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warui musuko – hikikomori [unknown tone]

Warui Musuko is the project of Tsuyoshi Fujimori (1958-2000), a former Gagaku musician who lived the last years of his life in isolation and without leaving his apartment in the busy ward of Shibuya, Tokyo. Due to his father’s job, Tsuyoshi spent his childhood abroad and grew up surrounded by various kinds of music including rock, classical and jazz. After graduating from high school, he joined the Gabuku: the music department of the Imperial Household Agency. There, he quickly gained experience playing wind, string and percussion instruments (Hichiriki, Biwa, and Da-daiko). Soon after participating in his first performance at the Imperial Palace, Tsuyoshi was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and weeks later he violently attacked some of the fellow musicians who use to bully him and destroyed several instruments from the Gabuku. Thanks to the wealth of the Fujimori family, Tsuyoshi’s father was able to prevent his prosecution but placed his son in a residential treatment centre for teenagers with autism. A year later Tsuyoshi escaped from the centre and spent a few years of homelessness until he was found in a listening bar in Shibuya after overdosing on his antipsychotic medication and alcohol. According to Kobayashi, the bar owner who took occasional care of Tsuyoshi, he would offer him a shower and some food in exchange for organizing his extensive vinyl collection. “He always gravitated to my free jazz, electronic music, and noise albums as well as my most expensive whiskey,” Kobayashi said in an interview. Soon after Tsuyoshi’s recovery, his parents died in a tragic accident and he inherited their fortune. Kobayashi was made a trustee of the fortune to manage on Tsuyoshi’s behalf. Unpleased with social life, Tsuyoshi told Kobayashi that he could keep the money if he bought him a small apartment in a commercial building and brought him groceries once a week. Once the apartment purchase was made in 1990, Tsuyoshi moved in and never saw Kobayashi again. For 10 years, Kobayashi left food and other essentials outside Tsuyoshi’s door because he was trying to avoid interactions. They both communicated through email and every year Tsuyoshi would request an instrument. On the first of January in 2000, Kobayashi received his last email from Tsuyoshi.

The email said: “Thank you for entertaining my whims and quirks during all these years. My head has been mainly in Japan and America. Tradition and distortion. I never learned how to play the electric guitar you brought me the January of 1992. However, it helped me deal with some inner demons. Every night when the commercial activity ceased and everyone left the building, I would spend hours playing with distortion and those pedals you brought. You will find my computer under a pile of clothes. Once you turn it on, you will realize that I erased all the information except 8 songs I dedicate to you. Of course, they are not as good as the music you collect but I need to leave you something light beside the mess that you will find inside the apartment. You will hear my Gagaku ghosts playing in the background. Thank you for the Yellow Magic Orchestra and Merzbow albums. I enjoyed them very much and sometimes I wished I had met them. Stupid Fantasies. Wolves are my real friends and I want to be in an actual cave. I am walking to Aokigahara. Farewell. Your hikikomori friend, Warui Musuko.” 

Kobashi never shared Tsuyoshi Fujimori’s music with anyone, until he was found dead early this year in his office holding a burnt polaroid of Tsuyoshi on one hand and a glass of whiskey on the other. The album is now released freely as it was found by Kobayashi’s intern, Akio Yami.

Translated by Reiko Jane Sato.  

youtu.be/Aay70TPvLJA

Released June 18, 2020 

All tracks composed and performed by Tsuyoshi Fujimori 
Produced by Kobayashi Kazuhiro 
Cover Design by Brian Phillips

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