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03 March 2012 @ 05:22 pm
Yamashita Tomohisa: 0409 Vol. 84  

Vol. 84 "Changes"
We visit Yamapi after his road trip across America. The idol tells us about the changes he's undergone since running free on Route 66.

     Last November, I went on a road trip across America. With no managers, stylists, or make-up assistants along for the trip, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. Instead of my usual staff, I traveled with a production crew that I didn't know very well. I was figuring out who I could get along with best, and it was a lot like the few days of grade school when you try to make friends. I didn't do much with my hair the entire trip; it was au naturel. I was completely free. Also, I only brought as many clothes as could fit in one backpack, so I didn't have a lot of options. But I enjoyed that, because it really felt like I was on a journey. There were days when the hotel I stayed at was infested by flies, or when there was no hot water in the shower. I got through those days with pure enthusiasm! (Laughs.) I had to do my laundry on my own, so I would go to the laundromat. It was a new experience, reading my English conversation book while waiting for my laundry to finish.

     My meals mainly consisted of hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak. I ate so much meat, but the most delicious thing I had was the Japanese cuisine I ate in LA. The plum ochazuke was really good! As for my English skills, I was able to hold simple conversations. I couldn't understand difficult words, but there are words in Japanese that I still don't understand. Learning a language is hard. It's not something you can do in one or two days. It's something that takes years to slowly sink into you. I've learned a lot over the past year, so I'm okay with my level. Just by deciding to make the effort to study each day, I noticed a big difference. I think that brought me results. Maybe I'll study Chinese next. That's a dream of mine.

     The scenery I found most striking on my trip was Monument Valley. Standing in a desert with huge stone structures right in front of me, I felt so small. There are huge things in this world like that, things that no one can explain. Compared to those, I realized how small my problems are. I got to watch the sunrise there, and I felt refreshed, as if I were standing under a waterfall. By the way, I've never stood under a waterfall. (Laughs.) But I imagined that it must feel like that, really energizing. I'm serious.

     I drove an old car during the trip, and I honestly wasn't sure if it would make it to the end. When I first took the car for a test drive at the dealership, I felt a oneness with it, as if the car were living. Surprisingly, I felt like I was getting closer to the car. I think the reason it was able to run throughout the entire trip was because every morning before we started I said, "Drive good today," and every time I got out I said "Thank you." I was sad to leave it when I had to go home.

     At the end I had a chance to look at pictures from the trip. I'm shy, and so the pictures from the beginning of the trip were of me looking at the camera like, "Who the heck are you?" But as the trip went on, you can tell that I began to relax. When I do photo shoots for magazines, the pictures are only taken when I'm standing in front of the camera. But for this trip, they took pictures of me when I wasn't thinking about the camera, like when I was eating. I was surprised at the different situations they wanted to take pictures of. Honestly, I was over-aware of the camera at first, but slowly I got used to it. The crew and I ate together, stayed together in the hotel, and woke up at the same time every day. It was almost like camp, where you spend lots of time together and get closer to each other as you share personal stories. I felt differently around them than I do with drama production staff.

     I'm a more cheerful person since coming back from America. (Laughs.) Not that I wasn't cheerful before, but I feel more open now. I think so, and other people tell me the same thing. Also, America has such wide open skies, and that alone was enough to make my heart feel free. I realized how important it is to have a heart open to others.

     That's why I've made it my goal to mess with all of my costars on my current drama. So many of them are younger than me; even Haruka (Maeda Atsuko) is still only 20. There is such a difference between 20 and 26! When I was 20, I was in Dragon Zakura. I'm still the same person at the core, but my way of thinking has changed drastically. Also, since I've gained more knowledge and experience, I've become able to look at things from many different perspectives.

     I get so tired everyday now that filming has begun. We have to wake up so early because the sun sets earlier in winter, and I get tired right away. It's still pitch-black outside when I wake up at 5:30 in the morning. Also, I'm trying not to eat late at night. When I eat a lot and go straight to bed, I always feel horrible the next morning. I'm fine if I can sleep 8 hours though. That's why I eat yakiniku on nights before I have a day off. I'd like to go out drinking, but I haven't had time recently.

    Something I want to change right now is Japan's economy! I guess that's kind of difficult. Something I want to change about myself would be to improve my skills in acting, dancing, and singing. I consider it a challenge to change oneself, so you never know what will happen until you try it. For the sake of your entertainment, I would like to continue changing each day.

[Seventeen, March 2012 / translation by amapi - Please credit if using/quoting]

  Thank you, watchful21, for the scans! I just realized that the earliest issue I have translated was from March 2011, so I've finished an entire year :)

  Happy February everyone :) It's almost Valentine's Day, and since in Japan girls give boys chocolate for Valentine's Day, I tried making truffles today. I haven't tasted them because they're still hardening in the fridge, but the batter was yummy. I used chocolate bars, whipping cream, and a little bit of whisky (in place of brandy), plus cocoa powder on top. Soon I will make cream cheese and white chocolate truffles as well!

  What are you doing for Valentine's Day? (Or Single's Awareness Day? ;) )

  Happy birthday to
thegakuzetto, mochi_8, loveyama, neko_mau, nys22, yamapi_lady, and didma! Have a good one!


Current Location: Tokyo
Current Mood: lazylazy
lil_evilishlil_evilish on February 3rd, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! More cheerful P? Why that's awesome news!! His smiles are so precious!! Who are u giving the truffles to..? Hehe.. My mouth is watering, wish I was a handsome Japanese guy right now ^^;
Amandaamapi on February 4th, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks. I'm giving the truffles to a bunch of people, guy and girl friends from school, and one special person ;) Haven't decided if I will make him something extra or just give him what everyone else is getting... lol.
pari0123pari0123 on February 3rd, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for translation,,,,he talked with AKKUN ...EHH he named a tuck !!LoL
hana_rahana_ra on February 3rd, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
thanks for translation!
momopii: sweet smile-bluemomopii on February 4th, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
he should bring AKKUN with him to japan.. AKKUN will love japan XDD

thank you for translations ~ :D
Valentine days come soon ne .still dont know what to do though XD

chocolaierchocolaier on February 4th, 2012 09:53 am (UTC)
Hey post the pic of truffles here so that I can feast my eyes XD
Thank you for whole year worth of trans too...
yuyaryopiyuyaryopi on February 4th, 2012 11:49 am (UTC)
Thank you sooo much for translation.
have a nice valentine's day
▷honeydice on February 4th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
Also, since I've gained more knowledge and experience, I've become able to look at things from many different perspectives.

One good reason why I don't fuss about that fact that this guy is growing older each year. He's maturing well.

Thank you for another wonderful translation, makes my day a little better to see an update :) I hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day (with your special one if there is?), for us singles out there we'll probably just sit at home to avoid being reminded of that sad fact haha.
Amandaamapi on February 5th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! Haha don't worry, lately I've realized how much easier life is when you're single ;) Enjoy it!
aoyzteraoyzter on February 10th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for translation :)

He's so nice to Akkun. I feel that Route66 give him a lot of positive things.

For my valentine's day, I have an exam, that's all :'(
sayasasupi on February 16th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
thank you so much
neko_mauneko_mau on March 5th, 2012 05:59 am (UTC)
gosh i miss reading this.. been so busy with RL so havnt had time to check scans and interviews.. im enjoying route66 though.. good to see him enjoy behind limelight..

oh and thank you for the greetings! and of course for always doing the translations.. :)
Aiyamaedneichon on April 10th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
thank you so much x sharing ^^