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Why I Write Novels
Hello, my name is Haru Minatose.
It has been a year and a half since I started to take on my other name.
The origin of my name is from the word "Haru no Minato".
It is an anagram.
Haru no Minato means the end of spring or the place where spring goes.
By expressing something, what lies beyond?
What kind of place will I reach?
Minatose Haru" was born with such excited anticipation and a little bit of anxiety before I started my creative work.
Currently, I am posting my own novels mainly on the "note" platform and publishing them as e-books on kindle.
When I started creating, I never thought that I would continue writing novels.
Because I lacked self-confidence and I was worried about what people would think of what I wrote.
However, when I posted something like a poem on Note for the first time, many people kindly approached me and I was able to meet many people who enjoyed my creation and expression and who were shining.
I believe that it was my good fortune to be able to connect with these people that made me decide to "try writing a novel" in order to share a little more of my inner self.
2.What does "writing a novel" mean to me?
By the way, what does it mean to "write a novel"?
I imagine "reading a novel" as "coming into contact with the world that the reader relives through the experiences of the characters, and being moved by it.
In this light, "writing a novel" may mean "to deliver a story in a creative way so that the reader can feel the experience more realistically and enjoy it.
However, I feel that "writing a novel" has a slightly different meaning for me.
Since I started writing novels as my own expression, "writing" for me has felt like "an act to pick up the innocent mind (sensibility) of my childhood.
In the process of writing novels, I try to observe things in the real world more deeply and feel them with my five senses in order to convey the world in the story.
I also have to confront the ideas and values that exist within me.
At that time I said to myself, "I want to feel more things.
I want to be more free in my values." I always feel like I am listening to such a voice from within.
The good thing about novels is that you can weave as much fantasy into the story as you want.
Writing a story and having it read by someone else is also a personal, inner exposé of the mind, and some of the people who read my work may see through Minato Seharu, wondering if she has this kind of personality, or if she thinks like this.
I feel very embarrassed about it sometimes, but it gives me courage when I publish my works because "whatever I write, a novel is just a fiction, fantasy, and free world.
Maybe it is this kind of personality that makes me not good at writing essays (laughs).
3.Why I keep writing.
I often think about why I continue to write my novels, which I write while confronting my inner self in this way.
There are several reasons, but the biggest one is that there are people who read my work and I receive their support.
Whenever I am unsure about what I am writing, or when I feel like I am losing my confidence, I receive words like "I read your work" or "I am rooting for you," and I think to myself, "There must be something more I want to write about. It encourages me to do my best.
I want to thank you all and bring you a new story! I can look forward to delivering a new story to thank you all.
Second, the characters in the story are still alive in my mind.
Sometimes the characters start moving on their own, beyond what I have yet to express in writing.
In my novels, there are basically many kind characters, but I also love awkward children, regardless of whether they are good or righteous.
I want them to reach the end of the story, and before I know it, I am at the computer, saying, "Let's write the rest of the story.
Writing novels has not always been a positive experience, and when I encountered very good writing or a wonderful story that moved me in other people's works, I sometimes wondered if I could keep going.
However, after being exposed to other people's works, including novels, poetry, music, photography, paintings, etc., I think that I am moved not by whether they are good or bad, but because I am touched by their unique sensibilities, experiences, and ideas.
It may be different when it comes to commercial works, but I believe that what is important in the free expression of the individual and what triggers people to be moved is "there.
Because each of us is a unique being, and the work produced from that is someone else's heart, when we are touched by that perspective and feeling, we discover something new, sometimes sympathize and resonate with it. It all becomes a source of stimulation and healing for me, and it is also a way to encounter a new me by learning about someone else's world.
There are many reasons why I continue to write, but in the end, perhaps I want to convey "me" through my fiction.
If I look at the aforementioned reasons from a different perspective, it may be that the characters are moving in my mind because I am happy that readers may have seen the "me" that I have hidden in the story, and I still have something more to say.
「Amanogawa wo sagashite」illustration：Mimuko
It has been almost two years since I started writing novels.
I have hidden and expressed various aspects of myself in my stories, but now I feel that "I" am irreplaceable, having experienced many things, including past failures, painful experiences, and things I could not accomplish.
In the future, I would like to be a person who can push people who want to express their inner self and write a novel or a text to do so.
