ブログ

Vol.5 Eiko Hamamori

■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■

Talk for Recovery #5 with Ms Eiko Hamamori, singersong writer

(Interview: Oct, 2012)

■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■□■

 

Komori: Hello. Thank you for your time with us today while you have been flying across the nation. As you have an appointment later in the evening, I took the liberty of making this a dinner meeting.

Hamamori: Pleasure to meet you. I have been busy lately for the charity concert being held next week. I will be on the webcast later this evening. 

Komori: I heard you were donating all the charity concert-ticket proceeds to the local government of Ofunato City and Rikuzen-takata City. I am heading to Rikuzen-takata City tomorrow for my charity project, “Komo’s English Reading-Aloud Club”.  While making monthly visits there for the project, I have heard a lot about you and your activities and contributions.

Hamamori: Glad to know that. I am running around, just doing what I can.

       

 

1. Childhood and adolescence in Iwate prefecture

  

Komori: You were born in Ofunato City? 

Hamamori: That’s right, I was born in Goishi, Ofunato, and went to primary and junior high schools there.

Komori: Goishi Coast has a magnificent view. I have never seen such a high cliff with the deep sea right at your feet. Then you moved to Rikuzen-takata city after junior high? 

Hamamori: Yes, I graduated from Takata High School.

Komori: Takata High School … where the tsunami hit seriously in 2011. 

Hamamori: Which made me really sad. I joined a local financial institute right after graduation. I worked in branches in Ofunato and Rikuzen-takata for over nine years.

Komori: You spent time in Rikuzen-takata mostly in your youth. You must have lots of memories. 

Hamamori: Absolutely. Tapic 45 (Takata Matsubara roadside station) was one of my favorite hang-out destinations.

tfr05-01

 

Komori: That’s on National Route 45, isn’t it? The tsunami completely ruined the area. I was stunned when I first went there after the earthquake. When did you start singing? 

Hamamori: When I was 25 years old. I started singing as an amateur-band vocalist. After a certain incident in my personal life, I felt lost and wanted to sing.

Komori: Hmm, I wonder what happened. (chuckle)

Hamamori: Secret! (chuckle) When I started singing, I had a regret that I hadn’t started sooner. I came to realize how I have my own drive and desire, rather than doing what my parents expected.

Komori: I experienced a similar “realization” when I changed jobs for the first time – so I see what you mean.

Hamamori: It is crucial for anyone to explore the wide range of possibilities. That’s why I am worried about children who have survived the tsunami, as they appear to have fewer choices in their futures. They also tend to shy away from expressing their desires, having consideration for their parents and neighbors who are having a challenging time.

Komori: Children observe and develop their own views about the disaster.

Hamamori: There must be children who give up their dreams under the current circumstances in the area. I wish to deliver the message, through the songs, that it is all right to pursue your interests. It’s something I would have liked to know when I was very young.

Komori: Now I understand Rikuzen-takata City was the stage for you in the springtime of your life, as well as the starting point of your singing career and the fulfillment of your dream. How was the journey for you to become a professional singer?

Hamamori: I was approached by a producer when I was singing in the amateur band.  It took me three years to make up my mind to leave the banking job and relocate to Tokyo.

Komori: Which you finally did?

Hamamori: Yes, when I was 29 years old. My grandma passed away and it struck me that “we all die – we shouldn’t waste time”. I moved to Tokyo despite my parents’ disapproval.

Komori: Leaving your stable job in the financial sector?

Hamamori: That’s right. I wasn’t scared though, it touched my heart how the path appeared to me when I made the move with complete determination. A CD was released under the stage name ‘HAMA’; I was content with the start of my new life.

 

 

 2. New basis of activities after the Great Earthquake  

Komori: Where were you when the “3.11” earthquake hit Japan?

Hamamori: I was in Tokyo. I was totally stunned to watch TV news showing familiar places in Ofunato and Rikuzen-takata swallowed by the tsunami.

Komori: Those places must have meant a lot to you, with good memories. It’s beyond my imagination how you must have felt.

Hamamori: At first, I couldn’t do anything but cry. Then I came to feel I should do something for my hometown. While I had been quite content with the fact that I had made my CD debut, I came to work with the sense of a mission. It drove me to write a song called ‘Route 45’. 

Komori: It later became the theme song for the Iwate Trucking Association.

 

(Lyrics of Route 45)

 

On the Route 45 I was, after having a fight at midnight,

On the Route 45 I was, discussing with friends till morning,

On the Route 45 I was, waiting for my guy to arrive,

On the Route 45 I was, saw fireworks in my hometown at the far end.

 

The Route 45 I saw, on TV.

 

What a cruelty,

How can I recognize …

Familiar places around the Route 45?

How can I stop my tears?

