Simple reminder. by Sarah Kakusho

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
— Ira Glass

stand alone by Sarah Kakusho

Everyday, I fight a war
A battle between myself and a better me
I stand locked
Behind a mask that shields emotion
In this arena of fallen words n' lost promises
In the day I stand firm,
By night, I fall
You wear a mask for so long
You forget who you were behind it
And amid this battlefield
I can only stand alone

Drowning. by Sarah Kakusho

Can't help but combine the lyrical nature of piano/strings and the power of heavy metal drumming. A reflection of a clash-on-loop that seems to be at the very root of my existence.


Day 03: The Long Road, Lost in Translation by Sarah Kakusho

It's been three days since I started my loosely planned, yet less than spontaneous trip to Taiwan. As with the other countries I have travelled to, Taiwan has some things I've yet to experience. One of which mentioning is the abundance of scooters on the road. Just today, on the way to the Taitung station there was a parking lot dedicated to just scooters and for cars, probably only a quarter of that.

Visiting Green Island and staying in a very interesting and slightly unconventional guesthouse, I was able to get a hold of one of these infamous scooters and experience riding them around the 18km road around the island. One day, I would like to get one myself and ride around in it... if I ever decided to live in Asia, that is.

Perhaps, one of the more obvious wow moments I've had was the food. Now, we all know and have probably come to love the American Chinese food. Walking around the Shilin Night Market a couple of nights ago, I was able to see a range of food out for sale, from eye-catching goodness to possible PETA-enraging goodness. Hanging roasted ducks are one example. In the small villages on Green Island, some restaurants keep their deer out in front of their restaurants. Oh deer, oh dear. Another note on food, one cannot escape the smell of stinky tofu and msg. Mmmmmmmm...

The climate here is no joke. If I were to compare it to anywhere I've been to before, I would say it would come closest to Florida weather: humid and hot, with spontaneous wars between minutes of rain and sunshine. Walking around Taipei in this weather definitely serves as a great challenge to anyone who's used to everyday good weather, like in sunny Orange County. It was definitely a great reminder of my childhood summers.

But might I say, the view, especially on Green Island, is a spectacle during anytime of the day. Every moment is a picture moment.

Differences aside, public bathrooms still are traumatizing, especially if you're coming from experiencing bathrooms in Japan where you know they are well-stocked and clean. I could right a whole entry on this, but I'll spare the details.

Spending my first three days getting a taste of Taipei and then going up to the campus of Chinese Cultural University to see the night lights of the city, to taking the 5-hour train to Taitung, to getting on a ferry to Green Island and back, I'm now waiting to board the overnight train back to the city, where more adventure awaits. Let's see how far not knowing Chinese will get me.

Till then, zaijian!
- musings of an aspiring filmmaker

the brooding artist. by Sarah Kakusho

Lately, I've been at war between my priorities, creativity, sanity.  My realities have clashed with my world of creativity, a world where I stood third-person to all the things around me.  The social state of being in my twenties have proven to be difficult for me in upholding my detachment from society, something I was able to keep in check all during my post-pubescent life.  After a time of hiatus and tasting what it meant to have a social life, it's hard to return to that state of detachment, that inner peace and motivation to create outside of the box from that comes from the heart.  

I dropped out of that scene and got comfortable with reality.  But, being far more exposed to the realities around me, I've never felt so insecure and alone, so uncomfortable, even though I'm surrounded by many people.

So I let my alter-ego cover me, whom I'll lovingly call "Q".  She keeps reality busy while I go search for myself again, my lost and distant self.  She keeps the day job going and the logistics of my life running, keeping it real and raw, while I search for my creativity.  However, my alter-ego is a badass, and prefer to let reality crash into me.

At times, I find myself so motivated to write, compose, film, and yet the realities hold me back.  

I'm stuck.  

I'm stuck, and it hurts.  An emotional hurt that comes from being unable to express what needs to come out, unable to tap into myself to accomplish the things that I want to get done to free myself from loneliness.  And so I remain a wallflower.  I remain nameless.  I remain insignificant.  I remain alone, unable to unlock the key to my own heart.

As the brooding artist cliche,
-- Musings of an Aspiring FIlmmaker

Cosmos Family song in the making by Sarah Kakusho

「コスモスFamily」 一年間ピアノなしで作曲してたけど、やっと楽に弾ける。

“Cosmos Family”  I’ve spent one year composing music without a piano, but finally I can compose in peace. v=_=v yay


A Beautiful Truth quote by Sarah Kakusho

“For each of us eventually whether we are ready or not, someday it will come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.  All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.  Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance; it will not matter what you owned or owed.  Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.  So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.  It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end.  It won’t matter if you were beautiful or brilliant.  Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. 
So what will matter? 
How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built.  Not what you got, but what you gave. 
What will matter is not your success, but your significance. 
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. 
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example. 
What will matter is not your competence, but your character. 
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone. 
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you. 
A life lived that matters, is not of circumstance, but of choice.”

A Beautiful Truth, a docmentary on a cross-country road trip to investigate The Gerson Therapy

10 Years of KshKnxnStudio(作曲) by Sarah Kakusho

As I’m compiling all of my musical pieces and compositions into one folder on my desktop for the CD I’m putting together for archiving early next year, the current number I have is 30 completed pieces. I have about 10 more in the making/remastering. Wow. November is here. I still have two months before 2012 to complete all outlying projects, so that I can redo my site and all that good stuff for 10 Years of KshKnxnStudio. w00t w00t


Peace Forever live by Sarah Kakusho

Nearly 10 Years Ago — ほぼ10年前のこと 

While cleaning out my computer, I found this recording of a gig I did as a band at one of the tri-area meetings at the Florida Nature and Culture Center (FNCC).  We played a song called “Peace Forever” in front of an audience of nearly 1000 people.  I wasn’t the best of players, but when we played together we played with heart and that’s all that we had going for us.  The biggest thrill of my life.

