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Episode about M. Jackson: Adored Morita by calling him “sensei.”

7, 24. 2009

   More than two weeks has passed since the news of the death of Michael Jackson the "king of pops" reached to Japan. While the cause of his death is still under investigation, and he is becoming a legendary person, it was found out that there had been a Japanese person whom Michael had deeply adored by calling him with the honorific title of "sensei" before his death. That person was Akio Morita, one of the founders of Sony Corp.

How can I attract the hearts of young people?

   Michael Jackson and Akio Morita came to know each other in 1987. In September of that year, after the release of the album "Bad," Michael made his first visit to Japan for a solo tour. The relationship between the two started at that time when Morita, with his wife Ryoko, went to see Michael's show. After the show, Michael requested Morita through his manager for a meeting.

   What went on then is described in an article written by his wife Ryoko and posted in the official website "Akio Morita Library." Her article is Entitled to the effect as the "'true profile of Morita as a man vol.6' Memory of meeting with Michael Jackson" (renewed on July 7, 2009). She wrote about what happened at the time of Michael's Japan visit for a solo tour in 1987 as follows: (Michael's direct quotes are not available. Thus all are translations from Japanese.)

"I heard that he apologized repeatedly by saying, 'I wanted to thank about Mr. Morita's coming today. Today I couldn't perform my show to my 100% satisfaction. I couldn't sing. I want to show you much better performance than today next time. So I want you to come again without fail.'"

   While in Japan, Michael attended Ryoko's birthday party held at the home of Morita. He seemed relaxed in such an occasion and enjoyed himself, acting like a child, showing interest to things he could see, particularly an automatic piano and music box. The relationship continued after that and he visited the Morita's whenever he came to Japan.

   He also peppered Morita with such questions as "How can I attract the hearts of the young people?" "How can I become a person people respect more?" and "Who can I believe."

Sent his taped message to Morita recuperating from illness

   In November 1993, Michael was greatly worried when he learned that Morita had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage. Michael then recorded a message on a cassette in his own voice for Morita.

   According to the "tokudane" programming for broadcasting on the Fuji Television networks, the recording on the tape started with "Mr. Morita" followed by talking to Morita in a tender voice. The label on the cassette said to the effect, "please play this tape and listen in the morning, afternoon and evening."

"Mr. Morita, Mr. Morita, Mr. Morita. I am Michael Jackson calling here. Please get well. