On a cold day recently, I was walking past the streets of Yamagata, looking for a place to console my soul and fill my stomach. I had finished a full day of intensive work.
Yamagata is two and half hours train ride from Tokyo on the Shinkansen train. It is not a place which people would normally expect to be rich in the genesis of culture, high or pop. But I simply knew otherwise.
The internet has been here for 10 years, more or less. Yet people still have this funny idea that there are centers and peripheries. I have always revolted against the conventional thinking since my childhood, and I cannot really stand the misconception that you have to be in Tokyo, London, Paris, New York, and other "cultural centers" in order to lead an intellectually stimulating life. With the advent of the web, the tap for deep information is everywhere. The limits are inner, not outer.
The key is contagion. Once you get infected by a virus of passion, you can bring the vibe anywhere. The crucial point is in that first exposure.
As far as I have a very clear idea of what the manifestations of a true intellect and devoted artists are, I can go anywhere. I would be happy to live in a quiet corner, and have a feverish life culturally. The volcano that is inside me will be connected to the world through the broadband of senses. I and my close friends would be the center of the world.
I would like to be contagious, and get infected. Even if we are vehicles for memes, there is an infinitely rich life in it.