Walking along, looking up, so that the teardrops won't flow out of my eyes
I look back on a spring day on this lonely night. A good fortune is beyond the clouds.
A good fortune is beyond the sky.
So I'm looking up and I'm looking forward, imagining that good fortune in the future.
English translation of lyrics of ‘Sukiyaki’ or ‘Ue o Muite Arukou’ by Rokusukay Ey The following post is very much spur-of-the-moment, and I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors, especially those involving words in Japanese.
February 14, 2014, I was doing my grocery shopping at my neighborhood supermarket. I was walking down the aisle with shelves of soups and sauces. As I approached near the end of the aisle, I glanced up and observed two of those quart-sized soups- in- a -bag literally fly off of the top shelf and land on the floor with a splat. A man with a shopping cart had just come around the corner when the two containers landed right in front of of his cart. The soups were tomato and there was a red, slippery mess left on the floor. The man's eyes flew wide open, and he looked at me and said, " I didn't do it!". I told him, "I know you didn't do it!". He moved his cart past the mess, without doing a thing to address the slippery mess on the floor. I walked over and moved the containers out of the middle of the aisle. As I turned the corner, one of the store employees happened to be standing there speaking to a couple of customers. I excused myself and told her that there was clean-up needed around the corner. I also told her what happened and how. She said, "Oh, that's our ghost! " I told her " I know." She said, "No, really! There is a ghost that stays in that aisle." I repeated, " I know!". The two customers were standing there with their mouths open in disbelief as they listened in about the 'ghost' in the soup aisle.
As I made my way through the store, I tried to connect to whoever or whatever it was on the soup aisle. I got nada.
When I got home, I unloaded the groceries and put them away, and went through my usual routine of taking care of the pets, eating dinner, etc. Later I went upstairs, did a little bookkeeping and called my boyfriend, Richard. I told him about the incident at the store and we chatted about other things. After hanging up, I was cleaning up my desk and getting ready to listen to 'Dreamland' on-line when I realized that I was humming one of my favorite songs from childhood. I wondered: Why am I humming 'Sukiyaki'?
I pulled up the song and listened to it on YouTube, and felt such a connection that I downloaded it from iTunes. When I first heard 'Sukiyaki' when it became a hit here in the U.S., I was 10 years old. I struggled to learn the words, never knowing their true meaning. Nevertheless, it moved me and I never forgot the tune. I also remember vividly how I fell a little in love with Kyu Sakamoto, the singer who recorded the song that was a hit that summer so many years ago. I never saw him perform the song, and I never saw a photo of him either, but in my mind and heart, I knew exactly how he looked. After downloading the song last night, I started doing some research. I knew that the name of the song here in the U.S. made no sense because the feeling that was conveyed in the song appeared to have nothing to do with Japanese cuisine. The translation of 'Sukiyaki', as shown above, expresses some very poignant lyrics.
I also discovered that the singer, Kyu Sakamoto, died at a fairly early age---he was one of 520 people that died in the worst airline disaster ever in terms of loss of life, Japan Airlines flight 123. Read the link below about the disaster, and also please note how the Japanese refused assistance from the U.S.A, to locate the downed plane and its victims. It was truly horrific, and the people on that plane suffered greatly for about a half hour before it crashed into a mountain. After it crashed, many survivors suffered even more due to delays in search and rescue by the Japanese. It was a travesty.
My feeling: There is no 'ghost' at the H.E.B. grocery store in my community, but there is a portal. (There are many in this area). I believe Mr. Sakamoto was giving me a signal to pay attention and that he came through that portal and followed me home. I also took the time to look up a photo of Kyu---I was not surprised to discover that he looked just as I pictured him way back in 1963.
Before going to sleep that night, I asked for some validation of the things I was sensing, and what it was all about. During the night, I had a dream of me in a two-story home similar to the one that I live in now. In the dream, I remember getting ready to go through a set of double doors into another room when I noticed that the floor had given way on the other side of the doors, and it was a sheer drop to the first floor below. As I stood there, I could physically feel, in my real body
, the floor shaking beneath my feet. I also felt that where I was standing was about to collapse as well. I remember a man, and I also remember grabbing a child and yelling for everyone to get out of the house immediately. In the next scene, I was standing outside looking at a house that was half destroyed. Neighbors appeared and began helping to tear down the rest of the house, since it was hazard for everyone.
The next morning I was reading our local newspaper, The Austin American Statesman. I rarely read the sports section, but that day I felt a need to check it out. One of the surprises on the front page of this section was an article about two prominent Japanese runners who would be participating in the line-up at the Austin Marathon this year. (In an odd twist, these two men were favored over Kenyan runners that usually finish first in this race.) The two runners named were Masaki Hori and Toyoyuki Abe. A couple of pages into the sports section, I also read that a Japanese man, Yuzuru Hanyu, had captured the gold medal in figure skating at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The first line of that story: "Sometimes an Olympic gold medalist is more survivor than anything else." This man fell down twice and still won the gold! (And also note in the NPR piece linked below that the 1964 Olympics are mentioned)
I also began thinking about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and how Japan is making the same mistakes with that disaster that they did with JAL Flight 123--- they are refusing help from the United States. Fukushima is an ongoing problem since the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and the company that is responsible, Tepco, still does not have the problem under control, although they claim that they do, and that the situation is under control.
I was on a roller coaster of emotions the morning of February 15th, and in tears through much of it. This hit me on such a deep level, and I fear for Japan if they don't wake up quickly. There may be another disaster there very soon, and the entire island of Honshu will suffer. Keep in mind that there is a subduction zone off the east coast of Japan, and that the northern part of Honshu, and the location of Fukushima nuclear power station, have not stopped rocking and rolling since the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in 2011. My only hope is that through the additional suffering that may be coming soon on Honshu, any survivors will be a different breed of people. They will also be the hope that is expressed 'Sukiyaki' and a gold medalist capable of falling, but winning. I also find hope in the fact that many people of Japanese descent are also American citizens. There is some major karma going on with Japan and the U.S. that pre-dates WWII. They are so intertwined and healing must happen soon, for the sake of each respective country, as well as the entire world.