SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
Franco SERENA “My Realm of Happiness”
I cannot forget the time when I came to Japan first long ago. I was a homestay student. Although I was looking forward living in Japan before departure, but gloomy life started soon I arrived in Japan. I could not manage miserable life and remember well would often dream homeland during my stay in lodging house. I am still living in Japan since ages and I would like to encourage someone who comes to Japan saying that “You will get used to” or “Something will happen”. Not only such simple words, I advise them giving a word “You had better to have “a realm of happiness” in your mind which can make you feel happy a little.”
Reason why I began to touch Japanese culture and language was not what I was interested in. It was just for being disobedience against my family. During the time from my primary school to high school, I was making efforts just for expectations of my family and I was not curious about learning and working on school subject aimlessly. Everybody has a rebellious period. And I had such period as the first-year college student. I have been caught up in my will against expectations of my family and decided to study Japanese language and culture despite I had no interest in. When I arrived first in Japan, I realized I was not sensible of studying Japanese language and culture. It was just being rebelliousness against my family. Especially for Japanese culture, I had interest but was often misunderstood. I had a feeling being incomprehensive toward meaningless in what I had learned in University. I was discouraged and was thinking of retuning back to my home country.
It was a teacher of Japanese language that saved me. He had enough knowledge in Japanese traditional Arts, especially in KABUKI. One day, he invited me to go to KABUKI and made me upset. At that time, I had negative thinking for everything and felt depressed because I thought it too starchy or bookish and would be difficult to understand if I take a trouble to go to Ginza. However, as I was not good at refusing his invitation, I accepted reluctantly.
The moment when I entered KABUKI theater, I realized the KABUKI world was different from what I thought. Before starting the stage, the audience walked around stalls in the theater and read the overview of program. And the theater started. I realized the movement in KABUKI is not just deliver a performance or speaking strange Japanese language endlessly. But there were a lot of dynamic situations. It was beautiful and emotional. I found myself enthralled by their well-trained performance and words.
Before I realize, five hours was already passed.
When the Theater ended, I was filled with a feeling of happiness. And I thought heartily that I like to understand Japan more which has KABUKI “My Realm of Happiness” which makes me forget a daily life. My way of looking at Japan had changed drastically. If I have “My Realm of Happiness”, I thought I can overcome everything even though if I had a difficulty facing problem. I decided to try my best to solve misunderstanding and not regret even if I would be misunderstood. It is not enough to say that KABUKI liberated me.
From such experience, I like to utter my memory that I can come up with any chance in motivation to commence. The possibility may come by chance or I grow my interest gradually. When I garb a chance, I can unroll the new road for my life. Sometimes such new road may be imprecise, it is not necessary to continue. It may not be wrong if I find “My Realm of Happiness” in it and I like to keep walking on this road.
Franco SERENA / 2019 Raccoon, part-time lecturer at University of Tsukuba
SGRA Kawaraban 665 in Japanese (Original)
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala