THE VERY SPECIAL DAY A VERY SPECIAL FILM

THE VERY SPECIAL DAY IS NOW A VERY SPECIAL FILM

A collaboration with stop motion artist Hayatto.

Story written and read by Yuri Kageyama.

THE VERY SPECIAL DAY is an Official Selection Honorable Mention at the International Migration & Environmental Film Festival Oct. 9 ~ 16, 2021, Semi-Finalist at the Serbest International Film Festival and Honorable Mention France International Film Festival and Monza Film Fest September 2021, Official Selection at the Big Sur Film Festival April 2021, Winner in Best Animation at the Beyond the Curve International Film Festival February-March 2021, Official Selection at the Phoenix Shorts Festival March 2021, Nominated Best International Short Film at the Brazil International Monthly Independent Film Festival, Finalist Official Selection Paris International Short Festival, Official Selection New Year Film Festival and Hollywood International Golden Age Festival, Honorable Mention Official Selection London International Monthly Film Festival, all February 2021, Quarter Finalist at the Jade Jaguar Film Festival in Brazil in August 2021, won Best Animation at the New Wave Short Film Festival, Milan Short Film Festival, Madras Independent Film Festival, Award of Excellence in Animation Directing at the Montreal Independent Film Festival, Finalist Best Children’s Film at Indie Short Fest (Los Angeles International Film Festival) and the LA Sun Film Fest, in 2020, Official Selection Finalist Seoul International Short Film Festival, Semi-Finalist Jelly Film Festival and Finalist Official Selection at the Tokyo International Short Film Festival, in January 2021, Best Animation Short Winner at the Royal Wolf Film Awards and Special Jury Selection at the Roma Short Film Festival, both in December 2020, Official Selection Kalakari Film Festival May 15, 2021, Cyrus International Film Festival, New York Tri-State International Film Festival and the Silicon Beach Film Festival, Nominated Best Animation the Motion Pictures International Film Festival, Finalist Official Selection at the Sicily Independent Film Awards, the Pune Short Film Festival, Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival, Grand Jury Award Oniros Film Awards in Italy, Finalist Official Selection at the Košice International Monthly Film Festival, all in 2020. It won the Silver Award Spotlight Short Film Awards, Honorable Mention Los Angeles Film Awards, New York Film Awards, Festigious International Film Festival and Top Shorts Film Festival, Award of Distinction Canada Shorts Film Festival, Best Animated film at the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival and was part of the Best Global Shorts film festival, in 2019.


“Your film brought us enormous pleasure and exhibits excellence in artistry and craftsmanship in noteworthy fashions.” _ Hans Krause, New Wave Short Film Festival.

“Brilliant concept and excellent execution. The structure works well.” _ Nami, Roy and the Los Angeles Film Awards team.

“This movie is a true wonder. All marvelous: The drawings, the music, the story, the narration. It’s like a wonderful dream. Your creative universe is magic.” _ Mitsuru, writer and poet, author of “Akai Geisha.”

A birthday is very special for any little boy. And a little boy is very special for any parent.

This is an everyday but very special story about the trials and joys of growing up in an imperfect world.

A story that’s a bit sentimental but honorable and true, written for all the children in the world.
May they stay safe, may they enjoy peace, may they find love and may they know who they really are.

Music by Kouzan Kikuchi, Hiroshi Tokieda, Ryan Carter and Isaku Kageyama.

Copyright All Rights Reserved by the Artists. August 2019.

“All my works deal with the theme of love, and I put a lot of love in my work. As soon as I saw Yuri’s THE VERY SPECIAL DAY, I felt the same kind of love in the story and knew at once it should be made with my stop motion. Stop motion requires arduous time: Each item is made by hand and moved a little bit at a time to create movement on film. A minimum of eight frames is needed per second. The number of handmade parts is considerable. I make everything myself_ alone but with love. Although, or perhaps because, it requires so much work, time and love, stop motion relays a nostalgic sense of warmth and frailty. When finally completed, it fills me with an emotion that makes me forget all the hard work that went into it. People will likely react in different ways to THE VERY SPECIAL DAY, but I can say it is filled with love. After all, everyone has his or her own ‘special,’ and everyone realizes that what makes for this special ultimately is love, the greatest amorphous theme for humanity. I hope my work will help people around the world rediscover the meaning of love.” _ Hayatto

ONLINE SCREENINGS:

International Migration & Environmental Film Festival Oct. 9 ~ 16, 2021 on Xerb TV

Serbest International Film Festival Sept. 23 ~ Sept. 30, 2021.

France International Film Festival Sept. 15 ~ 21, 2021.

Beyond the Curve International Film Festival FRI April 23 ~ TUE April 27, 2021.

Brazil International Monthly Independent Film Festival MON March 8 ~ MON March 15, 2021.

Silicon Beach Film Festival FRI Nov. 13 ~ THU Nov. 19, 2020, extended through Thanksgiving.

TUE Nov. 10 ~ WED Nov. 11, 2020 at the Motion Pictures International Film Festival.

My AP Stories for 2021

My AP Stories for 2021 are below. Please click on the highlighted links to read my AP Stories, and to go to My AP Stories for 2020, and My AP Stories for 2019 and 2018:

My AP Story Dec. 31, 2021 on the suspect in a clinic fire dying.

My AP Story Dec. 14, 2021 on Toyota’s Akio Toyoda promising more pure electric models.

My AP Story Dec. 1, 2021 on Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue.

My AP Story Nov. 21, 2021 on Japan’s COVID policy of having sick people just stay at home.

My AP co-byline Story Nov. 29, 2021 on Sapporo wanting the 2030 Olympics.

My AP Story Nov. 29, 2021 on Nissan’s investing in electric vehicles and battery development.

My AP Story Nov. 21, 2021 an Obit on Oscar-winning Japanese costume designer Emi Wada.

My AP Story Nov. 19, 2021 on Japan’s record economic stimulus package.

My AP Story Nov. 14, 2021 on how a princess, who left the imperial palace to marry her college sweetheart, left with him to live in New York.

My AP Story Nov. 12, 2021 about how Toshiba is spinning off its energy and device units.

My AP Story Nov. 9, 2021 about Taiwan’s TSMC building its first Japan plant amid chips crunch.

My AP Story Nov. 4, 2021 about Mazda’s new cars stopping if driver suffers health problem.

My AP Story Nov. 1, 2021 on Kishidanomics and how many people still aren’t sure what it means.

My AP Story Oct. 29, 2021 on how tourists from abroad are nowhere to be seen in Tokyo tourist spots.

My AP Photos:

My AP Story Oct. 27, 2021 an Obit on Sunao Tsuboi, an atomic bomb survivor.

My AP Story Oct. 27, 2021 on the defense’s closing arguments in the case of Greg Kelly.

My AP Story Oct. 25, 2021 in which I interview director Keisuke Yoshida about his movies.

My AP Story Oct. 22, 2021 in which I interview Carlos Ghosn.

My AP Story Aug. 19, 2021 in which I interview Greg Kelly, a former Nissan executive standing trial in the case of Carlos Ghosn.

My AP Story Sept. 29, 2021 on the prosecutors closing their case, asking for two years in prison.

My AP Story and My AP Photos Oct. 8, 2021 of a tour of Nissan’s “intelligent factory.”

My AP Story Oct. 25, 2021 on Toyota testing hydrogen combustion engines.

My AP Story Sept. 28, 2021 on Toyota adding Renovo to its Woven Planet team.

The AP Story Sept. 25, 2021, to which I am a Contributor, on the Quad summit at the White House.

My AP Story Aug. 20, 2021 an obituary on Sonny Chiba who played martial artists in many films, including “Kill Bill.”

My AP Story Aug. 17, 2021, an obit on the “Godfather of Sudoku.”

My AP Story Aug. 16, 2021 on Japan extending and expanding the coronavirus state of emergency.

My AP Story July 30, 2021 about the Tokyo Olympics collecting lots of spit in an effort to curb COVID.

A great “memory shot” by Kii Sato of where I did a video interview for The AP on the Olympic opening ceremony. It was just across the street but because of blocked off traffic I had to make a giant detour and was drenched in sweat when I finally got there. But Yes, I did the interview!

My AP Story Aug. 5, 2021 on what Japan’s “emergency” means during the Olympics.

My AP Explainer Story July 30, 2021 on Japan’s state of emergency.

My AP Story July 27, 2021 on Japan’s disbelief, support after Naomi Osaka’s elimination.

I interviewed the Blue Impulse pilot and the youngster who ran with the torch-runner for this AP Story July 30, 2021 about memories of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

My AP Story Aug. 29, 2021 on Japan aiming to fully vaccinate its people by October or November.

My AP Story Aug. 19, 2021 about Toyota scaling back production due to pandemic-related parts shortages.

My AP Story Aug. 18, 2021 on Japan’s trade data.

My AP Story Aug. 16, 2021 on Japan eking out growth in a gradual recovery from the pandemic.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story July 31, 2021 about the Japanese Olympic judo team.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about the American father and son accused in the Carlos Ghosn escape getting sentenced to prison terms by a Japan court.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about Toyota, a top Olympics sponsor, pulling Games-related TV ads.

My AP Story July 21, 2021 on Toyota adding to its technology partnership.

My AP Story and AP Photos July 18, 2021 on the protest against the Olympics and more.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about the Japanese composer tendering his resignation.

My AP Story July 18, 2021 on the Japanese composer for the Tokyo Olympics apologizing for perpetrating abuse.

My AP Story Aug. 10, 2021 on SoftBank’s earnings.

My AP Story July 15, 2021 on Toyota investing in digital mapping.

My AP Story July 13, 2021 about Fujifilm finding new niches, record profits amid pandemic.

My AP Story July 7, 2021 on Nissan’s CEO testifying in court about Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

My AP Story July 21, 2021 about Japan’s exports, imports zooming amid a pandemic recovery.

My AP Story July 5, 2021 about the Tokyo city assembly election amid pandemic Olympic fears.

My AP Story July 3, 2021 on the mudslide that tore through Atami.

My AP Story July 2, 2021 on the Americans accused in the escape of Carlos Ghosn. Michael Taylor, choking over tears, told the court: “I stand here today a man whose life has been destroyed because of this.”

My AP Story June 30, 2021 on SoftBank denying it’s pulling the plug on the Pepper robot.

My AP Story June 25, 2021 about Toshiba’s shareholders’ meeting.

My AP Story June 21, 2021 on the first day of the Japanese companies’ mass vaccination drive. I also did AP Video today.

My AP Story June 20, 2021 on the arriving Uganda Olympic team having a member test positive for COVID.

My AP Story June 15, 2021 about vaccine laggard Japan stepping up shots with company efforts.

My AP Story June 29, 2021 on the Taylors apologizing to the court.

My AP Story June 14, 2021 on the Taylors’ trial starting.

My AP Story June 13, 2021 on the trial of the two Americans suspected in Carlos Ghosn’s escape.

My AP Story June 7, 2021 on Toyota reaching a settlement over bullied engineer’s suicide.

My AP Story May 26, 2021 about Carlos Ghosn’s interview defending Greg Kelly on trial in Japan.

My AP Story May 23, 2021 about IOC’s Coates getting a backlash on his remark about the Olympics being held even in an emergency.

My AP Story May 21, 2021 when he made the remark.  

My AP Story May 20, 2021 about TV stars playing lovers really getting married.

My AP Story May 18, 2021 about Japan’s economy shrinking as pandemic dries up spending.

My AP Story May 14, 2021 on the petition demanding cancellation of the Olympics being submitted.

My AP Story May 12, 2021 on Greg Kelly testifying in his trial, saying he just worked for Nissan’s best interests.

My AP Story March 26, 2021 about how the Nissan-Renault rift is getting highlighted at the trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly.

My AP Story May 11, 2021 on Carlos Ghosn’s answers to prosecutors being read by the defense lawyer in the trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly.

My AP Story May 6, 2021 about a petition drive demanding the Olympics be canceled.

My AP Story May 3, 2021 about nurses dismayed by Tokyo Olympics’ request for help.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story May 19, 2021 about doctors asking to cancel the Games.

My AP Story May 6, 2021 on Nintendo profits booming as people staying home turn to games.

My AP Story May 1, 2021 on the torch relay detoured and other Tokyo Olympics developments.

My AP Story April 28, 2021 on June trial set in Japan for the Americans accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape.

My AP Story April 27, 2021 on Toyota acquiring Lyft.

My AP Story April 14, 2021 on the president of Toshiba stepping down.

My AP Story April 13, 2021 on the late Nintendo president and his book.

My AP Story April 12, 2021 on Japan’s celebrating Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters win.

My AP Story April 15, 2021 about ruling party politicians expressing doubts about holding the Olympics.

My AP Story April 7, 2021 on Toshiba saying it had received a preliminary acquisition proposal.

My AP Story April 1, 2021 about the Bank of Japan survey showing optimism about a recovery.

My AP Story March 30, 2021 about how some medical experts aren’t convinced about holding the Olympics.

My AP Story March 21, 2021 on Hitachi acquiring GlobalLogic for $9.6 billion.

My AP Story March 24, 2021 on Toyota, Isuzu, Hino setting up tie-up in truck technology.

My AP Story March 23, 2021 on Japan spending billions on coronavirus tracking app for absent Olympic fans.

My AP Story March 22, 2021 about Japan charging two Americans in the escape of Carlos Ghosn.

My AP Photo and My AP Story March 5, 2021 and AP Interview with the chief defense lawyer for Greg Kelly on trial in Japan on charges related to Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

My AP Photo and My AP Story March 4, 2021 about animation film “Demon Slayer” striking a chord with pandemic-era Japan.

My AP Story March 18, 2021 about the Tokyo Olympics being hit by another scandal over sexist comments.

My AP Story March 18, 2021 on Japan raising tariffs on U.S. beef after hitting import limit.

My AP Story March 12, 2021 on Japan’s post office tying up with Rakuten.

My AP Story March 2, 2021 explaining what might be ahead for the American father and son being extradited to Japan on suspicion of helping Carlos Ghosn skip bail and escape to Lebanon.

My AP Story March 1, 2021 on the prime minister’s PR chief resigning after lavish meal tied to broadcaster.

My AP Story Feb. 26, 2021 on Japan partially ending the state of emergency, while keeping it for the Tokyo area.

My AP Story Feb. 24, 2021 on Nissan’s former chief executive testifying in a criminal trial.

My AP Story Feb. 19, 2021 on Honda’s tapping a research expert as its new president.

My AP Story Feb. 14, 2021 on another protest in Tokyo against the military coup in Myanmar.

My AP Story Feb. 11, 2021 about thousands of people from Myanmar in Japan demanding democracy back home.

My AP Story Feb. 15, 2021 about Japan’s economy growing in the final quarter of 2020 in a gradual recovery from the pandemic slump.

My AP News Alert and Story Feb. 13 ~14, 2021 on the strong earthquake that hit northeastern Japan.

My AP Story Feb. 10, 2021 on Toyota’s earnings recovering from effects of the pandemic.

My AP Story Feb. 9, 2021 about Nissan staying in the red amid pandemic, Japan criminal trial.

My AP Story Feb. 9, 2021 on Honda’s profits rising despite pandemic damage.

My AP Story Feb. 8, 2021 on SoftBank’s profit zooming on lucrative investments.

My AP Story Feb. 8, 2021 is the Markets report for the day.

I’m a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 12, 2021, the day Mori is expected to officially resign.

I’m a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 4, 2021 about a Japanese Olympic official facing calls for resignation after a remark apparently belittling women.

My AP Story Feb. 3, 2021 on Sony’s profits booming on “Demon Slayer” hit.

My AP Story Feb. 1, 2021 on how Nintendo’s profits are soaring as people play games during the pandemic.

My AP Story Jan. 12, 2021 on the testimony of Nissan’s former COO on how the automaker sought to hide Carlos Ghosn’s pay.

My AP Story Jan. 7, 2021 on Japan declaring a state of emergency for Tokyo, and three nearby prefectures, after coronavirus cases surge.

My AP Story Jan. 8, 2021 on the first day for Japan under the state of emergency.

My AP Story Jan. 11, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the virus.

My AP Story Jan. 10, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the virus.

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

My AP Story Jan. 6, 2021 on coronavirus cases reaching a daily record in Tokyo.

My AP Story Jan. 4, 2021, a co-byline with our AP Sports Writer, on pandemic worries looming as the countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hits 200 days to go.

My AP Story Jan. 1, 2021 on the emperor turning to video for his New Year’s Day message.

Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama

Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama (From Aug. 31, 2020 ~April 5, 2021. All rights reserved by the artists.)

1 (S)

Poetry kins us to these basal stems.

Moisture is life.

Gardens petals fresh & resilient.

Mother breathes songs of roots strong.

Words curate a healthy leaf mass, fruits defying leaf scorch defining these heavy seasons.

Plumes as words dancing in the winds.

2 (Y)

Dragonflies flutter by the slowly swelling river.

Moisture is life.

Blue-green of their wings play in the light.

Mother cries songs of currents deep.   

Leaves of Grass bend soft with the seasons, shining dew recalling these tears of birth.

Plumes as words dancing in the winds.

3 (S)

Far in the somewhere of dazzling seas,

nothing stops the seasons of fruitful friendships.

Dancing field to field feeding the imagination,

it’s the spring of delights, radished words.

Grass gesturing towards well-shaped flower leaves, moistured mosaics of words.

Life.

4 (Y)

Plumes as words dancing in the winds,

Tiny sparrows warble, not in fun but fear,

Scattering like debris, dirt, weeds and words,

Over oceans and deserts, swamps and streams,

The now of Dreams connect the All of history, the eternity of Forgotten nightmares.

Yes, Life.    

5 (S)

Across seas the rooster is red,

Crowing in the weeds.

Greek sea edge sinking Black lives.

The wind is nightmarish.

In drying Eldorado Park, slain Nathaniel Julies is rising.

Fresh gardens strut their stuff,

A poetry skyline in full sun,

greening the eversick landscape. Life.

6 (Y)

Poetry whispers in tanka and haiku,

Across oceans, red, blue, yellow and black,

Repeating of pain, repeating of life,

Repeating of love? Repeating,

Iwao Hakamada just smiles and believes

In God.       

7 (S)

After the soft rains,

Blooms fresh.

My epistle is no flower.

Naked, Black and pregnant,

Woman shot beast-like on a darkened Mozambique road –

Drowning soldier-savagery

Shamed seasons.

Lizalis’idinga lakho,

God of Black women now rise,

in tanka-maskandi cries.

Poppies.

8 (Y)

She is duped and gets easily used;

She is defiant and easily explodes;

She is vain, obsessed with appearance;

She let herself go, looks fat and shabby;

She is too quiet and can’t speak up;  

She is psychotic and can’t shut up;

She is all these things, all at once,

Deranged.

9 (s)

Would you dance naked on your veranda

seeing madigras brass band

mad boots on grass,

killing your soul’s shongololo?

Beyond the gleam of your silverware, the sun still shines.

Shun the sun if drunk in the polemic of your vomit.

The palm tree is tall still,

yet peaceful.

10 (Y)

Her robe translucent like briny waves

An ancient pagoda zooming to a giant moon

She will never come back

To an earth that’s unjust, unequal, unfree;  

She will never look back

At those who have sought to capture her

Her eternal dance

Gagaku

11 (S)

We hello each other,

a morning ritual.

He walks into the dew, 

whistling with the ancestors.

Mapholoba, a shepherd breathing poverty.

This dark mist, common as whites walking their dogs.

Seeing them pee with glee.

Peace.

His dogged legs a plea.

Ulaka lwabaphansi.

12 (Y)

Four an unlucky number,

sounding the same

as the word for “death,”

the 442 has two fours

and a two,

any even number unlucky,

divisible,

inevitable separation coming,

and Go For Broke they did,

from desert Camps,

to win what they never had,

the right to be American,

not an enemy.

13 (S)

Casting a warm eye on this land

my line to kiss her forehead

give her gladness sandwiches

water my mother’s spinach

add black pepper to the seasons

good taste into the bowl

a poetry pot firing the broil

simmering hope

the slow dawn of a brighter day.

14 (Y)

Taking a lazy walk next to this river

the gulls kiss the tips of the water

children laugh in floppy hats

I remember my father’s beatings

my mother’s Edamame

cooked in Salt, served with cold beer

a poetry pot firing the broil

simmering hope

the slow dawn of a brighter day.

15 (S)

Stratus clouds in the skies

Wishing blue skies smiled

Chuckled like Louis Armstrong

The air was friendly

Night undaunting

Unbanning lazy solitude strolls

Poets oets perching in trees

Chickening every silly sunset

Dazzled by darkness

Her seductive light.

16 (Y)

Skyscraper windows

Unblinking light

Dot the aging skies of night

With stories each window tells

That age-old face of every city,

Tokyo, LA, Johannesburg,

Breathing suicidal loneliness

With violence smoothed only by time

His seductive weeps

Await that trickle of dawn  

17 (S)

after a long trip is a place

where one returns

changes into fresh clothes

puts the heavy load down

drinks cold water

eats porridge and amasi

while the dog licks wounds back to health

where suicidal fantasies die

hopelessly lacking any poetic imagination.

18 (Y)

sighs of exhaustion breathe through

the night, screams of wind choked silent,

kissing pleats on rain-filled waters,

river to river, sea to sea, blood to blood,

is it dawn somewhere else?

do the birds care enough to remember

the messages from that somewhere else?

19 (S)

He says hi

inkabi back from jail

straw grass world

exhaustion

brute storms

leopard lonesome

blood-heavy yoke

motherless calf

can’t be licked for first milk.

He’s a local

no hate blues.

Do I offer my hand

to the killer-ox

talk weather

disgust Bushiri?

20 (S)

Body seducing sleep

Swinging on her axis

Tell the night be tight.

Behind the sun sleep is light.

In dreams lovers kiss the ground in flight

Saliva no dread on Covid lane.

Children dance the morning dew into song.

Laughter.

Phezu komkhono!

Bujitsu

21(Y)

That needed daily fix of kimchee,

Granpa’s growling snores

Rattles shoji screens,

Like gently shaking maracas:  

Where miso soup cooking,

And cooking and cooking

Wafts through

The peppermint morning air.

22 (Y)

Memories repeat

Even in dementia eyes:

A ring that sparkles,

Gem of yellow,

Rainbow and diamond,    

Promising a love eternal,

Fool-proof, never betrayal,

Like the immeasurable,

Unfailing Worth

Of Truth and

Freedom.

23 (S)

In a deadly pandemic

blackened skies

hellish eyes

greed so pathetic

so trump-manic

muzzled jingle bells

Wakashio in Mauritius

shits oil

kills marine life

kills food

kills kanji

even after Fukushima

drills invade the Okavango

kill life

kill laughter

Pula.

24 (Y)

Death nudges closer

The pandemic world we share,

Skin cracked of disinfectant,

Sweat dripping on masks,

Prayer and hope,  

Remembering music:

Winston Monwabisi “Mankunku” Ngozi

25 (S)

Pain pierces the heart like an assassin’s knife.

See the restless sea.

Shingled memories, the coffee blues.

Rumours of Christmas in the warming moist air.

Humming with the moon, its tears.

Pleading for the lost lotus flower seeds.

Impepho.

26 (Y)

one pandemic year

blurs

into the next,

those who hate

must hate

blinded to truth and fact

but we recognize

more than ever

what is important,

and who

27 (S)

America, poop fools climb walls in tantrums.

Haters copiously eat garlic.

Whiteness is no guesswork.

Hard stools on TV.

For COVID-19 deaths to be sweet & swift.

Trumps.

In my hood, the owl headlines death.

A cry for a strong midrip.

Palms.

28 (S)

The stubborn heaviness in our shoulders.

The bloodshot eyes, now we know,

our lives are being irrevocably torn apart.

Those who are ill, dying and dead, are familiar names.

Family.

Friends.

Beloved ones.

Death is no longer a metaphor.

The nightmare. The nightmare.

The nightmare.

29 (S)

Since we are already here.

Poetry of faith at the full.

Kindly keep these sandwiches, too.

To be shared at the golden hour

That poets dream of,

Even as it madly thunders.

30 (Y)

Our poem will end

When we overcome;

We will celebrate

For once,

An end

As we always do

With beginnings

31 (Y)

Laugh, belittle, ridicule,

Call me naive

Over-blown

Narcissistic,

Easily duped,  

Those names,

Whatever is up

Entitled sleeves,

To silence stereotype enslave.

32 (S)

The dread of your dying wick.

A single lung blighting all joy.

Memories of your dead mother.

Your pus-filled body.

A cry for green stones of home. Hot springs.

Jail is sad.

Prisoners die at this cursed hour.

Now on my kneeling mat, milling the moon.

33 (S)

At the local dumpsite, I flinch

improvise a mind-soul spin.

Kids playing atop the site,

happy-hip outdoor crib with a view.

Good times rolling like Kamala Harris,

dogs fighting over smelly nappies.

Kids running away, stained condoms

popping up.

They are doing it.

34 (Y)

it used to be simple

getting on a plane

breathing without a mask

touching a doorknob

and not being afraid

it used to be simple

laughing on an elevator

just going out

hugging someone

you love

35 (S)

Ziyagiya ziqethuke.

Mqombothi plastic cups.

Lives dangling on the lion’s jaws.

Ease the storm beloved ancestors.

We miss the magic of hugging the clay pot.

The odd belch.

The tickling cold stir on lips.

The Khongisa spirit.

Songs against thunder and disease.

Rain.

(Section 35 was written by Sandile Ngidi on the day of the death of legendary South African vocalist, and his friend, Sibongile Khumalo, evoking the spirit of one her great songs, a prayer to the gods of Africa. Let us mourn in prayer this collective loss as we face a world torn by the pandemic.)

36 (Y)

Shivers of monster icebergs

Fevers of raging forest fires

Fuzzy spikes running amok

Vessels organs flesh and muscle

Dropping phlegm immunity bombs

More virus more virus more virus

Tentacles piercing nails red-blue

Hoping to wipe out Humanity

Weighing who gets to live

Which rich nations get vaccines first

37 (S)

The vaccine arrives in the rain,

I wave on TV,

frown lines of relief.

Puppy-happy, playing fetch

The bride is here, for

migrants too.

