He was apparently a big Degrassi fan too judging by his clothes.

Like many Japanese people, our star reporter Mr. Sato always returns home for the holidays. This year, while in the remote prefecture of Shimane, his mother give him some old notebooks from his angsty teenage days the she found.

When Mr. Sato headed off to Tokyo to find fame he only packed two bags of stuff and left all of his other belongings behind, so he had forgotten about much of it. He felt their contents weren’t much to look at now, but the relentless journalling of his youth had helped shape the great writer he is today.

More importantly for him, there was a VHS cassette labeled “Tenjin Live July 24, 1995” among the books.

Mr. Sato knew right away what this was. Twenty-five years ago he had performed an outdoor concert at Matsue City’s annual Tenjin Festival. He was the bassist for the rock band Kofuku no Negi (Leek of Happiness) at the time.

He wanted to watch it right away, mostly to see how he looked a quarter of a century ago. However, there was nothing around that could play a video tape. His PC just stared at him coldly…mocking him.

So, he went in search of one of those companies that could transfer video tape to DVD and found one right near the office that guaranteed one-day service.

He handed them the tape a little after noon and by that same evening, a crisp new disc was waiting for him.

Mr. Sato wasted no time popping it into his computer and was immediately transported back to 1995. It was a very different world then, back when the US was embroiled in a Middle East conflict and impeachment loomed for its sitting president.

He had trouble believing he was ever that young, but all the details of that moment suddenly became as clear as his complexion was. He was playing a second-hand Gibson Thunderbird, and back then it was cool to let the bass hang as low as the strap would allow.

Actually, Mr. Sato was a guitar player, but despite him being 21 and all the other members in his group teenagers, he wasn’t as good as them and thus relegated to bass. That being said, as the following clip shows, he tears it up quite well on four strings.

Sadly, due to technological limitations and the open-air acoustics of the recording, it’s a little hard to hear cleanly, but in Mr. Sato’s memory every note rang true. He remembered that it was really hard for him to play the bass that low to the ground, but he didn’t want to look like a dork with it hiked up to his midsection.

Back in those days Mr. Sato was a huge fan of bands like Ningen Isu. Little did he know that twenty years later he would be interviewing them and going backstage to their shows.

▼ Mr. Sato (aged 40) and Ningen Isu

He also probably never would have imagined that he would eventually become a meme, appear in The Washington Post, take up pole dancing, and buy an iPhone with Ken Watanabe…twice.

▼ Mr. Sato (aged 21) and a public garbage can (current whereabouts unknown)

That’s why Mr. Sato wants to tell everyone to hang on to your personal memorabilia. It helps you remember where you came from and what your dreams were compared to now. Looking back from time to time can really help you assess your present and consider your future more clearly.

Mr. Sato considered these things as he sat through the entire 30-minute show, but at the end of the recording something totally unexpected appeared.

It was an old stop-motion animation of a deck of cards that he and one of his bandmates had put together. Bear in mind that this was over a decade before everyone stated to carry a fully-functional video camera and editing equipment in their pocket.

Incidentally, the friend whom Mr. Sato made this video with was none other than Moriyama Masayuki (a.k.a. MORI), the guitarist for the band Wyse. At the time both were really into animation and used to play around with the camera for fun.

The two still keep in touch and when Mr. Sato told MORI that he had found the video, the rock star replied, “I so want to see that!!!”

It’s funny how two guys playing with cards in a bedroom and go on to have such diverse lives – whether it’s touring the country and playing sold-out concerts or getting styled at the dog groomer – but still be anchored to those moments in the past. Just one more reason to cherish those artifacts of our lives.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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