My apologies for the long pause between updates. Throughout July I was again playing the part of Éponine in “Les Misérables in Concert”. The performances were at the Tōkyō Arts Theater and the Ōsaka Umeda Koma Theater. Everything went well. Thank you very much to everyone who came to see it!
Right after that, I took a trip to London. This time I wasn’t there on business. It was my first overseas trip alone. I took a week off work to try my hand at my first homestay. Just one week. But the days I spent there were far more fruitful than I thought they would be.
My host mother was an Armenian lady who moved to England in her childhood. A lover of nature and flowers, she was an easygoing person who could strike up a conversation with anyone right away. The vegetables she grew in her garden were arrayed on the dinner table every evening. Aside from me, there was a young Italian man of Ethiopian descent staying there. He spoke English with a thick Italian accent, but he knew many more words than I did. We went out for drinks at a pub one night.
I also met up with Sean, who came to Japan in July to assist with acting in the “Les Misérables” concert. He showed me around the backstage of the West End! He also introduced me to a Japanese actress playing in “The Lion King”. An elderly gentleman I met in a beautiful neighborhood church shared with me fond memories of a time he went to Japan. I became great friends with a Japanese girl I met on the plane. Beyond these, my heart is filled with the words and smiles I exchanged on this trip with so many people whose names I don’t even know. There was so much that happened, and I’ll write more about the trip in an essay for the next fan club newsletter, so you who are members have something to look forward to!
I was admittedly unsure of my English. But when I actually conversed with people, I realized the language barrier wasn’t that big of a problem. With enough time, I could express what I wanted to say. There are times when two people who speak the same language can’t convey their feelings to each other. But on the flip side, I think there are many times when two people of different languages and cultures can share the same thought.
If I had friends in various countries, I expect I would naturally come to love those countries. And were something tragic to happen in those countries, I expect I would mourn alongside them. I’d mourn because I wouldn’t think of the country’s name, but the names and faces of my friends. I now have many close friends in England. I know where those friends’ native countries are. Those countries are no longer faraway, unfamiliar lands for me. I feel a strong desire to continue to meet many people beyond my country. After all, if we all had friends in every country, no one would seek to wage war against anyone. We’d all hope for peace in our friends’ cities and cherished homelands.
I’m tremendously thankful to everyone I met through this trip!! I wonder where I should go next?