I want to continue to be a writer who can tell people that it is okay to be more free inside.
text and photo - Haru MInatose
Started creating mainly short stories in the fall of 2020. Her main activities are submitting novels to Note, monogatari.com, etc., and publishing novels as e-books. She won a special judge's prize for his short story "Morning Coffee" in a collaboration contest between monogatari.com and Monogatari Coffee, and her novels "Metronome" and "Train and Ribbon" are now on sale as Kindle e-books.
One early morning, Kanade, a first-year high school student, heard a performance of Chopin's "Nocturne No. 2" by Chopin.
Who was playing that piano?
The "someone" who was playing the piano left behind a sheet of music with a sticky note on it that reads "Dear fellow musician.
This is a story of the main character's growth, beginning with the mysterious letter left behind, depicting her interaction with music and the people close to her.
What is necessary for Kanade to face "what she really wants to do"?
【illustration : Ohasumi】
Novel "The Train and the Ribbon".
Yuu and Sayaka are childhood friends.
Yuu thought he knew Sayaka since they had spent time together since childhood.
One day, however, she tells him about her dream.
When he learns of her dream, will he be able to face his heart and tell her how he feels?
This is a story of a boy who grows up to be just like any other boy.
【illustration : Ohasumi】
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As the presence that brews the message
Alternative school teacher / painting therapist
I wanted to learn about Steiner education, which had always been my dream, so I worked at a nursery school for six months.
At the time, I was aiming to become a teacher at a Steiner school, but at the same time, I was at an age when I was concerned about my life plan as a woman.
Could I really survive in an industry where dedicated work is the norm?
I wanted to explore this possibility.
When I left the school after completing my six-month contract, the following words from the head of the school stayed with me.
Your storytelling was very good. You memorized a long story and told it beautifully.
The stories you have told are something that no one can take away from you, so please continue to treasure them."
These words from a person who has been protecting the field for more than 20 years are very much appreciated, and they are still one of the things that continue to encourage me.
Now, many years later, it has been three full years since my dream of becoming a teacher came true.
And just the other day.
Inspired by the words of my former principal, I found myself saying this to my partner.
You have a power that is hard for people to steal. That's great."
English language skills for international learning and working.
The ability to express and offer as an instructor a theatrical method that has not yet penetrated Japan.
He had two distinctive skills that people can't catch up with in a little while.
Even though many people go to study abroad, get a certification, and stop their progress there.
He worked diligently every day, not exaggerating, but he never skipped a day, studying and practicing the language.
And that too, over a period of more than just a few years.
It seems that sometimes they are not accepted because their efforts are too new, or their work is stolen or taken advantage of.
Still, he seemed to believe that he alone was "doing something important and needed in the future.
His itchiness and sense of loneliness was suddenly overwhelmed.
I couldn't help but feel compelled to tell him, as I had just resigned from my job, over the objections of those around me.
I want you to have confidence because nothing is ever truly stolen from you."
So, what is the "power that people cannot steal" for me?
I am not proud of it, but like him, I don't have a single skill that can be easily explained to others.
I have been a teacher for only three years.
But what honestly came out of that question was this very thing.
"To nurture the ability to truly belong to a person that no one else can steal."
It is not an intellectual input of information, nor is it a magical change.
It is about helping the person to "do" something unique to that person that no one else can do for them.
I am to continue to brew that message in a cogent way by adjusting my way of being.
No matter what my profession, no matter how simple the situation, I have always wished to be like that.
It is easy to say, and the more you say it, the more you think you have done it.
However, when dealing with children, the purity of the message from the body is more important than words.
That's why I think it's so important to say
Am I living my truth?
I have always asked myself that question and tried to live up to the answer.
sometimes taking many wrong turns and sometimes causing pain.
In this work, there is no end in sight.
Moreover, I cannot ask others to prove me right.
We can only ask ourselves how certain we are.
This solitary and secret path is the "power that belongs to me, which cannot be stolen by others.
A little more specifically, what has been and what will be.
It has been three years since I got the job I always wanted (classroom teacher at an alternative school).
Thanks to this job, I was able to spend treasured time with the children, and I was able to let many people know about my efforts by writing about them in my notebook.
However, this spring, I decided to let go of all those benefits.
When I thought about "how to leave this place I love to the next generation," it may seem contradictory, but I decided that there is no future for me if I continue to work the way I do.
As much as I miss it, I decided to leave because it is important to me.
