A Letter from Fukuoka.
I hear Tōkyō is seeing nothing but rain. Autumn is here at last, isn’t it?
I’m currently performing in “Les Misérables” at the Hakata-za in Fukuoka.
Here one can still detect the scent of summer. The sun still blazes, and the air stays balmy even after nightfall. Nearly all of the outfits I brought are for fall weather, so I’m in a bit of a pinch.
Acting on the road always has the excitement of a summer camp, and especially with Fukuoka being a city full of delicious food, living here is like heaven to me…or so I would like to think, since at the most I’m here on business, which means I can’t really get out and enjoy myself, to my dismay.
But I went with some castmembers and friends from the staff to a curious restaurant in the middle of a field the other day, and it was truly an encounter sent from heaven. I wish I could tell you how astonishing it was, but I think my astonishment was beyond anything you could possibly imagine.
It wasn’t just that the meal was good. How should I put it? It was a wonderful place, as if people’s thoughts and the workings of this world had all been condensed. The starry sky above, silent mountains all around…. My heart cried out, “This is what makes people happy!”
It was a singular experience that almost brings tears to my eyes when I think of my encounter with that place and of the deep bond I have with those friends who shared that time.
Being blessed with great meetings like this is one of the reasons I’m grateful for the musical “Les Misérables”.
It was an event that gave me a renewed charge for pressing on through the month and giving every ounce of strength to make every performance a great one.
But time I thought would last for a while goes by in a flash.
I’m down to about 20 more appearances in “Les Misérables” for 2007. In that limited time, I hope to fervently challenge myself to grasp something even more important. And I hope to spend those days with gratitude toward those dear friends who are always nearby, and without forgetting about my connection with those who are not by my side yet who look up at the same sky as they think of me.
These are the things I thought of late one autumn night.
Until we meet again.
From beneath a Fukuoka sky,