This is a continuation from Part 1, which was posted more than a year ago lol~
Because not only Takizawa fans, but Yoshitsune fans will also be here, if this item can bring out feelings like “I’ve waited long for this!”, I’ll be happy ne. Indeed, after I acted in Taiga drama Yoshitsune, my body has naturally started to respond to the word “Yoshitsune”. I’ve also gathered information on the internet by myself, and the screensaver on my mobile phone now is Yoshitsune yo (laughs). In fact, this time there was such a discussion – “How about graduating once from Yoshitsune, and challenging a different role”. But there are many people who started to like me because of this figure called Yoshitsune. Not only me, but for fans who weren’t exposed to period dramas before too, there are many who, with this Yoshitsune as a start, become aware of the magnificence of things like period dramas and Japanese culture. And the other way round, there are people who first watched “Yoshitsune” and because of that, have become my fans. Minamoto Yoshitsune is an important person who has created such “encounters” for me. He’ll continue to be a valuable person, and I sincerely hope to be like this role.
It’s not exaggerating to say that Benkei decides Yoshitsune’s story. Such is the importance of this role. Now, I can’t remember what image I first had of Okura’s Benkei during the first Enbujo. At that time, I didn’t really know much about him, and had only the impression that… he’s a huge guy (laughs). But when we got down to the rehearsals, and approached the actual shows, gradually gradually he became a Benkei of his own, and finally became a very good Benkei. Then, it’s the previous Enbujo’s Fujigaya’s Benkei. Because of the existence of Okura’s Benkei, i think it undoubtedly gave him huge pressure. But he tried hard to search for his own Benkei, and this was also conveyed here. As a result, indeed he became a Benkei of his own. Different from the “composed sense of security” that Okura’s Benkei possessed, Fujigaya’s Benkei was “pure and upright”. I also thought that this is a good Benkei ne. I feel that this role of Benkei is one which can’t be acted by just anybody. To be able to form a relationship naturally between Yoshitsune and Benkei… I feel that there’s such an unseen requirement. With Matsudaira Ken-san whom I co-acted with in the Taiga drama, I felt exactly this way. Although a senior actor, he stood where I stood, and supported me from behind… that was indeed the reliability of Benkei.
During the first Enbujo, this role was played by Kanjani 8’s Yokoyama. He is a pleasant person, so even if he plays Yoritomo, he will still look like a good person yo (laughs). Seems like he also knew that, and was saying “What if I’m laughed at?”. But I like Yokoyama’s Yoritomo a lot. Yoritomo, from Yoshitsune fans’ point of view, is a villian role. But on the flip side, there are also many Yoritomo fans. There are also many parts of Yoritomo which I’m attracted to. Because he’s being extremely yearned for by the superstar Yoshitsune that people admired, I think that’s exactly the charm of Yoritomo. Indeed, whether it’s Yoshitsune or Yoritomo, they’re really magnetic personalities. I thought of giving them both the credit on stage, so it’ll not be Yoritomo, who usually takes the villian role, but a completely different person I’ve tried to create who will play the bad guy this time. If everyone can enjoy with ease this new style of the relationship between Yoshitsune and Yoritomo, I’ll be really happy ne.
I’ve said before that Kyoto is a town I love. Recently, because of concerts, I went to Kyoto, and my spirits were naturally raised yo. I can’t express it well in words, but the air there suits my skin well, and I’ve always – for no particular reason – thought, “I want to live in Kyoto some day”. Like when I’m free, or when I’m killing time, I’ll look at Kyoto’s real estate information on the net, “I see, this vicinity has such a feeling” (laughs). The dialect is great, and the girls are also cute… Un, Kyoto is a great place (laughs). But seriously, the rhythm that is flowing throughout that town is comfortable for me ne.
We chose this as a location shoot for the pamphlet this time, but actually this is a place I’ve always really wanted to go. In fact, I had planned to go in private towards the end of last year, but I just couldn’t find the time to. That’s why when there were discussions about the pamphlet, I expressed my wish ne, “I want to go to Miyajima”. Well, it’s a great place! Just as expected of a designated World Heritage site. As there were location shoots at night, in the day I was sightseeing on the pretext of “location hunting” (laughs). And after that, it’s right now at this moment, where I’m having this interview. Once I open my eyes, that big Torii gate leaps into view… It’s really as good as it can get ne!! During the day, while taking a slow walk within the shrine, I imagined things like “The Heike people were in this corridor, and Kiyomori was sitting over there”. Because I did the Taiga drama, for some reason the images of those moments came into my mind yo. I was told by a staff, “Is it ok for Yoshitsune to step into Heike’s homeground?”, but I feel this place is OK. If I were told to go to Ichinotani, then perhaps even I will feel a little nervous (laughs).
Now, I’m interested in the Shamisen*. Like, the very powerful Tsugaru-jamisen*. Even in Enbujo, if we can create such a scene, it’ll be great. I’ve been thinking of this since the first Enbujo. In any case, now I’m gathering in full force all juniors who can play the Shamisen (laughs).
* shamisen: three-stringed Japanese guitar.
* tsugaru-jamisen: a genre of shamisen, where the player uses a large shamisen with thicker strings than those used for most other styles.
Beauty of Japan
Indeed, the Sakura* season is great yo ne. Although I never intentionally go for Hanamis*, I love Sakuras. Within me, I feel that there’s some part where Yoshitsune and Sakuras are connected. That’s why among the Enbujo goods too, we use a lot of the Sakura motif.
* sakura: cherry blossoms
* hanami: flower viewing
Traditional Colors of Japan
They are used in this pamphlet too, and the actual shows on stage are also using cloths of ancient Japan’s traditional colors. Indeed, Japan’s unique view of the world is widespread ne. These are great colors. My favourite of all Japan-like colors is purple. Although my personal belongings aren’t of this color, when I see this purple, I feel that it’s very Japanese ne.
I can continue talking just with the word “和”*, but honestly I don’t have the chance to actually wear kimonos ne, especially in private. But today, everyone who’s come to the theatre has many chances to ne. See! Like when you are here at Shimbashi Enbujo to watch the show… Of course, there have got to be some peopl wearing Kimonos today… Well, I’ll not say more (laughs).
* 和 (wa): 1) harmony, peace; 2) Japanese-style
Although I don’t have the chance to wear Kimonos, in place of that, I often wear Yukatas yo. During rehearsals, I’m usually dressed in Yukatas. This year, for the sake of this Enbujo, I had 3 brand new pieces made, and received another 2 pieces from others. A total of 5 pieces. I love the designs, colours, etc. that are distinctive of Yukatas ne.
The colors, design, material… all of these I’m particular about yo. But what I’m most particular about is the “the ease of changing fast” ne. For this show, what we seek for is the speed of changing clothes in matter of seconds, so what we call a “system” is necessary yo. Such as… even if it looks like Hakama* at first glance, in actual fact, it’s a skirt… and for things like “where should it be worn from?”, we require a wearing method different from the norm. And then, for those completed costumes, we try to use them as though it’s a real performance, to verify if it can carry out its function properly. From there, we have until the actual performance to correct the problems that surface. That’s why 3 days before the actual performance, it’s really like we’re in a state of battle, everyone’s nervous.
* hakama: type of traditional japanese clothing usually worn by (samurai) men, a divided skirt, kinda like pants.
Isn’t the sub-title this time called “命 LOVE”? Johnny-san said that it’s necessary to have a song using that as a theme. Initially when I thought it’ll be prepared for me, I was told “What are you saying? If YOU don’t write it yourself, there is no meaning yo”, and then I started to panic (laughs). It’s been a while since I’ve shown my own compositions, I haven’t done it for years yo. Because there’s also no time, I continued to work through the night. This time I tried to tweak a melody which I wrote last time. Now I’m just left with a bit of lyrics before I’m done, but the theme is massive. Certainly, because I indirectly wanted to convey what I want to say, I’m thinking that, if you can ponder over it while listening well to the lyrics, perhaps some keywords will surface. Please try to listen carefully.
I’ve been doing plays since a long time ago ne. To my parents and teachers, I did plays called “lies” (laughs). People who lie, often cover up their lies with more lies. So, if you do not wish to be exposed, as much as possible, do not talk. This is the trick (laughs).
There isn’t a so-called western dance in this “~Enbujo”, right? I guess there are only 2 songs where there are dancing scenes. During the stage rehearsals, initially there’s a 3-day “memory” work. It’s a job where we did a run-through of the choreography we did during the previous Enbujo… However, because there are only those 2 songs for Enbujo, we were done after 1-2 hours and were ridiculously free after that (laughs). It became a time where every cast member got together for random chats, and everyone laughed and went “We don’t need 3 days ne”. I guess even for “One!”, where lots of dancing work was required, 2 days is enough.
This is my policy, to never sleep in the dressing room. I’ll close my eyes and rest quietly, but I will never fall deep into sleep ne. Once I fall sleep, it’ll be painful when I wake up (laughs). In a car returning from a day of fun at the sea, you’ll become ridiculously sleepy, won’t you? If you were awoken after falling asleep for 10 minutes… it’ll be like “Aw, I don’t feel like moving yo~”, right? To put it simply, it feels something like that (laughs).
To be continued…
Please do not re-post the content on this page without permission.