Takeru Satoh Photobook 10th anniversary 2016

佐藤 健

When did you want to visit Uyuni Salt Flat? Satoh: If I remember correctly, it was a photo of the blue sky in the daytime, mirrored in the salt flat. I wanted to go there especially after learning that the stars are amazingly beautiful at night.

It was before the boom? Satoh: I guess so.

Your wish came true? Satoh: Yeah. After going to various places, I think, “Photographs were better. But Uyuni was different. The photo remained. That’s amazing, isn’t it? I felt it from the time I drove into the salt lake. It’s a place that doesn’t disappoint.

You got out of the car, and said, “I can stay here forever, I think.” Satoh: I don’t remember the words themselves, but it means I like this place.

Do you like places surrounded by nature where there’s nothing? Satoh: Perhaps all humans like places like that. Is there anyone who visits the Salar de Uyuni and is not impressed? When you think about it, the reason is wide and big. Because there’s nothing to block it. I think that’s the only thing that moves people’s hearts.

Do people who grew up in such a place feel that way? Satoh: I don’t know, so I’d love to hear it. But when I saw Monet’s large painting of water lilies, I was so moved. I didn’t think that when I saw it in a small size like a postcard.

When you think about it, the scale of Uyuni is not half-baked. Satoh: Yeah, yeah. Besides, when you’re looking to go somewhere, don’t you often find that the information is better than it actually is? That kind of trap? (laughs). It’s normal that I was disappointed when I actually got there because the pictures were better, but I thought Uyuni was amazing. In that sense, I want to recommend it to my friends, and it’s become my favourite place.

How do you recommend it? Satoh: You should go (smile). It may be far away, but it’s really worth going. Rather, I’m attracted to the fact that there are infinite situations where there is nothing. I think that people will be impressed even by grasslands that go on and on. Among them, the water and the sky are especially beautiful, aren’t they?

But don’t you get tired of that kind of situations? Satoh: Sure, someday (laughs). But it feels so far away.

When you on a trip, do you tend to aim for large and spacious places? Satoh: I don’t think so. I don’t even travel much. In the first place, I don’t travel for a change of place. I want to do something concrete to improve myself. I want to go around a lot when I’m like, “Whew, I want to get married and have children.” Then there will be people who can go with me, and I want to have fun and heal.

That’s what “journey” means. Satoh: Yeah, I don’t think there’s much you can do to improve your human abilities just by travelling.

Did you think about work while you were standing in Uyuni? Satoh: I don’t know about that, but the power of images is amazing right now, isn’t it? If it were in the hands of photographers and other professionals, it would look even more beautiful than it actually is, wouldn’t it? I wondered what would happen if I did this in Uyuni.

That’s the big screen. Satoh: Yes, I thought so.

I got interested in the photos and actually went there, and now I’m looking at your photos. How do you feel? Satoh: There, it’s not about the scenery of Uyuni, but from a business perspective. I wonder if it’s a good photo book.

Calm from the start. Satoh: So, just by looking at it now, it seems to be okay. I got it.

I also want to convey the nature of Uyuni. By the way, nature and wildlife. Or maybe that’s why I’m interested in space. Satoh: I think that thinking is science. I like biology and science.

If you think about it on a cosmic scale, isn’t a human life a flash of light? Can you think like that? Satoh: I like thinking that way.

When do you think? Satoh: Basically, I think all the time.

For example, it’s different from having a specific vision for what to do each year, isn’t it? Satoh: I don’t do that at all. I like to think about “living” in a conceptual sense. It’s hard to come up with an answer, but there are moments when I get closer to the answer. However, it doesn’t connect with “Let’s live like this.”

The vector seems to be different. Satoh: Yes.

Is it because you were born? Satoh: No matter how much I thought about why I’m alive, I could not find an answer. I can decide for myself why I live for this purpose. When I think about it a little more deeply, no one says, “My heart is beating! I’m going to live!” In other words, they are in a state of being “kept alive” by some mysterious force. At that time, I think that I’m living for this purpose, that it is okay for me to say that I’m alive for the first time with a clear intention. That’s why I like hang out.

That story has been told before. But doesn’t that sound cruel or too cool, depending on how you listen to it? Satoh: Absolutely. I look around and I think that’s what it is.

Was it a long time ago? Did you get disappointed in something? Satoh: I feel like I’ve been thinking that way for a long time. “I know!” I only understand myself, and I don’t know if the scene that’s unfolding in front of me actually exists, so maybe I’m only seeing it in my own head. It may be… but it’s about elementary school students. When I was young, I used to ask people around me, “Why can’t I understand other people the way I do?” I’ve been thinking about it since.

That’s right (laughs). So, I usually get frustrated without coming up with an answer. Therefore, it is important to investigate the reason for living and find your own answer. I think it’s amazing that you’ve reached E. Satoh: When I was a teenager, I was rather frustrated because I couldn’t come up with an answer, but now I’ve found a vague answer that says, “You can decide for yourself.” It’s settled.

Conversely, what about “death”? Satoh: Normally, when you go to sleep, you become unconscious, don’t you? I believe there is no life after death.

Are you afraid of “death”? Satoh: I’m not scared at the moment, but if death becomes real, like having a gun pointed at you, I think I’ll feel scared.

That’s a very Takeru-like answer. Satoh: Seriously, I wasn’t disappointed or despaired about anything, but when I was in elementary school, when someone asked me, “What if I could make one wish come true?” I answered, “I want the earth to disappear like this.” If only I died, everyone would be sad, and if my friends died, I would be sad too. I was absolutely convinced that this was the best method.

Were you in elementary school? Satoh: Yes (laughs). I don’t think about it now. Now, if someone told me that my wish would come true, I would say something even happier. I often tell my friends about this, and they say, “Oh, I see. It’s you,” they say.

Now that “death” has come to be perceived more realistically than at that time, do you have thoughts like, “I don’t mind if I die at this moment?” Satoh: There are times when I honestly feel that I can die because I’m happy.

Are you curious about yourself? Satoh: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but I like to think about a lot of things, including that. I guess I like the work of finding my own answer when I can’t quite come up with an answer.

What is the answer to “I am this kind of person?” Satoh: I’m not really interested in that, but I think I understand about 80% of it. It’s a rough idea, but my best friend seems to get that feeling. There are times when people say, “Because I can see it.” So, I can’t say 100%.

What kind of self is the 80% part? Satoh: Oh, I’m going to make you say something troublesome (laughs). Well, first of all, I like to think. I’m quite conscious of that (laughs).

I feel like you have a lot of consideration (laughs). After that? Satoh: Hmm, I wonder what it is. I’m interested in biological humans, but I feel like I’m probably indifferent to most people.

Can you act like you’re not indifferent? Satoh: I can do it if I want to, but I don’t do it very often.

Indifferent but considerate. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable, but I feel that Takeru-san can be convinced. Satoh: It’s certainly contradictory (laugh). But I want you to understand something. That kind of “feeling.”

What are you perceived weaknesses? Satoh: There is no limit to what I can say, but when I see people who are able to do things that I cannot do, I really respect them. When I couldn’t forgive him, he said, “Sometimes things like that happen, you worry too much.” But I can’t quite forgive it.

Who did that? Satoh: This is true for me, but it seems that some people forgive and forget over time. Of course not.

1 year? Satoh:I don’t know, but it probably won’t change. I wonder… will it be okay after five years (laughs).

Doesn’t that happen often? Satoh: Of course. I’m sorry but I can’t help it. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, it’s a matter of the heart.

When it comes down to it, it means “I won’t forget.” Satoh: Yes, I will not forget (laughs).

Therefore, you’re deeply indebted. Satoh: On the contrary. That makes sense.

But you can also say that you will never forget someone you don’t like. Satoh: Absolutely yes.

In the first place, you shouldn’t care about people. Satoh: I’ve been contradicting again (laughs).

It is often said that “the way of thinking has changed.” Satoh: I used to think I was normal, but after being told that I wasn’t, what I realized was that being different from other people meant that I wasn’t normal. It’s normal for me you know. But probably in the minority. Overwhelmingly minority in the world.

Overwhelming? Satoh: In middle school and high school, there was no one to talk to.

