Tokyo Tower: Childhood Chapter
Tokyo Tower ~ Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom ~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
1980 Nagasaki Perfecture, Nagasaki City
Mount Inasa-yama, towering 333 metres over the port city.
A big incident that shook up the small town, occurred in a certain elementary school situated there.
“Teacher (sensei), Fukuyama has disappeared!”
Spirited away? Abducted by UFOs?
Indeed, the boy who disappeared had no idea that in the year 2000, just before the 21st century, he would be holding his debut 10th anniversary live concert celebration in Inasa-yama. This was the 11-year old Fukuyama Masaharu.
As for the man who left his hometown Nagasaki at the age of 18 and became crowned “Radio’s National Treasure” in Tokyo, this is the story of his childhood.
One rainy day, on my way home from kindergarten, I was playing with my umbrella when a girl’s voice came from behind: “Fukuyama-kun, do you want to walk home together?”
” ! ! ! ”
I was too shocked to say anything.
Tears were still streaming down my face when I reached home. My parents were astonished to see their son crying like that.
“What’s the matter, Masaharu?”
“A girl invited me to ‘walk home together’ ……”
I was crying as I answered and my Father simply said,
“Ah….you silly boy.”
That’s right. Because there was only my brother all along, I was totally unnerved by girls. If they so much as said a word to me, I would be so shy I’d burst into tears. That was how innocent I was then.
But, introverted as I was, I loved to climb trees, go fishing and jump tombstones (we’d have a race jumping from one flat tombstone to another, in the foreigners’ cemetary *Not to be imitated by good children). I grew up in the nature of Nagasaki.
When I entered elementary school, I teamed up with bad company.
“Let’s go find someone to fight!” We’d go to each class and challenge their ‘leaders’. I literally grew up like a young ruffian. I was learning karate at that time, and had great fun practicing my newly-learnt ‘low kick’ to knock down the guys bigger than me. We would be making trouble around school, throwing chairs about and using my specialty low kick everywhere.
Naturally, such violent youngsters could not be left unchecked.
“Hey you!” The class teacher would rush over immediately and we got terribly slapped up there and then.
“Sit on your knees right now!
With our noses bleeding non-stop, we were punished.
The most representative episode in my childhood would be the “Boycott”.
Because of the Cold War ongoing at that time, the Western countries (and Japan) together boycotted the Moscow Olympics. Such major news naturally became the centre of talk everywhere. After reading the news that “Japan boycotts the Olympics”, my father said to me:
“Masaharu, come and look. This is called Bokkoido (ボッコイド), Bokkoido !”
“Bokkoido! Wow! I don’t know what it means but it sure sounds so cool!”
The first time I heard the word was the wrongly pronounced “Bokkoido” (ボッコイド), instead of “Boycott” (ボイコット). But to an elementary school kid, it made a strong impression indeed.
The next day, we had Physical Education (Sports) at school. From the word “Sports”, I thought about the Olympics, and then suddenly remembered what Father said: “Masaharu,… this is called Bokkoido, Boikkodo !”
……………….hey, I want to try “Bokkoido” too!
“Listen, shall we “bokkoido” this next PE class?”
I suggested my boycott plan to T-kun, who was already getting ready to go to PE.
“Eh? What? What’s “bokkoido”?
“Bokkoido? Oh, that’s the thing…about not going to the Olympics.”
“Oh yeah! That’s fun! Let’s do it~ Let’s do it~”
T-kun, who was as stupid as I was, very quickly joined in my boycott plan. We ditched the classmates who were heading for PE and found our boycott fortress……under the teacher’s platform. The wooden stage had enough room underneath for 2 children to hide. In the darkness, feeling satisfied from the success of our boycott plan, we unwittingly fell asleep……
………………A few hours later
We woke up to find the place filled with noise and chaos. I listened intently under the stage, it seemed the police were in the classroom. And then I heard it, what I feared most, my mother’s voice……. T-kun and I started to tremble under the platform. But we couldn’t stay in there forever, so we gently gently pushed our way out from under the stage.
All eyes in the classroom focused on us at the same time. Everyone was staring, their faces looking just like the pigeons who got hit by our peashooters. That T-kun and I, who were so energetic and active before the PE lesson, should suddenly disappear without a trace - of course it freaked everyone out. Not only the police, but even my Mother at home was alerted. Our ‘boycott’……, no, ‘disappearance’ had really caused a great commotion. Needless to say, after that, I got what I was due for from my Mother.
When I was in elementary school, I loved to watch “Taiyō ni hoero!” (太陽にほえろ!, Bark at the sun)* and my ambition was “to become a police detective” when I grew up. At that time, I could never have known that, 20 years later in the year 2000, I would be holding my debut 10th anniversary celebration concert in Inasa-yama, or that I would be able to fulfill my dream of hosting the Allnight Nippon radio show. As for being crowned the “No Pants Singer” because of my habit not to wear underpants on stage, it was something I could not even begin to imagine.
~ The End ~
* Famous detective TV drama, running from 1972.07.21~1986.11.14
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 422 & 423)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi blog 2007.05.09 written by Fukuyama Masaharu
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)