 

One day, in the future,

 

On the Route 45 I want to be, happily with my friends,

In the coastal town with my love.

 

[music video:  http://youtu.be/sibpMtjKn34]

 

 

Komori: I can see your memories of adolescence, feelings for the damaged hometown, and the hope for the recovery in this song. I heard you were donating half of the proceeds of this song to Rikuzen-takata and Ofunato.

Hamamori: Yes.

Komori: I was emotionally touched by the first part of the lyrics. To me, who never visited Rikuzen-takata before 3.11, it is hard to imagine the day-to-day lives of ordinary people there and I am saddened to imagine how things were completely changed. When did you actually write this song?

Hamamori: By the end of April. I sang it at home in Ofunato over the Golden Week holidays for the first time.

Komori: Then it gradually became popular.

Hamamori: Right. I sang it in shelters and schools upon request and saw that audiences were in tears.

Komori: Naturally … for this song.

Hamamori: I was also introduced to appear on a program of the IBC (Iwate Broadcasting Co.) as well as other TV and radio stations. the chief of the Iwate Trucking Association watched me on TV and approached me with a request to make it the theme song for the association last summer.

Komori: You also sing a theme song for the Rikuzen-takata city character, ‘Takata no Yume-chan’.

Hamamori: Yes. I met Mr. Murakami, a representative of AidTakata (Rikuzen-takata Supporting NPO) in February 2013 at the Recovery Conference in Tokyo and was requested to write a song.

Komori: And you work in collaboration with the character, Yume-chan, on various occasions?

Hamamori: Yes, we are such good friends! Actually, Route 45 is not a cheerful song.  Having Yume-chan enlightens my stages and makes audience of all ages happy. It’s especially great to see children smile.

tfr05-02

Komori: I heard Yume-chan will be joining the charity concert next week. It’s thrilling.

Hamamori: The more popular Yume-chan becomes all over Japan, the more Rikuzen-takata and Ofunato will be thought of by people. Profits from the sales of Yume-chan goods  have contributed to the survivors in need, too.

Komori: It would be great if you and Yume-chan could sing in nurseries, kindergartens and schools all over the country. I believe people will become more interested and supportive to Rikuzen-takata and Ofunato.

Hamamori: I agree – young kids who do not know the meaning of ‘dreams’ will, one day, have those dreams, as long as they are humming this song. My mission is to deliver the message about my hometowns, and Yume-chan, to as many people as possible on every occasion.

 

  

 

 3. Until I see my hometown recover.

 Komori: What are your plans for the future?

Hamamori: First I want to make ‘Route 45’ and ‘Yume-chan’ more popular. My desire is to have them known and to have us remembered. 

Komori: Remembering is key, as the memory of the 3.11 disasters fades away.  There are lots of serious issues that remain in the affected areas, even after one-and-a-half years. We need to keep information disclosed to the public.

Hamamori: I actually feel that I have to ensure my hometown recovers before I can pursue my own happiness.

Komori: I see.

Hamamori: I felt guilty even sleeping in a warm bed and having ordinary meals right after the disaster. Perhaps I still have some sense of guilt even after one-and-a-half years.

Komori: Disaster is still a present matter, never in the past, in each person’s mind.

Hamamori: Yes, and I am not interested in making a big hit to be rich. I only wish that my hometown recovers. May the cities recover soon, even a day earlier.

 Komori: I am wishing from the bottom of my heart that your message in the songs will empower people to work on the recovery. Thanks very much for sharing your precious time with us today. 
tfr05-03

(Photo with Mr. Murakami, President of AidTAKATA)

 

***About Eiko Hamamori***

 

tfr05-04URL: http://www.eikohamamori.com/ 

Eiko Hamamori is a singer-songwriter from Ofunato City, Iwate, Japan. She moved to Tokyo in 2007 to pursue her singing career.

 On Jan 28, 2009, she made her professional debut in Japan with the stage name ‘HAMA’.  On Aug 3, 2011, the CD ‘Route 45’ was released and it later became a CM song of Iwate Trucking Association.  

Currently, she has events/lives mainly in eastern Japan and appears on TV/radio programs.  She also visits nurseries, hospitals and schools for concerts and talk shows.

 Her responsibilities / recent activities to support the recovery of the tsunami-affected Iwate-pref:

*Named as a ‘Home-town Ambassador’ in Ofunato City

*Wrote a theme song for the Rikuzen-takata City character ‘Takata-no-Yume-chan’

*Became a member of ‘Anecco’, female supporters of the Iwate-prefecture antenna shop, ‘Ginga Plaza’

*Wrote a theme song to promote local udon noodles, ‘Iwate machi yaki udon’ and participated at a gourmet event

 

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加

関連記事

アーカイブ

ページ上部へ戻る