”, responds with “If you’re going to respect someone anyway, make it Mother Teresa or so-and-so (なんちゃら) the astronaut or someone.” This なんちゃら is not even in the latest dictionaries.

February 27

Being able to do really interesting things was, honestly, because it had nothing to do with money. Whether it’s Tadanori Yokoo or Makoto Wada, the works that everyone thinks of as their most important work are the ones that have nothing to do with money.

February 28

There is something I understood once I started working with dog sleds. Bringing in our own methods and tools is an affront to the culture of the actual location. The methods that have been cultivated by the local nature are ultimately more suitable for local ventures. By using the products of that place, there is a feeling of acceptance by the people of that place.

March

March cover page

It is spring, when bracken by a waterfall that flows over rocks starts to sprout.

I found this modern Japanese rephrasing:

岩の上を激しく流れる滝のほとりでは、さわらびが芽を出す春になったことだなぁ。

March 1

I think it’s alright if my characters aren’t liked by everyone. So long as the people who like them like them. Because I think that both humans and characters each have good points and bad points, and it’s good if they match the people they meet.

March 2

In this current age, where we have smartphones and are connected by the internet, we can’t experience the solitude that I used to experience anymore. Because SNS and smartphones came out right after the end of that, that was really the last solitude on earth, I think. I am a bit envious of my solitude around that time.

March 3

When ‘people who love’ with imagination gather in an open ‘space where there is nothing’, ‘PLAY = theatre’ begins. That is the kind of theatre I want to do. I want to do it on the full scale of humankind. But the capacity of my heart is small, and my head, hands and feet are riddled with things I can’t do. Perhaps I am really bad at it, but I want to became a director of love. It might be difficult at first, but I want to change little by little.

March 4

I spritzed an orange-scented aroma spray in the genkan. I was happy that the genkan smelled nice, so I said to my husband who had come home: “The orange, it smells of genkan, right?!” … That’s not the kind of orange I like!

March 5

Progress in dance always stagnates a bit. When that happens, the person in question also starts getting fed up with it, but if they still continue to do their best, your substance will become ever more full during that time. Then, on a certain day it will suddenly flower and ‘boom’, you get better. That’s why [the question of] how to bear such a period of levelling off is important.

March 6

If you make a strong attack right from the start, your opponent will keep his distance and move away. When that happens, the fight itself will not take place. First, you get your opponent to think of you as ‘easy to get’. That is also one of the most important tactics.

March 7

I was asked by my wife “this job, will you be doing it forever? I can already see how it will turn out in 30 years.” I was told things like: “You’ll work hard until the retirement age and then that’s it.” “That’s no fun.” “Don’t you think a parent figure is important for a child’s growth?” “It is a father’s role to be able to act in various capacities”. So I quit my job and from 2010 onwards, at the age of 30, I started taking pictures.

Based on the original interview, it seems like it’s his wife saying all of these things to him, even though the punctuation might suggest it is a conversation. I also found 風を吹かす a challenging phrase to translate.

March 8

‘Doing nothing’ itself became a reward for me. It’s not about money; there are many things included within ‘doing nothing’ and I felt that all the things I experienced were the reward.

「なんもしない」こと自体が僕にとっては報酬になっていたんです。それはお金じゃなくて、何もしないことの中にいろいろ含まれていて、経験すること全部が報酬として感じられました。

March 9

I was apparently the worst at drawing at the company entrance exam. But they appreciated the fact that I had come from New York even though I had no place to go, and they hired me. In my impulsive behaviour, they saw a potential that might grow in the future. That’s why, when I am hiring people, getting more associates, I also put more importance on the attitude and behaviour, what kind of person it is, than on their manual skills or their school grades.

March 10

I learned a lot of things from the people of Touhoku’s Kesennuma. The year of the earthquake disaster, they really kept company with us, strangers who had come from afar, from the bottom of their hearts. It’s something that started from sadness, but now it has grown into an even greater joy.

March 11

If I were asked if Kesennuma is recovering, I wouldn’t be able to answer. But the people who live there are doing well. Expressions like ‘doing their best’ or ‘working hard’ don’t even feel right. They are sharing their energy, their love, their delicious food with us. Fortunately, even though we can’t change the past, people can change their way of perceiving it. The people I met during this trip are people who have changed their past not into anger or hatred, but into kindness and love.

March 12

I have always doubted that I have talent. That’s why I think I have the qualifications to try my hand at the acting business. I don’t know if I have talent or not. I think there is probably more room for growth with that mindset.

March 13

Whether it is a crucian carp, a bantam, or whatever, I want to visualise somehow that grinding feeling of a life struggling in my two hands. However small of a life I am holding, the strength, the humorous side, and, more than anything, the sexual sensation. And the sadness, the misery. Like that, everything that life holds is struggling in my own hands. That’s what I want to express in my drawings.

March 14

If the creator isn’t having fun, that comes across. I feel that manga is possessed by something, so if it’s a manga that was drawn while [the mangaka] wasn’t enjoying themselves, or a manga that was drawn reluctantly, I think it’s better not to draw it at all.

March 15

I once asked an architectural planner “Is it possible to design an alley it is pleasant to be in?” Sure enough, they said that’s difficult. Because alleys are accumulations of things that invidiuals consider interesting. There is a tedium of things that more people find intersting.

March 16

An older brother (10) asked his younger brother (6): “Do you know the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper?” The younger brother: “Ah, that Grasshopper, wasn’t he the guy that was stirring things up?”. Was their mother’s style of reading to them that boorish?

March 17

Life is very unclear. It always goes in unforeseen directions. For example, even if you start a band, it might end up being different from the direction you had originally thought of. Someone doesn’t join, someone else does join, a succession of such things. So don’t plan. If you make plans, it usually ends up no good. For example, making a plan and then someone is suddenly paying money [for it], that never happens.

March 18

I am careful not to make my head about something for 100%. It’s not a good thing, ‘100% of something’. Whether that is ‘love’ or ‘work’. It means that if you lose it, what is left is empty. It is probably a relationship like some sort of addiction.

March 19

I believe there is nothing so helpful to people as the feeling of being needed by people. I think the question of ‘why do people work?’ has been thought about since way back, but I wonder if we don’t all work, for one thing, in order to be needed by someone.

March 20

Part-time workers being able to work enjoyably, I think that’s the number one thing that makes a store lively. What is interesting about Village Vanguard is the fact that pointless ideas are born in our spare time and we serve useless things to our customers.

March 21

Motoyoshi’s “I would like to see you, even if I destroy myself”. If I were to put it in today’s words, it’d be “Even if I had to risk my life, even if it destroys me, I want to see you”. If you put it into writing, it is a very direct love letter. It is a phrase as beautiful as a jewel, that we can understand even today, like a crystallisation of one’s whole heart, like “could I say more in 31 morae?”.

March 22

Like breathing air and eating food, the only way I know how to live is to live life while doing theatre itself. I have done theatre for so many months and years already, and I have related to society and looked at the future through theatre.

March 23

Falling into tragedy, like “My life is no good anymore!” is really easy. It is also surprisingly simple to turn it into a comedy by disregarding various things, like “Anyway, let’s pursue fun things!”. But if you don’t have a tenacious mentality, it is difficult to accept tragedy and comedy at the same time.

March 24

A drive with my husband. Next thing I know, we’re in the area where Tamorisan had wandered. Unable to wait, I wanted to say it before my husband did, so I said without thinking: “This, this is where Burari was tamotamo’ing!” … I let myself be influenced by the name of the programme.

She had wanted to say ここ、ここ、タモリがブラブラしてたよね!

March 25

What Osamu Hashimoto did was a way of fighting like making the “Trojan Horse” of Greek mythology. He tried making a strange, mysterious thing and leaving it outside the castle walls. The enemies, wondering ‘what’s this?’ bring it back into the castle. When that happens, it’s ours. Before the enemies notice, the castle walls have collapsed… Common knowledge and fixed ideas you’d think were impregnable are overturned. The way society is seen is changed.

March 26

I get nervous in situations that impact winning or losing, but as long as I’ve made preparations, I become able to see my surroundings and keep my feeling of tension in check. I wonder if I didn’t want to calm myself down by getting ready in advance especially on days when I was in bad shape.

March 27

If foreign material gets into an Akoya pearl oyster and it can’t spit it out, it spends a lot of time trying to wrap that foreign substance, giving form to mother of pearl, and it produces a pearl. Not just oysters; I hope that humans, too, are able to imitate the Akoya pearl oyster, covering the sadness and grief inside of them with their own feelings, wrapping them, and sublimating them into beautiful inner feelings, like a pearl.

March 28

There is nothing that surpasses being good [at it], but I don’t think there is any necessity for being good [at it]. There are many things that are more important than that.

March 29

I think I can have a core within myself. To that end, I put ‘my joy’ into words precisely, like “I want to do this and that”. When I do that, even in cases when I think “man, I can’t do this”, I can come back to “hang on, if I could do this, it’d make me happy”.

March 30

While seems that we’re looking at the same thing, we are probably all taking in something different. That may be a bit fact, but it’s a bit of a lonely fact. That’s why humans join hands and sing the same song. They also deliberately seek out the same place and stick together.

March 31

Looking at it from a bit of a distance, I thought “how will people from the same generation feel good?”. In order words, I was thinking not adults, but of people from my own generation. There is one more thing that has become a guiding principle. I am originally from Atsugi in Kanagawa prefecture, and I wanted to become the sort of girl of whom my hometown friends would say “She did well!”.

April

April cover page

Passing by Gion towards Kiyomizu on a moonlit sakura evening; all the people I meet this evening are beautiful.

A modern rephrasing might look like this:

「清水に行こうと祇園を通り過ぎると、桜が咲き誇る朧月夜。今夜すれちがう人々は、誰もみな美しく見えました」

April 1

In my own viewpoint, “things to protect” have always been a sort of personal guideline. Or like a personal creed. On occasion it degenerates into a jinx, or maybe a pilchard’s head. If I may make a further remark, you should mercilessly ask yourself questions like “what is the aim?” or “what is the reason I thought that just now?” and to face the answers to them, even if it’s painful.

I imagine the pilchard head is related to this expression.

April 2

Don’t compare it to ordinary times. Don’t compare it to the past. Don’t compare it to the future. At any rate, don’t compare anything to “the present”. Fix your gaze on “the present” that is right in front of you.

April 3

You shouldn’t go into a match doubting yourself, you shouldn’t think about the result when it hasn’t occurred. A player with a with that doubts himself will only have difficult thoughts under pressure. You need to face the battle without doubting anything for at least the 2,5 or 3 hours that a game lasts, like “let’s go!”, without doubting yourself or your team. I think it’s important to face a match like: “I did as much as I humanly could; the rest is up to God”.

April 4

I guess you’re a “wife” when you no longer listen to what I say. Because while you do listen to me, you’re a “lover”.

April 5

I am always taking out my camera outside. Just because there is some extra effort taking it out of my bag, it makes me unable to take pictures. I think it’s very important to be freed from that hassle. I think it’s best to take the lens cap off as well. When I buy a camera, the first thing I do is throw away the lens cap.

April 6

Let’s admire. Let’s praise. Let’s rejoice. Let’s try becoming ladies and gentlemen. Let’s be loved. Let’s love. Let’s persevere in losing weight. Let’s dance. Let’s be surprised. Let’s encourage. Let’s help. Let’s console. Let’s treat someone to a meal. Let’s make some laugh. Let’s imagine. Let’s dream. Let’s play. Let’s sing. Let’s draw. In short, each of these is something that produces good ideas.

April 7

Making it just as delicious, is actually very difficult. It is positively impossible to keep it tasting the same without coming up with some kind of plan. Just making it the same way as usual definitely doesn’t make it as delicious.

April 8

This is a story about my senpai. During cleaning time she was carrying a bucket, tripped on a banana peel that had fallen and fell! Then, a few words: “You really do step if you slip on a banana peel!”. Senpai, that isn’t quite right.

April 9

We can’t think without biases, and biases are created through thinking. We take action with our thoughts, gather information with our thoughts and develop towards the next thought with the gathered information. We pile bias upon bias. That is what it means to think and that is what it means to grow.

April 10

‘Solving’ maths questions is important, but [knowing] ‘how do I solve it?’ is even more important. It is important that people who have seen the solution can apply it to other [questions], like “if I can use this method, I could probably also use this method”.

April 11

I had been told by the doctor that I had an attack of gout and I had come home limping. My daughter asked “what’s wrong?”, and when I answered “my leg hurts”, she said “well, I’ll put a band-aid on it”. I peeled off the band-aid my daughter had stuck on me and stuck it in my notebook.

April 12

If you think about notebooks or pocket diaries, those who use them have one more chance to have fun than those who don’t, right?

April 13

If a television drama episode doesn’t progress at a suitable pace, it becomes dull. However, in manga, even if an exchange is wordy, it can still be interesting. That’s why, if you put a manga development onto the screen as is, perhaps because the flow of time is entirely different, various things feel strangly long. Doesn’t it sometimes feel like “the story isn’t progressing at all, is it?” when you watch a drama that was originally a manga?

April 14

Gaining wisdom systematically. This is something very important that one can do at university. On the other hand, what you learn in the city is to know your customers. Also, how to make friends.

April 15

I was not fit to be an actor and my paintings and photographs were also not very good, but when I put it all together, something that doesn’t exist anywhere was created. I have called it, arbitrarily, a ‘triathlon of beauty’. In paintings, I am no match for a painter, in photographs no match for a photographer and in acting no match for an actor, but I understood that if only I acted like the ‘’ that brings them together, the ‘me who is at a loss’, I could do anything.

April 16

You don’t need any materials. You can do it whenever, wherever. It doesn’t take any money. Even if there is no one to help, you can do it alone. That is: thinking.

April 17

There is a phrase “Action always beats reaction”, which means “don’t wait for the other party to do something, start first.” I think that doing what you want done first is an important principle common to sports, business and day to day communication.

