‘SUGIZO’, Guitarist of famous rock band ‘LUNA SEA’ and ‘X JAPAN’. It’s been 20 years since being involved in social problems such as Supporting the refugees and Abandoning nuclear power activities. He had held a live using electricity using Hydrogen from renewable energy, performed a musical performance in the refugees camp oversea and continues those activities enthusiastically. He has talked about those power. (Sugita Masashi ・Nuclear Press Room – Kyoudo News)
‘180 Degrees Change’
Rock and Roller, This word exactly described my lifestyle. Heavy drinking and smoking, I couldn’t remember a thing even if I had crawled back home with scratched all over my body. ‘The world can be doomed for all I cared’. I was led by those negative feelings (thoughts).
My daughter was born on 1996. It may be an convenient way of saying, but my self-centered way of thinking and living until then was ‘180 degrees changed for the sake of my daughter’.
The love for my daughter spreaded to same-age children as well as the society as the whole, along with the growth. The feeling of ‘want to make the social the better place’ sprouted after the figures of the children, those have become victims from the wars oversea and environmental problems, had overlapped with my daughter’s.
When turning to environmental problems, I have learnt of the contradictions the nuclear power has and the possibilities of renewable energy.
There’s no place for nuclear waste such as the depleted nuclear fuel from the reactor. ‘The half-life of the radioactive materials take a considerable length of time. I was angry that ‘(The nuclear power policy is) quite irresponsible, It’s a shame of this era to risk until create a danger for the next generation ’
I’ve been a part of ‘STOP ROKKASHO’, an Anti-nuclear project revolved around Mr.Ryuichi Sakamoto. In the year 2008, during the interval between the tour in Ukraine, I went far to the former Soviet Chernobyl nuclear plant where severe accident had occurred. At the place, I’ve realized that ‘we cannot let this kind of tragedy happen (again)’. However, 3 years later, there was an accident at TEPCO Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Plant. My worst nightmare had become a reality, at that time I’d only felt despair inside.
On the other hand, the plant got restarted amidst the longing eyes of those who had lost their homeland. The emotion of wanting to create a renewable energy society without nuclear energy got stronger until I felt like revolting.
At the LUNA SEA’s live held at SAITAMA SUPER ARENA on December last year, The electricity we used for every member’s instruments came from Hydrogen fuel creating from renewable energy and along with the electricity from the fuel cell cars parked near the venue. ‘With fresh energy, the performance’s quality was higher’. Even there were many problems concerning requesting many people’s cooperation and producing the hydrogen fuel from renewable energy, I will still intend to focus on the energy I used for music and promote the possibilities of renewable energy.
‘On the spot decision making’
March 2016, I’ve visited Satari and Azraq refugees camp in Jordan where Syrians are living in. I felt like it will be meaningless if I didn’t go there and see the place with my own eyes.
At the refugees camp, everyone is guaranteed for safety, but I think that they’re barely living. It was a daily life that was kept under surveillance in the site that surrounded by iron fence. When I looked at the place like detention camp, ‘It felt heavy and tough’.
I kept thinking what should I do to be able to exchange (culture) with the local, so I lifted up my violin and played my own songs and Mr. Sakamoto Kyuu’s ‘Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi wo’. The once quiet venue then turned, the suppressed feelings of children and women were let roam free and they danced with beaming face. When in front of the astonishingly glad figures, the warmth I was seeking got through me.
This experience gave me the importance of supporting refugees through music. October this year, I’m planning to held a concert at place like Ramallah, Autonomous Region of Palestine on the West bank of Jordan river in order to be more involved in the problems in Palestine which I’ve become more concerned of.
Continuing supporting refugees and anti-nuclear activities, there’s been negative comments such as ‘Music and Social problems must be separated’. In western countries, there is an idea of ‘Noblesse Oblige’ that there’s obligation along with the social status. Artists and Entertainers are also a part in solving social problems. But in Japan, if I avoid the risk of being criticized and hold back the actions, I felt like I cannot uplift my mind.
“Art and Music are there, alongside the growth of the society. I will continue doing what I think was right with pride”. It’s natural for artists to have an advancing idea and they have to give the society ideal and hope. I don’t mind critics and will hold on to my belief.
Compare to the thought of wanting to make the society a better place 20 years ago, social problems are increasing and also the environmental disasters. To visit the refugees camps or disaster sites and telling them to look up to the hope toward the future while gazing into the pain of those living there. I think that’s my role.
Interview on August 10, 2018 at Kyoudo News
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