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Gackt Random

Gackt started his musical career as the drummer for Cains:Feel.

He started singing when Cains:Feel’s guitarist YOU (Now Gackt’s guitarist) encouraged him to take singing lessons.

 In 1995 Gackt was invited to be the vocalist/pianist for the Visual Kei band Malice Mizer. With Gackt, Malice Mizer’s popularity increased and they managed to secure a major record label contract. Gackt mentioned in his autiobiography that he wanted to participate in making music for the band, rather than just singing and writing lyrics. Gackt left Malice Mizer in 1998 Shortly after releasing “Le Ciel”, and disappeared for about 8 months.

 In 1999 Gackt started his solo career “GacktJOB

 

 

This is a link to the English translation
jihaku.jpg
Link to the English translation

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This English translation is from the site  http://www.gackt-camui.net/en_Jihaku.htm .
 
 
Youshouki no Rinshi Taiken to Kakuri Byoutou Seikatsu
~ My Near-Death Experiences as a Child and Life in the Hospital Isolation Ward ~
I am in a cradle. It sways gently back and forth. My field of vision, dim. Peeping out at my mother's face. Above her head, a mobile spins fitfully, playing a music box tune.
In the next instant, one year old, two years old, three years old・he memories of those times reappear before me very vividly. Me crawling. Walking on unsteady legs. Trying so hard to say words that I remembered. I couldn't talk very well.
"Ma・a・
Her words to me also come back to me like this.
"Tomorrow you have a piano lesson."
"Practice!"
Bright, sunny days. Sweat sliding along the piano keyboard・br> Along the axis of time, these events are truly just several seconds long. Between them, a few very long [lit: enormous] memories run around my head with ferocious speed. Every moment of these memories that I lived till then become vivid images and begin to spin like a revolving lantern.
Am I going to die・?
Up until now, I have thought this 15 times.

The first time this revolving lantern happened was when I was seven years old.
Drowning in the Okinawa sea, being swallowed by the waves, painfully, struggling and struggling, my feet unable to touch the bottom, seeing things above my head being pulled along forcefully by the waves. Pulled along by the water. Though I tried to breathe, all that entered my mouth was saltwater.
As I could do nothing but drink the saltwater, all sound suddenly disappeared. A gentle sensation, a warm sensation, and there was a feeling as if I was being completely embraced by something. It doesn't matter what you call it. I was enveloped in a relief that I had not felt until that moment.
It was just after that moment. The revolving lantern began to move. All the memories I had since my birth till then began to one by one flash through my mind.
It was the first time this happened. I felt no fear. I thought that surely I was going to die.
But I didn't die.
Thereafter, whenever I come close to death, the revolving lantern spins. In situations where I may die, such as traffic accident, a fight, it appears suddenly.
It has happened 15 times. That's a little much, perhaps.
I was a mischievous child. I had a tendency to face death.

When I drowned, I was terribly afraid. A part of the reason was, I think, that I was violently afraid of death. But at the same time, I was fascinated by death. I was caught by it. If I didn't try to go close to it, then I wouldn't see it. I wanted to go as close as I could to it because I wanted to examine it. That was the kind of boy that I was.
Because of this, I would intentionally do things that were dangerous. I did things many times that made me wonder if I would die. Of course, I was always scared, but when that moment drew near, I was always calm.
Just a little more. Just a little more and I can maybe see the answer. That was the feeling. At that level, I couldn't die. If I was at that level, I could do it. I wanted to see more and more into the next world. There were times I'd cheer myself up by telling myself that.
For example, I loved bikes and when I was a teenager I would ride often. The city had a lot of curbs, and I think that at that time, I had a strange way of getting up on the curb [lit: attack]. I didn't have any skill, but I felt I could get up to that level. I really loved that feeling.
I was going faster and faster, and when I crossed over one area, there was a second when I saw everything in slow motion. That feeling lasted for a long time and it was as if I saw everything clearly. In that place that I crossed, surely something was there, and I wanted to see it. Because I wanted to savor that, I was reckless.
Until I saw the revolving lantern, I would continue to drive at things with all my might. When I can see the revolving lantern, it is the first time I have a consciousness of death. Then, I am in the place between life and death. Until I felt that, I could not do things to the fullest.
Now, I think, "That was strange." I was a dangerous child.
I sought death and I didn't know the meaning of life. What does it mean to live? Where can I find the value of my life and existence?
Truthfully, questions like that also had the opportunity to be born from my personal experiences when I was seven years old.

After I drowned, I became able to see many things. That day, all boundaries were broken. After my eyes were opened, until now, I became able to see completely things that before I could not see. I couldn't distinguish between people who were living and people who were not.
When I talked to the people who were not living, it must have been bizarre watching me from the outside. My parents were of course surprised.
"Who are you talking to?"
"Uncle."
"Where is Uncle?"
As they said that, they would laugh.
Perhaps they laughed and ignored it. But didn't they ignore it because their hearts were afraid to face me?
This began happening with more and more frequency, and I became thought of as very mentally strange. People talked about me, and I became uncertain of the meaning of my existence. Because I could see both live people and dead people, I didn't understand what life itself meant.
This continued, and when I was ten years old, I suddenly collapsed. I had a violent pain in my stomach and intestines, and I couldn't move.
After I was taken to the hospital, I was told that the cause was unknown. They told me that while that was the case, I probably had some sort of infectious disease.
So I was suddenly isolated. Isolated, in confinement, thrown into a hospital ward that was more a prison. I think that they put me in the pediatric ward because I was so young. Children who were heavily ill, had infectious diseases, or had terminal illnesses were in that ward. Being ten years old, that's what I thought. All of them were in a cage, and were likely to go down the corridor at any time.
Down the corridor, in another sick ward, were children who were probably going to die. I often knew when that would happen.
Talking with those children, I would then feel, "That child is going to die tomorrow."
The next morning, I would hear the nurses' feet go pattering down the hallway. Then I knew that one of my friends had died.
Those were hard days. I couldn't stand it. Just when I made a friend, they would be dead the next day. And that was something only I knew. It was hell.
Being in a place like that, I grew very strange. But because I was not mentally strong, I did not receive a quick release.
Why didn't they release me? Because I wasn't normal? What is the difference between being normal and not normal?
I thought incredibly hard about that. I couldn't escape. I had to do something to get out of there. So I continued to think.
I began to watch my senior doctor. When I imitated him exactly, I was observed to be "normal." This went on for about ten days or so. Suddenly, they told me, "You can go home."
I didn't change at all. But though nothing inside of me changed・br> To the adults who said "I told you so," I had only a feeling of deep distrust.
But I didn't want to ever go back to that hospital.
So, from then on, I continued to copy the people who my parents and other adults of that generation said were correct.
All the while, I held on to the thought of "What on earth am I?"
 
2. Sparta Ongaku Kyouiku
~ A Spartan Music Education ~

Ever since I can remember, there was an environment around me that made it only natural that I play the piano.
I started when I was three years old. My father played the trumpet, and both of my parents had the common thought to make me learn the piano.
My house was a classical home. There were a lot of orchestral works. Later, somehow, there was chanson and tango. It's a funny story, but・br> Because I couldn't watch TV, I knew absolutely nothing about rock itself.
My father also really liked Enka. However, he never listened to it in the house, but always while he was driving. His car always smelled very strongly of perfume, and to me, who got very carsick, it seemed like torture. It was definitely like being drunk. Enka was what was on during that time I felt drunk and terrible. I wanted to hurry up and get out of the car. I put my hands over my ears and just pray that I could get out. Just because of Enka, I became conditioned to do that. I really hated Enka.
Now when I listen to it, it's a nice melody. But when I was young, I didn't listen to the lyrics, and Japanese music itself was incompatible with me.
In my music textbook appear many nursery rhymes and songs and minor chords. Why is Japanese music so dark and depressing? All the melodies are sad.
Compared to this, classical orchestral pieces are violent and forceful. Bright. Inevitably, I became attracted more to foreign music than Japanese music.
The teacher who started teaching me from when I was three was a good person. I loved the piano. Maybe it was because it was fun seeing this teacher. I liked it so much that I never complained about practicing.
However, when I entered elementary school, piano lessons became unpleasant.
I started having doubts and questions when I was seven years old. Practicing piano became shameful for me.
I felt strongly, "I'm being made to do it." It was agonizing. We moved a few times, and one after another I changed different teachers, and this was one of the causes for me hating piano.
At seven years old was when I drowned in the ocean, right? From that time on, my world became an open gallery.
No matter what teacher I had at that time, they would beat me. I was slapped on the arm and the shoulder. "Do you feel like doing it?" they would say in a cold voice. In my heart, resistance would flare up. I wanted to quit piano, However, my parents wouldn't let me. I wondered how I could quit.
The only thing I could do was make my teacher hate me. I twisted a chain around his front door and tied it to the key so that you couldn't get in from the outside. He called me a stupid kid [lit: mischievous] and threw a rock at me. I made him very angry, but all I wanted to make him say was, "This child is irresponsible. Make him quit." I also wanted to make my parents think, "His teacher isn't home."
My wish came true, and I was just able to quit piano when I was 11 years old.
 
3. Piano ni Mezameta Chuugakusei Jidai
~ Awakening to Piano as a Middle-school Student ~

After I was able to quit piano, I didn't even sit in front of the piano anymore. I was just a naughty child every day.
When I was 14 years old, I became friends with a particular boy. All of the boys I played together with came from many different family backgrounds, and there were many of them who you could say were not very good.
Their families were shady [lit: wild], and they always thought about running away, leaving for the outside world. There wasn't really anyone else besides boys who felt that way.
But he was the only different one. His thinking was different in every way. Though he was mischievous, he didn't think about running away. There were some really awful arguments. Before I knew it, I found myself liking him and spending more time with him.
One day when we were skipping school, he said to me, "My parents aren't home right now, so why don't we go to my house?" Before that, I hadn't even been to his house once.
Because he would say all the time "My parents are really strict," I didn't even know what neighborhood his house was in.
The first time we went to his house, I found that it was a mansion. The gate was imposing, and it was the first time I had ever been exposed to such an affluent family. I realized that there. So, I didn't want to show anyone my house. Going with a companion there was obviously very different.
We went into the house from the garden, and in the room right in front of us was a grand piano. This grand piano was far grander than the one we had in the music room at school.
"Whose is this?" I said without thinking.
And he said nonchalantly, "It's mine."
"Liar!"
"Nope, that's the truth."
As he said that, he quietly opened the lid of the piano and suddenly began playing.
I couldn't believe it. My companion who I'd played pranks with together was playing the piano! And not only that, but he was really good.
"My parents are music teachers, so since I was little, they made me learn piano," he said. And then I decided to be frank with him.
"To tell you the truth, I play the piano too."
So then, I tried to demonstrate my playing.
However, my level of playing was nothing exceptional. Though I knew his upbringing and mine had been similar, his skill certainly far surpassed mine. My playing level wasn't even worth mentioning.
I quit piano at age 11 and then had three years of nothing, so what is the difference there?
Wanting to show off the differences between us, I just got hurt.
I felt a rising determination of not wanting to lose to him.
I hate losing.
I ran to the town's music store and looked for all kinds of piano pieces. Sheet music for the piano. They were divided by grade and rank.
The piece my friend played for me was a very high and difficult grade, somewhere around D or E. In order to pass him, I would have to play level A or B. Even practicing C was out of the question. Buying all of the piano pieces that had a difficulty level above E, I went home and from that day forward, I started practicing piano like a madman.
I didn't want to lose. That was all. It wasn't because I started liking piano. I didn't even go to school; I just practiced. I practiced so much that I didn't even sleep.
I immersed myself so much in my piano playing that my parents thought that this sudden inspiration was incredibly weird, and where they had in the past told me to go practice, now they were yelling at me, "Stop already!"
 
4. Drum Zanmai no Koukousei Jidai
~ High School Days Completely Absorbed in Drumming ~

I don't want to lose! That was the only thing making me continue to play piano. If there was a piano where I was, I'd practice, no matter if it was night, noon, or morning.
I didn't continue this because I started liking piano. But though I really hated it, I came to realize the joy that was there in playing. At that time, it was like I began to realize that playing a musical instrument could be fun.
Because my father played the trumpet, I was familiar with brass instruments. Basically, the fingering (how to move your fingers) is mostly done the same for all of them. If I played trumpet, then I could play other brass instruments as well. Because my fingers had been disciplined on piano, it was easy to move them. With this, I became able to play all brass instruments.
At that time, my senpai at the high school came to my junior high. In our music room someone had put together a drumset, and he suddenly sat down and started playing it without warning.
It was cool. The drums were really cool.
That senpai was a troublemaker, and from the beginning he had always been cool. But to me, he was the first person I knew who played an instrument and was still cool.
At that time, it was a shock. Drums are played with a lot of force and pounding. Was there really an instrument that was so violent?!
I was really attracted by that, and I began to think that I would like to try and learn the drums too.
Because I had a good relationship with my senpai's senpai, I decided to ask him.
"What year did he start so that he could get this good?" I asked.
He said, "He's only been playing for a year. There are two guys at his high school who are better than him."
I was astonished that it could only take a year to become so good.
I got someone who went to the same high school as my senpai to teach me drums, and was much better than my senpai and on a completely different level. Those were days when I was completely absorbed in drumming. I did nothing but drum.
The drums are an indispensable instrument to any band. Drums, guitar, bass・t was the first time that I was touched by these instruments that made up a band.
However, I didn't have any idea about what a band was. I was just in love with the drums.
And also, at that time, I didn't think the idea of a band was all that interesting.
Because the senpai that taught me the drums was a junior in high school, he graduated a year after I entered high school. After that, I played by myself. With my teacher gone, my motivation began dropping.
I began to seek motivation in other things. In doing that, I first became aware of something called a "studio."
There was a worn-out drum set there. There, when I was being taught, I met some guys who played guitar. They began performing in the studio next-door.
"Ah, so is this what a band is?"
The music that I heard coming from next door was really horrific and terrible.
Though I thought it was horrible, I had been playing in a gifted and talented music program since I was a young child. However, the guys who were in the band next door were mostly guys who had started learning instruments when they were in junior high or high school. They didn't have anyone to teach them, so they were self-taught. Honestly, they sucked. They really did.
"What the heck are they doing? Is a band really such a shitty group of people?"
At 16 or 17, I viewed people who were in bands as really stupid.

1. Jibun no Ibasho wa Bando ni
~ My Place is in the Band ~

The first time had anything to do with a band was around the end of when I was 17.
Even so, many of my friends were in bands, and they knew that I played the drums, so they would ask me, "Won't you come be our backup?" However, I always declined.
They were all at a lower level than me, so I didn't want to play for them. That was my real motive. Because of this, I thought bands were stupid.
However, there were also friends I said "Fine" to, and without cutting them off, I started to drum for them.
When I went to rehearsals, the performers were as bad as I had thought they would be.
"What the hell is this?"
Until then, I had only performed on stage as a member of an orchestra. But there were vast differences in technique between an orchestra and a band.
"Is it all right to perform like this?"
I would go into the actual performances with these feelings. That was the time of the "band boom," and big amateur band events happened frequently.
The audience in these events numbered in the hundreds. Compared to orchestra audiences, who were more than a thousand people, it was tiny. To me, even as my first time as a performer at a live, I was not nervous at all.
However, the excitement of the audience at these lives was completely different.
If we simply just stood on the stage, there would be shouts of joy. The eyes of everyone who was watching would sparkle with anticipation.
The performance would begin. The crowd gets excited and rushes towards the stage. There are even some people who get up on the stage. The excitement and power coming from the guest seats advances up onto the stage.
Vocals and guitar and bass and drums. Just these 4 people, not losing power, have to push them back with this power of music. If they are pushed back, they will advance once again. There is a power and powerful collision like this and a huge undulation of the crowds, and it unfolds upon the stage.
"Awesome! What's this! Just what kind of band, with just 4 people, can make people feel like this?
"The performances are really bad. They're definitely not at a high level. So in spite of this, why is the audience excited?"
I was overwhelmed. This thing called a band was really cool.
It was totally different from classical music, and it was a whole new world.
During the performances, I began to search.
What was this power? Why did I feel so excited all over?
I began to see the answer little by little.
The orchestras that I had played in until then had many people playing the same instrument. There was a first violin and a second violin・nd there were times when they didn't play the same part together. From the number of people needed to play one part, they added people, and there were a lot of times when you couldn't play because your part wasn't needed.
However, a band wasn't like that. There are only 4 people. Also, all the instruments are different. If one person plays wrong, it's all over. You can't make mistakes.
It means this: in a band, every person has a heavy responsibility. That responsibility exists equally among everyone.
If I thought it through and investigated this thoroughly, it made me very happy.
If I hadn't, I wouldn't have played. If I hadn't, I would have stopped.
From when I was very young, I had been searching for a place where I could belong. I wanted this place to not be a copy of anyone else's place.
In this group called a band was the first time that I found the answer.
 
2. Genkai o Shitta Baiku Jikou
~ A Motorcycle Accident That Showed Me My Limits ~

My father was a fickle person. The first time he taught me to drive was when I was 12. It wasn't an automatic transmission; it was manual. He said that it wouldn't be proper if I didn't know how to drive, so he taught me from the passenger seat.
The first time I rode a motorcycle, I had already gained all the knowledge of how to do so, and where the clutch and the accelerator were, so I was able to ride. At first, I rode really slowly. I think I was about 17.
The bike I learned to ride on was a Yamaha RZ250. Though it was a 250, it was a big bike and wasn't an unfavorable comparison to the 400. Because there were 2 pistons, it had great acceleration. It was really fast. If I had learned on another bike, I don't think I would have liked it as much. The way I rode was really dangerous. I think it's very strange that I never died. Going 70-80 kph, while passing the car in front of me on the left, I would suddenly get caught on a sudden curve between a telephone pole and the car. However, I rarely ever had an accident.
Then one day, I quit riding my motorcycle.
On that day, because it had rained the day before, there was a lot of sand on the road. However, I was riding along dangerously as usual, and on a particularly hard corner, my tires suddenly slipped. My bike and I both went sliding.
It was the curb on the right side. I could see a concrete wall just in front of me. As the wall approached, I knew.
I'm going to die!
In an instant, I let go of the bike, and it kept going straight ahead towards the wall. The front and back wheels got caught in the ditch in front of the wall, and the bike flew up in the air and started coming back towards me. I could see the bike coming over my head. Immediately after that, the bike slammed down into the road, seriously damaged. There was nothing left of the frame or anything else.
My right arm was injured. The asphalt really tore it up, and though I scraped it off with a knife, I still have the scars.
I stopped riding motorcycles. It was because I realized my limits.
So then after that, I turned to cars. I've had a total of 10 cars.
My first car was a Toyota Toreno. Called an "86," it was a famous car with the car clubs. It was the car of the guy from the "Initial D" manga.
Though I was driving a car now, I didn't change my dangerous driving ways. They often had to call the ambulance for me. Once, they had to call a fire truck because my car was on fire.
The end of my dangerous driving habits was the same as my bike. I crashed into something, and my car spun around and around. It turned upside down and crashed into the road surface, still spinning, and was half destroyed. I often wonder now how I survived.
I crawled out from under the car, making sure first of all that I was actually still alive. Then viewing my half-destroyed car, I absentmindedly started smoking.
Then I called my ex-girlfriend. Because I'd really been in love with this girl, I'd gone driving carelessly. Though we still both had feelings for each other, we had to break up.
She started crying and screaming on the phone.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
When I heard her voice, I realized for the first time. What the hell was I doing, making her cry? I was ashamed.
After that, I stopped driving recklessly. That was the last time I ever drove dangerously.
Because I wanted to see through to the other side of death, I was unbelievably reckless. However, in the end, I wasn't able to see anything.
Many of my friends have died. They wanted to live and they died, but I, who wanted to see what it was like to die, am still alive. I just couldn't bear to see that.

3. Kankoku Josei to no Kekkon to Rikon no Kunou
~ The Anguish of my Marriage and Divorce to a Korean Woman ~

When I was a teenager, I was very spoiled.
I had an absurd number of bicycles and cars. I didn't know the meaning of what I had. I didn't care about life or death. Those feelings of carelessness were swirling inside of my heart.
The thing that changed my life was a certain meeting with someone. I was nineteen. For me, it was a shocking meeting.
He was a customer in the casino ・a bachelor in his thirties. Being a businessman, he had money. He also had a high social position and prestige, and besides that, he also had a beautiful woman with him. He was a perfect person.
At that time, I was working in the casino while also being an assistant for a band. The biggest reason I was backup drummer for the band was because of the charisma of the vocalist. He had a great flair for life in him, and it was his intention to go pro.
However, when this vocalist left to join another band, working as a backup had no more meaning for me.
So approximately a year afterwards, I left the band. Around that time also, I would go in and out of different livehouses, but I never saw my former vocalist.
At that time, I wanted to become more serious about music. However, I had problems [lit; temperature difference] with the people in the bands around there.
Around me, there were a lot of guys who didn't know much and who would say that if things went well, then it would be great to go pro. If they played in a band, then they would be popular with women. Almost all of them were like that. Music was a hobby to them. Their money all came from part-time jobs, such as working at a gas station or at a bar.
Because I was a host and a dealer at a casino, my way of lifestyle was clearly different from theirs. Because of this, I was never close friends with them.
There were times when I would wonder if I really wanted the nightclub entertainment lifestyle. The time when I met this man was exactly one of those times.
Even now, the first words that he ever said to me remain in my memory. "Which one is better, living and thinking that your life is wonderful, or living and thinking that whatever you do doesn't matter? For me, I'm going to live thinking that my life is wonderful."
He said this with a gentle smile.
As he said, "Which one is better?" I thought for a second.
I want to live thinking that my life is wonderful!
It was probably the first time I had thought that since I was born. Because before that, I had been hating life [lit: living in negation]
From that time on, I began to do things with him. I was with him as much as possible. I would go to his house and I would have conversations about various things with him. If I had time, I would be going to see him.
It was the first time I remember that I had an interest in a person besides myself. I wanted to become a person like him.
He would always say "Which one is better, this or that?" and he had a way of talking that was easy to understand.
However, the more we talked, I began to realize that his way of thinking and way of doing things was really different from mine. More than anything else, we were of different caliber.
I hate to lose, so until now if I met a person who was better than me in anything, even a little bit, I would learn that skill until I was better [lit: continue to chase after and cross over]. However, he wasn't at that level. I strongly felt that we weren't standing in the same arena.
Though it's been ten years since then, he hasn't grown nearer. I still don't think we are standing in the same arena.
At that time and place ・when I met him ・I was born.
I really believe that.
The time when I was nineteen was when I was born. So, as of now, I am still a child. And therefore, my mental age is probably young.
I particularly had no opportunity to become a casino dealer. After I quit the nightclub scene, though somehow there were a lot of other jobs I started, the last one was the position of top dealer at a casino.
In this place, I met someone else. It was a woman who was also working as a dealer there.
Prior to this book, there was an article about her in some sports newspaper. The headline read: "Gackt Marries Blond Woman 8 Years His Senior!"
This was even though in those days, I never had any relationship with a blond woman.
When I was going to record in Los Angeles, I had a conversation with a reporter at Narita Airport. Though I thought I told him not to ask me anything strange, I didn't think it would be anything like that. Immediately following that interview, things like that headline appeared. I read about it in a newspaper in Los Angeles, and I just laughed.
The woman that I have been separated from back then is not a Caucasian woman. Her nationality was Korean. However, I really don't care about things like nationality.
I think that in matters like this, nationality itself is a stupid thing. I wasn't concerned about it.
When you love each other and are together, you will say "I like you" [lit: suki] to the most trivial things. The shape of "like" will change. However, the underlying prerequisite is always love. I think that is the best way.
We got married because she told me "I want to legally become part of your family." [lit: seki o ireru ・to be entered in the family register]. I said, "All right, but I'm not going to change anything."
"I'm not worried about the marriage registration, but it doesn't mean anything."
I think that on paper, her nationality was a problem. But she seemed like she wanted proof of our marriage.
However, I think that in the end, this became a huge burden for the two of us. Because we were married, we decided that we had to do this [marriage registration], but conversely, it most likely it strained relations between the two of us.
Crazy fans would do things like wait outside our house, and that became a cause of stress for her. They also harassed us a lot. Frequently, they would prank call our house and hang up without answering.
Under these circumstances, she gradually stopped leaving the house. Finally, she had a nervous breakdown.
"I think we should separate," she said finally.
Of course, though the crazy fans weren't the only reason for our separation, I think that she already had a lot of pressure on her from various other things.
We were married only for a very short time.
I will never marry again. If anyone's name is entered into the family register with me, that will be the time when I die.
If, just before I die, there is someone who wants to be with me until the end and she wants to be legally married with me, and there is proof of us having lived together, I will probably legally marry her.
I also don't want children. I don't think that children make a marriage last longer. There are couples who don't separate because they have good children, but that is very rare [lit: completely strange story].
I was watching a program on television once, where people were saying "No matter what happens, children should always have two parents, not just one." But I think that's a problem.
Children can grow up having just one parent, and children without parents can also grow up.
If the parents think, "We must stay together because we have children," children are always very conscious of what adults think and will feel that way too. And nothing will ever make them change their minds.
When parents love each other, it will mean something to the child. If this is not the case, the child won't know the meaning of having parents.
Of course, if I say that through this I have not even once wanted a child, that would be a lie. I have imagined what my child would have been like if she and I had agreed to have a child. But I will never have children. I feel pity for any child who would have my genes. This is because of the trauma I suffered from my childhood experiences. It was very hard for me. Living through what everyone imagined was an abnormal development became extremely painful.
If there is ever anyone who has my genes, they will have my abilities. I remember what happened when I was young. My parents gave me strange looks when I said I saw spirits, and I was suspected by adults of having a mental illness.
I don't want my child to have those same kinds of memories.
 
4. Hatsu Bando "Cain's Feel"
~ My First Band "Cain's Feel" ~

Cain's Feel is the band I was in during the time when I was in Kyoto. The origin of the name comes from "Cain and Abel," the son of Adam and Eve from Genesis in the Old Testament.
Where do people come from, and where are they going? I had a concept of what the human existence was like. Discerning the meaning of human existence is a hunger for making music, and I think it is why I make music.
Of course, it is an opportunity to meet other people.
In those days, after I quit playing drums, my band activities were blank for a while. I was working multiple jobs at once, and one was as a sound technician at the studio where I went to practice drums. It was once a week and paid hourly, which was fine with me, anyway, because I was touched by music and I didn't want to cut myself off from it. I also got music-related news there.
There was a livehouse in Kyoto that was holding a fairly large event. I was really taken by one of the guitarists. He was extremely cool. He had a tapper and a great stage presence. His figure remained prominently in my memory and I kept thinking about him.
At work back in the studio, I tried to ask one of the guys who came in.
"Do you know about the event that happened at the livehouse?"
"Yeah, I know."
I would see this guy whenever he came into the studio occasionally. At the beginning, he had a really hostile atmosphere around him. We didn't have a pleasant relationship.
He and the guitarist and vocalist in a group with him were famous for being Yankees and having fierce arguments with people, and also were the types of people to get into instant quarrels at livehouses. In the studio, they always had an attitude, and whenever they left, they were a group that.
Talking about that time that has passed, because I was still a child, I never knew when conditions would make me get into a fight. I kept having the feeling "one day I'll definitely have a run in with that guy."
To practice drums, I carried the drumstick case around with me, but also inside the case I hid a crowbar.
If you ask who had the bigger attitude, I'll probably say it was me.
That guy was one of a group. So at that time in the studio, it was me and him and two others. He always kept his cool and wasn't an expressive type of person, but rather the type to keep his feelings inside. Of course, he never talked to me. But if there wasn't any conversation going on, the atmosphere there was very empty, so I started talking to him.
"At that event, the band that was playing then, wasn't the guitarist awesome?"
And he said calmly, "That was me."
My eyes got really big. No way, I couldn't believe it! I never expected the cool guitarist from that time to be this aloof guy sitting right in front of me.
"You're not him, jerk!"
So we got in a fight.
"I'm him."
"No way."
"Yes I am!"
"Prove it!"
"Well, I've got pictures at my house, so you'll have to come over to my house."
When he showed me the pictures at his house, of course they were the pictures from that live. I'd taken pictures too, but the guy I was seeing in front of me didn't look like the one in the pictures. That was because he was wearing makeup. But even more than that, the guy I saw on stage and the one I saw casually everyday were completely different. The casual one was really aloof and quiet. But on stage, he was incredibly awesome. I liked the gap between the two.
That was You. You, the member of my band.
"Is that really you? It was wrong of me to not believe you."
"Well, now you know, so it's ok."
The guitarist that I was looking for was here now. From the bottom of my heart, I was glad.
From that time on, we became friends, and started saying spontaneously, "Shouldn't we form a band?" and began looking for other members.
However, the biggest thing was that we didn't have a vocalist. At the time, we said to each other, "Ah, we haven't got a vocalist," and then half jokingly, I said "I wonder if I can do it."
But then, You, who was commonly a gentle person, burst out, "Don't be ridiculous!" [4]
"It's not ridiculous!" I said back. We argued back and forth. At any rate, it was a confusing mess.
At that time, I really hated my voice. I never sang in front of other people. Neither You nor I knew anything about singing.
"Well, if it's not ridiculous, then in a week, try singing these songs," You said. He was still giving me grief about it.
So I said, "All right. I'll sing!"
A week later, at practice, I sang in front of him for the first time. After he heard me sing, You murmured, "You・why haven't you been singing?"
Even now, he often says that.
However, I had never imagined I would ever be a vocalist. In the band back when I was an assistant, to me, that vocalist was a really cool vocalist. He was not only fierce, but his singing was very beautiful, and he was a vocalist who could touch your heart with his feelings. He was very charming.
Back then in the time of the band boom, most vocalists had a very high range.
Great voices sang in the high register. My voice was low and my range was narrow. I had no idea how to make my voice high like that. Even if my voice was vocalist material, and even if I could sing in a higher range, at any rate, I was of no caliber to be a vocalist.
But, since there was no one else, that was the only thing I could do.
Singing in front of You was an opportunity, and in order to become a vocalist, I started voice training again. Though my voice remained low, through training, I broadened my range a little.
In order to gather band members, we made a demo tape of me singing and played it to all the guys who were said to be good.
"The vocalist is pretty good. Who is it?"
"It's me."
"You can sing?"
"Temporarily."
Even though I knew people when I played the drums, I didn't know anybody as the vocalist.
So because of that, we found members all at once and resumed band activities.
That was "Cain's Feel." It was my first band.

5. Kajino no Shoku o Sute, Ketsui no Jyoukou
~ Quitting my Job at the Casino, A Decision to Move to Tokyo ~

It is often said that the vocalist is the face of the band. Becoming the vocalist, I was able to understand this for the first time. Of course, the reason for that isn't that the vocalist is good looking. As the band's first line of defense, he is the one who sends the band's thoughts out to the listeners. I think this is what it means to be the "face."
Being the vocalist, wanting to be able to send my thoughts out to people's hearts was certain death. I was approaching a delicate time in my life. It was probably around that time when I became really serious towards music.
I could have led a materially rich life in the entertainment industry, but the industry left a mark, and I began to think that there was no productive job for me.
The shape of music remained. Having the things that I did turn into finished form [lit: shapes] was great. I began to feel strongly about it.
There were also words that a certain person said to me which I owe to them for giving me a new life. He said this to me when I was a child and had heard something that hurt me.
"There is surely meaning in this. However, shouldn't you make this into tangible form and leave [a mark] behind?"
Out of everything that I had, the only thing that I could make into tangible form was music. With music, I formed my thoughts this way.
I wanted to know the significance of my existence. If there were things that people who weren't me could do, that was all right. I was always searching for things that only I could not do.
With my music, I wanted to reach a world where I had to express myself.
When this feeling had become firm, being the vocalist, sometimes I talked about if I should go solo.
Perhaps it was a big chance. However, I felt that I promised myself to first see what it was like to be in a band, and I wanted to be able to have the band experience. I felt that I should not yet go solo.
At the same time, through a friend, I was introduced to Mana (the leader of Malice Mizer, which was then on hiatus). The person who I met him through said "The members are pretty interesting characters." I saw their outlook on the world on their CD jacket, and I also thought they were interesting, and I became interested in going to meet them.
I drove from Kyoto to Tokyo and met Mana in Ikebukuro.
The first time I saw Mana, I was drawn to him. The feel of the entertainment industry was in him, and he looked just like I expected him to. His hair was long and tied in the back.
Because in the culture of Tokyo, people didn't have cars, I suddenly found myself, as a sportscar-driving, suit-wearing man, commonly being asked, "What company do you work for?" Mana being an extremely wary sort of person, I thought he would ask me that same question.
But then, he said: "You don't look like a musician." Certainly, I might have looked like a host or a yakuza at that time.
However, Mana being Mana, he was dressed in a female goth style. He had on long pants, and high heel sandals that looked like wooden clogs. His face was covered by a wide hat and sunglasses・br> I was drawn to him. If you put the two of us together, it would be a very unbalanced picture.
We didn't really have much of a conversation. I remember most what I talked about with Mana's friend who came along with him.
After that, we went to Kozi's (guitar) house, but when Kozi and I saw each other, I was drawn to him as well. He had red hair and he was growing a beard. Three of us, three different people. Our conversation didn't go anywhere.
The thing that broke the silence was Kozi's words.
"Is there anywhere in Tokyo where you'd like to go?"
In those days, when I had a problem, I would try to go to the headquarters of the Aum Supreme Truth cult at Aoyama.
Even though it was the middle of the night, there were a great many reporters out.
"What are you guys doing?"
"We don't know."
"Are you staying in Tokyo?"
"We don't know."
Somehow at 2 AM, the three of us wound up standing in front of the Aoyama Aum Cult Headquarters, and we viewed the riot of reporters with a feeling of relief.
After that, we went to Mana's house, and began delicately discussing the band.
"What instruments do you play?"
"Generally, I can play them all."
Then I played the keyboard there and sang.
I also told them my opinion of Malice Mizer's songs. I didn't dislike the gothic-like world that Mana wanted to create.
However, things that exist solely for the purpose of being looked at have to have their gilding stripped away some time. You can't just say "I'm making this in gothic form." If you can't put both substance and Medieval Europe into the center of something, it's no good.
We talked about this for three days. During this, I thought that the members of Malice Mizer were very fun people. Speaking in terms of their musical ability, they weren't very advanced.
However, they were fun. This moved my heart. I decided to join Malice Mizer.
I dropped everything and moved to Tokyo: my jobs as a host and a dealer, and the large income that came with that.
With my girlfriend, though we weren't married, I thought that I wasn't going to break up with her because I was moving to Tokyo.
Of course, we had a conversation about the two of us going to Tokyo together. However, if we went there, we would have no income. For a while, I couldn't get her to agree.
If I couldn't believe that taking her with me would be a good idea, then it was better that we break up. We talked about that.
There was nothing holding me back.
Of course, there were people who said "he's quitting this job because he thinks he's too good for us." Since I'd made up my mind about it, if there was someone who opposed me on this, I would just stop associating with that person.
If there was something I was clinging to, I would certainly have to come back. In order to have a reason to come back to Kyoto, I needed an excuse.
I hated to have an escape route. That absolutely negates success.
I was confident that I would have success. There was no point in placing safeguards to fall back on.
My target at that time was Asia. It wasn't Tokyo. It wasn't Japan.
I was serious. If I could make the world I envisioned into finished form, I could win over misguided Asia! What was in front of my eyes was, of course, the world.
I love European music. However, the field of my own music and the music that I like is different. The words are also different. The race of people is also different. I am Asian. Being Asian and gaining Asia is a gateway to the world. In Malice Mizer, I could do it!
That is the truth. After that, this thinking affected my entire way of behavior. That is the point from where I began to live.

1. Malice Mizer Dattai no Shinsou
~ The Truth About My Departure From Malice Mizer ~
When I talk about Malice Mizer, even now in my heart there are complicated feelings. Since I went solo, a part of me has hoped that one day I would be able to talk with you about Malice Mizer again.
I wanted to become a better person [lit: achieve a higher level] than who I used to be before telling the story of Malice Mizer, so while going solo, I was desperately working to get up to that level.
Malice Mizer is still something that I take pride in, and I wouldn't change a thing. As a band, I was proud of the many and varied things we came to represent, and the members were each extraordinary individuals.
Each of the members was not just one in five of a five part group called Malice Mizer. The strength of the power that was gathered there in five people by one driven individual brought forth the power known as Malice Mizer. Because of that, we each acquired the ability to go solo. From the time I joined back then, I continued to tell the members that. If we could do that, Malice Mizer could conquer Asia! That was that image I had for the band.
I joined in the fall of '95, and Malice Mizer, which was experiencing conditions that had it on the brink of breaking up, began their revival tour. It was almost two years till our major debut. We even realized our dream of playing at the Budoukan.
Malice Mizer was able to do it. We were able to conquer Asia. I thought that there was nothing that could go wrong with my dream. However・here was obviously a point from where our gears started going out of order.
At that time, it was around the end of the "visual kei" boom period. Though there were many bands who did not want to say that they were visual, I said clearly, "We are visual kei." There was no resistance at all to me saying that.
In all honesty, I really didn't care what people said. If I have my own beliefs about things, then if other people want to criticize me, whatever they do is fine with me.
If I think about it now, the cause of Malice Mizer's breakup was my own individualism and self-confidence, and the widening difference between things that the other members were concerned about .
The first time our relations became strange was when the performance at the Yokohama Arena was drawing near (July '98). The final straw was when I wrote the music to "Le Ciel." Until then, I was going to be the lyrics writer and either Mana or Kozi was going to write the music. "Le Ciel" was the first time I became a member that handled both the music and the lyrics. Among the members, I was the only one who kept doing more of these kinds of tasks, and I completely isolated myself.
When I was honest with myself, I was shocked. Within the members of the band, with it being me versus the other four members, we parted ways cordially. There was no mediator, and no one followed up on me.
Though I said, "shouldn't I have done what I did with 'Le Ciel?'" a short time later, I really wanted to go back to the band. But in the end, that didn't happen.
But above everything was the problem of money. Money is a dreadful thing. I learned all about this when I was working as a host [note: from earlier chapters; Gackt worked as a host and dealer in a casino]. Suddenly, if you gain a whole lot of it, you'll pass into the phase of not caring about the value of anything.
For example, there are people who have a lifestyle of 150,000 yen a month. Lunch is 500 yen, dinner is 1000 yen, and occasionally they'll spend 3,000 on some splurge. But then, one night when they wake up, it suddenly doubles by a hundred and they end up making an income of 15,000,000 yen a month・hat happens then?
The value of everything is about 1/100th now. The 500 yen daily meal special feels like 5 yen. If that's the case, then spending 3000 yen every day on dinner is all right, isn't it? That's how people think. However, the 3000 yen that you feel like you're spending at that time is really 300,000 yen.
Whenever you suddenly acquire lots of money, that feeling is always near. From the price on the price tag, you feel like just removing two zeros from it. If a 28,000 yen shirt seems like it's 280 yen, then spending money is normal.
When I was in Kyoto, my sense of finance went a little crazy, and I developed a habit of buying everything. I was in the mindset of "it's ok, it's ok, I've got money." However, as this happens, your circle of friends changes. Your friends up till now pull away completely, and the people left behind are those whose only purpose in life is money.
If you earn money, a feeling of "won't some misfortune happen to me?" will spring up. However, that's not the case. Not being able to let go of the mindset of earning money is what makes you an unhappy person. Money wakes a strange sense, like a gush of hot water, and those who don't have it don't think about it at all.
After I went to Tokyo, I quit being a host and a dealer. Naturally, I quickly ran out of money. "Are?" I said. I was completely broke. At that time, I couldn't believe it. When I saw what was left of my bank deposit, it was such a strange feeling that I thought, "I've got to have been robbed by someone!" I didn't stop thinking about 30,000 yen shirts as 300 yen, but those 300 yen I wasn't even earning・br> As a little time goes by, you return with bitterness and regret to the source of that feeling. And then, you begin to reflect and say "what a stupid idiot I was!"
Money makes people crazy. In truth, I was just driven crazy by my own selfishness.
From everything in this lesson, when Malice Mizer went major, even though we were making lots of money, my heart wasn't shaken. But that wasn't true for everyone.
When you make a lot of money, some people drift away, some people grow closer. When that happens, rumors get whispered around and people change. In the band, when we started making more money, I told the other members about the mistakes I had made in the past. I said, "Money will definitely make you do strange things. So please, wake up!"
But it seemed like they didn't understand my true intentions. If they didn't experience it once personally, then they probably wouldn't know what I am talking about. I believed that one day they'd realize this.
Then one day in 1998, around when the summer heat was beginning to cool [lit: when we were beginning to leave behind the summer heat], they called a members' meeting. Though usually at the meetings, only members attended, that day, when the appointed time came, all of the other members and the president of the office were all there and waiting for me.
"Why is the president at a members' meeting?" I asked. And someone answered, "because Malice Mizer is over."
Huh?
And right after I thought that, they said it.
"We can't work anymore with you."
In that instant, I didn't really feel anything much. So, I said that I would like Malice Mizer to continue even if I did quit. But the band's answer was, at any rate, just that they were unable to do that.
All right, everyone, I will say no more. I won't be obnoxious.
In this case, I couldn't say that. If this was the end, there was also a way to erase that. No matter what would happen at the end, could I shut the curtain in the face of the fans that have helped me along until now? That was the most important thing.
As I was saying these things, someone else started saying nasty things.
"Isn't it good enough that we put out a CD? We're selling copies, at least・
At those words, I got angry.
"Don't joke around! Don't make fun of the fans!"
In my anger, I got up from my seat and left. The sadness that I felt even more than the anger was accounting for most of what I did. I was miserable.
That is the truth about my departure from Malice Mizer.
This is not a story for me to cast blame. It was a problem of suddenly having too much money. Of the band members' differences of conciousness. Of a driving obsession. Malice Mizer = what I once was = an anxiety that made me what I wasn't. There were things that weighed heavily on us, and they became a vicious circle and ended up hurting everyone.
There was no other way, back then・hat is the only thing I can believe.
 
2. Kami o Ushinatte
~ Losing Kami ~

was right before the beginning of summer. In the middle of a photoshoot, I suddenly felt something terrible. I was dizzy and I couldn't stand up. I thought it was something to do with my intuition. If something had happened to a loved one・br> I called all of my friends and relatives. Everyone said nothing was wrong. Nothing was going on. But the weird sad feeling wouldn't go away.
When my friends and family left and I was alone again, a phenomenon occurred. I became really worried that someone had died. But who, I didn't know. It just was very painful. It hurt to breathe and my breathing became very irregular, to the point where I just couldn't do any of my daily activities.
I knew it was some kind of foreboding. After that, I called the members of Malice Mizer that I still talked to. "Is anything wrong with any of the members?" I asked frantically, confronting them, but they all said "I saw them today and they seemed to be fine."
But even then my fears didn't go away. I went to see some other people who were close to the Malice Mizer members. Though it was the middle of the night, I told myself that soon I was going to confirm if anything was going on with any of the members. But in the end, that confirmation didn't happen.
One week afterwards, the official announcement of Kami's death was made.
"June 21, 1999. Kami, the drummer of Malice Mizer, passed away of a subarachnoid hemorrhage."
Though I knew of this later, from the moment immediately following Kami's death, I already had a bad feeling.
In the end, I heard about Kami's death through the grapevine. The funeral was already over when the news got to me.
It was exactly in the middle of recording, and I locked myself away inside the studio. I couldn't keep my mind on anything. But I had to keep busy. I told myself that. If I didn't do anything, everything would become strange・br> Too many regrets remain.
Why didn't I call Kami directly? All during the time when I was worried, why didn't I try to talk directly to Kami?
I still have not completely grown up. In becoming an adult, I've showed my feelings openly and gotten knocked around a little, and so I've wondered if I can ever be close to others people. Children don't think twice about hurting others. Because of this, their relationships are short-lived. But when the tempestuous feelings of adults pass, they look at the situation calmly, comparing things objectively, and then decide on the friendship.
At that time, I couldn't do that. We never found a good interpretation of the circumstances and confronted each other. Basically, I was hesitant to confront him.
Even before that, how many times have I had a bad premonition? And each time, though Kami and I were connected through other people, in the end, I still didn't call Kami directly. Now I wonder if we couldn't call each other because both of us were childishly obstinate and hesitant.
However, if I had called him back then・br> Maybe I still couldn't have done anything. Maybe it's presumptuous of me to think I could have. It doesn't really matter now.
If, back then, we could have talked directly・br>
The first time I went to Kami's parents' house was the following year on his birthday, February 1st. I thought, "I want to see Kami again. I want to go to his grave." I wasn't able to go to his funeral. I wanted to clap my hands [note: I think this refers to Japanese funeral rituals], and anyway, I wanted to see him.
I knew what town his parents lived in, but I didn't know exactly where his house was. So I drove around and asked about the general vicinity of the neighborhood that they were in. After a while, though people would say "It's close by," it was a fairly large, rustic city, so I went to random houses and rang doorbells, asking things like:
"I'm looking for someone. Do you know these people? I heard that they live around here in this neighborhood・
I left Tokyo in the morning and arrived in Ibaraki Prefecture around noon, and spent the rest of the day searching. Finally, I got directions to the place and managed to find my way to the house around 7 PM that evening.
I was asking myself, "When they open the door, will they recognize me?" Kami's parents have gone to a lot of lives, so they recognized me immediately.
"Come in, we're glad you came," they said, and they invited me inside. With this kindness, I started crying and couldn't stop.
Everyone in the house was sitting down to dinner, and as they shared food from the dishes, his parents told me lots of stories. I heard various stories of when Kami was a child. Afterwards, they said to me:
"Though we still cannot forget him, you've given us proof that he lived, and that has given us the will to continue on."
When I heard that, I felt liberated. The thing that has allowed me to continue on is proof that Kami lived.
After that every year, on Kami's birthday and death anniversary, I go to visit his parents. Since they said "Come over any time," I might abuse the privilege a little.
Though I think it would be good for me to go visit his grave a little more, in the end, I manage only to go on his birthday and his death anniversary every year.
However, with all that has happened, his mother and father welcomed me, and now I truly feel like they're my parents too. His parents also feel like I'm one of their children. I think it's like they see Kami in me.
That first year, there were a lot of people going to see his grave, both on his death anniversary and his birthday. It's been four years now, and little by little, people have stopped going・br> If you go, don't go because it's the trendy thing to do. If you go see his grave, don't do it because you want him to come back to life.
But・br> To me, thinking that people will be able to forget him, that is・o painful.
To this day, I have never stopped chasing after the dream that Kami left unfinished. That is proof that Kami existed on this earth, proof that he lived.
Even now, Kami is alive inside of me・
 
3. Saishuupatsu o Chikatta Okinawa Gasshuku
~ Pledging a New Beginning at the Okinawa Training Camp ~

The summer of the year I went solo, I went with all the members of my band to Okinawa. Because I wasn't very healthy, we stayed at a training camp in Okinawa for a long four and a half months to heal my body and my heart.
It was a physical training type boarding camp. In a place where there wasn't much of anything, we would wake up at 8 or 9 in the morning, go running till we got to the beach, train, and then go back.
Then we would write songs, and once it became evening, we'd go running again, eat dinner, take a break and talk, and then write songs till morning. We did this day after day every day.
The owner of one of the small restaurants we frequented always would smile at us and tell us "Ganbatteru ka~!" To me, he would say "Practice hard!"
For some reason, he seemed to think that we were part of a karate team from Tokyo.
When we trained, we didn't just go running, but we also punched sandbags, and with protective equipment, we practiced hand-to-hand combat. All my band members learned the basics of martial arts. Because of this, their fists were always extremely tired.
Seeing this was why the restaurant owner thought we were members of a karate team.
All of the band members are tall. My three bodyguards that I brought along were all 185 to 190 centimeters tall. Compared to them, at my 180 centimeters, I was shorter and slimmer.
Because of this, the owner thought I was a stand-in member on the team.
"Ganbare, karate team! I hope you soon become a regular member!"
Whenever he said this to me, I always remembered to keep calm.
One of my objectives in going to Okinawa was to write my album, but also the band members and I wanted to make ourselves stronger and tougher.
The first half of the year that I went solo was definitely not a smooth road. I had been under so much overwork and stress that I had been suffering from insomnia. The other members were also exhausted from stress.
So when the members, including me, felt it was time to heal ourselves, my relatives in Okinawa cooperated with us.
Until then, I hadn't been back to Okinawa in ten years. A part of me inside had always been keeping Okinawa at a distance.
There was a part of me that denied my heritage, but there is also a part of me that wanted to protect that heritage too. I was proud to be an Okinawan and of the Ryukyu race. On the other hand, a part of me was ashamed of that.
I have a lot of respect for my great-grandfather. Of course, I've never met him, but people have told me that he revitalized the town and that he was the founding father of my family. Ancestor worship still goes on in Okinawa, and to my family, my great-grandfather is like our "god."
Though everyone in my family looks different, one thing they all say is that I look exactly like my great-grandfather. They say that all the spiritual phenomenon that happens to me also happened often to my great-grandfather.
There is a word "kamidari" in the Okinawan language. In Okinawa, the ones who call up spirits and hear the words of the gods are mainly women and are called "shiro," "noro," or "yuta." It is very rare for a man to be born with these abilities.
My grandfather was one of those men who often experienced these "kamidari" abilities. So he would be able to see things before they happened.
This was told to me when I was a child, and though I respected my great-grandfather, originally I didn't like the thought of gods and ghosts.
There were times when I would forcefully do things out of my own pride. In times like those, I most likely pushed Okinawa further away from me.
The Okinawan training camp had just started when this happened:
In my family, in the group of the "shiro" that we had, the one with the most power was my grandmother, and she came to the camp. So she told me this.
"You've finally come home. Go to your great-grandfather's grave. Then, do what you believe is right. Because you don't need to worry. Instead, when people need your strength, then obediently lend it to them. Once in a while, come home, visit your great-grandfather's grave and let him see your smiling face. This is what you should do."
These words were difficult for me to understand. I didn't believe in spiritual things, so what was she talking about? There were also other related things. Gathering up my souls・hings like that.
She said that I had confronted death on a constant basis because I hadn't been taking care of my souls. People all have many souls, and when you lose all of them, that is when you die. However, when a shock actually happens, without thinking about it, you leave a soul behind at whatever place it happened at. My grandmother told me this.
When I was seven years old, I drowned in the Yanbaru sea. Because I surely left one of my souls behind there, she said I was going to go get it back.
Yes・hat was the first time I'd ever heard about something like losing a soul. I felt like saying to her, "How many years have passed since I was seven? Just hurry up and talk faster."
All the ceremonies and rituals didn't mean anything to me. "Am I supposed to pick this up?" I thought to myself.
I had always been in denial of all things such as sorcery or witchcraft. That's not to say that I believe in any of that now, either. It's just that I don't deny it all anymore. I have come to realize that if I sort through the things that were said by my grandmother and my great-grandfather and the senior members of my family, there is definitely meaning in them.
The things that I experienced as a child don't bring me any pleasant memories. They're very painful. So because of that, I came to have a part of myself deny all of it.
However, at this Okinawan training camp, being one of the descendents of those members of my family, I felt that I had found an accepting attitude towards my culture.
I think it is because of that. I become able to look myself in the eye in the mirror. My smile in the mirror became happy. Until then, I hadn't wanted to see myself, but I finally became able to. Should I say that I've become able to accept myself as I really am・?
Now every year during my yearly visit to my great-grandfather's grave, I return to Okinawa to let my family see me.
If I think back on it, since I've gone to Tokyo, I always restrained myself wherever I went and continued to endure everything patiently. I convinced myself that I had to do this.
However, when I went to Okinawa, my grandmother told me, "You were called and you came home. Now once more, start again from here." When she said that, my heart became joyful again.
With that, I can finally fight. It felt like a huge burden had been lifted. Instead of suppressing myself altogether due to the surrounding circumstances, fighting back and making progress forward is much more suited to my character.
Back then at that time, I decided to be the leader to my band members, to fight, to keep running straight ahead with my vision of my solo career.
 
4. Saigo no Soumatou
~ The Last Revolving Lantern ~

We stayed in the Okinawa training camp for about 3 months.
If you drove out about 3 or 4 minutes from the headquarters by car, you would reach an island. Then, further off from that island, you could see another island. Though usually you would get to that island by boat, I started wondering if I could try and swim there.
Since I almost drowned as a child, I had always been terrified of the ocean. That didn't mean I didn't swim. At this boarding house, I got the idea that I was going to conquer my fear of the ocean.
I swam halfway there and then swam back. I would do that every day, and then I said, "Today I'm definitely going to swim out there to that island!"
I went out swimming with the keyboardist of my band.
That day, the tides were farther out than usual, and the waves were higher.
When I looked over, he wasn't there anymore. We had gotten separated.
Had he already gone ahead? Did he go back? Did he get here and then turn around?
Floating in the choppy water, I anguished about this for a while, but because I'd promised that I would swim to the island, I once again aimed myself towards it.
I just barely managed to make it to the island. My keyboardist wasn't there. I walked around for a little while looking for him, but I couldn't find him. All the while I was thinking that he must have turned around and gone back earlier, but anxiety flitted through my mind. Was he safe?
I immediately did a U-turn.
The trip back was very intense. The tides were even stronger, and I realized that I would quickly be swept out to the open sea. As I was swimming back, with all my might, I was thrown under by the waves.
"Ah, I'm going to die."
In my own mind, that revolving lantern began to spin. Bits and fragments of memories from my childhood until that moment began to surface one after the other. Along with those fragments, the faces of different adults floated up. Friends, fans who had cheered for me, staff, my family・br> "I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for dying like this."
I apologized to everyone. As I fell, I began to lose consciousness・nd then, suddenly, the revolving lantern stopped.
"Everything before this・hen did it happen?"
As I was conscious of my death, the thought of sex suddenly floated up into my head.
For three months since we had been in Okinawa, I hadn't had any. I was always training and songwriting. I hadn't been connected with a woman.
"Can I really die like this?"
The instinct inside me was whispering.
"If you die, it will be after you've done it."
At that moment, my consciousness became clear, and within a dream, I began to swim. I didn't even know which way was up, but I kept swimming. At the moment that I reached the surface of the ocean, I vomited out all the ocean water that I had drunk. With that, I came to my senses again.
"I have to rescue him!"
Already forgetting that I had just almost drowned, the only thing in my mind was the guy who I had gotten separated from.
I arrived back on the beach, and when I finally got there, the sun was beginning to set. Because we'd started out to the island at noon, I realized that we had been drifting out there for a long time. I was exhausted from using all my strength, but I started running. It was a long way where I was to the point where we first started out.
Finally I reached our starting point, but the keyboardist hadn't returned. I even thought about preparing to send a search boat out for him.
While I was doing all this, he returned by himself. It was about an hour after I landed on the beach.
He hadn't gotten to the island after all, but midway he had made a U-turn and had been pulled under by the waves. No matter how hard he paddled, he couldn't make any progress, seeming to be swimming towards a tanker he had seen from far away. He drifted to shore about three kilometers near it, and walking back had cost him time.
Anyway, we were both glad we were safe. We were told by the other members things like, "That was stupid," "At any rate, you came back," and "Don't be so reckless!"
That night, as the two of us were reflecting on what had happened, we watched "Titanic."
The scene in which DiCaprio sank into the icy ocean coincided perfectly with what had happened to me.
In that instant for the first time, I felt true fear. From the next day on, I wouldn't go near the ocean, and I discontinued my swimming training. Though I had believed I would conquer the ocean, now I was even more afraid of it. It was a mess.
That time, I thought, "I can't die before I have sex again." If I had had sex the day before, then as I was seeing the revolving lantern at the last moment, I would have died.
However, even as I thought "I'll probably die," my body responded, "Damn it, I can't die like this! I can't die without leaving any descendents!" And at the last minute, I switched.
For the first time, I understood the reason that often, a boxer will abstain from sex the night before a match.
That was the last time I ever saw the revolving lantern. It's been 3 or 4 years since then. In order to recognize my own limits, thinking about when I pushed myself to the brink of death and saw the revolving lantern, I changed myself.
When I was a child, I thought I wanted to become a terrorist. I was going to completely destroy human life. I wanted to erase everything. People were the guns of the world. They were the most useless thing on the face of the earth.
If you ask me today if I have changed my mind, I didn't change it because of what happened. If the existence of humans makes them into the guns of the world, even now, I still believe a part of that.
However, is that all?
Denying that would be easy. Thinking about it, denying it, becoming nothing. It doesn't take a great effort to do that. There would be no meaning in living. Certainly, humans may be the guns of the world. If that's true, in order to become something else, won't we have to struggle harder? Not only thinking about it, acting it out, experiencing it, we begin to see the things that are wrong. Isn't that the meaning of being born on this earth?
Believing that, that is the kind of person I am now.
When I wanted to become a terrorist, I was struggling. In the Okinawa ocean, I switched my view on life. Still, I have to continue to struggle. I can't just sink. I have to keep on floating.
When I was floating on my own, then I thought of my friends. There was a time too when I was hungering for friendship. I felt inferior, and it was a time when I didn't trust in anyone or anything. However, I still struggled during that time, fighting with loneliness and myself.
After returning to Tokyo, I met with the most trusted person on my staff, who was like my right arm. I talked with him and told him this:
At first when I returned from Okinawa, I was like broken, fragile glass. It was almost as if I was afraid even to speak. I was always in a frenzy. It so bad that it was like I projected an aura of "if you touch me, I will kill you."
Though it was just me alone, I was fighting till the end. I was full of spirit and energy.
That spirit inspired the staff member I was talking to.
"If it's him, isn't he doing something for me? If it's me, then isn't there something that I can do for him?" he started to think.
Because of my struggle, I made a friend. Now, he is the most important member of my family.
Little by little, I started to change the people around me. Maybe on that day, I took another step across what it means to be human.
 
5. Madagascar no Kettou
~ Duel in Madagascar ~

Three years ago, I went to Madagascar. A small island country on the east side of the African continent, its area is 1.6 times the size of Japan and it has a population of about 1,600,000.
I went to do some work for NHK. When they told me about it, I thought that I could do some soul-searching there. At that time, I was really in need of that.
It was my second year going solo. While I was continuing with my musical activities, I was searching for how I could aim for what I wanted in my own style.
We went to villages where things like "Madagascar Wrestling" and "Madagascar Boxing" were popular.
Truthfully, it was amazing. When we arrived at the village, the villagers were all high from smoking marijuana [#1]. And yet, because each and every day they would walk many kilometers, draw water, till the soil on their land, such a lifestyle molded their bodies into something resembling sculptures.
These guys get into really spirited fights without using boxing gloves.
It must be instinct.
People form a ring around these fighting guys, and the women and children of the village watch the fight. It's actually like a fight between two male lions to see who gets the female lion. It was also a place to test the strength of the men.
Naturally, there were also people who went in there who were insignificant. That was really frightening. Just by watching it, I was also feeling very afraid. The muscular strength of the fighting men. All the African people had muscles of steel.
At first, I was just watching. Then, the director started asking me.
"Gackt-san, do you want to go in?"
"When you say 'do you want to go', are you going to make me go?"
At that time, someone finished their match, and I decided to go. I wanted to fight a Madagascar person!
About 100 people, adults and children, gathered around, forming a giant circle around me.
It was the first time this had ever happened. In that fashion, in the midst of people I didn't know, I was standing alone, surrounded.
Being the underdog like this was also a first for me. From the bottom of my heart, I was insignificant. However, at the same time, my heart was pounding. In this event, there was no place I could run to, and in this kind of dangerous situation, I was really excited and nervous.
I was standing in the center of a ring of sand, which made for a lousy foothold, and right in front of me I could see 4 or 5 energetic African guys.
On that side, in a reckless, wild tone, a guy who seemed like a coach was stirring up people. In the native language, he would say things like "You can pick anyone you like."
I was a competent fighter. Was I going to become stupid? We exchanged words. I glared at the man and said:
"Can't you fight me? I want to fight you."
In that instant, all the villagers around me burst out in a loud roar.
"Coach, you can do it!"
Their eyes gleamed with excitement.
"Me?"
Seeing their facial expressions, the man unfastened his garment and took it off. Under it appeared pure black skin without a trace of fat. He was definitely a suitable opponent!
It was no wonder that the villagers cheered loudly. No, no, he had one of those unbelievable physiques. I couldn't compare him to any other opponent.
However, I didn't draw back. Above the crowd of villagers that was being stirred up, I felt a strange tension rising.
I didn't really know the rules. It was no good to punch or kick, and it was explained to me that the only way to win was to make the person's face or shoulder hit the ground.
It was a very primitive sort of explanation. However, it was enough for me. If I tried it, then I would know if I could do it or not, and with that, I challenged him to a match.
However, the second the match started, I was punched.
"Hey, you just said that I couldn't hit you!"
And then, a change came over me. The battle that had been sleeping inside me awakened.
In that instant, I thought that I was going to kill my opponent. It was an awareness of my own self that I had forgotten, and I was prepared to break his neck. His neck was just below me, twitching. All the villagers and the referee came running in a panic, taking my hand and stopping me.
Then, the match was ended. Though they had promised me three fights, it was stopped only after one.
My opponent was also very agitated and excited. After he got back up, he was saying "Let's go another round!"
"What are you saying? You almost died!"
I would watch the footage of that time over and over after that.
My eyes were very dangerous. The staff in the office said severely, "We can't let the fans see that!"
However, I had already clearly confirmed it. This was my true nature.
I thought that that part of me had been buried deep inside me from a long time before. With this foundation in place, it didn't mean that I was a violent person, but that more and more, I had to liberate this spiritual side of me.
At that time, not being able to pursue the things that I felt, the things that I fought for, and also the works that I wanted to produce was no good. More and more, it was no good if the weak parts of myself and the dangerous parts of myself couldn't come together.
When I was ten years old, I was a dangerous cluster of things.
However, before I knew it, I had completely suppressed the dangerous parts of myself.
I was bound up by rules, and it was like I had been imprisoned inside of a jail cell of myself. Whenever the wild part of myself would appear, I concealed it, and at that time, I really felt that I had curbed that part of me.
After the match, the village chief came out and said:
"In this far land, in the midst of hostile soil and many spectators, you put forth strength, took a step forward, and fought this battle. This strength is now sent out to all the young people who were watching you fight. Thank you."
That was what he thought.
I said, "What I was meant to do, the way that I was meant to fight, the way that I was meant to be・t was this way."
After I came back from Madagascar, I wondered if I had changed a great deal. I became sociable. It was strange to be sociable with others. I became more conscious of the other people around me.
One explanation is that whenever I thought the situation was becoming dangerous, I would ask myself if I should start become active or not, and I would always act more actively than I had in the past. Regarding who I used this on, I would fight anyone, even if they were a friend. However, if that was the case, I began thinking about that recently.
More than just curbing my lifestyle, I was killing myself by not being able to put essential parts and dirty parts into the same person. That applies both to my activities and the things I produced. I became more aggressive than I had been before.
The people around me also began to change. After I came back from Madagascar, until then I had by a mysterious twist of fate, been meeting many different people. Now, around me are people who I call my "family" and are bound to me through mutual relationships.
I think that this thing called "fate" is something that comes forth from each individual person, and it carries us along.
My inner self changed, so did my fate change as well?
When the power of thoughts meets the power of action, a result is born. That is what I think.


6. Boku no Family no Tanjou
~ The Birth of My Family ~

I would die for my family.
The thing I call "family" is not my actual family. It consists of friends who I have a mutual understanding with.
At present, my family consists of, at most, around 10 to 15 people. They have various jobs, and there are both men and women. The circumstances of our meetings were also varied.
It's strange, but until I went to Madagascar, I hadn't met most of them yet. At any rate, I feel like I have a great group.
Out of these 15 people, most of them can be called "owners." They are the ones who remain at the top of any family. There are also some that are involved in politics.
If I include everyone up and down the line, I will end up with quite a lot of people in the group. It's not a matter of 1+1=2. If everyone in a family meets everyone else face to face, the numbers will increase all at once. Though we call this "the rule of family," it's a very mysterious increase.
However, that's not the reason we come together.
The top people who have always been by my side have mostly fought their battles in loneliness. It's not just that the people under me cannot show the weaker parts of themselves. It was also that they had a responsibility to stand up on their own, and no matter how you look at it, being burdened with the lives of others made them very mature [lit: have an exact understanding].
Since I went solo, I've become self-aware and have gained a viewpoint of associating with other people who are self-aware. We run towards the front. There's no excuse, and we can't escape it. If I stop running towards what lies ahead, then they will also feel like stopping. In the past, I always thought that.
It's said that fighting through life [lit: tatakau=to fight a battle] alone is the easiest thing to do.
However, in recent times, I've thought about this very keenly. Certainly, fighting through life alone may be the easiest thing. Still, those who fight while believing in something are certainly strong!
In the past, until I joined Malice Mizer, because I was a fighting man, I didn't care if I fought to the point of collapse. And when I collapsed, I would only think that at least I'd thought that would happen before it did.
Now, however, I don't do that anymore. Because I don't fight my battles just alone anymore. Now I have a family. I have people at my back supporting me.
Though there were times that I thought that I was supporting them, truthfully, I began to feel like I was being supported by them. They are the people who watch my back. So, if they hold me firmly, I will never fall.
I think, now, that people's hearts have the ability to become just as strong as if they were wearing a protective amulet.
The top people in my family also feel this way.
While they individually were struggling through in loneliness, being all together in the consciousness called family gave them the feeling that they would not be beaten by anyone. There is family and there are rivals, and we can provoke each other or we could have a good relationship.
The number one reason why I believe in them is that they are not people who only are concerned with simple and easy things. At stories of positive things, they smile from the bottoms of their hearts. At stories of bad things, negative things, they know that it's not definite.
In general, why is it necessary to tell stories of worrisome and painful things? It's because telling them will ease the pain, right?
If you lick the wounds that you carry, then certainly they will become a little less painful. However, if you stop licking them, the pain will begin again.
So even though it hurts, you should stich up your wounds quickly. It will really hurt while they're sewn up, but after it's over, you'll be on your way to being healed. In other words, it's a relationship between our hearts.
Talking about things that are painful to each of us and licking each others' wounds is something that other people besides us can do as well. Whenever someone is carrying a heavy burden, what's important is how much we can help that person stitch up those wounds.
Sewing the wounds up will be extremely painful. There isn't any anesthesia, not in the words that we use. But after it's over, we heal without having even a trace of the scar left [lit: not knowing where the wound is]. That is how things are.
For example, the business that one of the people in my family was running was in trouble. He couldn't really tell anyone else about this. By himself, not talking to anyone about it, he could have dealt with it.
However, he told us this news. Because he told us in person, we realized how grave the problem was. So, not working with anyone else, we all individually wondered how we should help him. No one said "Let's all work together and help him out." So our help progressed very slowly.
Helping someone isn't just "one way." You have to choose which is the best way to do it, and it's hard work. In his case, that was necessary.
Of course, can we all continue to succeed all the time? No one knows that. But when we have to ask ourselves that, we don't just sit there and say "poor guy." That's just rude. Saying "poor guy" to people who are fighting hard isn't just showing compassion. It can be said that people get weak to the point where they don't have any more strength left [lit: cannot put out power], and they fall. For this reason, I think, we don't lick each others' wounds, and no matter what is going on, we all must walk forward.
Though there are misunderstandings, we're not a family because we each succeed on our own. That's not a requirement for a family. The important thing is that whenever something comes up, we can have a truthful [lit: without getting lost] mutual understanding with each other, and that we can have fun together. However, if we don't believe in one another, we can't act.
In my family, whenever someone is hurting, I don't sit by that person and say to them, "Oh, that's too bad that you're hurting," but rather, I take the position of saying, "you can do it!" In order to do this, I should become stronger.
It's good for all of us to live as if we have an amulet protecting us.
When someone was doing something and ran into a problem, when they looked into their own pocket, they pulled out the amulet・br> I think we should all live like that.
1. Hatsukoi, Hajimete no Kanojo
~ My First Love, My First Girlfriend ~
Once in a while, I wonder if I shouldn't write stories about love. Of course, there is lovemaking, countless times.
My first love was when I was in kindergarten. I was about 6 years old・
She was my kindergarten teacher. She was half Japanese and really pretty, and had a great sense of style. When this teacher was around, for some reason I was really happy.
It was probably just puppy love. However, to me, it was a very important emotion.
Of course, when I was 6 years old, I didn't really understand what the word "love" meant. But isn't it a very important word?
When we got out of class in kindergarten and all the other students had gone home, I would stay there at kindergarten by myself. I would be there just a little longer with that teacher. By her side, I watched her figure for just a little longer.
Once, a young man came to pick up my teacher. When she saw that man, my teacher's face instantly lit up. It was completely different from the face she had when she was with me, and it was the first time I'd seen her smile.
My teacher said to me mischievously:
"This is a secret, ok?"
Covering her lips with a finger, she seemed a little embarrassed. Then she and her boyfriend started walking through the door. Their steps were lively.
I was terribly mortified.
I understood that I was still just a child. I also knew that she could never become my girlfriend. It was very mortifying, I suppose. It was the first time that I ever thought about wanting to hurry and grow up.
The first time I had someone I could call a "girlfriend" was when I was 10. Because she was about 13 or 14, there was a 3 to 4 year age gap. She was a girl who lived near me.
Because at that time I was around 160 cm tall, I was the tallest person in my class, and I think that I looked like an adult.
Our relationship wasn't an easy one. It rather ebbed and flowed, I think. Though we went on dates, they were things like taking a walk around the neighborhood or wandering around a dry riverbed. Because she had a dog, she would bring the dog along with her. Just that gave the dates a light feel to them. It was because I was just 10 years old.
However, my first kiss wasn't with this girl. It was when I was 6 years old. It made me grow up a little bit.
One of my father's friends came to the house to visit. He brought along a little girl. She was also 6 years old.
I think it was when the two of us were playing hide-and-seek down in the basement. My memories are very vague, but there were some drum bins rolled beside a rock in the garden. I am pretty sure they were drum bins.
I hid in them, and she found me there・o, probably she was the one who hid in them, and it was I who found her.
We were both very hyper. When I entered the drum, why did it make my heart start pounding? In the small, cramped space, secretly, I was incredibly smitten by her.
While playing, we both decided to try and crawl into the drum. It was dark and smelled faintly of metal. Beyond the mouth of the round drum, we could see the sunlight.
If I turned around, our bodies fit into the drum exactly, and she was right there. Her breathing was echoing. The air around us was very humid.
Somehow the burning feeling in my heart came boiling over, and I put my face close to hers, and gave her a little kiss "chu". Of course it was on the lips.
It was a gentle sensation, and it was the first time I'd ever felt such a strange emotion. She responded with the same feeling. So I kept on kissing her.
They were light kisses, but my heart was beating wildly. [lit: dokidoki] . It was an amazing first time.
Of course, I wanted to see her again, but after that time, I never saw her. However, I can't forget her.
I wondered why she never came over to play anymore.
Her father also never came over anymore. I was very concerned about this.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I asked my father.
"Who was the guy who came to our house a long time ago and brought his daughter?"
Seeming annoyed, my father answered:
"I had an argument with him, so we don't see each other anymore."
It sounded like he never wanted to see that guy again. I thought I'd ask him that.
"No, you can't see her again," he said.
I've also kissed guys. Of course, it wasn't serious.
A kiss is a mark of trust.
The first time that I was ever kissed by a guy was when I was 19. We were drinking and were about to go home.
"Ja・hu," he said lightly, and gave me a spontaneous kiss. I was very happy.
From then on, whenever I want to give proof of trust to another guy, I kiss them. I also kiss my band members at lives.
A kiss is the same as shaking hands or hugging.
It is my way of expressing my feelings of "I trust you."
When women cry? I kiss them then too.
When I was excessively rash in my car and had an accident, while standing in front of my smashed up car and having a cigarette, I got a call from my girlfriend. On the other side of the line, she cried and yelled at me.
"What are you doing?"
I will tell that story the next time.
 
2. Onyx no Shinpi
~ The Mystery of Onyx ~

Today, I shall talk about fashion.
I don't really follow the fashions. I know inside myself exactly what kind of clothes I want to wear and what I don't want to wear.
This is how I began to choose to wear Western fashions.
When I was 5 or 6, the pajamas that my mother made me wear were somehow from top to bottom like skirts. They were, so to speak, negligees.
My younger brother wore the same thing. The two of us had a set. They were blended pink and red colors.
I thought myself that they were rather strange, and myself and my brother both, at that age, looked like little girls.
My brother's face was more defined than mine and his eyes were big and round; he was really a cute little boy. But at any rate, I wondered why my mother would make boys wear things like skirts.
"Because it's cute," my mother said, smiling happily, and when we were that age, she didn't care if we were boys or girls.
Anyway, that was no good. For example, when we went into a store, the boss would say, "Your eyebrows are so thick, it makes you look like a boy, so you should pluck them," or "Because you're punkish, you should get a mohawk" and make us do those things. It was something that I hated.
Because of that, whenever my mother went shopping for clothes, of course I would go with her and pick out my own. I would say exactly what I liked and didn't like, and I didn't trust my mother to do it for me.
In middle school and in high school, we had uniforms, all characteristic of a particular school.
The top piece could be either long, medium, or short, or even very short. The very short ones only had two buttons. The troublemakers in my class would mix the short and the long parts of the uniform and change the length when they felt like it.
We also had a fair number of pairs of pants. There were so many it was almost ridiculous. Bonsuri, Bontan, Banana, Dokan・
"Dokan" pants were fat from top to bottom. The waist was 120 cm, and the hem was 100 cm.
If you put your hands in your pockets and pulled them out, your waist would expand to about 2 meters. It wasn't because we altered the pants; they were sold like that.
There were also uniforms we inherited from senpai. There was a lot of meaning attached to them.
Of course, none of them were new, but even so, because we really liked the senpai who gave them to us, when we got these uniforms we were very happy and didn't ruin them by wearing them, but decorated our rooms with them instead.
Clothes for delinquents. At the same time, there was such a meaning to certain clothes.
Now it's different. I can wear whatever I want to. Frankly, does it even matter what someone wants to wear? "I'll wear the clothes that suit me・ is what people should say.
For the time being, the thing to keep in mind is to wear what looks good.
For example, if you wear loose clothes, you won't realize when your body shape changes. So don't cheat your waist size.
Though my waist size is 70-71 cm, I wear pants with a 72-73 cm waist size. If I got heavier, then I wouldn't be able to wear those pants. If I started eating too much, they would get tight. There definitely isn't room to do that.
The shirts that I wear also are sensible for if my body shape changes.
The limits of this job are that when your body shape gets worse, wearing unsuitable clothes makes you less of a pro.
In this case, the stylists can be blamed for not taking into account people who are heavier. Because of this, people then become obsessed with getting into shape.
Sunglasses are already part of my body. My eyes are strangely weak towards the light. When the light level is bright, everything becomes white and I can't see anything.
In order to protect my eyes, I try to wear sunglasses. I have over a hundred pairs, but the important thing is to wear what fits my mood. If I have to wear them for a long time, I will pick a pair that doesn't make me tired.
As far as accessories go, most of mine were given to me by people. Conversely, all the ones I bought, I gave away.
Fundamentally, I don't like things with stones. I don't wear diamonds or things like that.
There is power in stones, and I understand the effect that stones have on the body. They change your physical condition and also your mood. Accessories originally had this meaning. Now, I don't frequently change the accessories that I ordinarily wear. If I do that, my body will become tired.
The only stones I will wear are onyx and obsidian. However, more than just being accessories, they are protective charms.
There is a reason why I wear onyx.
When I was about 10 years old, a girl who I knew went overseas to study. At that time, I happened to be wearing an onyx ring. I gave it to her for her protection.
Before she went overseas, she was riding in a taxi and had a bad accident. The driver and her friend who was with her in the taxi both suffered heavy injuries. However, she wasn't even scratched. The only thing that happened was that the onyx ring had disappeared. No matter how hard she searched, she couldn't find it at all.
The original purpose of onyx was to help people dodge evil spirits and troubles. The onyx protected her.
From then on, it became a custom for me to give onyx rings to people who were important to me.
There is a bead shop in Kyoto where I go often, and I go there directly to have onyx beads made for me. Then, the members of my family who wear them will definitely have protection.
The onyx beads are also proof that people who wear them are my companions.


3. Kuruma to Jousei no Soukan Kankei
~ The Correlation between Women and Cars ~

Next are cars. If you were to describe in one word the car that I drive now, it would be "spaceship."
The first time Hyde (L'Arc~en~Ciel) rode in my car, the first thing he said was: "What is this?"
I said, "A car," and he said "Gacchan, you're an alien."
Certainly, you can't find another car like this anywhere. If you take my feelings on it seriously, I even think that it might fly.
Though it's a spaceship, the interior is not metallic, but rather has a "Hermes" feeling. It's not gorgeous, it's "Hermes."
I think the interior goes ten years ahead. After all, I change it every 8 months or so.
To me, my car is a moving office ・no, a moving living space. I have been very thorough in picking it out.
Talking about car models, these past few years I've been driving an American car. It's the 4th or 5th one out of the cars I have [#1, see note at bottom]. It's red. I've had a white one and a blue one, but my basic color is red.
If you ask me why an American car, I say that only the new rich who flaunt their money buy Mercedes Benzes, and Ferraris make you look like a famous personality who has sold out.
Originally, the Ferrari was my favorite car. However, if successful people sell out, they have a tendency to buy Ferraris. So then, I started really hating them.
A Ferrari is really hard to ride in ・it's difficult to drive. So only within the group of people who have sold out and bought a Ferrari, there are people with horrible driving skills.
When I came to Tokyo, I really felt that way. So, all the people driving Ferraris began to look very uncool. To people who truly love Ferraris, that's inexcusable.
With all of that, all things considered, I felt in my heart that an American car suited me. Not a German car, not an Italian car, but an American car.
I feel that my standards for choosing a car and my standards for choosing a girl are very similar. The kind of car that I like and the kind of girl that I like are very close, I think.
Selfish, bold and saucy, but sexy with a great body. A girl like that. Sometimes when I'm feeling sad, I don't want to talk to her. However, if I'm feeling gentle, I want her to return my feelings. That's the feeling that American cars have.
Japanese cars are no fun. They're always good girls.
Girls don't ride in my passenger seat very often. I can say that my car gives off a girlish feeling by itself, so to speak. If I'm giving a girl a ride, I feel like my car gets in a really bad mood. Probably because it's a moody car, it gets more guys than girls riding in its passenger seat.
In my car, there's the romance I look for. To put it in other words, my car is that important to me.
However, most girls don't understand that. So I don't want them riding next to me.
When they see my car, they say to me lightly, "Oh, how pretty!"
"They say it's pretty so easily," I think to myself.
I wish they wouldn't treat my car in such a careless way.
And then, they usually slam the door with a bang! If they do that, privately I swear in my heart, "She's never getting another ride in my car!"
I want them to treat my car like it's important. It's very important to me. When I shut it off quietly with a click, it always gets a thank you from me.
My father liked high-class cars too. When I was a child, if I slammed the car door, he would make me shut it over and over. Because of this influence, I am sensitive to how people close the car door.
I can tell what kind of personality a person has from the way he or she closes the car door.
For example, let's say I'm taking a girl back to her house in my car.
The girl closes the door gently with a click. When she gets out of the car, she says something outside the window. I open the window, and she says "Take care," and waves with a smile.
While thinking, "wow, she's great," I start the car and leave. I make a U-turn and try to return back around to the front of her house, and she is still there waving.
"I want to take her home again・" I think honestly.
However, there are surprisingly very few girls like her. Ordinary girls go, "Bye, take care, thanks!" and as soon as they wave from the car, they slam the door with a hard bang, and then briskly walk away.
I can't forgive that kind of attitude. While she's grasping the door handle, these dark words flit through my mind.
"I'm going to run her down!"
Though it's probably because she doesn't know anything about cars and driving, if a girl doesn't know how to put on her seatbelt and noisily keeps pulling on it, she honestly seems very plain. There have been girls that I've taken around who have no idea where to buckle their seatbelt.
Though it's all right to ask me, they don't ask. There have also been girls who took their own seatbelt and buckled it to my seatbelt on the driver's side.
What makes me the most angry is girls who lean forward in the right passenger seat and look out at the right side of the road when I go around a turn. I really don't understand why they do such an unnecessary thing, but they do it a lot.
"Your head's in the way. Don't look around like that," I want to shout in spite of myself.
That really makes me angry. Am I not trusted by you? I feel like saying.
With a passenger in the car, a partnership is necessary. I don't feel like the other person is being given a ride, but rather we are both riding together. Trusting in my driving and not being a hindrance are the main principles. To ride in the passenger seat, you need to be prepared to do it.
If I take a girl out in my car, I always see a part of the girl that I don't like.
Since this is the case, I rarely take girls out for a drive.


4. Josei e no Dai Ichi Jouken wa Hanashikata
~ The First Thing I Notice About a Girl is Her Way of Speaking ~

"What type of girl do you like?"
When I'm asked this, the first thing I recall is her voice, and then her way of talking.
When I meet a girl, there are two places that I pay special attention to first off. On the upper body, I look to see if her face is the type that I like, and then I move to the line of her body, in that order.
When I close my eyes, I can still hear her voice. Even if we don't come into contact again, the best impression I have of her is her voice.
Following that, I listen to the girl's way of speaking along with her voice. If you talk about it in terms of music, the topics that she speaks about are the lyrics, her way of speaking is the rhythm and the melody, and her voice is the instrument that performs all of these.
In the long run, the fact that a girl's voice is pretty isn't the only important thing.
If a girl's voice and way of talking give me a good impression, then I will think "Ah, this girl is really great."
Even if a girl's face is pretty, there are times when hearing her voice is a big letdown and I just feel as if I am being pushed away.
I probably have a "speech fetish."
Words that I can't accept psychologically are "I'm hungry" spoken in masculine speech. If a girl says things of that kind, it's not acceptable [lit: dame]. It's just like as if she had said "I'm going to pick my nose with my pen." I get really annoyed.
Japan is one of the few countries in the world that differentiates between masculine speech and feminine speech.
Thinking that Japanese girls are cool means that you should include that background and history, and it is something unshakeable that girls must always protect.
Because of this, I prefer girls who learn the feminine way of speaking.
In spite of the fact that there are words that are that important, there are girls who speak not caring if they sound masculine or feminine, and that really disappoints me.
The really important thing that makes a woman speak like a woman doesn't have anything to do with culture, but this point is ignored.
Though women have the strongest weapons to allow them to express themselves, they don't use them.
The pivotal point is that it's as if they've renounced being female・br> That's what it seems like to me. I really really hate that. That's the worst. Because of that, their way of speaking is extremely noisy to me.
For example, ten women gather at one place with their boyfriends to have a good time. Without fail, the first one to leave and go home is always me.
The other guys aren't bothered by this, but I can't stand it.
"Chou bikkuriii~!" [That's so surprising~!]
"Te iu ka~ Terebi to chou issho~" [Oh yeah? With the TV~" note: not quite sure how to translate this]
"Kore tte, chou oishikunaa~?" [Isn't this delicious?"]
Stretching out their inflection or inflecting their voices really high, the word "chou" flutters about. When I'm in that kind of environment, I feel very ill at ease.
Of course, that word is also a part of their culture. However, to me, that part of the culture has never been pleasant.
"Kawannai te yuu ka~" [You say you haven't changed, huh?"]
That is no good. Truly, a girl that talks like that hasn't learned to speak.
Now, I myself had a horrible way of speaking in the past.
When I spoke Kansai-ben, my way of speaking was very rough. Even now, when I get angry, I sometimes lapse into Kansai-ben. But speaking like that is really no good. Mostly, those words are just too dirty・br> My parents probably had an effect on me too. The way my parents spoke was very strictly.
When I was a child, I had to move often because of my father's job, and we lived in many different cities. Okinawa, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Shiga, Osaka, Kyoto・herever we went, because my parents spoke standard Japanese, that's what I spoke at home. Even when we lived in Kyoto, I spoke that. The only place I used Kansai-ben was when I wasn't at home.
I think that while speaking different dialects outside the home, I have felt this since I was a small child.
The impression that I gave my friends came from my speech.
With just one word, you can give someone the impression that you are stupid, or you can also make them think "What is up with this guy?" You can also have to opportunity to make people think "This boy is going to make something of himself when he grows up." A person's way of speaking is packed with important indications.
When I write lyrics, being concerned about the beauty of the Japanese language, my consciousness of beauty confronting my way of speaking and the words that I choose is something that has a great effect, I think.
As for me, because I want to express my own feelings, I write lyrics. To me, this feeling of "I want to let people know my feelings" is the most important thing above anything else.
Feelings expressed with dirty words and a dirty way of speaking, after all, are felt as dirty. If I am going to express my true feelings, I want to do it with beautiful words.
When I went overseas, I thought that I wanted to use the words and language of the country I was in to the best of my ability.
Once, I was learning to speak French, but now I can only remember pick-up lines.
Lately, I've been studying Chinese. Now I can pick up women in Chinese. Four years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Taiwan.
When I would tell French girls something, my interpreter would translate. At that time, I had a feeling that he was warping my words to change the meaning to something that wasn't correct.
Even if the words had the correct meaning, I still couldn't convey the nuances of my speech. Having a "speech fetish," I can't let things like that go.
From then on, I started reading Chinese conversational grammar books.
I've been chiefly reading self-study books. When I don't know the meaning of something, I ask my Chinese of Taiwanese friends, and most every day, I read my Chinese books.
But being able to participate in everyday conversation and being able to express my feelings [lit: play catchball with feelings] are on two entirely different levels. Getting to that level, having a strong vocabulary is definitely still not enough. I had to find a way to memorize about 20,000 words.
To me, who is thinking of expanding into Asia, getting so excited about Chinese [lit: falling into a fever with Chinese] was something spontaneous.
Still, though I am from Asia, in my music, no matter what I say, I will most likely do it in Japanese. Though I love Chinese, above all else, I love the beauty of Japanese.
Also, all of you speak the Japanese that I love so much. I want you to speak it as beautifully as you can. I ask this from my heart.
 
5. SEX to Ai
~ Sex and Love ~

I think that sex is a very important thing. It's a very important matter between a man and a woman that can never be taken away.
In the case of a man, until a mutual relationship is developed, there will be a time when boundaries exist. However, when a man and a woman have a mutual relationship, because those boundaries have decreased [lit: the time is reduced], sex is important. After sex, I think the distance between them decreases.
Though now I'm really confident in myself, I was really horrible when I was a teenager. Because I wanted sex, I was so confused about my desire for it that I wanted to say "someone please stop it!" If I didn't have it daily, it felt like my day was unfulfilled. Nothing satisfied me.
Like Dracula hungering for blood, I had a craving for sex. I almost think now that I could have been called somewhat of a "vampire."
So I also went through that stage in my life.
Now, I sometimes think that at that time, I was really just sucking up the life energy of my partner through sex. I have a hunch that I was really transferring that energy to my own body.
The more you do that, the quicker your vitality will increase. The more your vitality increases, the more you want.
It's a feeling of thirst. I kept thirsting after sex. I couldn't go without it. That was the only thing on my mind. I was seriously worried that in being like that, wasn't I just a monkey?
"Someone, please stop me!" that was really what I felt like.
Though I was craving it, to me, there was just one rule that should not be broken. That rule was "do not masturbate." I swore to it on my heart.
I had great feelings of guilt over masturbation. After I did it, I would think "what the hell was I doing?" and then I would get attacked by a huge feeling of shame. I felt that I was worthless.
If I was in a relationship with someone, I would tell myself that I would act in a manner that would build up a mutual relationship with that person. When I wasn't in a relationship, if there was a way I could manage it, I would restrain myself.
So, there was no way I could be by myself. When I was thinking I wanted to masturbate, I would go out looking for a partner until I found one. Then I'd talk to myself to persuade myself.
"If you feel like masturbating, get up and go out!" I would say.
When I didn't have a girlfriend, I had my friends. When I didn't have any girls to associate with, I had people I could share feelings with. There were also people I used just for sex.
It was the same for both of us. Both I and my partner would have sex wherever we could till we'd had enough.
At that time, I would have sex all day. Don't you think that's stupid? Even while I was thinking "what am I doing?" I was having sex. It was one of the most challenging things I've faced.
I was not satisfied like that. I was sick; there was something wrong with me.
Though you might be laughing, in those days, I was seriously worried about this.
Now, I think that the spiritual peak of a young person and the physical peak of a young person are both very important.
However, if you slip off that peak, it might become a very bad thing. If young people put a cap on their feelings when they want to do something and restrain themselves, by the time they are older, they will reach that spiritual peak. However, by then, their physical peak is passing. In short, though you think there are things you want to do, it needs to be both a physical and spiritual want. If that happens, then you'll be satisfied [lit: have money]. If this is the case, it won't become like you are doing any strange pretending, right? When your body is weak, the spiritual part will make up for it in pleasure.
I think that people who do cosplay, S&M, image play, prostitution, or compensated dating are most likely people who have slipped off the spiritual peak. I have absolutely no desire to do any of that. I can't understand at all why compensated dating is necessary. [note: if you don't know what this compensated dating is, it's a popular "pasttime" in Japan where a girl, usually high school age, gets together with a man through a dating service and he pays her money for sex. It's basically prostitution under the veil of a dating service]
When I was a teenager, after this physical peak passed, the desire that I had for sex all the time completely disappeared.
Though the act of sex itself doesn't completely satisfy you, it penetrates into the body.
Now I am happy. This is because I don't have those uncontrollable urges anymore. However, this is not because my sexual desire has disappeared.
What's important isn't the deed of sex itself, but whether or not you feel it from the heart. If in your heart you don't have feelings for this person, your body doesn't function.
In the case of a man, even though you can function under those circumstances, are you merely going through the movements? You know in your heart what the best circumstances are. Telling yourself "Somehow I can manage," is completely different from saying "This is the perfect time." When you can say "This is the perfect time," then that is when you and your partner's hearts are perfectly matched.
However, the number of people who can share that feeling is extremely limited. Matching hearts. That, in the end, becomes the basis for sex.
Looks and style and personality are all good things. However, that doesn't mean that sex is right. Any relationship with those people won't last long.
If sex between two people doesn't fit, it's always all right to become just close friends or just casual friends.
Right now, I don't have anyone I can call a "girlfriend."
Of course, there are people that I love.
I often think "I really like this person" or "I love this person." However, these feelings are spur of the moment. It doesn't matter whether the person is a man or a woman.
Take Hyde, for example. When I'm with him, I always think "Wow, this guy is so amazing." That's also love, or feelings very close to love.
That smile is a sin. Since I first met him, I have thought that it would be great if Hyde was a girl. But dammit, he's a man!
If he was a girl, I would probably fall for him. I really go for types like him. No matter what they say, I'll listen.
If he or she said "Come here now," I'd leave work and go. The type of girl that I look for is gentle type like Hyde. If there was a girl like him, I think I would fall for her.
However・br> In the end, it's never the girl that's interested in me. However you take it, it's always me who begins the interest.
I wish that there was a girl out there who could feel the same way for me・br> The last time that happened was when I was 22 years old. While I was aware of her feelings, I wasn't looking for a girlfriend at the time. That was because my work was the basis of my life then, and love hadn't become a pivotal thing for me.
Conversely, I think a person who is in love is very happy. A situation where you can say "I can't see anyone other than you" or "If you're here, then I don't need anything else" is the happiest of all.
But for me, right now, work is most important.
Though love is very important, the time you are able to spend on love in your lifetime is very limited.
The time I spend with the group of people I call my family is much longer than the time I would spend with a girl that I like.
And I think, for now, that's all right.
 
6. Hakketsubyou no Kanojo to no Hiren
~ The Sad Love between Me and a Girl with Leukemia ~

I am a frightening person.
When I was married, that was what I thought.
Whenever I feel that a certain person is important to me, I feel like I can't tell her that I love her.
If I did say that, both she and I would become mere "things."
A feeling that the one I love is a possession. I can't stand that.
From the moment that I think I want to monopolize this person, I believe that she begins to break and change.
To me, is the specific life of a person special or not?
There was a girl who embodied all of this, who was restricted and broken by me. I did it until it was too late. In the messages that she left on my answering machine and in everything that she did, she became really strange.
I was correct in asking about this. However, this particular girl said:
"I can't stop by myself. I know this in my head, but no matter what, I can't stop・
A desire to monopolize things breaks people. Because of associating with the ones I love, because I break them down, I'm really very frightening.
I was very demanding towards her, she told me clearly.
For example, she would say to me with great emotion, "I just want to be with you for one second longer."
And then I would usually respond, "I can't do that. I've got to work, and then I have a mountain of stuff piling up that I have to take care of. So we can't see each other much."
If someone is praying her hardest to be with someone she loves, that person isn't me. There are things that can only be done by me, and then of course there are also tons of things that I cannot do.
If I wish for things that only I can do, I'll bet my life on them and I'll be given an answer.
However, it's only natural that if I pray hard about the things that I can't do and someone around me can do it and grants my wish, I would want to be with that person.
It's not that I don't understand why I want to monopolize people. I used to really want to do that. The desire was strong that it was almost a disease. Even now, I still have it.
However, because I know that monopolizing people makes them unhappy, I suppress my intentions. I control myself.
If I love someone, even if she loves someone other than me, I still consider her a loved one. I can't help it. If she can love someone more than me, that's all right. As far as she's concerned, she needs that person.
The reason that I say that is not because I want my love for that person to go away. The strong feelings I have for that person were feelings of my own selfishness. If the person didn't return my feelings, I could curb my own feelings. Even though my love might end, we would still be attached to each other.
That is how I love people.
When I enforce my will upon people I love, there are naturally people who don't appreciate that. That is a completely sad love, though・br> A long time ago, I had a sad love affair that came and went. It was when I was about twenty years old. The girl I loved was around two years older than me, and we dated for about 4 months・br> Suddenly, I was told this.
"Let's start over with a clean slate." [lit: blank sheet of paper] Of course, that's not what she really meant.
When she said that, I became really weird and I couldn't stop myself. You could say that I was weak. I was so weird that it was almost laughable.
She had leukemia. From the first time we met, she told me this. However, we still thought that we could have a relationship without a problem.
If she got sick, no matter what happened, the love I had for her would not change.
We knew that it was a matter of life or death. However, because she was much sicker than I had ever thought she was, she was thinking of me.
I feel that my inability to understand this was the biggest reason we broke up.
More and more often, she was collapsing in front of my eyes. Often, I had no idea what to do.
More pressing was the answer from her: "We could no longer be together. It's not that I hate you. But we can no longer be together・
She told me these parting words over the phone. I went to see her. No matter what I said, we couldn't come to an agreement. In order for us not to hate each other, we had to break up? Why was that? Is that even a reason? I completely couldn't understand.
However, the only thing she could say was that that was what she had decided. Her personality was like that. She was the kind of person whose decisions you couldn't overturn easily. So I said I understood.
I felt that nothing could be done about it. Then, as if crazed, I got in my car and went recklessly driving.
Though we had just talked earlier, first I did some serious damage to my car, then I vaguely remember smoking a cigarette, and then I got a call from her. "What the hell are you doing?" she said, and then started to cry, and my eyes were opened. From the depths of my heart, I felt utterly ashamed of myself. I was a child who could only think of himself.
Before meeting me, she had had a fianc・ She said that he would always go pick her up in his car. However, one time while on the way to pick her up, he had an accident and was killed. She would always think about this and worry.
Do you know how it feels to have someone you love taken away from you? I don't want you to ever experience that・br> She tried with all her might. She told me about her feelings. The basis for her words came from the loss of her fianc・and her resolution to continue battling her illness, and in both of those was the fear that she might die.
However, at the time I was very inexperienced, and I didn't understand her true intentions. Going my own way like that just led to me being reckless in my car.
When she cried for me, I realized that I had hurt her.
"Just what have I done・?"
After that, I never went driving recklessly again. I also never played around with my life again.
She keeps me informed of her condition. Sometimes, she contacts me. A happy occurrence is that her illness has gotten less severe. I think she will keep getting better.
There is much in this world that is gentle on the surface. In this surface gentleness, it's not that we don't hurt our loved ones, but even though we might hurt them, afterwards if they push us forward, being able to realize that it doesn't matter what we think is wonderful.
Even though a long time has passed, finally I am able to understand her thoughts.
Even though there was a misunderstanding, I thought of her and I was able to trust her. Though pushing the one you love forward is a decision that the other person doesn't seek out・That is the essence of gentleness.
I think that is something that she taught me.

1. Boku no Sekai wa Live ni
~ My World is Made of Lives ~
The truth is that I am horrible at appearing on TV. I don't think that it's like me at all. I'm really really bad at it. I'm terrible at talking on TV and it makes me so nervous. I've always thought that I don't like the atmosphere of it.
Oftentimes, I'm able to talk with people on TV who have a lot of funny things to say, but when I think of something funny to say, I never say it. Even when I do say it, no one ever laughs.
"What are you talking about? Was that supposed to be funny?"
Everyone always says that.
I'm surely getting worse. Even when I talk to my friends now it's like that.
I want to make people laugh, but I'm probably the kind of person who isn't able to do that.
Though I'm bad at appearing on TV, when I appear on "Hey! Hey! Hey!" [Music Champ] I always have a lot of fun. The two guys in "Downtown" [trans note: the two Heyx3 hosts, Matsumoto Hitoshi and Hamada Masatoshi] are more than just geniuses. They're wizards.
I rarely ever think that anyone is scary when I talk with people, but the two guys in Downtown are scary. They can really read people's souls. They are incredibly smart, and the expression "sharp" fits them perfectly.
For example, a knife that doesn't appear sharp on the surface but when placed on top of a cabbage cuts through it instantly is quite shocking. Very scary. If you place it on a cutting board, it cuts with a ringing noise. It's a feeling of "Whoa・o way!?"
After recording, I fall down in the middle of the recording room. Unlike most other people, I exhaust myself completely. If you were to compare me as a knife to them as a knife, it's very vexing. So I make a great effort to polish my "knife" self to a shining finish. In my heart, while I do that I say "ganbare, Gackt."
I'm not talking about the way they talk on the show. Just the way they hold people in their hands like tools is so incredibly unbelievable.
I would, as soon as possible, like to be released from the grasp of those people who can be thought of as geniuses. That would make me very happy. So I always get out of the way of things that scare me. That's what I always do on "Hey! Hey! Hey!"
However, no matter how I look at it, there are still lives in my world.
On music shows on television, we only get 3 minutes to perform. We performers think about what we want to do and are made to complete just one song in that time because of the circumstances. That is a really horrible thing to do.
However, at a live, in order to make full use of the song, you think about the performance. In my case, lives are a time where I can think about and express each song individually.
I have never once thought in a way as to make the song fit into set boundaries. For example, in order to perform one particular song at a live, if I think that fire is necessary, I will propose that the arena have a pillar of fire on the stage. At that time, if it is said "that's against the rules," then I will say "well, let's think of something that we can do instead."
There are many ways of innovating in the world. That's just one way of utilizing those ways.
Generally, when I am deciding something, I really hate using the words "pretty" and "ugly." I will decide whether to make people do something, but what I don't like is lining up everything that is "pretty" without getting any results.
It is the job of other people to decide what the rules are. Of course, if you break the rules, you will be punished. Trying to think about what we can do without breaking the rules is like a game. In this game, you must choose the best option.
In the case of the pillar of fire, for example, though they kept saying "It can be only 4 meters at the most," then I did not turn around and say "Oh well, there's no way around it. What about 3 meters and 90 centimeters?" Instead, I kept saying "No, no. I want it to go up 15 meters." They thought about it and then they, who at first said it could only be 4 meters, finally said, "Well, 12 meters is ok. But 15 meters is too much."
Of course, in order for this to happen, you have to keep trying and trying. When you don't believe it will happen, keep trying. The people on supervision had to go one by one around the hall, access the safety of it, and we had to conduct practical demonstrations for them before we could get it.
On the "Kagen no Tsuki" and "Jougen no Tsuki" tours, we made it rain inside the hall, and that kind of inside rain had definitely never been seen before at other locations, though it had been seen outside. However, using water, we made it rain inside.
Making that into a reality required us to clear all the pivotal points. We didn't just need to take the equipment into account. The backstage people, the supervision, the staff, other people who had dealings with the hall were all included, and we had to prove to all of them that this rain was absolutely necessary and that it was not dangerous. One by one we cleared those hurdles and had rain inside the hall for the first time.
Commonly, other artists would not be able to do this. I really do think that my staff is superior to others, and I will always think that. I had a meeting with all 20 of us together. There, 10 of them said, "That's impossible." Five of them said "That sounds fun." Four said "I don't get it." And then I said "We can do it!"
And then, if everyone else besides me had then changed their statements to "we can do it!" we would have had an awesome result.
But though they all thought it would be really great if that could be done, the other 19 pragmatically said at first that it couldn't be done, and so couldn't free their minds creatively.
However, to me, one of the important things to think about is if it would be interesting or not. It's not really about if we can do it or not. I'll do it because it is interesting.
If it's easily said fundamentally, it's my duty to say it. Afterwards, with everyone, we will then think about how best to do the task. In that vein of thought, if the other 19 people also had this mindset, then it would have yielded a great result. It is my duty to make my staff aware of this fact.
Doing this, taking the power of each staff member and combining them together, my lives have become very "can do."
In practicality, if you ask "isn't that dangerous?" well, fire is fire. That's a fairly obvious thing, but something only has to start burning, and the stagehands will shout "Ahh!!!" and evacuate everyone and put the fire out in great excitement. Half the time, it's because of something like the costumes burning, because the pillar of fire was right beside me about a meter and a half away.
During rehearsals, it's a little frightening and hot. However, during the actual show, I didn't remember any of that. The costumes, which are made of linen, will burst into flames at the slightest spark. But then, it will only be after the concert is over that I'll discover that the costumes caught fire.
This time, they made the water fall without missing a beat. Everything was soaking wet. We were also prepared for it to be slippery.
Something I don't want you to be mistaken about is that we did not go around saying "It's raining. We're making it rain. That's so cool."
Rather, we say, "To express this song, rain is necessary, and through the rain, what will the audience feel when we express the main character's feelings?"
In order to express the feelings in a song, if you think that acrobats are necessary, before you start rehearsal, you should first practice on a trampoline. That's not because you want to get really good on a trampoline. But I say this because if you yourself can't do something, then you shouldn't talk about doing it. So naturally you should practice.
Once, they brought a trampoline out and I jumped on it, and then had a system for making the trampoline disappear. Because people were jumping over one at a time, they could jump two meters closer. When we jumped, it was on the trampoline, but they landed on a padded mat, so it hurt. We were also wearing hard boots, so that hurt our bones and the hip.
Because the stage ended there lengthwise, if someone made a mistake, they would probably fall off the stage.
Not everyone thought that they could do it by themselves, and those who didn't couldn't jump. Because they were thinking "he's making me do this," they definitely couldn't do it.
I think that something like that is said by people for most everything.
First of all, there are things that you believe you can do yourself. Things that you think you want to do. If you think you can do them, you prepare yourself for it and then you do it.
If you can do everything, then go ahead and do everything.
That is my policy.
 