April 18

“It was warm today huh?”, my senpai said at work. “Yeah, there were even people wearing a T-shirt or boxers” I said. “… boxers, that’s messed up”. Ah, no, I meant to say ‘tank top’!

April 19

In waka, an experience that everyone shares is composed. That’s why they all write about the same topic. It’s a world they have in common. This is very Japanese. Abroad, poems are not composed in a shared world. That’s because poems are centered around the individual. Only being able to write about yourself is the focus of [that kind of] poetry.

April 20

When you put nature in front of you, you run out of spare time. Now, even in this instant, in front of my eyes a lot of life is energetically squirming about like always. That appearance and activity gives me a lot of excitement all over my body.

April 21

It’s better to make promises. To your baby, to you dog or to yourself. When you have properly made a promise and you try to keep it, your fingertips will become skilfull, your legs will become sturdy, your eyes will become better, your head will work better. That’s right. You will become a person who can keep a promise.

April 22

Handicrafts are unchanging and strong, I thought. If only there is work, you can do it at home. It is a matter of during it while it is light out. You can work by the cycle of the sun. Once again I feel like people who do handicrafts are awesome.

April 23

If anything, my appartment was like his appartment since he had moved in, and I was like a tenant living together in his place. The appartment was comfortably cluttered and I had the joy of unlikely things in unexpected places, even in the refrigerator.

April 24

I do my work individually. Because my work of drawing pictures is done at home, what I pay attention to is that I make sure to get up in the morning and get changed and dress properly.

April 25

There is a battle to decide “This is amusing, this is not amusing” and someone wins it. The amusingness that wins is considered to be the correct one, but the amusingness that has lost is also an amusingness that actually exists, so which one is superior can’t really be decided, can it?

April 26

If you are able to perceive the next ten yearsーonce you turn 30 years old until 40 years, once you turn 40 years old until 50 yearsーlike “they will become even more fun than they’ve been so far”, that’s excellent. To be honest, I am looking forward to the next 10 years. The past is fully over. What comes next is awesome.

April 27

When I try to perform solely subjectively, I will definitely fail. Why? Because the role isn’t me. I’m afraid that only my own thoughts get into the role. I listen to the opinions from my director and various people and get their advice. If I don’t do that, the role will turn into me. If it’s “just me” there are limits. The role isn’t me and I don’t compare myself and the role whatsoever.

April 28

In exploration, when you withdraw, you withdraw thoroughly. Of course it is important to overcome the difficulties in front of you, but in order to survive, if you don’t know when to withdraw, you die. So long as you survive by not doing the impossible and withdrawing, there will definitely be another chance.

April 29

I had cut my hair. When I said “When I woke up this morning I looked like Sariichan’s dad” at work, my subordinate said “What does that mean?”. Ehh… I am sorry, but you’ll have to do a quick image search.

April 30

In the art of theatre, people who live in the “now”, including the audience, staff and actors, share the time of the performance. The audience who are all gathered at the start of the show and the actors are people who equally own the time called “now” in common. That is why the theatre has words that reverberate more than any other media.

May

May cover page

I am a grass. I try to grow.
When I can grow, I try to grow.
On days I can’t grow, I don’t grow.
On days I can grow, I grow.

May 1

I think that’s all we can do. Creating opportunities, opening doors, that’s the job of the performance arts.

May 2

When I go abroad, little by little I buy paints in colours I like. I’ve liked painting ever since I was a kid. When in primary school we were evacuated to the countryside, and when I brought my cherished watercolours and painted a picture, my schoolteacher gave me drawing paper, which was very precious at the time, saying “Because you really like painting, Nakajou-kun”. Ever since, even now, I’ve been painting.

May 3

We probably operate under the desire of “I want to leave something behind” or “I want to remain in someone’s memories”. We want to do something that “remains steadily in someone’s life”. I think we want people to remember it.

May 4

The activity that has become the pillar of my home life is ‘weeding’. Chameleon plant, horsetail, chickweed, ferns, creeping woodsorrel… When I pull them out, pull them out, over and over, I come to feel refreshed. When I focus on the sight of ants digging in the soil, making a nest, or on the grass and ants in front of me, I can expell the days’ various matters and worries from my mind.

May 5

It’s good to have a small child near me. When a week passes, she has already grown. Just by thinking that humans have such a phase, courage wells up in those who see it. That kid loves being alive for sure.

May 6

A large-scale strike is annoying, but what I admire is that people are used to dealing with them, because France is of course a country of strikes. They think about whether there are means [of transport] besides the transit system. They think about by what route they can get somewhere the fastest. If there is no transit system, they’ll walk however many hours. If it’s no problem, they take time off work. They get angry, but no one vents their anger towards the strike. After all, they’re a country of strikes.

May 7

You can’t find ‘a job only you can do’. But you can create a job. You should think of it not as ‘taking’ a fixed job, but as changing a pre-existing job and ‘making’ a new one. Even if it’s not the job you wanted to do.

May 8

My mum showed me the contents of her notebook while laughing, but I felt like I was looking at the preparations for the end of my mum’s life and it felt indescribable. But my mum says quite indifferently: "What I noticed as I continued writing, is that both the everyday life of myself and my family, and the days I spent with my parents who are gone continue to be connected and will continue. Targeting not an ‘ending’ that will come one day, but a ‘future’ that will come one day, I made sure to write the necessary information in my notebook so as to make sure things are not difficult for my family.

May 9

That time the post office guy delivered a package to me. I was told “Sign here please”, and though I wanted to ask “With my full name?”, for some reason I asked this: “With my real name?”. The man said “Well, of course”. That’s right.

May 10

There are many girls around me who are cute, though they aren’t models, but you can depend on them, they have substance and a good [personality] coming forth from within. Precisely because it is taken for granted that models are cute, they have to go higher and higher. But what comes forth from the inside is also important for a girl, I think. It would be good if I could learn that from cute girls who do other work.

May 11

Fishing boats are an operation. You have to decide things like the price of gasoline, the market price of fish, when to go out and come back in a split second. You also need the courage to give up even when you couldn’t catch anything at all. You have to manage however many fishermen. I think they are people who can make it through no matter what happens.

May 12

A pitcher winning one game… well, it’s so joyous, you could call it the happiest thing in my life. It’s truly a blessing. Winning is the happiest thing in life. Current athletes who are called ‘aces’ probably also make plays feeling the joy of winning, and batters, too, how happy would they be if they contribute to winning and can become heroes?

May 13

As you are wearing the same clothes for many years, they have a way of being remembered from a material point of view such as “clothing from when I had these memories”. It changes from matter into memory. I want people to feel such a transformation.

May 14

Getting up early in the morning, wielding a saw or hammer while getting covered in sawdust and dust, getting small cuts on my fingertips, getting blisters on my hands. I am busy with the work, so naturally I get hungry. In the evening I fall asleep like I’m melting while I’m thinking about tomorrow’s work. Even if it’s not going well, I have no need to complain to anyone. I had long forgotten what joy that is.

May 15

Our own changes change people, and someone else’s changes change us as well. We have the plasticity to change as much as we like, almost daily, as long as we are willing to change. Both progress and growth are representations of “change”.

