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  • Writer's pictureNaoki Kogo

on the train

Updated: Feb 3

Suddenly, I heard a voice. A mumbling, deep tone. I was a little boy, traveling on a train with my father. Holding his hand, I looked up. It was him, practicing his lines for movie or TV roles. I felt embarrassed as people cast strange glances towards the man talking to himself. This happened all the time. In fact, throughout my childhood, it was the norm to hear him practice his lines, often loudly. He did this everywhere, not just at home.

Just, he was doing it outside, too...

And I only felt it was embarrassing.

Now, my feelings have changed. Remembering these moments give me a warm feeling. He was an earnest man. Having come from a stage-play background and faced a tough childhood, he was incredibly serious about acting and his profession. Up until his last moments, he dedicated himself wholly, whether it was for a minor role or a major part in TV shows, movies, or commercials.

It gives me a positive feeling knowing my father was this kind of man.

However, there were times I remember distinctly: After practicing intensely for months, preparing meticulously for a role, he'd head off to work. Upon returning home, my mother would inquire about his day. At times, there was a hint of disappointment in his demeanor. He explained to my mother that many of his colleagues lacked dedication. To them, it was about fame, success, and money. Their primary goal was these superficial achievements, not the quality of acting itself, while my father aspired to deliver a good performance.

I know now how much it hurts.

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