Friday, 4 May 2018

[日本語訳] MIYAVI x JROCK NEWS インタビュー:映画BLEACHでの役柄、価値観、そしてhideから感化されたものについて

ORIGINAL SOURCE: JROCK NEWS 

PHOTO CREDITS:  @NarineChalabi
JPN TRANSLATION BY: MyCov7382 
 
インタビュー:映画BLEACHでの役柄、価値観、そしてhideから感化されたものについて
421日、MIYAVIDay2ワールドツアー、ヨーロッパ2日目、まるで天が日本人ギターサムライの訪問を知ってい
たかのようにイギリスではめずらしく太陽が輝いていた。
この取材はULUのステージエリアに隣接する部屋行われた。その部屋は天井から床の窓まで長く白く、光に溢れて いた。カジュアルなブラックジーンズとよく合うゆったりとした黒のグラフィック・スウェットシャツを身にま
とったMIYAVIのライブ本番前の衣装は、白いソールと近未来的なブラックのY-3 NOCI HIGH Sneakersによって仕
上げられていた。

ちょうど昨年、FIRE BIRDワールドツアーをがあったことを考慮すると、いつもならこんなにすぐにワールドツ
アーをしませんよね。今まではそれぞれが少なくとも2~3年は間隔が空いていました。なにがあなたに休憩なし
にすぐにワールドツアーに行くことを決定させたのですか?
良い質問だね。僕らはすでに去年ワールドツアーをしていたから、今年また別のワールドツアーをするなんて思っ
てもいなかったんだ。でもファッションショーでパリに来て、国連の集まりでニューヨークで出席してから、ロン
ドン、ニューヨーク、北京などでいくつかライブを開催したいなと思っていて。サーキットみたいな。これはツ
アーじゃない。時には年に数回、あなたはホーム(自国)でライブに行くでしょう。そんな感じです。僕らは、みな
さんが望めば来れるいくつかの首都で、いくつかライブを開催しようと計画していました。もし皆さんが近くにい
なければ、みなさんはまだ来ることができます。もし僕らがロンドンに来て結局別のツアーをすることになるな
ら、なんでパリでやらない?そしたらベルリンは?ロシアは?ワルシャワは?って。今回はご覧の通り、よりコン
パクトで、同じく会場も小さめです。

そうですね。そしてあなたは南米にもツアーに行くんですよね?
それはまた話しが別で、アメリカはロサンゼルスとニューヨークだけライブを計画していたんだけれど、結局ほか
の都市も含まれて。それは良かった。そして僕らがこのツアーについて発表したら、南米のファンの子達が「これ
はワールドツアーじゃない!」って始まって。そしたら南米の現地プロモーターからオファーされたんだ。彼らの
声は僕らにとって本当に意味があったし強力だったよ。僕らは地元の人々の助けなしにはライブできない。僕はプ
ロモーターの連絡先や会場を知らないから、地元の助けが必要です。今回の場合は、ファンの強い声が現地プロ
モーターを動かした。僕らは現地プロモーターからオファーを受けて、それで南米ツアーを実現できました。知っ
ての通り、僕が(物販の)デザインをしたとき、物販にすら南米の日程は当初プリントされていません。ツアー日程
を計画したあとにオファーを受けたんです。これはいかにファンの子達の声が強力なのかがわかる美しい話です。
もちろん僕は南米に行きたいと思っていたんだけれど、遠いし、僕らがその地域で何ができるか、少しも見当がつ
かなかったんだ。言葉も違うし。だから、どれだけファンの子達の声が強力かということを見ることは、僕らに
とって影響力のある出来事でした。それは今起きてます!僕は本当に楽しみだし、ずっと行きたかったんです。で
もそれは僕だけが決めたことじゃなくて、僕のスタッフ、スケジュール、計画など、僕らが今回実現できたのは奇
跡でした。僕は南米のファンの子達のたくさんの声に本当に感謝しています。

アジアをまわり終え、今の時点であなたは18回ライブを行っています。あなたはどのように自分の健康とエネル
ギーを維持することを確実にしていますか?それは簡単なことではないですから。
うん、簡単じゃないよ。ていうかそれももうひとつのいい質問だね。

あなたはステージで自分に限界を与えていますか?
いいえ、それはないです。僕は全くパーティーしない。これはルーティンなんです。あなたが毎日やり続けている
小さなこと、それが全て。一度に大きなことじゃなくて。僕にとってオンロードのアスリートのようだなと感じて
います。オフロードとは食べるものも違う。オンでもオフでも、朝起きたらすぐに毎朝運動します。朝、日本とア
メリカのスタッフと話をするし、僕は早朝、4時とか5時頃に目を覚ますのも好きです。

朝の4?!
はい。僕は夜明けのエネルギーが本当に好きです。毎日、毎朝、ライブの前、ライブの後、そしてベッドに入る
前、僕は運動しています。精神性を維持することはとても大事。きわめて重要です。当時、僕はステージで走り
回って、ヘドバンして、いろんな国でマッサージを受けていたけれど、もういらない。シンプルなことが大事で、
特別な治療なしに自分自身を維持できます。もしマッサージしてくれる場所がなかったら僕は回復できないので、
今僕はそれを自分自身でできます。食べ物も同様で、僕は良いコンディションを保つためにいつも朝は自分でス
ムージーを作ります。自分だけの朝食が毎朝あるのでホテルでの朝食の質は僕には影響しません。それと、僕は炭
水化物をカットしてきました。実際このツアー中、僕は意図的に炭水化物を食べています。知っての通り、僕はス
テージでたくさん汗をかきます。常に筋肉と脂肪でエネルギーを使うから、ステージで消費するエネルギー量は
まったく異なる。オンとオフは基本的に違う。それと同時に脳や身体にじゅうぶんなエネルギーを与えることはと
ても大事なので、僕はオンのとき、砂糖や炭水化物の量をコントロールしています。僕はたくさんの炭水化物を食
べていました、うん。

炭水化物の好みは?
グルテンがないから、米、玄米。黒糖飴、キヌア、トウモロコシ。僕はいつもパンやパスタを食べないけれど、時
には選択肢がない時もあります。音楽は本当に精神的なものなので、それを続けていくためには、身体的に良い状

態でいることを確実にしないといけません。僕には最高のパフォーマンスを提供する責任があるから。僕はアジア
で体調を崩しました。特に香港や北京は空気が違う。そこには美しい街とオーディエンスがあるけれど、空気の質
は良いとは言えない。声とのどに影響します。

今年初めにあなたは3月から毎月新しいEPをリリースすることについて触れていました。ソニータ・アリザデを
フィーチャーした
Long Nightsと、ショーン・ボウをフィーチャーしたIn Crowd。今後のEPリリースについて
ファンはどのような期待を持つべきですか
?
正直言って、基本コンセプトは想像と自由を持つということ。僕らはすでにたくさんの曲を作っていてステージで
も演奏しているけれど、まだリリースしていなかったので、それが主な目的です。今月のリリースはもうすぐ、数
日後に出るよ。(現在iTunesにてSo On It発売中)

私たちはあなたがたくさんの他のミュージシャンの曲をカバーしていることに気付いています。あなたはカバーす
る曲をどのように選んでいるのですか
?特にツアーの間にあなたのセットリストに最終的に入っている曲につい
て。

僕はただインスパイアされた曲を選んでいるだけだよ。選ぶのは僕だけじゃなく、プロデューサーやスタッフ、全
員で曲を集めています。僕はインスピレーションを感じられたら、その曲を知らなくても演奏するでしょう。僕は
ギターで音楽を感じて、演奏します。

また、あなたはライブでピンクスパイダーを演奏しています。トリビュートアルバムのためにhideがあなたにどん
な影響を与えたか教えていただけますか
?
僕は彼をアーティストとして、彼の作品に対しての、ファンに対しての態度などたくさんのところを尊敬していま
す。彼のファンとの、関係の築き方やコミュニケーションの仕方。また、彼の世界的なマーケットに対する態度
も。日本のマーケットだけじゃなく、彼はファンを次のレベルへ連れて行こうとしていた。いつもファンに向き合
うだけじゃなく新しいことで彼らに挑戦しようとした。それは全然簡単なことじゃない。それらは実際オーディエ
ンスが望むものじゃない。構わないけど、でも同時にそれは教育と同じなんだよね。僕の2人の娘、僕は当然彼女
たちに向き合うけれど、同時に僕はいつも彼女たちを助けません。時には彼女たちに失敗させるし、それが本当の
愛だと強く信じています。あなたの愛や愛情を示す本当の方法は、彼女たちが独り立ちできるようにすること。
ファンに向けても同じで、もちろん僕は彼らが望むものを作りたいけど、MIYAVIのファンとして自分自身に誇り
を感じてほしいから、僕らがやってることが間違ってると言っているわけじゃないけど、僕らの世界での外で起
こっていることも重要で。それは僕がヴィジュアル系にいたときに気づいたことです。それは美しい文化で他人か
ら目立つけれど、あなたの両親はそれが好きですか?あなたを誇りに思いますか?あなたの同級生はなんでも興味
があって、完璧な音楽や作品はないけれど、少なくとも僕は真正性、職人魂、プロ意識を持っていたい。それと、
人々がそれを気に入らないときも、人々に僕のファンを見下して欲しくない。それは本当に繊細で、僕はファンに
自分自身で立つことができるよう強くなって欲しいんです。