May 16

When I am singing a song, I reach a state of being a “transparent tube”. What falls down from the sky, Once I have let what comes falling down from the sky pass through my body, I go on to communicate it to my audience… By doing so, I purify things such as worldly thoughts. To express it in an easy to understand way, I want to convey a sense of “I am happy to have been born”.

May 17

Even if the floor is densely packed, you can still enjoy the interior by the ‘walls’. So postcards or magazine clippings are fine. Even a small thing changes your mood well enough. The important thing is that you display things you like.

May 18

When you meet with someone or with a group, the thing that makes you feel terribly tired is that you may not be ‘number one’ there. It’s that you think about the person who is the self-proclaimed number one in that group, or about the person who is treated as the number one, “This person isn’t number one calibre by any stretch of the imagination.” For some reason such people have to aim at being number one as far as they’re concerned.

May 19

He likes his older brother and thankfully he’ll even happily wear his hand-me-downs, like “These are big brother’s! Can I wear them?”, but somehow he seemed to realise. At last, he said it: “All I get are hand-me-downs!”

May 20

I don’t really, particularly, how do I put it… write lyrics that are true to life. That is why you can take them in any which way. To some extent, it’s something I think I had better not interfere with. Because it’s not something that I should interpret in such a way.

May 21

Any job is fine by me. In any case, a job that I can do a bit comfortably, that pays as much as possible… That’s right, isn’t it? I have never turned down any job other than bungee jumping.

May 22

Just chasing after the things you like simply feels like a waste. I think it’s fine to use people you admire in order to inspire yourself, to become energised. It’s like a vitamin.

May 23

When I look at the actions of humans, they ‘share’ when they are under a ‘roof’. But, when you erect a ‘wall’ there, there is a tendency to ‘tell lies to each other’. I think it’s important to what extent we can be conscious of there being a ‘roof’ there, or in other words, ‘sharing’.

May 24

Depending on various factors, like state of mind, physical strength or the season, you can see completely different things. I have summited both Denali and Everest two times, but they were completely different, and even if I climbed Fujisan 30 times, I would discover completely different things. That is the same in the streets of Tokyo as well, and that is why I can click my shutter.

May 25

Where there is nothing, there are no fish. Even where there seems to be nothing, there is something, for example there is a lot of oxygen, or the water temperature is just right, or smaller fish pass through. Birds, lizards, insects, humans, they are all in a place they have a reason to be.

May 26

Adding characters from the ば row to characters one by one… I had mastered this ‘game’ when I was 10 and I became able to add ば row characters smoothly. Even now I can still do it smoothly, but sometimes I do something even sillier than when I was 10. I do it to English as well. I say ‘グッドモーニング’ like ‘ぐぶっどぼ・もぼーにびんぐぶ’. Naturally, people from the Anglosphere don’t understand it.

May 27

‘Assistance’ is a temporary thing, and you can’t keep doing it. If you don’t switch over to ‘cheering’ at some point, there will be mutual unhappiness.

May 28

For example, even though they are concerned about child abuse, if they are asked “could you go into that abusive household and fix the parent-child relationship”, many people feel like “government officials, go and do it properly”, because they think “I can’t do such a thing”. At The Children’s Cafeteria, I try to get them to think about it like “if it’s eating dinner together, I can do it”. I think it is being easy-going that is very important.

May 29

This morning’s commute. In the middle of a full train, there was the ringtone of a phone: piropiropiro. The old man who answered to phone said quietly: “I am in the middle of a phone call right now, I’ll call you back when I get off the phone!” I think the other guy knew he was on the phone as well though…

The joke being that he mixed up 電話 and 電車.

May 30

I think I can assert that for most people, there is no such thing as ‘being cut out for something’. Can I say something more fundamental? It’s ok if you’re not cut out for or not good at something. Even when you’re not, you can still get by. At least, I don’t have anything I am good at, rather, I have come to live as though I am fleeing from the things I’m bad at. Maybe that is why it seems like the people who are bad at a lot of things are doing work they’re cut out for.

May 31

I think that even in the age of Michelangelo, humans already experienced the beauty of abstract things. That is a shape’s… At times, the beauty of ‘form’ surpasses even, for example, the beauty of a human body.

June

June cover page

When flower petals scatter, something gentle in the shape of the petals appears to gather there.

June 1

At the Van Gogh museum, I feel like I saw about a hundred self-portraits. I was immersed in Van Gogh. I thought it might change my style of painting, but I wasn’t at the age where I could be influenced anymore.

June 2

Just as I was happy when I learned the characters and became able to read the newspaper, learning was not about rote memorisation, not about taking tests, but learning something, knowing something, that by itself was fun. That kind of raising of morale, isn’t that the true nature of man? That is why, if we return to the child’s feelings, it is fine to start from whenever, to start from whatever. I don’t want it to be “for some purpose”, but I want it to be fun for its own sake.

June 3

Until I finally get to the Danish, I will read it out loud about ten times. I come to understand the feeling. Of the person who wrote it. By going through the heart, the words come to life.

June 4

I’ve recently been using my favourite lines that I wrote myself when I was younger again. Looking at people who draw, I’ve come to think that that is ok. People who draw draw the same pictures over and over again, right? I think that the things people like to draw don’t readily change.

June 5

I feel like if you can successfully include a sense of “I may also have felt this myself”, your work will often become better.

June 6

“I have a good idea!” sounds like a child’s voice. I wonder if having an idea feels like that. A team like that, where everyone says “I have a good idea!” while smiling impishly often, is my ideal.

June 7

I feel like the message that Prince was conveying with his music is summarised as: “I am me and you are you”. “I love my freedom, and similarly I love yours too”. That was Prince’s stance at any time.

June 8

These days, isn’t it the sort of time where, if you try to sell ‘means’, you can sell however many you like? Everyone is prone to have their eyes drawn there, but I feel like what’s really important, is what you want to do, what you want to tell, that part.

Contrary to what people think, it’s not about the marketing, it’s about the actual product.

June 9

In Osaka, there are a lot of people who are ‘irachi’ (impatient). Even at the register, the person behind me comes up vigorously. The other day, even though I was told “it’s so and so yen”, the woman behind me tried to put her bills on the tray. I am often pushed, but that was a first!

June 10

Fallen trees are prone to be thought of as tree carcasses and nuisances, but they bring life to all sorts of organisms, not only mosses, ferns and lichens, but also mushrooms, insects and slime molds. Falles trees are sacrophytic fungi’s favourite meal. It’s only fungi like mushrooms that are able to decompose the matter they contain that is difficult to degrade and return it to inorganic matter. When you to a forest, please try to observe the fallen trees. There is no doubt that you’ll experience fresh wonder at the world of life that is unfolded there.

June 11

There are people who use umbrellas beautifully, right? When I see them properly closing their umbrella and carefully folding it at the station premises on a rainy day (I guess they have time to spare?), I always think “I need to follow their example”. It feels refreshing, doesn’t it?

June 12

Something happened to the you from 10 years from now and you strongly wished: “take it back by 10 years please”. That’s why you have returned to this point. Let’s think of it that way. What on earth is it that the you from 10 years from now has entrusted to the present you? You probably put yourself back in this point in time, because you thought that there was probably something you could still do about it. If you think that presently you have returned to 10 years ago, you will feel like “let’s do it”.

June 13

Pushing yourself because you think “I have to start something”, I don’t think that will last. Instead, if you start with a feeling of “I want to start so much I can’t help it”, it will fit you better, I think.

June 14

I don’t put any faith in lesson review surveys. I only put faith in the twinkle in my students’ eyes. Usually, when I’m teaching, I constantly look at my students’ eyes. Is my story coming across? Are they listening to me like they’re interested? What do I care about beside that? I am here right now and you are here right now. I have something I want to get across right now. To hell with it all the rest as far as teaching is concerned.

June 15

Almost all people who try to “do something”… when it comes to doing something regarding this “trying to do something”, almost all of them just repeat that “they’ll give it some thought”. Really, even if you don’t really know, when you “start doing something”, lots of things happen.

June 16

I love loquats and peaches. They are precious nowadays because of the way they allow you to choose the season. Their flavours are in sharp contrast, and as far as loquat is concered it is somewhat vague and that’s why it’s good. Though compared to it the peach is much more intense and sensual, it has a somewhat noble aftertaste that calls out a state of mind that makes you feel like you’re in a fairyland. Going on to eat a peach after a loquat is one of the few chances to taste the changing of the seasons.

June 17

There are ways to become strong even when you’ve passed your physical peak. You should know yourself. It is important to grasp exactly at what times you have what kind of reactions. I believe that by doing that, a more polished you will appear.

June 18

I feel like “people who are bad at public speaking” are “awesome people” in a sense. It’s because if you change the way you look at them, they are very “sensitive people”. They are considerate of people’s feelings and they observe while holding back their own opinion. The you are that sort of person, the worse you become at “public speaking”.

June 19

When I asked my dad what’s the difference between café au lait and caffe latte, his answer was as follows. “Ehh, café au lait is that one right, 牛乳 with ミルク.” Dad, that’s just milk with milk in it.

June 20

Fighting when your team isn’t in its best state is the toughest thing for a coach. However, I don’t dislike such a team situation. It’s not like I am hoping and wishing for a pinch, but when I am fighting a long pennant race, occasions come up once or twice where the team is not in a good state. It’s a pinch, but in my mind it’s a chance.

June 21

The things that remain, they do not merely keep their prototype, but something new or an adaptation is added.

June 22

Cooking for myself. Until now it was a bit of a chore, but the fact that I have finally come to be able to enjoy it these last few months is one of the few good things that I got out of this period. Whoever first said that to eat is to live, I think they were really right. I have to be genki. There are many people I want to meet.

June 23

Looking for your future in titles is no good. Look for it in smiling faces.

June 24

“I am lonely” is a kind of signal similar to “I am hungry”, isn’t it? “I’m hungry” is a signal of “replenish your calories!”, and in the same way, it means that an alarm of “I am spending too much time alone” is going off.

June 25

I feel like it’s important to “become” first. It’s not just “wanting to become”, but it is searching for something you can become and trying to become that first.

June 26

When I was 23, I was roaming about the Sahara desert. Every day death was within reach. In the evening I would sometimes release my camel at the base of a tree that had sprouted up in the desert. I’d set it free in order to let it eat. When it became morning and I got up, it would be gone. It had turned to the next tree. So I’d go to find it, following its footprints. In short, I’d wake up in the morning and I’d receive a life or death baptism. Every day for half a year.

June 27

If it were a diary, I could write in it and put it in my drawer. But with tanka, you make it into a 5/7/5/7/7 form and a sense of wanting to deliver it to someone is attached to it. In that sense I feel like it’s more like a letter than a diary, isn’t it?

June 28

When I returned to my parents’ house after a long time, my mum was pleased that dad “had bought Tiffany’s for her”. My dad, who has nothing to do with that sort of thing! I was surprised and was listening to the story, but there was something strange about the story. “It doesn’t stick!” “It’s easy to wash” “Tiffany’s is different, after all”. Mum, that’s Tefal!

June 29

Well, at first… it was hard. Both in Yoshimoto Nara’s time as in Takashi Murakami’s time, they were mocked, denied by the people around them: “this isn’t art”. But all we gallerists can do is to believe.

June 30

The fact that [being called ジジイ or ババア] is disliked is partly because of the dakuten, I think. That’s why I see the dakuten disappearing soon. If only we get rid of the dakuten, even words with two dakuten in them like ‘kokifuri’ or ‘shishii’ could be thought of as cute, no?

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July

July cover page

Summer is nighttime, isn’t it? It is a good time to view the moon, of course! Dark nights too… Fireflies are fluttering around. It’s also really lovely when one or two are faintly glittering. It’s also lovely when rain falls.

July 1

The items I use often in the summertime are an aloha shirt, sunglasses, a hat and oral rehydration solution against heatstroke. Recently I have added a cane to the collection. It is one that I had made by a cane maker from Shiga-ken that an acquaintance referred me to. It was a Japanese person who made Chaplin’s cane. It was a Japanese person who made Chaplin’s cane and I heard that it was actually that man’s work. At 80 years old he was thinking about retiring, but he made one for me as if it were a posthumous work.

July 2

There is nothing as splendid as “managing somehow”. “managing somehow” is a synonym for “I did well”. It’s not the same, but it’s a similar kind of thing. “I managed somehow” has greater merit than winning or losing, than succeeding or not, doesn’t it?

July 3

Actually I can’t write [things] the way I thought of [them] in my head. I think that is the big difference between the things that occur to me in my head and the things I write with my hand. I think it’s important to change [things] in the writing process, like “When I tried to write it, it turned out like this” or “I wrote this the same way the other day too, so let’s write it a bit differently this time”.

July 4

Almost all worries are about personal relationships. In addition, we all worry about relationships with people we don’t like.

July 5

I’m always trying not to ignore the fact that I “get bored of myself”. Because if I’m getting bored, that means that the people who look at my work will get bored too. So I have to make sure that I don’t overlook that I am getting bored, but that I resolutely stop [what I’m doing] and do something new.

July 6

A story about the time I worked a part-time job at a cash register. When I was handing over the change coins, I meant to say “the small ones”, but I said “the cute ones”. The customer in front of me, the employee behind me and myself, all of us were frantically trying not to laugh.

細かい方 is a fixed expression that is used when handing over the coins portion of the change.

July 7

I think that people’s faces are ‘お面, a mask’. In general, it is thought that everyone has something like ‘a true face’ and they wear a mask on top of it, so if you take away the mask, the true face can be seen. I wonder if the true face isn’t also a mask. In short, that even what we call ‘the true face’ is something people perform. Perhaps the true face is some kind of disguise as well.

July 8

No matter how beautiful a city is, if there are no humans to experience the beauty, it isn’t beautiful. If a city is left to people who look at it, that means there is a chance it is liked in an instant.

July 9

Being able to cheerfully say “Fool!” to people who did something foolish without the person who did the foolish thing thinking they’re no good, that is mental security. Google examined various industries in a productivity improvement plan once, and mental security was at the root of a good organisation, for sales, for engineering, for the back office. It is an important thing for all organisations.

