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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

March , 2021
Memories of Mr. Mitsumasa Anno

Mr. Mitsumasa Anno has passed away.
It was so painful as I thought that he was still alive and kicking, creating wonderful pictures. I was so fond of him.
I first met Mr. Anno about 30 years ago.
Mr. Anno and I went on a journey together to shoot a special TV programme on NHK, called “A Journey along River Elbe”. Mr. Anno’s gentle personality and his innocent charm enriched the travel TV show as well as our actual journey. The staff was also a great team of charming people and naturally, the team was divided into “Drinking group” and “Eating group” and went on shooting in different places and then gathered back again. The programme was so big.
The fact that we were naturally divided into the two groups, “Drinking group” and “Eating group” was also quite funny and an enjoyable topic. I of course, belonged to the “Drinking group”.
As I was still so young at the time, I could drink for ever and did not get drunk at all.
In fact, I felt that the more I drank, my head became clearer.
There was one funny incident that I shared with Mr. Anno, and the story has been passed down within the team for ages.
It was on a day when we were covering the River Elbe in the Czech Republic. The famous Charles Bridge that spans the River Elbe, is a fun place with street vendors spreading little shops, busking magicians, performing musicians, and you never get bored.
It was a fine day, and the cameraman was carefully capturing those people in the frame of his video camera and time passed by.
Mr. Anno and I walked around, going back and forth, watching people on the bridge, for the “walking scene” of the video.
Mr. S, the producer said to us “Do keep walking, as we are getting great shots” and then left us.
Mr. S and the cameraman were to shoot us from afar, as they already had taken the close-up shots.
So, we walked along on the bridge, sometimes talking to the buskers and stopping to watch closely, feeling the breeze that blew from the Elbe.
After walking around for a while, we felt a little tired and the sun that shone from above had started to fade.
“I wonder where Mr. S is shooting from?” Mr. Anno murmured.
I only realized the situation after hearing his murmur and turned my eyes far away. It was impossible to find them with so many tourists and locals around.
“I’m sure they will come back to fetch us” I said with uncertainty, and Mr. Anno looked worried.
Now, we were not able to enjoy those events on the bridge any longer.
“They are so late. What’s taking them so long?”
I got worried too.
30 minutes had passed after we started worrying. They were obviously too late.
We stood there like some lost tourists, and stayed closer together on the Charles Bridge, barricading around ourselves as if it were too dangerous to move.
Mr. Anno began to say “We must have been left behind” with conviction.
Well, Mr.S did have a tendency to get carried away and forget about everything else when he finds something interesting. Perhaps he had gone on to hunt for new locations.
Then, I declared to Mr. Anno, “Don’t worry, Anno-san! I’ ll play the violin on the bridge, and you can carry around your hat to collect the pennies. I will take care of you!”
This line became the talk of the day for a long time.
After all, Mr. S came back running and said, “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to keep you waiting so long. Let’s go”.

From then, Mr. Anno told this story in such an amusing way, making us the poor people who were abandoned by Mr. S, and made people laugh out loud, even Mr. S himself.
Mr. Anno always had so many stories around him. It was always fun to see how he added adaptations and
staging to make them slightly different from the actual story, but that was the fun part.
I wonder if Mr. Anno is now telling his stories in heaven.
I am praying for his peace…