The Masahiko Shimura Exhibition was held by his close friends and young officers of Fujiyoshida City Hall (as some of his close friends work in the city hall, and other young officers were willing to help as volunteers) again last year, 2012, in his hometown, Fujiyoshida City. What was special this time was that the evening chime at 5 pm in the city was changed to the melody of one of famous Fujifabric's songs, 'All About Youth' (Wakamono no Subete) for the anniversary of Shimura's death on the 24th of December 2012. The event was limited for three days, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of December 2012, but there were also an exhibition of his personal memorabilia including his guitars and musical equipment, and live concerts by his fans.
It is my pleasure to write a report on these events again this year.
Concerning the fact that I, myself, could not attend the events this time, I have no confidence in telling all the stories throughout the course of events, but it is my promise that this report will be written at my best.
22nd December 2012 at 5 pm
The familiar limpid melody of 'All About Youth' (Wakamono no Subete) was beautifully arranged into the sound of chime, and it resounded solemnly across the city of Fujiyoshida.
Please enjoy watching the video on You Tube.
Mr. Shimura used to say, " The view of Mt. Fuji is the most beautiful from here, on the first floor of Fuji Goko Cultural Centre."
Fujiyoshida City where Shimura kun loved the most, Mt. Fuji which always supported him mentally, and Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park where he had the sensational encounter with Tamio Okuda at the age of 15 - they all can be viewed in one sight.
It was the moment that the whole city was enfolded by the melody that Shimura kun left for us.
Executive chairman of Masahiko Shimura's Exhibition, Mr. Masato Watanabe, said, "The chime subsequent to the triumphal concert at The Fuji Goko Cultural Centre in 2008 and the one at Fuji Q Highland Conifer Stage (Fuji Fuji Fuji Q) in 2010, I am very glad that our team could have offered a little help to make Masahiko's dream come true.", in an interview looking deeply moving.
(Members of Team, 'Rojiura No Bokutachi' stringing up a memorable banner on to the front entrance at Gekkoji Station. It says, "Wish Dream Come True! Let Us Listen To You, Fujifabric!" on the banner.)
Captain Masato ( Mr. Masato Watanabe is affectionately called this name.) has been a friend of Shimura kun since 6 years old, and went to the same Primary school and Junior High School with him. They used to live very close by, too.
According to the story of Captain Masato, he started feeling strongly that "I want citizens of Fujiyoshida City to know more about our friend, Masahiko. It may be our duty to tell the people that there was such a great musician coming from this town." when he met many fans who keep showing their warm affection to Shimura kun. He was working as a member of the project team of Exhibition in 2011, too.
Since then, he has been suggesting to the Fujiyoshida City to change the chime rung from the loudspeakers throughout the city.
At about the same time, there were the same requests from some of the citizens, and the dream has come true at last.
"It was our wish to arrange the song, retaining its true value, to the sound of chime.", said the team. The chime has turned out to be simple, heartrending and moving as they wished.
Please allow me to explain more about what 'chime at 5 pm' in Japan is for fans in overseas.
In countryside in Japan, like Yamanashi Prefecture, official disaster radio (officially called 'radio communications for disaster prevention and administration' or 'Bosai Gyosen Musen' in Japanese) takes a great part in our everyday life. The tall loudspeakers are set in every area in the city or the village, and everyone can hear the sound from these speakers without any exception. Official disaster radio is designed for an emergency use, especially for natural disasters where normal telecommunications cannot be used.
In Yamanashi, these speakers are not used only for emergency but also for something even more - more to do with our everyday life. For example, a particular melody is heard from the loudspeakers telling is the time (working as a time signal) normally at 5pm, often in the morning at 11 am or at noon, too. These chime help farmers to know the time without checking his/her watch (Well, not only for the farmers, I guess. As I am often noticed the time by the chime!)
The melody of chime varies between cities, towns and villages.
On the day of the anniversary of the end of Pacific War, of atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the mayor of the city asks the citizens to offer a silent prayer for the souls of the victims through the loudspeakers, too.
On the top of it, some local news can also be heard from the official disaster radio.
For instance, appearance of a wild animal, such as a bear, a monkey, and a wild bow, a remittance fraud, a suspicious person in the area, a missing person, in the area is announced as a warning.
Now can you imagine how great it was for us that Shimura kun's song was used as chime telling the time at 5 pm in Fujiyoshida City?
Can you also imagine how much influence that carried in his hometown?
I have heard that Shimura kun's old neighbours, who have known Masahiko Shimura since little, came outside everyday during these three days to listen to chime at 5 pm praying for him with two hands putting together looking up the winter sky.
"Want to rewind the sequel of the disrupted dream..."
(quoted from the song, 'All About Youth' 'Wakamono no Subete')
It was the day that his friends, his family, close neighbours, Fujiyoshida citizens and Fujifabric fans witnessed that one of Shimura kun's dreams has come true at his hometown.
The next report will be about memorabilia at the exhibition and live concert in Shimoyoshida Club and Fuji Goko Cultural Centrethe on 23rd December 2012.
Today's song is, of course, "Wakamono no Subete". English translation of the lyrics is available in Page of my blog. English translation of the lyrics in Page
Thank you for reading!