July 10

I think that calligraphy is something that should absolutely never be lost. In Japan the culture of the brush and ink has been inherited from a thousand years ago. Because the work of people from a distant past has continued uninterrupted and was left behind as calligraphy we are able to write characters today. There are still characters in today’s era. I think that’s amazing.

July 11

Arino: Wasn’t there a request from Iwata-san, who helped to program MOTHER2, to change the scenario?
Ito: Iwata-san was cool at that time and he said “Programmers shouldn’t say no.”
Arino: Wow! With an entertainer it would’ve been a no at first. They’d say “no way no way no way!”

July 12

Is the emotion when facing this work genuine? That is a separate matter from [the work’s] authenticity. If we can be conscious of that, I think we can enjoy the painting in front of us a lot more and more, not because it’s a Van Gogh, or because it’s a Monet, or because it’s worth several millions.

July 13

I have no intention of blaming people who can’t say no [to invitations]. I too suffered for years because I wasn’t able to say no. I keenly feel the feelings of people in such a situation as if they were my own. So in the first place I want to think: “Does the other person know that you don’t like them?”. Suppose you don’t convey your dislike, don’t make a reluctant face, but far from it, always put on a good face, give good replies and, moreover, even flattered them; how will the other person know you don’t like them?

July 14

I function as a producer, but I am bad at my own life. I did well at producing the idol Nemu Yumemi, though. As soon as I became the “me” that controlled Nemu Yumemi, I didn’t understand anything anymore.

July 15

This is what a famous producer of American dramas has said: “If you depict corona now, it will get old very quickly.” Another thing that I though is that I know that and I’ll leave it. Even if [people?] will know “Ah, this was shot during corona, that’s why there’s no kiss” in half a year, I’ll still do it.

July 16

I get various work requests, but what I aim for is to meet deadlines. Especially when it comes to products, if you don’t meet the deadline you can’t make it, or you can’t choose the colour, and eventually you end up digging your own grave.

July 17

The time I was watching tv with my mum. When my mum saw the footage of the Beatles that was being played, she meant to say “Ringo Star was the drummer (ドラム)”. [But instead, she said:] “That’s right, Ringo Star was a part-timer (バイト).” We both broke into a fit of explosive laughter at the idea of the member of a celebrated band being a part-timer, on top of the only common feature being the fact that they are three-letter katakana words.

July 18

Words are not just a series of meanings. And talk (contents) is not just a story. It is a ‘tasty meal’ that is full of things like beautiful sounds, things that make you imagine spirit and scenery, pleasant rhythms, things that are unsaid yet visible, and so on.

July 19

The interesting thing about Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is that that he himself asks and answers the question “why is there such varied life?”. It makes us actually feel “why we are here now”, namely that “we are in the middle of an evolution that is continuing unbroken from the life of the past”.

July 20

Even dramas help people, Morishita-san! I think there are many people who were saved by dramas.

July 21

What I my current now is thinking really strongly, is that “I can become my own close friend”. At least, I myself am my own best friend. That’s why I don’t really want to do something that makes me who is that friend sad, like [they’d feel like] “hey, Shiitake, what did you do?”. And I am always making sure I do things that I’d be told by my friend-self to “go with that!”.

July 22

The practice room is scary, but it’s fun. The troupe’s leader’s (in other words, my dad’s) words that I don’t understand are coming and going here and there, so it’s a very scary place. But it’s fun, at the same time. If it hadn’t been scary, it almost certainly wouldn’t have been fun, I think.

July 23

The other day, my primary school aged daughter said “I had a dream that I was endlessly sewing sequins onto potatoes”. While thinking “Eh? What’s that?”, I asked “Those potatoes, were they fresh?” and [she responded] “Daddy asked me that as well, is it important?”. Because, well, if they were freshly baked, they’d fall apart, right?

July 24

I thought that the judging of clothes wasn’t decided by “because it’s this kind of silhouette and this kind of pattern”, but that the feeling of “those clothes for that occasion” was actually important.

July 25

Sugar intake is also important on a spiritual level. This is something that can be properly explained with expert jargon, but you “calm down”. That’s why instead of “go to a doctor immediately and get some medicine!” I think it’s good [to say] “eat some delicious cake at a café with me!” first.

July 26

Things that are really important should be things you don’t name. It’s not that it’s beautiful because it’s a flower, or it’s refreshing because it’s a blue sky, but when you look at a flower or when you look up at the sky and you think ‘ooo’, that feeling is nice, isn’t it? The fact that you think “that’s nice” is in itself nice.

July 27

No matter how much you raise your voice within an organisation, if you become “solitary”, nothing at all will change. First, you have to find a “comrade who’s in the same boat”. I think it’s good to look for comrades in a two front approach, both horizontally and vertically. In short, it means that you need both ‘colleagues/contemporaries’ and ‘superiors/bosses’.

July 28

I was watching a video series, and [as I was wondering] whether this series would end at last with the next video, I said to myself without thinking “Will the finale be the last one?”. No, of course the finale is the last one, I retorted to myself.

July 29

When finally asked “what was a good thing about being married”, I thought I would answer “getting divorced”. In terms of experience, that would be the word “failure”. But that failure also became an opportunity to think about my own inexperience as a human. Or rather, I was able to put an end to the “it’s love, it’s love” thing for once after that.

July 30

Ukiyoe was what we would now call “media”. The common people enjoyed them as pictures of course, but they also readily obtained them as something that conveyed information about public entertainment, fashion or sports.

July 31

In the olden days, there were always people travelling around Japan, and in order that those people could continue to travel onwards, we’ve come to rent out rooms and futons and to offer a warm meal. That is the basic principle of an inn. They don’t know when travellers might arrive, but to allow them to arrive at any given time, inns were always open. When were are people who’ve come looking for an inn, it was an inn that accepted those people.

August

August cover page

The fireworks are gone and all I hear are laughing voices.

August 1

Dance is something that is done while applying several movements within a fixed range of each genre, right? That’s why, as you experience a lot of choreography, everything starts to be linked. Before you know it, there will suddenly come a moment when you think “For this move, I can use that step I learned before”. If you keep up until that point, it becomes really fun.

August 2

I don’t think that the sort of work that you want to continue for your whole life is something you find trying to find it. Maybe it’s better to try to continue little by little with something that you’ve been caught by. Still, don’t expect too much.

August 3

If [taking pictures of] one part of the game is fine, anyone can take pictures. I think an amazing sports photographer can instead take pictures that highlight the sense of presence of the athletes within the entire match, and there are not many people who can make such pictures.

August 4

When that person isn’t there, say nice things about them. Speak, listen, empathise with each other and get excited. I was in such a setting yesterday. I came to love the people who were being talked about and I also came to like my from heart the people talking.

August 5

As for edible fish that can be caught around here, there’s char and masu salmon… there’s also a fish called itadakimasu. It’s written like ‘summit salmon’, so 頂鱒. Of the fish I have caught and eaten so far, itadakimasu was the most delicious. I eat it prepared in various ways, like sashimi or grilled. Itadakimasu is one of the fish that opened up my interest in eating fish.

