In every volume of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the front folded flap of the dust jacket usually contains a picture of Hirohiko Araki himself, and more than often a quotation. The quotes featured below the picture are always different from each other, and are usually about Araki expressing his opinion on certain subjects. These subjects can be about anything, including information about characters or the story itself. The notes below are from Vento Aureo.
I went to Italy to do some research, and there was something that I found a bit strange: their policemen. Policemen in airports or jails carry machine guns. This made me wonder if things were pretty dangerous, but then I saw policemen wearing capes and carrying swords — the old-fashioned kind that soldiers in the past used to carry. And then I thought, do they use both the swords and the machine guns to fight against evildoers? The more I use my imagination, the more intense the battle seems to me in my mind.
It may be because recently I'm only interested in listening to female singers, but even when it comes to mangakas or writers — specifically in the field of the horror genre — when I read something that makes me say, "Man, this person comes up with really freaky stuff," the creator usually tends to be female. I won't name any specific names, but there you go. This is just a personal opinion, but I don't think there have been any female prodigies in the architectural or art world. But when it comes to things pertaining to atmosphere and mood, there are a lot of women that put me to shame, and I learn a lot from them. That's what I've been concentrating on recently as I look at the world.
I must be the only one who cares, but I often nearly drown myself. Not in the sea or in a river, no, I narrowly escape death drinking a glass of water. I only need a mouthful of water to suffocate, and I find myself unable to breathe. Generally, if I stay calm, I manage to get my breath back little by little, but recently, I almost passed out. That was a close one. That day, I miraculously escaped death, to everyone's indifference.
When the pipes at my office got a bit clogged up, I thought, "Huh, are they that dirty? Maybe I should clean them... Wait, didn't they do work on the pipes just a year ago?" I got a bad feeling about it, so I called a different repair company and made them dig up the pipes. According to their expert, it was "an inexcusable case of cutting corners. But since water still flows through, an amateur wouldn't know the difference." When I called the company that originally did it, all they said was, "We were careless." I... I flipped out. (To be continued in Volume 52.)
I can recall four cases of construction-related issues at my workplace over the past 5 years. It seems they took me for an amateur and accounted for that in their excuse-making techniques. I respect craftsmen and consider it a field of work in which one may take great pride, but I'm sure the guys and companies that came over to my place also do work at a lot of other places. That type of attitude can cause harm to society. (Of course, I collected evidence for my case and got compensated for it all.)
The longest-lived electrical appliance I own is my toaster oven.
My friend told it to me that they would give it to me for free because it was so worn out. That was back in 1984, when I moved from my hometown to Tokyo. In spite of that, it has served me well for some 13 years, and it's still not showing any signs of aging. It's a no-frills machine with just a ticking clockwork timer, so it's simple to use. I'm not too fond of the orange coloring, but I'll honor it here since it's kept on trucking on for so long.
Nature Observation Diary, Part 3
My workplace (2nd floor) is inhabited by various animals. First, there are the ants. They sometimes crawl onto my manuscripts. So, I investigated their source and witnessed them crawling out of the power outlet. There was nothing more I could do, so I gave up hope of evicting them. Next, there are the geckos. They probably live in the piping of the air conditioning system, leaving only at night, when nobody else is around, so I left them alone as well. There are also the sparrows. When I arrived one morning, I found one flying about the room, even though the door and windows were all closed. How it got inside was a complete mystery.
This is a question, or maybe it's more like a complaint, that I've always wondered about. Why is it that foreign films take so long to come out in Japan? Well, I can understand why America gets to see Hollywood films before Japan does, but when I saw a trailer for Men in Black the other day and it showed me all these other countries where the film had already come out, I was like "Hey, how come everyone else gets to see it before Japan does?! Dang, that hurts my national pride!" So like, I'm thinking, "I gotta tell them to get their act together!" It's probably a matter of profits, but could you guys release foreign films in Japan faster? Please?
People who resemble me... I don't just mean their faces or physical appearances. When I read biographies of people, I sometimes think, "Whoa, this guy's just like me, dude!" I get really emotional when that happens, and it really fills me with courage. There's this famous postwar fashion designer named Christian Dior. The thing is, he could never resist tending to his gardens and flowerbeds after he finished his design work for the day. It made me think, "He's just like me, man! Gardening really relaxes my heart! And I hate cat poop!"
This may be a bit subjective in the same way dream interpretations are, but is there any scenes in media that just really hit you? For me, whenever I see footage of a yacht speeding along, my heart goes all, whoosh! I prefer the mood of a yacht riding the wind more than a train or racecar engine. I also like it when it's nighttime and the glow from Ultraman's eyes and the Color Timer are all you can see while he fights in the mountains or between rows of skyscrapers. Massive things are best at night.
Continuing the topic of scenes that really hit you, whenever there's footage of cops chasing a criminal, it always seems so much better if rain is falling, right? I can't explain why, but it's scenes like that really leave an impression. Rain and police just go hand-in-hand. Here's another one: As a kid, I got to witness the classic scene of a man riding a horse alone in the wilderness for the first time. I'm not sure if anyone had already told me it was cool or I just instinctively knew it was.
There's something I think about whenever I go to a place with old buildings, like the Roman Colosseum. I feel a robust courage emerging in me knowing that during the happy times and the sad times, during wars and recessions, during joyous weddings and the struggles of past artists, during Audrey Hepburn's time here, and during both rainy days and sunny days, this building has always, always been here. Now, if there were a building like that in Japan, where might you find it? (To be continued in Volume 62.)
Places that fill me with a sense of history or nostalgia for the past really calm my heart, so I think it's very important to cherish such places. The mere act of eating at a restaurant that The Artist Formerly Known as Prince once visited was a very moving experience (even if it wasn't a great restaurant). On the other hand, in my hometown, they moved the temple area (the graveyard) to the outskirts of the city in order to make room for roads and apartments. I think this is a serious issue.
The continuity... What makes music wonderful is the continuous beauty of its notes. Mozart once told the Emperor that he could not leave out a single note; life, too, is made up of continuous strands of DNA. When I think of that, I'm left with no choice but to accept that there exists a continuous and unstoppable thing called fate in this world. But on the other hand, if everything is decided through fate, that leads to the idea that all your hard work and happiness amount to nothing. That's the thing. That's what I ponder when I'm drawing an ode to humanity. Is there an answer to that?