It is still tough to run a small alternative school (especially financially) that does not receive public subsidies.
The number of new employees is inevitably limited, and the training of the next generation of teachers has not kept pace with the current situation.
I have only been in the field for three years, but I have always been concerned about the small number of my generation and the problems they face in terms of compensation.
I realized that I could never solve these problems through personal efforts alone, and as a next step, I wanted to focus on changing the "norm.
How did I end up in the teaching profession, when I had no interest in education?
I wanted to change things from the ground up, and I wanted to do work that would create the future.
First of all, I decided to adjust myself, which is the root of this issue.
We will go to the place where we are most valued, build the foundation of ourselves, and from there, we will think of a system that will lead us into the future.
One month, six months, a year from now. I am looking forward to my future, not knowing where I might be.
March 21, 2022, the first day of spring.
text and photo - ieniiru
Alternative school teacher / painting therapist
Born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1988. Worked for three years at a small school with roots in Steiner education.
She was in charge of the first through third grade classes.
She is now in charge of the 1st-3rd grade class. She is currently practicing educational activities that emphasize the importance of human nature under the theme of
She loves writing poems and sentences, and writes a lot of personal histories on her notebook.
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Dancer / Choreographer / Freelance Artist
In writing this, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mrs. middle-note, an indispensable person, for his guidance that has led me to a life full of miracles and growth through many realizations and learnings over the long years leading up to today.
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Nana Suzuki.
My age is 33 years old.
My occupation is a freelance artist.
While I have been building my career as a performer and dancer for many years, in the last few years, I have started to accept requests for choreography, online dance lessons, and English lessons as an instructor.
I have also been able to work as a photographer, filmmaker, painter, designer, and have recently landed my first job as a voice actor.
Although I now do many different kinds of work, until about two years before "Before Corona," I had concentrated exclusively on stage activities as a performer and dancer.
How did I come to be able to do so many different things in the past two years? What changes have occurred to make this happen? I would like to talk about this now.
After graduating from high school in the theater department, I was lost.
I was mentally and physically exhausted after crushing my throat during a prolonged period of forced practice in order to successfully perform the musical for my graduation show.
Even though I was doing a musical that I was supposed to love, the taste of blood from my throat spread in my mouth and all I could feel was pain.
Even after I finally graduated, I could not think about the future, so my sister, who had gone before me, invited me to go to New York to rest my mind.
However, although I was happy to have moved to New York, I felt lonely because of the unfamiliar culture and language barrier.
Then came a turning point for me.
Soon after, I was completely fascinated by the dance masters I was destined to meet, and my life has been all about dance from that point on.
I had always loved dancing, but it was when I fell in love with the dance masters I met in New York that I decided to take it seriously.
They welcomed me not only as a student, but also as an assistant and a member of their company.
I fell in love not only with their dance technique, skill, and charm, but also with their capacity as human beings.
Dance became a means of communication beyond language for me, as I could not speak English.
It also provided me with rich human relationships.
I was blessed with wonderful teachers and wonderful friends, and I healed more and more.
I started my happy days of dance, which saved and healed me from the wreckage I had been in.
However, it was very difficult to make a living as a freelance dancer, and I spent a long time doing other part-time jobs.
But as I continued to build my career as a dancer, my income gradually stabilized and I began to think that I would be able to make a living from dance alone.
I was in the middle of a stage performance at the time, but the show was canceled without even reaching the final curtain.
In addition, all of the domestic and international stage productions that were on my schedule for the rest of the year were also cancelled.
In an instant, all the work that had been in my schedule for the entire year, which I had thought would be a safe bet for this year, was all canceled.
I didn't know what to do at that time, and I was just struggling to control my anxiety and fear.
The turmoil in the entertainment industry continued for a long time after that, and my work schedule, which had always been centered on the stage, remained blank and hard to fill.
In the early days of the Corona disaster, I spent many months not seeing anyone, just shut up at home, alone and in agony.
During that period, I was so blocked up with sadness, frustration, and anxiety about the future that I could not get back on my feet.
I was so frustrated with myself for not being able to do anything because of the coronary disaster that I felt as if my sparkling future had gone completely dark, and I felt as if I was being crushed by the anxiety that kept coming after me.
I felt as if I was being crushed by the anxiety that came flooding in later and later.