あなたの娘たちと同じように?
そう!僕はこれを言うことが正しい方法なのか、またはアーティストとして正しいことなのかどうかわからないけ
れど、パフォーマーとして、エンターテイナーとて、自分のコンサートを現実から逃げるための場所にしたくない
んです。僕はそれを望まない。それじゃ良くない。それでは砂糖のようになってしまう。僕は好きじゃない。僕の
コンサートのあと、彼らにさらに強くなって帰ってほしい。それが僕のライブの目的でもあり、僕の責任です。

あなたはこれら全ての思想や哲学をどこで手に入れましたか?それはあなたがあなたの娘たちの育て方や、あなた
のファンを強化することの助けになっているものですか
?特にあなたを触発させる人はいますか?
うーん、いい質問だね。見当がつかないな。もちろん僕の妻、メロディーは大きいよ。僕は本当に彼女の育児に感
謝しています、彼女のおかげで僕はこのようにツアーに出ることができる。僕らはとても似ていて、そして同時に
僕は彼女が持っていないものを持っていて、彼女は僕が持っていないものを持っている。僕らは思想や子供たちに
対する態度を共有しています。僕はより厳しいです。子供たちは毎朝運動しなくちゃいけない。姿勢、呼吸、
ちょっとしたことたち。筋肉をつけることが目的ではなくて、それが大事だということを知る、習慣をつけること
なんです。だからそうだね、僕はパートナーのメロディーから触発されています。

私たちは家族の話題をしているところなので、コミュニケーションはどうですか?
僕らが話すソーシャルメディアで、ロンドンに到着してから、メロディーと2時間チャットしました。僕はいくつ
か会合があってパリに泊まったから、ユーロスターでロンドンに着いて。それで夕食の時メロディーと話していた
ので、僕のいた場所を彼女と共有できました。それから、僕の娘たち、彼女たちは僕らが通信するアプリを持って
るんだけど、最近はMinecraftっていうアプリで遊んでる。そこにはRobloxっていうアプリもあるんだけどね、彼
女たちはそっちで遊んでるから、僕も一緒に遊んでいます。僕は時間があれば、オンラインになって彼女たちを見
つけてはちょっと遊びます()インターネットの世界で一緒に何かやるのは楽しいですね。

さぁ、話題を映画BLEACHに移しましょう。キャスティングおめでとうございます。アニメを知らないファンの
ために、映画について少し教えていただけますか
?
君たちのほうが僕よりもこのアニメのことを知ってると思うよ()君たちが説明するべき。僕はこのアニメのこと
をあまり詳しくなかったので。僕はバガボンド、グラップラー刃牙のようなアニメが好きです。僕は哲学的な側面を持つ作品が好きなので。ある意味、BLEACHもそれを持っています。僕は多くのファンがそれが好きだと気付い
たから、ディレクターからオファーを受けたとき、僕には妹がいるので白夜とルキアの関係性に興味がありまし
た。僕が言ったように、彼らを守ることまたは甘やかすことはあなたの愛情を示す唯一の方法ではありません。だ
から白夜もまた、彼の妹を本当に愛しているからこそ本当に厳しい。それが彼の彼女の愛し方で、彼は彼女に十分
強くなって欲しいんだけれど人生の価値観が違うから、彼と彼女の間にはちょっと争いがあります。僕にとって、
彼女に対するその感情や想いが本当に面白いです。それはまた殺陣を体験する絶好の機会でもありました。楽しかったです。

あなたはすべてのアクションをやり終えましたか?またはあなたにとってより危険なものはスタントマンを使った
のですか
?
僕は少しも危険なものをやらなかったけれど、すべてのスタントを自分でやりました。

あなたが映画の中で演じたキャラクターは少しあなた似ていますね。あなたたち2人はこの世界に正義を望んでい
るし、自然で穏やかで、そしてかわいいです。

彼がかわいい?僕はそう思わないな。彼は微笑むことさえしないよ。

えぇ、それが彼のかわいいところです()
()ていうか、ストーリーとほかの人々、うん、それは本当にかわいいね。彼のスタンスは好きだよ。それは全部
目的のためだから。それだけです。僕にとっても、事を実現させるためには他のことを犠牲にするでしょう。それ
は基本的なスタンスで、彼も同じくそれを持っていると思う。アクションに関しては、全然危険じゃなくて。なぜ
なら誰一人彼の動きを見ることができないからね(剣を素早く振るようにして)。予告編の中で一護を殺すときのア
クションがちょっと見れるよ()

楽しかったですか?
誰かを殺すのはいつだって楽しいよ!()

以前の、映画アンブロークンの中でのワタナベ(ザ・バード)としての役で、あなたはある点まで役柄に没頭して、
撮影していない時もジャック・オコンネルから自身を孤立させていました。あなたが
BLEACHの撮影中に直面し
たいくつかの難題はなんですか
?例えば、あなたは難しいスタントをやり終えましたか?または役に入るのに時間
がかかりましたか
?
他の俳優たちはよりプロフェッショナルだと思います。僕はキャラクターと自分との間を行ったり来たりするス
イッチを持っていないからこそ、(他の俳優たちと)カジュアルな会話を避ける必要があるんです。一度キャラク
ターに入ると、僕はその場所に入るのに時間がかかるから、戻ってきたくないんです。正直言って、時々僕は誰か
が役にどれくらい深く入るのかについて考えることがあります。僕はキャラクターに入り込んだらしばらくの間戻
らない人のタイプ。自分の距離を保たないといけなかった。主な人やその他のみんなは本当に良い人たち。映画
ギャングースですら、彼らのすべてが良い人たちだけれど、僕は悪役を演じるにあたって、パフォーマンスの邪魔
になるかもしれない関係は望まない。もし僕らが戦うなら、僕は彼らが僕を憎むようにしたいだろうから、同じで
す。それが実際、僕が知る唯一の方法です。最初の映画のアンブロークンのように、僕はキャラクターに入る他の
方法を知りません。


UNHCRの話題に移りましょう!
ついに!()それについてはたくさんの話があるし、人々が忘れる多くの時間があります。

どういたしまして。私たちはそれがあなたの情熱的な題材であることを知っています。昨年あなたは日本人初の親
善大使になりましたね。おめでとうございます。それ以来、私たちはあなたのインスタグラムを通して、あなたが

より多くの
UNHCRの会合に参加し始めたことに気付いています。親善大使になったことは、難民危機について世
界を助けたり教育するための、あなたの新しい扉を開きましたか
?
えぇ、たくさん。人間として。はい。それは僕がライブで話してきたことだし、それがファンのためにどうである
べきか。エンターテイナー、シンガー、またはこのエンターテイメントビジネスの産物として、これを言うのは良
いことではないかもしれないけれど、この種の人道的活動をすることは、時に人々は期待していないし、時にこの
タイプの任務に感謝しない。それは人々が望むものではないので時には妨げにもなるけれど、僕の子供たちのよう
に、砂糖やチョコレートを与え続けたくないんだ。野菜を食事に入れることはとても大事で、バランスが本当に重
要です。もし僕がほうれん草を与え続けたら、子供たちはもちろん嫌でしょう。僕は、音楽が本当にそれを実現で
きると思います。演説を聞かないような人々も、音楽は聴くかもしれない。音楽は橋になることができる、そして
それは僕ができることかもしれないこと。それがテーマです。初めて難民キャンプに行ったときは怖かったです。

レバノンのときですよね?
そう。そこで、音楽で僕にも出来ることが何かあるかもしれないと悟ったんだ。音楽は目に見えない、あなたは音
楽を見ることはできないけれど、僕らは持っていて、それは人々をつなぎ、人々を新たな場所へ導くための接着剤
になることができる。それが大使としての僕の役割です。僕はMIYAVI。難民キャンプでですら、僕は典型的な大
使ではなく人道的活動を行うロックスターです。それが大使のMIYAVIとしての、僕のアイデンティティの理由です。

あなたのLong Nightsという楽曲は、そこにいる大勢の人々に関係していますよね。愛する人を失った人、困難な
時間を過ごしている人、うつ病に苦しんでいる人や不眠症を抱えている人などと関係しています。そこにいるもが

き奮闘し、前に進むための希望の光を見つけることが難しいと感じている読者に向けてのメッセージはあります

?
困難に直面しているのは“あなた”だけではありません。僕ですらそうでした。時には僕も難儀しています。でも、
強くなるためにあなたが困難を克服した後に見える景色があるということを強く信じる必要があります。それがな
いと立ち向かうためのものが何もない。だから、明日が来るということさえわかっていれば、あなたは長い夜を超
えられる。たとえその夜が本当に長くても、あなたは耐えることができます。それが簡単だとは言わないけれど、
それが唯一の方法なので、僕は明日が来るということをただ信じています。それは他人に任されているものではな
く、僕に任せられているものでもない。僕はあなたのために何もしません。僕は音楽を作って、あなたをサポート
したりアドバイスの言葉を与えることはできるかもしれないけれど、それに対処できるのはただ一人、あなただけ
です。僕の音楽があなたの人生の中での苦難を乗り越えるための支えや、助けとなれることを本当に願っていま
す。

私たちは、MIYAVIおよびにこの対面インタビューの機会を計画するための彼らの時間や信じられないほど役に
立ってくれたスタッフの方々対して、ぜひ感謝をしたいと思います。そして、読者の方々がこの洞察に満ちた対談
をお楽しみいただけることを願っています。彼の残りのDay2ワールドツアーの幸運をお祈りしています。

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION] MIYAVI x ASAHI GLOBE 2018 ARTICLE



MIYAVI
A youth where he kept on falling, having nothing at all, just zero. Saved only by a “whim” that was the guitar. He believes in a hope that was born from a “Wow!”

