Anan Magazine (2009.7.15): Extract
Fukuyama Masaharu-san has announced the release of his 20th anniversary original album, the last one was 8 years ago.* The album is based on the same theme as his Photo Exhibition in the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum last April - “Zankyo” 「殘響」(Reverberations / Echoes in the Heart).
At the same time, 9 years after his previous one, he will be holding another (outdoor) concert in Inasayama, Nagasaki at the end of August. Compared to his earlier days, he reminisces much more and much stronger about his hometown now. Why?
F: “What was so heartening about 「PHOTO STAGE III ~Zankyo~」(殘響) was that we had 70,000 visitors. It was estimated in the newspapers to have brought about an economic impact of JPY11 billion. ‘Such a lot!’ I was astounded.”
“From then on, I knew what I had to do. Even so, when I heard that the city where I was born and grew up was in a state of recession and low morale, I was a bit saddened. Nonetheless I started to think that if there was something that I could do to help, however insignificant the action might be, I’d want to do it. In the past, I’d feel quite embarrassed if I had to say or do something like this.”
The Nagasaki Young Generation Association (長崎青年協会) had a great impact on his decision about the concerts in his hometown. ** The Nagasaki Young Generation Association (NYA) movement to call Fukuyama-san back to Nagasaki brought about 60,000 signatures in support.
F: “When I saw those signatures, I was both overjoyed and a bit desolate - ‘So people (at home) think I have become so distant now.’ And that I have given them such an impression, is not a good thing at all.”
Now that he’s turned 40, his thinking has changed.
F: “The NYA only accepts members up to 40 years old. In other words, I’ve reached ‘that age’. I’ve always believed that it’s the grown-ups who carry the Society on their shoulders, and now I have reached ‘that age’ too. I have no intention of changing this Society, but I’ve begun to think about the impact that my work in the Entertainment Industry, can have on it. These concerts in Nagasaki are the first steps to allow me to explore the various possibilities that can come out from my line of work.”
At the moment, Fukuyama-san is not only looking at the Nagasaki fans who have been supporting him all along. He is in the middle of a nation-wide “Michishirube” concert tour.
F: “Having done this for 20 years, once again I feel it’s great that I can be in this job. To be able to make people happy, and furthermore, to be able to see their happy faces with my own eyes…very few jobs can have this privilege. It’s not just the recession, I think everyone has their own troubles and problems, but during these three hours (of the concert), they can cast aside all their woes and the realities of life. I am truly grateful that I get to do this for a living.
~ Extract from Anan Magazine, 2009.7.15 (No. 1667) ~
The venues for the concert tour were announced well before the NYA handed in the 60,000 signatures. Masha had said on his radio programme that the decision to hold the concerts in his hometown was made a long time ago. The NYA campaign was going on at the same time, but was not a key factor for having the concerts in Nagasaki.
However, it was because of the campaign that Masha decided to hold the 2 extra Public Viewing sessions free of charge for 50,000 people in Nagasaki. He wanted to do something back for all those who signed up. ***
Translated from Fukuyama Honne (Article 6334)
* His last original album 8 years ago was “f” in 2001.04. The album “5 nen mono” (5年モノ 5 years) released in 2006.12 was actually a collection of all his singles released in the subsequent 5 years after “f”.
** The Nagasaki Young Generation Association home page
*** Masha announced on 6/29 at the Nagasaki City Council that the Inasayama concerts on Aug 29 & 30, will be shown live for free, at the Nagasaki Baseball Stadium (Big N Stadium) in Matsuyama Machii Nagasaki. 50,000 people in total will be able to watch it there over the 2 days. According to the NYA website, a total of 140,000 people have applied for the Public Viewing. Naturally, Nagasaki residents have first priority. The NYA had decided to open up the application process to people from all over the country, most likely in view of the ensuing economic benefits from greater visitor numbers, to the people of Nagasaki.
**** This Anan special on Masha also includes a Special Interview between him and Kamenashi Kazuya. A translation of the Fukuyama Masaharu X Kamenashi Kazuya Talk is available here: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
This English translation was first posted on MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums. (Registration required to enter.)