05/01 (Saturday)
Head for Yamanaka Lake. Not for play, this time! I have to weather-proof the exterior before the rainy season hits.

05/02 (Sunday)
Spend a day painting the walls at Yamanaka Lake. I optimistically thought I'd be done in an hour, but that's not how the cookie crumbles. Painting the high-up places with a ladder I never use was a thrill a moment, and not the good kind. By the time I had finished the sun was setting. But, doing something I don't normally do was a refreshing change of pace.

05/03 (Monday)
Back from Yamanaka Lake to prepare for my business trip to Los Angeles tomorrow. This is my first long trip in a while, and I've got way too much luggage.

05/05 (Wednesday)
Leave for L.A.

05/06 (Thursday)
Spend a day doing interviews at SEUI. A number of different magazines come in, one after the other. There's a limit to how much one man can smile.

05/07 (Friday)
Interview at a TV station. Has everyone over here really been anticipating FF this much? I don't think the team back in Japan realizes this.

05/08 (Saturday)
Rehearsal for the concert the day after tomorrow. The conductor, Miguel, and the LA Philharmonic have a different concert tonight, which they may have been worried about, because we ended rehearsal a little earlier than scheduled. The tempo feels a little faster than I imagined. I make it a point to mention that a few times.

05/09 (Sunday)
Ten of us go to Universal Studios: my parents, my wife, my sister, her husband, their daughter, my sister's husband's mother, and my sister's husband's sister and her son. It's impossible to keep a group with such wildly different ages together. We had our hands full just making sure nobody got lost.

05/10 (Monday)
Concert day. A huge success. You don't have many days like this in your life. When I saw my mom wiping tears from her eyes in a back corner of the hall I wanted to cry out loud. Of course, with all my coworkers around me I couldn't really do that, could I. Think of what I could have shouted: "Thank you for giving birth to me!" or "Look what your son did!" or "I guess you didn't mess up raising me after all!"

05/11 (Tuesday)
Uematsu Productions goes shopping.

05/12 (Wednesday)
Down for the count. Now that everything's done, I guess I just let myself relax. Now I can't move. I roll around my hotel room. I eat with Sakaguchi-san in the hotel restaurant. I was glad that he seemed to have really been moved by the concert. Of course he was. We've been involved in FF for the last 17 years. We feel this thing on a wholly different level from most people.

05/13 (Thursday)
E3. I wasn't feeling so well, and it was really crowded, so I leave early.

05/14 (Friday)
Down again. I sit and think in my room. I remember all the people at the concert, how excited everyone was. I'm just here by chance. I'm not really fit to be the object of so many people's expectations. I mean, I don't have a great talent, so I'm really in a fix if everyone expects more songs like these. If they do expect more, then I'll have to keep pretending I have talent. Let me off the hook! This man is not deserving of such praise. I'm sorry for deceiving the world so far.I can't do it anymore! .at least half of me really thought that, honest. But I am a little tired of the life. Okay, then, when does it end? Where is the final destination? If I keep going on this way, my spirit might wander on even after I've died, looking for some kind of conclusion. Maybe I should trying having more fun myself, I thought. Maybe I should treat myself a little more, I thought. At the very least, on one day 2300 people gave me a standing ovation in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. That happened. Should I try to deny that? Why not accept it? Why not acknowledge all the time I've spent making game music till now? It was the first time in my life I'd ever felt that way. I don't know what you might think, but keeping your same old familiar values and way of thinking can be really comfortable. Being harsh to myself has always been comfortable for me. I never tried to acknowledge me as I was, no matter what anyone said. Still, I feel like I've learned something, here. If I want to have more fun, if I want to laugh even louder, I have to praise myself sometimes. I have acknowledge my own accomplishments. I still got what it takes! .I think.

05/15 (Saturday)
Leave L.A.. I've never been good at sleeping on the plane--it was the same coming over. That's why I'm always jetlagged when I go overseas. I could go a hundred times and it would still be the same.

05/16 (Sunday)
Arrive in Japan. Coming from the desert-like air of L.A., it's hard to take the mugginess here. Discomfort levels at 400%.

05/17 (Monday)
Japanese food is tasty. Everything I put in my mouth is good. No offense to Americans, but why can I not eat their food? When I was in L.A. and went to a nice restaurant with the folks from SEUI, I ordered yellowtail sashimi for an appetizer and Kobe beef for my main dish. The sweet sauce on the yellowtail nearly drove me mad, and when I tasted the sweet sauce on the Kobe steak I nearly went unconscious. .Well, I'm sure most Americans would have a hard time with Japanese food, too.

05/20 (Thursday)
Unexpected hookey.

05/21 (Friday)
More hookey.

05/22 (Saturday)
Vacation, of course.

05/23 (Sunday)
Work? Me?

05/24 (Monday)
I meet a programmer that left Square 10 years ago, Yamamo-chan, and we have dinner. It's been a while! He's started his own company and is CEO now. He still goes out drinking every night. Good to see nothing's changed and everyone's doing well!

05/25 (Tuesday)
I meet with Issho-sensei, a calligrapher, about doing something for the fan club magazine. He told me lots of things I don't normally get to hear about avant-garde calligraphy and how to make sumi ink. There's a certain weight to what someone says when they've been doing one thing for so many years.

05/26 (Wednesday)
I was lucky enough to get an introduction to Momoko Sakura* and I drop in at her place today. She's just like her most famous character, Chibi Maruko-chan: a kind and happy person. A chat about Robert Monroe's Hemi-Sync tones makes quick work of any initial distance between us.

*Author of the popular comic book and animated show "Chibi Maruko-chan ("Little Maruko")"

05/27 (Thursday)
My jeep finally came back after four days of inspection. I jump up and down for joy.or I will when it gets back from having the ailing car audio system looked at. Get better and come back home soon!

05/28 (Friday)
Leave for Yamanaka Lake in the evening. The roads are empty at night, and it's a pleasure to drive.

05/29 (Saturday)
Made a little bonfire. Now that I think about it, it was the first time I ever made one of my own accord. It was fun! I'm always looking at gas ranges and other "easy" flames. But when you have a bonfire, it takes real effort to keep everything under control. Some wood burns better than others, and you have to consider the order you put them on, and how you place them.never a dull moment! It's kind of like a little game. And seeing the finished product is totally satisfying. I think the next time someone asks me what my hobby is, I'll say "building bonfires."

05/30 (Sunday)
There's a road race around Yamanaka Lake this morning, and all the roads are closed off. So, I have to wait until the afternoon to head out. I came back to Tokyo and was startled. I thought it was hot, but 31 degrees (89 degrees F)? That's not right! What's the world coming to when it's 31 degrees at the end of May!?

05/31 (Monday)
Hot today, too. They should just close the company until the Fall.