Actually there was an episode the other day that I thought was representative of Takeru Satoh-san. When a senior actor ate the sushi that Takeru-san made, he said, “I understand why there are sushi chefs in the world.” Satoh: I said, “Because I really thought so.”

Normally, after eating, they would probably say things like, “Hmm, how about it?” Satoh: “I didn’t say to be careful or not to hurt you. I love sushi, so I was shocked when I ate sushi made by an amateur. I learned a lot.”

Isn’t that what makes it interesting? How to interpret and explain. A casual reply can lead to compassion. Satoh: Well, even my close friend tell me that I have changed, so I think that is true. The other day, there was a line in “If Cats Disappeared from the World,” that said, “You don’t need parsley, do you?” I thought the person making parsley must be in shock.

Is that so? Satoh: So, how many parsley farmers are there in Japan, maybe 1 000?

Busy (laughs). Satoh: But it’s unconsciousness, isn’t it?

For me, it’s extremely normal. Satoh: So be it.

When I look at Takeru-san, you can discern the people around you. I feel like I’m being held back. Satoh: I guess you could say that. I have confidence in the way I look at people. My friends use me like an appraiser.

Appraiser? Satoh: They say, “Hey, I’ve found a nice guy, so can you meet him once?”

Could it be the other way around? Satoh: Well, what I’m looking at is not whether or not the person is a good friend, but how they are as a person.

Takeru-san’s eyes make you think that’s what your best friend is asking. I’ve let it go. Satoh: I wonder what it is. But originally, women should be better at such things with a sixth sense. Maybe even if women know, they pretend not to know. It’s subjective. Maybe there are many people who plunge into the unknown. I misled myself.

There must be a reason. Satoh: Once you meet and talk with them properly, you can generally understand what kind of person they are.

How does that feeling affect your work selection? Satoh: It’s difficult because the work is made up of many different people. Even if one part is good, if one part falls apart, the overall result will be affected.

What do you do when that happens? Satoh: I just do what I can do. The first thing an actor should do is live as a playwright.

Previously, in an interview for the photo book “Shinkokyuu.” Satoh: I remember that when people feel happy, it’s when they’re concentrating.

I asked you at the time, but do you still view theatre in terms of humanities and sciences? How do you approach it? Satoh: That’s right. The thought process itself is really scientific. When I was in elementary school, I liked arithmetic and science. I never said it.

Why didn’t you say it? Satoh: When I was in elementary school, it was said that I don’t study.

I don’t think so. Satoh: At that time, everyone seems to have no interest in studying. Let’s face it, elementary school classes were easy. If you do that, the teach will teach you, you know all that, but if you pretended you didn’t understand, your grades would be bad.

What is that? Satoh: Now that I think about it, I don’t understand the meaning (laughs). Right, that scene. The teacher thought I was a child who really didn’t understand, and stamped me with a stamp saying, “Let’s do our best!” Ha~ Teacher, I don’t understand anything.

It’s a disaster for teachers. Satoh: Haha. I think I was in the 4th or 5th grade of elementary school, but my grades got worse and I regretted it a little. I didn’t think it would turn out like this, but at that moment I just said I didn’t know~ I did the test seriously (laughs).

This is the first time I’ve heard of it (laughs). Satoh: Hey (laughs).

Did you make mistakes on purpose? Satoh: I haven’t done that. I’m just pretending I don’t understand in class (laughs).

Is it Kamatate-chan (laughs)? Satoh: Yes, there is a possibility. He’s fresh, handsome like Hideaki Ito (laughs), and has excellent motor nerves. Because he was my favourite teacher. I might have wanted it.

It’s cute when you think about it. Satoh: There’s a possibility that I was brave. Cute.

So, you had that side too? Later? Satoh: I haven’t had any since then. It was better for me to be able to study from junior high school, so I tried to do so. I was a person who could study normally.

The ground is good, isn’t it? Satoh: Hmm.

But from there, you have been accepted to a number of advanced schools (high schools), haven’t you? Satoh: Actually, there was also a conflict there. I didn’t know what to do, so when I thought about it, I wondered what the point was in studying hard and going to a high school with a high deviation score. I was really at a loss between two different high schools where the deviation score was more than 10. I told my parents, “I’m not sure. Even if I go to high school, I’ll never study. I think it would be better if I kept dancing all the time, thinking about my life.”

