GACKT’s Real Age Confirmed

I had an unusual amount of time today due to a schedule change, so I translated this article from Mainichi Shinbun about the press conference for the stage adaptation of “Nemuri Kyoushirou Burai Hikae” where it was confirmed that GACKT’s real age is 36 years old.  There are some parts I’m not sure of, those I put in italics. I estimate this translation’s accuracy to be at least ninety percent.

Interestingly, if I understood this correctly, GACKT didn’t mean to carry on with the vampire biography, it was a bit of an accident.  If I did understand that correctly…well, I find it hard to believe. ^o^  Anyway, here’s the link to the original Japanese article, and my translation. (EDIT: After watching this video of the press conference, I can confirm that GACKT said the 1540 birth year was meant as a joke.)


At a press conference on the fifth [of November] at SHIBUYA A-AX in Tokyo’s Shibuya district for the stage production of “Nemuri Kyoushirou Burai Hikae”, based on author Shibata Renzaburou’s swordsman novel from which came the master swordsman hero “Nemuri Kyoushirou” who will be played by GACKT, it was also announced that GACKT, whose age up till now had not been released to the public, will turn 37 years old next year.

The late Ichikawa Raizou, who had formerly played Nemuri Kyoushirou, died suddenly when he was thirty-seven.  When it was revealed in a video at the beginning of the press conference that next year GACKT would turn the same age Ichikawa had been at his death, there arose an anxious stir from all the fans in the hall. GACKT smiled wryly as he said, “It’s not that I didn’t release [my age], it just so happened that at a live show the MC said ‘[GACKT] was born in 1540’, and suddenly that ended up spreading all over the world. For the sake of appearances, it wouldn’t do to change from ‘age unknown.'”

“Nemuri Kyoushirou” is the protagonist of “Nemuri Kyoushirou Burai Hikae,” a period novel that began serialization in 1956 in “Weekly Shinchou.” The 1963 movie version with Ichikawa in the lead role as the nihilist swordsman hero with mastery over the 無双円月殺法 {Peerless Full Moon Killing Technique???} was a big hit.

Asides from this stage production, GACKT plans to act as and give expression to Nemuri Kyoushirou in various media for his “NEMURI x GACKT PROJECT.” The stage production, which is the first part of the project, will begin next year on May 14th at the Tokyo Nissei Theater. There are plans for performances all over the country.  The draft and script will be handled by scriptwriter Koyama Kundo, who wrote the script for the movie “Okuribito” [English title: “Departures”].

“I’m grateful that I came across this character,” GACKT said.  “I read the original work. Because Nemuri Kyoushirou is a Half [half-Japanese] who tries to mimic the Japanese, he is full of nihilism and dandyism…I thought, this book is for me.” GACKT told the crowd that to prepare for his first leading stage role, he wanted to drop 5 kilograms [11 pounds] in addition to the 5 kilograms he’d already lost from this past summer’s tour.  “I want to play a swordsman [who is] like steel…you could get hurt just by touching him.” Showing such extraordinary desire, GACKT sent his fans the message, “Please look forward to the Nemuri Kyoushirou played by a GACKT who is completely different from the one you’ve known.”

–By 栗原拓郎 [There’s more than one possible pronunciation for this name, and without hiragana I don’t know which one it is.  All I can tell you is the author is a dude.]

November 5, 2009


GACKT, GACKT, GACKT…will you not be satisfied until your body can double as a medical student’s anatomy chart?  Are you trying to be able to see your liver, kidneys, lungs, and other internal organs? *Sigh*

In case it’s unclear, the actor who portrayed Nemuri in the 1960’s died back in 1969.  When I reread the sentence I realized it could be taken as “he suddenly died recently.”

Oh yeah, I didn’t translate “Burai Hikae” at all because I’m not sure how to take it and the English releases of Nemuri Kyoushirou movies have titles that are renamings (that is to say, not simple translations).  “Burai” means “villain” or “thug,” “hikae” means “restraint” or can be used in the sense of “chronicles” or “memoirs” in other compounds.  But I’m not sure it can be taken as “Villain Chronicles” or something like that.  Maybe I’d know if I’d heard of this series before, but oh well.

Honestly, if I’ve understood what I’ve read about this Nemuri Kyoushirou character, I can’t say I want to see GACKT playing him.  To say nothing of the rhetoric about what it “means” to be Japanese.  But maybe I should hold judgement until I’ve seen more Japanese sources about it.


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