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


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Are You Looping?

Part 41 of 68 in a series:

My new song “Loop” is in stores, and as it appears that many of you have listened to it, I’m very grateful. I hope it stays in your collection of favorite songs for a long time. I appreciate your support.

I hesitate to bring up a sad bit of news, but the day “Loop” was released, my beloved grandmother passed away. From the time she collapsed to her passing, I was the only one who couldn’t go see her. I was in a very busy stretch and simply couldn’t find the time to go to Saga.

I loved my grandma very much, and I could always look to her for support. She was a cheerful, fearless, and adorable person. I was crushed to not be able to see her at the end. I’m told she left this world in quiet peace, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and siblings. They said that they played my freshly released “Loop” by her pillow.

Several days later I was able to spare some time to take a trip to Saga. I hadn’t been there in a while, and going reminded me of how fine a city it is. Seeing a photo of my beautifully smiling grandmother on the family altar left me with a very strange sensation. I hadn’t yet adjusted to the fact that she wasn’t there.

But as I looked at that photo, while I did wish I could have spent more time with her or been a better granddaughter, for some reason I felt a strange warmth in a corner of my heart, and I imagine this saving warmth came from the meaning in the lyrics of “Loop”, with its fortuitously coinciding release.

Now more than ever this song has taken a deeper, wider place in my heart. Life and death always come as a pair. As do meetings and partings. Such is how everything in this world cycles on and on, so I have a feeling we’ll be able to see each other again someday. Though I feel sad now, I sense her by my side.

The day my grandmother passed away, it was tough for me to continue working in Tōkyō as if nothing happened, and I felt as though I was being uncaring, but I’m sure that wasn’t true. My grandma was my number one fan, and since she worked at her own business until she died, I’m positive she would have been sad to see me abandon my job. So I decided to take care of everything as planned.

Love goes beyond just holding someone’s hand. I see now that despite being apart and unable to feel each other’s touch, if you can live your life continually conscious of the other’s presence, you’re really connected. I trust my singing at my grandma’s bedside in her final moments conveyed these thoughts to her.

On the plane back home, I chanced upon my music on the Japanese channel of the in-plane radio. I returned to Tōkyō as I listened to “Loop”.

Grandma, I wish I could see you again!


Part 41 of 68 in a series: