Kenji for You Japanese

Interview with Daiki Fukuhara

You have gone a long trip to China and Southeast Asia, haven't you?
Yeah, my childhood friend was studying in China, so I traveled in the southern part of China with him for about a month. Because both of us were selfish, our relationship deteriorated during the trip. Then, we met two American sisters on the train, and four of us began to travel together. One of the sisters told us quite naturally that she was a lesbian. In the course of my trip, I met many people in this casual way. I felt that "it is fun to encounter new people."
Did you read any books of Kenji Miyazawa on your trip?
From China, I went to Bangkok, Thailand alone, had stayed in a cheap hotel for a month, went to Nepal and then came back to Bangkok again. I happened to buy "The Polano Plaza," Kenji Miyazawa's collection of stories from Shincho Bunko, at Kinokuniya in Thailand and carried it with me. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I had to spend two weeks without seeing anyone. I read Kenji Miyazawa's book then.
How did you feel about it?
I had a certain image of Kenji Miyazawa as the author of "Night on the Milky Way Train." After I finished reading "The Polano Plaza," I was surprised at the different aspects he explored in each of the stories in the book. I read it carefully and became aware of many things in myself.
Can you tell us some examples of this self-awareness?
For example, in "Taneri Certainly Seemed to Be Chewing All Day Long," the small Taneri went into a forest and was interested in every plant and animal that he saw. He also felt fear and anxiety. However, he still went ahead though timidly. When I read this, I recalled my childhood. I started to think that it might be better to face fearful things by looking directly at them rather than to avoid them. I was also impressed with "Gadolf's Lilies" in which Gadorufu was startled when he saw the images of children on the lilies in a thunderstorm.
Do you have any contact with those American girls who you traveled with in China?
I found an English translation of Kenji Miyazawa in paperback and sent it to those girls. I am thinking about visiting them in New York sometime.

Daiki's Work

Profile of Daiki Fukuhara

  • Was born in Kono Obstetric Hospital in Kunitachi City, Tokyo, on a snowy day in 1975.
  • Grew up in Kami-igusa, Suginami-ku, from the age of 0 until the age of 12. This environment became the foundation of his life.
  • Played an active part in the metropolitan soccer tournament when he was in the sixth grade.
  • Moved to Akishima City when he entered junior high school and was affected by the songs, loves, and evil influences of school life.
  • Went to Higashino High School and became interested in philosophy during those three years.
  • Became a Kabuki trainee at Kokuritsu Gekijou (The National Theater) for one year after graduating from high school.
  • Is hoping that great talents mature late and is looking for a job.

Kenji for you The World of Kenji Miyazawa