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


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Part 12 of 15 in a series:

At last, release day for Mameshiba is nearly here! It’s my latest single. Everyone, by all means please give it a listen. Today’s entry is all about Mameshiba.

Those who saw the Tanabota concert in August may already know that I actually performed this song for the first time there. By that time we had even finished recording it. So for me the song feels kind of like I’ve known it for a long time.

As I recall, I first encountered “Mameshiba” sometime around July. I was suddenly called to the studio, where I arrived to find them in the middle of recording an instrumental track. They played it back for me and we recorded a scratch vocal right there. And then they offered to let me write the lyrics.

However, the lyrics wouldn’t be just for a new Maaya Sakamoto song―this song was slated as the title song of a certain production, so they wanted lyrics that would harmonize with that production’s standpoint. Never before had I written lyrics in that fashion, so while I felt partly uneasy about the task set before me, I loved the sense of speed, momentum, and vigorous atmosphere in “Mameshiba”, and I decided to give it a go.

When I write lyrics I typically go about it by forming in my mind an image from which I draw out words, but for “Mameshiba”, finding a clear, sharp image took some time. I saw vague scenery and fuzzy pictures, but nothing that shouted, “This is it!” came to my mind. One day, after much wandering, I at last reached a beautiful, refreshing world.

The film for “Mameshiba” that played out in my mind stars a young girl. Her hair tossed by the wind, she runs. Her outfit resembles a school uniform with a short skirt. Somewhere far away huddles her beloved. She runs for him. She runs as if she sees neither obstacles, nor adverse weather, nor people who block her path―single-mindedly, as if she were a puppy. A town at dawn, a narrow street, a barren wilderness, a thick forest―scenes whirl past my mind’s eye. The image rushes at me, and I can almost feel the muscles in her thighs, her breathing, the temperature of the air and even the way the wind blows. The girl, running on and on in my mind, says, “Call my name!”

From this I found words to fit that picture perfectly, and the rest fell in place like pieces of a puzzle. And so “Mameshiba” was born. I hope you can feel the sound’s temperature, intensity, and wind when you listen.

“Mameshiba” will be the theme song for “Earth Girl Arjuna”, which airs next year starting January 9 (Tuesday). I’m excited to see what kind of amazing world opens up through the pairing of “Mameshiba” and this series.

And for me, awash in the joy of having something to run toward, I feel like this song belongs to me and no one else. This happiness that comes from treasuring someone, this baseless confidence, this courage atop impulse―“Mameshiba” springs from these powers.

But these are small, immature powers. Too often I feel overwhelmed, and so I long to believe that somewhere, someone is calling my name. Yes, too often I feel overwhelmed. Even though doing what you love and loving someone are so natural, why must I suffer so many wounds and be knocked down so many times?

Gaining that which you truly desire requires tremendous power to overcome the incessant barrage of troubles and hardship. But when I think I have nothing left, if someone from his heart would call my name, I feel I can run again. And in the same way, when I think I am done for, if from my heart I call out someone’s name, I feel a bit closer to being saved.

After all, I believe we each possess only small powers, and so we can do nothing but live this way. We run to the limits of our small powers, and in so doing we take hold of things.

In any event, it’s about how just having that important someone can change your life.

That’s “Mameshiba”.


Part 12 of 15 in a series: