Tonegawa’s Speech [Kaiji]

I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram (this is nothing new) and I came across this meme.

I immediately thought about Tonegawa from Kaiji. So I rewatched his speeches and I really like this one.

Normally, those people would never wake up from their fantasy worlds. They live meaningless lives. They waste their precious days over nothing. No matter how old they get, they’ll continue to say, “My real life hasn’t started yet. The real me is still asleep, so that’s why my life is such garbage.” They continue to tell themselves that. And they age. Then die. And on their deathbeds, they will finally realize: the life they lived was the real thing. People don’t live provisional lives, nor do they die provisional deaths. That’s a simple fact! The problem… is whether they realize that simple fact.” – Yukio Tonegawa

Frankly, I felt called out. I often tell myself that I don’t belong here and that I wish I could teleport to another world. That I feel like an alien sometimes. I frequently think, “If only I could do this… If only I had this…”

Tonegawa’s speech makes a lot of sense to me. Whatever fantasy world I’m dreaming of, I need to wake up from it. I need to recognize that I am living my real life right now. It is a simple fact…

Let’s say you recognize that you’ve been wasting your life away. Then what?? Thinking is easy, but taking action is not.

17 thoughts on “Tonegawa’s Speech [Kaiji]

  1. I used to be like that too, and I think still am to an extent (I think we all are to an extent).

    The two things I try to tell myself now when I find myself thinking like that:

    1. If you start now, then in 2 years you’ll be saying “I’m glad I started doing this back then” instead of “If only I had started doing this, then by now I’d be…”

    2. Learning and practice are all about baby steps.
    The 1st time you do something will always be worse than the 10th time, which will always be worse than the 100th time, which will always be worse than the 1000th time, et cetera. Whether it’s playing an instrument, or singing, or writing, or getting stronger, or learning a language, or whatever. If it takes practice, this saying holds true .

    Often we give up on things because we don’t see results fast enough, because they aren’t as noticeable over a short span of time. Have to just remind yourself that even if you don’t see a difference now, you definitely will if you keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I also think that most of us, if not all, are like this to an extent.

      Those are some wise words… I’ll have to remember them and keep them in mind for the future! I feel like a lot of times when we give up, it’s also because we compare ourselves to others. Ah… I guess being impatient in regard to results and comparing ourselves to others is dangerous.


  2. I think growing up some of my friends/parents would say stuff like why are you watching anime (or any of my other hobbies), you’re just wasting your time when you could be doing x instead. Maybe my media/entertainment related hobbies make up my fantasy world through escapism, and maybe others see it as wasting my life away, but if I really enjoy it I don’t think it’s a waste of my time. Outside of that, I’m also the type of person that tends to do and say whatever I want, kinda in a happy-go-lucky way, mostly cause it feels like I’m living life to my fullest extent that way. That way, when Tonegawa says something like “My real life hasn’t started yet. The real me is still asleep, so that’s why my life is such garbage”, because I do the things I want to in the now to my fullest ability, I can put any blame on the person I am today and actually start working on improvement, instead of blaming the future me for my current situation and blindly hoping that things will work themselves out. You only live one life, so might as well make the most out of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • For me, the problem isn’t what other people say about me – my parents are chill and my friends are supportive. It’s more about what I think of myself. I don’t think that escapism is the main issue, but I guess it’s about not appreciating life enough.

      It’s true that enjoying your time is not a waste of time. It’s also true that you live only one life so might as well make the most of it – but what does making the most of one’s life look like? I guess it’s different for everybody. While I “escape from reality” all the time by engaging in my hobbies, I don’t necessarily think I am making the most of my time even though I am enjoying myself… to an extent. Do you see what I mean? At the same time, I’m not sure how I can make the most of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I get the thinking of like enjoying your hobbies but thinking you’re not making the most of your time, especially for passive hobbies like watching something and feeling like you could be doing something else (for me I think I compromised with this feeling by actually doing something else like eating a meal and chilling on the couch afterwards while I watch an ep or two of anime lol). I think making the most of one’s life has to do with learning more about one’s self; identifying goals, wants, who you are and the type of person you are. Are you working towards those goals in your own way that makes them accomplishable? If you are, and are happy with the effort you’re putting in, I think you’re living life to the fullest. If you use down time to enjoy yourself, that’s fine. You don’t need to use every hour of your life working towards your goals, there needs to be a balance right. I guess it’s just learning to be more satisfied with what you do now, and moving away from wanting to accomplish more. The word most in “making the most out of life” gives the impression that you’re doing absolutely everything you want to at your fullest ability, but imo that’s unaccomplishable. Instead, I think “making the most out of life” should mean something closer to being satisfied with aspects of your life, and working on the aspects that you want to be more satisfied with.

        On another note, I’ve always viewed my hobbies, especially anime and video games, as something to help me accomplish my goals. I know that personally, if I don’t have breaks to engage in my hobbies, it’s harder for me to focus and motivate myself to work on my goals. So by being unproductive by spending an hour or two on games, I become more productive in the long run than if I didn’t spend time playing games, plus I get the benefit of enjoying my games kekeke 😁. I think what I’m trying to say is to accept the the things you do, even the unproductive things, as a part of your life that contributes to your success. Maybe you wouldn’t be as successful if you didn’t do those unproductive things. For others, maybe you could be more successful. Kinda comes back to identifying your goals and the ways you go about accomplishing them to know if you’re successful or satisfied with your life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I used to watch anime as I ate meals (still do) and watched a lot of my anime when I was on transit. It didn’t feel like a waste at the time. However, now that I’m in quarantine and also because I am done with school, I have all this free time. So I think that’s why I’m feeling this way.

        I also think that making the most out of life is not accomplishable. That’s a really good point. We’re not robots. I guess we should strive to be accomplished to a high level but not 100%.

        I think you make a really good point. I think I need to sit down and think about what my goals are exactly. I also agree that breaks are really important. It’s true that you need a healthy balance and that breaks will make you more productive in the long run. Hm, I think part of this is because we’re living in unprecedented times right now and there is a lot to adjust to, especially since I just graduated university. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure things out sooner or later. Thanks Ono!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yee you’re in a transitioning stage from uni to working full time, so you’re going to discover new goals and the such since you’re entering a new chapter of life as well! You’ve always stuck true to your values and have a good work life balance, so I think you’ll figure things out eventually while doing well in the meanwhile. Ganba~~~

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Thank You Tonegawa – Libations

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