The other day my record company told me,
“We will release a Christmas gift music. Please write something special for the release. “
I said, “What! Do you want me to write a Christmas message?”
So, here I am…
When I think of Christmas, I immediately remember beauty of warm yellow or orange lights on the trees… There were only such colors in the past, so my memory is as such…
Recently I had a chance to do a recording in Prague. I was fascinated by beauty of the light in the town.
In my childhood, my family lived in a placed called Azabu in Tokyo. My father was a public servant. Mothers on both my father’s and my mother’s sides, in other words, my grandmothers had lived in Azabu for generations. I went to the same elementary school which my grandmothers learned. After my father died, when I was studying Awajishima Island where my grandfather of my father’s side was rooted, I found a group of people just next to Onokoro Shrine near Jindai moved to Azabu.
According to a historical writing found at an Awajishima shrine, a group of seamstresses who presented hemp kimono to the imperial family moved to Edo (Tokyo). Ieyasu Tokugawa, the shogun, ordered them to sew hemp kimonos for samurais. Then I came to realize how my grandparents met for the first time. They were from the same area.
I felt invisible wish of the ancient Jewish leaders who never harmed others even if hurt at the shrine. I think Christmas day must be a day when we think of the beautiful man who never kills others even if killed.
My family has had roots in Motoazabu (in Tokyo) for generations since then. It was very close to an area which the movie“Always Sunset on Third Street” took place. The people of my generation were brought up watching the similar scenes of the movie.
And there was a church on the way from Moto-azabu down to Azabu-juban. I think it was a church of the salvation army… The yellow lights during Christmas season were very beautiful. I remember I felt religious when I was a child. It was not because of the lights, but because Jesus was absolute love, he was killed by the corrupted society in spite of his innocence, and that he was allowed to enter into the heaven forgiving everything with love. I think this is my understanding at that time. Such memory in my childhood is still in my mind when Christmas season comes.
I still like the old color of light, which I know as champagne gold, during Christmas season. I noticed especially the lights in the old town of Prague were very beautiful when I travelled Europe some time ago. Maybe there was only such color of lights in Japan in those days.
And there was a Christmas tree at a church, probably of the salvation army. I remember clearly even now that I felt so divine. It becomes very cold in Japan when Christmas comes every year, yet very serene; lights are beautiful, crowded with people, become cheerful, yet full of divine atmosphere. I’m not familiar with any religion, but I feel religious. This is my most outstanding memory during Christmas time. I wished I wanted to be like a man of the beautiful heart who never harm others even if hurt by them if possible.
Talking about my family, both my father’s and mother’s sides are Buddhists of Kukai’s Shingon sect and Zen Buddhism. They also managed a shrine. I think my family has had Japanese ancient religiousness. However, I neither wanted to become a public servant, nor wanted to belong to any corporation, to any religion, to any organization for unknown reason.
It is because I am a servant of the whole universe and its member. I just wanted to be with my fellows in the nature. And it hasn’t changed yet. My profile goes like this, “I don’t belong to anything within. Neither do I belong to any country, any religion, any political groups, any psychological associations, and any philosophical organizations. If I have to say who I am, I am nothing but a part of the whole being.” Tokyo, Azabu, names of the places I just mentioned are only what we call them as such, and in reality, it is unknown and mystical in my understanding.
However, I love Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with any group or any organization. He didn’t belong to any group or organization. He was killed by the corrupted world as he lived a pure life. However, he loved the people and forgave them. I imagine he must have been happy when he returned to Atman, God, love or whatever you call it. He was happy to return home because he was blissful as he had kept his purity, love and justice.
Mere child as I was, I thought a beautiful man had returned home just as he was when I saw the Christmas tree. I feel the same still now. I cannot but feel it is wonderful that a man of the beautiful heart, a child of the whole universe, of God and children of love live a pure life without belonging to and part of the corrupted. He must have felt joyous that he could pursue a life of purity and justice even if he had to be killed. And I feel he may have felt he could return home, he was loved and embraced by the beloved Source, Love, God, Atman, dear universe and dear Atman.
I think it important for us to let his wishes bloom in our heart during Christmas season. He who pursued his life with the beautiful heart, not affected by any organization or society.
For this reason, I will send you this chorus music as a Christmas gift for you.