2. Shiya no Doraibu de Kyoku wa Umareru
~ On Late-night Drives, Melodies are Born ~

In the middle of the night, when I feel really dull, I get in my car and go driving by myself. Driving on the Tokyo-Nagoya Expressway, not thinking about anything, doing nothing but stepping on the accelerator, I watch the landscape flash by.
Then suddenly from behind, I get a shock as if hit with a baseball bat. Bam! It feels like I'm hit in the back of the head, and it practically hurts.
When I am in control of myself again, I can place a transparent screen in front of me. On this screen, still images are reflected. These images are converted to moving images and a story is projected. A thin filter appears between my eyes and the real world outside, and on there, I feel like images suddenly appear and come to life.
In those images, since the beginning, there have been times when the images are accompanied by sound, and also times when it's just the images. There have also been cases where it's just the melody and other times just the rhythm. Sometimes I have no idea what the images mean. But something that doesn't change is that there is always a story inside of me. These then become certain themes that rise to the surface. I get inspiration from these images, and melodies come out of them.
If the story is put down in individual characters, it becomes a short story, and if it's extremely short, it becomes song lyrics.
I usually realize these images when they hit me hard. This might occur frequently, and then there are times when it's far in between. When it doesn't happen, though people say to me "Please write more songs!" I can only say "I'm trying, but it's not working." At those times, I can do nothing but wait.
I always feel like that about my songwriting. It's the foundation of songwriting and I can't change it. Previously, I had a studio at home. I thought that if I had a studio at home, wouldn't it make it easy for everyone to gather there and to write songs? I thought I could also write songs that way.
But that didn't work, and when I thought about it some more, whenever I'm able to compose something, it's always an unexpected occurrence. It's when I'm looking at the landscape or when I'm driving. When I think "I need to write a song!" I can never do it. In the end, the studio doesn't matter. I hate shutting myself in to write songs.
A story always begins with the idea coming in from afar and hitting me with a bang.
So, even though the record company says "We need a new song by this date," it's not that easy. Generally, I have to push back the release date.
For Moon, I pushed back the release date a whole four months. Though I did that, in actuality, it took eleven months. From now on, things will probably take even more time.
Though this is not an apology to the fans who have been waiting, I'm a different kind of personality and not a "commercial author." I'll put out what I want to put out. I'm not going to compromise or make excuses. No matter how many months it takes, until I turn out something that's good enough, I won't make compromises. That is my duty. Furthermore, I believe that that is the final product that the fans wait for.
When writing lyrics, I want to use Japanese to its utmost. I love the beauty of the Japanese language. So I don't use English if I can help it. Compared to other artists, my ratio of English usage is extremely small.
It's very hard to match up Japanese words with music.
There are a great many ways to match up English words with each musical note. However, basically in Japanese, one word does not match up with one note.
For example, let's say there are these lyrics: "ano toki, paatii de kimi o mite." In English, it would be "When I/saw you/at the/party." You're able to push the whole line of "ano toki, paatii de kimi o mite" into four notes.
However, in Japanese, four notes are just four notes. You can only put in "ano toki." The main difference between Japanese and English is the percentage of words you can put into one note. So everyone is using English and becoming good at writing lyrics.
I feel sometimes like I need to get away from that.
However, when I first heard the theme song to "Fist of the North Star," it left me with a deep impression. I thought that part of the song was saying "You are shock." But then when I looked at the lyrics, it turned out that the lyrics are actually "You wa shokku." [note: "You wa shokku" is "You are shock" in Japanese >.> It's also the theme song to Hokuto no Ken, apparently]
I was shocked. Not because of anything to do with the meaninglessness of the phrase, but because my ears couldn't tell the difference.
That's not to say that I'm denying the use of English. Using English is also an interesting way of doing things. Of course, you're free to use it. However, because I'm Japanese, I want to put the beauty of Japanese into every note of music. I don't want to run away from that.
When I heard B'z's "Itsuka no Merry Christmas", I cried. I thought, why does this song bring to mind such a lonely scene? [lit: why does a lonely scene appear]. "Mou Ichido Kiss Shitakatta" was great too.
Though the one who writes the lyrics is Inaba-kun [note: Inaba Koshi, B'z's vocalist], he does it with a lot of passion.
Also while listening to Mr. Children's Sakura-kun's [note: Sakurai Kazutoshi, Mr. Children's vocalist] "Dakishimetai", I started clapping without thinking about it.
When I listen to a wonderful melody, I'm always moved. However, I'm not just moved. I'm also proud to be Japanese just like them. I'm proud of the fact that, in the Japanese music scene, there are people here who can write such marvelous music like this. When I was touched by the troubles in their lives [lit: felt their trouble-filled lives], I think that's probably the musician's way of life.
An artist's music and lyrics are like pieces of his or her life. They quickly cut away at the body, and are works that consist of a repetition of the artist's own experiences.
It's great that things like this can move people in such a way.
At times, the important thing for me is what I'm trying to convey to the listener, and sometimes I feel like it's like a letter. It's about making things importantly and consistently and searching for my roots. What I always think about is that music should never pressure people to fit a mold. I want to be flexible concerning music.
My music is a page of a book of notes about the lives of the people who have listened to it. I don't care if it's like a little written memo tucked away into a corner. I am glad if that little written memo is a motive for something and becomes a force pushing at people's backs.
No, in a corner of someone's life, my music is only something that was written down. The meaning of our existence is in that place, don't you think?
 
3. Mai Ruum wa Shiro no Chikarou
~ My Room is a Castle Underground Dungeon ~

My house is pretty unusual. Everyone who goes to it for the first time gets really impatient.
Because there are no windows, it is fairly dark. From the ceiling, there isn't even a single fluorescent lamp. There is only indirect lighting set into the floor. It really is quite dark. It feels even darker than it does inside a club.
Also, the partitions from room to room are all glass. I can see pretty well in the dark, but my friends would frequently bump against the walls. So I have placed small flashlights for their use in the front foyer.
But not many people come over. When they do visit, there are always people who say "Gacchan, I'm a little worried for you."
I like dark rooms. When I was renting a house, I would remodel it. I would cover all the windows, and I would change all the fluorescent lights to black lights.
Time stops in my house. Because the outside light doesn't shine in, I never know what time it is. There are no clocks, either. And there are no televisions.
Because I never watched television when I was a child, now I don't watch it either. To me, a television is just a monitor on which you watch videos or DVDs.
In order to maintain such a lifestyle, I can't be bothered with other things. My biological clock always knows what time it is. My activities are irregular, but the moment I wake up, I know what time it is. And usually I go to bed for around two hours.
The thing that concerns me the most is not wanting to make my home comfortable. I want my house to be a place that makes me want to go outside.
My house is a place where people can gather. It is a place where your spirit can gather. I want it to be a place that gathers energy together.
If the inside of a house is always like that, energy accumulates. If that happens, you feel like going outside. If you always stay in a dark room, your spirit becomes heavy. If that happens, I think that you would want to get out.
To rest your soul, you could go to a place like the park. If you are looking for something bright and cheerful, it's all right to go outside, because the sun is out there.
Outside, many ideas and opportunities can come to life. However, if you become comfortable at home, you never go outside and that never happens. That's nonsense.
If you live in a house that makes you want to go outside, you will keep doing it your whole life. Since my house is dark, it builds up an uncomfortable feeling.
Now, if I have to sum up my new concept of a house in a single word, it is "dungeon." I have an image of a castle dungeon. It's not a house. I and the designer made it of stone with a gloomy image, collaborating with each other on it right down to the last minute detail.
I built it even though the designer believed in feng shui, and he would tell me that designing things like this was no good.
My present house has an archive.
There are a lot of things that you haven't seen on TV, like the fact that I have a huge number of books. I don't keep journals. I don't have any handwritten books.
Most of the books that I bought and like are instructional books on languages. They are books like "Learn Spoken Chinese in 3 Seconds" and "Your English is Counterfeit."
3 seconds? No way! But if you think your English is pretty bad, or something like that, you will have fun reading them.
As I read dictionaries and language instruction books on my own, I laugh a lot. They are very funny. But I really like books like that.
About ten years ago, I found a book that even up till now has made me feel emotions very deeply. The name of it is "Smell Otoko."
It's an old story, the contents of which came to me completely one day, a story that I realized very quickly. The plot development was really interesting, and even now, I can read it over and over. But I think that it's already difficult to find this book.
I also built a wine cellar in my house. It houses up to 100 bottles.
I like wine. When I say that, everyone then gives me wine for presents, and then I start noticing that I've accumulated quite a few bottles.
While I say that I like it, if I go by myself to buy wine, I have no idea which kinds of wine are good wine and which kinds are bad. If I don't drink it, I won't know. So I like to taste wine.
So I just started tasting a lot of wine, and because of that, I now know which kinds of wine from different places and which kinds of wine from different time periods are good.
Right now, a kind of wine that I think is very good is "gold." Not white or red, but "gold." It means that the color of the wine is golden.
For the most part, the grapes from one vine can make about one barrel of wine. However, the grapevines that make this "gold" kind of wine can't even make one glass of it. It tastes wonderful, but it's very expensive. It's to the point where I feel bad about buying this wine for myself.
Though I say I like wine, I don't drink when I'm at home by myself. When my friends come over, if they say to me, "let's open a bottle of wine," then I will open it for them and we will drink together. I'll just look at the wine that my friends choose, and then afterwards I'll say "That was great, don't you think?" and "How about drinking this?"
The wine that I have at home is the most expensive wine, about 400,000-500,000 yen a bottle. That doesn't mean that it is also absurdly delicious wine, though. It just means that when I have a party, my friends who also like wine can enjoy good wine.
I can finish about 20 bottles by myself. When I drink with friends, they will drink about 10 bottles. In all, if there are 10 of us, that's all the 100 bottles! It's rather distressing.
Though gathering 10 people together isn't something too out of the ordinary, it somehow happened that I was able to build a wine cellar.
Besides wine, I also have kuusuu (Okinawan wine). It's Awamori (Okinawan liquor). I collect as much of it as I can. I don't like to drink it, but my friends like it, so I feel that I have to have it for them. I like to present it to my friends and say "Here, I got this for you."
"Bar Gackt" ・moreover, there is something like that. I say, "Do you want to try this?", and when they say back to me "that's good!" it makes me really happy.
The time when I last got drunk was probably at the time of my birthday party.
I felt really bad about it to everyone, but I got so drunk because I just couldn't handle the tension I'd built up anymore. Of course, I remember everyone that I met that night, and everyone I shook hands with, and everyone I kissed, but・br> That day was actually two days after my birthday. It was the last day of the "Jougen no Tsuki" tour. The live was over, and I felt liberated from everything.
Being tired, being relieved, thinking about the next new thing I had planned, my feelings of thanks towards the members and thanking the staff, my gratefulness to my friends ・so many things were swirling up, and already I couldn't handle it. I've never gotten drunk like that before.
In spite of having drunk a fair amount at our first meeting, when I walked into a club the next time, Lee Hom and Tarou-chan were there (Wang Lee Hom and Yamamoto Tarou). Hyde also walked in, and then we all started to drink. I wondered if I was going to die, but I was also really happy.
The day the live ended, all the actors from Moon Child were on the stage together. Though I'd planned that from the day the tour started, actually, it was really difficult to work around all the schedules of the different actors. It was reported to me many times, "it's impossible." But I kept saying, "If you believe you can do it, then you can definitely do it!"
I struggled to do it with everything I had up till the very last day. I think the staff was really working hard. Thinking that we could really do it, they pressed on, and the end result was that we really did it, and that made me the happiest.
The liquor on that day was really great. I had a wonderful experience, and was engulfed with gentleness.
 
4. Naifu to Sabaibaru Geemu
~ Knives and the Survival Game ~

Since I was young, I've had a hobby of breaking things.
In kindergarten, I would take precision instruments out of my parents' storage whenever I wanted and take things apart. The TV, the radio, the stereo. I would take all the electronic equipment apart. Bikes, cars・ would try to take apart absolutely everything. I wanted to know how they were made.
After I took them apart, I would put them back together. Making sure that they all worked normally afterwards was a lot of fun.
When I got good at it, I would take things apart and put them back together over and over again. In doing this over and over, even now when I get new parts or accessories, I will try and test them. Though the parts that I have work, I will think "why is this or that part necessary?" I love doing things like that.
One thing that I failed to disassemble was my Playstation. My first one broke, so I bought a second one. Then the second one broke. Then I bought a third one. However, I still had parts from the first two. I thought, "Can't I do something with these?" So I took the third one apart, but the first, second, and third ones were all completely different inside. "Ah, so that's why the response time of these Playstations is so slow・ I realized.
So then, thinking that all the pieces were still good, I stuck them all back together. I was going to make a SUPER PLAYSTATION!! I put it together a bunch of different ways, but it was still broken. So then I stopped buying Playstations.
When I was 9 or 10 years old, my hobby was writing computer programs. Personal computers had just come out, and using machine language, I wrote a program. I remember that my computers were a 6001 Mac II, a 8001 Mac II, and then a 9801 FR・br> Though I wrote a really awesome program, I didn't do much with it. Though I was wondering what I was going to do with it, I still put everything I had into it. Floppy disks hadn't been invented yet. So all my programs were saved on a rectangular 30 cm personal tape recorder, which would go "piiii pirororo ppi" when you saved anything.
What's more, it was really irritating that even though I spent 3 hours working on a program and saved it, it would take up 50-60 minutes on a tape recorder. If I was in the middle of it and the tape was damaged, I would have to start the program all over from scratch. The tape would go "piiii pirororo ppi" and then "ERROR!" would appear. That happened many times, and I would yell, "It's not an error!"
I lost interest because of that. I wrote programs that could give an answer to a numerical formula, but I could calculate the answers faster on my own. I started to think, "Do I gain any meaning out of writing these programs?"
Because that was a time period when the possibilities of the computer were very limited, I think that I got into that hobby too quickly.
When I was about 12 years old, the "in" thing was analog. For example, the construction of a piano. I took apart a piano we had at home to see what I could do with it. Because the piano was tall, in order to properly put it back together, I wrote down the position of the pieces and had to try many times. I couldn't put the keyboard back, so I wondered what I should do. Then, I started taking apart the piano at school. Upright pianos are unexpectedly easier to take apart.
I would take it apart in the music room after school, and many times a teacher would see me. "What are you doing?" they would ask, and I would answer, "I'm repairing it. This hammer is really bad." The teacher wouldn't say anything back. Because they knew that I was good at music, they didn't think I was lying.
From that time on, I grew accustomed to taking things apart, and not only that, but of course I grew able to put them back together too.
The most difficult things to put back together are electronics. The Playstation was like that, and I understood the written warning that says "If you open this the warranty becomes invalid." However, I opened it. Then, the only thing I did was to take it apart.
The next thing I became fanatic about was knives. Collecting knives. It was an opportunity for me to have a knife if I was ever attacked with someone who also had a knife.
When I was 16, I was attacked. I was stabbed in the leg with a blade about 20 centimeters long. Also, I was slashed above my eyelids. Since then, I have always carried a knife with me when I go out, like Rambo.
I just hate using knives in arguments. People who pull out knives during arguments usually end up using them. It's dirty from the start. That's why I want to say, "Don't get in fights to start with!"
You start a fight, you neglect things, and then on top of that you pull a knife?
I also think that the person who pulls out a knife will have huge regrets.
Actually, that's what happens. People who draw their own knives think to make me draw mine also, so they yell "Ora!" and things like that while showing off their knife.
I slowly put my hand to my chest, and while shouting " Look out!" I draw it out. My 25 centimeter-long knife. My opponent is shocked that I actually pulled my knife out. Then, I place it up on a shelf while saying severely, "That was dirty," or "You're a dirty sneak."
"If you stab someone with that, you could kill them," I say.
It's your knife, but if you stab someone, won't they die?!
Limiting these kinds of guys, they will run away and hide while shouting curses at you. It's pathetic.
However, knives are mysterious. While you have one, you will walk around troubled by something. At first a knife was just a tool I used to stab someone, but knives are much deeper things, and there came a time when I get tired of their charm. I only collected short knives, but when I was a teenager, I had about 150 of them.
I continue this hobby today. I once thought they were dangerous and got rid of all of them, but I started again about 5-6 years ago.
Generally, I like small knives. I like to carve wood with them. It is even more meaningful to carve a piece of solid wood with a knife than it is to carve it with a chisel. I have carved a large bird before.
Recently, I received a knife from a player on the K-1 team.
If I say, "There's no reason to have a knive," it would become cheap talk. There are many things to talk about with knives.
"A person who always stabs others will be stabbed by others. So, if you carry a knife, you will definitely meet others who carry knives."
That is just as I say.
When I thought that I couldn't defend myself properly, I carried a knife. Though I was a very small person, when I carried the knife, I was stabbed after all. If I had been in the wrong place, I would have died. I wonder why I was stabbed, but when I carried a knife, it was just as I thought.
Speaking of which, recently, I haven't been carrying my knife that much. I display them all at home.
Now, something that is fun to do is the survival game. When the game starts, there are more than 100 people. It's 50 vs. 50. When youI can get 100 people together, there's nothing else you can play. And you will either win or lose. It doesn't matter if you are male or female. It's really cool.
Inside a mountain, you get 15 minutes, and then 20-30 minutes of break time, and then 15 more minutes. The game advances in this way.
When it's over, we all barbeque. This year, I wanted to have a barbeque with 100 people, but it never happened. It was very strange. Gathering a bunch of different people together was very interesting.
At the same time, I think about many things. In actuality, I try to gather together people who like war and bullets, but that's very prejudiced.
Because it's a game, the more we play the more fun we have, but we understand that real war is meaningless.
Death is a horrible thing. It's over in a split second. Also, there are many instances of people being killed by friendly fire.
The balls in the game are 6 mm BB bullets. Though they are plastic, they really hurt, and the leave a mark. Encountering a small troupe of 8 people, we fight with military tactics. However, even if you win with those military tactics, no one is at peace. Half of them are dead.
It is only playing. When I think that the people of this country might actually be killed in this way, I can't bear it.
I think that all adults should play this survival game once. You can show your true feelings. I think that a country cannot find true meaning if it is at war.
 
5. Kenka no Juuyousei
~ The Importance of Fights ~

To people who enter my family or my staff, I always make them put on gloves and have a sparring match. The studio forms a training ring. Because we always use headgear and protective equipment, no external wound marks are left, but both the people who doing the hitting and the ones who are hit generally have a good time.
It's scary. If you've never gotten into a fight or had training in martial arts, it's scary.
I think that fights are important. A "fight" is something in which your intentions run headlong into the intentions of the other person. I think that young people should definitely have at least one or two arguments that turn into fights. Teenagers especially should have them.
If you have a fight in which you punch each other, there will be other people who have never been in a fight who don't know the extent of it, and will think that you're about to kill your friend.
Because of this imbalance that people who look tough can be easily defeated, and those who don't seem strong are hard to beat, there are even cases where someone has died. I think that fighting without knowing this is a very frightening thing.
My father taught me how to fight. I was taught that because people die, I definitely couldn't do that, and from an early age was taught to hit outside the area of the vital organs. "If you hit here, the person will die. If you hit here, the person will die. If you hit here, the person will die." When I came home from a fight crying, he would say over and over "If you're going to cry, then stop fighting." He taught me, "You fight to win."
When I was young, I pretty much started fighting when I was playing. My siblings and I would play pro-wrestling, and I would play with my own friends and there were many times that the fights would turn serious before we knew it.
The first time I seriously punched someone was when I was 10 years old. My opponent was 12. He was in a higher grade than me.
"You're such a smart-ass," he said, and then he pushed me and punched me.
From then on, I began to fight a lot. Because I was very naughty in those days, when I got into trouble, I would then punch the person. Fighting became an everyday occurance.
When I was in middle school, I would get into fights with people from others schools to confirm who was the strongest one. It was usually people in my same year, the "cool" boys, who I would fight. I didn't quite know if it was because they wanted to test their own strength against me, or if they were just slow on the uptake, but I was 16 years old at the time, and fighting had become like a hobby to me.
I maybe fought for a different reason than most people did. When I felt pain, I felt truly alive.
That's why I never struck first. It was my pattern to let my opponent take the first shot, to punch first, to start the fight.
Basically, fighting was not a part of me. I didn't like to get hurt. The people I fought didn't understand fighting in order to feel alive. There were only people who saw themselves as stronger than me. That was the rule I made inside of me.
I only fought physically. When my intentions clashed with someone else, if it went in the way of the physical, we would have a fist fight.
However, the thing I was most afraid of was being cornered by someone in a debate. For example, bullying.
The scars from a violent fight will heal. But the scars on a heart that is in an emotional fight will continue to remain, in a large lump.
Because of this, I much prefer fist fights. No matter if you win or lose, both of you will have scars, and though you feel mortified if you lose, afterwards, the two of you can talk. You can say to each other, "I was wrong."
In the end, I wonder if violent fights are something that lead us to be able to apologize when that single world "Warukatta" [lit: "It was bad" / "I was wrong"] is hard to say at other times. The two of you punch the lights out of each other, and then to confirm that you were both stupid, you say, "I was wrong" ・"No, I was wrong," and maybe it's an opportunity for you to practice saying this.
However, bullying is different. Bullying is for the sake of cornering people. It's done in order to completely crush someone.
I think that people who say that fighting is unconditionally bad don't understand. Is it a fight that you or your opponent have in order to understand each other, or is it a fight where your opponent bullies you? There is a great difference between the two.
Of course, it's possible that it's true what they say, that violence is not necessary. However, I think this is something said by people who have had the experience of fighting and then become adults. It is different when people, in spite of the fact that they have never had a fight, idealistically say "Fighting is bad. Fist fights are meaningless."
In the midst of fear, there are emotions of restraint with which we weave through that fear, and also emotions that search for freedom. In the process of defending your tiny slice of turf and the small amount of freedom that you confront with all your might, if you say things like "This is such a small matter," "It's a foolish thing," and "It doesn't matter what you do," if you experience it and feel it and then don't feel that fighting has any meaning, then you are just stupid.
However, those who really can't be helped are those people that hear from others "That's bad" and "That's good" and make their decisions based on that; I am really wary of those kinds of people.
So what then? I think. People who cannot fight, people who have never fought・br> I have only lost a fight once.
He was a great guy. We just happened to be playing at something like pro wrestling, and then he suddenly started doing the real thing. I didn't think that I would lose. He was said to be the strongest guy at school, but I didn't think he would be this strong. It was the first time I understood what it meant to not be able to move my hands or feet.
Because we were able to stop in the middle, I thought to myself that it wasn't a true match. From then on, I began to train secretly. It was in order to beat him. My mortification did not disappear.
However, because he was a good guy, there was no reason to fight after that. He never said "come fight me." I trained with the thought that if that day ever did come, I would be ready, but before that happened, I had a chance to face him as partners in the dojo in karate.
At that time, I thought, he's a genius! He was a genius of fighting.
He was smaller than me and weaker. But his power of expression was completely different. His attack was much more than I ever imagined, and I can't even write it down [1]. He was not only a reflection of me; I can't even write about the traps he laid. His power of judgment was also very high. We were on entirely different levels.
That was the greatest lesson I have had in my life.
You won't win simply because you are powerful. It's your way of thinking about everything. I couldn't overcome his way of thinking!
I wonder what that guy is doing now. Even now, I think about it. I would like to fight him one more time.


6. Oitsuzukeru "Tsuki" e no Omoi
~ The Feelings Towards "Moon" that I Continue to Chase ~

The story of Moon first came to me at the time of "Another World" (September 2001).
When I am working on something, I always use the term "sudden inspiration." [lit: orite kuru, from oriru ・to start to descend/get off a vehicle]. The whole story can be seen. Then, I think, how am I going to express this story?
The stories itself are always within me from the beginning. I don't worry about making the story, but rather I think about how I should present it.
"Moon" is a magnificent story.
I knew that everyone had seen the video clip "Another World," but while I was making that video clip, I was thinking that it would be perfect as the preview to the movie "Moon Child."
From that time on, I had the plot to the movie. However, if I was going to make one movie out of the entire story that I saw, it would be about a six hour movie. The plot of "Moon Child" is an expression of one part of the story of "Moon." The beginning, end, and middle all still have the story in them.
This time, I express it in the sound, in the album, and the singles. Because the project is just taking off, it's like the cover of a book.
Next, I will express it in artwork. A photo album, a photo exhibition.
Then, a concert. That will be a three-dimensional awakening of the story right before your eyes.
Furthermore, there is the movie, and then a book.
I have decided to make the entire story of "Moon" visible by assembling all of these parts one by one. Just like a puzzle, I want to scatter different pieces around many different locations.
People who come to see this will begin to catch a glimpse of the story little by little as they gather the pieces together. While they do this, they will begin to make the puzzle complete. On this journey to look for it, they will enter the story in the middle.
The concept work of "Moon" is what I have aimed at this time.
From the very beginning, why do you think I am doing all of this?
The world is slowly changing into the information age. However, there are many times I think that the "information" that is flooding the modern age is a plus to all concerned, right?
There are many people who have merely become people who take the information that is given out.
To us, mere humans, have been given gifts of talents. There are two "powers of creativity." One of them is the power to create and draw images, and the other is the power to create original ideas.
Because of these two things that exist, humankind progresses forward, and we seek for our feelings under our own power and have been made to realize that.
But what's happened now? There's a single clique that has all the information. Though that's the very thing we've been searching for, we didn't have the experience of finding it ourselves, but instead got it through someone else.
That's why all the imagination has gone out of this world. That's why we can no long create.
Before this happened, there were fewer and fewer inventors coming out of our younger generation, making them a group of people who have no imagination. Not being able to focus one's mind in the middle of a job, in the end, means that one has no power to create. You can then only use something that's been given to you by someone else, because you cannot think for yourself.
I also think that this is true.
Throughout history, people have taken things from out of their own thoughts and put them into tangible form. This has happened over and over. It is the first time that human genius does not even come into play, and is thrown aside. If it's only a matter of breaking the gathered information into pieces, then in the future, the processing speed of a computer would be faster.
All of us now live in times like those. In an age where our very existences are lost to sight, we must live.
We cannot stop the acts of imagination and creation. That's what I think. And that is what I want to convey to everyone.
There are a few people among us, standing on a stage in an arena, who are called artists, and I believe that we have an obligation. It is definitely necessary for us to give strength and passion to the people who we see, and that becomes a boost for them.
It is the things that people do not realize that we showcase, and I think our existence should become a starting point for them to grow to adulthood.
Of course, we do not force this on them. However, through our works and our lifestyles, I think that all men and women will grow up, and I want them to grow up like that.
In this present concept of "Moon," my feelings are the same.
It is possible for us to place things in front of ourselves that other people have decided that they don't want to do. Anyone can go up to someone and say "you can do it!" It is in the times that people have said that they've decided not to do something that we should step in and do them.
Everyone then notices what we are chasing after, and in their individual hearts, they will put together the puzzle pieces. That is the most important thing.
So, that is the shape things took. It took a very long time. The publication of my work is therefore related to all of that.
Lastly, there is the question of why I made a story called "Moon."
In Japanese, Moon is "tsuki." The moon is a symbol of the existence of the characters in this story. I wrote about the relationships between people, and I think that the name of the most essential character is not the sun.
The sun can make everything around this person shine brightly. However, this person [the sun] will eventually fade away. People cannot become gods.
Even if there is a person there who is like the sun, isn't that kind of an existence like the internet, where information flows so quickly from one place to the other? Around this person who is like the sun, the people would be able to see everything, and therefore not be able to think for themselves. They would just be able to be fed information and nothing else.
Relationships between people like that are no good.
For example, I will try to think about myself. There were people who guided me in the past. Because of those people, I am who I am today. To me, those people are, without a doubt, a "moon."
I do not mean to say that I illuminate everything around me like the sun does. However, I light up whatever I am looking at in my field of vision. Of course, I didn't know what there was in front of me at the time, but just a little bit, I was shown my way to the direction of the dark places in which I should go.
To me, that is the best guidepost there is.
Aren't the people who are "moons" also people who guide other people to the way they are supposed to go? Isn't that the most important thing in a relationship between people?
In the story of Moon, there are many people who do not know the meaning of their own existences. People appear who illuminate the road in front of them, and they then find the road upon which they are supposed to advance.
That road might lead to their downfall. However, even if it is the path to destruction, they are still living just a little bit with their own power. They are not being revived by someone, but with their own feet, while feeling the life within them, they are struggling to live. I think that this is how all human beings should be living.
I also wish that every one of you will want to be like the moons and the light of the moons in your own lives.
The moon does not only shine during the nighttime. At night, if you do not create something and decide to start walking on your own, you can't be shown the way. This is because you can't see anything around you, and you're afraid of being shown what lies ahead. If you stop, that becomes your safety zone.
Even so, the act of picking up one foot and taking a step forward requires an insane amount of courage. However, if you want to leave this darkness that much, it is possible for your feet to take a step onto the path illuminated by the moon.
In short, the one who advances forward is, in the end, you. It is you!
In the people who watch my concerts and listen to my music, it is all right if even a single person understands that. I will be happy if that person starts walking forward with his or her own courage.
I am the moon. I dimly light the road, and the only thing I can do is point it out to you.
But when you all take that one step forward, I will gently, quietly watch over you.
 
7. Hatenaki Miraizou
~ An Unending Vision of the Future ~

When I really look back at my own life, I completely think that the trip to Madagascar was the second great turning point for me.
Madagascar was a very poor country. There is only about 2-3 percent of the country's population which can afford education. But the people there are overflowing with smiles. At that time, I happened to think, "I wonder if I can smile like that."
At the same time, I was keenly feeling my own lack of strength. My existence felt very small. And so, I felt that I couldn't be rescued by the people who were around me.
That feeling hasn't changed even now.
What is the most necessary for people? I think that is the fact that people have to wake up and realize change is inevitable.
For example, because we say Madagascar is a poor country, there are people who give 100,000,000 yen to their cause. One village can probably live affluently on that money for a year. However, after a year, conditions return to what they were previously. And so, there is no meaning in doing that.
No one makes you bring food to your mouth to eat; if food is set before you, then you will pick up chopsticks and eat of your own will. That's the same way I operate.
I dine on my own intentions. The things which are seen to be moved by my intentions and purposes are, to people, the most precious things, the most important things. If that's not the case, nothing will change about people.
I want you to make me act on my intentions. I want you to change. I am not going to make anyone change of my own will.
Though this was something that I had thought about many times before I went to Madagascar, going to Madagascar refined it, and I felt then that the things I was thinking about were definitely not a mistake.
The same thing can be said about lives. At a live, I send my feelings out to everyone there, and is this why they crowd forward? I can't say I know. But, if that's the case, that's not to say that it's ok to stand there and do nothing.
At any rate, me trying to send my feelings out is a very important thing. If I don't, nothing begins, and if I stop doing it, then I will cease to exist.
Even though I perform lives, it's not enough to just say "I want to have a live," and "We'll have a happy live." That is something that I could do if I weren't myself. I wonder, if I wasn't me, what things would I be able to do? I think about that constantly.
In order to send my feelings out, in order to live as myself, I will continue until the end to run towards the possibilities of me being a man who expresses himself. And in order to keep doing that, I will continue to keep doing what I have been doing all along.
As someone who expresses himself, the number one thing that is forbidden me is to stereotype anyone.
In making the movie "Moon Child," I put other actors into my own work, and as time went on, I could not continue to be skeptical about if it would work or not. I had fellow musicians Hyde and Lee Hom collaborating with me, as well as Tarou-san and Toyokawa Etsushi-san and other actors who participated.
There was no dividing line between those of us who were actors and those of us who were musicians. As I had thought, expressing something like that is able to get rid of stereotypes and bring about a feeling of change, and as we became more and more expressive, we started understanding that there was this mountain of things that we needed to study.
We went all over Asia to film. Because of that, I was completely able to place Asia on a field inside of me.
To me, Asia isn't a place for me to promote myself. Asia is my country, the place where I come from, my hometown. I have always wanted to come to the point where I could feel "I am Asian."
Through my music, through my movie, I want to make people conscious of the thought of an Asian brotherhood.
I want to feel that people are not just Japanese, Chinese, Korean, but have a brotherhood among them as all being Asian. I want my life to bring people closer to this realization.
One Asian people. The pivotal point is the people of Asia having this revolution of thought together.
There are more Asians than any other group in the world, more than 20,000,000,000 of us yellow-skinned people. If all of us bonded together like the people in Europe have and made the "Asian Union," wouldn't that be a really great thing?
But even if the country is formed into a single entity and bound together by friendly relations, it means nothing if the people don't feel it. If the people of that country individually could have the walls before their eyes torn down, becoming closer to one another, if they could feel their same customs together, then the country's policies would advance, wouldn't they? I want it to become like this.
Doesn't that sound interesting? One musician, finally tying country by country together, taking them to one place.
I am only a musician. But nevertheless I am a musician. That is the possibility that I have as a person of expression.
Even on movies, I want them not to say "Made in Japan," but instead they should say "Made in Asia." These are movies you can't do in Hollywood. They're not Japanese movies, they're not Hong Kong movies, they're not Taiwan movies. I want to establish that they are all "Asian movies."
Though that is a separate world from Hollywood, we have so many feelings about the things that we carry with us and that we should try to express.
At that time, I will be so happy if circumstances change to the point where I don't say "I'm from Japan" but "I'm from Asia." [trans note: Gackt actually wrote this in katakana, not in Japanese: "'aim furomu japan' de wa naku, 'aim furomu ajia' to ieru joukyou・]
I have talked about many dreams, but my final dream is・well, if I say it, you will probably laugh, but・br> I want to buy an island, and then on it I want to build a huge amusement park.
Everyone, you probably think I'm joking, but I'm completely serious.
I want to build this amusement park on this island, then invite all the world's children to come play in it.
Even if there's only one child that comes, that will be all right. I want people to feel the meaning of why I am calling, and also how that leads to our future. That's what I have always thought.
Even if I call to 1,000 people and only one responds, that's fine. If there is that one child who feels me calling, that child will, with his own strength, change the environment around him.
My dream isn't restricted to just saying big things about giving dreams to children. It's more concrete than that.
The child who wonders, "Why exactly were we called?" has had his future and his possibilities opened. I want to create that opportunity.
To say it straight up, it's just untimely interference. I'm someone who, from the beginning, has interefered in a lot of people's lives.
I don't want people to exist in vain. I want people to live their lives to the fullest. I don't want them to throw away any possibilities they may have.
Isn't that way of thinking because people's lives are so short?
There are many people around me who have died. When I think about them, I often wonder, "Didn't they want to do this or that more?"
You cannot escape death. However, that doesn't mean you can simply say "Well, didn't they die?"
I think that there are many people who only feel the true meaning of their lives at the moment of their deaths.
At that moment, the scenes of your life flash by like a revolving lantern, and for the first time, you know the meaning of your existence. I was like that too.
If that is the case, then you will say, "If only I had done more of this!" "If only I had done that!" "If only I had done it like this!"・and then die with regret. That is a very lonely existence.
If there are people who continue to chase after my life and the things I do in the future, those people will surely say "he was a really interesting guy" when I die.
I think this because my life has been filled with so many troubles, beyond the imaginations of anyone out there. Through all that, I felt that I can greatly move people. That is the meaning of my existence.
The me of 10 years in the future, 20 years, 30 years...Right now, that future is too dazzling, and I cannot see it.

This Jihaku translation is from the site http://www.gackt-camui.net/en_Jihaku.htm .
I did not have any part in the tranlation of this book. They have full credit for it. The picture of Jihaku is linked to their site also. :) Good job !