On Their First Album
《Fantome † Noir》
ROCK JET Vol.62
Interviewer ＝ Fujitake Toshiya
Leaving a legacy
―― Congratulations on KA.F.KA’s first album, Fantome † Noir being released. To start, please tell us about how the band came to be.
Tsuchiya (T): Touching on that will result in a large amount of printing to do (lol).
―― That’s okay (lol).
T: The very condensed version of it starts with my obsession with trip-hop back in the 90s and how I almost lost the desire to create and express myself during these past 10-plus years. I questioned the way music was being dominated by the internet and this situation where music itself was being turned towards that direction.
Expression is something that can only become material when there’s an audience and the level of those who are looking to make that happen have dropped so much that I felt like there was nothing I could do but sit and stare. Also, it dawned on me that I haven’t created anything worthy of a legacy.
I know that things will someday get better. But I figured that it’ll probably take quite a while before that happens. Because people themselves have become stupid enough that it’d take them a long time to realise that something isn’t right about this.
So, it was during the period when those thoughts occupied my head that I met ISSAY-kun. About 4 years ago, I was given a reserved seat at a BUCK-TICK concert and it just so happened that ISSAY-kun was seated next to me. I knew of him but I never had the chance to have a proper chat with him.
There, I spoke about the same topic that we’re on right now, and when I asked whether he’s left some sort of legacy, he said there’s nothing, so I said if that’s the case, maybe we should have something to leave behind. To leave a legacy, in this sense, would mean to make music.
―― So he asked you, out of the blue, whether you’re leaving a legacy.
ISSAY (I): That’s right. He started by asking me whether I’m leaving a legacy. I answered, “I’m not leaving anything.” And that’s where it ended then. The next time we met, I was thinking of doing something that involves making this kind of music when he asked, “Shall we work together?” Tsuchiya-san is someone I respected as a musician, and when I watched him play guitar at Kawamura Ryuichi-san’s¹ concert, I thought he was an amazing guitarist and if I ever had the chance, I’d like to work with him.
Having someone like that reach out to me, I readily replied, “Yes, let’s work together,” without a second thought. I was beyond happy. I only realised the gravity of the situation when the band started work.
T: It just so happened that at the time; that was 2013, by the way, Kaneko Mari-san² asked me if I would perform something at a Kyoto live house. In my head, the thought of creating something like this [KA.F.KA] had already formed but I was still undecided about when it would happen and what shape it would take. At that point in time, there was no band, nothing, except for the conversation I had with ISSAY-kun about ‘leaving a legacy’. But the words, “Let’s leave something behind” became a sort of motivator and I replied [Mari], “Well, then I’ll perform in a band.”
―― Out of nowhere.
T: That’s the time when things get done, right? So in any case, I started with ISSAY-kun, so Morioka Ken (ex-SOFT BALLET) will certainly be within reach. I saw drummer MOTOKATSU-kun playing at SUGIZO’s concert and I thought he was a great drummer so I reached out to him. As for our bassist, I asked KenKen, who’s also Mari-san’s son.
At that event, we performed as a band named KA.F.KA. It was wonderful. And the best part was the superb tension. We started our journey without any songs, wrote them within a few weeks and got in rehearsals too. It wouldn’t have worked if it weren’t for this sustained tension. We could spare no effort or time. But those nerves brought wonderful expression to life.
It’s been about 10 years since I did any sort of attention-grabbing musical endeavour by then, so I created my own record label and released my solo album Swan Dive first. I had ISSAY-kun sing 3 songs in that album. The song Last Shadow was obviously a KA.F.KA song, but I felt that it was needed in Swan Dive so I put it in. When I was making that album, I told the band members that the next album I’m making would be for this band. And so here we are now.
―― I see. So you’ve already started on this present album when you were producing Swan Dive which was released in 2013.
T: Swan Dive consists of 6 songs. KA.F.KA’s Fantome † Noir also has 6 songs. These two works put together are equal to one album. In other words, I’d prefer it if you’ll take them as one 12-song album. The A- and B-side; the front and the back of a vinyl record. They are to be listened to one after another.
When Coyote, the last song on Fantome † Noir ends, it goes back to the first song of Swan Dive, Swan Dive Part-1. That’s the way it’s designed.
It would’ve been difficult to make a 12-song album all of a sudden, wouldn’t it? While I do have my own record label, it was difficult to match schedules with the members of the band. Especially with KenKen who was so very busy that we had to ask Ueno Kouji-kun³ to play bass for KA.F.KA.
―― What made Tsuchiya-san reach out to ISSAY-san?
T: It’s because he’s the most striking person by far. Is there anyone else who cuts as conspicuous a figure as him among rock vocalists? I can’t think of any. And in my mind, I don’t see e ISSAY-kun as just a vocalist. Instead, he’s more like an avant-garde performing artist…… Actually, it’s probably more accurate to describe him as an avant-garde dancer. That’s the image I have of him.
There are many vocalists who unwittingly flirt with their audience. Of course, this isn’t possible unless there’s someone at the receiving end of it, though. There are all kinds of rock bands, and there’s a lot of difference between the way each vocalist carries themselves. Whether they’re flirtatious or not. It’s important to share the emotion but I don’t believe there’s such a thing in rock music where we ask [the audience] to “please listen” or “please sing along”. That may be a thing in other musical genres. But I have clear standards when it comes to this area.
There aren’t many vocalists who have an aesthetic sensibility in being unflirtatious. And because of that, ISSAY-kun is the cream of the crop in the rock genre. His stage presence, his choice of language, his lyrics; all of this make the sum of ISSAY-kun’s attractiveness.
―― It is indeed true that flirting [with the audience] in rock music is unseemly.
T: I’ve instructed ISSAY-kun against chatting on stage. ISSAY-kun is a good person. And his goodness comes through once he speaks (lol). We can’t show that. If people know that ISSAY-kun’s a nice person, even my own performance will become flirtatious to the audience (lol).
―― ISSAY-san’s an angel, isn’t he (lol).
T: We absolutely cannot let people know about that (lol). Ultimately, I want him to exude the presence of a scary, aloof person for KA.F.KA’s performances.
―― KA.F.KA’s worldview also comes through in the lyrics but the music comes first, then ISSAY-san listens to it and writes the lyrics for it, right?
I: That’s right.
―― What were your thoughts when Tsuchiya-san handed the music to you?
I: The worldview is very well thought out. That was my impression. But honestly, the very first thing that came to mind when I heard it was how complicated and bizarre it was. All parts were necessary no matter what angle you consider them from. The chord progression, the melody line, all of them appeared to be necessary. But the feeling of the guitar and all that, they were so unconventional and complex. Like, ah… I’m supposed to write lyrics for this song…… (lol).
―― Do you mean it was difficult?
I: No, because the worldview was concrete. I first listened, then grasped it with my own image of it, and after that went to check whether there were any keywords or anything like that via email, then did I come to understand what Tsuchiya-san intended through a word or two. I was able to get into the music’s world easily.
―― Is it different than when you’re writing lyrics for your own band?
I: I’ve never made that comparison, but when I’m writing lyrics, I have to make my way through a dark tunnel once. The tunnel for KA.F.KA’s lyrics has a deep darkness to it but I get through it unusually fast, so it’s short. That’s what it feels like.
T: My concept is to be “difficult to comprehend”. That’s what makes it different from my solo album. When it comes to my solo work, it’s musically kind to my listeners but that shouldn’t be the case for KA.F.KA. That’s the very thing I asked ISSAY-kun to pay attention to. His good nature has a tendency to show in his lyrics after all, and we can’t let that happen.
I: That, I’ve been told quite sternly (lol).
―― Don’t flirt with the audience, make it hard to understand.
T: But because of this, the universe of the songs also get to grow through the listeners’ imagination. I was surprised when I received the lyrics to Coyote. It got me thinking, “Oh, this is it!” And, just as expected, Coyote is well received. As to what brought about this response, I’m inclined to believe it’s the lyrics.
Be it film or music, all of it is actually an art of memory. The key to it is the amount of memories the performer has made and how much they have experienced. The more original the performer can be with their unique and strange experiences that only they have ever had, the better. In Coyote, it’s enjoyable if both the listeners and the composer possess memories of similar experiences, and even if that isn’t the case, the [audience’s] relationship with the song begins if they think it’s a circus song.
How moved you are [by the song] increases if it’s linked to a memory. That’s my ideal. And it’s the one thing I won’t compromise on.
―― Is the band’s name is inspired by Franz Kafka?
T: Precisely so.
―― Please tell me more about the album’s title.
T: After forming KA.F.KA, we held 3 shows in the form of an event which we called Fantome † Noir, meaning phantom of darkness⁴. It can’t be done with a person who doesn’t live in darkness. It’s not feasible with someone who’s cheerful and energetic or someone who comes alive in the summer.
―― So, what you want is to illustrate the world of those who belong in darkness when it comes to KA.F.KA.
T: That’s my theme too. I like rainy days more than sunny days. I’d rather a dimly lit room than a brightly lit one. Instead of standing up, I’ll sit on the floor, hugging my knees. Those are the clear ideals I have.
Back to the topic of the album title, I already had in mind to name the album《Fantome † Noir》since the event started.
I really don’t want to make an album in a rush when it comes to leaving something behind as a legacy. And that’s why there was no going around and asking “What should the title be?” or “What should the cover look like?” at all. Because I’ve been spending a long time asking myself questions to come up with the concept. So all of it had already taken shape when the time comes.
―― Does ISSAY-san like Franz Kafka?
I: I read his work when I was in high school. Actually, there’s a song Kafka from Tsuchiya-san’s solo album RICE MUSIC, and I’ve once done a reading of Kafka’s Metamorphosis on stage with that song in the background. So while we were talking about these topics, I started discussing Metamorphosis with Tsuchiya-san and it suddenly drew out the very feeling that I got when I first read it, like, “It’s like this, right?!” I was surprised. That made my spine tingle.
―― That was the feeling of being understood, right?
I: Yes. It made me realise that there’s a house in my heart, and there was, surprisingly, a door in such a place. And this wasn’t pointed out to me in the, “It’s there, isn’t it?” way. It was more like a feeling of being given something to think about and as I thought about it, I noticed the door’s existence. And that I’ve opened that door before in the past. That’s how I’ve been feeling this whole time ever since KA.F.KA began.
―― You’re not adding something new, but rather, you’re recalling a long-forgotten thing that exists within you. This is connected to the concept that art is based on your memories, right?
I: A door I’ve forgotten. And there’s also a door within me that I wasn’t aware of. I came to realise it with a, “Ah, so something like this exists in such an area.”
T: That’s right. ISSAY-kun is without a doubt an exceptionally rare person. His interests also lie in strange places. But it wasn’t my intention to draw anything out from within him. All we did was have a regular conversation and something like that happened. Isn’t it fascinating? It’d be ideal if one could make something with that and turn it into a profession. A profession is a calling, work that lives. That’s why it’s not about putting up with something for the sake of doing what you want; that would make it a job. If you consider this from a Western perspective, it’d be called ego though. I really love the phrase, “This is what I was made to do.⁵”
An occupation is something you say you are, right? It’s especially the case for musicians and all too. That’s why I’m thinking that someday, I want to write “poet” in my occupational field.
I: That’s so cool. I wanna write that too.
T: You’d just want to, right?
―― How wonderful it is that the both of you met. It’s as if it happened because you were meant to come together.
T: I strongly feel that. When I started making music, I had my period fo popularity and saleability too, but the seniors i met at the time said to me, “The real fun comes much, much later.” They also said, “When it’s time to die, it’ll happen in an instant so it’s okay.”
T: They were pretty easy going about that. And that was what I was told about 30 years ago. I noticed that meeting someone isn’t something that suddenly happens out of nowhere; it’s something that was years in the making.
Recently, I met Chuya-kun from the band Allergy for the first time, I felt the same way with him too. He’s been working with someone I’m very close to for a long time. The person who inspired me to become a musician had recorded with Chuya-kun before. Of course. I did know about the band Allergy since the 1980s, but I was surprised when I watched them perform for the first time after they reformed. They were just too cool. It’s like I witnessed first-hand someone who performs with the same awareness as us. ‘This is no ordinary person’, I thought, ‘I should talk to him’, and when I did, ‘I knew it’. He’s very similar to ISSAY-kun too.
―― You’ll meet the people you’re meant to meet. And when that happens, you’ll be able to portray what you’re meant to portray.
T: It’s also important not to resist things and to let things go.
―― This is inspiring.
T: That’s what it is, right? Life. Because people are living things. Other people won’t know what makes a person happy. I did wonder before why do lazy people exist, but that’s precisely a case of what I just said.
―― There’s more to life than just living, right?
T: But [the answer to that] isn’t quite ‘the future’. I’m not optimistic about the future.
―― Are you saying that you’re not optimistic about what society will be like in the future?
T: That’s right. But society itself is a personalised thing, so if someone is under the impression that it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t exist.
The existence of people implies that there’s a universe that exists within each one of us and the moment the universe inhabits the body is the moment when the person is acknowledged by the universe. This appears to be similar to puberty. The awakening of the mind in that period is very similar to it. This is apparently when one’s personal values are determined. I believe it is during this period when the unnoticed door is formed. And that’s why boys and girls have a hard time when they enter puberty. Everyone has a door. But if you think you don’t have it, you don’t. If you think you do have it, you do. It makes me feel better to think this way.
I: Things will be quite tough until you arrive at this perspective.
T: That’s the kind of song The Prisoner is. And in the end, both the perpetrator and the victim are 15 years old. If an incident like this happens, if this song turns into reality, I’d be shocked though.
Joy Division and The Doors
―― Is there some basis behind the idea to form such a band?
T: As I said before, it’s the desire to leave something behind. Also, Joy Division’s a big part of it, right? I absolutely loved their 1978 release, Unknown Pleasures back when it first went on sale, but personally, I somehow feel that what we now call post-punk was still in its adolescence at that point in time, so I enjoyed it without truly understanding what it was. No, rather, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I only understood it from a technical perspective. Time went by before I finally realised, “Ah, so that’s what it’s about.”
In the end, it took me about 30 years [to get to that point]. 30 years is the equivalent of one cycle. In my case, it’s coming around for the second time. In my youth, I had my first adolescence, then I turned 30 and that was when I experienced another adolescence since becoming an adult, and now, another 30 years have passed and I’m once again gaining the ability to look at it all objectively.
Back then, I couldn’t explain what it was to others and more than that, I’ve come to understand that I overlooked the most important parts of it. Don’t you think this happens a lot? People who realise this probably get to live happy lives. Of course, even if you don’t realise it, it’s alright. Because it’s that person’s life to live. But it’s fun to find out.
―― So Joy Division is what started it.
T: That’s right. I realised it after discovering them once again. One day, I took their CD out of my cabinet for no particular reason to listen to them and found myself astounded. Listening to them now, their playing sounds exceptionally crude from a technical standpoint but that wasn’t what got me.
It was the question of why they decided to make something like this at such a time. And they weren’t the only ones, this was happening on a global scale back then. Something was changing and we could move towards it. People who saw things as they were held that belief. But I don’t have any proof of that. Which is what makes it cool.
That’s what we’re lacking the most these days, right? If you’re asking me whether people can be moved by blind faith or unquestioning conviction, I think they no longer can be. That’s the reason why things are no longer interesting.
The beginning of the 20th century, the 1910s were interesting. That was the age of German Expressionism. People came to think that it’s beautiful to destroy whatever came before. But there’s no proof at all that it’s truly the case. But it got to a point where they decided to destroy what they’ve created since it’s right in front of them. Then they questioned how they should destroy things. Which led to the pursuit of the beauty of destruction.
When punk came to an end, a mountain of things that had been broken was left before us and we found ourselves wondering how we were supposed to rebuild it all. We stood upon a mountain of rubble. We had Surrealism and Dadaism as our foundations. So, how do we rebuild it?
There is an appeal in that. How we chose to build differed from band to band. Among them, it was YMO who brought in technology.
Where do we go after Dadaism? It required a lot of energy for us to build the roads into the future too.
It couldn’t have been done unless you were driven. If you weren’t standing at the precipice, you wouldn’t have the energy for it. You wouldn’t even have enough to tell yourself, “I’m going to do my best.” Flailing and struggling in the sweeping trends, you’ll push to your very limits and there, you start to wonder, is there something I can do…… That is the point of time when a mysterious energy rises up.
But you must first tear things down. Because the lovely thing about humans is how they won’t understand unless they get to see first-hand the state of destruction.
―― Does this mean that Tsuchiya-san doesn’t align with Dadaism?
T: I do, after destruction. But that’s contemporary history or contemporary art that’s yet to be established. We haven’t arrived at its conclusion yet.
