[INTERVIEW] Masha, Hotspots, Japan & Mother Earth [][21.06.2011]

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It is very rare to see English translation of his interviews, especially recent ones and thanks to Mashamasha, we get to read Masha's thoughts on his experience garnered whilst filming Hotspots, on Japan, on Mother Earth, on his role in this big world of dwindling natural resources of ours. He gave sensitive and thought provoking wisdom that as I read, I tend to nod my head and agree. I may dispute what he says sometimes about silly stuff, but when it comes to serious stuff, I have to admit, he has got the right frame of mind. I suppose this interview is directly related to his hosting job on Hostspots. Anyway a great big thanks to Mashamasha.

The complete interview is at in Japanese is here and here which was posted on 21.06.2011. After Read More link, you will find choice quotes translated by Mashamasha.

[ADD] After Read More link you will also find some snippets of the interview with Shinichi Murata, producer of Hotspots about collaborating with Masha. Quite a good one.

Translated by Mashamasha.

If you can understand that the Earth itself is a creature, and this creature keeps changing. We human beings are only borrowing its surface to live on. No matter what happpens, it is the Earth's activity, we cannot blame anyone for that. After we can understand this, it will be our issue to learn how to use our knowledge

僕自身、日本にいる生きものに対して、“そこにいて当たり前”だと思っていて、大事にしていなかったような気がします。日本人にとって、マダガスカルにいるものは珍しくみえるので、特別感をもって色々調べますよね。なんていうか、身近にいる家族については何も知らないけど、新しくできた友達や恋人のことは根掘り葉掘り調べるみたいな。(笑) そういう距離感っていうのはすごくあるんだなと感じました。近くにいるものや人のことは、人間はなかなか大事にできない。興味をもたなくなっているんだなと、日本編を通じて改めて思いました。

I myself also used to take what Japan has for granted, didn't treasure it. We Japanese, think the living things in Madagascar are very rare and treasurable, and have interests to search lots of information about them. Just like even though we don't know much about our family, we have interests to know more about our new friends and lovers. We don't treasure things/people who are near us. That's what I learn after the Nippon hotspots episode.


If we look at the latitude, Japan is near desert areas. Despite that, we have abundant water and rich forests. In certain sense, it is a miracle. People often say Japan lacks natural resources, this is only correct if the resources you refer to are minerals and oil. Through this program, I hope we can once again understand Japan has natures and areas which are worthy of note and care.


Except for some rare species, almost all living things need water to survive. Considering how abundant water we have in Japan, we may say Japan is a very key place to foster our generations. So we must realise the resources we have, protect and secure them and then pass them from one generation to another generation.


We human beings, in order to continue our survival, have created lot of things that cannot be returned to the original state. It is true that it is good to the Earth that if we don't use any electricity at all. Due to the electricity cut after 311, we may surprise ourselves that we can live without using so much electricity. However, we can no longer live without electricity. We cannot go back to the past times when there is no electricity.

As we are civilized, we have knowledge that other living things don't have. It also means that we human beings, at the same time, should contribute our knowledge to do something good for the Earth. I am not saying we are superior to other living things, or we are the bad guys who cause the current situation.

The following thanks to Xiaoxin and Halad, both of MashaPlus, from the same article.

昔のVTRを見る機会があって、細いんですよね~。(笑)  華奢だったんです。2000年くらいから、トレーニングを始めました。今42歳で、3時間ほどのステージをやっていますが、何もトレーニングしていなかったら今みたいなステージはできていなかっただろうなと思います。

たまに旅先でバッティングセンターに行くことがあったんですが、僕よりも10歳近く若いマネージャーは筋肉痛になっていますが、僕は10ゲームくらいやっても平気。(笑) やっぱりカラダを使ってトレーニングしているとこういう差がでるんだなと。なので、引き続き、力強いパフォーマンスをするためのトレーニングは続けていきます。そうやってカラダを鍛えて、順応させて、その年代なりに進化させていかないと、やりたいパフォーマンスはできないだろうなと毎年実感しています。

This is the last question in the mylohas article. The interviewer is asking him what he thinks he has changed. I think he talks about his gym training has enabled him to deliver 3-hour concerts nowadays. (Xiaoxin)

Awesome! Masha talking about his physical fitness! The first also mentions how he looked at VTRs from the early 2000's and how thin he thinks he looks. The second one talks about how he sometimes goes to batting centers with his manager who is 10 years younger than him. The manager gets muscle cramps/aches but Masha's fine even after 10 games! He says that he's going to continue training to be able to continue to give powerful performances. At this age, he feels that has to keep advancing in his training or he won't be able to perform like he does. (Halad)

All quotes about Masha and filming Hotspost as Shinichi Murata is the producer of NHK's Hotspots. Translated in part by River and also by Mashamasha.

Q:Masaharu Fukuyama is one of the main topic in this interview, how did he gets to be involved in this project?

...' At that time, I heard that Fukuyama is interested in the environmental issue, and I was encouraged by others to ask him. He was filming Ryomaden then, and I thought he might be useful. However, because of the NHK works, he was willing to listen to me.'

Q: Fukuyama mentioned the production has a 'good temwork'. Did you feel the same way as a producer?

Absolutely. I never worked with the top stars such like Fukuyama before, so I'm definitely nervous. But he was easy to get along with.

It wasn't easy all the time. As an artist, he definitely want a through-job. That demand works the same way across all professions, and you have to respect that. We only have experience in producing nature documentary programs as we have been producing this kind of tv programs only, thanks to fukuyama-san for treating us with respect, we are able to produce this "rich" documentary series.

And as a bonus, Fukuyama travelled with us to the area. He's a photographer, and we shared an understanding. Even though we have not requested it, fukuyama-san helped us consider how to film interesting shots, this was really helpful.

Q: I feel like you're making a show together.

Once the framework is ready, I got Fukuyama to act freely. He has the sense of curiosity and he's passionate about environment. He always asked: Why do we need to be there? What's in there?, just to get an understanding on the important works that we're doing.

Q: In the press release, you mentioned "A new kind of documentary, thanks to Fukuyama." However, both Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan have also lent their celebrity status in nature programs.

... Hot Spot doesn't just examined a place, but it also examined the way Earth evolved and how we arrived at this particular time. I do not simply want a traveller, where a camera follows them and capturing them saying 'Wow, or Nice to meet you.' I want to dig deeper.

Fukuyama has to express that part well. In Madagascar, we investigate how the lemurs on the island evolved to 80 different kind of species, and how he exchanged a love call with an Indiri. In Brazil's Cerrado Hill, he touched on the animals' reproductive strategy, which I haven't think of it before. He has a well-balanced natural curiosity and personal charm. This is what makes this program special.

Also, to tell the Story of the Earth, you need someone that people are familiar with. Fukuyama serves as window that shows there's more to this world. This program is a fusion of science, nature and entertainment.


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