Collected translations of Maaya Sakamoto news, essays, interviews, and articles


Maaya Sakamoto official site logo
Maaya Sakamoto's Official Site

My Summer

Part 30 of 68 in a series:

What?! The last update was June 4?! How did nearly three months go by so fast… I’m so sorry for completely neglecting this page.

The last three months may have been blank for the id, but for me they were anything but—my days have been crammed, jammed, and packed with work. Right, the rehearsals and performances for the musical, “Les Misérables”, took up all three months. All of you who came to see it—thank you so very, very much.

I have little experience on the stage, and I’ve never had proper vocal instruction. With such an overwhelming lack of training, to be allowed to play such a beautiful role on such a grand stage is both a great honor and an ordeal. Some days I fought with the dilemma of not having the power within me to express the image of Éponine I pictured in my mind. Diving into an unfamiliar world takes both courage and endurance. I worried and fretted, fell and picked myself up, ran away and came back, and suffered more than I ever had before. But now I feel fortunate to have encountered even that troubled side of me.

Since my childhood I’ve loved music and plays, and this love stayed with me as I grew up. I create music not just as a singer, but more as one of my personal means of expression, like words or gestures—I’m singing for myself.

Expressing someone else’s feelings while acting and singing in a certain production, such as a musical, is tremendously difficult. I know it’s too late to say this now, but I really think this way. To me, it’s like using muscles I rarely use. It feels like approaching music from the side opposite the one I’m usually on.

So this summer, while experiencing “Les Misérables” and on the other hand working on my own album, I exercised both my abs and back, and it feels like I’ve built up some new muscle (does this analogy make sense?).

What gave me the most joy this time were the meetings. I’m famous (well, I am among those who know me) for being incredibly shy, so at first I was extremely nervous to meet so many people for the first time. But the entire cast and staff are truly wonderful people to the last, and I often looked to them for help and encouragement. My heart is filled with thanks for them.

And I’m also thankful to “Les Misérables”. No matter how much I stumbled, the one thing I never lost sight of was my love for this musical. Just that feeling somehow kept me looking forward. There must be a colossal power behind musicals loved by so many. I felt it here.

Despite my immaturity, each night I acted with all my strength, heart, and mind. I left some things unfinished, but it was the very best Éponine I’m capable of. In January I’ll be in the Hakata performances. Once again I’ll be Éponine. When that time comes, I’ll again give it my best.

Holding on to a sense of comfort where I am is very tough. It’ll be even tougher to drop everything and head to a different place. But after that, when I return to my own place, I think I’ll find the scenery a little different.

Now then, I’m off to London this month for recording again. It’s been three years since the last time! I can’t wait to leave. I’d like to update the id while I’m over there. Don’t miss it. I have to make up for forgetting about this page for so long!


Part 30 of 68 in a series: