STAY SALTY ...... people here
Meet the new me and
Take me on
Groping in the dark.
I am now in the middle of a whirlpool of words that have never existed in my dictionary.
It is literally as dark as a hole in the ground, here.
By "here," I mean the store I opened, "Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers"
It opened at the end of June 2022.
In layman's terms, it is a book café.
I refer to it as "a place to read books.
It is a quiet space where you can fully immerse yourself in the world of books.
Not only are customers free to bring in their favorite books to read, but we also have about 1,000 books on foreign literature, history, and culture in the store.
The concept of the store is to let you "travel" through these books for a while.
Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers, Owner
I am a former employee of a travel agency.
I worked there until May of this year.
I had been with the company for a long time, and most of that time I was involved in the production of the tour information magazine published by the company.
I had always wanted to try my hand at something, but the only things I was interested in were books, movies, and travel.
Except for a few talented people, it is not the kind of work that pays well.
And it is not easy for a person like me, who is not a pushy person or a person with a strong business spirit who has long been based in a company, to survive in this world, so I could not take the plunge.
Even so, like a wave, this feeling kept recurring, never ceasing, and only growing stronger with each passing year.
I think I was going through what is called a mid-life crisis.
It was during this time that I came across a book written by anthropologist Ogawa Sayaka, Sonohigurashi no Jinruigaku:Mouhitotsu no Shihonshugi Keizai[The Anthropology of Day-to-Day Living: Another Capitalist Economy](Kobunsha Shinsho,2014)
Ms. Ogawa has conducted unique research by living and observing with small-scale traders in Tanzania.
In Japan, many people live their lives in a linear fashion, continuing from yesterday to today and tomorrow, taking it for granted that they can live today in preparation for the future.
In contrast, Tanzanian small-scale traders live for the day.
They do not receive a fixed monthly salary, and they cannot expect social security from the government, so they have no choice but to do so.
Therefore, people depend on each other, even if they are strangers, and borrow and lend to each other to get by.
And they do not try to settle their debts and credits on the spot.
That is the security for the future.
In Japan, the word "day-life" has a negative connotation.
However, the truth is, living for the day is no different in Japan, and there is no way to know what tomorrow will bring.
In fact, we could not predict the corona disaster because we could not know when we would be hit by an earthquake or a disaster.
Then, I thought, wouldn't it be good if we stepped out into an uncertain tomorrow that would be different from yesterday?
That's what I thought.
But I still couldn't take the first step, and it was in 2020 that I finally took the first half step.
I petitioned the company and asked to work three days a week.
I was then allowed to spend the remaining days of the week as an apprentice at an antiquarian bookstore that reached out to me.
Soon, however, the new coronavirus infection spread. Through this experience, I shifted my focus to creating a "place" to read books rather than to sell books.
There are many book cafes or cafes that are based on the concept of reading books.
My store began with the existence of fuzkue, a "store specializing in spending time reading books," which has three stores in Tokyo.
I added "travel," which I have been involved in for a long time.
With books and travel.
When I was reorganizing my desk at work on the occasion of my retirement, I found a notebook that was about 10 years old, and when I opened it, I found a series of words such as Book, Travel, Cafe, and Book Tourism.
I laughed at the thought that I had never grown up, but that thought came to fruition in the form of "Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers"
If you want to start a store, you will need a good amount of start-up capital.
When I applied for a loan program for starting a business, I decided to rearrange the reasons for starting a business, since I could not just say that the reason for starting a business was a "mid-life crisis.
In my personal life, I had always had the intention of starting my own business, and I had found a business structure that would allow me to pursue this intention.
In addition, society is now devoting more and more of its disposable time to digital devices, including my own.
In the midst of this, I believe that it is also necessary to spend time reading and experiencing paper books.
Reading books nourishes our sensitivity to others, and if most of our time is now spent reading digital texts, I thought it would be a good idea to make reading time for paper books an event or a thing.
In addition, with the shrinking number of Japanese traveling abroad, it will probably become more and more important for people to experience the diverse cultures and values of other countries, even if it is only through books.
This is why we have added "travel" to our concept.
I was going to answer something like this to the JFC interviewer, but as is often the case, I ended the interview without being asked what I had prepared.
However, I was able to receive the loan successfully.
After spending a hectic month from resigning my position to preparing for the opening and interior construction, I was somehow able to set up the restaurant.
It has now been two months since we opened our doors.
Sometimes customers arrive unexpectedly, and other days there are no customers.
We knew it would take time for people to get to know us because we are located in a secluded area, but things are not going as we had hoped.
What should we do?
We are groping in the dark.
We are making our own choices and exposing ourselves to experiences for the first time.
At times like this, I find support in books and words.
I was reminded of a book I once read.
Azuma Hiroki,Yowai Tsunagari:Kensaku Word wo Sagasu Tabi[Weak Connections: A Journey in Search of Search Words](Gentosha,2014)
As Azuma wrote,"In this book, the phrase "search for new search words" is repeated in the book, and the message is, "Don't think about the statistical optimum, but expose yourself to coincidence.
A life of choosing after examining the optimal package, that is the act of continuing to buy books according to the recommendations of online bookstores.
There may be no outliers, but there are no encounters either.
It would be a much richer reading experience to buy books at real bookstores because you see them, and to expose yourself to such coincidences."(2014,my translation)
Isono Maho,Tasha to Ikiru:Risk,Yamai,Shi wo Meguru Jinruigaku[Living with Others: An Anthropology of Risk, Illness, and Death](Shueisha Shinsho,2022)
As Isono wrote,"What exactly are we choosing in the act of choosing?
Miyano (*1), based on Paul (*2), answers such a question as follows.
What we can choose in choice is to discover the self that will be transformed by the choice and to allow that transformed self to respond to the events that follow. You "find yourself by choosing. You
find yourself by choosing, and it is through your choosing and deciding that you are born."(2022,my translation)
*1: The philosopher, Ms. Maoko Miyano. Her collection of correspondence with Ms. Maho Isono, "Suddenly I Feel Sick" (Shobunsha, 2019), is a book in which the words resonate with and close to you.
*2 L. A. Paul, who specializes in analytic philosophy. His books include "Before You Become a Vampire Tonight: An Introduction to Analytic Existential Philosophy" (Nagoya University Press, 2017)
Both books still question the statistical, linear "life" in which the continuation of yesterday continues today.
In "Living with Others," he explains that it is only in new relationships with others that we can feel a real sense of "life.
The store attracts a wide variety of customers.
When I am alone in the dimness of this anagura and the sliding door opens and a customer comes in, as the saying goes, I see a halo shining on me.
When there are no other customers, I sometimes talk with them.
It is a joyful "relationship" to shake hands with someone who loves books.
I have also made many encounters with people I would never have connected with if I had not started the store.
Although I don't borrow money like the small merchants in Tanzania, I owe a lot to many people.
I am still in the early stages of my business and have no way to repay them, so I am following the Tanzanian people's example and leaving the debt unpaid.
My first encounter with this wonderful web magazine "Stay Salty" started when I saw one of the contributors, Ms. Kamori Kawamura on Note and sent her a message on Instagram.
I am usually a clumsy person who cannot get around.
I have made countless mistakes and failures.
I am always in a state of reflection.
However, when I am in trouble, I am surprised and grateful that there are people who extend a helping hand to me even though I am a stranger, and I also feel sorry for them.
It is as if I am seeing a side of the world that I did not know existed.
Every day is different from the previous ones, and I spend it with the support of weak connections.
I am also struck with anxiety.
I don't know what will happen in six months.
We have no choice but to think and move forward each and every day.
But by putting myself in the midst of coincidences and encounters, I encounter a new "me" and take on a new "me.
That is how I feel alive right now.
text and photo - Masataka Ito
Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers, Owner
Born in Kyoto, Japan. Graduated from Waseda University, School of Social Sciences.
He worked for a travel agency and traveled from the Arctic Circle in the north to Patagonia in the south.
He has traveled to the Middle East, Israel, Russia, the former Soviet bloc, Bhutan, India, China, and other countries to experience various cultures of the world. In June 2022, he will open "Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers" in Ogikubo, Tokyo.
Announcement from "Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers
Please use the gallery on the 2nd floor of our store!
"Via : A Space for Armchair Travelers" is pleased to offer the gallery space on the second floor (Gallery Via 2) as a venue for exhibiting photographs, paintings, prints, handicrafts, and other works.
In line with our aim of "Traveling with Books," we especially welcome works with a book or travel theme. As a celebration of our opening, we are currently not charging a rental fee, so please feel free to contact us for more information.
STAY SALTY ...... people here
Today's the youngest day!
~ Aiming for a goal that you feel you've done all you can do.
It may sound like a cliché, but life really does go by in the blink of an eye.
I, who will celebrate my 60th birthday this year, am nodding my head in agreement with the words of my predecessors.
My childhood was carefree. My school days were somewhat uneventful.
I was raised by parents who were born in the first digits of the Showa era (1926-1989). I was raised by parents who were born in the first digits of the Showa era (1926-1989), and I did not even question the fact that I was imprinted in such a way that becoming a bride was the best way to become a bride. Looking back, I consumed my time in a daze.
I didn't have any special dreams, I didn't think about what I could do, and I didn't have a lot of fun, which is probably the typical way of life for a girl born in the 1950s.
Even so, I was able to find a job as an office worker at a major bank without any difficulties. I also enjoyed the glamorous atmosphere of the bubble economy, and the "good times" were my youth.
At that time, it was said that the best time for women to get married was during the Christmas season.
Christmas cakes would sell like hotcakes until the 24th and 25th, but on the 26th, they would suddenly stop selling. This was superimposed on age, and people ridiculed women over the age of 26 as being "late to the party.
I was able to stay in a daze until the Christmas season.
I was late to the party, and with a strange, boring sense of pride, I decided to live my life from then on, playing the role of "a woman who loves her job more than marriage.
The "good times" helped me. Through a fateful introduction to a woman, I was able to sneak into a publishing house mid-career and was fortunate enough to be given the role of "book editor.
From there, my life ...... began in a flash.
A project born in my mind took the form of a book and spread its wings in the world. ...... The tension and sense of accomplishment of getting results.
I was supposed to be a camouflaged "retard," but for the first time, I thought, "Work is fun! I thought, "This is fun!
It was normal for me to go home by the last train, and my busy but fulfilling life as an editor continued for several years.
Executive Producer, "Memories Editing Room," President, Korurisha, Inc.
As I entered my 30s, my life underwent major changes, including marriage, childbirth, and living abroad for several years due to my husband's work.
However, once I learned the joys of work, I never chose to be a full-time housewife, which was a flowery path for Showa-era girls.
However, everyone has only 24 hours in a day equally.
I couldn't divide my time around work like when I was single, so every day was like spinning plates with work, child-rearing, and housework, and I couldn't afford to drop any one of them! My days were such a fast-paced affair.
In my mid-50s, when I had quickly reached the end of my child-rearing years, I finally came to a standstill and made the decision to leave the publishing company and go freelance.
Then I had an unexpected change of heart.
I had been running hard, but I felt that all of my efforts were only half-hearted. ......
I had chosen the wrong path. ......
I was struck with such a sense of emptiness.
It was like when Taro Urashima returned to land.
Before I knew it, time had passed, and it was too late to regret it.
I had only been looking forward, forward, forward, but I completely lost the energy to move forward.
My heart was broken.
At the same time, I experienced the departure of my father and the untimely departure of two friends of the same generation.
Then I thought to myself, "I really don't know what will happen tomorrow in life.
It was a time when I had lost sight of myself and my self-confidence, but being somewhat pragmatic, it suddenly occurred to me.
If I suddenly found myself departing, it would further undermine who I am.
At the time, I made the excuse that I was busy, and I had turned away from serious cleanup work for many years because it was just too much trouble.
Before I knew it, my home had swelled to such a huge number of possessions that everyone was dismayed and sighing.
I don't want anyone to see this embarrassing scene!
It was with this single-minded determination that I began to clean up.
As I got to work, I found various nostalgic items from the back of the closet.
All of them were things I had forgotten.
I thought to myself, "How could I have forgotten so many memories!"
When I picked up these forgotten items, I was amazed at how many memories came back to me.
As I faced them, my mind gradually changed.
Until then, I had always thought that to bother to look back on memories was a "backward way of life.
I thought that "living" was only about the present and the future, and that the past was meaningless because it could not be redone.
I thought memories were in my mind, but when I picked up a lot of things, memories that I had completely forgotten came back to me one after another.
From the "good memories," I realized how many people's love and connections had supported me in my life, and my sense of happiness grew.
From the "sad memories," I felt proud of myself for having lived this long without running away from such a painful experience. I felt proud of myself and my sense of self-esteem increased.
From the "memories of regret," I felt that I could not start over and that I had no choice but to atone for my sins in the way I lived my life from now on.
The time I spent with my memories through the cleanup process was like nourishment for my heart, and my broken heart was naturally restored.
I was able to pick myself up and move forward again.
Human beings tend to be preoccupied with the situation at hand.
However, we live in the present because we were created based on our past time and experiences.
If we have lived our lives without being mindful of the many memories we have, we have realized that we have left something important behind in the past.
Without the precious energy of memories in my heart, it was no wonder that my heart broke in my mid-50s.
When we take our memories to heart, the past time becomes energy that pushes us back and moves us firmly forward. I came to realize that this is a true positive way to live.
Reuniting with my memories by putting them away had such a positive effect on my mind!
I was completely reinvigorated, and since I have always been an editor by nature, I wanted to "spread the good news to the world! With this single-minded determination, I started my own company, Korurisha "Memories Editing Room.
By cleaning up and recovering forgotten memories, you will be able to live your life as you want to live it. However, it is not so easy to throw away precious memories.
Therefore, we have developed a "memory compacting technique" to keep memories in a small package, which will support your heart and mind for the rest of your life.
The company has established such a method for people in their 50s and older, and is currently conducting seminars and producing photobooks and remade products using the memory compact technique.
Also, in April of this year, a book summarizing the method, "You can savor it from your 50s! The Best Reward "The Most Wonderful Tidying Up in Life" (Mikasa Shobo) was published.
Life is full of peaks and valleys.
Everyone arrives at a point in their lives where they are aware that they are approaching the fourth and final corner of the 400-meter relay race, the "end-of-life" stage.
I am also a member of this generation.
The term "end-of-life" seems to have a negative image of preparing for old age or going downhill, which I find very unfortunate.
I believe that all human beings are equal and that "today is the youngest day of your life.
I think like that every day, so I have never felt that I am on a downhill slope, and since life goes by so quickly, I want to do whatever I want to do and enjoy every day.
Because we have lived for a long time, we have many memories.
If we aim for the top of the mountain with the power of our many memories, we will always be able to see new and wonderful scenery one after another.
From now on, I will accompany the lifetime generation by sharing my method: "If you reconnect with your memories through tidying up and starting the first step of your lifetime, you will continue on a bright path that is much more personal to you.
I, myself, will spend my days aiming to run through the goal of my life with a refreshed feeling that I have done all I can, no matter what the outcome.
I believe that "end-of-life" is a time to live brightly in one's own way until the end.
text and photo by Megumi Ono
Executive Producer, Memories Editing Room President, Korurisha Inc.
Born in Tokyo in 1962. After working for a major bank, worked for a publishing company. After working for Media Factory and KADOKAWA, where he was involved in the planning and editing of numerous best-selling books, he began freelancing in 2015.
At the same time, his father died, and he spent several years searching for a "tidying up method" that would help people in the second-life generation improve their lives both physically and mentally, as well as be useful in their life after death.
Finally, he developed the "Memory Compact Method," which is a third alternative to "throw away or don't throw away" as a way to deal with "memories" that many people have the most trouble with.
This method has been used by many people who have said, "I was able to let go of things while keeping my memories intact! I was able to get rid of things that I had been hesitating about for years, and it was like a rebirth! It's like a rebirth!
In 2016, at the age of 54, she started her new life's work, Korurisha, which produces photobooks of memories. He is the author of the book, "You Can Savor It in Your 50s! The Best Reward: Life's Most Wonderful Tidying Up" (Mikasa Shobo)
Her seminars advocating cheerful and joyful life after death using the "Life's Most Wonderful Tidying Up" method are very popular.
Book "The Most Wonderful Tidying Up of Your Life -- You Can Savor It in Your 50s! The Best Reward"
Keep your precious memories, but clear your mind and room!
You can taste it in your 50's! The best reward.
The best reward you can enjoy in your 50's. "An amazing method of tidying up that will help you find the meaning of your life! Psychiatrist Dr. Ken Shimizu praised it highly!
It's amazing! It's so quick and easy!"
I feel energized and refreshed, and I even found my purpose in life!
I don't want to throw anything away! It's okay if you are overflowing with "I don't want to throw it away!
STAY SALTY ...... people here
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】
STAY SALTY ...... people here
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-eniiru
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.
STAY SALTY ...... people here
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 by 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.