Tokyo Tower: Final Chapter Part 1
Tokyo Tower ~ Me & My Radio, & sometimes My Mom ~
(A semi-autobiography by Fukuyama Masaharu)
1995.11.02 Yokohama Arena
It was the final day of his first Arena Tour. The adoration and passion had hit the highest point.
Ending it all at that moment, the million-sales artist disappeared from public view, all except for the radio.
Since reaching Tokyo in the summer of 1987, it had been 8 years.
Finally standing on the stage of the Yokohama Arena, his field of dreams after coming to Tokyo, this was the 26-year-old Fukuyama Masaharu.
And this is the remarkable story of the 18-year old who set out from his hometown Nagasaki to become crowned as “Radio’s National Treasure” in Tokyo 20 years later.
1994.06 3 months after my CD sales first exceeded a million copies
I embarked on a 3-month journey, covering 50 concerts in 42 venues across the country. The schedule arranged for me at that time, was a real “battle”. As for how busy it was, I almost did not have the time to host my beloved All Night Nippon broadcast.
Everyday in a rush for time, I made a decision. That’s right, “no more underpants” (on stage). With 2 shows in 3 days (the original post was “3 shows in 2 days”), there just wasn’t enough time to wash them. New ones which have not been washed well enough, felt uncomfortable and I didn’t like it. Immediately after each concert, I had to rush back to wash my pants, in preparation for the next show……and repeat it all over again. Just moments before, I was soaking in the cheers and applause on stage, now I’m alone washing underpants in a hotel room.
“I can’t take this anymore…”
I couldn’t stand spending every day like this and threw my pants on the floor in frustration. From that day on, I stopped wearing underpants (on stage).
The following year 1995, “HELLO” was released on my birthday and recorded sales upto 2 million copies. I was only 26 then. Not only did I achieve “double million”, it was No. 2 in total CD sales (for Japan) that year.
And then, in the autumn of that year, I had my first Arena Tour. Before my debut, I had gazed upon the Yokohama Arena with a dream in my heart: “I wish one day, I could sing here.” When I finally stood on that stage and looked at the fully occupied auditorium, I felt overwhelmed with emotion for the first time and I had to fight back that lump in the throat. It was the sense of reality that I couldn’t get no matter how well my CDs were selling.
“I have reached my peak……”
For someone who had never had any acclaim for the 20 years of his life, it was impossible for me to imagine that this popularity could carry on for long. I kept on seeing images in my head, of me not being liked anymore and my popularity spiraling downhill.
So, after the final show of the Tour at the Yokohama Arena, I disappeared from public view.
Leaving my hometown Nagasaki for Tokyo, at the age of 18,
And selling only 2,800 copies on my debut single “Tsuioku no Ame no Naka”, I had now become a “full-house-Arena / Million-Sales” artist.
In the midst of all the first-time experiences and in the continuous state of chaos, not only were the staff around me, but I myself too was gradually losing track of “our true selves”. What was it that I was looking for all along? No, not just me. Everyone around the artist “Fukuyama Masaharu” had their own dreams, targets and goals too.
Just after my debut, when we just about had to do anything to increase my CD sales, we were all charging towards this one clear goal : “sales”. But, once we achieved it, once we passed the test and “good sales” became a reality right before our eyes, it was not at all easy to set the next target, to find a goal as distinct as the “sales” before.
I thought perhaps I could take a rest and recharge myself. This was my intention at that time, but I had a slight miscalculation. At first, I just wanted to let myself cool off a bit, just a bit.
My beloved radio, motorcycle and photography……
For the first few years since my debut, I was much too busy to have the leisure to think about such things. Now, through these different experiences, I was finally able to think about “myself” for the first time. All along, I had not demanded for anything, but now I wanted some time for self-discovery, to find out about “myself”, what I wanted in Tokyo and the purpose of my existence there.
So hosting 2 radio shows a week, and resting on the other 5 days, 3 years just passed by before I noticed.
And then, in 1998.04
When I was going on to 30 years old, and after 3 years of silence, I found the answer.
あきらめなかった 僕を見つけることを I did not give up on what I was looking for
この街の中で やがて昇る朝陽のように Like the rays of the rising sun that will soon cover this city
確かめたかった 君を感じたことを I wanted to confirm my feelings for You
この窓を開けて いつか触れた風のように Like opening this window to feel the wind
描いた憧れ なくしたサヨナラ The longing that was once portrayed - the lost ‘goodbye’
たがいの道を歩いた 季節を越えて We once walked along the same path through the seasons
ずっと探してた I have been searching all along
君を探してた Searching for you
そしてこの心に あふれ出す涙 And this heart of mine is brimming with tears
ずっと探してた I have been searching all along
愛を探してた Searching for love
そして今 心に 約束の言葉を刻もう And now this heart is imprinted with the words of commitment
福山雅治・Heart Fukuyama Masaharu ・Heart
~ Continue to Final Chapter 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 683 & 689)
Original posted on ANN TamaRadi blog 2007.04.24 and 2007.04.25
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)