August 6

When I was younger, I always wanted to run away and I felt so much pressure every game that I thought “Couldn’t I cut the power of the baseball stadium with giant scissors?”. But I knew I couldn’t run away anyway and when I was taken out of the starting line-up I thought “Shiiit!”.

August 7

Because the papyrus boat went bad little by little as the voyage progressed, microbe eating plankton also rapidly increased and fish picked at those. Kingfish-like fish came to eat the little fish, mahimahi came and when we ate those and threw out their viscera, sharks swarmed. The papyrus boat itself is an ecosystem, built up from microbes, fish and shellfish.

August 8

On a hot day, my mum was in the kitchen cooking while saying “it’s hot, it’s hot”. The air conditioner was not on in the room, so I said “Shall I turn on the air conditioner?”. Frying pan in hand, my mum immediately replied “Yes! At high heat!”. She misspoke, but her message came across very well.

August 9

There was a period when I really liked theatre and saw a lot of it, but I wanted to go home and relive it in my head. But the exact same thing can’t be relived. The theatre is a ‘record’, it is a ‘recollection’. So I thought it might be my job to leave behind the repeated phrases, the scenes, the expressions of the actors in the minds of people leaving the theatre.

August 10

I was told by my dad “Drink but don’t be drunk.” He also said: “When you’re telling people a story, exaggerate a bit.” You should entertain people when you’re telling a story, so it’s better if it’s funny even if you deviate from the truth a bit.

August 11

I think today’s young people also brood over “What am I living for?” when they are confronted with various problems, but they should know that despair is a prerequisite for living. Because despair is the absolute starting point, after that everything’s a bonus. If you live embracing the sadness within depair, each one will be a rarity. You can only start from despair. If you set off from despair, the rest is a plus.

August 12

After a while, there was the sound of someone knocking on the door of the toilet my friend was in. My friend said “Who is it?”. But there was no answer, and next there was a knock on the door that I was in. Just as I thought “Something’s off”, the lights went off and it became pitch black.

August 13

Humans are all little parks. If there are trees, birds will play; if there are smiling faces, people will gather. Don’t turn the parks into wastelands!

August 14

I feel like all feedback can be a reward. So if we become able to give each other feedback, our relationship will also grow better. To that end, I think I have to be the kind of person that people will think “I want to give that person feedback”.

August 15

What I know, is the fact that I am here and the fact that my fireworks will extinguish one day, and I don’t know what I will leave behind, nor do I want to leave anything behind. The things that are left behind are left behind, and the things that are not left behind are not left behind. That’s probably all it is. Living. Connecting. Dying. So I think the only things you really need to think about are those three.

August 16

When I think of my friend that died, I wish that the person concerned were in the circle of my memories, it feels pretty real. It feels like he is still in this world so much as I wish he were.

August 17

My grandson had come by, and when I had taken out the mosquito coil, a mosquito went down like ‘potan!’. When that happened, my grandson said “the mosquito goes potan, the newspaper goes potan!” and he dropped the newspaper someone was reading. “The glasses go potan!” and he dropped someone’s glasses. Finally he said “The universe goes potan!”. At that point I thought “Ah, that’s funny!” and I tried making it into a book. That is why, whenever there is an additional printing run, I send him half the royalties.

August 18

I was about to secretly tell my husband a story I shouldn’t really reveal. At that point, the coffee that my husband had made me was so delicious, that I said “I really shouldn’t tell you about this coffee!”. I accidentally made the coffee confidential.

August 19

From the point of view of a manga magazine editor, the ‘main thing’ is the work that’s a story, after all. A gag comic is somewhat like a pet. You don’t look for profundity in a pet, do you? Rather, it makes me happier if they do something funny, and that’d make everyone happier, right? Even just by sleeping. Maybe they’re like cats. Gag comics really are.

August 20

A right-hand man isn’t a someone who does as they’re told. It’s someone who properly tells you the facts.

August 21

What I think, is that youth is to be pleasantly jealous. It is fully writhing in agony, like “why can’t I do this?!”, instead of calming down into a fair acceptance of “I am myself, others are others”. Briskly overstretching oneself, desiring, “I want to be like this now!”. I think such youth will strengthen cities and society in an interesting way.

August 22

The things you find funny are never wrong. But it’s because you have made yourself funny, that’s why. It’s just that you weren’t able to convey it.

August 23

No one knows who will win or lose in life until the end. A job or relationship where you’re only concerned about winning or losing sounds draining. In the everyday lives of adults there is almost no serious winning or losing. There’s no shouting and rejoicing with your whole body at a reversal of fortunes. That is why we seek victory or defeat within the pastime of pro baseball. It is a place where proper adults can rejoice and worry about ‘winning or losing’. A place where we can applause and scream from the bottom of our hearts that we don’t want to lose, that we want to win. That is the charm of the baseball stadium.

August 24

They often say “let’s go have some tea” or “let’s have a drink”, but that is going for the sake of enjoying ‘conversation’. Surely, almost everyone likes conversation. When talking about human instincts, I think we should take ‘conversation craving’ into account.

August 25

I am telling my friends all the time, “don’t start a business with friends”. At first, when you’re struggling, everyone helps each other. But when there is a bit of a profit or the numbers go red, there will be a disagreement how to divide it. If you’re going to do it no matter what, you have to decide the mutual distribution and responsibilities and write a proper contract. There is nothing more, you know, fragile, than a friendship.

August 26

The residents all want to draw, they want to create, no matter the state of the earth or the world. In that desire they don’t waver at all. They are the embodiment of the ability to concentrate on a single thing, so though there are various limitations, they give it their all. No matter how their environment changes, they are people who are able to stay themselves.

August 27

As a methodology, I am often asked “How do you write those songs? I want to write songs like that too.” But some of them are [songs that were] passed down through the generations, so I have to go “Do you have the same ancestors?”. If you go back all the way to the dinosaurs, you can share the same ancestors.

August 28

My daughter, who could not remember the name of the comedy trio “Robert”, said “Those Akiyama three”. Su- sure.

August 29

There is something like the first wave. It’s just a little faint, but like a fish, it can feel it starts to gather, it becomes the outline of a single fish, you realise it starts to go around like this, and it finally goes that way while going round and round. Then I can swim with the fish outline as well, so I don’t feel anxious anymore about what’s going to happen.

August 30

Actually, there is bravery in everything. Whenever you are doing something, there is always the possibilty that you fail or make a mistake. For all kinds of courage, courage to a larger or smaller degree, strong courage, weak courage, the courage to go ahead, the courage to endure, the courage to run away, I’d say it’s good to be brave.

August 31

Whatever we do, we can never go back to one second ago. Time passes steadily, so we can’t take back the things we’ve done. Life is time. Wasting time is wasting life. We shouldn’t pick on anyone. We want to support everyone. That’s why we say: don’t waste your life.

September

September cover page

When it becomes autumn, fruits seem to forget anything and everything and ecstatically start to ripen.

