Category Archives: English

No smoking hotel -Season7-

-26-

Ken, when we met several years ago, having retired Tokyo Mercantile Marine College, worked for a coast institution in Yokosuka.

“Heey …disappeared like smoke, brother.”
He seemed to get drunk and told me the same story over and over.

In Yokosuka at that time, there were always fights by military men of the U.S. and the peace-keeping gangsters.

When Ken and I were in Yokosuka in those days, we didn’t go out at night, so this is the story I’ve heard of…
There were many ruffian guys among the workers involved in loading at the coast, and when a weekend night comes, they’d go out for Dobuita street.

“Want me to find somebody to fight? You kidding. You really want me to find a girl, don’t you?
The U.S. military men took away the girls, and the men left, to show off their strength, are going to pick a quarrel with them …is that wrong?”

“You’re the man I expect. You have a keen insight.”
He seemed to admire my pointing out. I’m not in so a bad mood.

“So, there is a thing I want to ask you”

I have watched a documentary of frenzy time when toilet papers were out of stock because of the oil crisis happened in 1973.

Now we’re in that time.
Ken was attempting to make a large amount of money at once, using the connection between the loading work and the military men of the U.S.

“Okazaki will manage it concerning yakuza standing back for the loading worker of the coast.
I want you brother to negotiate with the military men. You speak English, right?”

“What makes you think so?”

“An elegant man like you bro and those who are so keen can always speak English. My intuition can never be wrong.”

I wonder what on earth makes him so confident. Anyway, I can’t do anything right with someone not confident.

But as you know, most of the confident people are the quite naive dreamers.
I need to know what gives him the confidence. The thing has to be done after that.

“By the way, are you going to stay here till the morning? Your girlfriend is alone in the flat, isn’t she?”

“There is a girl in the flat indeed. But I have also other girlfriends.”

What is he talking about? This guy with black glasses.

“Wow, master,” the girl with her loudly make-up called me so.

I turned back and recognized Keiko. I remember she was a singer in cabaret “London.”

“So it was true that the great master was a Ken’s friend.”

I don’t care at all but this soft-soaping, calling me “the great master,”really makes me feel disgusting.

“I wanted to sing, too, your Nineteen.”

-27-

The more I listen, the more it becomes mysterious.

It is sure that I wrote a song “Nineteen.” However, it’s a song in future, which is supposed to be released in 2015.

“I remember that was Nineteen. To love someone seemed so easy.”

She was humming it undoubtedly, in her beautiful voice.

It is me who want to ask you to sing.
Yours is more excellent than my husky voice.

They said that last year, “Nineteen” was sung by a female singer, Sayaka, and it was a big hit.

“Now that you’ve received the Record Award, master. It’s an amazing success of you.”

I almost burst into laugh. The Record Award? Is there still such a thing like that?

No, wait. Now I’m in the time when pop tunes flourished most…
My grandma said that in those days, it was the dream of all singers in Japan to receive the Japan Record Award.

“Well… what are you doing now? Still singing?”

“You know about Taoka and me. He’s changed to Sayaka.”

I don’t know the actual situation, but I can imagine it.
I know it’s a bad expression, but, a female singer is no more than that.

“Sayaka leans to Taoka completely, and even her brother exchanged cups of sake.”

So the whore Sayaka’s brother has become a member of yakuza. Doesn’t matter at all.

“After that, I heard that you’ve gone away and I was worrying that they might have thrown you into Tokyo Bay.

Oh, I see. Stop worrying while grinning at me.

Ken left his seat.
It seemed that he’s got tired of Keiko’s unstopping chattering.

Broke up with Taoka, leaving Tokyo, Keiko settled down in the suburban area of Yokosuka.
There she sang in front of the military men and workers of the coast.

I think she met Ken there.

“I’ll tell you this between you and me. Ken might think I’m a convenient girl for him, but also for me, he is the convenient one.”

Going back to each flat, they have each boyfriend or girlfriend waiting for them, but here they can be lovers.
By the way, the two is so alike;
They are also like-minded couple, who pursue new way of living in which they acquire freedom by showing different faces in and out.

All right. Though it’s really interesting, nothing matters to me.

-28-

Siberia, Russia 1920’s

The ground of Russia was covered with chaos caused by the revolution.

Against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aiming to interrupt the expansion of communism, great nations like the U.S. and UK interfered with it.

Japan, who was aspiring to the rights and benefits in Manchuria, also sent her troops to Siberia, taking advantage of the chance.
They say they’re engaged in international contribution, but in fact, it means so.

As a lieutenant of Japanese Army, My, Hikaru Nekota’s great grandfather Kumakichi was on duty of keeping public peace in Irkutsk.

“I can’t stand anymore. Like this boring war. I wanna be back home soon.”

Kumakichi scratched a lot his arm where a striped mosquito bit.

It’s hot in summer in Siberia.

After the snow which was covered the ground during the winter melt, now a huge outbreak of mosquitoes has come.
He washed his body in the river instead of taking a shower. Then, more mosquitoes came to attack him.

Sergei, lying beside him, coughed and made a fart.

“What a fuck doing!, you bastard!”

Sergei released another fart toward Kumakichi. This time it hit straight his face.

“So bad smelling fart. What the heck did you eat?”

At that time, in Omsk, which was in the middle between Irkutsk and Moscow,
the Revolutionary Army(Soviet Army) and Czechoslovakian Army was at an intense fight.

Czechoslovakian Army had been resistance, which aimed at her independence from the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

When World War I started, the Russian Empire, who was standing against the House of Habsburg, welcomed them in.
However, in the Russian Revolution during that war,
Nicholas II and his family were shot to death, and the 300 years of history of the House of Romanov came to an end.

Soviet Union who established the first communist nation in the world, concluding peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary, left the war.

Czechoslovakian Army was left by Russia and in the state of pending.

Soviet Union regarded Czechoslovakian Army, which was welcomed by the Russian Empire, as the enemy of the revolution, and began attack.

Czechoslovakian Army, which was considered as the anti-Establishment power by its own country,
betting everything on its survival, was preparing for Guerilla warfare.

And at the same time, servicemen for the former Empire gathered in Omsk, getting the assistance by UK, launched a military dictatorship.
Naturally, Soviet Union denied the dictatorship in Omsk and the troops began advancing.

Taking advantage of this chaotic situation, Czechoslovakian Army attacked the branch of Central Bank of Russia in Kazakhstan.
They robbed gold nuggets and left for Omsk.

On their way the two encountered, and there was an intense battle.

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No smoking hotel -Season6-

-23-

“Our revolution will never end without banishment of Bourgeoisie people”
“To make it happen, we’d be forced to bring an armed uprising”

The November Revolution which was carried out with Lenin’s agitation resulted in the birth of a country titled Soviet.

Maria’s family, which was from the so-called Bourgeoisie, to protect itself, decided to move to a distant place, Siberia.

In time,
there came the artists for the anti-Establishment which Soviet denied,
and the lonely village in the suburb of Irkutsk turned into an artists village.

A short night of summer was about to be over in the artist village.

Anastasia doesn’t have the full control of her legs, but she’s still 26. It’s too early for her to abandon her life as a woman.

Speaking of which, her husband Sergei has been captured by Japanese Army in Irkutsk.

Japanese Army? At this time,
the Siberian intervention was conducted by Japanese Army under the pretext of international contribution to set up right the public peace which the civil war after the revolution disturbed.

Japan, as the result of the triumph at the Russo-Japanese war, has assured its rights and the benefits in Korea(South Korea and North Korea at present).

In those days, when the ex-prime minister Hirobumi Ito visited Harbin, Manchuria(the northeast of China at present), which was under control of Russia,
he was assassinated by a young Korean man at a train station.

Moreover, during World War I,
after they invaded Qindao, which had been German colony, they also were going to expand their power over Siberia in addition to Manchuria.

Of course, that Sergei would get angry…
He might get crazy, if he’d know that a foreigner is here while he’s out, his child took to the man easily, and he spent a night with his wife…

Thinking at his position, the reality is so ruthless.

But, also I was under the miserable fate. Perhaps mine was more than that.

Different from a prisoner of war, I don’t have any place to go back even when the war ends.
There is no room in my mind for feeling compassion for other people when they’ve got misfortune.

At the first place, whether a husband or wife, do not treat humans as belongings.

“You’ll be punished if you commit a crime. But, you’ll be punished even if you don’t commit a crime.”

Whichever way to go, that’s fuck my life.

-24-

Seashore lily blossoming in the beach told me that I seemed to come to the sea…

It was like having a bad dream.

Woke up to find myself moaning in a nightmare and…

“Feeling a little better?”

A girl asked, whose face I wasn’t sure I knew.

Thinking that probably I was taken to a time trip again,I asked back,“Where are we?”
“In Yokohama,” she answered.

“He’ll be back soon, so please wait a bit.” Who’ll be back? Though I think I know…

I was in a daze while getting nutrient from yogurt.

“Hey, I’m home.”

A man in early 20’s with black framed glasses entered the room.

“Ah! as I imagined.”I thought so, but I couldn’t recall his name, just“Ken”

That guy I had met in the dungeon of No Smoking Hotel in 2011, and had a trip from Tokyo to Yokosuka in Showa time together.

But he didn’t have glasses at that time…well, it doesn’t matter.

“Too young for a bum, and well dressed… I wondered who on earth, but it was you.”

It seems several years have passed since that and he brought me to the apartment who fainted on the night beach.

“Papa, it’s time to go.”

He was urged to dress up in fancy clothes by the girl he lived with, and somehow they also took me to the Saturday night in Yokohama.

-25-

Tonight, the Dance Party is held in a night club in ex-camp of the U.S. Armed Forces.

These two came to know each other a few months ago.
Well, it could be the youthful time in Showa of Japan.

I don’t like staying out late at night as in the 21st century, so felt inconvenient in almost all the time.

It’s good we’re allowed to smoke as we like, but there are too many people and I cannot be at ease.
However, something interested me, the heartrending and passionate music such as Argentine Tango.

Ken brought his friend.
“It’s long time no see.”
Maybe… Okazaki, who was the boy in a cabaret.

I wanted to ask what had happened during the several years, but difficult to talk a lot in the air.
Well, it’s not that important…

Around 11 o’clock at night, his girlfriend left for her(their) place, though the others wouldn’t go home.

When Ken said he’d see her off, I wanted to get out together.
But he said,“Wait a little. I’ll be back soon.” So I lost the chance.

I usually like the night. I mean…
Like having a glass of wine calmly, enjoying the waving light of candle in the darkness.

But, I don’t like sing in karaoke and making merry in a bar or club,
because people are drunk and I cannot talk as usual with them. In a word, “rubbish.”

It’s difficult in the night city to drink “a little” to settle down.

Me is a social person officially, but don’t like establish relationships halfheartedly with alcohol.

No way! especially being encouraged to go to a cabaret club by my friend or fuckin’ coworker.
Nothing to talk to such stranger girls with no connection with me.

The story has digressed… but to be honest, it’s impossible to drink along the night with the guys met at random.

If I were younger, it would be useful to take interests in the unknown world.
The worn out heart through the trips around the world thinks it’s trifle.

I was looking for any reasons that let me go home.

But where should I go?
Japan or Europe, either is OK. I have to go back to 2011. It’s not good at this rate. I have a lot of work.
If not impossible, even Russia in 1920’s is okay…

But how?
I have repeated come and go somehow ever, but it’s no use because I don’t know the mechanism.

No smoking hotel -Season5-

-19-

“Today is the anniversary of Lenin balloon, isn’t it?”
A girl who arornd 5 years old talked to me in an innocent tone.

“The anniversary of Lenin balloon”
… Could they really launch such a thing in this quiet and peaceful country in Russia?

The girl’s name was Maria.
She told me that although she was born in Petrograd (present St. Petersburg),
she and her family fled from to escape from fires of the revolution.

It was called the artists village around here,
and Dachas of those who are kind of eccentric and from the upper class gathered.
The flow of the clear river that praises itself its abundant water.
Except for the unpleasantness which so many mosquitoes bring about,
you can consider there as the summer resort where gentle and cheerful people spend their time in summer.

By the way, I thought I was back to the hotel in 2011,
but who ever expects that I’d be taken to Siberia during Russian revolution now…?
Besides, it is summer. The calender seems to go out of control.

This time, I believed I could never be back. But, I’m not in so bad mood.
Well, I can’t find the exact expression, but it was like I was chosen to be god.
I mean I felt so comfortable in this village that way.

When I was led into Maria’s house…
the relatives of her parents and also their friends welcomed me as they dance French Can-can even in the daytime!

“Come on, let’s have the dance of 1999!” said Sophia, who is Maria’s aunt and invited me.
Said what? The dance of 1999?

In 1920s, there was a legend saying that the world would come to an end at the end of the century
and the people in the artist village, in particular, believed in that.
In other way… they were trying to dance all Belle Epoque-ish decadence in every possible situation.

I held Maria in my arm and had the dance of 1999 with Sophia hand in hand.

“By the way, where are your parents?”
When I asked Maria, she ran to the woman relaxing leisurely in her chair.

Her name was Anastasia.
She was beautiful but it seemed that she didn’t have the full use of her legs.

“And your dad?” I said.
Maria pointed ahead the forest in the distance across the window and made an innocent smile.

-20-

Maria took my hand and we walked along the river.
The surface is bright with the sunlight.
The gentle summer scent filled out there.

Suddenly, we heard a Russian announcement which came through a bad speaker.
In the meantime, many people came and sat aside the river.
They gathered in order to see launching the balloon.

While young men was playing music, also Sophia and Anastasia came.

They said today is the ten and several times anniversary
since comrade Lenin almost brought the first revolution, which was never to be done in fact.

Lenin is one of those whom I respect in history.
If I had been able to go back to my world after this, I could say it was wonderful visit…
you know what, I’m gonna see the very historical moment with my own eyes beyond time and space!

But, my heart was hesitating. I don’t think I can get back anymore.

That is not so a bad thing, but I’m still caring about the people and work left in that world beyond.
I was very in the middle of the world tour which I have dreamed of since I was a kid.
Furthermore, my father got ill and was in hospital in Japan.

If it had been promised that I can return, I want to enjoy the summer in this artists village to my heart’s content.

I just cant’t do that while I’m holding regrets and worries.
Only If I could switch my mind off well…though unfortunately, I am not so smart.

Santa in the mid summer came and began to give presents to children.

Naturally, Maria got excited a lot!

“During the summer, where are you staying, Santa?”

“In Soviet Union.”

“Then, what about winter?”

“I visit children around the world out of Soviet Union.”

Listening to the conversation by Maria and Santa, I lighted my tobacco.

I breathed deeply and made a big sigh.
The summer melancholy is going to take me to Another World.

Feeling a little funny…I was beginning to enjoy the summer in Soviet Union.

-21-

In time, the sun showed its tired face, and its light was getting weaker.

Blown by breeze, I kissed Sophia by my side without specific reason,
thinking I might be doing this with grown up Maria several years later…

It seems the sunset is almost there, but the sun is still in sight.
Under the midnight sun, the vermilion surface of the river makes tiny waves.

In the bushes of the forest, a big balloon was launched.
There was Lenin’s portrait on the front and to that the young men repeated, “Long live our comrade Lenin!”

People in the artists village also gave cheers, holding bottles of beer and vodka or smoking and…
It doesn’t seem that they are celebrating the communist revolution.
A little disappointed, I regretted leaving my camera in 2011.

As for Maria, she was engaged just in eating cake…
It seemed Lenin balloon was sort of entertainment for a peaceful picnic.

I think it was after this, Great Purge was conducted in the Stalin era
that the dictatorial system by Communist Party was reinforced.
Besides, these people in the artists village were from mainly the upper class
and the Bourgeoisie, whom they targeted later as enemy of the revolution.

It was fun but not so much as I had expected…when the feeling occurred to me,
I could see fire in the forest across the river.

Your won’t say it fell, will you…
I was sure something not good happened.
As for the people, they looked worried about,
but seemed to be even enjoying the fire across the river.

Looking at the way the fire in the forest getting larger, Maria and her family went home.
As if it was a natural way of happening, I stayed the night with them.

During the night, for about only 2 hours, I talked with Anastasia, the mother of Maria.

She doesn’t have the full use of her legs, but the veil of night gives her amorousness way of things.
Having wine, I was listening to her love story in the past.

The thing I was interested in through that was why Sergei, who was her husband, didn’t come back.

-22-

When at night, with drooping eyelids, I blow out the candles flare,
Time’s unending path is followed only by the old clock there.

For just draw aside the curtains and the moon will flood the room with a fire of passions summoned by the arduous of her gloom from the night of recollection.
She will resurrect an eon of distress ? which we, however, sense as in a dreamlike paean.

Moon, arch-mistress of the ocean, you glide the planet’s sphere,
You give light to thoughts unthought of and eclipse sorrow and fear.

Oh, how many deserts glimmer under your soft virgin light
And how many woods overshadow brooks and rivers burning bright!

Legion is the name of billows you dispose of as you please, when you sail upon the ever restless solitude of seas.

Of resplendent climes, of gardens, palaces and castles old,
Which you impregnate with magic and to your own view unfold of the dwellings that
you enter tiptoe by the window-pane to gaze thoughtfully at foreheads that so many thoughts enchain!

A king’s plans enmesh the planet for a century or more, while the pauper hardly thinks of what his morrow has in store.

Though the dice of Fate have to them meted different rungs and ways,
Both submit to the same biddings of Death’s genius and her rays, be they weak or be they mighty, unintelligent or clever.

All do minister to passions and their bondsmen are forever.

One is looking for the mirror, purposing to curl his mane,
One ? for truth, hoping to find it in the space and time mundane.

No smoking hotel -Season4-

-14-

Asking the master of the pension to tell him goodbye,
I got on the inbound train of the Yokosuka Line.

After getting back in Tokyo, I headed for Asakusa where the place was in which I was at the start of this period.
But because I just followed after him on the Christmas, I didn’t remember well from where I went up to the ground.

“Wow, aren’t you the bro I met before?”

A boy I didn’t know called me. I turned around and said, “are you Okazaki?” ,at the next moment.

“Oh, you know me name.”
The boy was the Okazaki he was talking about as I had expected.
However, I still don’t know HIS name.

Ho! I remember… Maybe he said just “Ken”

Okazaki looked more decent than I had imagined.
He told me he wanted to be a painter, but seemed to look better in a business suit.

So it was hard to believe by his looks that Okazaki had his relationship with gangsters.
He said it grew as he worked at a movie theater.
Now he is studying to enter a college for art after graduating from high school.

To avoid a long talk, I asked him to show me the way to “you-know-where”.
Then, he said, “is that OK?”, and he took me to a cabaret “London.”
I recognized that place;where I choked when I had an unfamiliar cigarette “Cherry.”

By the way, after quit the job at a movie theater,
Okazaki began to take part-time job as a waiter and tout.

So, this story is to end at…
me catched by Okazaki and join the rich old men play at the cabaret.

I hesitated for a moment, but there was no other way.
It was the last hope to go back to No smoking hotel I had been in before.
Well, it doesn’t have to be No smoking hotel, if I would be able to be back to the world of 2011.

-15-

Cabaret “London”

So likely for a name.
What to say… isn’t it rude to the capital of the U.K?
Of course, there is no English people here.

Looking around the gaudy inside with the smoke of cigarettes, it crowded so much.

The garish lights and the standard jazz of live performance.
Well, it is real in some way.

Okazaki came as a waiter in charge of my seat.
When I ordered a bottle of Hennessy,
he said by my ear “I’ll bring you the best girl here,” and left.

After some time, Keiko, a girl, sat next to me.

“Oh, it’s a rare cigarette. Foreign one?”
My loving Mevius didn’t exist in this period, so it was natural.

Troublesome to explain, I was looking for the door from which I came in while talking a little.
The door I opened hearing jingle bells on Christmas.

But it was difficult to find, for there was so crowded inside the cabaret in business.

When I said “I’ll go to the restroom,” the girl Keiko took me there.

While having wash, I remembered that it was… probably the back door of the kitchen.
That’s right. At that time, I assumed it to be a restaurant in underground…

I checked that the kitchen was on the right of the restroom.
The problem is how to get through the kitchen and go out from the door.

As for now, leave it till I’m back to my seat.

In the time like this, a hostess is disturbing who is by my side even I didn’t ask.
Of course Keiko is not bad, but it is painful to have an unintentional conversation.

Did Okazaki realize I was being bored…
He said, “would I change the girl?”

“No thanks. By the way, can you show me to the kitchen?”

“…after here is closed.”

“Then, tell the master that I’m your friend and want to study the work of cook.”
I made up a fake suggestion.

“Okay…”
He said reluctantly, and left saying “please be careful.”

-16-

10 minutes later, Okazaki came again.

He said he’d change my hostess because someone had called Keiko.
“That’s OK. I feel like drinking alone.”

I feel other customers are sneering me for drinking alone at a cabaret.
They may want to say, “it’s not a bar here.”
Strange indeed…though it doesn’t matter for the one who is going to vanish from this period soon.

But, from forward, I felt the other eyes different from simple sneering. At least, they aren’t kind.

I gazed back straight to the eyes without looking away. “They are calling you there.”

Okazaki took me to the table where the group was that gave me keen eyes.

“Please take a seat.”
A man past middle-age served me a seat gently, and the tough looking men surrounding me stood up at once.

It forced me to drink inside the circle of the guys who obviously seemed to belong to a gangsters’ organization.

Sitting to the over middle-age man’s left and lighting up my cigarette, I noticed I was excited a bit with this situation.

In the case, I’ll struggle fiercely and get out of here from the door of the kitchen unknowingly during the confusion.
Thinking so, I felt easier than pondering a lot while I drink alone.

I recognized that Keiko was sitting to the man’s right closely.
Well… it became more interesting.

“You, what is the reason you called me?”
When I ask, the tough-looking men stood up at once.

The man stopped them and gave me his card.
Taoka as “Executive of Kobe show business”… He is…wait, but who are you on earth? Yea… he doesn’t seem to scout me…

“You know, this is a good singer.”
Keiko will make her debut as a singer belongs to Kobe show business before long.

Then why is she working here?
I mumbled in my mind, but that isn’t concerned with me.

“You look sophisticated. Seem to be familiar with music, but do you compose music?”
Taoka took his interest in me looking my long hair and the strange suit.

“This girl said she had been with a customer who brought about something odd before.”
Ho! Will I make my debut in the world of Showa popular song? Oh! My FUCK… No way.

-17-

Keiko said, after graduating from middle school, she came to Tokyo as one in the work finding group and was working for a fabric factory.

She somehow joined a man there who was playing the guitar around bars, and began to sing in bars out of the downtown.
Then, her singing was recognized at cabaret “London”, and now she is preparing for her debut.

When I was listening to that story with doubtful thought, Taoka started his talk in serious-looking.

“I want you to send me a demo tape of your original tune, or give it to Okazaki.”
I’m not interested in at all though…

They said they’re looking for someone to write music and lyrics for Keiko’s debut.
In my opinion, writers themselves would offer if it is an official company…

“Errr…can I do that while being a cock?”

“…Are you interested in cooking?”
Taoka said dubiously, looking at my long hair.

“Yes…well, music is kind of a hobby for me.”

To tell the truth, I just wannna open the bottom door in the kitchen.

Taoka called Okazaki and told him to take me to the kitchen.
Later I recognized Taoka was the general manager of “London”, which was the higher position than a shop manager.

At any rate, pretending to be showed the way to the kitchen, I found the bottom door.

Not to mention, I didn’t listen to the head cheaf’s talk.

Well…let’s go.

Okazaki understood my plan without speaking, and I went out from the door.
And there was the stairs as I had expected.

This is it. Go up here, and I can go back to No smoking hotel in 2011.
Now I don’t care the rats creeping around.

Waving at Okazaki briefly, I went up the stairs which lead to the 21st century.

-18-

After the 15 minutes’ up on the long and long stairs, the large hole on the wall began to show up.
Yes, it’s the hole on the wall I made.

I intruded through the hole on tiptoe.

Now I feel like I’ve become a thief.
No, people will actually see me as a thief.

Fortunately, no one is in this room.

But, my baggage have already been taken away.

It’s not surprising. The check out day has already passed.
Probably, the front desk of No smoking hotel has been keeping.

After getting out of the room, I boarded on the elevator, prepared for the compensation for the hole on the wall in mind.
I pushed the button of 2F where the front was.
The door closed, and the elevator gradually went down.

But 5 min is too long, even from the top.

Is it out of order?

It happens sometimes here but…can’t bear if I’m locked up.

I was worrying about that, but deep in my heart, another anxiety was growing.

“I don’t want to believe but…”

Now I won’t be surprised any more…
But only one thing upset my expectation.

Where the elevator led me was…not the old time Tokyo.

No smoking hotel -SEASON3-

-10-

“Cherry”

I’ve never heard of that name on the package of cigarettes.

“Jeez!” What’s this?

“it seems it doesn’t taste good for you.”

That’s right.
The package says it includes 18% of nicotine.

But, well, I served him my cigarette in return.

My favorite one is mentholated and includes only 1% nicotine.

“Is it mentholated? And, is this a cigarette?”

He asked me dubiously, and I thought him dubious in reverse.

It was not so minor one … at least, in Japan.
Okay.
He might be a non-Japanese of Japanese decent who lives in Europe.

At any rate, he started to walk after smoking.
I wasn’t sure, but followed him and noticed something strange.

It’s different.
The view of town is not the same as one I saw when cheked in the hotel.

Also, the board has many Japanese words, not English even not Cyrillic…
Was there “Little Tokyo” here?

First of all, why does this man take me?

The questions I couldn’t ask because we were in hurry occurred to me one after another.

When the words “come to think of it…” came the tip of my tongue, he said,”Run!” and,
I ran at full speed and followed him without understanding the situation.

I was exhausted because I didn’t know where we were going and how long we were to run.

It seemed we ran at least 5 minutes.

We came in off-street which looked a little dangerous.

-11-

Something may happen if I keep on following him.

“Who are you on earth?”
He stared at me suspiciously when I asked him suddenly.

His staring at my face irritated me a bit.

“Is there anything on my face?”

“…No… You’ve beautiful face.”

Huh? Is he a gay?

“No scars, so fast to recover, isn’t it?”

What is he talking about?
I hit the wall before. No one hit me.

The moonlight illuminated his face, and I noticed swelling on his cheek.

“Anyway…you’re strong.”

So what is he talking about?

“You know … dealing with the gangsters like that…who are you?”

Woa, he asked before me.

He seemed to have a trouble with them.

Then I came and cleared them all.

At last we are running … oi, NO WAY!

What on earth makes me run with someone I don’t know?

… That will be known later and later.

At that point, I judged we’d better go to safer place.

“Where is your home?”

“Fukagawa.”

“Not in Japan. I’m asking where you live now!”

He murmured “Fukagawa” again so suspiciously.

For a moment, heavy air flowed as if the time stopped, and I recognized.

He didn’t lied to me, for we were in … somewhere … in Tokyo.

I don’t know … why I’m in Tokyo now.
But, at any rate, I have to escape from the guys first.

“Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way”

Some drunker passed while singing.

I just know the calender isn’t wrong.

Let’s clear the mind after settle down at first.

A night excited with the jingle bells …
Two men didn’t tell each name to other was going to Fukagawa.

-12-

There was no charm in the room.

Space of about 3 Tatamis, and just a small table.
A desk next to the window made the room smaller.

I could understand he was a student studying something when I saw the things on the desk.

I didn’t feel like asking about it, and asked the main question.

He seemed to have had a relationship with the gangsters which grew from the friendship with the one who came to Tokyo together.

The boy, whose name was Okazaki, had been a kind boy, but he changed completely after coming to Tokyo.
He said he came to Asakusa to help Okazaki and had a trouble with the gangsters in the end.

“It was Asakusa…”

Still I don’t know the reason.
So there was Asakusa of Showa period beyond the stairs which lead to the underground of the Eastern-European hotel.

That’s interesting. If there is a way to go home…

He told me that the boy Okazaki had a gift of drawing and so on, but I wanted him to introduce himself before.

“So, is the guy Okazaki worth trusting? He knows this apartment, doesn’t him?”

He didn’t answer and began packing which was not so large.

Managing to put all the things into a big traveling bag, suddenly he said,

“Take this.”

“No kidding, take your baggage yourself.”

“Sorry, but I have to take that desk.”

I asked him why, then he said awkwardly his father in country sent it to him.

It didn’t connect with his acts, but I thought he wasn’t so bad as I had expected.

Before going out of the room, he put a letter which said just “thank you” and closed the door.

“Be quiet. The neighbor is still sleeping.”

Just in case, we decided to get on the first train from Shinagawa station, not Tokyo station, and kept on walking in the harbor area in midnight.

“It’s so fast 26th comes … another Christmas has been over.”

When he murmured so, I remembered having come from a distant country in the 21 century.
Uneasiness and anger mixed, but I knew nothing would be gonna change if I blamed him.

Somehow I caught a train of Yokosuka line, not Tokaido line from Shinagawa station.

Getting off at Yokosuka, we stayed at a pension along the sea.

The master suspiciously gazed at him bringing a desk but no complaining came out of his mouth.
On the contrary, he said he would keep it till we check out.

It’s the mind of “omotenashi”…
The kind attitude really warmed my heart because I had been abroad for about half a year every several years.

-13-

On the following day, sleety rain was falling.

He went to Yokosuka city to find a job.
It might due to the season;the end of the year.No one would welcome him.

Though he didn’t give up and visited shops and factories with recruiting posters.

As for me … tired on the way and smoking.
To tell more precisely, smoking and clearing my mind vaguely.

People in the city looked busy with preparing the New Year.
Frankly speaking, I’m busy,too(I don’t know why), at least, in my head.

At any rate,
it’s so comfortable no one says something about smoking on the street.

In the 21st century’s Japan which I lived in, we couldn’t smoke freely at the center in the city.
Some places had the smoking area, but I didn’t like such a small space with full of people and smoke.
It was kind of the comforting room due to satisfy the thirst for nicotine, so not a place for thinking.

How different it was…
so cool to smoke surrounded by the scenery in December of Showa times(Showa was new to me).

Lighting up the second cigarette, I felt more at ease.

…I feel he is not so a bad guy, but…
Generally, I think relationship is made of Give and Take except family.
I could think so by my life of the past few years.
Yes, He gave me nothing.

…Let’s get home.

He can stay there for another 2 days because I paid the charge for 3 days yesterday.
It’s not abandoning. I don’t have any duty to him.

And, don’t I have to get back to the place I was before?

No smoking hotel -Season2-

-7-

Nyan! Me, Hikaru Nekota is likely to be this type.

I have a strong sense of justice and do your best in correcting faults, which means you’re hot-blooded.

I’m moral, trustworthy, trying to move forward, clever, fair, honest ,and spare no effort, have a sense of responsibility.

I’m a perfectionist, putting your heart into making a difference in the world.
My temperament is German in stereotype image.

I do my best in order to remove my shortcomings.

I often get irritated when things and matters aren’t in order.

I want to avoid doing myself and follow someone on something seems to be a waste of time.

I often worry more unnecessarily or excessively than others.

I don’t want to stray from the path of duty, such as lying and cheating.

I don’t have enough time even though I have a lot of things to do. Always something makes me rush.

I cannot help checking precisely how I spent my time.

I easily believe in the idea that we cannot forgive bad things.

I get troubled and confused when things aren’t treated fairly.

I have a strong desire for self-improvement and always think I have to improve myself more and more.

I often feel frustrated, which is also the evidence which shows I’m not perfect.

-8-

feeling heartrending…
Only time flows…

…May go to the hell as the fallen one

On Christmas Eve in 2011, fine snow was falling.

Drinking a glass of hot Mulled wine at the Christmas market in a square, I lighted a cigarette.
My blue-eyed girlfriend did hold my arm tightly, and we listened to the hymn played by a nameless band.

The couple enjoyed the evening going toward the Saint Night, the sound of bells in church was disturbing though.

…not like that… the strong belief that I had to enjoy occupied my mind.

Making success in young, I lead satisfactory days in Europe. I thought I attained a dreaming life there.

But, the feeling of dissatisfaction choked me.
At every moment, there was me being impatient and angry about something.

She was with her family on 25th, Christmas, as Europeans do.
I was in a No Smoking Hotel in a country alone.

Nowadays, there is seldom a Smoking Hotel, so I ignored the no smoking rule.

I can’t write this manuscript unless wave the smoke elegantly.
Much less make music. After all, I don’t feel alive.

Authority, when a society or economy is at stake, tends to reinforce worthless regulations like Witch Hunts.

Eliminating minorities cuts down the complains of foolish people.
YAY! “Me” knows, who studied history at university.

Come to think of it, the first nonsmoking nation was Nazi Germany, wasn’t it?
I heard that when the situation got worse, the Anti-Smoking facism regarded new coming minorities as Witches.
It… is Jew, you know.

There was “Prohibition” in the United States during Great Depression.
But also facebook does not reach a lot of people a topic related to alcohol, by the way.

What am I doing?…I thought about trifle matters because of No Smoking Hotel.

The irritation grew stronger, and I hit the wall on which the poster “Here is No Smoking Hotel” was put.

I hit it with all my strength, indeed, but I was no Manny Pacquiano or Klitschko brothers (boxers).
The wall collapsed, and there was a big hole which a man could get through.

Worrying about the compensation to the hotel, I saw through the hole nervously.

…There were something like stairs.

-9-

This cheap hotel seemed to have been a jail or something.
The stairs gave me the impression those days.

My curiosity let me go down the stairs.

I went down a lot, but still there was a long way.

When thought of going back, I heard the Melody of jingles down in the distance.
Do they have a strange Party in cellar?

I thought I had went down the stairs for 15 minutes.

The jingle bells sounded clearly. I was reaching there.

Finally, I found an old door.
To open the door, or to go back I couldn’t decide for a moment, but…the next moment I moved.

“Nothing to lose”
At any rate, I had nothing to lose.
My life was not so much fantastic.

Made up my mind, and when I open the door of the cellar… there was the bottom of the hell where rats was crawling around.

Umm… a little confused, I was taking back, but the door was heavy.

“Hey, this way. Come quick.”

I turned around, and there was a Japanese-like man in black suits.

I had no time to understand the situation, and I just ran after him.

Finally got out of the underground through the emergency stairs, and the man pulled out a cigarette to me, saying “do you want one?”

No smoking hotel -Season1-

-4-

Beyond the fall of light there was a boy, listening to Rock’n’Roll for the first time in life.

Looking back on the past, I was blessed with luck.

The boys made their debut in early teen, and grew up creating air of maturity and distress which other students didn’t have.

However, there aren’t only good things in our lives.
Retired high school, being apart from his parents, the boy had to face the severe reality.

When he couldn’t earn his keep even after his debut, he deceived the transportation company into believing that he was 18 and worked as an assistant there…

The colleague man asked me, “why don’t you have the driver’s license?” “Why are you working? You’re a pro, aren’t you?”
He put up with the season being made fun of…

Bad things don’t stop when we have no room for minor matters.

Couldn’t pay the house rent, and was forced to get out of the apartment to be homeless.
In fact, he could protect himself from rain at his acquaintance’s houses…

He wouldn’t know how much his parents did for him if he had been under their patronage.

He talked about it to his friends, but they took interests in other.
Adults also wouldn’t listen to him and made him feel alone…

In the end, only my father stood by me.

He said he would take care of me if I get the qualification for entrance exam for university and entered one.
If several years ago, I would’ve refused it.
But it was the very thing in need for one was really poor.

Studying for the exam…
Even if I failed, my life will never be at stake.
How happy I was to study in strong motivation without concern for living.

Ah! The girl of Afghanistan, Malala, may show me her sympathy to this.

-5-

Well, now is the time to take the main theme.

In the spring in 2011, my young dad entered hospital.

Even then, I, thought like this,
“God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”

And, even with the falling trouble, I felt the God’s bless.

Life is not easy.

The real set up on numbers of absurdity.
It’s my life to tackle with and beat it.

There was so tough and devil-may-care me that can enjoy even absurdity so foolishly.

My dad, KENZO, was born in Hiroshima which was resuming from the ruins of fire made by nuclear bomb.
However, his father(my grandpa) managed to sustain his life, but was suffering heavy A-bomb disease.

Yes, THAT Hiroshima.

-6-

Kenzo was the second son of father who was an A-bomb victim and iliterate mother in a farm family.

He didn’t have any memory of the A-bomb itself.
But, he spent his childhood doing nothing but noticing adults in neighborhood suffering an aftereffect of A-bomb and falling into hell.

One day, he asked his father,
“Why didn’t the U.S. drop an A-bomb on Germany?”

His father answered,
“’cause human rights problems would arise if they did so. So they used yellow monkeys as test subjects.”

“Are we monkeys, not humans?”
His father was staring at the sky without speaking when Kenzo asked so…

10 years after the war, though Japanese government declared that “now we’re not in post-war,”
Hiroshima had numbers of stimulant addicts and gang boys, and it was definitely becoming the base of gangsters.

Children in those days including Kenzo would look down on people immigrated from countries which the Empire of Japan dominated calling them
…as Chon(Koreans), Chankoro(Chinise), Rosuke(Russians), and was brought up in hatred and violation…

And hatred grew stronger even between Japanese who have different opinions. The revenge against the revenge made the gang boys groups of gangsters.

Tokyo was in high to hold Olympics, while Hiroshima was still in post-war…