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Greens’ YOHEI MIYAKE makes a legendary “Campaign MC” on his first day of 2013 Japan Upper House Elections (Part 1/2)

Greens Japan Candidate and artist YOHEI MIYAKE makes his premier appearance in Kichichoij, Tokyo, 4 July 2013 on the first day of Japan’s 2013 Upper House Elections. (video now available with English subtitles!)

More videos of YOHEI and his friend TARO YAMAMOTO now available!  Read in Japanese


[ Audience applausing after the last opening performance ]

Please give the Cro-magnon a big round of applause!

[ Audience applauses ]

I wanna keep doing the “fiesta”(matsurigoto) in the way I’ve always done.

Maybe wear some suits once in a while just as ‘cosplay’.

In any case, I feel cramped—in this society, as well as in a suit.

The other day, I threw a fundraising party in Yamaguchi.

—imagine me doing a fundraising  party! lol

I initially even hesitated to use the word “fundraising party”—

having all those images of big people paying hundreds of dollars doin’ suspicious things.

But when I started taking actions to do what I had to do—not only for myself but for others as well—

I stopped being picky about my pride, encounters and stuff. Not that I don’t care but in a sense.

Because I feel really fortunate to be working hard so that you don’t have to work hard any more.

I feel really fortunate to live for something like that. It’s a lot of work, though.

Wow, my guitar tuning is so off….

[ He’s tuning his guitar ]

Okay, let’s wrap it up with “Miyake’s Time”…. Oh darn, I forgot this is my campaign speech today! lol

[ Audience laughs ]

[He is still tuning his guitar]

People ask me, “Why and for what are you running this election even though you are just a musician?”

But before a musician, I as a person have many thoughts in my mind about Japan in the post-311 world.

Issues like Trans-Pacific Partnership and nuclear power plants are all very important.

The stories like media being dependent and wars abandoning the people are all about US.

But before all that, things are happening right in front of my eyes.

A friend of mine who works in a nuclear power plant tells me over the phone,

“Yohei, I lost my eye sight.”

Another friend in (the disaster-affected) Tohoku region says,

 “Yohei, my wife died of leukemia.”

My buddy who lived here in Kichijoji had to leave for his home town because he got leukemia.

The mass media never reported about these things, but they all happened CLOSE to me.

So when anyone asks me WHY I’m running, I say—

“It’d be crazy not to make a move in a world like this!”

While I was looking at election campaigns, I realized that we can do it better.

It’s really not that different from events that we organize.

Make some flyers, draw an audience, convey our messages, and persuade them to act—

are all what we’ve been doing until now.

It’s really our SPECIALTY.

There was once a term called Saisei Icchi (meaning the unity of religion and state)

Festivities (matsuri) was originally a part of governance (matsurigoto).

I think politicians in the ancient times were those who could sing and talk well.

To reunite matsurigoto and politics, and to reclaim our politics, why don’t we make a move like NOW?

[Audience applause]

I will create opportunities for you. But YOU are the ones who will do it.

I feel quite sad when someone tells me, “Break a leg!” coz I don’t have any more legs to break.

I’ll probably die if I try any harder.

Then who will do it? It’s YOU whoever said “break a leg” to me.

People keep telling me about TPP and other matters. I respond to them by saying this:

So what can YOU do about it?

An individual has much more POWER than you think.

When you throw a party for yourself, you really get this.

There was a party at the STAR PINE’S CAFE in Kichijoji.

[guitar plinks]

In the first hour or so, no one was dancing while the first DJ was doing his round.

Everyone stayed up against the walls and the floor had a huge vacuum.

I worked there for part-time, the owner ‘Marvin’ called me up

—let’s say I was 20 back then—

“Hey Miyake, drink it up!” and gaves me a glass of tequila.

So on the first day of my job, I had a full glass of tequila.

I asked him, “So, how can I help you?”

‘Marvin’ replied, “Go down there and dance like a damn fool.”

I went down and danced all out, not knowing which I was dancing, to techno, house, or else.

When I open up my eyes, I saw people coming down to the floor one by one and starting dancing WITH me.

That’s when I realized what my JOB was.

I decided to always be the first to dance.

[ Audience cheers ]

A wonderful night can begin with just ONE dancer like that. That’s what I learned right at that moment.

So I’ll say this once again:

No need for a special pose or a spirit to ‘fight’.

Just be ourselves. I’ll be myself,

We believe in what we’ve been doin’ and just face a little towards that capitol.

[ Audience cheers ]

There are a lot of information, policies, or realities that discourage us. But don’t be overwhelmed.

Election isn’t about “how to battle” but “how to party.”

That’s why I really don’t like words “election fight” or “running for a campaign.”

Today is not our going-to-battle ceremony. Just our sailing day.

Whether I get elected or not is a tiny by-product, a mere path leading to what is about to happen.

I warn you, I’m not gonna stop.

With anger, sorrow, laughter and joy, let’s actualize what we envision.

Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot ’bout it.

There’re so many things I don’t even know where to start.

So I will ask those old school in the Diet

[ Audience cheers as his guitar goes on calmly. ]

[ His guitar halts ]

After 3-11, me and my buds who fled and stayed in Tokyo got together to talk over a huge rift between us,

Whether to stay or to flee.

Personally, I think I’ve made a right decision as a father to evacuate my kid to Okinawa even for just two weeks.

But that doesn’t make me judge those who stayed were wrong.

I just wanna share all of my knowledge and wisdoms about how to cope with what they got exposed to:

Do some yoga! or

Eat raw vegetables! or

Eat brown rice!

After a while, I met with them again and Theatre Groove’s TAIJI SATO told me,

“Missed you so bad while you left, you know!”

So I replied,

“Was so damn worried while you stayed, you know!”

We had a real big fight back then, but in retrospect…

“I was worried!” and “I missed you!”

Hey, aren’t they all about LOVE?

My god, it was LOVE!

So with LOVE I’m going to the Diet.

And with LOVE I’ll squabble with the LDP big shots.

I wanna talk out.

This is what I mean by “charanke

I’ll arm myself with the very essence of our language and fight. What happens beyond that is harmony of all. Happiness. We talk through to become one.

[audience applause]

(Charanke =An Ainu term for a inter-tribal thorough dialogue to avoid a war)

There used to be a time when the word “flee” was taboo.

This is a song I wrote to my buddies in Fukushima, Miyagi, Tokyo, Gunma and Saitma—

in my kitchen in Okinawa to tell them how I really felt

[ Intro “gypsy song” ]

Journey across the ocean…Go

Journey across the ocean…Go on

Leaving the land in peace

And head to a place you never fathomed to be…Yeah


But it’s a place you dreamed of

Somewhere deep in your heart

The sands on the white beach

Where you stood firm

On your bare feet…Yeah


And one night

When you pick up some shells

With those fingers

In the moonlight

You find the love

That fills up your heart

With a sense of openness

Let us begin our never-ending journey

It’s time to embark

Embark on a journey

A journey that will continues

Until we make it to our future

Crossing all generations

Yeah… Yeah…

One day beyond time

With a sense of openness

We’ll redeem our wilderness

And sow our seeds

Ah, Ah, Yeah… Yeah…

It’s no different from how you feel

In the sunlight through the foliage

Believing in the breeze

That fills stardust

And how you feel it

With as sense of openness

Let us begin our never-ending journey

[ Audience cheers ]

[ interlude ]


























Grandpa, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma

Stay alive till we are all grandpas and grandmas!



Grandma, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandpa,

[xxxx Inaudible xxxxx]


Grandpa, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma

[ Outro]

[ Intro “Okinawan Song of Peace” ]

Whoever said

That our nation is in peace?

Our tears aren’t even dry yet

Under the umbrella of America

We are still dreaming

After giving up its people

In a futile war

The blue moon is crying

There’s somebody I can’t forget

Let’s plant the seeds of love 

To this island

To the people

Whose wounds are yet to be healed

One day we’ll make them all bloom

The flowers of love

[ Outro ]

Yah Man!

The last part was a song, Heiwa No Ryuka (Okinawan Song of Peace)—written by Keisuke Kuwata of Southern All Stars.

Mr. Kuwata, please bring it at times like this!

[ Audience applauses ]

[ Intro Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” ]

Don’t you know

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

It sounds like a whisper

Don’t you know

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

It sounds like a whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines

Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation

Wasting time in the unemployment lines

Waiting times…

Yah man, Sorry, my mistake!

Poor people gonna rise up

To get their share

Poor people gonna rise up

To get their share

Don’t you know

You better run, run, run…

Don’t you know

You better run, run, run…

Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn

Talkin’ bout a revolution

Talkin’ bout a revolution

While they’re standing in the welfare lines

Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation

Wasting time in the unemployment lines

Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

It sounds like a whisper

[Sings a part in Japanese]

Can you hear?

They started whispering

One by one like murmurs

Can you hear?

They all started whispering

One by one like ripples

Don’t you know

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

It sounds like a whisper

Don’t you know

You better run, run, run…

Don’t you know you better
Run, run, run…

Yes finally the tables are starting to turn

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

They’re talkin’ bout a revolution

We got Tracy Chapman!

This is about a revolution, Yah Man!

[ Audience applauses ]

Tokyo Times, please

[Intro “Tokyo Times”]

[ Audience applauses ]

[ Speech resumes with Piano ]

Till today, after running around nationwide for 100 days—

I had adhered to something the vocalist and the baseball pitcher have in common.

You prepare your shoulder by a regular interval.

Play the game with your best. You give it all and can’t even speak the next day. Stick to your interval.

That’s how I have protected my performance but I can’t keep it up like that in this situation.

Today, tomorrow, and day after tomorrow—I kept going.

Sometimes I was afraid my voice won’t come out.

I was really scared, thinking I might loose my art to run for an election.

There was a time I took it out on those in my office and team—

like “I won’t run unless you protect my musician side.”

Yet, now, in our time—

“How to build a world without war” and—

“What to do with 400 nuclear power plants around the world?”

Those are the reality we cannot escape from.

So, music alone can’t change the world but I think the world won’t change without music.

I became gradually determined to exhaust all the possibilities between those.

So I felt clear yesterday.

I’ll keep going this 17 days to finish all up.

They say the election results are already set in stone by the first day of campaign. Usually.

That means it’s all “performance” from today and on.

“All done-deal”…that’s politics we have had.

But we’re about to make a new wave here—

When you take home rippling waves in your heart and pass that onto your family and friends,

I am convinced that something must happen in the next 17 days.

I realized it’ll be all right even if I loose my voice.

Many of you showed up today even though I didn’t solicit you or hesitated to do so.

I’m convinced every one of my boys and girls will join us at least once.

All of us will play music together. We have so many homies and I will do my part.

So I felt refreshed and noticed, “Oh, I still got my voice today.”

[ Audience applauses ]

Power of prayers. Power of life.

Perhaps because you guys wished me to hang in here, I started feeling more energy than usual.

So I pushed myself to the limit and got this boiling heat inside me.

The Next—Is Your Turn!

[ Audience applauses ]

I think we cannot begin to solve problems on earth unless all of us turn so.

I want to tell kids, “Look at this river and that sea.”

“That mountain used to be impossible to play in it”

“We worked hard to clean it up so you can play freely.”

We were told by our parents like this, “When I was young, we could swim in that river.”

I wanna tell the opposite. 

I seriously mean “Public Projects from Destruction to Regeneration.”

For that, we need to charanke (discuss) with the very development works.

Today, none of first-class rivers in Japan is free of dam.

Worse rivers have as many as 200 dams.

Building dams just for the sake of it.

It has nothing to do with flood control. Actually that’s causing rivers to flood and mountains to collapse.

They say it costs 10 times more to restore a river than to build a dam.


Dear development workers,

If their work makes everyone happy, creates a sense of pride, and pays them 10 times more—I’d pay my tax!

I will be glad to pay!

Then I think they will change in 10 years.

They will start saying, “Please take good care of this river we worked hard to restore.” I believe.

Many construction workers are in my generation.

They are troubled…between what their bosses want and what they want themselves.

I want to understand their feelings and deliver these to the Diet also.

