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Captivated by the serial one-shot column “ ” / Part 7 Captivated by Fukudapero’s “Tunnel”

連続読み切りコラム『  』の虜/第7回  ふくだぺろ『トンネル』の虜

Captive of "Tunnel"


I'm in a tunnel right now. I don't know what kind of tunnel you imagine when you hear the word "tunnel," but my tunnel is small and blue. Your tunnel may be bigger than the Goddard Basen Tunnel, which cuts 57 km through the Swiss Alps, and may shine brighter than a spaceship from the future or Maitreya Buddha. It may not actually have any color. Maybe you named it a "tunnel" to describe a situation that you can't touch with your hands and can't get out of.

My little blue tunnel is tangible and has an address of XXXXX, Asahi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. I love the peeling sky blue paint, like an old man.

It's about five meters long, so if this were a house, with a single room and a bathroom and toilet, it would be a little cramped, and I couldn't live in it. This isn't selfish, it's just reality, after all, I have a wife and a daughter.

Prisoner of “Tunnel” 1


Every day at dusk, I bring my daughter here to listen to the voices. When I clear my body and mind, I can hear all kinds of voices. My daughter, not even a year old yet, is full of curiosity and listens along with me. If there's a difference, she responds. She's only just begun to be able to make sounds, and she loves using her stomach and throat to make sounds. I never respond. As is often the case in folk tales, if I turn around or respond, I won't be able to go home.

What is his wife doing? Of course she is with him. As the young couple with their baby in a stroller stand in a daze in the tunnel, the halogen lamps light up dimly. It is night.

At night, the voices rise up more clearly, like smoke. For me, who calls myself a poet by collecting voices and putting them into words, night should be the time when my eyes begin to shine with mystery and expectation, like an elementary school student who loves stag beetles, but I have to go home now. My daughter is crying.

Captive of “Tunnel” 2


A child who sprayed a big "←" on the wall of a tunnel and was unable to get out
A Chinese employee of Japan Post who prefers to be called a postman rather than a postman
A spider that lives in the Middle Eastern desert and has only six legs
- A wife who can't wait to open the roof of the supermarket's self-playing grand piano
- Gravity goes haywire and the lotus turns into vines
- A tax official in a magic suit

I tried lining them up. These are the voices I picked up here the other day. They were talking about themselves over and over again, using the same words and the same voices. This is what Monogatari is, the origin of stories, I thought when I got home and carefully pressed the voices in the bottle onto paper and stretched them out with a press. I felt happy that I had created another good piece of work.

Prisoner of “Tunnel” 3


What's strange is that the three of us are now standing in front of the tunnel and hearing the voices that I had bottled and taken home with me the other day. The voices of lotus flowers, spiders, children... Just as more apples grow from an apple tree even if you pick them, more voices are growing. The apples that grew on the same branch last year are different from the ones that grew this year, but I realized that all the voices growing in this tunnel are actually the same voices. The voices here are prisoners of this tunnel and can never leave.

I started to get worried. If I could hear the voice here, what would happen to the work I had just released? Could it have become a blank slate? It was a matter of life and death. I had to go home and check it out right away.

My daughter was crying. Her cries got louder, and she was gagging so much that I worried she might be hyperventilating. As I pushed the stroller in place of my wife, who couldn't even play the piano because of tendonitis from childcare, I suddenly felt that we might be one of the voices here. And that concern gradually became accompanied by the texture of a voice, breathing on our necks. The muscles in my shoulders stiffened, and I couldn't move another step. I desperately tried to stop my neck from spasming and trying to turn around. "We are not prisoners of the tunnel!" -- that's what I wanted to shout.


Pelo Fukuda
Born in Hyogo in 1982. Poet. There is a small, blue tunnel near his house. In 2012, he traveled the world with his wife, staying with local people instead of staying in hotels. He now lives in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, with his daughter. Based on an anthropological approach, he creates a world where technology and mythology are fused together.

Short story: "The Glove and the Baby," an adaptation of a Native American folktale http://bookshorts.jp/20150905t/
Video: A short film shot with a water drop lens, "〇" http://eau-film.com/
Translation: tsukao photo book "ALL L/Right" http://www.libroarte.jp/tsukao.html
Art: Scheduled to be exhibited at the "Konjaku Story" exhibition at the Shinshu Takato Museum of Art in Nagano Prefecture from July to September 2016. http://fukudapero.com/

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