My physical condition worsens
In October 22 2009, my body finally pleaded for help. During a certain event, I felt the pain in my chest. I crouched down on the spot, not being able to move for a while. I was taken to the hospital and laid on a bed. My condition had turned so bad, that my voice was gone, and it became hard to speak. After 12 years of mental and physical torture, my body and mind finally had a breakdown.
In fear that Moritani would track me down, I requested no one contacted her, by phone or in person.
However, the president of the hospital that helped me now, Mikami(name has been changed to protect identity), in the best of intentions, informed Ueda of my situation, letting Moritani know where I was staying.
Exactly as I thought, she persistently phoned the hospital over and over, demanding rudely to “wake him up and get him on the phone!”.
“This is the first time in all several years of work here that I heard someone be so rude as this. I don’t know what the actual story behind is, but the hospital will protect you as our patient” Mikami told me, representing the hospital, with an astounded expression.
When I checked my mail, I had many messages from Moritani that said things such as,
“The hospital keeps passing around the telephone but I never get to you. That’s extremely rude. Their services are awful. You must contact me.”
“Don’t tell anyone you’re hospitalized.”
I had been used to her abusive emails, but of course, to someone who had never seen them or knew of what happened, it would appear as completely abnormal behavior.
Every time the image of an angry Moritani flashed in my mind, I trembled in extreme fear.
If Moritani discovered me here, everything would happen again like in July 7… I have to run away this time…
“I’m getting out of here right now. Moritani will surely come here and take me back!”
“Toshi, what are you saying? This is a hospital. Calm down. No one is coming here. Even if she came here, she wouldn’t be allowed entrance here.”
Mikami said with an expression of surprise.
I shook my head negatively, and as I spoke my voice trembled.
“She will come! I really don’t know what I did to deserve this.”
As I said that, I dressed myself and left the hospital room.
“Wait! Wait a minute!”
Mikami said bewildered as he chased me. Without taking a break to look back, I walked quickly through the hallway. I could only think with conviction,
(She will definitely come!)
I headed for the emergency exit, through the quiet, dark hallway.
“Wait, where are you going? Just wait a little, I’m going to call a friend!”
With Mikami’s words, I stopped in my tracks and returned, momentarily, to reality. I turned to look back, and lowered my head.
“All right, all right.”
No one picked up Mikami’s call.
I started to walk again.
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
“For now, just get in my car! We’ll talk there.”
As I got inside the car, Mikami’s phone rang.
“What’s happening? This late at night…”
I heard a woman’s voice from the phone.
“My friend wants to spend the night over, but I can’t tell you the reason now.”
“Who is it?”
“We’ll talk about that later.”
“Well, but who is it?”
“I’m going, ok?”
“Wait, I’m asking you who is it!”
“Listen! When I get there, I’ll explain.”
Mikami cut the call, and accelerated the car.
The car swayed through a mountain road with almost no lights, and then, in the darkness, a light of a building could be seen.
Door to escape
When Mikami stopped the car, a large, western style gate opened. We headed for the front door. I followed him. Using the interphone, we waited a little. No one seemed to be around. Mikami knocked on the door many times, making a loud noise. But even with that, there was still silence.
It was when we heard a voice from inside.
“Father is asleep, you get inside from here.”
There was another building at the back.
The shape of a woman could be seen at the halfway open door. When Mikami and I arrived at the door, the woman said.
And she welcomed us into the building.
“What happened? What is going on?”
“I think you know him, let him stay here a while.”
“Who is it?”
The beautiful, elegant lady was surprised when she saw my face.
I also knew who she was. Before, at my concert, I had been introduced to both Mikami and her. I politely bowed to her.
“Ah, Toshi! What is the meaning of this? Please, you should explain. How am I going to explain to father that a celebrity is staying here?”
“Ah, Toshi, this is Oda(name has been changed to protect identity).”
“Oda, don’t mention about a “celebrity”. Can you keep secret about it? Please!”
“Understood. Tomorrow, Mikami will speak to dad. But it’s best you leave today. If father sees a stranger inside the house, he’ll get angry at me.”
“Can’t you do anything about it? It’s urgent!”
“It’s too late at night, it’s impossible.”
“Ok. Then, I’ll need you to stay here, waiting, until morning.”
Mikami was very pushy.
“All right. I understand.”
I was about to say ‘sorry’, but my voice was so weak, no one would hear it.
“Anyway, please explain. Why did you come here?”
She asked me.
“I came from the hospital.”
“Someone is after me.”
“Did you escape?”
“Yes, I escaped now.”
“Huh? Explain this properly!”
“I’m serious! I was running away, and I got here because I escaped.”
She said, a little flustered.
“We’re tired now, so let’s end things here for today. Tomorrow we’ll talk about this clearly. Sorry if I’m being shameless, but could you give him a hot drink?”
Mikami asked to Oda, and she replied with a hint of annoyance.
“Sorry.” I apologized.
That night, I was allowed to stay at a guest room on the second floor of the building.
I lay on the enormous bed. Mikami sat on the sofa. Mikami was about 10 years older than me. He had a very calm and collected dandy. He involved himself in my complex issue and treated me very kindly, even though I had no money to offer. I was thankful and I felt I could trust him.
“Mikami, I’m sorry for all of this. You even went as far as letting me stay for free at the hospital. Thank you.”
“Toshi, you’re allowed to stay at the hospital any time. Well, I also heard a lot of bad rumors about you. I heard that you were deceived. After today I understand a little more of it, those people seem to be a huge nuisance. If you stay here, no one will know of it. In this time, you can rest assured and think about your life from now on. Oda may be a little angry right now, but she is a good person who’ll surely lend you strength.”
Without being able to sleep, I thought about various things. Maybe I ran away this time. Maybe I really escaped from that hell I would have to live for who knows how much longer.
After these hours, as I expected, Moritani had shown up at the hospital early in the morning.
“Of course she would come. Just as I imagined.”
I thought about the day I was kidnapped and my back froze. Moritani searched the entire hospital looking for me, apparently going as far as going inside all of the rooms. Even asking for my location at the reception desk and nurses’ office. Perhaps she was trying to kidnap me once again, but the blackened minivan was parked outside the hospital, besides the driver, there was another man with them.
I received many messages from Moritani such as,
“I know you’re pretending to be out. I know that you, Ago, has asked the hospital to play along.”
“If you plan to be hostile like this, I have my own ideas too.”
When Mikami told me of the content of these messages, he noted.
“Toshi, if I were sick, if it were my wife, she would first be worried, then ask about my symptoms and then prepare what was available and bring them to me. That is the normal behavior. But your wife doesn’t show a single bit of that kind of emotion. She wasn’t even willing to pay for your stay at the hospital. She did not thank the hospital, instead, caused a lot of trouble. I’m truly shocked at her extremely abnormal acts.”
Mikami was always cool headed. But as he said this, he showed a serious expression.
Everything he said was spot on.
If I stayed at the hospital, Moritani, with that threatening attitude, would have already kidnapped me and taken me back to Nasu. I wonder what would’ve happened to me. Maybe they would really sell me to the mafia. I couldn’t return to the hospital after all that happened. There was no turning back now.
“For now, let’s ask Oda once again.”
Mikami told me that and we left to the main house. Oda called us.
“Please, I beg you! One week, no, three days! No, just one day is fine by me! Please!”
I pleaded desperately, lowering my head as I asked.
“I also ask this of you.”
Mikami also lowered his head in the same way.
Oda looked rather troubled, but at that moment, the father had returned from a walk.
Inside the mirror
“What’s going on?”
I saw a very striking figure, he had silver hair, his back was in excellent shape, and wore a very elegant red sweater.
More or less 80 years old, this elderly gentleman showed a strict, but softened expression.
“Father, it’s been a while. Thanks for that one time.”
Mikami lowered his head.
“No, no. It’s my honor. Well, have a seat.”
“I’m sorry for the suddenness of this. But I wanted to ask if my acquaintance could spend some time here. I ask this, perhaps you could be of help to him. Well, um, if it’s possible, one week… He won’t give you any trouble. I offer to pay for all of his expenses. Do you accept?”
“Hm… Is the person in question him?”
I stood up and lowered my head.
“Yes, I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Deyama.”
He had a gentle expression, but I saw a glint reflected in his eyes.
“You were the one who wasn’t feeling well?”
“Yes, there’s been a lot of accumulated fatigue.”
There was a brief period of silence.
“Well, there must be a reason to it. I don’t mind if you stay for 2 or 3 days. So, make yourself at home. There’s no need to pay either.”
“Thank you so much!”
“However, this is for 2 or 3 days.”
“I don’t care, I’m truly thankful.”
The father stood up and returned to the main house.
“Mikami, Oda, I’m sorry for all this.”
“Well, isn’t it good!”
Mikami patted me on the back.
“Well, I have to go to my company and then I’ll go to the hospital. I bet there are a lot of procedures I should take care of.”
“I’m sorry. Thank you.”
With that, I felt a little bit relieved. With Moritani haunting that hotel, I managed to escape following Mikami and ended up here. And if I was going to continue running away, I now had to cancel all of my concerts. How was I supposed to do this?
After the sunset, Mikami arrived. He talked to me.
“Toshi, don’t think of anything now. Just rest. You can now calm down about what happened.”
“Um, you’re sure no one followed you, right?”
“Absolutely no one. Be assured, it’s all right now.”
“Mikami, what have I done until now?”
“Just relax for now. We can’t have your chest hurt like that again. Just rest quietly. Tomorrow I’ll show up here again, until then, have a good rest.”
He said as he left.
On the wall of the second floor there was hung a large mirror.
In the mirror, I saw a man who only worked for money. He had a pale face and dull eyes. His face was thin. There were many darkened marks all over his face from being beaten. I touched my cheeks with both hands. When I went on stage, everything was hidden under make up. But now, I stared at my pitiful state under a dim light.
I lost my words after a day so long like this one.
(I don’t want to think about anything that happened in all these 12 years. I want to erase it all from my mind. I wish my existence as ‘Toshi’ could disappear from this world as well.)
I thought with conviction as I looked at the mirror.
Hours slowly passing by
“Toshi, have you eaten already? It’s evening already.”
Unbelievably, I had slept until the evening of the next day.
When I went to the first floor, on the table was soup and some rice balls.
I sat down slowly and took a rice ball. The rice was still warm from the fire. Until now, I never had such a calm time like this. I was very thankful, from the bottom of my heart, for such a meal and for their kindness. I took a bite of it. I appreciated their gentle thoughtfulness. I felt warmth in my chest.
I took my time to eat the two rice balls. Thinking about it, I had not eaten anything in these two days.
“Toshi, did you sleep?”
I didn’t want to hear Moritani’s voice, I didn’t want to see her face. I didn’t want to see her again. At this point my only thought was to run away from her.
Mikami was worried about where I would go after this, he told me he was going to ask if I could stay a little more than 3 days.
However, I thought that this would be impossible.
That night, Mikami was talking to the father. It was around 7 PM. After that, Mikami came to the room I was staying, in high spirits, and informed me, with an expression of relief.
“Toshi, I asked if you could stay until next month. Isn’t it great? We can think carefully of what to do after that.”
“But, is that truly what he said? You didn’t force him to let me stay, right? Mikami, I don’t have money or clothes. It’s really shameful to be like this in my age.”
“Well, for now, don’t think about that. Think about that after you wake up tomorrow. Put your body and mind to relax.”
That night, I didn’t sleep. I thought until morning. Outside was already getting lighter, just a little more until daybreak.
After a while, I heard the gate open. It seemed like the father was back from his morning walk.
I looked from a space between the curtain and window.
“Welcome back, was it too cold?” the wife replied, from the front door.
They seem to be a normal, pleasant couple…
I decided to go outside.
I opened the door quietly, and went to the gate as not to be seen.
“Are you going on a walk?”
Suddenly the main house’s door opened. It was the wife. She smiled sweetly, always very calm.
“Yes, I’m going on a walk.”
“Be careful, it’s a mountain road.”
I left the house from the left, and walked for a while until there was an uphill road. I turned on the right and there was a beautiful mountain range. I also heard the birds singing.
It was cold! The cold season was already here…
I stepped on the fallen leaves, through the path. It seemed like not many people walked here. It was so quiet. The time seemed to go by very slowly, as if it had stopped.
As I walked, I saw a huge tree. I thought of my childhood and searched for a sharp stone to write on the tree. October 2009… I wondered what day it was. Probably the month was about to end.
I could stay here for a little more. But, what would my life be like in a month? On the way back, my legs felt heavy.
Finally, I could see the gate. I went inside through a smaller gate on the side. I went to the main house. Outside in the cold, at the garden, was the father, doing some repairs.
“Welcome back, did you have a good night of rest?”
“Yes. I stayed awake.”
“You’re young, so that’s not a problem.”
“What is it?”
The father looked in my eyes. I also looked at his eyes. We stayed in silence, but I felt a strong sense of calm stability in his eyes. As if nothing happened, the father started to go back to the main house.
(Why didn’t I say anything?)
I regretted. Yet, I didn’t know what I wanted to say.
Escape from brainwashing
I continued to receive the usual rude messages from Moritani.
“Think about your actions, get this through your head, there’s no one who loves gossip other than nurses. Understand this and get out of there, I’ll be waiting outside to take you back.”
“If this turns into a uproar, that will mean trouble. Go back to Nasu.”
“You blindly believe what these stupid doctors from the countryside say, now that is what means to be brainwashed. These idiot doctors are only pretending to be serious.”
How could someone write such things… I truly despised Moritani’s personality, her lack of compassion and love.
Since I had the breakdown, I finally woke up to their true intentions, along with the distrust I already had of Masaya and Moritani.
Their goal was only to get large quantities of money from me. Their talk of helping the world and children’s future, the abuse and violence of the seminar trainings were all only a way to control me, making me do endless hard labor, to turn me into their money making machine. It was all a deceiving act.
in July 7, 2009, I tried to escape after realizing that, but I failed and was kidnapped and taken back.
That time, I despaired.
(I can’t run away any more. After this, I will have to live in this world of darkness…)
However, if God was giving me an other chance to follow a path in life, I wanted to desperately build a new road.
But not running away any more. I decided with conviction to escape from all these 12 gloomy and long years of risking my life.
In October 26, 2009, I sent a letter of farewell to Masaya and Moritani.
The following day, October 27, ghastly, I wrote of my state to K, who agreed to be my representative under the law.
“K, please be my guardian. They don’t know the harm they have done. I will count on you.”
I consulted K about the explanation of the various topics, such as parting from Masaya, Moritani, and Home of Heart, divorce from Moritani, restoration of the bankbook, officially registered seal and documents under Moritani’s control, and finally, about the money influx that was hidden from me. The first thing K noticed me, as my representative, was to not have any more direct contact with Masaya or Moritani.
Having someone as my representative resulted in Moritani and Masaya knowing that they would not be able to avoid the situation. They quickly changed, everyday sending to my representative pestering demands for money, money, money.
I was shocked by their fickleness.
Masaya’s fax to my representative contained things like,
“Home of Heart(Masaya, Moritani) have no more daily income, no more money. Since Home of Heart cannot afford these, Toshi should pay for the tax of Toshi Office, Toshi’s personal taxes, Moritani’s taxes(totalling 3 hundred million Yen), along with house expenses, loans and other expenses.”
“Toshi will have to pay for the judgement expenses”
“Since Toshi left, there is no money, please introduce to Home of Heart someone who can pay the expenses”
“If it happens that Toshi and Toshi Office go bankrupt, make it so that Moritani won’t be demanded to pay the money loaned of about 1 hundred million yen. Also, don’t bring a tax officer here.”
“All of the concerts and events, after this, scheduled with Home of Heart(Masaya, Moritani) must be repaid. Toshi will repay.”
“The CD and other product sales must continue.”
“When Toshi is cured, if he says he wants to sing Masaya’s songs, I will let him sing.”
“Toshi cannot cause any more troubles to Masaya, so post a notice of division from Home of Heart on the blog.”
Masaya and Moritani, more than anyone, knew that I did not have any money. Taking my money and then demanding that I pay, when I was on the verge of bankruptcy was the most coldblooded thing they could think of. Until now, I only felt the desire to run away, but that had turned into anger.
The representative was at a loss of words when he saw the documents from Moritani. There was an overdue payment of taxes, on my personal behalf and of my office of several hundred million yen, obligatory overdue payment of loans that Moritani processed. Furthermore, the health insurance had not been paid for many years.
“For how long hasn’t the health insurance been paid?”
“Maybe more than 10 years, I don’t think Moritani ever paid for it…”
“Didn’t Moritani and co. live in luxury with your earnings? It’s truly cruel that they never paid for your health insurance even though you provided so much for them…”
After many demands from my representative, my officially registered seal, bank seal, and deposit bankbook from my personal and company use were returned from Moritani’s company(Toshi Office, which I acted as a supervisor for). As expected, there were only left a few hundred Yen, she had taken out all of my deposits. I was left with virtually no money.
As my wife and as a manager of Toshi Office, Moritani was essentially unaware that she would have to return the money that was unfairly taken from me through Masaya and Home of Heart. Perhaps the only way was to declare personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy of my company. However, according to my representative, I needed money to declare bankruptcy. With the hindrance of about 80,000 Yen, my mind was in chaos.
My decision to stop singing
In early November 2009, I returned to the house in the mountains of the people who had been great help to me. Of course, it was secluded living, but I felt a great sense of safety there. I could sleep, even if for few hours. I still received emails from Masaya and Moritani without fail. The content of one of the emails from Moritani was a threat,
“We contacted the mafia”.
I wondered how Moritani could do something like this, as a human being… This was a truly pitiable thing for a person. I also hated myself for trusting her at one point.
With my singing, I managed to build valuable artistic rights. This was what caused my relationships with my family and friends to crumble. I didn’t want to go through all of that a second time. But, that was all a lie invented by these greedy people(Home of Heart). The circumstances of these troubles were also driven by antisocial influence.
My mind and body were at their limits. I felt like I wasn’t tough enough to live in this world of the masses. I always linked singing, since I was a child. Coming back home from school, I strummed notes on a piano and guitar, and I often sang at home. I then formed a rock band with my friend Yoshiki, I left my town to live the dream. I bet all I had in the band, recklessly running wild. Until we finally got on the stage of the live houses in Tokyo. The first few payments went all to the band expenses and for the stage set. We didn’t have money, but we didn’t have status or reputation. I didn’t care about the daily life we had with just barely anything. It was fun to just desperately pursue the dream of singing. That was happiness. Then the dream became true. But for the dream to become true, there was an exchange. Something important was lost. The troubles started to increase, and as a result, everything was lost. I didn’t know what the meaning of singing was.
I should put an end to all of it. Stop singing. That was my decision.
It was then when I was contacted by my representative. I was invited by X Japan’s management to film a music video in Los Angeles. At first I refused, due to sickness. But when a further contact came, telling me they wished I would be there, I listened.
The last meal
It continued very cold when November started. Early in the morning, there was a knock on the front door of the separate house that the family kindly let me stay.
“Good morning. There is something I would like to tell you.”
“What would it be?”
“It’s about what was promised. Could it be until the end of this week?”
The father’s company workers, including himself, were all retired police officers. They asked Mikami about many ways to protect me. Someone like me, staying at such a safe place was only causing too much trouble. It would be too much of a burden if I stayed longer than this month. I truly admired them. But they shouldn’t be obliged to help me anymore after this month.
“Ok, I understand. Thanks for taking care of me for such a long time. You saved me.”
“But I’m sorry we couldn’t do more than this.”
“No, that’s too much. Could I meet with the father and his wife tomorrow?”
I really wanted to thank the father for all that he had done for me, even if I could barely look at him.
“Yes, no problem. Father says that he would like to have a meal together with you, would you like to?”
“Huh, with me?”
“Yes, if you’d like.”
“Thank you very much. Of course I accept, please.”
“Well then, tomorrow at night. How about that?”
“That’s fine to me.”
“At about 6:30, we’ll be leaving.”
“All right. Thank you.”
With these words, the door closed and I became quietly alone.
An entire month had lapsed so fast.
I thought about everything that happened until today, for several hours. What was my purpose in life, what I lived for. What was important to me. I escaped from the ugly reality of the sweet healing world. But, I couldn’t live an honest life doing that kind of work alone. Why? Why did this happen? If I could go back in time, I would like to go back to that time when I was a innocent child. However, no matter how much I regretted it all, I couldn’t retrieve the things I lost. My stay for a month at this house in the mountains was a grand division in this point of my life, and now it was time to leave it behind.
When I realized the last day approached, I thought I’d put everything in the order I found back in the room. But there was nothing to be rearranged. I just stood there in a daze in the harsh cold hours.
With nothing to take back with me, I wondered how I should live my life from now on. Inside my mind, I screamed,
(This is the end!)
A miraculous encounter
The next day, when it was about the appointed hour of dinner with the father, The wife called for me.
“If you’d like, you can come here.”
Maybe I looked a little poorly dressed, as she handed me over a men’s coat and leather gloves.
Around the mountains, on the exit of the house, it was already sunset, and was a little dark.
It was too early in the season, but pure white snow fell quietly. When I pulled the sleeves of the borrowed brown coat over my arms, I thought I felt the nostalgic scent of my father. Instantly, I thought about my own father, who I could not see for many years and had parted forever, and I felt like crying. When I got inside of the taxi that arrived to pick me up, it went down the mountain road. Without speaking to the father that was already inside the car, only the sound of the car speeding could be heard. The snow fell on the glass window, and disappeared shortly after.
Like this snow, I thought that maybe the best for me was to vanish too.
The hot tears fell on the gloves and spilled on my knees.
The car went to a narrow road and we stopped at the restaurant building.
Opening the antique door and going inside, there were large glass windows. There was a large counter from where you could look at the night skyline.
Before me was a flowing river, and the city lights reflected beautifully, fleetingly, on the glass window. I could also see on the evening, in the glass, father’s and my own dim reflections.
I should say something.
“Thanks for today.”
“Please excuse me.”
I could only express these three things that I had in my mind.
“It’s ok, do you want to drink anything?”
I didn’t drink very much, but if I drank now, I didn’t want to risk saying something wrong.
“No, thanks. I don’t drink.”
“I see, I’ll have hot, dry sake.”
He asked to a graceful woman wearing an elegant kimono.
“Then, I’ll have one as well.”
I was so nervous that I became incoherent.
We ordered sashimi, and poured the sake for each other. When I drank it, I immediately felt the rich sweet and hot aroma. I poured more sake for the father, it was something I was not used to do.
The time passed and we still did not manage to have a proper conversation.
“What do you do?”
“I’m a singer.”
“A singer, huh.”
“What is your name?”
“My name is Toshi.”
“What is it?”
The silence continued.
In front of my eyes, father kept holding the bottle of sake, without moving, and asked again.
“Toshi, is it?”
A little while in silence.
“A long time ago, I lost my son, who was also called Toshi…”
The father then drank the remainder of the sake in one go.
I didn’t reply.
The father stared at the night scenery.
I did the same, and as I looked at the window, I felt how ephemeral life was.
Maybe I was drunk already, but my face felt warm.
When our meal ended, we called a taxi.
“Your car is here.”
“Ah, thank you.”
The lady in kimono brought father his grey coat and he put it on. The father was very calm, his gestures always very nonchalant and refined. This was the first deep impression I had of ‘dignity’. Our shoes were lined at the narrow front door space. We put our now cold shoes back and left the restaurant.
Outside, like when we arrived, the snow still fell. I did not put my gloves back on, instead I gripped them firmly, as to never forget about them. The car went up the mountain road and we arrived at the house’s front.
As we got out of the car, I lowered my head.
“Father, thank you so much.”
The father did not turn back, but got out of the car and headed to the gate.
The snow that fell from the pitch black sky landed softly on the shoulders of his grey coat. I followed with my eyes the snow falling down, flickering with the street lamp lights, but always staring at father’s back. I repeated.
“Thank you so much.”
My chest was warm with loneliness I never felt.
That was when I heard a quiet response.
“You can stay more if you wish to.”
Huh? I heard that, surely I heard that. I can stay a little more…?
Maybe I misheard it… But, I replied loudly.
“Thank you so much.”
Without turning to me, the father opened the gates and went.
I returned to the separate house, filled with happiness, but my tears also overflowed. Who knew today would turn into such a happy day…
I shouted in my mind,
(Yes! Yes! Thanks!)
The first tea ceremony
Early in the next morning, it was the first time I knocked on father’s house’s door.
“Excuse me, it’s Deyama.”
It was so that I showed I wanted to talk.
Is this really fine? Won’t I be a nuisance?
“Good morning, you’re up early.”
The wife showed her face.
“What would it be that you are here?”
“Is father around?”
“Yes, he is.”
“I would like to talk to him…”
“Just wait a little bit.”
I heard her say.
I went inside, took off my shoes. I opened another door at the end of the hallway.
I walked through a bright white living room and further inside the house, at a room on the left, the father was there, sitting.
That was the tea room.
In this quiet morning, he was performing a tea ceremony.
I sat before the door and greeted him.
“Good morning, did you wake up early today?”
“Yes, thank you very much for last night. The food was great and it was just a wonderful night. I am here to confirm what was said last night. Is it really fine if I stay here a little more?”
“Yes, I said that.”
“Really? Thank you so much. I’m very grateful. Then, today, I wish to talk about the things that happened to me until now.”
The father stopped what he was doing, his straight posture changed a little, turning his knees to my direction. I looked directly at him. The wife looked at me, sitting in front of the tea room’s door, with worry.
Isn’t it unpleasant if I talk about it here? It’s early in the morning, but I only have this time to talk about it. But the atmosphere will be ruined… I hesitated, but I decided to talk about it briefly.
“For 12 years, my wife deceived me into giving her my company and personal income. It was all taken away from me. I collapsed, at the limits of my body and mind, and after that I was brought here and you have taken care of me.”
“I see, you had such a difficult problem even though you’re still young. Come here and have a cup of tea.”
“Ah, of course. Excuse me.”
I walked over to the hanging scroll and sat.
I heard the quiet sound of the water boiling in the pot.
Once again, I looked straight at the father.
What was this silence? This was entirely different from the word of dirty words and violence that I was so used to.
“Here,” I heard a voice.
In front of my knees there was a cup of tea, inside was green tea.
With the father’s graceful gestures, I felt a little embarrassed. How should I hold the cup? As I asked myself that, father said.
“There’s no need for concern, just drink in your own manner.”
This was the first time I drank tea like this. I took the tea cup in my right hand, and then held it with both hands.
I looked at the tea and took a sip of it.
“Is it bitter?”
“Ah, no, it tastes great.”
“Ah, is it good?”
“Yes, it’s nice.”
With these casual words, the wife smiled. With the events of this beautiful morning, I, naturally, felt a warm sense of safety in my soul.
The last tears
The next day, after hearing of my talk with the father, a flustered Mikami came to see me.
“Toshi, that’s some great news.”
“Thank you so much.”
“Toshi, for a long time you wandered through a very different world. In a very young age, at your twenties you were at the top of the entertainment world. I may say this in a rude way, but you only know that world. And then these people skilfully used you, having you to gather money. And in the end, they took everything away from you. That was a living hell. But, what are you going to do now? I’m not a person of the entertainment business, so there isn’t a lot I can do for you. But I can think about what you’re going to do together with you.”
“Yes, I don’t want to go back to that world anymore.”
“I see. Well, even if you are bankrupt, you need money. And for your living now on, you need money too. So you could try working.”
Starting with my stay at Mikami’s hospital, I had already loaned a lot of money. I didn’t want any more troubles further than that.
Mikami said that he would talk to me again in the day after that one.
That day, the sky was unusually blue.
“Toshi, let’s go to a tea house in the city, they have an art exhibition there. It’s a quiet place where not many people go to, I guess it’s all right.”
When we arrived, in Mikami’s car, we went inside a big building. Inside there was a small art exhibition. That was the tea house corner.
These were seats around the low tables. The menu had only varieties of green tea and japanese style sweets.
Inside the garden, there was an antique, historical tea room.
“This is such a relaxing place.”
“Sometimes Oda brings father here.”
“I see, it’s appropriate.”
Just then, father appeared.
“Ah sorry to let you wait.”
I ordered tea and japanese style sweets. The father asked for a certain brand of tea. A waiter asked for our orders.
Then, Mikami suddenly started to talk.
“Father, what about here?”
“All right, all right. Just let me drink this here.”
“Ah, I’m sorry…”
“By the way, Toshi, what is your age now?”
“I have turned 44.”
“I see, you’re young.”
“Not at all, this is already quite an age.”
The father laughed.
“If you’re old, then what am I?”
“Toshi, what do you wish to do now?”
“I don’t know. I plan to find a different job and work.”
“I see. What do you want to work with?”
“I don’t know. But, I don’t want to work with that kind of thing.”
“Do you dislike singing?”
“It’s not that, but singing is what made me end up like this.”
“Since I have lived for so long, I may know more things about the world than you do. If you feel troubled, feel free to consult me.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Then, father said.
“I’m leaving now, but what do you think about this place?”
Father handed an envelope to Mikami. Then, he quickly stood and left. That was money for my current living expenses and for the procedures of bankruptcy. I had so many people to rob me, but now I also had people who gave me money.
Mikami said to me.
“Go say thanks to father. You are already part of the family.”
When I reached the house in the mountains, in front of the house, the wife was sweeping. I lowered my head to her.
Like always she smiled, seemingly very happy.
I waited for the father to arrive, and once again knocked at the door of the main house.
When the door opened, father was standing there.
“Father, I’m sorry about all these things. Of course, I will pay the money back. Just please wait half a year. Somehow I will pay this money back.”
I told him of my thoughts. Then, he said.
“Toshi, from now on, you will have to face a harder life than you had before. Please use this money in this long, stormy path. From now, you will realize that life is short, but still long.”
With his words, I crouched down at the door and cried.
As I cried, I repeated.
“Thank you, thank you so much.”
“Don’t cry any more, don’t cry.”
He said this with gentleness, just like as if I were his own son.
“Sooner or later in life, for anyone, there will come the time to say good bye. Until then, no more sadness… Save your tears for when that time comes.”
I suppressed my crying. Without saying anything, I lowered my head and left.
Then, I decided. I would not cry any more. As an adult, it was impolite to cry in front of others, it was unsightly for a man.
I was now a completely different person from when, until now, I cried with Moritani and Masaya’s continuous abuse.
Scars of violence
In the middle of December, the leaves on the trees had fallen welcoming the winter season. The promised work with X Japan was looming, but I didn’t know if Moritani would appear there and what kind of actions she would take. Without answering, I worried about what to do. I went to discuss the issue with the father.
I visited him at the main house.
“Father, I’ve been with a rock band called X Japan since I was a child. They have been telling me they wish I come to Los Angeles in America to work with them. As I told you the other day, I’ve been thinking I don’t want to work with this anymore. However, I am not sure if I am able to find another job so soon. It leads me to think that I have no choice but to do this.”
“I understand. If you dislike it, you can choose to stop. But, if you still have strength to continue, you can do it. Since your friends are waiting for you, you should go to Los Angeles. You’re still young. Different from me. You still have strength to work. Don’t think too much about it and leave, one step at a time. If you think about it, you will regret.”
“I see. I will try to think about that.”
“If anything happens, contact us immediately.”
I decided to go to L.A. That night, I went to talk to Mikami and Oda.
“Toshi, are you going to L.A? I heard it from father.”
“Yes, I will.”
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Well, I don’t have anything to wear for the filming in L.A.”
“Huh? What will we do? There’s not much time until you leave. Can you wear a suit?”
“Anything will do. I don’t even care what is it. But I can’t film something with what I’m wearing now.”
“Well, that’s a problem. Here, let me have a look.”
Oda said that and went to the main house.
When she returned, she held a pile of clothes in her hands.
The father’s hats, suits, coats, shoes, boots, shirts, ties and even women’s blouses, coats, sunglasses and other accessories. I was surprised seeing so many cool clothes.
“Father is quite stylish.”
I chose some of the items and tried them on. Mikami said.
“The size doesn’t perfectly match yours, but they will do… But Toshi, you have to do something about the scars on your face.”
I had many marks left from the violence I received from Moritani. Some of them were large and darkened, I noticed they couldn’t be well hidden with make up any more.
“I know a doctor, let’s go there as soon as possible.”
“I accept. Please take me there.”
Before I went to L.A, I received treatment to lessen the scars. The doctor said,
“I can’t get rid of them completely for the day of your filming, I still think they may show at the video image. It takes about one year to heal completely…”
But I wanted the scars on my face and the dark scars on my heart to heal as fast as one day only.
Departing to L.A.
I put in a loaned truck my stage clothes and other travel articles. I was going to L.A… Maybe for the last time… Just this, just once more… Anyway, I was going.
In the morning of December 31 2009, I was at Narita airport. I departed with troubling thoughts, not recovered yet.
Blue sky, dry wind, exhaust fumes, the towering palm tree in straight lines, nothing had changed in Los Angeles.
The next day, I went to Yoshiki’s studio in North Hollywood.
Yoshiki said he’d like to talk to me.
Yoshiki invited me to a meeting room, inside the studio, further inside than the office. With all my might, I opened the soundproofed door.
“I heard a little about it, but you went through a lot of hard things, is that right?”
I strained to reply, my voice had become hoarse and difficult to project.
“Ah, you shouldn’t strain your voice.”
“Ok. Actually, a lot of things happened, but I managed to escape from Masaya and Moritani.”
“Escape? I see… That was a good thing to do. I always worried about it. How are you feeling?”
“Yes, I also think it was right. I was deceived by Moritani and Masaya, they got all of my money. They only left me a colossal tax and loan debt to pay… When this work ends I’ll continue with the procedures for my declaration of bankruptcy.”
“Right… I had a lot happen to me too…”
I was disoriented by his words.
I, with my decision to stop singing when this ended, could not reply to his words.
Born To Be Free
The day after when all of the filming ended, I set up to go out for a meal with Yoshiki. I was reluctant to bid him farewell. After that, we ended up going to his house. Yoshiki sat in the passenger seat and I sat in the back seat. We headed to the north, San Diego Freeway, known as 405, but the way was crowded with traffic. The driving time wa long, but we barely spoke to each other.
It was a while since I had been to Yoshiki’s house. How many years… Opening the automated gates with a switch, the car sped through the long slope and then I could finally see the house. The pure white door opened. At a shelf in the entrance, many of Yoshiki’s neck braces in white and black could be seen. I was surprised at the numbers of them. There was a piano in the middle of the vast, light living space. Was there where he often composed? Many pages of musical scores were placed there.
“Yoshiki, would you show me around? It’s been a long time.”
Climbing the carpeted pure white stairs, there was a training room on the second floor. A large bedroom joined to a marbled bathroom which also had a jacuzzi.
All rooms were tidy and in order. Going back to the first floor, Yoshiki brought a wine from the wine cellar.
“This is red wine from Yoshiki Wine, it’s delicious.”
“So cool that you have a wine brand.”
“Where’s the wine opener?”
As he searched for the wine opener, he spoke funny things to himself,
“You know this television? It’s fit inside the wall. What am I supposed to do if it breaks?”
He brought one of the numerous bottle openers from the kitchen.
He served the wine in two large glasses to the brim, and we toasted. As we drank the red wine that was one of his works, we talked about our childhood until daybreak.
After many hours passed, Yoshiki approached the piano placed over the white floor.
“Toshi, I made a new song. Do you want to hear a little of it?”
There was a handwritten musical score. It was titled “Born To Be Free”.
“Born to be free… Yes, Yoshiki. That’s how it should be. That’s a great title!”
The beautiful melodies and my voice echoed inside the room. I wished it would continue forever…
Over the large window, a blue lamp’s light reflected sparkling in the pool. I stared at the sparkling light for a moment.
I had nothing to lose any more. The only thing that was my legacy was my singing. I would give singing another chance.
A press conference of anger
January 15, 2010. I returned to Japan. A new reality began. The next day, I promptly consulted my representative, informing that I wanted to set up a press conference. In January 17, I wrote to post about the truth, the events so far, my present condition and my feelings on a social networking site. If I pressed the key, all of these hidden things would come out in broad light. I had been dragged by Moritani and Masaya into such a long time of a living hell, and now a new battle would begin. My fingers trembled, but I firmly hit the enter button.
A few days ago, there was information published by one part of the media regarding my divorce. Along with that, I would like to express my feelings about the last 12 years.
1. About the last 12 years
During my activity since 1998, in the space of 12 years, all the money from sales in that time went to the public companies Home of Heart and Healing World(Which is one of a series of companies related to Home of Heart, employing the same staff).
With an extremely busy schedule, I worked continuously without even one day of rest. Excluding a minimal amount for my daily living expenses, all of the money from concerts, wages and money from X Japan was never given to me.
The large amount of money earned working was all taken away from me until recently.
Currently, I am receiving assistance from friends and acquaintances to pay for my living expense.
Even when I fell ill, I only received assistance from my friends.
2. About Toshi Office
Even though I was named representative of Toshi Office, it was under management of Home of Heart. I did not have any rights to be an administrator or manager.
Even though I worked every day to transfer money to Moritani Kaori, Home of Heart, and Healing World, not knowing of any details, I find myself with an enormous tax and loan debts.
Until now, I worked for Home of Heart as an employee with no compensation.
With pain in my heart, after living these bitter 12 years described above, I wonder why I believed that producer MASAYA and Moritani Kaori ‘saved’ my life.
After going through such a long time of troubles, both my mind and body are fatigued.
3. About Moritani Kaori
Since about 10 years ago, we have not lived as a married couple.
Besides meeting only in places of work, I do not know anything about Moritani Kaori’s life.
Moritani Kaori chose to live together with Masaya, rather than with me. Since then, they have been living for a period of 10 years in the city of Nasu.
I have been living alone in a small apartment in Minato Siba, Tokyo.
I declare divorce to cancel this fake marriage with Moritani Kaori.
On her blog, Moritani Kaori lied the publications where it seemed like we lived happily as a couple, performing duets and such other activity. I am extremely tired, psychologically, of all these lies.
4. About trials
In these 10 years, I have only been, personally, one time to the Home of Heart in Nasu, and about 3 or 4 times to the Toshi Office in Nasu. I have no knowledge of what kind of things happened in Home of Heart or Toshi Office, I also have no knowledge of the contents of the trials. My name has always been involved with these civil trials, causing me distress worry.
5. Present conditions
In the present condition, unavoidably, I have declared personal bankruptcy, and have been pronounced bankrupt.
With the advancing procedures regarding bankruptcy, many things I did not know about money and management have been made clear to me about Home of Heart, Healing World and Toshi Office. I honestly wish to cooperate with national institutions to help explain the truth.
I feel as if I woke up from long years of being deceived.
Further from that reality, I did not understand what I was going through for many years. I was forced to do hard labor, every day for a long period of time. My body and mind suffered, and with all of these things accumulated, I have become sick.
I apologize to all that I have, unavoidably, due to work and in opposition to my true intentions, lied, in my speech and conduct and published lies in my blog.
In all of the 44 years of my life, the past two months and half have been the longest.
In this time, I have been thinking carefully, I have known what is truly important to me, and I decided to start my life again.
I will never, in my lifetime, forget this sentiment, and even if it’s modest, I want to live my life without lies.
I truly thank all of you who have supported me until now.
From now on, please continue to keep up with me.
January 17, 2010 TOSHI
The next day, January 18, the press conference was held at my representative lawyer’s office. More than 100 reporters and television cameramen gathered at the office. For about one hour and half, along with my representative, I answered questions about dissociation from Masaya, divorce with Moritani and personal bankruptcy. The contents of this press conference spread into something big, making the news of television channels, newspapers, magazines and other media in the next day.
The victims’ hidden circumstances
On the day of the press conference, my representative was contacted by lawyer Masaki Kito, wishing to speak to me about the contents of the conference.
Lawyer Kito already worked for six years in effort to help a group of victims called “Analyzing the problem of Masaya and Kurabuchi Toru Group”. The judicial war between the victims and Masaya, Moritani and co. continued. However, I hesitated meeting lawyer Kito. Several months ago, I fought against him and the victim group, on the side of Masaya and Moritani. Even though it under Masaya and Moritani’s orders, I had acted and said very rude to lawyer Kito and the injured parties. I didn’t know whether it was a good thing to see him face to face again. I had already been such a nuisance, I couldn’t just show up. What should I do? Without an answer, I contacted the father. After explaining it all, the father spoke.
“If the lawyer wishes to see you, he must have some kind of idea. If you feel sorry about what happened, take this opportunity to apologize. Go to the meeting.”
With these not too severe, but direct words, sensing my weakness in fear, I immediately contacted my representative, wishing to have the meeting.
I truly felt like apologizing, but I was anxious about my pitiable state. I was afraid of what kind of words he would say to me. But, whatever he said, the one who was wrong here was me. With my stomach in a knot, I went to lawyer Kito’s office. There, lawyer Kito and many of the victims gathered, waiting for me. When I entered the room, the first thing I did was to lower my head to lawyer Kito.
“I’m very sorry about all the times I was impolite. Please, forgive me somehow.”
“No, no. It’s fine.” he replied with a smile.
I also bowed to the victims.
“I’m truly sorry.”
I thought that they would feel distrust of me, but like lawyer Kito, they welcomed me with an open attitude. I felt very relieved.
“We’re glad that you got out of there…” Lawyer Kito spoke with deep emotion.
“Everyone who gathered today here wanted very much to tell you about their actual circumstances. Please listen to what they have to say.”
One of the victims looked at me with a deep facial expression.
This person had criticized me for many years.
“Toshi, I am so happy that you escaped. From now on, you can help us in the fight against Masaya, Moritani and others. Let’s do this together.”
“I brought by Moritani, I took the seminar trainings and with violence and abuse, I was in a state of mind control. I was worn out, mentally and physically. I became an injured party with about 10 million yen of through their exploitation and imaginary loans.”
“This may be hard for you to hear, but what shocked me the most was… I was in Nasu, taking the seminar, when Moritani started to verbally abuse Toshi on the phone. I was next to Moritani. Then, by Moritani’s order, I too had to partake in the verbal abuse. I don’t know for how long it went, but she passed the phone to me and I closed my eyes and desperately shouted abuse. Sensing that things were strange around me, quickly I opened my eyes and saw, on the side, Masaya and Moritani on her bed. I was so shocked with the suddenness of what I saw that I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. But in fear that if I stopped with the verbal abuse against Toshi, I would go through violence and abuse, once again I closed my eyes tightly and continued. But I was so shaken, that I have no idea of what I saying to Toshi. When Moritani’s business finished, she took the phone from me, acting as if nothing happened and once again started verbally abusing Toshi.”
When I heard this, I finally understood the real relationship between Moritani and Masaya. If I had known that something like this happened before, I would not have given any more money to them. I was speechless due to the shock I felt.
The other victims told their experiences.
“I was brought by Moritani, and to join Home of Heart, many times I was made to participate in indecent acts with Masaya.”
“I was put under a state of mind control through the abuse and violence, and I have a loss of 13 million yen. My daughter was also verbally abused and I can only be regretful as she still has trauma from it.”
“I also have a great loss of money, but what I despise the most is that when I took the seminar, my daughter, who was not even 3 years old, was taken to a dark room and put into a cardboard box, they closed the box and confined her there. This is a horrible experience to a child. Today she is still afraid.”
“I was coerced to have a divorce, and lost a lot of money. My 9 year old daughter was prohibited of attending school. During that time, my daughter took care of the infants. She was ordered by Masaya to put these infants inside cardboard boxes.”
“I left my house, and came to live together with them at the Nasu headquarters. But before I could do that, my daughter and the other injured parties told me not to go and saved me. However, I still suffered money loss, and had to get many loans of great quantities of money. Three of other injured parties at the time were forced to declare bankruptcy, one of them declared voluntary liquidation. They took advantage of a troubled woman like me, took all of my money, causing the destruction of my family, my divorce, bankruptcy, and psychological distress. My whole life became a mess.”
“Maybe if you work again, Toshi, you’ll be able to rebuild your money and life. But to me, I lost my spouse, I lost my children, my money, and my life. I can’t have all of this back.”
What have they done to such people? I may still have a chance, but they are worse off than I am. I still heard stories that started with
“I was brought in by Moritani, and I lost huge quantities of money…”
I was horrified by the way they described Moritani’s method of invitation. It was exactly like the way she acted with me when I met her, before I joined the seminar.
(Was it all planned from the start!? I should have noticed sooner)
When the stories of the victims ended, I felt like as if all strength had been drained out of me.
These people still are in a judicial war with Masaya and Moritani for such a long time even with their present losses.
I stood against them, not knowing about these things or the pain they felt… I just did as Masaya and Moritani ordered, thinking it was the right thing to do…
I felt apologetic, but no matter how much I apologized, it wouldn’t be enough. I couldn’t raise my face to look at them either.
I asked lawyer Kito.
“What can I do now?”
“There is something I ask of you. I am the one who wants to end this judicial battle the most. There can be no more victims. For that, let’s have an urgent press conference. If you feel confident, please help us out. I want you to unite and stand together with us and the judges.”
“I got it. I will of course do that.”
I decided to myself that if there was anything that I could do to help, I would.
Masaya and Moritani’s hidden circumstances
After that, I also met and apologized to those whom I had not seen for a long time. All of them told me that they were happy to see me out of there. Then, I heard of the things that they couldn’t tell me until then. Y, manager of a big hotel enterprise group told me:
“I received a phone call from Moritani, she asked for a hotel room in Osaka for Masaya and her. I couldn’t tell this to you.”
T, boss of a company listed on the stock exchange told me with a puzzled expression:
“I received a lot of fax letter with heart symbols addressed to me. There were also many more strange incidents. When my wife saw Moritani, she advised me not to trust her.”
O, owner of a famous gallery in Tokyo said:
“Masaya has been well known as a swindler for many years.”
N, staff of a entertainment production company explained:
“Everyone knows that Moritani is someone to be extra wary of.”
I also heard many similar stories from many others.
I wondered why no one told me of these things… Why! But if I were in their place, I wouldn’t tell either.
“The responsibility of telling the truth is too heavy…”
My chest was in pain from the regret and sadness that I felt for the inconvenience I caused to them.
Investigation of the nature of Moritani’s incident
Continuing with the procedures for bankruptcy, a court was chosen so that the process could begin.
My bankruptcy trustee representative claimed for a restitution of damages from Moritani and Masaya’s unlawfulness. Of course, I had no objection to that. For the judge’s setup, I started writing a “document of statement”, where the victim’s experiences were explained, as proof. However, this document made me feel greatly depressed, as I realized the number of Moritani’s damages. Since we met, she had been doing this for about 16 years. Organizing the data and evidences, Moritani had known Masaya before we met, and there was a big possibility that they planned beforehand to bring me in. A lot of things started to make sense to me.
Knowing about Masaya and Moritani’s circumstances, hidden from me, I was attacked by flashbacks of the scenes of violence and abuse that I suffered. I became, psychologically, excessively insecure, I felt the pains on my chest, and I had headaches and felt nauseous.
“They’re still doing these things!”
Alone in the room, preparing the documents, suddenly I screamed in anger, throwing the piled up documents above the desk around the room. That time, lawyer Kito had offered me a room in his office, so that he could help me and the other injured parties with the data organization, proof, and statements. When I was working on the “document of statement”, I handled all kinds of documents, but many of these documents stated Moritani’s frauds. The money she stole from me in all these years amounted to more than one billion yen. A huge quantity of money had been also stolen from the other victims. I wish the taxation bureau would investigate about the money Masaya and Moritani have hidden.
After that, with the devoted support of lawyer Kito and the injured parties, after one year, I was able to complete the “document of statement”, and my bankruptcy trustee representative sued Masaya and Moritani, demanding restitution of damages in court.
Masaya and the other are still today, under a different name of “MARTH Productions” selling products under my name, such as “Toshi”, “Toshi Healing”, “Toshi with T-Earth”. Masaya still uses my name, “Toshi”, and pictures of me, on his official website. He also publishes notices as if we were still ‘friends’, in order to sell CDs. The sales of their CDs, books and healing goods are their source of income, which is how they continue with their usual practices. They must be stopped. That is the purpose of this book.
The press conference with the victims
In April 23 2010, I participated of a press conference together with lawyer Kito and the other victims. The first person to hold a press conference about losses from cult religions and fraudulent practices was Iiboshi Keiko, in 1992, and Yamasaki Hiroki in 1993, in explanatory meetings regarding the Unification Church. In 17 years, a press conference about this with a celebrity was a very rare occurrence.
Together with lawyer Kito and the victims, before many press members, we told the full story of the damages from Masaya, Moritani and others. With the heavy burden of the damages for periods as long as six years, the suits against Masaya and Moritani rapidly developed into settlement, decided in favor of the victims. Masaya and Moritani had to raise the white flag.
With the settlement, I felt like a light had shone to me, opening a new path in my life.
When the press conference ended, I stared at Tokyo’s night skyline from the window of the hotel I stayed at. What is that people search for? In every walk of life, everyone’s wish is to be happy. After leaving that world of status, reputation, and greed for money, I can look at it now from a different point of view. I can now see clearly the dirty spirit, the ugly actions. I understood that there is no happiness in that. But, what is true happiness? How should I live the remaining short time left to me? I profoundly thought about these things for the first time.
True affection I finally found
After the end of the press conference, I quickly returned to the house in the mountains. I wanted to tell father as soon as possible about the things that happened. I drove through the mountain road, late at night. When I arrived at the pitch black gates, I stepped out of the car.
“It’s so cold”
The trees still had a thin coat of snow on them. The beautiful silver sparkled as it fell. I quietly approached the gate, and looked at the dim lights of the house.
As fast as I could, I opened the front door without even knocking, walking inside the house. As usually, in the tea room, I saw the figure of father, sitting quietly, perhaps waiting for me at such late hour.
“Father, I returned.”
For some reason, I felt relief breathing in the familiar scent.
“I safely completed a task today, with your help. Thank you very much.”
“I’m glad about that…”
Father as there, before me, smiling gently.
“Father, there is something I’ve been thinking about today. Would you hear me out?”
“What is it…?”
“What do I do to live happily?”
“Let’s see… That would be living with honesty and integrity…”
Hearing these deep, dignified words, I felt my face hot. But I decided wouldn’t cry… However, with everything that went so far, I cried, with all my might, in my heart.
There are ‘encounters’ in life. To all people, one day the time to say ‘good-bye’ will come. I lost all that I had, and when I was about to give up, I met wonderful people through a ‘miraculous encounter’. Changing my ideas, I summoned all the strength I had left and took my first step.
I strongly believe that “anyone can start over again, any time”.
However short today might be, to me it is my remaining ‘life’.
I wish to live with honesty and integrity, here and now.