And I want to put their feelings into work.

I want to appeal to spend money on where we’d rather spend it.

Not just appealing but getting involved myself.

I wanna see our happy faces and say,

“Hey Mr. Abe (PM), they’re very pleased! Have you ever seen their faces like that?”



and I want him pleased, too.


Then I wanna charanke with him, get along, make friends, influence him and get influenced by him.

Hey that’s what we do every day.

Music crosses over and mixes each other.

Every genres blends each other, leading to births of new music around the world right now.

The world of politics cannot become “one” yet.

Even those wanting to stop nuclear power plants have not become one due to various reasons.

So I will reach out, “Music has done that ages ago.”

“Hip-hop and reggae mixed together already.”

“Aren’t they what’s called Jazz or Rock?”

“With a sensitivity like this, like that. Let it be. Let’s keep on going.”

Tokyo Times

Kichijoji Times

[ Drum joins ]

For 5 years of adolescence since 15 plus a decade as the dog of war,

What to fear? I drove myself till today

Strive for the frontline in the shower of cherry blossom


I always wimped out on the very moment to jump on the stage

So I wore a mask of ogre to jump on the stage

My character couldn’t rebel

I was rebellious not that I wanted

But that’s all I could be

Compelled by something in me

Like a li’l kid with tearful eyes refuses an old boy’s extortion and gets beaten up.

“Don’t do it to me, Senior Rockefeller”

[ Audience laughs ]

I didn’t know what I wanna be

But I did know what I didn’t wanna be!

Tokyo Times

How many years past since then?

Over a great deal of waste, we get closer and closer to truth

Whether it’s reasonable or unreasonable can’t solve all.

At least once a life, everyone must face a world of the vast blank page all alone

In such a decisive moment of embarking, are you sure you’re carrying—

Spirit on the left shoulder and

Lucifer on the right shoulder?

Mingling, calming and wandering in this city EARTH DIVER

“Once you start, you win?”No, life isn’t that easy

Tracin’ back my principles I almost forget

Once used to defeat, the only pill for the ill is to get over today

If the life breaks even, it’s all right.

Let’s make a deal ‘tween this WORLD



The voice that awakens your spirit dwells

In the very things you can’t look straight

When the built-in-heaven touches the earth

And the built-on-earth touches the heaven,

Our future will begin

Tokyo Times

A reminiscent vacant lot, In the west to Kichijoji, the west to Chofu,

Mt. Fuji hazes there.I ooze tears

How come? I don’t know

Rock is my life

Punk is my attitude

Oh, Funkness is my solution

I’ve been through the psychedelic revolution

Oh, that was me

Oh, that was me

Right now, Right here

Every sister, you are my soul music

Every brother, you are my blues music

And Rock is my life! Rock is my life!

Music is my life

I can’t do anything about it

A rich man from somewhere came to me from the above

“Boy why are you doing something that isn’t worth a dime?”

I only knew one answer,

“I keep doing because I don’t know why!”

“I don’t know.”

Let’s give Cro-magnon a big hand for the 3rd round!

[ Audience applauses ]

Tokyo Times

What an overwhelming scale, Megacity

Big enough to make humans feel small

I came to the center of this circle to discover Tokyo

But I feel I were furthering away from my target

Limestone caves of desires

Towers of traitors rise against gravity

This town is a trick art

Ups and downs, bigs and smalls get confusing

Water run up. Blood rained on the desert. The oil flows into the ocean.

Many mothers shed tears

Stock prices rose sharp and fell sharp

A few grimed

Above all, money might rain from the heaven!


Heaven and Earth, Good and Evil

Are no use

A DJ stands in the booth on a melancholic afternoon before the opening

Around the time the orange sun peaks from the window,

The shadow from the needle tip walks on as it deepens

By the time the veil of darkness drapes down,

A poet vanishes alone into the flickering city

To the center of circle he kept turning away from, his face in a mixed of love and hate

What I learned from this city saturated by all is…

YES! Harmony with homies is POWER!

What I learned from resisting after resisting

Get up, Stand up

Don’t Give the Fight—No, it’s not that!

