Tokyo Tower: Chapter 1 Part 2
Tokyo Tower ~Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
Continued from here.
“Expulsion due to violence” My naïve criminal plan was washed away by my class teacher’s surprising reaction: “None of you, is to say this out to anyone!”
And this incident brought my mother to tears, “Please go to school!” she cried. So, the next 3 years, I made myself go to school non-stop. After that, I felt at least I had to be dutiful and repay my parents, so I decided to get a job.
In spite of my intentions, I could not relate to my work at all. Thinking about it now, the 18-year old in me was much too immature to do my job. ”I’m going out to work now!” With that, I would leave the office and drive to the seaside, everyday, listening to Yoshida Terumi-san ( 吉田照美) and Omata Masako-san (小俣雅子) on “やる気MANMAN！” (Motivation MANMAN) “おもしろかー……” (Lyrics: Is your fire burning/Are you motivated??). But, is this good? Can I really go on like this? I spent every day in this manner and the notion that “I want to quit” became stronger and stronger as days went by.
“Due to personal reasons, I would be resigning from 08/31 onwards….”
I’d just been in the company for a few months. Then this 18-year-old handed in my resignation letter and went home.
“Mother~~ I’ve….resigned and I’m going to Tokyo!” I said this to her back while she was cooking dinner. As my mom, she’s bound to oppose, right?
“Oh, really. I see. Go on then.” To my utmost surprise, this was her reply. Such a simple straightforward OK, that was strange! It wasn’t until years later, that I finally asked her about it.
“Mother~~ you remember then, you certainly agreed to it quickly.”
But my mother, with a nonchalant expression, simply said, “Oh I’d known about it long before! I saw what was in your desk~. You had a resignation letter. I knew all about it”.
“……….Mother~~~ all these years, don’t you think you’ve been going through my drawer a bit too much? You were the one who threw away my precious magazines, weren’t you?!!”
Somehow, I just feel that Kyushu mothers have a habit of getting too interested in their sons’ drawers.
Even things I don’t remember, my mother can recall clearly.
“That was the first time you ever said ‘Thank you’ to me. That day. Do you remember?”
Though it was something I had said myself, but through my mother’s mouth, it sure sounded like it had happened to someone else, what a strange feeling.
Father passed away when I was in high school second year, he was a compulsive drunk. The only thing he ever did was play mahjong. In the late 1960’s, rapid economic growth and aspirations to become an industrial power, gave Japan a strong boost. Riding on cheap rents, precision parts manufacturers would sub-contract their processes out. Father worked in one such sub-contractor. He would drink up his daily wages each time before coming home. An aggressive drunk, always in disputes, with a habit for stealing. Needless to say, he never brought home a single cent. He was that type of father.
Mother took my elder brother and me, and tried to leave many times How could she have fallen in love with him? I could never figure it out. But to this day, Mother would say this of Father: “In spite of everything, he still had his moments of gentleness.”
Not studying during high school; quitting my job to go to Tokyo in my 18th summer. Perhaps my mother, with the strength unique to all mothers, accepted my father as he was, and then, accepted me too in my ways.
I never told anyone that “I wanted to become a musician”, and so, the day of my departure dawned. All my Nagasaki friends and my girlfriend at that time, came to see me off. It was then that I realized, I didn’t tell Mother about my departure time.
ブルートレイン The Blue Train, as it rolled slowly out from the station, my thoughts had already raced towards my future. From now on, my life was really going to start. I was finally free. For the moment, it didn’t matter to me whether I could make it as a musician. All I wanted was to be free, I had always wanted to leave this small town and go to a place where no-one knew who I was. So, without even truly understanding what ‘freedom’ meant, I had set off for Tokyo with my fantasies of ‘freedom’.
The Midnight Blue Train
Can take me anywhere it wants
Just as I thought
To speed on, is to live
I am absolutely certain about it
(Hamada Shogo, Midnight Blue Train)
~ End of Chapter 1 ~
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 394 & 396)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi Blog 2007.03.14 written by Fukuyama Masaharu
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)