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 four seasons.
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 flower.
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.
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