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My story / わたしのこと

I felt fear.  Honestly, all I felt was fear.
Ever since I was little, I was always scared of something.


My family home was in the middle of Tokyo. And yet, it was not an urban. It was a temple town, and the streets were always deserted. The shortcut from the station to my house was so narrow that two people could fit in a row, and yet I had to walk through the darkness for about ten minutes. As if it were a test of courage, I had to pass the graves of different temples three time. When no one was around, I was afraid of ghosts, and if other people were around, I was afraid that the person was a vampire, so I definitely kept my distance.
Next to my house was also a temple. At night I couldn't go upstairs to my room alone. I was scared even during the day. Sometimes I felt like there was a presence that wasn't me. In the daytime, I climbed the steep stairs, singing a cheerful song. It was my way of signaling that I was going to go my room and please get out from there. I was so scared it.
At the night, when I switched off the light for sleeping, I knew something started to move. I got under the blanket and crawled in up to my head, getting smaller and smaller and crushing the small interspaces. If there was an interspace, it would definitely come into my blanket. They knew I was there. But if there's no spacep, they couldn't get in. I believed so.

Yes, I was always frightened.

I was scared of people. People who suddenly get angry, people who wield power, and people who hurt people as if they had a right to do so. People who got anger when I cried because of scared, and people who blame someone else for everything.
OK. It's all my fault.
So don't be angry anymore. Don't take your anger out on me anymore. I'll erase my presence, I'll disappear as much as possible, so don't point your spear at me and I'll tremble with fear.

I was afraid of people. I hated myself for consciously and unconsciously hurting someone, even though I couldn't stand being hurt. I felt like I was wearing the same mask as the people who hurt me. A mask full of anger that can never be peeled off by my strength.
I didn't want friends. At the same time, I wanted friends with all my heart.
I was a primary school student who didn't have many friends and my teachers worried about me.

Even when I had a fever, I went to the library to borrow books. When I couldn't read, I created stories in my head. Lots of stories. A world where no one gets angry. A world where when someone get angry, they absolutely make up afterwards. A world where kindness is at the root when someone get angry.
I was afraid not to think.
Because when I was walking down the street, the only thing that came to mind was the possibility of being chased by zombies. I always walked checking my escape route from them.

I was scared, so I pretended not to be scared.
I pretended that it was nothing. I tried to pretend myself that I could make it. I wanted to think I was.
I wanted to be someone I wasn't. But I couldn’t.
I became a junior high school student and I joined the musical club at an all-girls secondary school.
When I played a role, I felt I could smile freely. I felt I didn't need to bring the lump of iron that I dragged around with me every day. I wanted to be a musical actress to live in the world all the time, so I started learning to sing, ballet, jazz and tap dance.
I entered Waseda University, majoring in theatre.

As ever, the world turned its back on me.
But what does it matter?
As ever, I pretended not to be afraid.
Because that is the world. And I have no choice but to live there.

As I studied at university, I realised that there were no musicals in my inside. It was something I wanted to be, but it was only borrowed.
I needed to be me, not someone else first.

I love singing, so I wanted to sing more. I wanted to sing freely, not in a fixed way. As I wrote songs in composition club, I began to open my inside to myself. It was small and very thin. I took out something that seemed to disappear from it, kneaded it around, and desperately shaped it.
I composed songs of ONI, like ogre, songs of the etymology of words.
I wanted to express the forgotten. I wanted to sing about someone who was like me, someone who had no name.

I composed many songs.
Sometimes I imitated someone and regretted it.

I noticed that something in my inside increased little. 
While searching for new song themes, I came across Japanese mythology.
A giant snake with eight heads. A talking rabbit.
I thought that Japan had stories of ghosts and folk tales, but no myths. Although I had assumed that a country without myths and gorgeous fairytales was inferior.


I read the book "Kojiki" repeatedly. I read it so many times that I could see the scene in my mind, and I could feel the emotions and pain of the gods and goddesses who appeared.
The Kojiki, in the first volume, there are described about Japanese mythology, was said to be "Japan's oldest historical book".

Mythology is supposed to be fantasy and fiction, but Japanese mythology was positioned in history, not fiction.
The gods that appear in that fantastic story are still enshrined at shrines, where rituals are held by stern-faced adults. The 'adults' carry on the story.


In my mind, I revisited various books I had read.
A special tribe repeats an ancient ritual on an island somewhere. A wizard who passes on hidden mysteries to the pupil. Those who look up at a star-filled sky and speak to the heavens.
What if...

Yes, perhaps I am one of them.
I, who is no one, may be one of the members who inherited the big story of Japanese mythology and passed it on to the next generation. Like many beings in a book.
And I'm not the only one.
Maybe we are all part of this big story that is still alive.

The presence of the "stranger" has been essential in the stories I've read so far. A special race on some island is waiting for someone from across the sea, and a wizard who teaches arcane arts is waiting for young who doesn't know anything.
Therefore, Japanese mythology may be waiting not only for Japanese people, but for all people around the world who will know Japanese mythology. As a part of this big story. You and I are both part of this big story as anonymous individuals.

When I thought that, I felt like I had received forgiveness. Even if I don't become "someone", even if I don't raise my name, I can exist here.
You, also.

Then there were days when the big fear became real.
There were days when my stalker sent me thick threatening letters day after day. There were days when I ran to the police in tears. I had a near miss in the Paris attacks and sang after writing a suicide note just in case. I also suffered an attempted rape in which a stranger attacked me with a knife. I even attended a court case, shivering and hiding my face. 

However, at some point, I no longer felt the fear that I had before. I don’t need to erase my presence anymore. I don’t need to disappear as much as possible anymore.
I can live in this world.


Fear will never go away in this world.
Yet the world no longer turns its back on me.

In nature, in the city, even at night, I can feel the stories that live in this world. I feel that you and I are part of this story and are allowed to exist here.
So I don't need to be afraid anymore.

I hope by listening to my songs, by watching my dances, by touching my words, and by getting to know Japanese mythology, you will feel the same way.
I hope you will feel that there is something like gods and goddesses in our body, and that there is a meaning to being in this world.




 人が怖かった。いきなり怒り出す人、力を振りかざす人。 当然の権利のように人を傷つける人。怖くて泣いたことにさらに怒る人、すべてを誰かのせいにする人。





























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