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


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Part 6 of 15 in a series:

March 31 is my birthday.

A wonderful thing is scheduled to happen this year on the day I turn 20. It’s not set in stone by any means—it might happen early, or it might be postponed. Only one thing is certain: many people are anxiously awaiting that day.

Right now one of my best friends has a small life inside her.

Her baby’s due date is the same day as my birthday.

I was surprised to hear she was pregnant. At the time I couldn’t tell from her appearance, and without being told no one would have noticed, but what a curious feeling to think that within her was without a doubt one more life.

In high school we sometimes talked about our plans for when we became mothers.
We also talked a lot about marriage. But now that’s no longer a dream―it’s become reality. Though I was shocked by her sudden announcement, I was so happy I felt I couldn’t congratulate her enough.

She lives nearby, so we often eat together. I noticed she no longer wears the high heels she used to, her preferences in food have changed, and every time we meet her expression is more motherly. Yet she loves Yuzu and despite her plump stomach still goes to their concerts.

The father is working even harder at his part-time jobs, and the sight of them out for a walk on his days off is quite charming. However, they can’t agree when it comes to the baby’s name, so apparently nothing’s been decided yet.

Lately I’ve been browsing the baby clothes department when I’m out shopping, and despite thinking that I’m rushing things I’ve bought many items for them. I imagine taking pictures of the baby on my digital camera as soon as she’s born, or making sure she doesn’t grow up calling me “Grandma” or something like that. I’ve been getting a little carried away.

On the scale of the universe’s vastness, it’s only the birth of one tiny life. Even so, everyone around us is bubbling with excitement. To think something so minor changes our surroundings in major ways. How small, and yet how great.

Life is amazing! Two people the same age as me have become a mother and father. At the risk of stating the obvious, they’re courageous. They’re still students, and likely they’ll meet hardship in the future. I’m cheering for them.

My parents tell me that when I was born, the cherry trees were in full bloom the day my mother came home from the hospital.

That baby is now 20 years old. I’m not sure what words best capture this complex feeling. If this baby about to be born has the same birthday as me, my joy will be double every year from now on.

For birthday songs I think first of “Happy Happy Birthday” by Dreams Come True.
As I wish for a neverending series of wonderful things in my life like the song’s lyrics say, I wait for that day with a fresh sensation.


Part 6 of 15 in a series: