Hello!! I am ‘yasashiikisu’ and this is my first time posting in the site.
I am very excited to present to you maybe the biggest project I’ll ever translate.
This is Toshi’s book, “Brainwashing – Returning alive from 12 years of hell“.
It was published in 27 July 2014, by publishing company Kodansha.
You can buy the book through Amazon.
If you know X’s history, this book is a must have. This is a very intense book and I am afraid I am not articulate enough to translate with the same intensity, of course I did my best, yet I am not a professional(therefore I don’t profit translating, I don’t own anything etc etc).
I kindly ask you not repost this anywhere, link instead.
This time, I’ll go straight to the point and post chapter 1.
Don’t worry, the prologue will be posted soon.
Please do not hesitate to send me a question!
Chapter 1. Ticket to Hell
1993 – 1997
A turning point in my life
1993, April, when I was recording in Los Angeles, I received a proposal for an unexpected work. It was if I could act for the main role as Hamlet in the rock opera “Hamlet”. How would acting work out for my image as X Japan’s Toshi? I hesitated, but the staff involved with my solo work recommended that I should do it, I did hear many words of encouragement such as, “You must do it!” or, “It’s a chance for you to grow as an artist”. As I was told these things, my interest for a challenge in a new world also sparked. But, at that time, I had no way to know that this decision would completely change my fate and be the start of the fall. That is, “brain washing”, those days when I was stolen of my will as a person, my thoughts, my freedom, and everything. Hidden in that bright stage, where I should have took the leap for my life, was an abyss that would swallow me.
It was May 1993 When I returned from my accommodation in LA to Japan, in order to attend the last audition to decide who would be the leading actress who would share the stage with me, cast as the main character. From public submissions to official papers’ selection, there was only one remaining audition.
When all the auditions ended, the opinion between the judges was divided. It was between the producers, directors and technical crew and my then office’s boss Takeda(name has been changed to protect identity). The production’s recommended actress was little known, but with her beauty and aura, would surprise with her skills singing and acting. On the other side, the recommended actress was one who hadn’t as much skill as singer or actress, but amidst the competition, with many of the others desperately trying to make an appeal to themselves, this woman left an impression for her relaxed spirit. To me, it didn’t matter who was chosen, I thought either was fine. Eventually, when there was an election to choose between the two, things had calmed down with the decision of a ‘double cast’, that would play alternately. For some reason, everything was changed, and it was the only one person my boss had recommended. This person is Kaori Moritani.
Maybe there is no “if” in life, but if only at that time the double cast set up had continued, and my boss hadn’t persistently recommended it to be Moritani… Perhaps my life would’ve been completely different.
This meeting would become the biggest turning point in my life.
In October, 1993, after participating together in the said rock opera “Hamlet”, for some time we stayed distant, but a half year later, around spring of the year 1994, I received a letter from her in my house in LA. As time passed, once every two weeks, once in a week, once in every three days, the frequency increased. It was still the time when electronic mail and mobile phones did not exist. As I read these letters, I felt like my own character from the play, Hamlet, who is in love with Ophelia. Then, I felt my heart and body go astray. To me, living alone in a foreign country, these letters written in beautiful gentleness were my heart’s healing. Still, even so if I had started dating her, I didn’t love this woman. Truthfully, I think I was a lonely person who couldn’t love someone or be loved by someone.
“I didn’t know about the Toshi of X.”
“I have no interest in the Toshi of X, but I do know about the real you.”
I felt that when she wrote these words in her letters, it was different from the people who approached ‘Toshi’. Maybe I did think that she was the ideal woman. In the background of these feelings, there were many troubles that reflected intermittently on my surroundings.
Collapse of my family
In 1992 my office was founded, and my solo career started. The one I entrusted as the boss was my brother. My eldest brother went to Tokyo from his days in high school to try out a career in entertainment, but in the end, without getting a debut, he started to work for a large entertainment and recording enterprise. In his childhood, my brother had the face of a idol star, when he turned 32 years old, he put on weight, and his now round face with glasses made him a charming middle aged man. I almost had never seen him in formal clothes like suits, but like a business man, he had a rough fashion, consisting of jeans and t-shirts. Before I knew it, I was already taller than him.
“I’d like to be the boss of your office.”
In the time that my solo career started, I was contacted by my brother and he said that. Since my infancy, I had received musical influence from my brother, and now to know that I was going to work together with him, someone who I’d admired since a long time ago, made me very happy. He was in charge of planning for my career and throughly administrating the office. After he became my boss, I selected him to be my partner in a radio show I participated. Because he hadn’t become a talent in the entertainment world, the very least I could do was give him a little of that feeling. But that way of thinking, that he was getting a gift from his brother, was a tremendous failure. By hiring him to participate on radio with me, I thought that he would get to have his name known to my fans and in addition get a bigger salary and improve his financial situation, and finally get better treatment as my brother and as my boss. As a result, as for my brother working as my boss in a very reliable way, my brother never disappointed me in maintaining my private life secure and dispelling rumors that I had become some sort of pop idol.
“Brother, I mean, boss. Be more aware of your work as a manager.”
“Toshi, do you know boss Ishii from Conto Akashingo, who often appears on TV? I want to become a manager just like him.”
“You know, when he appears on TV, he’s kind of like a pop talent but on the other side, I’m sure he’s determined about his job as a manager. Before becoming a talent, I think that doing your manager job is very important.”
I did warn him many times, but my brother, resigned to become a talent, perhaps did not have the ability to administer the office. I received claims and complaints about my eldest brother from Yoshiki’s and the other members’ offices. It also came to my attention that there were plans for a magazine to expose his bad actions as a manager. With so many of these troubles, I had also felt many times actions that meant betrayal, but unfortunately I was unable to fire him from the position.
After all, to him, more than an artist, I was his younger brother, he treated me with the minimum standard of respect and I think he left his duty as a manager in second place. As he severely felt the difficulty of managing the office, he became conceited. My image and impressions of my eldest brother started to crumble. I felt profound sadness, as if of someone who had been betrayed.
Furthermore, more than once or twice, received claims from X Japan’s staff about my mother, who apparently had invited fans to our house, taken money from them to let them see old videos and pictures of my and Yoshiki’s childhood and let them photograph these as well. That kind of information circulated in weekly magazines, but I have already expressed my profound apologies to Yoshiki’s staff members involved.
When I asked my brother to quit being the manager, I gave him several million Yen in cash.
“I’m sorry, we can’t continue working together like this. I’m giving you this money so you can follow another path, I hope you can use it in a valid manner…”
My eldest brother and mother argued, “When you make this Takeda your next boss, he will instigate you and take over your office. Your rights belong to the Deyama family. And to think you can hand it over to some outsider…”, surrounding me with these remarks. Beyond resentment, I felt an enormous discouragement. My eldest brother and mother had the wrong ideas and actions that, as I had become famous and with that my rights produced a great value of money, they had also turned into celebrities. Furthermore, at that point, my idea of “Good family” also collapsed, as I discovered their greed which I hadn’t known yet.
With great disappointment, I fell into a pit of self-hatred.
Transformation of family and friends
Succeeding that, in spring of 1993, Takeda became the office’s boss and further troubles occurred.
Originally, I became friends with Takeda before my debut, when I worked a part time job at a bar in Meguro and he was a regular costumer. He was a tough muscular type with a sunburned face. I always perceived him, who always chose to wear stylish double suits, a prosperous manager. With his loud, cheerful voice, he gave an atmosphere full of ambition and confidence. I could feel the contrast between he and my eldest brother, as they were the same age range. When my office was established, Takeda became my adviser concerning my eldest brother who wanted nothing to do with his position as boss. After my brother’s dismissal, Takeda became the boss and after that, he also became the boss for X Japan’s management office. When Takeda was employed, I agreed with Yoshiki to take responsibility of X Japan’s early management side, being something similar as Takeda’s guarantor.
It happened, that one year after Takeda was employed, troubles as fraudulent accounting with large sums of money were discovered. The same fraud also occurred in my personal office, at the same time period. Up to that point, I had trusted Takeda, I was in shock, since I believed that we had the same intentions. Takeda was dismissed from being the boss of X Japan’s office, he was also fired from my personal office. With the agreement from before, I was responsible and returned stocks to X Japan’s management company.
Right after I’d been anxious about the case with my eldest brother and mother which caused so much annoyance, this time, the very person I had introduced to X Japan’s office and became boss, caused trouble with a fraud, losing us a great sum of money. That was a problem I caused and there was no way that I could have repaid the X Japan members. I was sorry, but it was so that I couldn’t bear to look at the management’s people or member’s faces. Until that, my solo schedule was active, yet, naturally with these circumstances, X Japan’s activity was left alone, and I also couldn’t proceed with my solo schedule.
When I received large quantities of money, my family and even my friends went through a transformation, to the extent some unbelievable situations arose. Ideally, I wanted to have a peaceful relationship with them. In reality, many times I was faced with “glossed over” remorseful cases. I entrusted my money to my family, in unconditional faith that they would handle my money, pretending that as an artist, I wouldn’t be able to handle my money wisely. My innocence in entrusting all of my money to my family, is no doubt, one of the main factors in the worsening of the situation.
I desperately longed and aimed for the ‘rock star’ status. I thought I would be doing a favor to my parents, and a favor to my family. Looking back at the circumstances, troubles were only spreading in my surroundings. Between the members and I, there was something like a deep abyss in me.
(In what, in who should I trust…?)
All at once, I had nothing left to trust or rely on. I couldn’t stop shaking, as I felt trapped in a vortex of anxiety.
It was at this time that I received Moritani’s letters more frequently. Moritani’s letters were the only evidence that my heart was tortured by solitude.
My brother’s management request
In October of 1994, after Takeda’s incident, I was emotionally exhausted. Hiding from Takeda and the media, I visited my other brother who, as a major bank representative employee, had moved to New York. My brother, who worked in New York as an elite businessman, in the front line of the world’s finances, naturally had no connection at all with Japan’s entertainment world. His house was located in New York’s suburban area, away from Manhattan’s hustle. The soft sunlight of autumn showered the quiet neighborhood surrounded by dense trees. In this calming place, I could talk to my brother about the incident with Takeda and plans ahead. Three years older than me, my brother was now 32 years old. Probably, he had improved his physique, but the clean businessman hairstyle, and the glint of his eyes behind the silver glasses gave him, as always, a strong air. After several days, on a Sunday, relaxing in the living room after breakfast, the entrance doorbell rang. My brother looked through the door’s peephole, and outside, wearing sunglasses, was Takeda.
“Toshi, Takeda is here. Go to the second floor.”
My brother went to the door to talk with Takeda, but not exceeding five minutes, he was gone.
“So, you’ve come all the way to this place, huh. You know that it’s not a good idea to follow Toshi around with such a bad manner.”
Since childhood, I always acknowledged that my brother had a calm and collected side, and he was also always the top class in studies. He didn’t have any connection with the music or entertainment world, but as a businessman, he had high abilities. My brother had a spirit of independence, and differently from my elder brother and mother, maybe my artist rights didn’t seem as vital to him. I became alienated from my family because of the matter with my elder brother and mother, but perhaps if I was with my brother, something could work out right.
“If you can, I would like you to be my office’s manager…”
I had nothing to lose, so I requested my brother to become the boss of my office.
“I can’t give you a simple answer right now, give me some time to think.”
Several days later, I left New York and returned to Japan for some time.
Reunion with Moritani and devotion to the spiritual world
Still in autumn of that year, exhausted to the bottom of my soul, I spent some time in Hawaii to recover and compose songs. Returning to Japan, I met Moritani once again. After a long time without seeing each other, her calm temperament brought me peace of mind.
“You’ve been through so much. Let me hug you tightly. You’ve done well…”
As I shed large drops of tears, I felt that she could be the one who would heal my rough heart. She had written over hundreds of ‘575’* short poems in small cards and gave them to me. One of them in particular made me cry very hard.
“Dying/Hand in Hand/We’ll go together”
Having lost faith in my family, acquaintances and even friends, these words permeated my heart.
Before long, I began my society with Moritani.
She often talked to me bout spiritual topics, spiritual world, and the universe. I was also interested in these topics, and her passionate attitude won me over. With her influence, I also started to like the genres of New Age music and Healing music. In the context of my commitment to the spiritual world and healing, perhaps I had found a escape for my reality filled with continuous troubles.
[*: 575 is a poem rhyming method common in Japan.]
An empty space left empty
In 1995, Yoshiki changed X Japan’s direction to expand into a world wide market. He talked excitedly about plans to first release an album marketed for Japan, and later another album in the American continent. Soon, the recording for the new album, ‘Dahlia’, started to take place in Yoshiki’s own studio in Los Angeles. In the last year, Hide’s solo tour had exploded with popularity. And the other band members had each their own side projects. Then, between me and Yoshiki, there opened up empty space that couldn’t be filled. Also under Moritani’s influence, I came to feel that the source of my suffering and the lie I was living was caused by the rock genre we performed, called ‘visual style’.
“You don’t have to fake it, to pretend. You also don’t need that make up or that bleached hair. You just have to be Toshi.”
It was like as if Moritani’s gentle words took away all of the weight off my chest.
On the other hand, with the songs decided and all the excitement of launching our band to the world, the recording of vocals with Yoshiki this time was much more strict. Voice, rhythm, pitch and emotion were things that he added to the list of demands, but what bothered me the most was the english pronunciation. Yoshiki required I had a native speaker’s level of pronunciation. Yoshiki had never set his mind on such a thing before, and I thought that having the perfect pronunciation now was unreasonable. Taking lessons from a leading specialist of pronunciation, we tried to record the songs with perfect english pronunciation, but as I expected, we did not get satisfactory results. No matter how many times we adjusted, if I didn’t have motivation, I wouldn’t be able to climb this wall.
Disappointed and angry with myself for not meeting Yoshiki’s demands, I also felt resentment towards Yoshiki and his insistence. Sensing serious problems in my singing, which now had reached a low level, I started to think that I had no confidence, energy or even qualification to be X Japan’s vocalist and member. The days in the studio gained a profoundly heavy and dark mood, along with the fact that Yoshiki and I rarely spoke to each other.
The doubt in my mind to leave X Japan
March 1995, my brother accepted my request and resigned from his work with major banks to become my office’s manager. After that, our troubles had continued, because of Takeda’s impact, we received a complaint from a CM sponsor. More than ever, I couldn’t raise my eyes to the X Japan’s staff members and office’s people.
“If I am in X Japan, I will only cause more trouble. Furthermore, I cannot see any more meaning in being a member of X Japan.”
Moritani said to the hesitant me, “Isn’t that what you want? You should be yourself… If you’re in X Japan, everything will go wrong for you. More important than that, you should do more of what you like. I’ll be with you. Have more faith in the universe inside you…”
In November of 1995, without having finished the new album, the curtains were raised for X Japan’s first tour in 4 years. A tour of sold out arenas, packed with extremely enthusiastic fans, surely X Japan’s popularity had reached its peak. Yet, my heart was sunk deeply.
“I should stop showing all of this excitement. Wearing such ornate fashion only weighs down my mind. I should really try to be more like myself.”
With Moritani’s advice, I cut my long hair, dyed it black once again, stopped wearing make up, and my stage outfits became simple styles with a jacket. I went through a transformation that completely disagreed with the style of a visual rock band’s front man.
In December 1996, for the last date of the ‘Dahlia Tour’, we had the custom to perform in the Tokyo Dome at the end of the year. Certain night, when I was preparing for the show, Moritani brought me one CD. When the song played, suddenly she started to cry.
“When this song plays, I can’t hold back my tears. It’s such beautiful music.”
Since I first started to go out with Moritani, when I thought she was laughing, suddenly she could being to cry as well. Inversely, when she cried loudly, soon it turned into laughing. Those violent ups and downs many times made me feel very uncomfortable. I disliked that, I saw her in a favorable light. To me she was like a pure child with a peculiar trait.
That song had an orchestra arrangement, as featured in various other song of the healing music category. It was a song from an artist called Masaya. Moritani frequently played this CD, and she constantly left it on my desk. It one of the CDs from the several ones we collected of the healing music category.
“Yeah, it’s a nice song…”
As I said this in an unclear response, Moritani soon took an emotional stance.
“I tell you, you should quit that X Japan. And cut all ties with your family. I don’t mean it superficially, just by listening I can feel heartbreaking and precious feelings. You should be singing songs like this to heal people’s hearts! Isn’t that what you wish to do the most? Haven’t your mother, brother, Yoshiki, and all people around you only used you for their own convenience? Don’t let them manipulate you any more! I’ve had enough!”
Tightly grasping my arm with both hands, shaking my body strongly, this was the first time I looked at the pleading, crying Moritani with fear.
“She’s really thinking seriously about myself… She is the only person I can trust.” I realized, as she cried with anger. Immediately, I distanced myself from those around me. I fell in the hole Moritani dug for me.
Moritani’s two wishes: Family registration* and Retirement from X Japan
January 1997. With the tour and the new album ‘Dahlia”s recording finished, X Japan’s activity temporarily reached a critical point. I took two very important decisions. The first was, marriage with Moritani.
“I want to walk holding hands with you in public. I don’t want to have to do everything in secret.”, she told me.
Even though there were the emotional highs and lows, I believed that she was true, and would never betray me as did my family and friends. I didn’t want to project on her any bad feelings. I decided to grant her wish of getting married. From the people around me, I was used to hear malicious remarks as, “She is the one who changed Toshi”. I wanted to get married with her, not only to start a new life by her side, but to protect her from these things as well.
After marrying, I was very obstinate, showing concern in my speech and action. I didn’t not inform my brother, manager of my office or the staff people of my office. Of course, I also did not tell any of the X Japan members. Even to me, the event wasn’t meant to be public. Moritani told me not to have a ceremony or make a public announcement. But, beforehand, it became featured in a weekly publication and I had to give a TV interview about it and unavoidably speak about it in concerts. If not for someone extremely close, why did the information leak to the media? Moritani accused my brother, who was also my manager, of disclosing the fact. This made my suspicion of family worst than ever.
Then, I had taken another decision.
I had a conversation with Moritani about my decision to leave X Japan.
“To put our plans into action, I can’t go on with X Japan any more.”
I made the decision to end this life of X Japan=Yoshiki, and turn it around to start my life with Moritani.
The day finally came, in April 20 1997. In the evening, I was parked in the Los Angeles studio’s neighborhood. I stayed for a while inside the car, I stared at the deep red sky. I recalled of thirteen years ago, in the last year of school, we dreamed of being rock stars and talked about it enthusiastically.
“If it’s with Yoshiki, if it’s X, we’ll make it.”
(Today it would end… I wonder what Yoshiki will say…)
Would it be like leaving a family I’d been living together for many years? Would it be like separation from a long time lover? Or would it take away weight of the cross I carried? Unspeakable emotions took control of my heart.
I was in my car for about 30 minutes. Yoshiki was waiting for me in the studio lounge.
Yoshiki was seated facing a round, large table. It showed that he was there for some time. I couldn’t look in his eyes.
“Yoshiki, I have something to tell you…”, I said, looking down.
“I want to quit X…”
After minutes of silence, I heard from Yoshiki.
Quickly I replied.
“But, we have to let everyone know, so I think we should call them here.”
Hide and Heath, who were in L.A. at the time, came to the studio. Once again we gathered around the circular table.
“Damn! This again, Toshi!”
Hide spat these words. He said them because I had cause so many troubles for X Japan.
“If we don’t have a singer, what we’ll do? What will become of our life?”
It was a rare time when Hide’s feelings struck hard on me.
“Whatever problem we have, don’t we always solve it together? X is not only your life, it is the life of us all. What the hell are we going to do!”
I thought that anything that I could say would be of no use. Yoshiki continued silent, idly playing his Yoshiki model guitar, looking down.
“Hide-chan, this is a decision I thought about and worried for a long time. I can’t put my whole soul into X any more. I can’t go on, living a lie to all of you any more. I met someone, and I found new values. From now, I want to save people.”
“Then do it. Through music.”
“I can’t do that if I’m in X. I mean it, I want to save people.”
My discussion with Hide continued. I became stubborn enough to say it.
“You mean that a rock band cannot save people?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Yoshiki’s hand ceased to strum the guitar.
Heath, yet silent, stared at a fixed point of the table.
Hide’s expression was that of shock. He pouted.
Following moments of silence from all, Yoshiki spoke.
“If Toshi decided to leave at this point, there’s no way we can stop him.”
With Yoshiki’s words, I couldn’t stand to be there any second longer. I stood up and without even looking back, I left the place.
“I’m so sorry, everyone… Thanks for everything…”
Unable to say these words in their presence, I repeated them in my mind. My chest was hot and tears welled up. In that way, I left the studio, driving my car.
“I just talked to the members…”
I informed Moritani, who waited for me back at home.
Satisfied, she smiled.
That day, at last, I left X Japan.
[*: Not once in this sub-chapter there is a reference to the single word “marriage”. The words used in all stances is “Registration into one’s family” – I did not use it in all stances because it’s a long way to write and would become repetitive.]
Distrust of my brother
When my brother became my manager, my work diverted to a social orientation: Supporting the plaintiffs of the Tokyo tainted blood scandal lawsuit, publication of a dialogue with Kawada Ryuhei, my first published essay, being in charge the CM song for Unesco’s message song and public advertisement “Bye Bye Bullying”, performing for the ‘concert for Peace’ sponsored by Masashi Sada, visiting an Indian school as Unesco’s goodwill ambassador, among others.
But even during those activities, my brother(working as my manager) and our office’s staff never acknowledged Moritani. To be exact, it is likely that they were somewhat wary of her. My brother did speak of her to me, personally, using very bitter words.
“Moritani is only putting on an act”
“It’s common sense in the banking world, people like her are the most dangerous.”
“Notice her eyes, be aware of that woman.”
I only replied to my brother, “Don’t say these mean things”, when he would talk about her in such a severe way.
Yet, I couldn’t deny, even at first, that my brother, who abandoned the elite road, leading the way through the unknown world of entertainment to do me the favor of becoming my manager coming back to Japan, was giving me a serious warning.
Conversely, Moritani at first, would send gifts in her letters to my brother. As time passed, she frequently complained of him.
“He only thinks of you as business, he doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.”
“He only wants a brother like you to be his puppet.”
In the beginning, I was shocked by Moritani’s metamorphose and abusive words, and even though at first I agreed with things she said, I wondered if she really said to me what she honestly thought of me.
Also, in her letters, Moritani would send flowers to my mother. But she also turned to complain of my mother.
“Your mother thinks her children are her properties.”
“Your mother is a detestable woman.”
“Two faced liar”
Unfortunately, at the time, I could not negate her words. I sympathized with her remarks, viewing my brother, along with my family, in a negative light.
Introduction to brainwashing, headed to Yakushima
Following our marriage, one day Moritani told me in a happy voice.
“I want to go to Yakushima. You know, that Masaya of the CD we listened? There’s an hotel he designed over there.”
In June of 1997, Moritani and I visited the “Lemuria Island Resort Hotel” in an island of Kagoshima prefecture.
The place couldn’t be called a ‘resort’, it was only a small lodge. It was a small, white, cottage building, surrounded by other buildings in the mountain.
“This is such a beautiful place! This is the best hotel I’ve ever went to!” Moritani said with happiness. I wasn’t as excited as she was, but to me, if she was happy, then so was I. There were no other guests other than us in this silent place. At check-in, we entered the wooden main building, also linked to the hotel, labeled as restaurant. From inside, a hotel staff, seeming to be in her mid thirties, appeared. She looked different from a normal hotel staff, wearing a sweater worn out around the neck, a knee-length skirt of a fabric similar to corduroy. She had no sign of any make up, and her hair was carelessly tied back.
After settling the check-in details, she turned to me with a smile and spoke with a soft voice.
“Please have a look at our hotel’s art gallery.”
“Yes, we’ll go!”
Moritani said with joy, and as soon as we left our things in the room, we went to see it.
This ‘art gallery’ was just another small wooden building. The staff from before was waiting for us at the entrance, she opened the door and invited us inside. In the vast darkness, there were paintings on the wall. Healing music played in the background.
“This song is a song from this hotel’s owner, Masaya.” The staff said quietly.
In the paintings, we could perceive the style of naive art, such as a painting in pale orange tones of a boy wearing a straw hat hugging a tree. Each painting had a message written underneath it.
“I’ve lived on my tiptoes, unyielding, unyielding/Not honestly wanting to become an adult…/The truth is/I want to turn back time/To when I was the boy in shorts”
Surely these paints had something that set off something in my heart. In observation of the gallery, Moritani suddenly cried. The staff too, cried. She explained.
“The artist, Matsuda Norie, passed away in April of this year due to cancer, in her twenties. She accepted her illness, she accepted herself as she was and returned to the natural world. She was more than Masaya’s partner, their partnership exceeded the limits of ‘man’ and ‘woman’.”
Turning to Moritani, the staff said.
“You’ve been fighting your tension all this time, but you don’t have to any more. Accept yourself as you are.”
The staff also softly patted my shoulder. I was surprised to see Moritani sobbing violently(Was she really holding it back this much…?). As we progressed with our observation, Moritani’s wailing became even worse, to the point she fell on her knees to the floor, crying loudly. The staff patted her shoulder.
“It’s all right, it’s all right to cry. It’s all right o feel sad, to feel pain. It’s all right to cry more.”
At first I thought about what could have made her cry, but I realized that Moritani really is a person of strong emotions. Suddenly, interrupting my thoughts, the staff touched my shoulder.
“You also don’t have to hold it in, you are tense. If you feel sad, if you feel pain, you should cry. This is a place for you to feel peace of mind. Accept yourself as you are, please…”
She said in kind words. Staring vacantly at these painting, I thought about my family and the troubles I would have to face now on, and it made me feel sad. Eventually, in this atmosphere, as if to accompany Moritani, I shed some tears. After that, for some reason I felt relief.
At dinner time, the staff brought some noodles to our table and talked to us.
“How was the art gallery?”
“I feel better after crying.”
“Is that so? I’m glad you feel well. We all want to be like Ultraman. Saving the earth, Ultraman!”
She said in a bright mood.
“That is right. I think we all, at a point in our lives, wish to contribute to people’s and the world’s cause. And for that we have to study our heart.”
“Oh, that is wonderful.”
I was admired with the thought that we came to this hotel for that reason.
Moritani laughed and said, “I also want to become Ultraman!”
“This was a great time.”
“I’m glad we came here.”
In this lighter mood, we spent some time in Yakushima.
Time of check-out. The same staff from the art gallery told us.
“In August, Masaya will hold a concert in memory of Matsuda Norie at an art gallery in Tokyo. He has only invited a close circle of people. Normally, not everyone can attend, but I was told you have permission to go. Will you attend?” After the artist’s death, apparently Masaya hadn’t performed in a while and this would be the first concert after that. Even though Moritani, in extreme happiness, said that she surely would attend, I said I wasn’t sure because of my schedule. I signed a copy of one of the published essays I wrote and gave it to the staff.
Moritani told the staff we would surely come back and in this way, we left Yakushima.
The set up trap, Masaya
After leaving Yakushima, in August of 1997, following Moritani’s word, “I’ll definitely be there!”, I attended the concert after all. It was located in Minato, a comparatively large western house, at the left side of a narrow street, nearby the embassy of Korea. Opening the door there was a space where we took off our shoes, put on slippers and there was another door. Entering the door, there was the long table of the reception. Behind it stood two women. Their outfit was very alike to the hotel’s staff, none of them wore make up, and their hair was grown long.
“We have two reservations on the name Deyama.”
The two staff replied quietly.
After paying the tickets of ten thousand something Yen, the staff instructed us to bring our shoes in small vinyl bags we received. I was nervous when we went down the stairs to the basement floor and opened the subsequent door, dimly lit, healing music, presumably Masaya’s, played in the background. In the cramped space, on the walls, there were paintings. About 30 white plastic chairs lined up. Approximately 10 to 19 people sat in the first and second rows, but I noticed that all of them looked down to the floor, their shoulders dropped, looking depressed.
Moritani and I sat in the last row.
Soon Masaya appeared on stage. I saw his face clearly in the simple, elevated stage. He looked to be in his forties, he wore a button down shirt, and there was a white sweater hung in his shoulders. A much more refreshed look than what I had in mind. He spoke a long time about doing a concert in some time and about the painter. Finally he moved on to the songs. Suddenly a karaoke background music played.
(What? He’s going to sing karaoke?)
The people in the front row, still looking downwards, started to cry. It was bizarre, I was in confusion, and when I looked towards Moritani, she was crying like them. When the song ended, perhaps he was sick, Masaya breathed in loudly. Picking up some tissues, he spit in them. He talked and then sang, and this repeated for some time.
The bizarre audience, Masaya clearing his nose, spitting in public… These things bothered me. As the concert progressed, the mood became more and more bizarre, with some of the audience’s shoulders trembling because of their sobs, I couldn’t concentrate on the songs.
(This may be the gathering of some strange religion)
The thought crossed my mind. I looked at Moritani and she was crying exactly like the other members in the audience, listening to Masaya’s songs. I was the only one who wasn’t moved by it.
(Expressionless, unable to cry, maybe the one who’s wrong here is me.)
A hour and half later, Masaya ended his talking and came out of stage. He walked towards me. Standing by my side, suddenly he hugged my shoulders tightly. Probably 5 seconds passed.
As I thought, “What?!” I only heard the sound of his slippers climbing the stairs.
Bragging accompanied of lies and exaggeration
As I stood up from my seat, one of the staff members approach.
“Masaya asks if you wish to meet and talk to him, do you accept?”
Immediately, now a seemingly happy Moritani said, “I want to see him”.
Going to the second floor, there Masaya talked and explained to us further about the concert.
“I debuted to the entertainment world when I was only a child. At 19, I opened a business, when I created the student tour business boom. In my early 20’s, I owned many cafes and discos. I founded the Precia resort in the Yoron Island, pioneering the resort boom. At 27, I was the youngest in history to be listed in the stock exchange. I obtained status and fame in the competition, but all of this rivalry was empty. That was when a staff member asked me to attend a certain seminar and it changed my life. I had been in the top, so I can perfectly understand what you feel. There’s no happiness in there, it’s all meaningless.”
Masaya spoke and gestured with enthusiasm, and I was drawn to his story. Then, he talked about music.
“I’m not signed in a major label, but I sell many copies. Ask Sony or EMI and they’ll tell you how many copies are sold. I was nominated for the Japan Gold Disc prize for instrumental album of the year. ”
Speaking of prize, with X, I won a prize as well.
(As the best selling artist of Japan, even though we were still in the indies time.)
I was very impressed. Masaya continued.
“Even though I’m not famous, I can make this genuine work to touch the hearts of people. Well, if my looks sold, it would be very troubling for me. I sell to those who really understand my true work for the Earth. That is plenty for me to continue. I also present seminars, several people have taken my seminars. The age of healing starts now. Only real works will survive in the natural world.”
In rapid succession, he spoke with pride. But, exactly as it happened on stage, he continued to clear his nose and spit on a tissue between breaks. Moritani also shed tears at times, sniffling, she was completely absorbed in his talk.
“I do not talk to just anybody about the seminars, but I will talk about it specially for you.”
Masaya began the introduction with deep words.
He told us that his father was a public prosecutor, who worked in a very strict way. In opposition to the image of his father, Masaya entered the entertainment business. While his relationship with his father was still frozen, Masaya attended the seminar and was able to accept his father. After that, his father attended the seminars with him, and it was the first time that he could hug his father. After the emptiness in his life crumbled down, he chose to work only for good causes.
As he repeated that it was an “special” seminar, I became more interested.
“What kind of seminar is it?”
Moritani inquired with a glint in her eyes, Masaya still clearing his nose and spitting on a tissue.
“Well, I think we should leave it at this for today. If you want to know more about the seminar, you’re welcome to come back here any time.”
He kindly said that, and we returned home.
“There’s so many evil people in the world, but thankfully there are good people like Masaya.”
Until very late, Moritani and I talked about how wonderful our encounter with Masaya was.
Invitation to the seminar
Moritani pestered me over and over to see Masaya again, and I also had the wish to meet him. Again, we headed to the art gallery in Minato.
This time, Masaya showed us the room he lived with his late artist partner.
“I don’t let anyone go in here, but I’ll show it specially to you.”
According to Masaya, she did not use conventional means, but painted with make up samples of eyeshadow. Masaya showed us a doll, of approximately 40cm that belonged to her. Slowly, he teared open the doll’s back and from there he took a bundle, measuring about 30cm, of black hair. It was the artist’s hair.
I shivered when I saw that.
(Why is he showing us this?)
As I looked to Moritani, she was crying. I felt sad about it, but it scared me. Masaya said.
“She wasn’t famous or influential, but her paintings can move anyone who looks at them. It’s all because she took the seminar, and her talent flourished. I too am making music right now, and my success is all due to the seminar. I had my employees take the seminar, and as a result, we’ve become a company full of love. It’s why we’re selling well too. If someone doesn’t take the seminar, they can sing all of the healing songs they want and it will still be only a superficial fake. People who don’t take the seminar aren’t human!”
He said with pride.
I felt uncomfortable with his decisive words.
In a period of several days after the meeting with Masaya, Moritani ranted over and over.
“What Masaya says is really wonderful”
“We should live like Masaya”
“Let’s hear more about the seminar”
“We should really become healing artists like Masaya”
“How about singing Masaya’s songs? I think they suit you perfectly”
Having quit X Japan, unable to trust my family, friends and people around me, the only one I had faith in was Moritani. I was lost, concerning my future plans. I felt a lot of hypocrisy from other artists who did social works.
“I want to change. I want to become a genuine healing artist like Moritani says, and work truthfully.” I thought.
One day, Moritani asked Masaya.
“Can Toshi sing one of your songs?”
“If he does not take the seminar, he won’t become a true healing artist, therefore, he cannot sing my songs. It’ll only be a farce.”
Masaya said this with very distinct gestures. Moritani then asked him in a loud voice.
“So, can he take the seminar?”
“After the seminar trainer, Matsuda Norie, fell ill, we don’t do the seminars any more. But there is a place that does them, I can show you it.”
The dialogue with Masaya that day took several hours.
Being completely charmed by this person called Masaya, my interest in the seminar increased.
“I only want to take this seminar with Masaya. There’s no meaning to attend someone else’s.”
Moritani said with even more determination than I had.
Not two hours later that we arrived home, one of the reception staff called us.
“Would you like to talk to Masaya?”
She asked politely.
“If you truly want to, I can ask Masaya to have you take the seminar. Are you sure you wish to attend?”
Moritani, who heard the conversation over the phone, without saying, moved her mouth to say “Yes, I’ll attend”.
Without thinking, I answered. “Yes, I’ll attend.”
“All right. I will tell Masaya that you wish to attend his seminar. ”
A few days later, we were contacted.
“It has been decided that Masaya will set up a special, new seminar. Please attend our meeting for further explanation.”
They faxed an application blank form.
In early September, 1997, in the day of the explanation meeting, I was sick with a cold. I had a fever close to 39 degrees. I was not in condition to go outside. I had difficulty talking as well, so I decided to contact ‘Lemuria Island Records'(which would later become ‘Home of Heart’) by phone. I said to the desk staff Yamada(name has been changed to protect identity) that I couldn’t go. Yamada did not consent.
“Can’t you go, in any way?”
“Yes, it’s impossible.”
Minutes after ending the phone call, Yamada called me again.
“This is the last chance to know the truth. You’re letting it go.”
She said persistently, but in a soft tone.
“I really want to go, but I can’t even stand up.”
I expressed my decision and ended the phone call. Moritani said.
“We inquired about it so much, you have to do the impossible to go.”
Again, minutes later, the phone rang.
“Masaya is only doing it because you said you wanted to attend. This is the chance, why won’t you attend?”
Yamada’s tone changed to a harsher one, demanding me to go. She did say more things, but because of the high fever, I didn’t pay attention to it.
“Well, if I go in this state, I will be causing problems for everyone there.”
I hanged up. Moritani insisted we go. I said to her, “Go by yourself”.
She became hysteric. “If the both of us don’t go, it loses all meaning!”
Once again, the phone. This time, Yamada showed strength in her words.
“Aren’t you doing the same as always, testing your luck? Is it possible that you are afraid to know the truth? At this point in time, the seminar has already started.”
“No, it’s not like that. If I could, I would be there. I have a fever…”
“Is that so? This is your last chance. Doesn’t matter if you are late, but please be here.”
She ended the phone conversation like that. Perhaps her obstinateness influenced me a little.
“Surely she is saying this for my sake.” I thought. Moritani said in a harsh tone.
“Your ego is afraid of the complete change that will happen in your life! Don’t lose to it, let’s go!”
Surprised by her behavior, seeing that woman desperately trying to convince me, I thought: “My body feels very sick, but I must go.”
Everything seemed hazy to me because of the fever, but I hurried to get to the seminar.
Signature, to the dark world
I was rather late to the appointed hour for the meeting. It was at the same place as Masaya’s concert had been. The same chairs there, And about a dozen people in there. This explanatory meeting was a kind of simulation seminar, where we would learn what kind of practices happened in the real seminar. First, it was “share”, where we would talk about our past and experiences, then talk about what we felt in the present. First to demonstrate this was Morikawa(name has been changed to protect identity), a man seeming to be in his thirties. Masaya called his name and he sat where Masaya had sung in that previous concert. He wore dark framed glasses, his short and stout appearance gave him an air of independence. He wore a shabby suit. He was someone who did not give me the impression of cleanliness.
“I studied in the Tokyo University, but no matter how many degrees I had, my life was empty. If I didn’t study, my grandmother would threaten me with a knife.” He proceeded to tell his experience of abuse and cry. I did sympathize with him, but I felt uncomfortable about telling my own unfortunate story of the past, weeping in front of all people. The other dozen people present all cried as Morikawa told his story. The thought from the last concert crossed my mind again.
(Isn’t this some strange religion?)
Masaya took the microphone.
“Your experience may be different, but doesn’t it have the same elements? Please think back of your own experience as your hear.”
The next to “share” was the dentist Shirada(name has been changed to protect identity), he was in forties and his face resembled Fuse Akira’s. The silver framed glasses made him look like a doctor.
“I had a family of psychiatrists, and I was afraid that the people around me would find it out. I was also afraid that they would think I was one too, it frightened me. I thought that by becoming a doctor and have people call me ‘doctor’ would make me happy. With great effort, I became a dentist, but I did not find happiness in that.”
He told us, in tears.
As I heard, I thought: “Thinking about it, I really do sympathize. Even though X Japan was so popular, it only brought me troubles with money and those involved. I thought I was happy, but I wasn’t. Rather, my worries only increased…”
I felt my chest tight, thinking about it. In the dimly lit underground room, as everyone cried, I started to feel miserable.
Masaya’s voice echoed.
“Do you have an experience like an inferiority complex or something you suffered in childhood that you don’t want to tell? This is a place for everyone to feel relief telling their story.”
(Telling these embarrassing things in public requires a lot of strength)
I was impressed. And more and more, my interest in the seminars increased.
After that, Masaya explained about the seminars. Masaya said that he would be the main trainer.
“There’s a duty of confidentiality for trainers, I can’t say anything more than that about the seminar.”He couldn’t tell us us the concrete aspects of the seminars, but he explained that if we took the seminar, “Eventually, you’ll have known the truth. You’ll be aware of the reason why you were born and what is your duty”, he repeated.
When the talk ended, all attending were separated in groups. Moritani and I were instructed to sit in a sofa further from the other people. We were presented a registration form, Yamada told us to fill it. I felt a strong inclination to join the seminar, but I needed confirmation from my schedule and because of the fever, my judgment was impaired. I thought that I would wait some time and come back later. Moritani, saying that she wanted to participate, soon wrote her name in the form.
Near us, Yamada and other staff strongly persuaded me.
“Choose now. It’s that trait of you, not to choose things immediately. Break through that habit now.”
Moritani pressed me for an answer.
“There’s no reason for you not to decide now. Your schedule will be resolved later!”
I was indecisive, the persuasion of the staff continued for an hour. This was my first experience in coercion to this point.
“That is your own pattern. We can see it through the face of those who do it. Are you living in fear? Please choose already.”
More words of persuasion came from Moritani.
“If you don’t attend, nothing will change!”
Without having a place to escape, everything hazy by fever, I wrote my name in the registration paper. The next day I paid our registration fees totaling 70000 Yen per person to the specific bank account.
In my heart I thought, “When the day comes I don’t have to go”. But that signature, that could not be undone now, was my “ticket to the dark world”.
At last, seminar participation
Why did I hide it… In 27 of September, in 1997, the day to attend the 3 day ‘Island Self Training’ seminar had come. Naturally, I hid this from all people I knew, I had come this far. Moritani opened the doors to the headquarters of ‘Home of Heart’. I still hesitated. Moritani dragged me there by the arm. When I was about to take off my shoes, I thought: “Yeah, I should go back home”. I put on my shoes again. Seeing me putting my shoes on, Moritani handed me the label my name was written on. I was in conflict as whether to go back home or attend. After a while standing still, I followed Moritani and we descended the stairs to that underground room.
Leaving our luggage in a determined place, we sat in our determined seats. The chairs were the same as always, white plastic. Dividing by sex the people who were there, except me, there were about 4 other men. Except Moritani, there were about 5 women. I would get to know them later, but all men, except me, were staff of Home of Heart. Apart from a woman who looked in her fifties, Fukada(name has been changed to protect identity), all of the women were Home of Heart staff. In a white board, there was a paper with the following, “This is a training for you to look at yourself”.
Following, Masaya appeared.
He wore a a light brown tracksuit of a soft fabric and a parka over it.
“Please feel free to spend the next 10 minutes however you want.” he informed us and disappeared.
(He told us to do whatever we want, huh…)
I didn’t know what I should do, I was nervous. Observing the others around me, everyone was looking down to the floor. They didn’t seem to be open to conversation, so I sat in the same way. 10 minutes later, Masaya appeared once again, he started to talk.
“Something happened in these 10 minutes, it was your life! Did anyone wonder about their surroundings? Did anyone become worried about what happened? Did anyone feel anxious about what they should do? Did anyone think about what this could mean? That is your own life.”
I thought, “what?”, that was kind of what I felt. All of the listeners present dropped their shoulders and started to weep. I felt a strange thing.
(Well, this seminar is getting interesting.)
It drew my interest.
Then, the first thing that would begin, was the “Meeting Practice”.
“First, you will walk around the room with someone else, in silence. When the two of you meet, without reacting, look at yourself. After, choose one of the three options to describe your feelings and tell your companion. The options are [easy to approach] – [hard to approach] – [I am not sure]. Please begin.”
Masaya said in the microphone and all present began to move. I identified almost all of my companions as [easy to approach]. [I am not sure] was only for one or two of them. I actually wished to say [hard to approach] but I picked [I am not sure] instead. By the way, almost all of the 10 or so people present continued to inform me that I was [hard to approach]. Each time they told me it, I was in shock. The last companion was Moritani. I told her she was [easy to approach]. However, she told me that she [wasn’t sure] of me. These words sunk in my mind. I thought that in her heart, I was someone who she felt familiar with. Surely I was thinking too much of it. But the way Moritani said it…
“Was there someone who you didn’t want to confront or politely bow to them? It may be that you were afraid of one of your companions and without even thinking, you defended yourself. Was there anyone who lied, telling their partner that they [didn’t know] or that their partner was [easy to approach], when in truth you thought that person was [hard to approach]? Maybe you were afraid of how they would react if you told the truth. Did you tell others that they were [easy to approach] because you think you are [easy to approach]? Maybe you were trying to flatter them to have positive things said about you.”
(I got it, that’s how it was. All my life it has been like that.)
I was extremely admired, and once again my interest grew.
After that, it was time for an explanation of the “grand rules”. It was a long explanation, taking about two hours. About basic things that we had to pay attention for when taking the seminar. I fell asleep halfway through the explanation. Like always, Masaya was still clearing his nose and spitting on a tissue between minutes. Summarizing the contents, it was about “participating 100%”, “Follow all things that the trainer instructs”, “don’t reveal to outsiders the contents of the seminar” among other things. After the long explanation, Masaya asked us.
“Onwards, please choose whether you’ll continue to attend the seminar or not.”
It didn’t matter to me anymore to go home at this point. For those who wouldn’t, their registration money would be paid back.
“Now, I ask all of you to stand up and close your eyes. Those who wish to continue in the seminar stay standing, those who don’t wish to continue in the seminar, please sit down.”
I felt no presence of anyone sitting down.
“Now, let’s do the reverse. Those who wish to continue in the seminar, please sit down. And those who do not wish to continue in the seminar, please stand up.”
I had all willingness to continue in the seminar at that point in time, so I stayed in the group of those who wanted to continue.
“Very well, all members will continue.” Masaya said, and we proceeded to the next training.
In the time of our meal, the group of men sat in a circle on the floor with the provided food set, talking about the painful childhood experiences of the others who had previously talked about their experience in the seminar, and their improvement in life. I was more interested than ever now. One of the men, in his thirties, an acupuncturist who would later be my assistant, seemed to be very independent wearing a suit and silver framed glasses, but even he talked passionately about the seminar.
In the second day of the seminar, we began “Share”. It was a training to speak in front of all present about sad experiences of your childhood. To me, the first time I had heard of it, I thought it was all extremely bad experiences. In one of the stories, the person lived in a house in their childhood that had an ancient room meant to lock up criminals. There, his family locked the person’s uncle who suffered of a psychological disorder. The person had no choice but to be afraid of their uncle, and to be afraid of other people’s uncles. They lived everyday wishing that their uncle wasn’t there… That was one of the experiences shared with us. Masaya praised those who told their experience with swear words, telling them, “Ok, ok, that’s good”. On the other hand, if someone told an usual experience, he would ask them, “Didn’t such and such thing happen?”, “Didn’t your sibling say this or that?”, “There isn’t anything outstanding in your story, so I can’t know you.” he guided. With his guidance, the stories were distorted, exaggerated to an extreme or tragic orientation.
Mine went like this.
“In my childhood, I had a complex because of my brother, who achieved many things.”
“Did you suffer any violence or abuse from your siblings?”
“I did get slapped in the face, and one time I was trapped in the futon mattress.”
“So you were treated very badly. You spent your life in fear of your sibling and tried to become a good child to escape from that. What about your mother?”
“She complained a lot about my father.”
“Did she tell you to listen to her so you wouldn’t become a man such as your father?”
‘Did you become a famous star because of the things your mother said?”
“Since I was a child, I did hear from my mother things such as she wanted to have been famous like Misora Hibari.”
As I talked to Masaya, I started to truly believe that I suffered ill-treatment from my siblings and that my mother had projected her wish to become famous in me.
Training to kill my parents and siblings
(Note: please be aware of violence and grotesque description in this and the following subchapters)
The “therapy” to express all of my grief, anger and resentment for my upbringing had started.
I had to imagine a rolled mattress on the ground as my parents and sibling and hit it hard with anger. At first I couldn’t imagine negative things. Even more saying negative things to my parents and siblings. I felt bad and nauseated.
Masaya said loudly.
“You like positive things, you like good things, that’s why you can’t say your true feelings or negative things. You have a hindrance. A giant blocking. That’s why you feel nauseated. That’s something your parent planted in you to make you obedient. Throw that away and become free! Destroy it!”
I felt self hatred because of my weakness.
“Surely I wanted to be a good child. I didn’t fight but it wasn’t because I was a pacifist, I hated everyone but was afraid to get revenge.”
The other men in the group approached me and stirred things up.
“Look, your siblings are coming to get you!”
“Your mother is telling you to become famous, become a star!”
“Beat them down so they can’t make you do what you don’t want! Do it so they can never say that again!”
“Ah! It’s all of damn your fault that I became such a weak idiot! Son of a bitch!”
Suddenly I screamed and fell on my knees, hitting the floor. I couldn’t see anything in my anger, and I couldn’t stop insulting, over and over, my parent and siblings.
One of the men attending took me to a place that was the “therapy room”. It had a thick, soundproof door. Inside there was luggage and other things, like some type of storage room. It was a small room with no windows, and when the dim lights turned off, it became completely dark. It had been ordered to put me there lying face down on the floor mat. I was given a toy knife from the man attending.
“Eviscerate that mother of yours! Shred it all to pieces! Take out your siblings’ eyes! Kill them so that they can never come back!”
“Wah!! Die, you son of a bitch, die, die!!”
I screamed and cried like a madman, spitting all of that hate.
I heard Masaya’s angry voice from the microphone, the participant’s and staff’s screams also echoed.
I lost my sense of time. I spent over two hours there, fighting with the floor mat. My body and mind surely collapsed because of that.
My recollections had been warped and stained with hate. Soon, my heart was transformed.
Practice with violence = Feedback
“Dyad of wishes” “Complete training” “Imagination Meditation” “Indian Game”. Having these practices in the second day, I thought that the seminar was great and that Masaya was a wonderful person. All of the trainings, men and women were separated. I didn’t know how Moritani was doing, but I could hear rather loud screams and crying. It seemed to be an assertive training.
We had a practice called ‘feedback’. ‘feedback’ was “even though the pure you is wonderful, you will be reminded of how different you’ve become. If you don’t trust your companions, you won’t be able to do it.”
In the underground room, I was thrown into one of the ‘therapy rooms’, and would stay lying on the floor, as the other participants surrounded me, tapping my shoulder and some times hitting me, screaming close to my ear, showered with violent words.
“You were beaten by your sibling, I don’t even want to look at you in the eyes. You wanted fame and status so much, you even went as far to be a star and because of your sibling, you’ve become a rotten egomaniac man!”
“Your mother told you to become famous and have status, and in your childhood, you wanted her to acknowledge you, to love you and not to abandon you. You were tricked, you climbed to the top of star status and the people who surrounded you like flies said that it had value, they spoiled you, and that is why your chin grew, you became a monstrous chin man!”
“Grieve over your pitiful self!”
“It was painful, it was sad but you wanted to be known!”
Each of the participants surrounding me hit me in the back, as I cried, they shouted. If I didn’t cry, they said, “If you don’t cry, you won’t hear what we say, with that maniacal ego of yours, you’ll have turned into a monster of ego!”
They struck my back with force again.
That time, Masaya’s song “Like a bird flying in the great sky” played loudly.
“Cry! Your terrible ego will subside!”
I cried, mostly because of extreme fear, their hate and pain.
“That’s right! Acknowledge the evil person that you are!”
“Cry more, grieve more! Grieve more! You really are a deplorable person!”
Masaya shouted on the microphone.
“Even though you were a pure child who came to earth to fulfill his duty, you believed that you were that parent’s child, you were turned into that parent’s property, you listened to your parent, your ugly pride and strong ego grew as the industry acknowledged you, you were used, desperately wanting to be loved. Grieve over your pitiful self! You are a child of all things, and to fulfill your duty with all things, you were born out of it. But you believed in your name, you believed in someone’s idea of [good, bad, win, loss], you believed in the industry’s sense of value you damn big idiot!”
In addition to the male participants, various women surrounded me and they screamed hysterically as they hit my back with force.
“Don’t mess around, you egomaniac!”
“You were disgusting with that glitter band, you inferior man!”
Unmistakably, I heard Moritani’s mad screams among them.
“You are the worst, lowest of all egomaniacs, worm!”
With all of that abuse, all of the insults, and also with my cries and screams, I lost consciousness. Everything became white. I didn’t know if this was a dream of if this was reality. Everything became distant and I lost sense of time.
Even with things at this level, the prologue hadn’t even started yet.
Cultivated hatred against my family
It was the third day of the seminar. I spoke to the other participants about what I had became aware of.
“Since I was a child, I had an inferior complex about my brother, who had a cute face and was very popular. I became frightened of my elder brother’s violence, and to tell the truth, I envied him. I was afraid, and I played, superficially, the good child. Then, my other brother was extremely intelligent, and it made me have a complex as well. Afraid of their violence, I pretended to be the obedient child, but I was also envious of my brother. They bullied me, calling me trash. I often wondered if I was an unwanted child. I also heard often from my mother that she wanted the third child to be a girl. Always in fear, I acted like a girl so that my parents wouldn’t abandon me. I didn’t choose the path of music because I liked it, but because I sought my mother’s approval in being famous so that my life could be valid. I wanted to run away from the pain in my heart, so I chose the way that would make my mother like me. Since my infancy, I was afraid of people’s values, so I always lived analyzing my mother and sibling’s expressions. I disliked my uninteresting father who was a civil servant. I hated my ugly face with this large chin. I was afraid of bullying and people making fun of me, so by following my mother’s wish to be famous in the entertainment world, I would win from my brothers, I would be acknowledge by my mother and no one would make fun of me. I thought that this would bring happiness to me, that I would live like this. But even turning the tables on my inferiority complex, becoming famous, having the status of star and having money weren’t enough to make me happy. I only had troubles, and I pretended to be a star superficially, putting on a fake good face. It was very painful and difficult. I was afraid to say something that would give it out. Whatever other position or recognition or however much money I made, I couldn’t be happy. I realized that I only want to help the earth and help children.”
As tears streamed down my face, I said all of these words.
Inevitable doom concealed behind “Exaltation and Deep Emotion”
The next seminar practice consisted to pick a word that would summarize how to live from this moment onwards. It was called “Name of Life”.
My answer was “Love”.
After a moment in silence, Masaya grumbled.
“‘Love’ was also the word that my beloved Matsuda Norie picked… It is possible that she is guiding Toshi…”
(Huh, is that so…)
I felt my fate in this coincidence. And I became worried about Masaya. Masaya’s following words of guidance proclaimed that I was going to “help build a world where children could live smiling”. With that, “Name of Life” was over.
“Until now, my life was wrong.”
“I have a such ugly strong pride(ego), but now I’ll live according to my [name of life]”
“I’ll never return to that hellish life”
“I’m living a new life now, I was reborn”
I felt very uplifted.
Lastly, we had a “graduation”. All of us stood with flower bouquets.
I thought that Masaya would be the one who would be there, but in his place, stood a woman who was one of his superior managers, Suzuta(name has been changed to protect identity). Of course, like the other staff members, she had long straight hair and no make up at all. She was short and wore silver framed glasses and looked to be in her thirties. She was moved and we mutually shed tears. I was even thankful to the patient Moritani who brought me here. Full of emotion and motivation, the seminar had finished.
Cursed, a chain of seminars
As the seminar had finished, the Home of Heart staff members Yamada and Shimizu(name has been changed to protect identity) asked me about my impressions, in front of my eyes, suddenly, they held out a sheet of paper. It was written “Registration for ‘Creation Training'”.
I didn’t know that soon there would be another seminar, I was surprised. There would be a 90 day period of seminars. The attendance day was soon chosen. After taking the first seminar, I did think that something had changed in me. I did think that I should attend another. But 90 days was just reckless. In that interval, I would have to go to Home of Heart many times in the week. I had many commitments with my solo career, in my position I thought it would be impossible.
“I have to take a look at my schedule, I will contact you when I get home.”
I refused. But, having refused, soon Yamada scolded me.
“Again with that pattern of yours, you should be careful. Is your egoist work more important than knowing the truth?”
Moritani, who sat next to me, stretched out.
“If you don’t continue, it’ll lose all meaning! If you don’t decide now, it’ll be like before! Toshi, you’ll attend!”
Shimizu continued: “You just attended a seminar meant to take that weakness out of you. If you return to the world outside, everything will return to how it was before, is that fine with you?! This training was started again because you truly drew it to yourself!”
With the lingering memory of the seminar, it seemed to me that my life before taking the seminar was disastrous, a terrifying hell.
(If I can, I don’t want to go back to these difficult days…)
The elements of anxiety were many, but with tension from my surroundings, I signed the registration, and filled the forms for bank deposit payment for the 90 day period. The price for both of us was around 30000 Yen. After that, Masaya told me that I needed to have more ‘therapy’, so I went to ‘therapy’. That was extreme torture because I was hesitant to attend the next seminar.
“No matter how good energy you get from attending the seminar, you keep having egomaniacs around you! If your parent and your siblings bring you back, your life will return to being hell! If you attend the seminar you will know if you will return to that hellish life or not! Just already kill that parent and those siblings who made you become such a coward!”
The ‘therapy’ continued for many hours, and I, dizzy, returned home late at night.
Carrot and stick approach*, Brainwashing begins
From that day, I got contacted by Home of Heart every day. Immediately, a fax from Home of Heart arrived, about the seminar continuation. They sent me the lyrics for two of Masaya’s songs, “May you choose love” and “Like a bird flying in the great sky”. In his hand writing, Masaya wrote: “To the true leader of the future”.
I received a phone call from Home of Heart.
“Masha-Masha(Masaya) said that you have permission to sing these songs. It’s a special permission.”
I was genuinely happy. But I felt depressed about the upcoming seminars. Moritani said to me.
“Maybe he has expectations of you. You have to take the seminars in order to become someone who can sing true healing songs. That’s great! You’ll sing Masha-Masha’s songs!”
Moritani was jumping with happiness. Since her metamorphose from the time of ‘feedback’, I really thought that she was doing it for me.
The feedback was the stick, but this was the carrot. I had no idea that the mind control(brainwashing) had already taken place.
[*: ‘Carrot and stick’ is a method of psychological manipulation combining a reward with punishments. It’s not guaranteed if the reward is ever given.]
Labor exploitation, a forced solicitation
The following seminar contents consisted of asking to invite as many people(this was called ‘enroll’) to the first seminar I participated, “Island Self Training”.
Excluding me, all of the participants were Home of Heart staff. I had to announce how many people and promise(this was called ‘commit’) that I would bring them. This was the 90 day period training. But each time in the week that there was a meeting in Home of Heart, it was needed to report the current situation of your achievement.
(Why must I invite people? I’ll reveal information to outsiders. What will happen if someone famous like me does it? …)
Immense fear struck me. Once again I regret having come to this place. The other participants had aimed for 5 to 10 people. I too, had promised to ‘enroll’ 10 or so people. But, Masaya did not approve of that.
“I have enrolled hundreds of people. With your egomaniac music, you could fill the Tokyo Dome with 50,000 people and now you can’t work for the truth?!”
He made the comparison to X Japan, and once again, I went through the violence and abuse of ‘feedback’. The the staff members Shirota(name has been changed to protect identity) and Komiya(name has been changed to protect identity) said.
“You were the originators of that repulsive visual rock!”
“You’re a scoundrel who perverted young people!”
Then, it was Moritani.
“You say you want to save people, the least you can do is have them attend the seminar! Why can’t you do this right?!”
The abuse continued, they forcefully hit me in the back. “No, it’s not like that”, I tried to deny their intention of abuse, then one of the superior staff, Sato(name has been changed to protect identity), shouted hysterically.
“The reason why your shoulder is this stiff is because you have a resistance, saying that ‘it’s not like that’! You’re a monster!”
She violently struck me in the bone of my shoulder. I still resisted.
(Damn! It’s not like that, really! It’s not my damn fault!)
This time, Moritani screamed hysterically.
“You’re still resisting? Give me a break, egomaniac! Your ego is so strong you’ll never be able to acknowledge your errors, you deviant!”
I couldn’t hide my shock at how Moritani shouted with extreme anger and her violence.
‘Feedback’ was meant to be a practice of advice, but gradually, the terror of going through ‘feedback’ took over my mind and body.
Even though in my mind I knew it was impossible, in fear of violence and abuse, I promised to ‘enroll’ thousands of people into the seminar.