Friday, January 28, 2011

[Investigation File] 1582 performance in Break the Records 2009 concert (solo for Kamenashi Kazuya of KAT-TUN)

I read someone talked about Kame's performance in Break the Records as if he acted as the man and the woman in the song. Me, I like to interpret it more literally. That it's about the forbidden love of two guys in the year 1582. In fact, if I wanna take this further, I'd say it's a tragic love story between a japanese and a foreigner.. because Kame in the cage wore a western suit, right? But Kame in kimono acted like a warrior... swinging his sword and fighting as if he were in a battle.

If you look up this article, it says that Chapter 2 in the book is about Japan and its Chinese and European worlds (1582-1689) and it's on the foreign trade in East Asia in the seventeenth century. I'm pretty sure kimono!Kame is a taikomochi, or known as otogishu the 16th century, who were 'sounding boards for military strategies and they battled at the side of their lord' (wiki). To further look into my otogishu-european theory, we have to brush up a bit on japanese history.

What happened in the year 1582? The assassination of Oda Nobunaga. From wiki:
Following Nobunaga was Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉), who ruled over Japan from 1582 to 1598. Anti-European attitudes began under Hideyoshi, whose suspicion of the Europeans first began with their intimidating appearance; their armed ships and sophisticated military power produced doubt and distrust, and following the conquest of the Philippines by the Spanish, Hideyoshi was convinced they were not to be trusted. The true motives of the Europeans came quickly into question.

Those who converted to Catholicism were questioned about their loyalty to Japan, and in 1597, Hideyoshi ordered the crucifixion of nine Catholic missionaries and seventeen Japanese converts. This was only the start of the hostility towards European influence and interaction; persecutions, beheading, and forced secessions would all but eliminate the Christian community over the next few decades.

I also looked up the translation of the lyrics. I mean, why else would the person singing this song wish (with love) that he will never wake up if he isn't involved in a forbidden relationship? And the uncertainty of their future together is voiced out (Where will we go tomorrow, I don't like it) that probably if he were to live... they will be torn apart anyway. So he'd rather die than stay alive and be separated from him. 

I'm pretty sure the water fountain and the scroll at the end meant something important too. I remember Gackt made a big deal out of being able to make 'rain' fall on the stage during the Rain live, so the water fountain in Kame's performance was definitely not just for show. Just using my imagination, I'd say him being pushed upwards on an umbrella by water probably means he was on a ship (travel by sea).

Hmmm, donning a disguise (mask), battling a bunch of people, traveling on a ship... maybe he was fleeing from Japan to meet his lover? What does the spinning upwards in the middle of a fireworks display mean then? That he's in China? Or is it a symbol of his elation at having arrived at his destination? The scroll probably was a note his lover left behind with the fountain a symbol of his tears after he read it (must not be good news then). The fountain formed a wall around him... a wall of misery? Flying from scroll to scroll probably means he didn't know that his lover was dead and he waited for news after news about him. Meh, I'm making myself sad with my own rambling.

Anyway, I just realized that the way I interpreted this... it's like... the lyrics are supposed to be the words from the dying european lover's side while the performance shows the actions by the japanese lover's side. Looking at it like that... ish a pretty awesome concept. Well, unless I was wrong about the whole thing, of course.. haha *hides*

I think the most romantic verse in the song is this:

Even this heart littered with wounds
Is healed by watching you
It's not about desire
I know this even unconsciously me, what he's trying to say is that what he feels is not mere lust. What he feels is a love so strong, even the pain of dying becomes healed just by looking at his beloved. I think it's probably not 'unconsciously' ...hmm, maybe it should be 'subconsciously'? I doubt unconscious people can 'know' anything. Or maybe if we want to stick to the translation, 'unconsciously' probably means he's in a near-death state? I wish I could write something this good one day.

The lyrics and the performance immediately reminded me of Winter Cicada, a story inserted in the Haru wo Daiteita yaoi anime. I checked out the year it was set in and it's in the same period (1862–1869). Look it up... it's a nice, albeit a bit depressing, story.

So, the real question is... was the Kame in the cage the same Kame in kimono, or was it all just camera trick? I think it's really Kame doing both stunts... because of the harness, he could move to span the entire stage pretty quickly. This is evident when he flew with the scroll at the end of the performance (by the way, all the stunts he did here were dangerous so I'm happy that he didn't get hurt). And I know that in concerts, they often dress themselves up in clothes that can be taken off with just one yank. The kimono was worn like a robe and the yukata was probably modified so that a waist string was not needed. The obi probably just needed to be fastened. What I think happened was, the moment the light went out, he flew to the platform... changed into the yukata and kimono... pinned his hair... wore the mask... sat down all pretty with a fan in his hands... and still have a second to spare.

Kame saikou~  ...aishiteiru yo.

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