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


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2005 Has Arrived

Part 39 of 68 in a series:

2005 has arrived.

Where, in what way, and with whom did you ring in the new year?

I’ve never felt so grateful for being able to welcome the new year alongside friends and family as I have this year. I was as astonished as anyone else to hear of that terrible, unthinkable tragedy that occurred at the end of last year. Of course I know only what comes through TV and newspapers. But I feel truly overwhelmed when I imagine the horror and sorrow of seeing something that was once there disappear—stolen from you in an instant. And to think that that happened to so many hundreds of thousands of people all at once! It pains my heart every time I see the endless scenes of the devastation. When I think about how it will take a very long time to recover, I feel frustrated at my inability to help even a little.

So as I write the first id entry of the new year, I wish for you to have a year full of health, strength, and kindness. Though you may not be able to stop the forces of Nature, I wish for you to be able to forge a better connection between you and the Earth. Though the world seems near its end as it is beset by continuing conflict and increasing environmental destruction, I wish for as many inhabitants of this Earth as possible to hold out hope and cooperate with each other. This is my prayer.

This New Year’s holiday brought a tremendously beautiful sight to our home. My niece (nine months old) proudly exhibited her ability to finally stand up on her own. Every time I see her, it’s clear to me that this new life is shining brighter with each day. With a proud expression full of joy, her resolute, brave attempts despite falling or bumping her head put smiles on all our faces.

Her eyes overflow with promise. I imagine she will continue to absorb many things at an unbelievable pace. I also expect that in the future she will come across unhappy or unreasonable things. But whatever happens, this aunt wants to tell her that this world is filled with beauty, just as I believed the day she was born. Morning, night, water, life, people, song, stars, and love—these are the things that envelop us.

Those huge problems you think you can do nothing about will all disappear if you wish for those close to you to live in happiness. This year, treasure your family, your lover, your pet, and those dear to you. Along with yourself.


Part 39 of 68 in a series: