The Bridge

Last blog ended with these words:

“And I believed him…
in a way I still do.
The bridge however… is another story.”

and then “To be continued…”
so now  will pick up where I left off…hopefully…

Right now I am going back in this very blog..
way back to 2011 when I first started blogging on Tumblr.
Once I started The Pink Spider Web I imported all the old
blog posts a total of 350 some pages, each containing 3-4 posts.
The migration didn’t go without technical issues though!
All titles got fucked up,
links broke, video plug-ins didn’t work and
all images got weirdly resized.
When I first started The Pink Spider Web, keeping up the
momentum was number one priority, so the old blog entries
got edited and fixed some 10 pages or so back in time…
the rest went on the back-burner.
That meant blogs about Seremedy in Japan,
Inazuma Rock Fes, concerts with TMR, MUCC, L’Arc~En~Ciel,
and many many more
… just had to wait for the day to come
and the need for it all to resurface.

It was OK, I had to focus on what I was wanting to achieve,
and the old blog wasn’t really aiding that
process.
Well now, when I’m in the process of writing this book,
all these hundreds and hundreds of posts,
the photos and videos are incredibly valuable.

When I now again read about my
dreams, hopes,
ideas, passion, 
motivation … the drive
that I had then 6 years ago,
it was very much the same as it is today:
Same dreams, hopes, aspirations, and motivation.
I want to build bridges.
Close gaps.
Help people reach outside their comfort zone.
Turn on passionate fires.
Increase Peace
Make people see their own values in all of this.
Help musicians understand and learn how to connect
with audiences they aren’t familiar with, or are even
physically far away from.
That HAS BEEN and still IS my ultimate goal!
I want people to learn from each other and
change in a good way. including myself!
Change their ways, become more open-minded to
‘the other’…
I wish to…
build bridges and show people how the can meet
at the middle of the bridge!

Rainbow Bridge

The bridge metaphor works well because it connects
two landmasses, two entities, and it is something tangible.
A bridge something we can step onto,  and walk or travel over,
from one side to the other.

When I first met Reds in April 2013, we instantly connected.
It was at a Live gig with Blade™ at Club Sensation.
The fact that we ended up meeting was quite amazing in
itself, but the blog is not the place to explain all that in detail.
I will go into more detail about that in the book.

I could feel his eagerness to wanting to reach out.
I had learned already prior to meeting him, that connecting
with Japanese people aren’t that easy in general,
and connecting with musicians maybe in particular.
Often the musicians in Japan don’t speak English,
which for our collaboration purpose at this level is
less of a problem.

Reds 04 2013

What is an issue however, is that they live on their end
of a bridge.
They are used to certain ways of doing things.
They have their ways of promoting themselves.
Their ways of reaching their fans.
Their already loyal fans, I might add, whom they wish to keep
and not scare by suddenly leaving them hanging.
Also most, like Reds, aren’t even aware of this.
Culture differences are more seen as peculiar ways.
Like we Westerners, we hug each other in public,
and we hug our friends.
The deeper differences cannot be seen, and are way
trickier to become aware of.
Because no one, is aware of them when we are around
people that are similar to us.
And keep in mind, Japan is a very homogenous society.
A society which also strives to stay homogenous.
We, as in mankind, cannot see how we communicate
within our own group,
how we socialize and hang out with each other,
as anything but .. well it’s the normal way!
that’s the way people are…
Not until we really start to get to know someone different,
from a different place, and meet with them a lot of over a
longer period of time.
So if you have few foreigners coming, and you cannot really
talk to the ones that do because you don’t speak English,
and you maintain an idea that the foreign is a bit scary,
then this bridge is seldom walked.

When I entered the music scene  in Japan, and I started
meeting with bands like:
Vagu*Project, DAZZLE! and Vorchaos to name few.
I almost immediately became aware of this.
Not soon enough maybe…. LOL
I presented for Vagu*Project some brilliant ideas,
only to later learn, that in their minds all this was good and
all, but really also very, very strange.
I had walked over the bridge and presented for them how
it looks on the other side of the bridge.
They liked it, sure they did, but added:
That only works on the other side of the bridge,
not here.
And Anna-san by the way…
What is Facebook?
We have ameblo アメブロ. (This was in 2011-2012)

I explained all this for Reds, I told him what I had learned,
and he said…Nah, I want this, my band (AURA)
and I need this:
I want to reach many people with my music.
This is wonderful and a great start!

Where I think I failed early on was to explain, truly convey,
is that this requires you to change.
This failure however, went on under the surface….
the whole time… and still is there ..unfortunately!
What I failed to make him understand is:
YOU must walk on that bridge and adopt to other ways,
at least 50%… HALF WAY.
You must do a lot of the work, and the change.
I haven’t been able to make this happen!
Also you have to change and you must be brave, 
and go against what people around you want you to do!
Being brave… hmm that is very difficult for anyone to be,
also for Reds.
For any artist, also for Reds, being liked, is so so important.
Being liked by others kind of clashes with the idea of
being brave, and doing things against those around you,
or as in Japan in particular, above you!

Thing is Japan … well..Japan is very demanding society
also for the Japanese themselves.
They are proud of their harmony,
proud of their low crime rates,
proud of having a stable society.
Which is great!
Great …but not yielding change.
You can’t go against the people above you!
You can never stir anything similar to conflict,
never oppose, instead instill group harmony.
So that doesn’t help any kind of change.

Neither negative change,
nor positive…
In a way it kind of muffles and even hinders creativity at times.
Not that Japanese might agree with me here,
but that’s OK. Because if everyone around you
.. on the same side of the bridge as you are…
agrees with you, and knows this to be true,
then it is.

This is of course true on both sides of the bridge!
I just happen to be writing about my experiences in Japan.
I need to adjust and take in to account the social rules
in Japan, and listen to how they do things and what they
desire and wish.
Also one cannot behave in a Western way and assume
people will listen to you or even like your
ideas. Often though they really do listen!
They just won’t act upon it.

This is why I was delighted to meet Reds though,
because he intuitively felt like it fit in with his own
ideas about the future, AND maybe more importantly
he smiled and was very positive.
We did have some problems communicating this evening,
because Reds did not speak any English,
and I still did not speak Japanese.

How did we communicate?
Very creative way actually…
and I will tell you in the next blog!

 

 

 

MC Interview with YuI

ビデオは日本語です – Video is all in Japanese.

Vagu*Project -YuI

YuI, vocalist (and fire breather in the video below) in Vagu*Project,
is interviewed at Ruido K4 during their

POP☆UNITED presents『V系ポップディスコ Vol.2』

ビデオは日本語です – All in Japanese.

 

Humans vs. Loppi – a War in 3 Rounds

hide’s Birthday Party December 13th, 2011
Club Citta, Kawasaki, Japan.
My ‘RAGE against the MACHINE’ or
is it the WAR of the WORLDS 

A fight in three rounds
Rounds 1, 2 and 3….

Human feeling, thinking, cursing hormone run entity
vs.
Loppi Ticket machine

or maybe … just maybe, it is for the sake of fighting for that
which we really believe in, and highly desire?!
———————————————————–
ROUND 1
First I went on my own, thinking, I can do this,
I can so do this now!!

I can handle anything:
Japan,  Japanese, Ticketing, Musicing, Messing with Me-ing,
because I have a creative and problem solving mind set!!
That was on Tuesday December 6th !

I put in the ticket locator number,
my ID Number and with some help from the store clerk I found
my ticket for..
ANA to Sydney….

eh WTF??
No, Sorry i told the clerk…. that is NOT mine…
so the clerk called customer service for the Loppi machine

Clerk: -You not go to Sydney?
Anna Cei: No me go to hide Birthday Party in Kawasaki!
Clerk: You not ANA?
Anna Cei: Oh, My name?  I am Anna with two N’s!
Here this is my card.
Clerk: This is not correct.
Anna Cei: My name?
Clerk: Yes
and well then it went down hill from there!

Later I realized, that maybe I had messed up my
membership number (random 10 digits) with
the ticket locator number
(another set of totally random 10 digits)

so maybe I should give it another try?

ROUND 2

Friday night my dear, kind and compassionate friend Phoe-Lo
came all the way over to my end of town, and she went with
me to Lawson, and
NOW we were going to BEAT the SYSTEM!

Kick the machine with a digital (as in digits) whip and enter
it all and
GET our REWARD
eh wait a minute…???!!!
It cannot be a reward …
the TICKET is already PAID for!!!
Even more a reason for the machine to cooperate,
and do what machines always should:
OBEY HUMAN COMMANDS!!

It worked wonders until we came to this screen:

 

 

Well this photo is taken today so you get the idea….
the depressing idea….
because since I took the photo above today,
it means we  FAILED!!!!

What it says in Japanese on the screen is:
Please enter the correct number at the time of the reservation.

We tried all kinds of 4 digit (PIN) CODES…
Phoe-Lo asked me nicely if I indeed could remember giving them
a code when signing up, but no and in this particular part of
my life:
The concert tickets, airline tickets, travel stuff and hide part,
I happen to be utterly organized.
save everything from screen receipts like reservations,
itineraries, membership numbers etc etc. most often as a PDF,
but sometimes also as a txt note.
and I was sure there was none.

I got home MAD, but still with my thinking capacity….
after all….
I am human!
Then it dawned on me, when looking through all documents I had regarding the Loppi system….
DUH!!!  it must be my last 4 digits of my Credit Card that I
used as a sign-up ID !
We conversed about this over email and chat, Phoe-Lo and I,
and YES DUH!! of course that must be it…..

ROUND 3
Hence we decided, she would take some of her valuable time
and go with me to a Lawson near where she lives
(which was where I had intended to start my walk today anyway)
and so we met up!
Then this screen above came up and ha ha ha
we were so going to BEAT the machine…….. or NOT!!!!! 

I wonder what the store clerk or other customers where thinking.
Gaijins – A very tall good looking woman, and a short one with
hot pink hair both looking wicked mad and angry,
and obviously cursing in alien languages.
In fact it was Russian and Swedish but hey….
Alien is COOL!


Luckily for me Phoe-Lo has a lot of stamina, and was determined
to win over the machine.
I was already going over my mental Rolodex, who do I know
who is bilingual and in Tokyo, and who would be kind enough
to understand just how desperately I want that ticket…..
a ticket I already had bought and paid for!
Then after counting…. ZERO fingers…  = Zero people,
I was ready to give up!
Go home and cry,  and spend the whole evening of December 13th
camping at the cemetery instead of rocking at the Birthday Party….

Luckily not every one uses heuristic methodology and suddenly
I hear Phoe-Lo go:
YAY!!!!    I FOUND IT!!
She had in the email (saved by me as a PDF document) from
the Loppi ticket system  found a tiny little box,
in a table somewhere, with 4 digits
for some reason (probably just as a laugh from the machine)
the digits were 1964 … WOAH …hide’s year of birth!!
The one number we did not try by random…..

We WON over the machine and I NOW have the TICKET!!!

hide  I LOVE YOU

Phoe-Lo – You are the best for not giving up!
Good LUCK on your exam tomorrow!

TICKET MACHINE – EFF U! I will be back for more….

Oh and some trivia… did you know Lawson was actually founded in
OHIO, USA of all places?
In 1939, a dairy owner named James “J.J.” Lawson started a store
at his Broad Boulevard dairy plant in Cuyahoga Falls, near Akron, Ohio,
to sell his milk.
Also quite intriguing history with a legal case.
“…company’s policy of selling pornography subjected her to sexual
and religious harassment.The court case, Stanley v. Lawson Co.,
gained fame as a test of
the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
Lawson’s Japanese history started 1974.
“In 1974, Consolidated signed a formal agreement with Daiei to
open the first Lawson stores in Japan. On April 15, 1975
Daiei Lawson Co., Ltd. was established as a wholly owned
subsidiary of Daiei, Inc., a retail company which also ran
a supermarket chain. The first store opened in Sakurazuka,
Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture in June 1975.
In September 1979 the official name was changed to
Lawson Japan, Inc.. The Mitsubishi Corporation became the
main shareholder in 2001.”
and returning to USA via Hawaii
With the establishment of “Lawson USA Hawaii, Inc.”
Lawson returned to the U.S. market, with two locations in Honolulu
opening on July 7, 2012. One of the stores is in the
Sheraton Waikiki,
while the other is in the Moana Hotel.”
You can read more about this at wikipedia LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

62 or NOT

 

 

 

On a  bit of a tangent…. regarding Sexual XXXXX!

Kind of cute and innocent little side trip here….
First time I heard this song, I didn’t know the lyrics or the title,
I just listened and thinking it was all in Japanese!
It all sounded like Japanese to me.
I didn’t bother too hard to try to understand what he was actually singing!
In my linguistic perception with the languages I know,
it sounded like  ‘sesenta y dos‘ …well fast like spoken… sesenta-i-dos
which means 62 in Spanish.
What do you hear (if you are not a speaker of Japanese that is)?
I have gotten all kinds of words people hear, but none thus far, have
heard him sing what he actually does….>>

He is in fact singing ‘sexual intercourse’

Here is the lyrics for SEXUAL XXXXX!
(In Romaji – this is what he really sings)

utsuroiyuku YOUR EYES yakedo shi sou na BODY HOLD YOU
kagamibari no yume wa nugisuteyou subete TONIGHT

PLEASE ME AHA SEXUAL INTERCOURSE!

tameiki made YOUR LIE shita o karame amaku DEEP KISS
kizutsuki sou na beze mune de itami ni naru AND MORE

PLEASE ME AHA SEXUAL INTERCOURSE!
PLEASE ME OH YES SEXUAL INTERCOURSE!

YOU JUST MIND CLOSE YOUR EYES
sasayaku I WANT YOU
I JUST MIND CLOSE MY EYES
WANT YOU WANT YOU OH-HO
OH MY DARLING

YOU JUST MIND CLOSE YOUR EYES
sasayaku I WANT YOU
I JUST MIND CLOSE MY EYES
WANT YOU WANT YOU OH-HO
OH MY DARLING

PLEASE ME AHA SEXUAL INTERCOURSE!
PLEASE ME OH YES SEXUAL INTERCOURSE!

YOU JUST MIND CLOSE YOUR EYES
sasayaku I WANT YOU
I JUST MIND CLOSE MY EYES
WANT YOU WANT YOU OH-HO
OH MY DARLING

YOU JUST MIND CLOSE YOUR EYES
sasayaku I WANT YOU
I JUST MIND CLOSE MY EYES
WANT YOU WANT YOU OH-HO
OH MY DARLING