I fell in love with a guitar for the first time in my life on a beautiful summer day in 1999, as a friend of mine brought his electro-acoustic guitar to high school, a Jasmine. “It’s a Japanese brand”, he told me. I was fascinated to see how my friend’s fingers running on the guitar neck could produce such a wonderful sound. This impression would last forever in my mind. And on that exact day, I took this decision: one day, when I will have some cash, I will buy a Jasmine.
When I arrived in Japan, exactly 10 years ago, I had around 3000 euros in my pocket. Those were all the savings from my summer job, in preparation for a tough first university year with no scholarship and all the various fees (admission fees, tuition fees, etc.) we have the chance not to pay in France. On my first school day, my sempai told me with the infamous Engrish accent: “Please buy a pee-shee”. He kept telling me this every day, so I asked another friend what “pee-shee” meant. It actually meant PC in common English. A PC?? That was not on my expected expense list! And to think that I wanted to buy a guitar if I had some money left… I definitely can’t buy both… But my pushy sempai was leaving me no choice. Studies before leisure.
The following week, on the advice of a friend, I went to Ochanimizu, the guitar shop district in Japan. As I was wandering along the shops, I came face to face with a magnificent red guitar. She was a Takamine, Jasmine’s parent brand. Is it a sign of fate? I enter the shop. The price is definitely to high for the broken student I am, but still I ask to try her. The employee plugs her to an amp in an adjacent room, and I lay my fingers on her for the first time… And it blows my mind. In the frenziness of the moment, I forget everything. What was that I needed to buy again? My decision is taken. Anyway, I cannot live, hence study properly without a guitar to keep me company in my tiny dorm room. Since that day, my sempai stopped talking to me, but that’s ok. Cause since that day, people have passed by, but she’s always stayed with me, never betrayed me, in the happy and the sad times. She’s always been the first one to listen to my new songs and will forever be.
Does my friend know he changed my life on that summer day in 1999?