September 1

If I am carrying something like a notepad or notebook, at least I can look for interesting things. Even if I am left alone in a place where there’s nothing, so long as I have a notebook and pen… well, if I’d have my usual pen, I would probably survive for 2 or three days, even if I were hungry. I’d try drawing the pebbles that were there, I’d try to draw the varieties of clouds, I’d draw the things that come into my mind, so I think I’d be able to spend the time pleasantly.

September 2

It’s not that the loneliness I experienced was pointless, [but] if I think about it now, I feel like the ‘crystalisation’ of the loneliness I had accumulated when I was at the height of loneliness later became firewood when I was writing my novel.

September 3

There is a line in Doraemon, “This kintsuba is delicious!”, but from a kid’s point of view, it reads like “What’s kintsuba? But it’s probably delicious, slurp!”, doesn’t it? But if you adapt it to children and simply change it, like “Kids these days don’t know what kintsuba is, so let’s make it tapioca”, kids will sensitively take it in.

September 4

My husband had come home and was telling me about some trouble at the office. “So it was like that, and there was a 'hito~nun~chaku!.” “Huh?” “A hito~nun~chaku!”. Everyone, there is a Bruce Lee in the office! I was laughing so much that I forgot to ask whether the quarrel (hito~mon~chaku) had been resolved.

September 5

If I have a strength of ‘5’ and my opponent a strength of ‘10’, it is impossible for me to give an ‘11’. Naturally it is very tough to add ‘6’. First, I think of a way to pull down my opponent’s strength to ‘5’. Once I’ve pulled down my opponent’s strength, that’s when the real battle begins. After that, If I can surpass my opponent by just ‘1’, I win.

September 6

Believing that there is even just one person that reads [my work] enables me to continue writing. The fact that what I’ve written is being read is truly an amazing blessing. Thank you for the gift of reading [my work].

September 7

I was influenced by Hiraku Tooyama’s “An Introduction to Mathematics” and checked out many books in my high school library. Even now I clearly remember my surprise when I found out the proofs through my own efforts. Hints for solving thousands-year-old problems were hidden all over high school maths, so I was already surprised by that.

September 8

I often see “I turned into Jun Miura!” written underneath pictures of haircut failures. I think “ah, don’t they want to be like the sort of person I am?”. To be talked about only for my hair, despite having worked so passionately!

September 9

Naturally, if I were carrying a satellite phone, in the unlikely event of emergency I’d have the possibility to get help. But that isn’t adventuring on your own strength. It’d feel like you’re entrusting the last moments of your own life to someone else. There are parts where I rely on outside help, but I want to complete the action on my own strength as much as possible. That’s the ideal, that kind of adventure.

September 10

You can close yourself off, but not too much. Complexes are important, but don’t make them too important. That is my intuitive pet theory.

September 11

You have to start looking for close contests. The most important point in the game is when you are able to make a charge for a close contast as the game unfolds. The Giants are a team that can’t win unless it’s a close contest. We train our athletes [to think] “Whether we win or lose, let’s make it a close contest!”. It’s because winning or losing have about the same value in a close contest.

September 12

In the past I’d made the mistake of taking the crowns off the strawberries and throwing the strawberries away, but opening the banana bag with scissors and putting the bananas into the drawer instead of the scissors, that was a first.

September 13

I write as if I’m speaking. That’s why, when I write something, I just do a greeting like usual first, like “My name is Takana.” I have no intention of selling myself. Even if I use my real name, Hironobu Tanaka, and hand out face shots, I only get called “metabolic syndrome” or “stuffed animal”. But so what, I’ll do a greeting. I’m not anonymous.

September 14

I think that from a kid’s points of view, parents who are not annoying are people who have fun and interesting things in their own life. Or perhaps I should say ‘their own territory’. Not necessarily a job, but a hobby or whatever [is fine too].

September 15

What more do you need than [being able to say] “I like this job”? Being able to say that is in itself the greatest talent in my opinion. So as far as what I aim for in my work is concerned, being “self-satisfied” is fine, I think. So long as that moment or actual feeling of having done something that makes me feel good is there, I am satisfied. Because talent is not ‘something that is recognised by others’, but ‘something you dig up yourself’.

September 16

Including my past self as well, men are idiots. If you want to be popular, don’t try to be popular. All you can do is become a dependable person. Make an effort to be dependable, except for things that are impossible even if you try. The above-mentioned is world’s simplest “principle of likeability”.

September 17

It’s probably best to think that there is no such thing as taste. Or at least, that it’s not something that can be judged as good or bad. First, try to become ‘thickheaded’ towards the words that pop up into your head, and ‘become carefree’. In short, don’t worry too much.

September 18

Q. In the future, what do you think will be the important senses for ‘working’?
A. I think it’ll be to what extent you can make friends.

September 19

There are adults who think along the lines of “If I go and have a meal at こども食堂, I’ll take away a meal from a child who needs it, so I shouldn’t go”, but it’s the opposite. If everyone comes to eat, it’ll become an easier place to go to for more people.

September 20

Look for dogs along lines and for cats across surfaces. That’s because dogs move across a wide range and cats hide in their neighbourhood.

September 21

I was waiting for my turn at a popular buffet restaurant. When I got excited because I was finally at the front of the line, when I noticed the figure of a person coming out of the entrance. When I wondered “Ah, am I going to be called?” and raised my head, [I saw] it was an old lady with a plate piled full of food. Looking like she had got the way back to her seat wrong and left the restaurant by mistake, she looked around at her surroundings dumbfounded for a short while and then hurriedly turned back.

September 22

It’s no good if thinking about loss and gain surpasses 50% of your life. I want my core (the place my soul resides) to be more than 50% ‘just me’. If thoughts about loss and gain, such as efficiency, productivity, profit, were to surpass 50% of myself, I feel like I’d regret it.

September 23

The washi tape from mt is an item whose uses have expanded through exchanges with customers. That’s why we feel it is not appropriate for the makers to narrow down the target [group], so we make sure not to dare narrow down the target [group] on our end.

September 24

On September 24th 2000, Naoko Takahashi won a gold medal. When we had finished creating the extra that would be distributed that day, I left the office in the morning, but the day wouldn’t end with that. In the evening, the won Giants the championship with Eto’s grand slam and Nioka’s farewell homerun. On that day, to my amazement, two extra’s were produced in a single day.

September 25

At times like “Oh no!” or “What should I do?”, things will go in a dark direction if you have an empty stomach. When it seems like something sad will happen, at least splurge and eat at a nice restaurant. You should talk about that incredibly awful thing while eating something incredibly delicious.

September 26

My classmate S, upon suddenly being asked by the teacher to give the commands, panicked so much she made the commands “Pay attention! Bow! Sit!”.

They said 座れー instead of 着席 :grin:

September 27

The basis on which I choose things to buy for myself is that “More than anyone, I will understand what makes this good”. Something that seems like I can have a personal relationship with it, that is important to me. I will naturally know it when I see it, or it’s even like it’s already been decided.

September 28

For any long-established shop, the important thing is to communicate with a feeling of “we are not well-known”. For me too, it often happens that there is no response when I say “I t’s Benmatsu”. I go back to my original intention and make my pitch on social media as if I just opened my shop today.