To be honest, there were certain moments, while recording soundscapes, when I myself didn’t know what to record. When I arrived in Osaka, a city of business and trades where the people are stereotypically not as polite as the people in Tokyo, I was perplexed. I stayed near Umeda Station. This city was a large city to be explored soundscape wise. I had already travelled around Dotonburi, Namba, Umeda, and other areas of the city, but it seems that I was not able to focus on my work.
After a few days of slow progress, I decided to visit the Osaka Expo Park, which in 1970 was the venue of the grand World Expo. I had never been there and wanted to witness first-hand the statue created by Taro Okamoto himself, Tower of Sun. Aside from that, I also wanted to visit the museum of Ethnology, in hopes to regain focus or at least refresh my mind. Long story short, I took a bus to go to the Expo. It was Golden Week, which was a 10 day holiday in commemoration of the succession of the Japanese Emperor. I was very fortunate to be in Japan in that exact moment. However, this long holiday made the tourist spots to be crowded beyond imagination. Everyone had to fight for themselves. Even the bus I was on was filled to the brim. Due to that fact, I missed my stop and ended up at the Suita Panasonic Stadium, the headquarters for the Gamba Osaka. It was pure coincidence, because I was not aware that the home of Gamba Osaka was located outside of the Expo City area. My destination was the Expo City, and not the stadium. In the past, some television channels in Indonesia aired the Japanese league, so the name Gamba Osaka was quite familiar to my ears.
This disaster turned to a blessing. That day, May 4th, Gamba Osaka was playing the Tokyo FC. When I stepped out of the bus, my eyes immediately turned to the crowd of supporters heading towards the stadium. It was around two in the afternoon, and the game has not started yet. I then went to the front of the stadium, and I suddenly felt excited to see the fanatic supporters. Almost all of them wore a black and blue shirt, the colour of Gamba Osaka. The supporters consisted of children, teenagers, young adults, and even senior citizens.
Around three o’clock, a fantastic moment occurred. Thousands of fans gathered around the stadium. One supporter, using a megaphone, led them to sing the team chants. Not wanting to miss this moment, I quickly set up my equipment to record the whole thing. Although I was not able to get a perfect spot to record the moment, I still felt very fortunate to be able to record a part of this event. The supporters were all singing with passion. I always thought that a mass coordination was an amazing thing. A bass drum, which had a sound similar to kettledrum, was played to shake the hearts of everyone there, and it was played along with the clap of everyone there. I felt happy to hear the supporters singing with full excitement. The leader of this chant also sang along with all his might. Curiously, I was able to feel the strong fire of Japan through the chants of the supporters. It was very firm and strong.