「新しい言葉」で三宅洋平が「選挙を占拠」Yohei Miyake “Occupy The Election” With A “New Language”



There are many unique qualities about Yohei Miyake (34) a musician, a candidate from Greens Japan. Boldly bringing live music acts from underground music scene to the mainstream election campaign and singing at the speech himself are not the only unique things about him. His outstanding and extraordinary communication skill is what attracts diverse audience to his speech.



Mr. Miyake says that politicians are not talking in people’s language. Using technical words isn’t hard at all, what’s really difficult is to talk in the way everyone can understand. Mr. Miyake, who majored in literature at Waseda University, has his own persistence about the usage of words.


Mr. Miyake’s words untangle Japanese people’s inveterate doubts and anger against the government and the country itself. He dissolves the dilemma and shows the alternative plans and perspective that are much more peaceful and effective. His action makes people realize that it is not impossible to sweep away the negative cultural atmosphere and cultural climate from the grassroots. He gives courage and urges the action.


He talked about a typical event that occurs in politicians and voters relationship. When politicians break public promises, generally voters complain that they don’t keep promises. His commentary that comes from his own over 100-days-long election campaign experience is different. He says that voters and politicians need to work together interlockingly.


“In the past, the politicians I supported didn’t do anything that they said during the election. I always thought like that and said it. ‘They don’t do anything.’ But how I feel from a politician side now is different. Voting is just writing a name on a piece of paper. That’s nothing. Voting isn’t enough, it’s actually nothing. If you really want to support a politician, you should go knock on their office door when you have time and ask, “hey what’s wrong? you aren’t doing what you initially wanted to do. Do you need some help?” If a politician has supporters like that, the number of supporters will directly be the politician’s power to keep their promises. So when I become a politician, please don’t mind that I’m talking under the premise that I will win this election, I would like you to be one of the tens of thousands nomadic secretary who does research and little things when I ask through twitter or something when I need to get done something. If you do that, Taro Yamamoto (an actor, a candidate who’s largely supported by no nukes citizens) doesn’t have to have a bald spot and I don’t have to loose my voice. We are putting aside an actor’s face and musician’s voice to join the politics in Japan, so I want you guys to do that too,” he said to the crowd.


Mr. Miyake’s election campaign reminds me of a section of the speech Haruki Murakami’s gave in Catalounya.

「損なわれた倫理や規範の再生を試みるとき、それは我々全員の仕事になります。我々は死者を悼み、災害に苦しむ人々を思いやり、彼らが受けた痛みや、負った傷を無駄にするまいという自然な気持ちから、その作業に取りかかります。それは素朴で黙々とした、忍耐を必要とする手仕事になるはずです。晴れた春の朝、ひとつの村の人々が揃って畑に出て、土地を耕し、種を蒔くよう に、みんなで力を合わせてその作業を進めなくてはなりません。一人ひとりがそれぞれにできるかたちで、しかし心をひとつにして。その大がかりな集合作業には、言葉を専門とする我々、職業的作家たちが進んで関われる部分があるはずです。我々は新しい倫理や規範と、新しい言葉とを連結させなくてはなりません。そして生き生きとした新しい物語を、そこに芽生えさせ、立ち上げなくてはなりません。それは我々が共有できる物語であるはずです。それは畑の種蒔き歌のように、人々を励ます律動を持つ物語であるはずです。我々はかつて、まさにそのようにして、戦争によって焦土と化した日本を再建してきました。その原点に、我々は再び立ち戻らなくてはならないでしょう」


“It is the job of experts to rebuild broken roads and buildings, but it is the duty of each of us to restore our damaged ethics and values. We can start by mourning those who died, by taking care of the victims of this disaster, and by nurturing our natural desire not to let their pain and injuries have been in vain. This will take the form of a carefully crafted, silent and painstaking endeavor. We must join forces to this end, in the manner of the entire population of a village that goes out together to cultivate the fields and plant seeds on a sunny spring morning. Everyone doing what they can do, all hearts together.”

“We, professional writers, who are versed in the use of words, also have a positive contribution to make toward this large-scale collective mission. We must connect new ethics and values to new words, thereby creating and building new, vibrant stories. We will then be able to share these stories. They will have a rhythm that can encourage people, just like the songs which villagers sing while planting their seeds. We rebuilt Japan, which had been completely destroyed by World War II. We must now return to this same starting point once again.”


It seems like, right now, Mr. Miyake is dedicating all his strength to move people’s hearts by weaving the “new language” in order to reconstruct Japan, not to the old Japan but to a better Japan. He interlinks the language and music, talks in people’s language while avoiding overly polite language and technical jargon, consistently keeps his attitude that respects diversity, and never wears suit and shave his face. All these actions seem to create a “new language” and stimulate people, create new vibrant stories and a surge.


Mr. Miyake started to insert “Occupy the election! (Senkyo o senkyo!) Our election! (Oretachi no senkyo!)” while he plays one of his songs called “Gypsy Song.” This also is a precise and effective expression put out by his artistic sensibility. Even though people technically knew that the more voting rate can change the politics in Japan, it seemed to be impossible to get young people to vote. But Mr. Miyake’s “new language” made it possible to send out the message. It is also interesting that the word “occupy” was used by Occupy movement which physically occupied places to protest and planted seeds of conscience in people as a result.


“In the last election, Liberal Democratic Party got 1.7 million votes. The ruling party. The number of people who didn’t vote was about 3 to 4 million. Let’s say there are about 2 million who didn’t vote after subtracting bedridden people who cannot vote. That is to say that the larger ruling party consists of sane people who thought that they didn’t wanna go vote because the election is so lame. Then there are interests and organizations and stuff like that. So, I want those sane people who didn’t vote till this election to change the denominator of the politics. Bigger parties are making strategies for this election by hiring advertising and PR companies, but they are not even counting those people who don’t vote. They rather wish that those people don’t vote. If we can change the denominator of the election, their calculation won’t work at all,” he said and urged young people to vote.


“Don’t think that you are going to send me to the parliament. Won’t you come to the parliament with me? Would you come to the parliament with Yohei Miyake?”


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