A book I read was so good that I put my recorder on and recorded an episode (in Japanese) for the podcast. It was my first recording my own, I found it difficult to put my thoughts in word as they are. The book was in Japanese, the psychology of Abraham Maslow for beginners. By the way, I like the word “view” because I really feel that the scenery looks different physically as well as psychologically once you take another view in.
Kacky is a historian as well as a high school teacher in Tokyo. He studies ancient Japanese history specialised in its diplomacy, we had a chance to record this episode when he came to Germany for a conference. We had a talk about his research, and his ideas of classes as a teacher.
Since I caught a cold, I stayed in my room for a whole week. I finished a book which I had reading for a while, sharpened a pencil, recorded sounds outside from a balcony, and so on. My friends visited me twice during the week, and we played music together. I was impressed by that they both brought something to me. Other than their visit, I hardly put music and so the room was so quiet that I could even hear people’s footsteps outside through a window.
One of my German friends Thomas Kierok is running a crowdfunding campaign to make a photo book “Zen Journey” capturing the beautiful harmony of zen gardens in Japan. Please visit the project page and support the project if you like it.
I uploaded a video of a playlist of Japanese music on YouTube. The genre is varied from hardcore, indie pop, to poetry reading. All the songs are sung in Japanese. Please put the playlist for your background music.
Steve Morris 2/2 (in English) – Bassist / Co-owner at Oslo Kaffebar
“That was infinite fun. Just make your guitar lines, especially when you are really bad, as soon as you can make something sounds even a little bit cool. That was the biggest crazy feeling I’d ever felt.”
Steve is a co-owner at Oslo Kaffebar as well as a bassist of Soft Crystals. He talked about the time when he started playing music which he was a university student. After seeing a concert of Biffy Clyro in Scotland, he immediately called his brother to buy guitars. Since then, they moved to Berlin together, work together, and play music together even today. You can find the link to their band below.
My friend has left from my room after two weeks. Looking back, we shares lots of time during the time.
I found a post saying “We’ve got tons of Japanese books to give away”, and so we visited the house. There was an Austrian elderly woman welcoming us, and she told us about the death of her husband and the fact that the books belonged to the Japanese husband. We took some of the books after searching many cartons thoroughly, and invited her to our concert.
We went to some small concerts at a coffee shop, and a cellar to see my friends, and we also made new friends there. For the last five days, we focused on making e a setlist for the concert, and I caught a cold which still blunt my head now.
Then, December has come.
My friend said “I think you should deserve something special soon.” when he left from my room. I’m easily fed up when things are not going well, but if so, I will trust the word and move on as if there is a breakthrough just next to me.
“Even experiencing sad things is sometimes blessing because you learn how to become more comfortable with reality, and that results you hopefully becoming a fair person”
Steve Morris 1/2 (in English) – Bassist / Co-owner at Oslo Kaffebar
Steve is a bassist of Soft Crystals as well as a co-owner at Oslo Kaffebar in Berlin. We had a talk about how he started his career in a speciality coffee industry in Berlin, a unique trip he had this summer in Japan, including staying at a temple and some small islands with art exhibitions, and our topic gets deeper once we talked about Japanese ambient music.
Contents: (00:08) His career in speciality coffee shops (14:30) His trip in Japan this summer (25:56) Regarding Japanese ambient music (40:58) His ideas about ownership, sharing things, and other things involved in life today
It’s been a week since my friend came to Berlin from London. We’ve visited some places new here: a Curry Wurst shop, kebab place, bars, and so on. Since his friend was also in Berlin for his business trip, we went some of those places having dinner and drink together. One of my favourite coffee shop here is having an evening event at the end of the month, and we’re playing music at the event. I’m excited in my very first performance in Berlin.
Hiromitsu is a traveller, he’s been travelling all over the world to follow his curiosity for more than 5 years since his graduation from college. He also lived in Dharamshala studying yoga, Sanskrit, and eastern philosophy for 2 years and a half. In the conversation, he’s talking about what he’s seen through the travels – especially one of his irreplaceable interests: Buddhism.
Contents: (0:34) The travels (4:04) His life in India (17:28) Buddhism in Japan today (29:29) His life in Berlin(33:09) Poetry: The conditions of a solitary bird / Auguries innocence
Hiromitsu, the traveller, has always had the guitar with him all the way of his trip. His choice of 3 tubes are varied from a live session of Pharaoh Sanders, which he thought the notes of freedom, a folk song from his village, he sang the song with the guitar, to sound of the sea that he found not only people make music but the nature as well.
Since my friend left my place, I’ve been living my own in a room. That sounds natural, but come to think of it, I’ve always been living with my friends for the last 2 months, and I found it very refreshing.
I went to a yoga studio before dawn to clean for my friend who is visiting Japan, went to a city center to register my address at dusk. I hardly talked to anyone neither listened to music, it was so cold that I could see my breath.
At home, I polish up my Macbook throughly which I’ve owned for the last 5 years, and read book in bed at night. The time I spend alone makes me the way I am after all.
The other of my friend is coming from London today, and so next time I have an alone time is in 2 weeks. It will’ve been December by then.
Thomas is a freelance photographer in Berlin. While he used to work more on commercial projects, his focus is now on people as well as his artistic projects.
His latest project “HUNDERT” showed how people’s faces differ in ages by taking photos of 100 people in different ages at the same angle. And now, he’s working on a new project “ZEN GARDEN”, a compilation of the beauty of Japanese gardens which he started 4 years ago when he went to Japan for the first time.
Although he’s a photographer with almost 30 years of experience, he’s still passionated about taking photos today. To see his work, please find a link to his website below.
Contents: (8:56) Regarding his latest project “HUNDERT” / (16:14) Regarding his new project “ZEN GARDEN” / (35:53) Regarding his musical experiences
My friend stayed at my room for a whole week, who I just met at a pub a week ago. He is a Japanese, having travelled on and off for 5 years. He also lived in India for 2 yeas and a half studying Buddhism, Eastern philosophy, and Sanskrit.
He’s been studying hard, not for skills, career, or trend but he’s just followed his curiosity. It was inspiring, I was amazed by how sincere an adult person could be to just follow their curiosity.
We were surrounded by nice music, reading Nausicaa, kept talking until midnight, shared his cigarette. And an early morning, his departure – he said his farewell, even the word was from Buddhism.
Takeshi and Ai are a couple moved to Berlin from Japan 2 years ago. Takeshi lived in Tokyo as a bassist for a long time before they came to Berlin, he talked about his influences from Steve Albini, Brian Blade, and Janka Nabay as well as his musical experiences with CDs at his young age.
Takehi’s unforgotten tunes
Nina Nastasia – Roadkill (Recorded by Steve Albini)
I’ve come back to podcast with a new concept after a short hiatus. I will have a talk to a guest every weekend in Japanese and English one after the other. The guests will share their “unforgotten tunes” and their stories behind the music.
My first guest is Jack – he is an executive producer at Sony Classical International in Berlin. He loves classical music since he was a child. He wanted to be involved in a music industry in some way but not as a performer, so he studied Musicology in Edinburgh, and now he works as a producer with musicians he loves. In the conversation, he shared his love towards his job, music, and the city.
The links to his unforgotten tunes are following. If you enjoy it, please leave a review and comment on the podcast page.
Teodor Currentzis – Teodor Currentzis records Don Giovanni
My life in Berlin – W6
As I’d heard before, finding a room in Berlin was desperate. I sent 10 – 20 emails every day but had hardly replied and never got any viewing. Luckily, I had a friend who was looking for a tenant so I ended up moving to her place.
I finally managed to leave the tiny room at the monk’s. It was just a month but I felt as if it was a half year or so. I suddenly felt so drowsy after I moved to the new place. I crawled into bed and I slept lik a log.
I already miss the time with the monk and his family, his kids, but it’s the time to take next action with the experience I had there and the ideas I learned from them.
I heard the musical instrument “Daxophone” from my friend. The instrument was invested by a musician Hans Reichel. Apparently, he’s passed away but a Japanese musician Kazuhisa Uchihashi who was playing with Reichel introduces the instrument today. The sound is very unique – I felt as if I got lost in the forest and found animals having a party.
I’ve got an idea of having a part-time job at the moment for a stable income. I chose one small local shop from the 15 coffee shops I’d visited, and asked the owner about the vacancy there. He led me to have a seat outside and talked for a couple minutes. He asked me a couple of basic things – how long I want to work, how long I’ve worked as a barista. After a pause, he stared at my eyes and said.
“I’d only like to work with really nice people. Not average, a nice person of nice people. How skilled you are is not a priority since you will develop if you have a proper practice. So please have a think that, whether you are confident of that. Please have a think for a day and text me.”
I thanked him and left the coffee shop. Then I started thinking whether I’m a nice person or not. I used to be confident of that – but I wonder if I’m still so. I’ve kind of lost the confidence struggling with living outside my home country and trying to be competitive among the international people. I kept thinking about it until 3 in the morning and replied to him that I’m confident with that.
I had a trial shift and he told me he wants to work with me – I also loved his attitude towards customers and coffee and that made me even more willing to work with him at the shop. After the event, I knew I’d like to be a nice person, as selfless as even I could influence someone’s ideas of their life.
I’ve been meeting really nice people – the owner, the monk, and the kids who are truly pure and nothing crafty behind. And now, come to think of it, this is a turning point to change my concept of personality as well as my life.
The track this week is a song from Private Lesson that I heard at one of my favourite coffee shops: Oslo Koffee Bar. The owner recently visited Tokyo and heard this song when he entered a record shop in Shibuya.
Japanglish this week
Thank you for following my work – see you next week. Have a lovely weekend.
I have just moved to Berlin 4 weeks ago, and I was staying in bed for a half of the time due to being cold. Luckily, I had a friend letting me stay at his place at the moment. He is a Buddhism monk, and lives with his wife and 4 kids. I’d never lived with either kids or monk in my life.
He has a meditation session every early morning, so I sometimes participate it. We basically eat together every morning and evening and we chant before start eating. The food is mostly vegan, sometimes tiny fish for “dashi” (fish broth) but never meat. One day I had supper with my friends who came to Berlin from London, and as I usually don’t eat any meat, I bought some sausages for the supper. It was tasty, but I actually felt the sausages greasy at the same time. I wouldn’t think myself becoming a veggie, but the 3-week diet changed my taste in food.
As I mentioned above, I was in bed for a couple weeks and so I haven’t many chances to explore the city yet. But I’ve already visited more than 10 coffee shops from my list and 3 museums with my friends and the kids. No concert yet, I really want to buy a ticket of Max Cooper, but 30€ is not affordable while I’m between jobs now.
Even though I had a big cold and stayed in bed for a long time, I had a nice start to my life in Berlin thanks to the family. I’m now feeling the beginning of a new chapter of my life.
This is a website I built while I was in bed. I’ll try to post a blog once a week, but I’m not sure if I can keep the contents as long as this since I’m writing it in both Japanese and English. I was thinking about posting a blog in only English, but I changed my mind because all the descriptions at museums in Berlin were bilingual. It was beautiful, inspiring for me. Also, I’d like to restart my podcast with a new concept, mix between English and Japanese as well. Hopefully I can start it next weekend. Anyway, so far so good. Thank you for your time reading my post. All the best,