Tokyo Tower: Chapter 1 Part 1
Tokyo Tower ~Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
1987 Sept Nagasaki Station Platform 4, Evening
It was 16:50 at the Nagasaki-Tokyo Sleeper Express Train「ブルートレインさくら」(Burutoreiso Sakura) platform. People beginning their journey, embracing their dreams…People returning home, with dreams broken….In the midst of these people and their separate lives, a young man could be seen in dirt-cheap sunglasses.
Fukuyama Masaharu, 18 years old. This story tells of his remarkable journey, starting from his hometown upto his crowning as “Radio’s National Treasure” in Tokyo 20 years later.
“I will be resigning from 08/31 onwards, for personal reasons…” This was my first resignation letter. As I had no idea how to write one, I had to go to the bookstore in Nagasaki Station to look up books on “Ceremonies & Rituals”. The reason I chose to work in this company was because it was only 5 minutes from home. Also because it didn’t call for any academic tests. Simple as that. “Electrical Product Salesman”, I worked for a couple of months under this title, then I ditched it.
All along, I had not planned to go on to High School after Junior High. My favourite band The Mods, had written in their book: “Because we loved music so much, we just put on our flipflops and went to Tokyo!” I had believed this wholeheartedly without a doubt: “If you want to do rock music, the right way is to go to Tokyo after Junior High.” That was until the day one of my rotten (to-the-core) friends said to me: “At least graduate from High School! Or you’ll never be able to repay your parents!”
This was the first time I noticed, that I was the only one who held on to the thought that “We will all go to Tokyo once we finish Junior High.”
There was only a week until the High School entrance exams. From that day onwards, I sped up my revision. Me, 8 hours a day, at my desk. I don’t think I have ever studied so hard before! It was at this time that my eyesight started to deteriorate.
The result, 3 wins 2 losses.
I had applied to 2 other schools just in case. One did not accept me, the other had a rumour going that a well-known delinquent who was a super strong fighter, was in. I had a brush with that fellow before, so I naturally took my first choice - the Industrial High School.
So, I got into High School and continued with my studies.
Although I had worked so hard to get in, I did not want to go to school at all. It was just full of stinky sweaty boys. Some of my schoolmates hated it and planned to repeat the exams to apply for commercial high schools where there were girls. My heart slowly leaned towards the thought of dropping out. But I don’t think my mother would ever say, “It’s fine if you don’t want to” or close. I started to explore ways of stopping school.
I thought about it every day. When I figured it out, “if I couldn’t ask to drop out, I’ll get the school to expel me!” a spark of hope grew in my heart and I checked out my student handbook. There were 3 ways to get expelled:
- Theft & Robbery
- Acts of Harassment to Women
- Acts of Violence ………………….”right, that’s the one”
There was no way I had the guts to commit a crime, so I decided to “get expelled through acts of violence.”
I set my sights on someone who had never got along with me. Thinking about it now, there was never anything wrong with the guy, but all I had in my mind at that time was the word “expulsion”.
It would have been meaningless if we didn’t do it in public. With this in mind, I took him out in front of a group of people and we started this big fight. People began to crowd around and the teacher finally came to stop us. “Yes! This would be criminal enough to get expelled.” I held out a victory sign in my heart.
But the teacher looked at me strangely and said, “Everybody, listen up! Listen carefully. I don’t want any of you to speak of this incident at all. Fukuyama, shake hands and make up! Now! Listen, nobody is to talk about this to anyone. Understand?”
“Yes sir, we understand!”
The End. And so, my expulsion drama ended without further ado.
By the time I graduated, and decided to get a job, and told my mother, “I’m resigning and going to Tokyo”, it was many years later.
~ Continue to Chapter 1 Part 2 ~
Tokyo Tower Series
Chapter 1 (I / II) ………. Chapter 4 (I / II) ………. Childhood Chapter
Chapter 2 (I / II) ………. Chapter 5 / 6 / 7 ………..Mother’s Day Chapter
Chapter 3 (I / II) ………. Final Chapter (I / II)
Translated from Fukuyama Honne (Articles 391 & 393)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi Blog 2007.03.13 written by Fukuyama Masaharu
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)