Text: Yukari Takahashi (GLOBE reporter)
Photos: Toshiki Toyama ( Asahi Shimbun photographer)
English Transliation by: Nicki A.
Original source: globe.asahi.com


March, in a live hall in Ebisu, Tokyo. In front of a crowd of 900 people, here stands MIYAVI (36), about to kick off his world tour in 28 cities, including Shanghai, London and Moscow. He smoothly belts out a song in English while brandishing his electric guitar high up as if it were a Japanese sword and plays it at high speed. He wears a narrow pants on his tall figure that stands over 180cm in height, and has an appearance that perfectly fits the name he established in the West as the “Samurai Guitarist”. While he was speaking in his Kansai dialect during his performance’s intermission, I recall the words he said during our interview: “I didn’t have anything at all and I guess that is the best driving force there is in order to give birth to something.”


First picture: MIYAVI, practicing in a Tokyo studio, responded to the camera lens with a strong gaze.

Profile:
1981-Born as the eldest son of two siblings in Konohana Ward, Osaka City. Birthname: Takamasa Ishihara
1989-Moved to Hyogo Prefecture and started playing soccer in 2
nd year of grade school.
1994-Joined the professional soccer team, Cerezo Osaka’s junior team
1996-Quit soccer in the 2
nd year of middle school. Started playing the guitar the following year.
1999-Left for Tokyo. Joined the Visual-kei band, Dué le Quartz.
2004-Major debut
2006-Put his activities on hold for 3 months. Studied abroad in Los Angeles, U.S
2009-Married melody. and went independent
2013-Confirmed his appearance in the movie “Unbroken” (Released the following year in the U.S and in 2016 for Japan)
2014-Changed base of activities to Los Angeles
2017-Appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
2018-Debuted as model in Paris Fashion Week


The hole that opened up after quitting soccer
For MIYAVI, he is aware that his musician self is one that has been “built up from scratch”. Growing up in a town in Hyogo Prefecture, he was just a boy who played soccer, something that was not related to music. His father was a company employee who was also coaching the local soccer team. In his second year of grade school, he joined the local team and became totally absorbed in soccer. He was a team captain who was good at organising his team and had also stood out remarkably. It became so that it was only natural for him to think of becoming a professional soccer player.

Around the same time he entered middle school, he passed the test to enter J-League’s Cerezo Osaka’s junior team and consequently joined them. However, just one-way of traveling to his training grounds took over an hour and the commute was so exhausting that playing soccer slowly became less enjoyable. He would spend his lunch break at school sleeping and by the time he realised it, he was already left out from both his group of classmates and also his group of friends from soccer. When he fractured his toes in his right foot in his second year of middle school, he found himself feeling relieved. He then quit soccer because he couldn’t keep up anymore. After that, he spent his days with his friends, gathering in front of the train station and getting into trouble. He even went around and stayed over at his friends’ house and did not come home for more than a month. Not being able to fill the hole in his heart, he dropped to the lowest point he possibly could.
It was around that time when he first met the guitar. Even though none of his delinquent friends and him had any musical experience, they decided to start a band just based on a “whim”. Despite all that, when MIYAVI plucked the guitar strings for the first time, he somehow saw himself playing the guitar inside of a huge stadium. “This musical instrument will probably be able to help me to once again, go to “wherever that isn’t here”.” He later stopped going to high school half a year after starting it, all the while never parting from the guitar.
When he was 17, the person who taught him music and was two years his senior, had suddenly passed away. After the funeral service, the feeling of not wanting to be in his hometown anymore suddenly became stronger. Later that night, with only his wallet, PHS (Personal Handy-phone System), and cigarettes, he got on a midnight bus to Tokyo. Before he got on the bus, he called his mother and cannot forget her voice saying, “Take care and go”.  Even when he quit soccer, even when he lost his way, this is the mother who silently stood by him. He didn’t think that he was blessed or talented but he did learn that if he wasn’t going to be given anything, he should be making his own path with his own two feet instead.
Once in Tokyo, his money soon ran out and he had to sleep in the rough. He was also frequenting live houses back then and that was when he joined a Visual-kei band. After garnering attention, he had his major debut as a solo artist under Universal Music in 2004. Following in the new generation of Visual-kei, he appeared in very flashy makeup and costumes and gained many raving fans. Universal Music Japan’s president, Naoshi Fujikura (50) reminisced about MIYAVI saying that, “Even from then he was already focused on being “The World’s Top”. His level of commitment was outstanding. He wanted to let the world know directly of his existence and he was interested in being able to do so as quickly as possible, be it through digital or social media. ”


