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


Monthly Newtype, November 2010 cover
Monthly Newtype, November 2010 issue, p125


illustrated by Gekidan inu curry.2

Every night I dream. Typically in color. My dreams are at times not even worth talking about, at times bizarre enough to send a chill down my spine, and at times merely influenced by what I saw on TV the prior evening. But whatever it may be, after I awake I remember it clearly. Dreaming in color is proof of lunacy, you say? But my dreams do not stop with color: I can even sense taste, smell, temperature, and touch; is it not the same for others? Incidentally, I have awoken countless times in fits of side-splitting laughter after dreaming about something funny. I have also awoken in tears.

One dream which has curiously repeated itself since I was little is a dream of water. Though by water I mean neither an ocean nor a river. I am sitting on a roof. Sometimes on the slope of a triangular roof, sometimes on top of a long, straight corridor built of wood in veranda fashion; the style changes slightly each time. In every case I am sitting there, with my bare feet stretched out in front of me and my toes dipped in the water, which is a little cold to the touch. The water has flooded everything up to where my legs reach. When I glance down, I see a town submerged in the water beneath my feet. The water is still and very quiet, and while here and there several tall buildings or trees peek above the surface, there are no signs of people, and I am entirely alone. To the rational mind this should be a somewhat frightening situation, but I am filled with unsurpassed calm and peace, mesmerized by the scenery. The sky is pink tinged with orange, and I cannot tell whether it is sunrise or sunset. The sky’s color imprints itself into the clouds and water, and the sight is, beyond the ability of words to capture, very, very beautiful. So beautiful that as I write this now, the mere thought of that sight brings a twinge to my heart.

One day, I went to a Monet exhibition at the National Art Center in Tōkyō. With Monet’s paintings before me for the first time, I received an eye-opening shock. There was the very palette I had seen only in my dreams. In the midst of soft pink was orange, cream, green, gray, and sky blue; a wash of varied colors in the same place, as though they were a new color yet to be named. Monet had taken the scenery that was in my mind alone and that I had shared with no one, and preserved it as a painting in the pointillist style. Monsieur Monet, would you happen to know exactly where that place is? Standing before that painting of a waterfront, I truly wanted to ask this question.

It is just like the moment of the world’s beginning, and also like the moment of its end. It is simply miraculously beautiful. Despite being all alone, I am not at all lonely. The sensation of the water flowing around my legs as I move them remains sharp in my memory, and though it is a dream, it is real. My emotions are probably nothing in particular, but if I had to say, a feeling similar to the word “anticipation” has settled softly in my heart.

Last night, I actually saw this dream again for the first time in quite a while. Whenever I enter that watery landscape, for whatever reason I wake up refreshed. Though I cannot say how, my spirit feels a little lighter, and the jagged edges in my heart rounder. I again find the strength to press on. It is now 7:30 in the morning. Today is another day of work.