Why did you go to the preparatory school? Satoh: Maybe it was because of the expectations of the teacher at the cram school. As a cram school teacher, he made an effort to get me into a high school. He went to great lengths to teach. He gave it to me.

I feel like I got a glimpse of Takeru-san’s personality. Satoh: In the end, I didn’t even study, I just danced (laughs). Still, I’m glad I went to that high school.

When I was in high school, around 17 years old was the most sensitive time, right? Satoh: Having said that, I didn’t realize so many things. What was it? I’m late (laughs)? I’m really interested in dancing. It was tasteless. Even at school, I used to “boring,” and now that I think about it, it’s a waste. There are too many blank spaces in my memory.

What is the recoil? Satoh: I wonder if there will be a backlash. Rather than a backlash, what I felt when I entered this world was the joy of knowing that there are quite a few people I can talk to.

Three people? (laughs). Satoh: Maybe there aren’t even 3 people? Relatively few (laughs).

It is an irreplaceable existence. By the way, are you a lonely person? Satoh: I’m not the type that can’t be.

When do you feel lonely? Satoh: When you come home from work and open the door to your house, at that moment someone is there. I wish I could.

Always? Satoh: At the moment I don’t have a lot of work to do, so I don’t really feel it, but I’m busy with work. I feel like I want you to be with me especially when it’s hard. Ever since I started working, I’ve never had the experience of someone opening the door for me. I have never lived with anyone. That’s why I really think I should share a room with my friends.

Human warmth. Satoh: Yeah. It’s warm, and it just looks like fun. I’ve never lived with anyone before, so I’d like to try it. If I had a friend or a lover…

Do you think I’ll spoil you? (laughs). Satoh: Yeah, I’m totally spoiled (laughs). I’m not the type to act tough at all. That’s why there are times when I’m spoiled by someone I’m really comfortable with, and by showing my weaknesses, I find a way out of stress and adjust myself properly.

Of course, it’s possible, but it’s absolutely important to stabilize your mind. Satoh: I don’t think so. But after all, I’m thinking about men’s aesthetics. “I’m always conscious. So basically, I’m not swayed. There are some things like growth and evolution, but I have to complain. Or someone like Kenshin from “Rurouni Kenshin” is my ideal… the basics haven’t changed much.

Listening to the story, it seems that the roots do not change. Satoh: Isn’t it about whether change is necessary? I don’t want to change because of that.

When do you feel anxious at work? Satoh: Thankfully, there is no time when I have no plans for the future, so I don’t worry too much. Because there is always the next work, it’s like I can clearly see what I should do now. So your best to get there. That’s how I live my life.

Do you want to continue acting? Satoh: I don’t know. It’s the moment when I want to quit, but I don’t know what the future holds. If I had to sway it, I’d be swayed if I get tired of it. We are doing something new.

So, what kind of man will you be when you get older and become and old man? Satoh: I don’t think about such things in detail, but if I had to put it in a vague way, I wouldn’t have the knowledge, right now.

What is “knowledge”? Satoh: Anything else. (While hitting the wall) I’m like, “Oh, this is a cypress, isn’t it?” (laughs)

(smile). In many ways, “I know.” Satoh: Yes, yes, everything. My ultimate goal is to be someone who can answer any question, even if it’s my own way. I want to answer them all.

That’s the type of tree on the wall on the wall from “Why are you alive?”  Satoh: Yeah! Responding to all question marks, that is my ultimate.

This is the first time I’ve met someone who happily asserts such a thing. Satoh: Isn’t that so? (lol) They want to know everything they don’t know, and they want to somehow find answers.

It’s pretty greedy. Satoh: It’s difficult, but I want to be like that. I want to be that kind of grandpa (smiling). I want to be a Google. I want to be a walking Google.

Eh, I got confused. Satoh: Hahaha. Do you know? There’s a pick-up line in America, and I was into it for a while (laughs). I ask women, “Are you Google?” Naturally, women would be like, “What? Why?” The answer would be, “Yay, you have everything I’ve been looking for. (laughs) There seems to be such an analogy, but I’m serious, I want to be Google.

