Our Music: Fukuyama Masaharu x Tsutsumi Shinichi
Our Music (2008.10.31) Fukuyama Masaharu x Tsutsumi Shinichi
Tonight’s Guest: Fukuyama Masaharu
Debut in 1990, “It’s only Love”; “Hello”; “Sakurazaka” etc. - hit songs one after another.
At the same time, Fukuyama-san is also an outstanding actor. “Yogisha X no Kenshin”, the movie version of last year’s hit TV series “Galileo”, is now on the big screen.
F: Very interesting indeed. (as Yukawa Manabu)
And tonight, he will be talking with his co-star in the movie, Tsutsumi Shinichi-san.
This is a show where our guest talks to the person he wants to see most at this moment.
T: How do you do?
F: Ah, Good Morning!
T: We’ve never had a talk just between the two of us, have we?
F: No, we haven’t.
T: Let’s sit first.
F: Thanks very much (for coming) today.
T: No problem.
T: Is this a music programme?
F: It’s a music programme.
T: Then why did you invite me?
F: I felt there’s a musician inside Tsutsumi-san. (Laugh)
T: None at all! (laugh)
F: The reason I want to meet with you? I wanted us to have a good talk without anything alcoholic in our hands. (laugh)
T: That’s true.
F: The first time we met was…
T: At the bayside studio, I was shooting “SP” and you were doing “Galileo”. We bumped into each other. At that time, coincidentally, Abe Hiroshi-san was holding his marriage conference there.
F: Oh yes! Yes!
T: Then he brought out his wife’s portrait to show everyone. And you suddenly asked: “Must we do this, when we get married? (show the wife to everyone) Would you, Tsutsumi-san, if it were you? No way I’d do that!”
F: Yes! Abe-san sure gave us a good topic to talk about, that time.
T: Yes, indeed!
F: Can I tell you about my first impression of you?…..A really ordinary guy. (laugh)
F: Before I knew you, I thought you were an eligible bachelor, a handsome actor
T: No, not at all. You forgot to put in “The Last”….”The Last”!
F: ”The Last”. The Last eligible bachelor and handsome actor in Japan. And that’s my initial impression of you.
T: I had a first impression of Fukuyama-san too.
T: I felt you have a great voice.
F: (trying out his really low voice) “Oh, this is Fukuyama.” (laugh)
Actor Tsutsumi Shinichi-san
After the prime-time drama “Yamato Nadeshiko” in 2000, he has since been involved in many TV dramas, movies and theatre productions. Tsutsumi-san now stars in the movie “Yogisha X no Kenshin”, in the role of a good friend of the gifted physicist Yukawa Manabu played by Fukuyama-san. He is the key person in a murder and Maths professor Ishigami Tetsuya.
F: Is there anything that you feel you haven’t done enough, or that you haven’t been able to achieve, especially in the process of acting?
T: You can say I’m now in a struggle with myself, how can I really get rid of my “self” in my roles? Slowly, as there is less and less time left, my sense of accomplishment diminishes as well. It feels like I’m trying to annihilate my own self and I’m in agony because of that. But this is my goal now, I feel like the character (I play) will slowly seep into me. I still need to work on this, this self-identity is not so easy to get rid of. What is terrifying is that as my sense of self thins out, so do my beliefs and opinions. I’m always thinking if I will just stop (i.e. lose myself) one day.
F: Do you find yourself sinking into that feeling?
T: Like I’m being strangled by solitude! (laugh)
F: I’ve come to understand a bit about you recently, whenever you finish a role or a project, you feel like: “Oh, I want to retire!” (laugh) But I read in an interview somewhere that you believe being an actor is your vocation.
T: I don’t think that’s my calling. In fact, I want to avoid it, I feel like running away! Even now, I still feel a bit like I don’t want to be an actor.
F: But you did say it! (about his vocation) Just this year!
T: But how else am I going earn my living? (laugh) Oh I just don’t want to have anything to do with this industry, but what can I do if I don’t act? When I thought about it, I found there was no other profession I can change to, and at this age.
F: No there isn’t. I feel the same too. But if you really need to change jobs, Tsutsumi-san has the feel of a small restaurant owner. (You could have a banner) like “Shop opened by ex-actor Tsutsumi Shinichi.”(laugh)
T: ”And the food is awful…” (laugh)
F: ”But the talk is fabulous.” (laugh) Even without drinking, we still managed to talk about quite a few meaningful issues.
T: It’s probably because we weren’t drinking.
F: Because we weren’t drinking, yes! If we did…
T: Our talk would have been on more coloured topics. (laugh)
~ Ashita no Show ~
F: Oh! We’re the last batch of eligible singles in Japan. I am also wondering why Tsutsumi-san doesn’t want to get married. Please accommodate me in this discussion….Ah…I suddenly realize, it’s not that you don’t want to get married, it’s that you can’t. (laugh)
T: (laugh) Busted!
F: (laugh) As I’m looking at Tsutsumi-san, it clicked for me: “Ah, I can’t do it (get married) either!”
T: Just like a mirror.
