May 25, 2014
Warning: Suicide content warning.
My philosophy with this blog has always been to approach in a very casual and informal way. I was inspired by a blog to do so, but I don’t quite remember what site it was exactly (I’m tempted to say it was 6birds, but I’m not entirely sure). I try to have this mindset whenever I need to write a blog post. Even so, I don’t entirely feel free in writing whatever I want.
In a way, I guess my layout at the moment is pretty intimidating for me. I kinda feel like I have to write a lot just to make one paragraph more than 3 lines. Not to mention that there are people out there who have screens that are way bigger than mine, so the stuff that I write must look extremely tiny to them1.
Also, Tumblr is still a problem for me. I tend to publish really short thoughts of mine on Tumblr. Some of them could easily be tweets instead, while some are too long to be a tweet but still too short for an actual blog post. Nevertheless, I wish I could approach this blog as casually as I do with Tumblr. I still don’t know what it is about Tumblr that makes me want to post every single detail of my life.
But I guess I should write a life update or something?
I’m currently on semester break and cherishing every single moment of nothingness because I’ll be taking spring semester and summer semester courses. It’s crazy, I know. But like, I’m extremely determined to graduate in 2016, even though it looks like it’ll be impossible. I can get all of my options done right away but the computer science department doesn’t offer courses during the spring and summer so there’s no real way to get ahead. So far, I’ll graduate a semester later than I want.
On a different note, I’m working on a super secret project2 that involves a lot of Google Image searches. I may or may not have been browsing Taiji pictures and got suddenly distracted by X JAPAN feelings.
If you listen to Japanese rock, it’s almost impossible to avoid the inevitable X JAPAN phase. I mostly rode that out when I was in grade ten, but I still love listening to X JAPAN today. Who is X JAPAN? Only one of the most influential and well known metal acts in Japan. They’re crazy famous in Japan, but I’m not so sure if that’s still the case.
There’s a lot of tragedy and drama surrounding the band, hence the X JAPAN feelings. X JAPAN first broke up in 1997, and a year later, one of the most loved members, hide, (allegedly) committed suicide. The impact was huge. Think Michael Jackson huge. There were a couple of copycat suicides (both successful and unsuccessful), and around 50,000 fans lined the streets on the day of his funeral.
I remember reading interviews with the drummer, Yoshiki, about the grief he felt and still felt years after. I don’t remember the site anymore, but there are a few (barely accurate) quotes that I remember from it.
I couldn’t imagine myself in my thirties. When I was younger, my father committed suicide. He was 33. I could never imagine myself older than my father. It just so happened that hide was the same age… 33.
For some reason, that really cut deep. A small, simple, and hopefully innocent coincidence that could really tear a person apart. Gosh, and then Yoshiki goes to say things that just hurt for some reason.
I never imagined that end for him, I thought it would be me.
If I had never formed this band, if I had never met him, this wouldn’t have happened.
I can’t imagine the guilt he must have felt. But I feel like the one who felt the most responsible was Toshi. Toshi initiated the disbandonment of the band in the first place, because he felt like he couldn’t properly balance his solo activities with X JAPAN activities. In another interview with Yoshiki, he recalls calling the band members to discuss Toshi leaving the band. The first thing hide said was, “But what will become of us?”
Yoshiki couldn’t bear the thought of having a band without Toshi (all of the songs were written solely for Toshi’s voice), but he did entertain hide in looking for a new vocalist. I think they both knew it would be impossible for X to come back without Toshi.
Recently, I just watched their reunion video3, and Toshi could barely keep himself together while singing their number one love song, Forever Love. The crowd would sing for him as he wept and he could barely play the chords and his voice kept cracking and it was honestly really hard to watch.
I hope he has forgiven himself by now.
But the tragedy and drama doesn’t stop there. Toshi had been involved in an alleged cult which he just recently got out of, and his wife was living with the director (?) of said cult. He divorced his wife and is brankrupt due to the swindling of the cult. Wow. That’s some intense stuff there.
Around the same time, the form bassist Taiji comitted suicide. He was arrested for alleged assault while on an airplane, and he hung himself in jail. He left the band a long time ago, but X JAPAN is still frequently attached to his name. It’s sad because it seemed like he was getting his life back together, after years of abusing drugs and alcohol.
But I still love this band. It’s weird though. Watching videos and casually listening to music and suddenly thinking, “This person doesn’t exist anymore.” It’s worse when I listen to hide’s solo music. I hear someone incredibly innovative and risk taking and it’s just unsettling to think of the end that came to him.
Life is too short.