Sunday, May 10, 2009

Goodbye, Kiyoshiro Imawano 2

By coincidence...or maybe not, maybe something drew me there...I was taking a walk along Aoyama Cemetery on Saturday, when I noticed a line of people. When I got closer, I saw that the line extended for blocks, and then I knew what it was. The queuing multitudes mostly looked to be people in their twenties to forties, though there were some teen punks with dyed hair. Some wore proper black suits and ties, while others were in T-shirts, some saying 'Kiyoshiro' on them. Many carried flowers, and I saw one girl clutching an old RC Succession LP in her arms. By chance I'd come to Kiyoshiro Imawano's public farewell service.

The lines moved slowly forward. I looked at people's faces, and most were smiling, as if this was some place like Bali where a funeral is a celebration. The queues twisted around for blocks around the cemetery—it crossed the Aoyama Bridge in one direction on one side, and the other direction on the other. News reports said that over 42,000 people showed up, and the service went on until late at night. Looking at the masses, it hit me—so, this is RC Succession, and this is Kiyoshiro... Although the crowd wasn't gloomy, seeing so many people there to say goodbye overwhelmed me, and at times I had to look away.

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