パソコンの整理をしてたら、ほぼ10年前の創価学会の会合で演奏した曲のレコーディング。千人の前で「Peace Forever」という曲だった。自分は「プロ」でもいえるぐらいのレベルじゃなかったけど、みんなと合わせたら心の底から演奏した。たぶん自分にとってこれは人生の中で一番の思い出になった演奏だと思う。

Guitar & Vocal: TK — Bass: Kurt — Drums: Kana — Keyboard: Kusho — Violin: Erica — Viola: Jade — Flute: Jenna

by Sarah Kakusho

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
Steve Jobs

Pay Attention to Nonviolence by Sarah Kakusho

Violent resistance and non-violent resistance share one very important thing in common: they’re both a form of theater, seeking an audience to their cause. If violent actors are the only ones constantly getting front-page cover and attracting international attention […] it becomes very hard for non-violent leaders to make the case to their communities that civil disobedience is a viable option in addressing their plight.
Julia Bacha: Pay attention to nonviolence

by Sarah Kakusho

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
—  Steve Jobs

by Sarah Kakusho

People always have many different roles to play. The crucial thing is to be determined to make a wholehearted effort in everything and be fully engaged in what we are doing at any given moment. The secret to successfully fulfilling a variety of roles is to concentrate fully on the task at hand and give it our best effort with enthusiasm, maintaining a positive, forward-looking attitude and not worrying.

頭の中の穴 — the hole in my head by Sarah Kakusho

My mind is tired of thinking, so much so it’s burning a hole through my head. I don’t know what language comes out of my mouth anymore… As a result, it’s been difficult trying to get anything done on the creativity scope of my life. Life in Japan has become far greater than my expectations. Being in a new environment is refreshing, but along with that comes the stress of having to adapt to a different language. And the mere stress of constantly thinking about how to say what I want to express next keeps my head working far more than it has ever done (even after studying in Argentina).

In moments like these, I sometimes wonder to myself what I’m doing here. For what reason am I here, putting myself through this? And it’s moments like these, I tell myself to look back on my purpose, my foundation. And it’s at this very moment, as I’m compelled to look at my statement of purpose for Bekka to fix myself of this unnecessary stress, that I grow fearful. Will I still believe that this is my purpose? Will I still be as passionate as I was when I wrote out my purpose for being here?

2 months of living here and talking with the people who attend SUJ, my mind has been working out other agendas for the future in my head. And still I feel unable to seek out the very purpose that brought me here, leaving a growing, gaping hole in my head. And until I overcome this, nothing may come of me. The question I must ask myself this very moment:

How badly do I want to achieve it?


- Musings of an Aspiring Filmmaker

精神的にやばい。 by Sarah Kakusho

Although nothing has begun, although nothing has happened, my mind remains heavy. A month’s worth of rest and relaxation has left me unproductive in any serious film endeavor and filled with all too many worries for the upcoming school year. Japan has somehow left me estranged from everyone around me and moreover from myself. I’m suddenly unsure of all my words and actions and no longer do I feel myself. Who the fuck am I.

Without a sense of self, I cannot create what I want to create. I can no longer express what I want to express. I can no longer feel what I want to feel. Though clear with purpose, there’s a block in my mind that keeps me from advancing. I can’t help but feel stuck and so alone, even though there are many people around. I only hope my smiles and laughter will hold out as long as it takes to get my act together. Classes begin in a week. I need to fix myself.

where it began. by Sarah Kakusho


A week in Japan, getting accustomed to the lifestyle here has been an interesting adventure so far.  There is a culture outside of what is portrayed in Japan’s entertainment industry.  Every adventure begins with a starting point, and I guess mine would start around this time last year.  The following is an experience I shared at my last Rock the Era meeting, a very abridged version of how my story in Japan begins.  Love to everyone back home.

Read More

chapter’s end. a new beginning. by Sarah Kakusho

Less than 12 hours before my departure, it’s hard to believe how fast life after SUA, or rather, life after years of receiving formal education in institutions is. I guess I would be inclined to feel that way; 16 (17, if you include kindergarten) years of education, every few years changing the environment here and there, would make us yearn the life we dubbed the “real world.”

Life after graduation instantly became a faith-based summer, while spending 9 months as a working class citizen, working an 8-hour day plus added overtime on nights and weekends. Both these self-identifying events in my life truly shifted my perspective to see the things I value: 1) Efficiency, 2) Ingenuity, 3) Patience, 4) Compassion, 5) Justice… and so on. Details aside, there’s still so much to learn.

In the midst of all of this uncertainty in the world, learning is the one thing I can do to help benefit the future. To learn what suffering is, to learn what joy is, to learn what I can do for someone, to learn what it means to touch someone’s heart. These are the things we said we couldn’t learn in school because some things just can’t be taught. But, it’s these things we come across that we find we yearn the most and it isn’t until we KNOW the “real world” that we can realize them.

Life after SUA came work and now I return to education, more determined than ever to quench my thirst for learning. Maybe during these past 17 years of the 23 years of my existence, I didn’t do enough as a student. Perhaps, I could’ve studied more on that one test, or maybe I shouldn’t have settled for that A- and turned in my homework on time. Maybe I could’ve asked more questions or read into the readings more deeply.

Using these regrets as the stepping stone to fully engage myself as a student again, I finish the short-lived, but equally important chapter I was living and open the book of my life to a new one as I begin life at Bekka. And this time, the “real world” is coming with me.

En route to Japan.
-Musings of an Aspiring Filmmaker