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


Monthly Newtype, December 2009 cover
Monthly Newtype, December 2009 issue, p134

Last Meal

illustrated by Gekidan inu curry.2

If you could decide what to eat for the last meal of your life, what would you choose?

I asked various people this question to see how they would answer.

The most popular, by a landslide, was “miso soup—with nattō, if possible” as my ideal.

However, according to one survey, men are more likely to respond with these sorts of main courses and carbohydrate-laden foods, whereas women are more likely to opt for sweets and fruits.

Hahaha. As if!

In any case, there is not one girl I know who picked sweets or fruits. Quite the opposite, as one particularly bold girl answered with “40 deep-fried persimmon wedges. And I want to take my last breath with the last one in my mouth.” So perhaps this is an urban legend created by someone who still has a fanciful mental picture of what a girl is like. Such girls do not actually exist in this world…or so I thought. I found one. Someone who replied with enthusiasm, “Gourmet sweets!” So said voice actor Miyu Irino. A guy. Fanciful indeed…. Boys these days really do act like girls. Wait—or is it because women have become more manly? Maybe both.

By the way, the other day as I was chatting during a break at work, I mentioned that “when I’m busy, I’ll sometimes throw together a pan of fried rice with whatever I have leftover in the refrigerator and spoon it straight from the frying pan to my mouth while standing in the kitchen,” which left the person with whom I was chatting rather shocked. That’s the kind of woman I am—so what?

Anyway, back to the topic of the last meal before death. Among the multiple opinions I heard, the one other keyword common to both men and women was “Mother”. “Mother’s miso soup”; “Mother’s miso-flavored eggplant sauté”; “Anything, as long as it’s Mother’s home cooking.” I found it somewhat beautiful that everyone would choose their mother’s cooking over everything else for their last meal. It also inspired me to one day be that sort of mother whose homemade meals would be the favorite of her husband and children.

As it is now, Maaya Sakamoto is 29. Before becoming a mother, my present worry is the issue of what sort of meal I should choose to close out my 20s. I wonder what kind of delicious food would symbolize this dramatic, fantastic decade of my life. Five months remain until my 30th birthday. I hope to spend those months carefully considering my choice. “Magic Number”, the last single of my 20s, is on sale. And with that rare bit of advertising casually slipped in, this month looks to be one when I couldn’t ask for more.