February 10, 2010

If you...

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

Dear Shoon,

your name has disappeared from the media schedule on Johnny's Net, and according to the Japanese fans, so has your profile from 着ボイス on J-Web. I don't understand what's happening, and I'm very worried. Japanese fans think you have quit Johnny's. Have you? I can't quite believe it. My heart still refuses to believe it, so I will do the only thing I can do: wait.

Your name still appears on the Hyakushiki site, which was updated just yesterday, and you were on the show that aired yesterday, but we all know that TV shows are taped weeks ahead, and as a friend of mine suggested, perhaps they'll just keep your name on the site until the last episode in which you were present is aired.

From what I know, Johnny's Entertainment hardly ever makes public statements when somebody quits, so I suppose for me confirmation will come when and if your name disappears from the Hyakushiki site. I just feel I shouldn't wait to say this. Perhaps I'm worrying for nothing, but I don't want time to cool down my feelings with reason. I think these things need to be said.

Some people say you might be on hiatus, that perhaps you're taking some time off because of your studies. In all these years, the only time I remember you taking an official break was in 2006, when Koyama mentioned in Shokura that you were taking a little vacation after the filming of Satomi Hakkenden. I'd love to hold on to that hiatus excuse, but again it just means more waiting. I'm more than willing to wait, though. I'll be here, waiting for your return, the return of the Hyakushiki king, even if months go by without any news of you.

What shocks me the most about all this, is that -if you have really quit- I don't understand why you would want to quit at this point, after all the fight you put up in the last two years, it seems strange to me that you might have decided to give up. I imagine it must be really frustrating to see other people around you getting more and better opportunities from the jimushô, but you seemed to truly enjoy what you were doing, content with any opportunity you might get, ready to make the most of them. If you had looked morose or dissatisfied, I would understand why you would want to quit, but how can I believe that when just on yesterday's Hyakushiki you were giving away the brightest smiles? I wonder if perhaps your parents, tired of seeing you were not getting the opportunities you deserved, tried to talk sense into you, if they asked you to put your feet on the ground and get yourself a real job.

At the beginning of this month the international fan community I built for you in 2006 reached 1400 members. I made a banner to celebrate -as I have been doing every time we had 100 new members- and I chose the following motto: "Shine on. The world is your stage".

That will hold true for me whether you remain in the entertainment business or not. There's something that makes you special, something that would take me pages and pages to explain, something that makes you shine and stand out. You have thrilled lots and lots of people with your acting, your dancing, your acrobatics... and even though I think it would be a shame if you never did any of those things again, I'm sure you'd continue to weave magic for those around you. I'd just be sad I wouldn't able to get any of that magic, but I have 9 years worth of it in my memory -the 9 years you have been a member of Johnny's- and I feel immensely lucky for that.

If you have quit I'm going to miss you awfully, and I know I'm going to feel lost for a good while. During these three years I've been holding on to you to hold out, to go through the day in this somewhat greyish, not too gentle world. You have become my comforting cup of hot chocolate after a long, tiring day, my own piece of sun that would turn any cloudy sky into a bright, Summer one. I draw strength from your smile, and it accompanies me everywhere I go. I even talk to you on my mind, quite often, as though you could hear me and you were watching over me. Last year I went through a bit of a rough period, that required quite a big effort from me, and I remember that every morning, when I left home, so early that it was still dark outside, I would start an imaginary conversation with you that would begin with something along the lines of "Morning, Shoon. Or, for you, good afternoon rather, because now it must be past midday in Tokyo", and then I'd 'discuss' with you whatever difficulties lay ahead for me in the day, and I'd get philosophical about life and people and things like that. I suppose this would amuse you if you knew. But it helped me get through it all.

Even now, when I sit in front of the computer every morning to work on my translations, your image greets me with that soft, gentle smile and the clean, earnest look in your eyes. That photo has become such a favourite of mine, that I've had this simple desktop on my computer screen for 7 months now and have no plans of changing it anytime soon. It's just perfect.

You've taught me to be strong, and that's what I'm trying to be - even though I've cried a little over this, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Right now I feel a bit lost, as I said, like a blind man without his cane, but I hope I'll find my way again. I hope you're doing well, and I'm ready to wait, even to the point of despair. I hope you haven't left, but if you have, I hope you will be happy -that, above all else, whatever you decide to do from now on with your life-, and that you will at least consider joining some other agency because it would be a pity to let your talent go to waste. 翔央くん、あなたって本当に素敵ね。私はあなたを心から愛しているわ。

I tend to associate songs with different moments in my life, and this song fits my mood right now. The 'Japanglish' lyrics do not make complete sense, but they make sense to me, because as the saying goes, "If you love deeply enough, you won't need to be loved in return".

If You (天空のエスカフローネ OST - Tenkuu no Escaflowne OST)

If You

Open the door
To a room I've never been before
Counting all the books I've read so long
Something is wrong Where love has gone

If I should cry
Thinking of the love I felt inside
Don't misunderstand nothing's the clue
I cry for you Cause of love its true

When does love
Speak words above evolving pain
Like if these tears turn to rain
Endlessly calms the sea
For you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If want to lean
I'm here for you
If you

When does love
Create the worlds above our pain
Like if these tears were to rain
Endlessly for the sea
Still you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If were to lean
I'm here for you
So if you

Close the door'
Cause the room won't need us anymore
Holding our words
Just fill those books
Sometimes love looks
Like if love has gone

So I won't cry
Now I know our love will never die
If I understand the reasons why
When you... if I and you...
Know that love is true