I wish I had a typical day to talk about but
every day in Tokyo seems to be like no other and I never know what strange things will
happen along to guide my day. I' lived in Japan for a third of my life now and I still
haven't figured out what I'm supposed to be doing here other than what I end up doing, if
you know what I mean.
I work into the early
morning with music and writing or whatever, so I often go to bed when many folk are
getting up, so most of my day happens at night. I like to get up between 10 and 11. I try
not to have any appointments in the morning as this is my private time when I come to
terms with myself.
I meditate and think about my life, how I'm
living and who I am. I need this time to be concerned not only with myself, because as
soon as I step outdoors for appointments or meetings my life is taken over by other
Of course, being a Rastaman with dreadlocks
is bound to attract attention in Japan, but over the years I've learned to live with all
the stares I get in the trains and on the streets. Even other foreigners find me a little
exotic. I do a regular little TV slot on Tuesday nights just before a top-rated program
comes on, so recently my face is becoming more known around town and often people come
over to me in public and ask if I'm Izaba.
Right now, I'm going in a new music
direction as a dub poet. Dub poetry is pretty big in England now, but I'm doing it in the
East, hoping to spread my ideas globally. I think the time is over for national ideas and
my work tries to put a lot of things into a global context. My way of life as a Rastaman
also revolves around eating natural foods and avoiding meat.
I usually buy my vegetables from an old
lady with a pushcart who brings stuff in from the country. I like listening to the sounds
of the vendors selling things like bamboo poles or hot potatoes. I hope one day to
incorporate these street cries into some of my music.
Before, I used to be out most nights at the
music clubs and parties. But now I rarely drink and I only go out for music if there's a
special live event. If I'm not recording music late at night, I'd rather be snug in my
pad, doing my thing, like reading or thinking. I live about three days a week deep in the
Chiba countryside by the coast. That's where I really come alive, surrounded by nature
after being buried in Tokyo concrete. I love the sound of the birds and the wind and
somehow it feels like the real Japan. I guess Tokyo and Japan are two different places,
but as an artist I need both to balance myself.
Izaba spoke to Mike Jacobs
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