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Kazuya Kamenashi TV Interview (translation)

21:54 JST March 21, 2011 10 comments

オリ☆スタ(Ori-suta)

28/03/2011, No12-1582

Kazuya Kamenashi will take on the job as Nihon TV’s live “Baseball special supporter”.  He talked to us about his childhood baseball dreams.

Q: Congratulations on being selected as Nihon TV’s “Dramatic Game 1844” baseball special supporter, and getting the chance to be a live guest at pretty much every game!

K(amenashi): I was surprised and happy to get a job doing something I’ve watched since primary school.

Q: Getting straight into it, what do you want to do or what do you think about it?

K: I’m not reporting about what’s going on nor am I a commentator.  I can’t predict the pennant race like Suguru Ekawa-san, but I can talk about what’s so great about the game from the point-of-view of someone who watches the game on TV, and I hope I can give people a taste of what players and coaches go through behind the scenes.  I’ve had surprises in “Going!  Sports & News” where I got to experience things I’d never seen or heard of before.  Things like hitting a home run; it looks amazing, but there’s so much training involved and people supporting you behind the scenes until you get it right.  I’d never had the chance to see that in action so it’s had a lasting impression on me.

Q: Do you want to channel that experience into your new job?

K: I’d like to be able to put words to what I’ve experienced, what I’ve seen, but I also want to be able to communicate with the crowd that comes to the game.

Q: I think a lot of fans would want to come the baseball stadium too.

K: I think being able to see it with your own eyes, and to feel the atmosphere in the baseball stadium is one of the many great things about this sport.  When I got to go to a real game when I was little, I remember putting on the wristband I’d been given and cheering on my team.  My most memorable moment was when I realised I was surrounded by people I didn’t know, but everyone was cheering for the same team so it felt like we were one.

Q: Do you remember the first live game you went to?

K: I do.  I went with my dad.  We were right at the top of the second floor in Tokyo Dome, and I remember going, ‘wow’ (laughs).  Then the train ride home was so packed.  I was still small then so my dad had thought it through and he lead me to the front of the carriage where there’s a little more space and he used his body as a safety guard to protect me.  I remember going, ‘hey dad’. (laughs)

Q: What’s good about watching baseball on TV?

K: The best thing about TV is that everything’s in detail.  There’s drama you can only watch on TV,  like seeing how a player feels by looking right at their face.  You don’t have the distance you get in a stadium and the TV gives you more depth.  Obviously the game’s important, but you also get to watch the the entire drama unfolding between the two teams.

Q: What do you think is the best way to enjoy baseball, Kamenashi-san?

K: The first thing is to get a favourite team or player and support them, that’s all you need to start loving the game.  There are a lot of rules in baseball, but I think you can pick them up easily as you go.  One of the things I’ve learnt while doing my TV show reporting was that the game’s direction can change in an instant, and that’s really exciting.  Like watching a team losing by 10 – 0 and in the ninth inning with two outs turn things around and hold on to win the game.  I hope people can watch out for moments like that.

Q: Kamenashi-san, what got you into baseball?

K: When I was little, I remember seeing my dad watching baseball on the TV, and that’s when I first learnt about baseball.  Then I got interested in it, started following players like Ichiro or Hideki Matsui, and dreamt about becoming like them.  I didn’t sit down and learn the whole rule book, I watched it and started to catch on things about the game.  Then I’d start asking myself all these questions.  I hope I can bring things like that up, stand up for the fans, and get my message across without forgetting where it had all started for me.

Q: I’ve heard that the theme song “DIAMOND” by KAT-TUN was chosen because it’s a song about the diamond base in baseball and about the strong bond in a team?

K: It was surprising enough that I’d been chosen as their live guest supporter, but it was unbelievable when I heard they were going to use a song I sing as well.  We’re still making it, but it’s going to be the perfect song for “Dramatic Game” and I’m going to work hard at recording it.

Q: Is it true you’ll get your own report “Kazuya Kamenashi’s baseball supporter’s club”, and be able to invite a baseball-loving guest to the commentator’s box?

K: I’ll be bringing in fans who loves baseball, fans who love it but don’t really know too much…..I think depending on what guest we have, it’ll change the angle of the game.

Q: Who do you want to invite?

K: This is someone close to me, but if I could choose it would be (Yuichi) Nakamaru.  We’ve actually been to a game at Tokyo Dome together once.  He loves baseball too.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think he’d make the game interesting.  It’d be cool to watch it with him and teach him a lot of things about the game as it goes. (laughs)

my look back on 3/11

11:56 JST March 21, 2011 12 comments

Hi 🙂

My apologies for not being able to update this blog as much as I usually do.

It’s been a very stressful last 10 days since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear incident.

When the earthquake struck at 2:46pm on Friday March 11 I was at work in central Tokyo, but while I was evacuating from the building I had no idea that tsunamis were already approaching Japan’s north-eastern coastline.

While there wasn’t any visible structural damage anywhere around me, I think I was distracted by the smoke I could start seeing across the horizon.

Watching the live footage of entire communities being swamped up by the tsunami were difficult to believe.

Of course, Tokyo was having it’s own problems because every train and subway had stopped.

Local media were urging people to not force their way home and spend the night at work.  It was mainly for safety because at the time no one knew whether there would be another big earthquake, and the chances of things falling on people while they were wandering around unfamiliar territory were high.

The other reason may have been to stop Tokyo’s several million central city population from flooding onto the street paths which for sure, would not be able to take on such a big crowd.  A lot of my friends walked home because they were worried about the damage to their house, they had families, or they had pets.

The next week was filled with constantly watching the TV reports coming in about the extent of the tsunami’s damage, the mad rush to find survivors, the messageboards being put up at evacuation centres for victims to write notes for family or relatives who might be looking for them, the nuclear power plant problems at Fukushima, the cold winter weather.

Tokyo residents were having a hard time dealing with food shortages in supermarkets (basically, a lot of people were overbuying and depriving others who might actually need that gluten-free-bread-roll-somebody-bought-20-of, so government ministers had to tell people to knock it off), planned blackouts, and saving energy as much as possible.  Thankfully for me, friends and family have been sending me food so I never had a problem with that (although not being able to buy bread was annoying until yesterday).

But that didn’t really compare to what the people up north were going through, and it felt extremely frustrating to watch TV and see a 100-and-something-year old woman freezing in an evacuation centre because there weren’t enough blankets to go around.

10 days later now, things are starting to get better I think.  Evacuation centres are beginning to get more supplies of everything (although there are still a large number of centres and hospitals that are dangerously low on supplies), people are offering their spare rooms or finding new places for earthquake victims to stay, temporary shelter homes are being built at lightening speed up north, and the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant seems to be cooling down (and no, even in the worst case scenario radiation would not be able to reach Tokyo in amounts that would be lethal to people, and the liklihood of anyone getting cancer is extremely low).

It’s also amazing to see a large number of people from Japan and overseas donating their money and their time to help out.  Hopefully things will continue to get better.

A song I feel has a lot of meaning in a time like this is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone”:

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

(Lyrics in Japanese)

嵐に出会った時は

しっかり前を向いて行こう

暗闇を恐れてはいけない

嵐の向こうには

青空が待っている

雲雀が優しく歌ってる

風の中を行こう

雨の中を行こう

たとえ夢破れようとも

歩こう 歩き続けよう

希望を胸に

そう あなたは一人じゃない

あなたは一人じゃない

Take care!

Momo xoxo

Categories: Momo yabbering
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