I have lived as the wife of an enthusiast for many years.
I have been looked on by my parents and siblings with pity.
I have been looked down on because my lifestyle is eccentric.
Whenever we take a family trip, I must follow my husband to some collector’s shop.
I continued eating a lot of potato chips which had been sold with cards for several months.
When I look back on it, I can surely assert that there were almost nothing but negatives in everyday life.
My husband and I do not have children.Besides, I have a basically careless character. So I cannot compare myself with others.
But, all things considered, I was very annoyed that our living space was too small. Even the restroom is tightly packed with articles.When we sleep, a heap of books and magazines towers over us.
During the earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011, we were fortunately on an outing. But when we came home, we were terrified to see that several layers of books which had fallen from the bookshelves were scattered across the entire room.
The wife of a enthusiast risks her life.
Although the flow of a river does not die out, the flowing water is changed each time.
A house is a temporary thing, and it is pointless to suffer sorrow or joy for it… (from “Houjou-ki” by a recluse of the Middle Ages in Japan, Kamo-no-Chomei)
Once I came to think the house to be a trifling matter, my husband’s strange deep attachment to articles became rather funny to me. He would say nonsense such as “this is for watching, this is for preserving, this is for exchanging…” , which sounded like the cry of a rare animal. I didn’t get so angry. With this and that, I have been coexisting with his enthusiastic life.
But since the time of the earthquake disaster in 2011, I came to feel a strange desire to learn something new, and last year, I made up my mind and began a part-time job at Mandarake which my husband visits frequently.
As is generally known, Mandarake is the industry-leading dealer of secondhand articles, mainly old comics.They cover a wide range of articles, comics, animated cartoons, model kits, soft vinyl figures, superalloy toys, games, fan magazines, and fan goods. These are subculture articles which mainly arose in the Japanese consumer society after the Second World War.
Working as a careless cashier, I look at many articles flowing in or out of this shrine of subculture every day.The Tale of Genji and the Heike Monogatari, even Waka (a 31-syllable Japanese traditional poem) were once subcultures at first.Sometimes the scene of cherry trees in full blossom blooming in a village which became uninhabited due to the radioactivity of that earthquake flashes across my mind. I wonder each time what things will survive in the next era.
Meanwhile, I noticed that the act of buying and selling articles includes the fight to make the articles survive in days to come.
Then, when I looked back again, there were a lot of people who do such a thing around myself, including my husband.
They bet their life to believe in the value of the articles, create the value of articles, ruining their own lives in the process.
I asked them to talk.
About their enthusiasm for articles shaking their soul.
About their feelings running toward articles with all their energies.
I am going to leave their story in this blog.
While, in this invisible world out of order, thinking of the thing called the future.