ANN Tamashii no Radio: The Solitary Middle-Aged Fukuyama Masaharu
Extract from ANN TamaRadi Blog 2010.05.31
F: At this rate, won’t we be getting to 80 (years old) soon? Sou-chan.
S: Not 60, but 80?
F: We can see 60 now, can’t we?
S: I’m starting to get the 50’s feel now.
F: Right? I can so understand that. Because I’ve got it too.
S: I feel like I’m about to get my “40’s” and “50’s shoulder” (frozen shoulder), my joints are degenerating, I’ll probably need Hyaluronan injections*1.
F: Oh you’re talking about that? I meant Life Planning.
S: What~, you’re thinking about a lot of things.
F: Of course, because I’m a freelancer.
S: Well, I am too. But we don’t have a pre-set retirement age.
F: Yup, people who can retire will have their retirement fund or pension at least. Ah~we have a pension too.
S: We can’t get it until we’re 65, right?
F: I’ve paid for it. I’ve paid! I have! I have!
S: OK, nobody said you didn’t (laugh)
F: Can we get our pension, I wonder?
The reason Fukuyama-san is paying more attention to his health and in particular, his Life Plan, is because he’s just come face to face with the anxieties and solitude of living alone.
F: Recently, there was a day when I only had to work in the evening. So I got up early and went out to buy stuff on my own. Usually my managers would contact me about an hour before the start of work. So I thought, it’s in the evening anyway, I’ll just be home around that time and I left my mobile phone aside. When I finally went to check my starting time for that evening, I opened my phone and found it full of missed calls from much earlier than the normal “hour before”.
S: Oh! I came across something like this when I was reporting for “Tokudane!”*2 (トクだね！ Weekly news programme). I’d interviewed a couple of solitary middle-aged people.
F: At that time, Ishida-kun (*manager) thought: “He’s dead. He must have died…..”
S: One of people I interviewed was an 83-year-old living by himself in an apartment. His son would call him up twice a week, always around 7 pm. Once he was in the bath and missed the phone. The Police rushed over to check up. His son thought something must have happened to him and called the police at once.
F: Twice a week is not enough, eh? He should make it every day.
S: Yes, but he couldn’t get through at home, and the mobile phone.
F: Ishida-kun said that too: “He didn’t answer his mobile. It’s never happened before….”
S: ”And the phone at home too. He must have died.” (Laugh)
If anything happened at home, no-one will find out until his managers call up for work. This thought is making the solitary middle-aged Fukuyama-san very uneasy. And since Amuse has become a listed company with formal regulations, he cannot have his managers accompany him to buy things during the holidays.
S: But if you live by yourself, you wouldn’t be able to cook if you’re feeling sick.
F: Yes, that’s right. It’s true even for me, and I’d expect there are many more lonely people in this world. I get lonely very easily. Even with so many people around helping me, I’d still feel lonely.
S: Because if you need anything, your managers will always be able to help out.
F: Yes, they can do it. And they will, of course. I’m one of the more privileged ones in this world.
S: So are you feeling broken-hearted now? From your loneliness? (Laugh)
F: I feel so lonely in the evening everyday. (Laugh)
S: Every day? That’s terrible. You’ve more than 1 manager, there should be someone on standby any time, right?
F: But they have their own lives too. That’s why evenings on Sundays are especially lonely for me. My Sunday evenings are usually spent on 『笑点』 (Shōten*3), 『サザエさん』 (Sazae-san*4), and 『龍馬伝』(Ryomaden) by myself. (Laugh)
S: And “Ryomaden” is getting pretty depressing now as well.
F: That’s why, it’s really heart-breaking to watch “Ryomaden”, I’ve been so tempted to switch over to 『イッテQ！』(Itte Q!)*5 lately.
S: No! No! No!
F: I didn’t! (Laugh) And so the new song “Shonen” was written under such circumstances, have you downloaded it?
S: If you didn’t, our monarch will be feeling even more lonely.
~ The End ~
*1. Hyaluronan - more info here
*2. Tokudane! (トクだね！) - more info here
*3. Shōten (笑点) - more info here
*4. Sazae-san (サザエさん) - more info here
*5. “Itte Q” short for “Sekai no Hate Made Itte Q!” (世界の果てまでイッテQ!), and translated as “Travel to the ends of the Earth, is a popular television variety show with an ensemble cast. One of the characters goes out into the world to experience other cultures and check out different animals. This programme is usually a close second to Ryomaden in ratings.