In the News 2008-03
Momoko Onitsuka, Chihiro's sister, passed an entrance examination for the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Arts & Music. Momoko will major in traditional Japanese dance. She loves kabuki and Okinawan music rather than J-pop and is also good at calligraphy.
The latest issue of papyrus, a bimonthly literary magazine by Gentosha, features an article titled "Chihiro Onitsuka: I'm Not Dead Yet." It includes photos (12 pages), an interview (6 pages), a talk with Natsuo Gin'iro, a poet/writer/photographer born in Miyazaki prefecture (2 pages) and a biography (4 pages).
The interview and talk:
- Chihiro feels that she has a mysterious black hole in herself. She doesn't know what it is and she can't even name it. She is afraid of it but she believes she has not written songs without it.
- Her mother, who never praised Chihiro, is like Chihiro's second self. She still can't let Chihiro stand on her own feet and Chihiro can't become independent of her. When Chihiro, as a high school student, told her mother that she wanted to become a musician, the only response she made was to tell her, "Hang in there." Before getting married, her mother was a mistress of Japanese traditional folk songs. Chihiro may have inherited her aspiration.
- After her debut, Chihiro realized that music is the most important therapy and a communication vehicle for her. She always sang songs as if she was facing every one of her audience on a face-to-face basis.
- Having an inferiority complex, she feels down whenever somebody says bad things about her but she never cared when people say anything about her music. It's because nobody can enter her music-making "kingdom," or her mental shelter. Nobody's gonna move her world as sung in the Beatles' "Across the Universe."
- In January 2005, she stopped her musical activities for the second time. One day she noticed that she couldn't move forward at all even if she struggled to move her hands and feet. She was entirely out of control because she was exhausted by her non-music duties. She thought that she would be "killed" if she stayed there. She felt that she had to run away from there.
- To her opinion, her music has not changed in LAS VEGAS. Her kingdom hasn't been undermined. Since she has raised her hurdle in making music, she writes songs at a slower pace than before. Her earlier songs tend to express her straightforward emotions because she wasn't able to behave as a professional songwriter then. This is why she can't sing some of her old songs now—she feels ashamed. She doesn't write songs about her private life and she doesn't want to discharge her emotions any more. Her songs are fictitious but they are not telling a lie because they are born in her kingdom.
- Although she is not sure about her future, she knows she will never stop making music. It's because music won't let her go.
- She wants to perform abroad because she wants to see how far she can go. She is interested in what is called a "zone," that is experienced by F1 racers or what climbers call a "peak experience." She wants to enter this zone by performing music.
Chihiro's comments on the biography:
- On the Shibuya-AX concert in April 2001: Mostly I used concert halls that are dedicated to pop/rock music in my first concert tour. But I was wondering if my audience was having a hard time since my songs didn't have catchy rhythms. So I decided to use halls equipped with seats.
- On This Armor: Although I kept quiet about it, I was having a hard time since I was supposed to release at least one album each year in the then management company.
- On Sugar High: It was my best time in terms of schedule and my physical conditions. This album was based on the concept that a lot of songs are compiled as a single piece of monochrome work. I like this experimental album very much although sales fell off.
- On "Sodatsu Zasso": It has a different taste from older songs. I was glad because I'd wanted to do this kind of tune at least once.
- On her parting from SMA: I didn't have any problem or trouble with this company. I just needed more time to rest.
- On LAS VEGAS: Previously I was always making music with the same producer. This time I became aware that I can do it with another one. I want to continue my work with Kobayashi-san and with still other producers as well.
Phew, I'm exhausted, too!
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