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Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

February , 2023
Obento(Lunch Boxes)

In my 20’s and 30’s, when I was hungry before performing, I ate obento and snacks, and everything I could get my hands on.
I thought that if I was hungry, I would not be able to play and would lack energy, so I used to eat until I was quite full.

When was it, that I realized that eating made me sleepy?
I started feeling the lack of concentration for a few hours after eating. I felt that fullness would reduce my desire to play music.
I do not know if this is a personal thing for me or if it’s the same for everyone, but at least in my case, the sensitivity seems to be sharper, the closer I am to starvation.
I try not to be full at least 3 hours before performing. I try not to put anything in my mouth, as I can immerse myself into music with a little bit of hunger. When my stomach is full, my mind also feels full and the desire for expressing fades away.
So just before the performance, I eat a banana. A banana can sooth my hunger and gives me immediate energy without feeling full.
I save the obento served in my dressing room and look forward to enjoying them after the concert. This is like dangling a carrot on the horse’s face, a small reward for myself!

I feel excited when I think about the delicious looking obento saved in my dressing room.
When I don’t have enough time to eat the obento backstage after the concert, I enjoy it on my return shinkansen or plane.
When I’m travelling by car, I take it home with me and eat it as soon as I arrive.
How delicious it is!

As I work things out that way on my performance day, I eat a full dinner on the night before. In the morning of the event, I quickly drink 3 raw eggs straight from the cup, few hours before the performance. If I have enough time, I enjoy eating the 3 raw eggs with rice in a large rice ball! I eat a lot because I won’t be eating until the concert is over.

When I have concerts in a row, I want to supply nutrition as much as I can, after the concerts.
But sometimes obento is not enough. And in the rural areas, hotel restaurants have often stopped taking orders. If there are convenience stores nearby, I am lucky. Convenience stores are useful. They really have all sorts of delicious things nowadays.! And they heat up the food for us. I feel grateful and it is one of my small pleasures to choose a convenience store bento.