Joy Division and Factory Records were born out of Manchester, where the Industrial Revolution occurred. Therein lies a big hint. And as to what comes next, think about it yourself. It’s most definitely no coincidence.
What happened in Germany also happened in due course of history.
―― I see. I’m starting to understand why you named the band KA.F.KA.
T: It’s a courtesy, isn’t it? It’s a flow with proper etiquette. What’s important isn’t that the style of expression is new. If you have Shakespeare in your foundation, what you say will for some reason come across as beautiful even if you’re saying something harsh in your words. There’s not much point in being straight-up aggressive, neither is it attractive. Kafka wrote, “Our salvation is death, but not this one.”⁶ It’s brilliant, isn’t it? What does “this” refer to?
―― Right (lol).
T: Because a universe exists within each one of us. And in the end, that’s what it comes down to.
Our salvation is death. But what “this” refers to differs. That’s why we’re alive.
Kafka is just brilliant.
―― Like the eternally unobtainable in The Castle. But that’s why it’s good, right?
T: That’s right. Ultimately, where is the destination? You might have already gone past it.
There are those who say that the terminus for civilised society was 50 or 60 years ago. When we achieved a good balance. But after that, we’ve just been carrying out wasteful activities. There are also those who say that it all ended after the atomic bomb was created. That we’re just making things we don’t need.
―― Where does music stand in this?
T: This is the reason why music is important. Because it has to be made with care. To use it for the sole purpose of making money out of it is blasphemy. That’s not what music is.
―― I’d like to ask you about understanding people. For example, Miyazawa Kenji for years polished the story of Night on the Galactic Railroad⁷ while rewriting it for years, and in the end, he passed away without it ever being released to the world so what we’re now reading is the incomplete manuscript he held onto the whole time. Naturally, it was never read by anyone before his death. Not only that story, but all of Miyazawa Kenji’s works and his genius wasn’t understood in his lifetime.
T: This is because, the greater the excellence of a work, the longer it will take to understand it. But I think Miyazawa Kenji was very happy when he wrote Night on the Galactic Railroad. Because he created such a work of art. However, the level of those around him was too low for them to understand him sufficiently. And that is the misfortune of those who were not Miyazawa Kenji.
Van Gogh was put in the same situation. His wonderful works of art weren’t understood when he was alive. But I believe he spent an immense amount of energy painting those works, and he must’ve been absolutely thrilled with them. He must have been at the height of joy when he completed his paintings. Be it Miyazawa Kenji or Van Gogh, they were only understood by a few people like their siblings in their lives.
But now, Van Gogh’s paintings go for billions of yen. Something is fundamentally wrong. And that is the sad reality of our present era. You’re celebrated if you sell so many copies [of music] that it becomes a trending song, or if you generate lots of sales. But there’s probably nothing we can do about it because it’s a system that’s created in line with the society we live in.
―― KA.F.KA’s an amazing band. When the time came, Tsuchiya-san made your move and ISSAY-san joined in to create such great music.
T: It might be amazing to people like us, but I’d suppose society would consider this as no big deal. But we’re Miyazawa Kenji in this case, so that’s fine anyway (lol).
―― I see (lol).
T: I don’t expect what we’re making to be that easily understandable. Because even for me, I took 30 years to understand Joy Division.
―― ISSAY-san likes Joy Division too, right?
T: There aren’t many who can listen and feel Joy Division above a certain level. In ISSAY-kun’s case, I believe The Doors came existed before [Joy Division]. He has a good sense of etiquette.
I went to see the Dolly project that ISSAY-kun is working on and there, I watched him perform Kurt Weill’s Alabama Song from Bertolt Brecht’s play, The Threepenny Opera. I have never seen a performance that did Kurt Weill’s song justice. The version he performed was The Doors’. And that he performed it quietly in a blue room was great. [He made it] a place where revered art is born.
Now, The Threepenny Opera is recognised for its outstanding artistry, but when it first premiered, it was thought to be a very strange thing. Probably because it looked like a miscreation in theatre.
Joy Division’s Ian Curtis admired David Bowie and was said to have become the kind of singer that he was. And as to why David Bowie was thought to be attractive, it’s because The Doors existed. Like Hayakawa Yoshio’s album, To Think Being Cool Is This Uncool (かっこいいことはなんてかっこ悪いんだろう / Kakkoii Koto wa Nante Kakko Waruindarou), that’s exactly what The Doors have achieved.
As a band, The Doors existed in the era when all the different facets of rock music were being established so in other words, they were thoroughly worn out. As a rock band, they gave off such a fatigued feeling, it really was Hayakawa Yoshio’s To Think Being Cool Is This Uncool. But that’s a good thing.
This To Think Being Cool Is This Uncool also applies to Joy Division. If we show a DVD of their concert footage to young ladies who don’t understand rock music, I think 100 out of 100 of them will say that Ian Curtis is gross and that will be the end of it (lol). But that’s a natural reaction. How could they understand? It’s not something that is easily understood.
Both The Doors and Joy Division truly gave their all in what they did. But it was crude. They were all out crude. But they had the courage to continue fighting in that state, and that’s what rock music is to me. It’s not something that’s smart or achieved by fixing the sounds with a computer.
It doesn’t matter to me if people call [us] gross and leave it at that. I’m not even that interested in getting people to understand us. As to why, it’s simply because we’re all different.
I’m categorised as part of the Beatles generation but this is no joke. When I was in middle school, there were only one or two people talking about the Beatles in school. And yet, now, those who were kids when the band came to Japan to perform are calling themselves the Beatles generation, and those who get called that think they are in this group too.
―― Was Tsuchiya-san listening to the Beatles in middle school?
T: I lived in the suburbs, but I was lucky in the sense that my older sister was exchanging letters with an American for her English language studies and her pen pal sent us Meet The Beatles!. That’s why I started listening to them very early on. Their harmonies were the very first thing that struck me. And that was when my musical journey began.
―― Where did ISSAY-san’s musical journey begin?
I: For me, I was rowdy as rowdy could be when I was young, so there was no time for music. But I was introduced to David Bowie and T. Rex and Sex Pistols, and that was when I started to listen actively. It felt like music said “Yes” to me.
T: Where from did you get this present disposition of yours? These exceptionally gentlemanly aspects and the like.
I: Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
T: Maybe family lineage. Were your ancestors perchance samurai?
I: Yes, I do have samurai ancestry.
T: They must’ve been rowdy yet classy people as well (lol). I was born in Fuji-shi, and he, in Numazu. We’re both from Shizuoka.
I: When I was a teenager, I was so rowdy that I wasn’t allowed to stay in that city (lol).
―― Well then, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours (lol).
KA.F.KA will be performing!
WORLD HAPPINESS 2015
23 August 2015 (Sun)
Doors open 11:00 / Show starts 12:30 (Performance scheduled to end 20:00)
Yumenoshima Athletic Stadium, Tokyo
《Fantome † Noir》
Mazzy Bunny Records
2000 yen (excl. tax)
- Jack The Midnight
- The Prisoner
- 夜明け前 ~Before the Dawn~ [Yoake Mae ~Before the Dawn~]
- Labiera Beladen
- Silent Party
¹ Luna Sea’s vocalist.
² Kaneko Mari is a singer whose career began in the 1970s and took off with Smoky Medicine, the band she formed with Char. Her two sons are KenKen and Kaneko Nobuaki of RIZE.
³ Ueno Kouji was the bassist of THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT. He’s currently in the band the HIATUS.
⁴ 暗闇の怪人 (kurayami no kaijin) is the actual phrase used, rather different from the direct translation of Fantome Noir, i.e. black ghost. The reason why I went with “phantom” for 怪人 is actually because Phantom of the Opera in Japanese also uses 怪人 in its title (オペラ座の怪人 / Opera-za no Kaijin).
⁵ This might not be the most accurate translation of “それを生業とする” but I think it most closely conveys what Tsuchiya is talking about here. A more literal translation of this phrase is, “This is what I do for a living.”
⁶ I think that’s the quote he’s referring to. If it’s wrong, please let me know.
The line in Japanese reads: 死は確かに救いだ。ただ君が考えているそれとは違う。
⁷ 銀河鉄道の夜 (Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru), sometimes translated as Milky Way Railroad, Night Train to the Stars or Fantasy Railroad in the Stars, is a classic Japanese fantasy novel by Miyazawa Kenji written around 1927.