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


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Standing on the Edge of the Millenium

Part 3 of 15 in a series:

Happy new year. I bet it’s your first time to experience the end of a millenium, right? I doubt you can find anyone now who was here for the last turn of the millenium. It’s kind of spectacular to think about. I wonder what this spectacular-sounding year has in store for me?

My list of resolutions for this year starts with staying healthy. Ever since I was young I’ve caught colds frequently, so this year I intend to take care of myself. Not that I haven’t been taking care of myself. I’m going to take better care of myself from now on.

My second resolution is to live my life unaffected by time. Among the many points for reflection from 1999 is the realization that somewhere along the way I lost track of my own sense of time. By this I mean that with so much happening in just the last two or three years I feel I haven’t been able to find a balance between my body, my heart, and my words. Time flies by, the scenery rushes past… Of course I don’t mean to say that I’ve spent this time thoughtlessly. I’ve always taken everything seriously. I’ve found enjoyment and happiness in this.

But aside from this, some part of me feels as if I’ve been hurrying more than necessary, jumping to action before my heart has a chance to speak, and making decisions without careful consideration. I may have forgotten that no matter how quickly the scenery rushes past me, my internal clock runs at its own fixed pace.

Do you ever feel that when you choose to work at your own pace you can’t decide what your own pace is, or that when you try to be yourself you lose sight of who you are, or that the things you should possess intrinsically blur and disappear?

I can best confront these thoughts when I write songs. I ponder who I am, what I hold dear, what I despise, and what I want to say. I find a sense of assurance in the time I spend crafting lyrics. So I’m grateful I have that opportunity. I only write songs about what I personally feel―these are the only songs I feel I can write. Maybe when I learn how to balance things on my own I can write from a different perspective.

I’m about to turn 20, not yet knowing what it means to be myself. When I was a child I thought of 20 as a very grown-up age when you can do and know anything, but now that I’m here I don’t feel so grown-up. Regardless, the rest of society will start to treat me as an adult. So from now on I mustn’t rely so much on others’ generosity. It’s a lonely feeling.

My teens went by quickly, but they were incredible. I’m sure the speed at which they passed made them all the more fulfilling. In just 20 years I met more people than I can count, learned all kinds of things, forgot plenty, cried and got angry, slept and ate, stumbled and fell in love, grew up in the blink of an eye, and much more. But I might have even more waiting for me in my next several decades. I hope to spend the year 2000 always focused on following the rhythm of my own clock.

Turning 20 at the end of the millenium, this is Maaya Sakamoto, signing off.


Part 3 of 15 in a series: