1. Home
  2. Essay
  3. Cruise Ships


Essay “The Sound of the Heart”

June , 2024
Cruise Ships

I have had the experience of performing on board cruise ships more than 10 times, for over ten years now. The guests on the cruise ship may be on a voyage around Japan, but we performers board at the port before the performances and disembark at the next port after the performance.
At first, I was quite nervous.
I felt uncomfortable with the idea of spending days on the ocean. A ship floating on a wide, deep sea…I was afraid of what might happen as I was not used to it. How much would it rock? Would it be safe? Even if I get seasick, I won’t be able to get off, and that would be troublesome.
Would there be a way out to get through it? However, it turned out that the cruise ship had a charm beyond my imagination.

I have done concerts on board Asuka II and Nippon-maru, the luxury cruise ships.
They are so luxurious like magnificent buildings floating on the sea, equipped with all the necessary facilities. There are several restaurants of Japanese, Chinese, and French cuisine, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and various cakes are served at any time, and once on board, you can eat as much as you like, basically free of charge.
There is a gym, yoga classes, and a swimming pool and I found myself constantly walking around the deck.
There is a hair salon, beauty salon, massage, and of course, a large bathroom with a sauna where you can relax at the end of each day.
They also have a variety of different free classes to attend, where you can pick up hobbies, a cinema, and a mahjongg room. Doctors are always available at the clinic.
They have almost everything you can think of.

In my early days, the first thing that amazed me was the ship’s steam whistle.
The whistle when leaving the land, sounds like a human voice. It sounds sad and nostalgic, and it feels like being sucked into the sea and the sky and it stays in your mind for a long time.
The cruise ship moves away from the land little by little, as the whistle blows, and you feel like waving to the people on the land even if you don’t know them. You feel as though you’re missing the strangers of a lifetime as the ship moves away from them…。
On land, people bid farewell with dances and songs associated with the area, which also touches my heart. Even when the ship moves away and their voices and sounds become inaudible, they continue to dance, sing, and shout “See you again.”
I gaze at the waves for a long time, feeling that the cruise ship that has come out into the open sea is quietly protecting us, slowly and steadily.
The view of the gradually setting sun and rising again is so moving that I cannot describe it in words.
That’s when I feel that we are alive.
I look back on my life up to now and think about my remaining life, which I don’t know how far it will go.
I have always been too busy running around in my daily life, but the time spent on the cruise ship could ease my mind a little. At least during the cruise, time will flow more slowly and I will move accordingly…

But there were times when the ship was violently rocked by large waves, now and then.
As you can imagine, I couldn’t stand and had to lie in bed all the time. I didn’t have much appetite, and I was worried about whether I would be able to perform, so I tried to keep my mind strong. When I went out on stage, I planted my feet firmly on the stage, hiding them from the audience under my long skirt, and played the violin and talked with a beaming smile…. That was when I realized that I could play without getting seasick during performances.

Last month in May, I went on board the Nippon-maru with my brother Akira to perform together for the first time.
The first cruise with my brother was so refreshing and comfortable, protected by the calm waves.
I was kind of happy to act like a superior and show him around the ship, explaining the facilities to him.
I have grown to love cruising before realizing it.