You have a little boyish dream like that? Satoh: Is this a boy? Oh, in terms of reality?

I think the way you say it has an effect, but when you were interviewed about “Rurouni Kenshin” in the past, you said, “I want to be able to run over walls” and “If I wasn’t an actor, I would definitely appear on a program like “Kinniku Banzuke”. Satoh: Women are more mature from an early age.

No matter what kind of question is asked… Satoh: I want to be able to answer that question (laughs). I think the answer to this question is probably physiological. That kind of perspective is influenced by the times, and what’s more, the correct answer changes with the times, right? I want to know what is the nature of human beings.

Takeru-san’s way of answering and the direction of his answers are always aimed at the essence, you know. Satoh: It’s common sense in this era, or it can’t be helped because it’s this era, isn’t it? That’s not what it means.

When you play a character who lived in the old days, you feel plenty of different things. Satoh: That’s right. Extremely speaking, people’s sense of value toward life will also be different.

During the crank-up of the drama “Ryomaden,” Takeru-san, who played Izo Okada, said, “Can I still say what I think?” I wish all the people there could say whatever they wanted because they wouldn’t get killed like they used to. I remembered that. Satoh: Exactly. And it’s a word that came out precisely because I lived in that era.

At that time, I thought it was amazing that Takeru Satoh-san had a role that brought that kind of thinking to a modern person. Satoh: I see. That’s why, really, the work of playing a character is definitely a learning experience. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s right or not. It makes me think a lot. Both Izo and Kenshin had their convictions and killed people in their minds, that is justice. I can understand that from the bottom of my heart. More to the point, the law that is supposed to be justice. I don’t laws are there for people to do the right thing. For example, if an indiscriminate murder occurs, you want to punish it by saying, “Don’t be silly!” I see it as something. If you think about it that way, you will become interested in the “essence” that I mentioned earlier.

When I hear various things, “belief” is also a keyword. Satoh: That’s right. I have a lot of respect for people who have faith in the first stage. After all, no one can stop them, can they? First of all, I want to respect that strong feeling. There aren’t many people like that. And if that results in harm to us, then it’s for our own life. It’s different from “denying” the feeling of “stopping.”

I think it’s hard to convey my true intentions correctly on a topic like this. Satoh: I feel like I don’t really communicate well. But sometimes there are people who understand me, so I talk to them a lot. It’s hard just to make money, and I can understand why you have to adapt to the people around you.

The job of an actor is a job where you can make someone feel that way, right? Satoh: I hope so, but I think it is really difficult to change people. People really change when they fail. That person said something like that, right? I was too. For the first time after failing, I thought, “Oh!”

This is the 10th anniversary of your career as an actor, but I assume that the division itself was probably not the essence of Takeru-san, so I dared to conduct an interview that would allow me to once again look inside his head. I feel like I’ve come to understand why many people call Takeru Satoh-san “clever”.  Satoh: Eh, are you asking me to say that?

Yes, I’ve heard from many people. Satoh: I’m very grateful to hear that, and it doesn’t make me feel bad at all, but I don’t really think about it myself. A good person can solve a problem in 3 minutes. I can’t solve it in 3 minutes, but I will do my best for 30 minutes. I won’t stop until I can solve it. That’s why I can reach the answer. I think that’s what it means.

I’m even moved by the interpretation itself, but there’s no time to give up. Satoh: Not much.

With that kind of style, wouldn’t your words keep up with your thoughts? Satoh: I understand that very well. Actually, yesterday, I was watching a talk show with Ichiro Furutachi-san as a guest. People are really smart. I think he’s a good person.

I have to replace the commentary with my own words, so I think at a tremendous speed. Satoh: Yeah, but in my case, when I’m thinking without giving up, it’s been a long time. Take it easy. Perhaps there are many people who do not think about it now. The role of a live announcer sounds interesting. I can’t be like Furutachi-san, but he said, “I might be able to copy the phrase.”

There may be times when you think “I see!” by copying. Satoh: Yes, that’s right. That’s what we do. We copy professional people and make us look like them.

That’s how I see it. Satoh: Yes, definitely.

So, what kind of professional are you as an actor? Satoh: Theatre. It would be better shoot a mentality.

Then, when asked, “What is a play?” Satoh: If we were to use the word “copy” in the current context, there would be two kinds of answers: copying or imagining. Do you want to imagine the unknown?

After all, Takeru-san is a person who can answer questions properly. Satoh: No, I’m doing my best (laughs).

That’s a lot of good answers. Satoh: That’s why interviews are so interesting. Really. As I said before, I only have the opportunity to talk about myself during interviews. But if I don’t have the chance… (laughs). So, it’s a really fun time.

Speaking of which, I heard an interesting episode. At the time of “Kamen Rider Den-O”, it is said that adults formed a line to consult with Takeru-san about their troubles. You were only 17-18 years old, weren’t you? Satoh: That’s pretty crazy, so-called, look, it’s like an urban legend (laughs). I don’t remember it, but it’s nice.

It seems the current manager didn’t have it at the time, but when he heard it, he thought it was possible. It says something. Satoh: (laughs) Maybe I’m always thinking about the correct answer.

Also, I think there is a warmth as a person somewhere. Satoh: Well, I don’t think it’s warm, I’m afraid. I will think about it.

At the point where you think calmly, and without being bothersome, I think so. Satoh: Oh, is that so? If so, I think it’s warm in that sense (laughs). I remember when I consulted about my worries, but recently, artificial intelligence has progressed rapidly, and now there are aspects of people who want to connect with someone and have relationships on LINE and the Internet. I believe that the day will come when I will be able to interact with artificial intelligence, which gives me the best model answers, in Genki Kawamura-san’s book “Learning from Science.” Nobuo Kawakami-san, chairman of Dwango, who once had a conversation with Genki-san, was talking about it. I love stories like that, so when I think about it, it’s possible. I was very interested in what the intelligence would answer. Well, what will happen?

Did you enjoy that? Satoh: Though I’ve gotten off topic a lot. I’m looking forward to the future more (laughs).

Since the topic of connection and LINE came up, I would like to ask you again, what kind of existence are your fans? Satoh: First of all, I feel like I can’t say “For the fans…” all at once. Fans are also individuals.

Nice story. Satoh: And I’m very grateful. I’m not exaggerating, I’m serious. Recently, I’ve started reading comments on the official LINE, and I’ve been able to see the reaction a little. It’s not like I have a fan club. To be honest, it’s an unknown existence, and there are many things I don’t fully understand.

I would like to ask you now, but do you  feel that your image of yourself has changed between the days of “Kamen Rider Den-O” and now? Satoh: Hmm. That’s what I’m told sometimes, but I really don’t know. I’m doing what I think is good, so it won’t change.

In the old days, the impression of “cute boys” was extremely strong. Satoh: No, I still think it’s cute (laughs).

(smile) Satoh: I’m laughing, but I’m still doing it because I’m cute. Of course, I’ve gotten older, and my appearance may have changed a little, but I don’t think much has changed in terms of my personality. Using cuteness as a weapon.

Hey (laughs). Satoh: At that time, the role was also very important, those memories I have.

The pictures in the magazine were also pretty cute. Satoh: Even now, if I get an offer, I’ll do it (laughs). I wanted to do what was expected of me, and maybe I didn’t even think about my own character.

Some people see it with the nuance of “from handsome to talented”. I don’t know. Satoh: I see, certainly. I wasn’t really interested. Because it’s not the essence. I just do the job I was given, mainly how I could do my best for the play/role, I think that is the essence. For example, as a way of saying, because it’s an idol, as expected, there is such a thing as a talented group. People who are serious about idols have tremendous power. There may be people who are not really doing it even if they are talented. That’s the essence. I don’t think anything about so-called genres or categorized views, or conversely, I don’t mind it. I don’t mind being called handsome, ore moreover, I don’t mind being called an idol. If anything, it’s kind sad that I’m not being called an idol these days (laughs). what matters is the essence.Even after the 10th anniversary, we will be able to see Takeru Satoh, an actor with an unchanging conviction. I’m looking forward to it. Satoh: Thank you. First of all, I hope that people who see this photo book will travel to Uyuni Salt Flat!


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