Reika was made public by chance.
One day in March I found myself driving to my office in Roppongi and I mentioned to Katsuaki, the son of Mr. Idaki Shin, who was sitting next to me, that I had many poems I wrote when I was a high school student. Without knowing what they were. The eyes of Katsuaki were brightened, and he became so excited as to say that he has willing to make a series of movies based on them. I felt a lot of hope for the future, excited as well to see how he rejoiced and enjoyed our conversation. However I felt a hint of uneasiness regarding whether my poems of early days would be good enough. On returning home I started collecting these poems and eventually one I made on a shiny day like today in Kamakura beach caught my attention; a hill covered everywhere by yellow flowers recalled to me how I had shared a wonderful day of youth with my friends. I could not resist going to Kamakura again.
I called Katsuaki, Emi and Ai, his sisters, the elder and younger daughter of Mr.Idaki Shin, to go on a ride with me in my new car. I was originally supposed to drive to Bousou Peninsula, however, midway I made up my mind to turn to Kamakura through Yokohama. I was welcomed by beautiful flowers as I approached Kamakura. I rushed myself to take a lot of pictures of them as if they might be evaporating away like good memories. Then I drove through the main street down to the sea side that I had walked along together with my school mates, touched by gentle spring breezes. We played catch and hide with the waves of the sea, running almost all day long, and while we were taking some rest , we sat on the shore and talked about our dreams and expectations in our future life. Though I suffered a lot mentally at that time and I loved to come to Kamakura in search of recovery, that day marked a wonderful moment indeed in my life.
Katsuaki made his own filming sessions and completed five short movies, the first one featuring the day in Kamakura. Later, a poem that I remember writing but missing for years was found all of a sudden when I was opening the pages of an old note book. This particular poem was predicting marvelously what I would do in the future, thus linking my poetic world of Reika, my personal struggle and joy in my teens, to Legends of Koguryo Rediscovered, the hidden truth of my ancestor’s dynasty. Both were poems of soul, and streamed seamlessly throughout human history.
One day I asked Mr. Idaki Shin to come up with a pen name for me, and this is how I named a type of poetic or imaginary works of mine ‘ Reika’.
I was born in a family with a long unique history and traditions. The
society around me was a cage that deprived me of liberty and was painful. My
resort has been my parents, who have been dedicating their life completely
to protect and raise me. So I started to become aware of my responsibility
not to halt the stream of Koguryo, my ancestors’ dynasty. I found myself
determined to live on, whatever might happen.
I was nurtured by beautiful Japanese nature, with its marvelous rotation of
Facing difficulties, I considered them as mere temporal things. For I knew
that another spring would surely come after a long winter. Since childhood,
I rejoiced to listen to their footsteps. Under the grey low sky on a chilly
winter day, its tapping sound lit in my heart a light of hope and vigor to
live on. Thus spring has been my dream and hope for the future. Trees,
flowers and winds have been my conversation mates, and poetry was the
companion of my life.
At the age of 24, I finally encountered the light of truth. It commemorated
the real arrival of spring in my life. I was grateful to everything that
kept a light of hope within my heart.
Nowadays I enjoy myself, listening to the footsteps of spring; peach and
plum blossom welcome the full bloom of cherry trees, only to say farewell
after a while. A newly born tree-green is coloring everywhere, waving in the
fresh breeze of early May.
I hear the messages of my ancestors’ souls who landed in Japan in ancient
times. I acknowledge the long elapse of time, and the burden of Koguryo’s
history. Their sorrows and worries have been echoing to trees, flowers and
winds. I came to understand how they have consoled themselves. Sometimes
they sang a song together merrily, at other times in tears. Now I am alive,
and living a life connected with my ancestors, and we are going to open up
the future all together. I am grateful because I am not alone and everything
is reviving in my life.
The early days of Reika were somewhat like a tiny, weak and beautiful
Now Reika’s life has encountered heavenly light, it is living at the center
of mankind’s history. It is becoming the true hope for the future.
Now I am sincerely grateful to be alive, and live my life.
May everyone express the same gratitude for existing on earth.
I find myself looking at a street corner in Paris and have decided to write my story from here.
In my teens I used to envision what I called a light-scape that seemed to be coming from the future. Walking on the embankment above the Tamagawa river, I wondered if this vision was coming from the distant past or from the unknown future.
It used to visit me like this.
One day, I made a trip to Kyoto motivated to meet the most cherished person whom I had not yet met.
I was standing by the riverside of Uji, waiting for him to come. Eventually I was invited rather forcefully into an ancient world and he made his appearance with a graceful aroma of fresh herbal green.
“At a distance, you were on your way and my eyes followed your shadow with my face hiding behind a Kimono sleeve. I could not resist the temptation to catch a glance of your noble face. I raised my face slightly, and to my surprise you turned around at the same time. The moment when my eye beam encountered yours, time seemed to be stopped, and we were linked to each other. This was the birth of our impossible love. Many generations have elapsed, and now we meet again!”
-Reika, in the summer at the age of 18
I was deprived of dreams and hope and loaded down more and more with the vanity of things around me, but at the same time I bore a strong feeling that my future would be wonderful and wide open.
Standing by the Uji river I was looking at the seamless flow of water and a thought came into my mind,‘ I had better live an easy life like this stream of water’. I made a ship out of a bamboo leaf, put it on the river and watched it float away. Sailing easily downriver, it looked like a life following the general trend of society. However, after a while, it was eventually swamped by a small wave and sank. Such a life may in reality well be like this. I could not hide my deep depression and my sad face reflected on the river’s surface doubled the pains in my heart.
Suddenly the herbal green aroma revived. I was surrounded by the greening of early spring as in ancient times in Kyoto, celebrating the new season full of life and tree buds.
At a sight of the noble prince walking elegantly under the gentle spring sunbeam,
all surely fall in love with him, and their hearts will be embraced by the aroma of that young herbal green. I was also encouraged to search for the most cherished person I envisioned within myself. Everything I saw and heard thrilled me as signs of a marvelous love. I came to love even the sound of a train afar and the rustling of leaves that spoke of the evanescence of life. I was filled with a sensation of love. Finally I saw my dearest person on the surface of the river, but nobody was actually there.