"Can't I do something for the world and for others? Find it! I'm sure you'll find it! I have to find something! I have to do something! Just don't stop, do something!"
The anxiety and frustration, which were small at first, grew until they eventually crushed themselves.
At that time, the thoughts that I had hidden somewhere ever since I decided to enter the entertainment industry, thoughts that I had been too afraid to face for many years, were tormented and crushed by the great anxiety that had swelled as a result of the Corona disaster, and they came pouring out of me at once with words and guilt like a blade.
"I could do nothing. I am helpless. I am worthless. When times are really tough, entertainment is not what people are looking for. What matters is water, food, medicine, and labor. Dancing is of no help.
I am a failure for worrying about not being able to dance when everyone else is having a hard time."
I could no longer fool myself.
This guilt has continued to swell, renewed whenever I have been exposed to information about earthquakes, tsunamis, and other disasters, as well as the environmental problems that are occurring around the world.
Still, I have been desperately trying to push it away by telling myself that "entertainment is something that heals the heart and is indispensable.
And disappointment and despair at my powerlessness to change anything.
These things were finally overflowing from within me, and I could no longer stop them or cover them up.
Since I was a child, I had always believed, and grew up with a lot of magic words that said, ""Nana-chan, you can do it!".
I strongly believed that "I can do it!".
But somewhere deep down I knew that I was helpless, worthless, and incapable of doing anything, and I cried for days after realizing that I actually could not do anything now.
At that time, what helped me was the consulting of middle-note Sensei, who always led me to a lot of awareness and learning.
Thanks to her, I was able to realize
I have been thinking that "I have nothing but dance".
I can only forgive and love myself who is dancing.
I think that I have no value if I don't dance.
And yet, the truth is that I continued to deny dance and entertainment as useless.
I realized that this could also mean that I was looking down on all the people involved and their work.
I realized that dance has saved my life many times, that it has always supported me, that it is important and irreplaceable, all of which are true, but at the same time I had the painful feeling that I was wasting my time.
At the same time, I also realized that I couldn't accept and didn't want to admit to myself that I was thinking such things, that I was ugly and disgusting.
I also realized that I had been running away from facing my true feelings because I was afraid of this.
Ever since I can remember, I have had a desire to be good and to be thought of as a good girl.
In order to do so, I chose to stifle my feelings of anger, frustration, sadness and suffering.
I decided that all negative emotions that I thought were ugly were emotions that I should never have, and I tried to erase them from my mind.
Because I lived my adult life that way, I am not very good at dealing with my negative emotions.
"The time when I could do nothing" brought to me by the Corona Disaster made the negative feelings I had been hiding swell to a point where I could no longer cover them up, and forced me to face them.
It also gave me the time and opportunity to stop myself from running blindly through my life of dancing, to slowly face myself and the person I have become, and to envision the future that I really want to go to.
With this wonderful opportunity, my negative feelings were sublimated once again into a love of dance and entertainment, and I can only be more grateful to all the people involved and all the works that are being produced.
In the end, entertainment for me continues to be something irreplaceable that helps and heals me.
From the beginning to the end of my life, entertainment will continue to be an important part of my life, including the negative feelings that arise when I am truly devoted to it.
I want to continue to love entertainment from the bottom of my heart, which has given me a lot of healing and learning and helped me recover various emotions that I had locked away, and I want to face, engage, and create entertainment with sincerity, earnestly, and straight-forwardly.
Because of this stronger feeling, the time freed up by the Corona disaster, and above all, the fact that middle-note Sensei gave me a push, I began to look at other things besides dance.
This was a good opportunity for me to remember the things I liked but had quit in the past, and the things I wanted to do but had given up on from the beginning, and to start working on those things again.
The first thing I started with was photography.
I had always loved taking pictures and often took pictures with my cell phone when I was traveling, but that was the end of it.
However, when middle-note Sensei saw my photos, she told me that I had talent and that it would be a waste if I didn't take it seriously, so I immediately started taking photos and posting them on SNS and entering them into photo contests on various websites.
Snapmart selected me as their first ambassador.
With that, I also bought the first SLR camera in my life.
That camera is now my precious companion and I feel soothed every time I take a picture, whether it is a work picture or a hobby picture.
Starting with photography in earnest, I embarked on a series of other capacity-building projects.
I began to try many things that I had given up on since I was a child, things I wanted to try, things I was interested in, and things I had always shied away from because I was not good at them.
I overcame my dislike of machines, and without giving up, I created video works, started painting digitally, which I had wanted to do since I was a child, and even tried my hand at design.
In terms of expression, I took on the challenge of doing something comedic, which I had resisted, and tried my hand at acting, which I had given up on because I was a bad actor.
I tried applying to musicals, which I had been avoiding since I broke my throat; I tried dancing in tights and shorts, which I had avoided because of my complex about my body shape; I tried joining groups and companies, which I had always wanted to avoid; I bought myself things I had wanted but had been holding back; I started doing everything I could, from the small things to the big things.
Thankfully, I was given the joyous opportunity to do what I wanted to do by many different people at wonderful times.
It has been a very exciting experience.
As I faced myself in this way, as I overcame, I realized something.
It was that I alone was just afraid, that I had traumatized myself, that I had given up on myself, that I had quit, that I had just assumed I couldn't do it, and that it was actually okay to do it.
Once I realized this, I said, "It has been hard, painful, sad, and lonely. I am sorry for taking away what you wanted to do." Many emotions and tears poured out of me.
Earlier this year, I made a promise to myself.
"I would fulfill a dream I gave up on a long time ago."
And two of those promises are already coming true.
One is, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, voice acting.
In fact, I have always had a complex about my voice.
I hated hearing my own voice.
I had a real yearning to act, but there were times when I felt that I was a bad actor, that I was a bad actor, and so I gave up on the idea.
However, over the past few years, as I have been working with actors, the desire to try my hand at acting has been bubbling up in me.
In addition to theater, I also like movies and animation, and I thought, "I want to do voice work, what a complex! Quit hating myself already!" I took the plunge and applied to a certain company, and things progressed very quickly, and to my surprise, I decided to make my debut as a voice actor this year.
I hated my voice from the time I started learning to sing as a child.
I am very happy that I finally accepted my voice, which I hated to hear, after spending time facing myself at Corona Disaster, and that I was able to take a new step forward, accepting the many thoughts and feelings I have had up to now.
And the other thing is about writing.
I have been writing essays like this since I was a child, but I have never been good at writing.
I could never convey what I wanted to say, and no matter who read my essays, they always said they didn't understand me well, and to top it all off, they would say, "Nana-chan, you are an idiot, so it can't be helped."
And I grew up without resisting, just smiling and accepting the situation.
Then, middle-note Sensei recommended "Notebook" to me.
Since I started NOTE in the spring of 2019, I have continued to write and write in my own words little by little.
Now, I am very happy and joyful to share my thoughts and feelings through my own words and my own writing.
Once again, I would like to thank middle-note Sensei for the many miracles and happiness, for enriching my daily life, and for everyone who has given me so many wonderful opportunities and enriched my experience.
And to all of you who always give me so much support, thank you so much for your love.
I wish you all even more happiness in the future.
Thank you very much for reading my essay to the end.
I hope I was able to deliver something to those who read this.
Thank you very much for your valuable time.
© Hajime Kato
text and photo - Nana Suzuki
© Hajime Kato
After graduating from Kanto International High School, she studied in New York City for two and a half years, receiving scholarships from Steps on Broadway and Jennifer Muller/The Works, and performing with various choreographers. She has performed under various choreographers, including Max Stone, one of her former teachers and joined in Xodus Dance Collective. After returning to Japan, she worked with the Noism2 dance company for two years and then became a freelance dancer/choreographer. In recent years, she has been active not only as a performer, but also in various other fields such as giving online lessons, making video works, taking pictures, writing stories, drawing and designing pictures, and trying her hand at voice acting.
Major recent works include.
As a dancer. (Tokyo Festival's "Toky Toki Saru," "MI(X)G" / PARCO Theatre's “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour”, "Pizarro" / Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games.)
He is also a member of De/Co. led by Shintaro Hirahara.
/ as a choreographer. (Matsue Prava Boys and Girls Choir, Shimane, "The Lion King", "Mary Poppins" / own work "dancing with universe")
Selected video works. (Roppongi Art Night spin-off project "dancing with universe")
Award-winning photographs. (Winner of the Newcomer's Award at the RECOTORI website. / Selected as Osaka Grand Front Ambassador through Snapmart and won Grand Front Christmas Award).
He also sells his photos through Snapmart, PIXTA, and privately.