Tokyo Tower: Chapter 4 Part 2
Tokyo Tower ~ Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom ~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
Continued from here.
Although I had passed the Amuse auditions, their terms of “Annual Salary ¥30,000″ had put me in a spot. Seeing no other choice, my flat-mate and I moved to a cheap apartment house in Mitaka. But every night, we had to accept our life senpai’s invitation to drinks, so finally I took leave of my flat-mate and moved to Shibuya by myself.
My next home was the Amuse staff quarters in Shibuya. I rented a room there and started a new life with 3 other Amuse staff. And so began the days of four big men living together.
My room was on the second floor, there was a common refrigerator on the ground floor. Not thinking much at that time (in fact, I didn’t think at all) I treated everything in the refrigerator like “they were mine” and started eating and drinking without asking anyone. I really practiced the motto “your stuff is my stuff” and that, of course, infuriated all my companions.
“Fukuyama……you can’t do that, drinking other people’s stuff freely like that……”
But I don’t know why I had this notion in my mind that these were “treats from the seniors for the junior”.
“There is nothing wrong with drinking what my senpais bought for me,” I had the nerve to think at that time, “I just forgot the courtesy of ‘telling them first’!!”
I also started a new job, in the coffee shop next to the police station in Udagawa-chou (宇田川町), Shibuya. I was dressed all in black and I could feel the passion of the ladies’ gaze on me……. What was going to happen I couldn’t tell, but I was certain of one thing, I was already on the course of a new path.
While I worked, I also attended the Amuse training classes - how to flex your joints; how to say your lines, etc. I took my lessons quite seriously. No, to be exact, at that time I thought I had attended my classes well. But when Tonesaku (東根作) and I were talking about the old times, what he said greatly surprised me:
“Ma-chan (まーちゃん) was almost never in class! Not only that, you’ll finally appear at the end of the lesson with a ‘Well done everyone!’ and then invite us out ‘Let’s go for a drink! A drink everyone!’ ”
It was true that we would frequent the pub under the Naka-meguro (中目黒) bridge after class. A group of friends sitting around the motsu hotpot* and debating “Who’s the strongest amongst the pro wrestlers?” (*animal internal organs)
Not long after, I was given a role in the movie “Hon no 5g”.
Of course at that time, my mother had no idea what I was doing in Tokyo. I didn’t even tell her about passing the auditions. For my mother in Nagasaki, I was sure she would have no idea what I was talking about if I had told her about auditions in Tokyo. So the first time I called my mother to talk about my life in Tokyo, was after I got picked for “Hon no 5g”.
Honestly, I couldn’t really believe that I was going to star in a movie, but I went into the green telephone booth and called my mother anyway.
“Mother~, I’m going to be in a movie.”
“Eh? A porn movie?”
Ker-chak! Furious, I slammed the receiver down.
On the first day of the filming, my first shot at the studio was ………the “love scene”.
“Well, you’ve got a bit of body contact in here,” the director said.
“How shall I do it then?”
“Oh, like you would normally do,” was his answer.
“Eh? A porn movie?” For a moment, my mother’s words from yesterday flashed out.
In my heart, I was already warming up in anticipation of what was to come.
“You said like normal, right?”
My partner had started out as a model, and was totally different from the girls I had seen in Nagasaki.
“This is my first time in a movie.”
I was very enthusiastic. She looked very beautiful in her pink cling underwear, and not only that, she had a very nice fragrance too. My heart was heating up, and it almost boiled over when I saw one thing. Since the rehearsals, her skirt had been flipped up many times, and under her stockings, I could see the “underpants of the beautiful model from Tokyo”. This is “Tokyo”…….
Having done something that I have never tried before, or even dared to think about*, I was surprised to find it felt totally unreal. At the preview, I was shocked when I first saw myself on the big screen. “What a loser………” (*a love scene with a Tokyo model ?? )
The first thing my mother said after she saw the movie was: “Your posture looks awful!”
Why do mothers always look at things from a strange perspective?
“Can you stop hunching your back? And the way you eat is just like your father, no good!” she said without hesitation.
After that, I was called in to see Amuse Chairman Osato.
He suddenly announced to me, “You are going to be a Tamiya Jirou (田宮二郎)!”
Now Tamiya Jirou-san’s roles - handsome cool elites; yakuza; villains who would stop at nothing to get what they want, etc. are all characters that he excels in, he is basically a first-class actor.
“You…you’re not a Shintarô Katsu (勝新太郎)**……yes, definitely Tamiya Jirou. That settles it!”
And the Chairman one-sidedly made up his mind.
(** Shintarô Katsu’s best known role was as blind Yakuza masseur Zatoichi (座頭市) in the series of films by the same name, which were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s.)
In any case, because I had starred in a movie, my salary was increased to ¥80,000 a month. Even so, life was not that much better. (Did he have to quit his job?) Well, as long as I stayed in the rented quarters, there was food to eat freely in the fridge and AV to watch freely when I wanted. And when things got really difficult, there were still many ways for me to make do.
I would go to the office and take turns to stick to 3 Amuse staff, “Lend me some money~~”.
If I was hungry, “Take me with you to dinner~~”.
If I was bored, “Let’s go for a drink~~”.
I was like a downright “actor-host” (「ヒモタレント」). And because they were all too kind-hearted, they would gladly (?) lend me their money or treat me to dinner. Now that we mention it, the money that I borrowed from them at that time, I don’t think ……I have yet repaid…
Thinking about it now, they were really unafraid of this extortionist and were still willing to mix with me. In Tokyo, I was being cheered on and supported by many different people without my knowing.
~End of Chapter 4~
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 487, 488 & 489)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi blog 2007.04.04 written by Fukuyama Masaharu
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)