MAY - Yamada Elementary School - Mishima JAPAN
I met a Japanese man named Mitzuhiro (Mitzy) Tsutsui in the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane back in 2006. He sat eating his lunch while I played some songs from my very first CD - Already Late. Once I had finished playing and Mitzy had finished eating his lunch, he came over to me and bought a CD and asked if I had a website where he could keep in touch with me, all I could offer was a MySpace address.. We did keep in touch though, and Mitzy came to a show in Toowoomba the following year and then a month later in Brisbane again, before he returned to Japan to his teaching job. In 2008, I made my first journey to Japan and Mitzy caught a train all the way from his hometown to see me play in Tokyo, spending hours travelling, just to see me play in a little bar in Shibuya. As a sign of gratitude, I promised Mitzy that I would travel to visit him in his home town on my next trip to Japan.
Sure enough, I returned Japan the following year and kept my promise to visit Mitzy in Mishima. I ended up playing a few songs at the school where he teaches Physical Education, I loved it and I think the students did as well. Since then, I have visited Mishima every year to play some songs for the children at Yamada Elementary School. This year was no different, in fact Natsuki Kurai and I made the trip together. On this particular day, the students were also training for their sports carnival. I was intrigued by their lack of green grass for running on, and also their cute colour coded caps!
I really hope I can continue to visit Japan every year, and make a special trip to Mishima each time also.