The origin of the “Samurai Guitarist”: the Shamisen
After his major debut and as the amount of performances he had in Asia and Europe increased, he started thinking, “What can I do to make myself a noteworthy Japanese person who plays the Western musical instrument: the guitar?’  The answer he came upon was the “shamisen”. Unlike the usual style of playing the electric guitar with a pick, he plucks the guitar strings intensely with his fingers as if it were a shamisen instead. Add drumming his guitar’s body for percussion and he has a sound like that of an instrumental ensemble. This idea then bore fruit in the form of the now internationally-recognised and original “Slap-style”.
Another thing that he came to realise while overseas was the English language barrier. “People generally chat and speak with each other, whether it’s in everyday or entertainment settings. Not being able to do so in English was honestly agonising”. When he was 25 years old, he took a 3-months break from his activities and went to an English school in Los Angeles where he also mingled with other foreigners. There, he once sat at his desk, crying after wondering “Why am I studying grade-school English when I could be making music?” When he had free time, he’d repeatedly practice by putting up impromptu shows on the streets. Then, by fate, when he was performing in Las Vegas, a famous dancer introduced him as “the Samurai Guitarist!”. This nickname has since spread around the world and is now synonymous with MIYAVI.
Hisashi Shimazu (38), MIYAVI’s supervisor at his music label then, commented that MIYAVI’s tenacity in training himself was similar to that of athletes. Every day, he would without fail, go to the studio, seriously focus on the guitar and practice. He also cohabitated with native English speakers back then and used English in his daily conversations. Although he had a complex about not having been born into fortunate circumstances, it just made him even more fascinating.


Picture with refugee children: Playing guitar while visiting a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh in February this year.


A chance meeting with Angie: Opening of New Doors
In 2013, while he was having steady musical activities inside and outside the country, an unexpected turning point arrived. Yoko Narahashi, the producer who first introduced Ken Watanabe and others to Hollywood, offered him an appearance in a certain movie. It was the movie “Unbroken”, directed by Angelina Jolie and is about the life of a former Olympian who became a prisoner during the 2nd World War. He was offered the role of a main character: a Japanese soldier who relentlessly abused American soldiers. Jolie wanted a “charismatic and cool person” for the role and Narahashi offered the role to MIYAVI as she felt that he fit that description. He initially wanted to turn down the offer because he felt that he couldn’t play such a sensitive role especially since he had never acted before. However, on a later date, Jolie persuaded him saying that, “This isn’t a story disputing about who won in the war between Japan and the U.S. It’s a story about how one is able to forgive another, no matter how much they were tormented by them. This is a story about human strength." Narahashi praised MIYAVI saying that, “Whatever he is told, it immediately resonates within him. The way his heart and emotions are linked with his body, he certainly is a musical instrument himself.”
However, the production received a different kind of attention in Japan. The movie’s screening in Japan was postponed for some time as there were concerns such as the movie being anti-Japanese since it emphasised on the abuse inflicted by the Japanese army on prisoners of war. MIYAVI’s family roots, the fact that his father was a Korean citizen before gaining Japanese citizenship, also became a topic on the internet. Despite this, he was not discouraged. “Just because their opinions do not match, they immediately criticize it and label it as “anti-Japanese”. I wonder if they understand how much of a drawback that is for Japan. Easily building walls and closing doors. I believe that there are many other things that we can do for this country’s sake.”
In 2014, after he finished shooting for the movie, he migrated to Los Angeles with his wife and two young daughters. From then, the breadth of his activities widened. He made his model debut in Paris Fashion Week and also confirmed his appearance in the live action film for “BLEACH”. MIYAVI believes that hopes are born the moment when a person gets excited from something that makes them go “Wow!”. This is why he is continuously challenging the various potentials in him.
In November last year, he was appointed as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador. He had felt some hesitation, thinking that “Being a Goodwill Ambassador isn’t Rock”. Nonetheless, when he went to a refugee camp in Lebanon at Jolie’s invitation in 2015, he made up his mind after hearing the boy who was following him around right until he left say “When I grow up, I want to be a rock star”.
MIYAVI himself was struggling, having to fly in and out of Tokyo and America. Though he believes that it is exactly because of our struggles that people of different races and backgrounds can accept each other and live together. The lyrics of his song “The Others” greatly reflects this sentiment of his.
Who named the countries?/ Who built the walls?/ We fight for money/ While they print it all/ Instead of rifles/ We play guitar/ Sing for survival/ That’s just who we are/ (interlude) We are the others

Self-rating sheet
Which abilities are MIYAVI confident in? We asked him to rate himself on 8 different abilities and for “Originality and Flair”, he rated himself a “6” even though the highest point available was “5”. We felt his confidence when he simply marked it a “5” on the sheet instead, saying “Well, since this is all the sheet has”.


Another ability that he rated a “5” on is the “Ability to take action”. Universal Music president, Fujikura also rated MIYAVI’s ability to take action as high saying that “He was able to build up his world by going overseas with nothing on him, even while getting hurt on the way. He also carried out negotiations and preparations on his own, including those for his shows overseas”.  Although we know that his English is fluent, he rates his “Language learning ability” a “4”. He was humble, saying that he was only good at using it for communication.  On the other hand, he rated “2” for “Persistency and Patience”. He says that this is because when it comes to doing anything, he is the type who wants to make things happen as soon as possible. He also rated his “Cooperativeness” a “2” because “While I like people, I’m not good at being in a group”.

Memo
Family-He first met his Hawaiian-born wife melody. on the NHK music program for international viewers, “J-MELO”. After his appearance on the show, he asked melody., then the MC for the show, on a date, saying that he’d like her to teach him English. They currently live together with their 8 year old and 7 year old daughters in Los Angeles. One of his reasons for emigrating was because, “I want my children to understand the influence of English’s conversational strength and its widespread use around the world”. Now, even if he gets tired from being in an unfamiliar environment and the thought of returning to Japan crosses his mind, he is able to persist because he has people that he has to protect now.

Tattoos- The tattoos he has on his fingers, chest, arms and elsewhere on his body serve as mementos for him. The tattoo 不退転 (determination) on his chest reminds him that, If I stop, the world will still keep spinning. So, I just have to keep moving forward”. On his back is the Chinese character for his father’s Korean surname, (Lee). Ever since he became a parent, he started appreciating how he would not be around today if his ancestors hadnt existed. He now wishes to take over the things that they had built and live while continuing on their work.



Translated by Nicki A. (@uchiakebanashi @onakabel)



Sunday, 8 April 2018

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION] MIYAVI × HIGHFLYERS Vol.4 INTERVIEW 2018





Original (Japanese) source & credits :  highflyers.nu
Text: Kaya Takatsuna / Photo: Atsuko Tanaka / Photo Retouch: Koto Nagai 
English Translation by Nicki A. (@uchiakebanashi)

One cannot realize dreams that have not been dreamt of. Those who have passion and
determination, are generous and know the joy of sharing with others are those who will achieve
success.
For our final interview with MIYAVI, we are pleased to have him share his view regarding his
extensive activities around the world, his learning method for studying a foreign language, the
difference between Japan and the rest of the world, and also on the things that he finds necessary
today. MIYAVI, as a UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) ambassador, was able to experience being in close contact with children living in refugee camps. These experiences and the fact that he is a father of two daughters has made it clearer to him on how important it is to teach foreign languages and ethics as a means to create a future without conflict. We also got to hear
about his opportunity to reflect on various things, his successes, the people he believes to be the
most successful, and also on the dreams that he wishes to realize from now on.

Education is the most important thing to have next to life essentials. Japan needs more education
on foreign languages and ethics. Wishing for Japanese to go outside and taste the different flavors
and cultures of other countries.


What would you say is the most important thing for you as a guitarist?
Being one with the guitar. That’s where all my performances begin from.

Do you feel that the amount attachment between you and your guitar changes subtly by
the day?
The attachment that I feel is usually about the same though there was a time when I did feel like we weren’t one (laughs). I can’t remember though. Speaking of “becoming one with the guitar”, it was probably around the time when I first met BOBO, changed labels to EMI and released “WHAT’S MY NAME” (released in 2010), that I truly became so. Of course, as I’ve still got some ways to go with the guitar and also with my language studies, I’m always practicing every day.

Your English is very proficient that you sound like a native speaker and this is despite having started your activities overseas only after becoming an adult. How long did you practice your English for?
I really studied a lot (laughs). I went to America for 3 months when I was 25 and while I was there, I made sure to not hang out with Japanese people at all. Other than that, I made friends who are native speakers. In the end, be it with the guitar, soccer and also language studies, it all comes down to how much passion I am willing to put into it.
 
You are currently active in both Japan and overseas. What would you say is the biggest
difference between Japan and the rest of the world?
Even though you say “overseas”, it includes a lot of different countries. Mainly, the saying that “Japan is the best!” is not something that can be said when one has only ever been in Japan. I believe that one can only truly say for the first time, “Japan is nice” once they have really set out into the world and experienced the different flavors and cultures of other countries. We Japanese are living the peaceful life in a safe and rich country where everything is basically in order with trivial kinds of things becoming news (laughs). Therefore, we shouldn’t only be critical, we should also be thankful towards those who built this country, particularly our ancestors and also those who are working hard on the front lines.