F: Just like a mirror. (laugh) Surprisingly, when we’re acting we act, when we’re making music we make music. I’d focus all my attention on that job and once I start, I find other things at that time don’t matter at all. It’s a big burden for the people who live with us.
T: Yes, that’s what they call dual character. We are two extremities, when we’re focusing on one thing, and when we’re not. They must be able to understand this disparity. Oh, I sound I like I’m recruiting for wives, saying things like that. (laugh) But people who cannot understand this feeling, will not be able to live with us. That’s what I believe.
F: This time at the filming location, I found that Tsutsumi-san’s personality lets the women feel you’re very approachable. (T: Really? ) Yes, Kou-chan has said that. Nagasawa Masami-chan also thinks the same way. “Tsutusmi-san, Tsutsumi-san is just like an auntie!” (laugh) You have a good relationship with everyone.
T: I guess I make them feel safe and at ease.
T: Like a big mama.
F: Big mama?
T: They don’t see me as a threat at all. (laugh)
F: But I read in a magazine about you “attracting the actresses while discussing (with them) about acting.” How do you do it? Tell me about it quick!
T: “Oh acting, it’s really just…” (F laughing his head off) Such a guy is really despicable, isn’t he? I’ll get detested!
F: I think that’s remarkable!
T: Won’t that make people think you’re full of lies?! (laugh)
F: But it won’t do to be single forever. Despite everything, I still dream of getting married. Like when you’re cooking, wouldn’t you wish: “Because I can cook too, I’d hope my partner is a good cook.”
T: I don’t have that inclination. But there is a type of woman who would say things like: “Women are not nannies.” Of course, that’s true. I just cannot stand those who hide behind the principle “there is no such reason that I’m the one who has to do housework, because I’m the woman”, and then don’t even start to try!
F: Yes that’s right.
T: At least give it a try. If she really can’t handle it (to F: you might find it funny), then I’ll do it, or maybe we’ll eat out. That’s alright.
F: I see. Is Tsutsumi-san the type who would talk a lot with his other half? Surprisingly I am.
T: So am I. I will chat with her. But sometimes, as we’re talking, I’ll remember that there’s still work I have to do, like “Ah, I haven’t read my lines yet” etc. and then I’d start to be a bit impatient.
F: There is a lot of work that actors have to prepare at home. For example, we must understand the contents of this book first, and unexpectedly, there are occasional kanji that I can’t read. (laugh)
T: Need to bring that electronic dictionary with you.
F: Yes, thank goodness for electronic dictionaries!
~ Good Night ~
The next song was released in 1992, “Good Night”. This is a very memorable song for Fukuyama-san. Tonight, he will sing for us alone, just himself and his guitar.
T: A while earlier, I was working with Yamazaki Tsutomu-san.* When some people get up to a certain age, their mere presence is imposing enough to create an overwhelming sensation in others!
F: I’ve seen Yamazaki Tsutomu-san’s pictures and his plays etc. and Ogata-san, Ogata Ken-san’s photos. The intensity of that look, that expression, was extraordinary!
T: It’s so daunting that it feels like they’re ready to kill someone. They must have devoted an exceptional amount of passion and emotion into it (their acting). Compared with people like me, who’re always saying “I want to give up”, I’m totally blown away! (F laughing) In the movie, Yamazaki Tsutomi-san played a character who sits in a wheelchair. When he suddenly said: “How do you do? This is the first time we meet” and came towards me in the wheelchair, I just went stiff! I couldn’t move, and I could feel my legs starting to shake. In a later scene, I had to talk to Yamazaki-san, who played the role of the company chairman, and say something like, “I quit. Bye!” then saunter out of the room. I think my voice went shrill (because I was so nervous).
F: (laugh) You were totally overwhelmed.
T: Totally! It was so incredible! But we had also gone drinking together. He’s a very amusing and amiable person off-screen. Seeing how these people can be so focused on acting in their lives, it makes me feel very impoverished myself.
F: Looking at it from another angle, you can say that it is typically because of this feeling that gives us the urge to want to carry on.
T: We’re plainly very weak, and yet we hate to lose! You get it?
F: (laugh) Yes, this I understand. On the one hand, we’re terrified, on the other, we still want to win!
T: Fukuyama-san, does being an actor and a musician mean totally different things to you? For example, making music is more centered on oneself.
F: Nevertheless, the feeling or the reaction in the spirit inside or in the heart, is the same both ways. I get stimulated by the topics I encounter. Of course, making music is a very personal subjective matter, but the trend is for music to become more and more individualized. “In order to capture the interest of everybody, it is necessary to consider themes that everyone will adhere to.” I think this way of thinking needs to be overthrown. It’s probably easier to understand with John Lennon’s example. He has a song called “God”. In the lyrics, it says something like “I don’t believe in Beatles, I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in Bob Dylan, I don’t believe in the US President, I don’t believe in anything, I just believe in Yoko.”** To be honest, this song had nothing in common with me, but I was so touched by it. I felt it so strongly, isn’t this in fact a song about love? You’ll definitely be able to create a resonance here (points to the heart). The point is a very very individualized thing is what you need to touch people’s hearts one by one and then you can end up reaching even more in the process.
Sou ~new love new world~
Translated from the Chinese subtitles on the video.
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)