Waves crash onto shore,

a swash of stars

arresting the frozen hours.

Maize seedlings ready, hands to earth.

Fresh starts.

38 (Y)

Yurikamome float like lotus

Heaven on earth

This river of fruit and birth,

Tender Flowers,

A moment in this pandemic Hell

That enslaves, rapes, steals,

Infections of greed and envy

39 (S)

Humming leaves giving rhythm to the reticent day.

Fruits.

Mapholoba off to his cattle post.

Our morning ritual in flight.

Salutes to sunrise.

Laughter shared like bread.

A mbhubhudlo bond.

Songs.

The heaven of village handshakes.

Palm leaves.

40 (Y)

Hot pink buds are shaking dew,

Airplanes roar over clouds of spring  

And the weeping of sirens,

Piercing the city smog;

We wonder if it’s COVID-19

Or some other emergency;  

We pray for anshin anzen,

Safe and secure,

As elusive as those broken promises.   

41 (S)

Sibiya’s laughs are boiled maize kernels we throw in the air,

Right into our mouths.

Sweet rain drops.

In the wasp-killing sun, we breathe dreams into the soil,

Muting the weeping sirens.

The soil’s ulnar verse spreads and breaks like seawaves.

We are silk songs.

42 (Y)

We wake up today to the Earth shuddering,

Rumbling in fear of human evil,

Magnitude 7.3 almost midnight.  

We wake up today to water levels sinking

In reactors that sank 10 years ago

Meltdowns in Fukushima, 

Half-cracked containers spewing,

No one gets close without dying;     

Remembering human greed,

Evacuating in fear of radioactive imperfection.

43 (S)

You ntanga yethu, David Sibisi.

Walking talking with stoic grace.

Broomcorn strong.

Smile bristles giving the day her delayed radiance.

Some milk cows perished in the recent hellish rains.

But you braving the forest,

giving the village her health.

Brooms.            

44 (S)

It’s a year since that freezing wind struck,

left its bloodied knife on the floor.

The winding path of pain, indefinite tracks on a hill.

The dead can’t smell the flowers, and play with their dogs anymore.

Yet memory drapes each day with protean seeds.     

45 (Y)

Smell the soy sauce cooking

See the squints stab desert skies

Hear the heartbeat taiko vibration

Feel the texture of kimono silk

Taste the ocean sashimi brine

So Simple: Has it been a year?

We are alive we mourn filled with love

Can you remember how that love made you afraid?

46 (S)

Empty lands,

where brutal spiderworlds

silence women.

In the name of tradition,

the kikuyu loses her green heart.

Tribesmen betray justice.

Blowing their noses at a woman,

as she cries for justice.

When her speech is chilli hot,

her eyes a stubborn flame.

47 (Y)

Vagina warm and snug,

Dark and tight Slant Eyes,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

Skin as smooth as China Silk,

Straight Black Hair a Tightrope,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

Serve your addiction

But Not racially motivated,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

He just had a bad day,

The women are dead.

48 (S)

Sunny days are darkening at load-shedding speed.

Seasons of foul stench.

Skunks squealing with careless glee.

Children too happy to play outside.

Far from the smell of the political millipede.

To wink at the transient sunrise.

Holding on to its warm scarlet scarf.

49 (Y)

Oblivious to the pandemic,

Sakura buds fatten,

Burst in benevolent explosions,

Millions of screams

Crying out to Stop Hate, 

Pink pompoms spilling Pink Periods

On a timeless Manuscript

Of pavement and dirt.   

50 (S)

Bright skies and the sea full of grace, heroic balsamic kisses.

Hugh Masekela’s Homeric bloom.

Bliss.

It’s the season of the kindest sunlight.

Petunias strutting their lot in lilac, red –

And Hughey’s enduring love petals.

Hip grazing in the April grass.

“The canvas is big. Gets beautiful with every brush stroke. What matters to me is the possibility of the festival. We are still afloat.” _ SANDILE NGIDI


“I must answer to my brother poet’s challenge and spirit, our words weaving together as family, across oceans, skies and continents.” _ YURI KAGEYAMA

Haiku today Sept. 23, 2021

Haiku today Sept. 23, 2021

By Yuri Kageyama

リストカット

悲鳴をあげるは

彼岸花

wrist cutting syndrome

you can hear the screaming

higanbana

Haiku March 27, 2021 and Sept. 20, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku March 27, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

Give Me That Power

To keep Dreaming My Dream if not just

To Live in My Dreams

ゆめおもう

ゆめをいきるは

夢の中

Miniature Figure by Munenori Tamagawa

It was Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “I have a dream,” those words that spoke years ago that powerful message and legacy of Black Lives Matter. Why has our dream as Asians in America so often and so long been lost? Called foreign, invisible, docile, cheap, expressionless, model minorities, we have been silenced, and we have sometimes turned willingly silent, out of fear and the desire to survive in that American conversation between white and Black. Our story has yet to be fully told, explored or studied, even dreamed.

Haiku Sept. 20, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

墨田川

jet skiおじさんぶっとばす

松田聖子

These days, I live by the Sumida River, which retains much of its Edo Period character. Some recent elements are jarring, such as the people on blaring jet skis that zip up and down the waters on weekends and holidays. The irony of the old pop music that was playing, “Aitakute” by Seiko Matsudo, juxtaposed with this alleged image of hip defiance, was a true Tokyo haiku moment for me.

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

つえをつき

見上げる空に

初桜

Cane in his hand,

He looks up for a long time

First cherry blossoms

The world suddenly looks like a splendid and hopeful place when sakura starts to bloom, right about this time in Tokyo. It happens without fail every year. But it’s so dazzling it feels unexpected. This morning, an old man was gazing up at a tree, probably the first cherry blossom tree he saw on his walk. His eyes, behind the glasses, I knew had seen so much, and was seeing all of that, again, in the flowers.

MAGIC a poem by YURI KAGEYAMA

Why do We Write?

More Mysterious,

Why do We Read What we Write?

Why are there Chants, Prayers, Songs?

Poems?

Words are There To Be Spoken.

Words are There To Be Heard.

Magic of The Word.

Magic

Of

The

Word.

Hitsuzen a poem by Yuri Kageyama

偶然

どころか

全ては

必然

うまれる

まえから

宇宙の

はてまで

つながる

目の前の

永遠

見逃さない

耳目心

偶然では

絶対

ない

Nothing happens なにもおこらない _ a poem/song by Yuri Kageyama

I started working on this song in February 2019. It’s about how people like to talk about “what’s happening” or what’s going to happen. Most of the time, nothing happens. Nothing needs to happen. Now with the pandemic unfolding, the song is more pertinent than ever. I reworked the song to reflect that. And in June 2020, I added the rap section in Japanese that refers to the death of George Floyd. We must not forget how precious those moments are when horrible things that can happen don’t happen, and we can just sit back and enjoy the passage of time, when utterly nothing happens.

Still a work in progress but the audio:

Yuri Kageyama · NOTHING HAPPENS a poem/song by Yuri Kageyama with guitar/arrangement by Hide Asada

Nothing happens なにもおこらない

_ a poem/song by Yuri Kageyama

(1)

Nothing happens

Bombs no longer falling

Nations aren’t killing

Nothing happens

^___<

(2)

Nothing happens

Women aren’t screaming

Children aren’t starving

Nothing happens

^___<

(BRIDGE)

なにもおこらない

このきもち

なにもおこらない

しずけさ

^___<

(4)

Nothing happens

The stars will shine  

Behind clouds that hide   

Nothing happens    

^___<

(5)

Nothing happens

Birds, blossoms remind

The passing of time

Nothing happens

^___<

(rap section)

Nothing happens

We took it for granted

Nothing is boring

Nobody up to no good  

Looking for something

Something to happen

Before the coronavirus   

Now we wake up to numbers

Pray the curb gets flattened  

Pray it’s no one we know

Waiting for a vaccine

Scared by the sirens

Italy, New York, Spain, Wuhan, Tokyo

Now nothing else happens

Nothing else can happen

Now you know it:

Now you wish you didn’t wish it

Now you know for sure you like it

When Nothing happens

Yeah, Nothing happens

なにもおこらない

死ぬまえ

のこる生命で

えらんだ言葉

息ができない

彼のおもい

アメリカの差別

歴史のおもい

すべてすごくて

言葉がない

息ができない

息ができない

You know that’s the view:

No news is good news,

It’s so quiet you can hear it

Silence is the music

When NOTHING HAPPENS

^___<

Nothing happens

The Virus descends     

Like a stranger of death     

Nothing happens

^___<

Nothing happens

We can forget the rest  

How we miss those days   

When Nothing happens

TOSHINORI KONDO a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Toshinori Kondo

A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

shrieks growls wails moaning jagged cries wire and metal half machine untamed animal bleeding real blood never stops a never-ending pulse guerilla warfare of free music of onomatopoeia like a snake or a frog whose skin is always wet