What do you think of Japanese people nowadays?
I believe that we should raise the quality of our basic education. After being introduced by Angie(Angelina Jolie), I am now working with the people of UNHCR, an organization known as the High Commissioner for Refugees under the United Nations. Presently, for the people in refugee camps living in life or death conditions, the most important things for them are essentials such as food, water, medical care and sanitary conditions. Despite their circumstances, they still see education as the next most important thing after these life essentials. In Lebanon and Thailand,
the children in refugee camps are provided with education on philosophy and morals. This not only serves as an investment for their future but can also help as a deterrent for future conflicts.
Although it’s the same in Japan, Japan isn’t exactly ingrained with religious beliefs. Putting aside knowing what is right or wrong, I don’t believe that young people today have enough education on what is appropriate in forming their foundation as a person. Other than that, I also think there’s not enough education in foreign language studies. I definitely think that it’ll be better to increase education on both foreign languages and ethics.

Have you ever had thoughts like “If only the world was more like this”?
I’d, without a doubt, like the world to be a place without conflict. I’d like for it to definitely not be right to go to war for the sake of money and for that money to not hold the biggest value in a person’s life. I believe that this is all connected to education. It might probably be because there aren’t much opportunities to teach the values of what makes for a “decent life”. This is our
obligation as adults and for that reason, I feel that we should raise the salaries of educators. It’s not about paying them for the amount of effort they’ve put in in the difficult job of forming a person’s character. It’s a matter on a whole other level in the sense that these children will be the ones to build their countries’ future. For me, education is the most important form of creation. It is after all, what we would be teaching our totally pure children. If we teach them that it’s okay to kill another person, it’s only normal that things will become that way. It’s important that we teach them firsthand the definition of living a happy life even without having anything. If we don’t do so, we will never become happy no matter how much time have passed.

 You have two daughters. What is the most important thing when it comes to raising them?
That’d be communication. We really talk a lot. Children are always watching us and they feel
more than what their parents believe they do. It’s just that their vocabulary is still limited when it comes to expressing their feelings. That’s where we have to try to see from their perspective and listen to what they’re saying. It’s also important to properly explain everything to them. If we neglect that part, some issues will definitely arise somewhere.

You’re a great dad, aren’t you?
The time that I can spend with them is actually quite limited so I really treasure my time with
them. There are a lot of ways to raise children and I find fathers who come back home at regular hours and take baths with their children every day really amazing. Despite that, I’m really happy that I’m able to show my children the things that I do for work. They come to my live shows and I get to have them listen to my work. I’m really happy that I get to show them that their father makes a living by doing these things for the family’s sake and that their father is working
towards making the world a better place.


Well then, what do you believe is important in making one’s dream a reality?
Having dreams. If you don’t have dreams, you won’t be able to turn them into reality. You’d
have to have an intense desire to make them a reality and carry them out.

Then, what would you call a chance? And what should one do in order to not miss that

chance?
Chances are just chances. Although this is corny to say, in order to not miss a chance, one should habitually be prepared for it.

What is the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful person?
Whether or not one can in the end, stay generous. It’s something that I’m also trying to learn. I believe that the results of being able to share your happiness with others and combining this with passion and determination, will surely take shape in various manners. And while short-term
successes are probably something that everyone can acquire right away, for me, the true meaning of success is, more than anything, being able to stay generous, even in spirit.


In your opinion, who is the most successful person to you?
That’d be Grandpa and Grandma. They’ve already passed away but even though they were not well-off, they were very loving towards each other and laughed a lot until the end. I think it’s an ideal way of life and is the best. No matter how rich they became or famous they became, even while suffering and having people around them taking their own lives, they continued living their lives while leaving the rest to God’s will. It’s just ideal.

What is “success” to you?
Being able to ignite every passing second and well, being able to die with a smile on my face.

Lastly, please tell us if you have any dreams that you haven’t fulfilled yet. Also, when do

you think that you would be able to fulfill them?
Unfulfilled dreams… That’d be to have a world that is truly free of conflicts. But well, where
there is night, there is day; there are men and there are women; and where there is light, there is darkness. Sometimes when I ponder on it from that point of view, there are honestly some parts of me that are unsure on whether or not the day will come when conflicts will truly disappear. Even so, I wish that when I’m playing my guitar, I would be able to stop the fighting among the people around the world, even it’s only for a second, and also to be able to create a moment where they would be able to feel peace. In that sense, at least when I’m playing the guitar, the people in front of me are not in conflict with each other. I hope to deliver that to the people of the world and I’ll try to make it a reality until the day I die.

You’ll definitely be able to fulfill them.
I’ll work hard.




Translation by Nicki A. (@uchiakebanashi @onakabel)