Get up, Stand up

Don’t Give up to STOP the Fight!

Don’t Give up to STOP the Fight!

Fists are easy

I’ve done a lot

I’m fed up with fighting

I’ve done it all

What I learned is the times of harmony with all the people like now is the best power.

This is Politics. This is Nation-building.This is Governance.

This is Nation. This is the People.

You Are the People. You Are the Power!

Everybody, You’re the Power!Power!

Power! Invisible Power! You’re the Power!


Drink over heat and beat (“hito-bito”). You’re the People!

[ Interlude ]

I remind the last night session

Our hang-out place, moodies, our room in Sakurazaka

I added grooves there, then multiplied, added again, and multiplied

Then I divided into the number of people

What’s left was a moment.

Feels like a moment but we actually lives in a contiguous eternity

So we are all right

We can go back there anytime we want

Once this sound flows in, this voice resonates, and applause erupts,

No matter in what age or situation, we can all come back to here

In the heart, always we can return here

[His speech resume with music ]

For example, we call it “culture.”

That’s “culture” and “love.”

I want to pass it onto children

“Culture as our largest export item.” I really mean it.

The power of resourceless Japan is people power. Craftsmanship.

Not just music but all arts and performances, artisans, and handmades—those ARE the Japan power.

The Ministry of Culture only spends ¥100 billion ($1 billion) annually on cultural projects

So I’ll go ahead to ask them

“Could you make it at least ¥300 billion ($3 billion)?”—just triple

They spent ¥900 billion ($9 billion) to buy 42 stealth aircrafts!

How did that happen?!

Where did bequerel (nuclear) inspectors go?!

“What is national defense? What is life?” I felt so, strongly.

That’s what I want to talk about there.

¥300 billion for culture, even that triple is tiny compared with our current budget.

Ask for it. Speak up. Push me up. 

Let’s all go to the Diet. All of us, together.

[ Audience cheers ]

Tokyo Times, Kichijoji Times

[ Song lyrics resume ]

The sun filled with wishes of 10 million people is setting again

[ Speech resumes ]

I love you. Please love me. I love you back.

Let it be a recycling society.

[ Song lyrics resume ]

Rock is my life, Punk is my attitude

Oh, Funkness is my solution

I’ve been through the psychedelic revolution

Oh, that was me, that was me

Right now, Right here

Sister, you are my soul

Brother, you are my blues

And Rock is my life! Rock is my life!

For what?

Break it up!

[ Music stops ]

“I Don’t Know”

Yes I am. Yah Man!

[ Audience applause goes on ]

Town people of Kichijoji, I sincerely appreciate you for letting me keep it loud for a long time!

I hope those who didn’t accept this today also felt something as well.

Starting now, these people here are really going to change the world and Japan.

We welcome to share our ride!

We might look unlikable at a glance yet all good people.

Thank You for Your Support!

[ Audience applauses and cheers ]

Give a big hands to all of us!

We got started today!

We are running through the next 17 days.

I’d appreciate your support!

TARO YAMAMOTO for the Tokyo district!

YOHEI MIYAKE for the Proportional Nationwide district.

Please write it so! Thank you!

[ Audience applauses ]

Lastly, let’s talk a bit about election.

Wow, that was incredible, Yohei Miyake!

Today is just a start. For the next 17 days, please repeat this every day:

“For the 2nd voting ballot, YOHEI MIKAYE!”

We have to cut off at 8 PM but we made a booth over there.

He’ll be there so those who want a handshake, a snapshot, and a comment are welcome!

Besides, our fund is short and we need your help. Please tip in what you can before leaving.

We are going to run all the way. Please give him your support!

[ Audience cheers and applauses ]

¥ 300 million (=$3million) can run my TV commercial.

That’s ¥10,000 each from 30,000 people. I bet it’s possible.

Our donate box right there. Thanks for your help!

I really appreciate you all!

Tomorrow, I’ll do a doubleheader in Shinjuku and Shinbashi.

Keep it coming, guys!

[ Audience applauses ]


Translated by NTU with an anonymous support
Adapted by “The Nomadic Transcription Unit”


07/20/2013 – 20:47


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