Podcast:Interview with A Japanese Icon: Senri Oe







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Senri Oe
was born in 1960 in Osaka, Japan. This J-Pop Icon continues to stay active and
remains influential in the Japanese music scene as a  lyricist, composer, and
arranger ever since he debuted in 1983. He extended his talent in the TV
and film industry, where he  has flourished as an actor and a television
host as well.

In 2008,
he decided to pause his 25 year-long career in popular music for
pursuing jazz and moved to New York.


On Japan
Day at Central Park, he performed his hit songs with Morning Musuko,
a 17-piece big band specializing in J-pop.


It was
just amazing to witness that one of his biggest hit songs “ Kakko
Warui Furarekata” transformed to be an exciting big band piece.


After
the performance, we caught up with him at the backstage (precisely on
the loan behind the stage area).


This is
what he had to say when he was asked “ How do you feel about Japan
after the earthquake?”


I
feel people in Japan are losing
faith with many things including our
government. I’m afraid they are also losing their focus for the
future. I may have more feelings like this because I’m not in Japan right
now.



I think
it is important to start right here, right now, when you think you
should start something.



I think
Japan doesn’t have to be a “fancy” nation. I’d rather have it
described by the word “compassionate”. I believe we have that
quality.  I want it known to the world.



Right
now, I’m here in the US. I believe it means something. I’d like
to find my true purpose and complete the mission.


I’m
a lyricist. My senses of the words have changed tremendously after
the earthquake. For example, I have examined the meanings of the
words such as “ Ganbarou”. By doing so, I tried to find out how I
can communicate with my true feelings. I also examined the words “
Seijitsu = honesty/integrity”, “Hairyo = care” , “Omoiyari=
compassion/kindness/sensitivity” etc.



I was a
little embarrassed when I used those words. But now, they sound more
appropriate. I want to search the most suitable words to send my
message from the bottom of my heart and keep creating my music.”


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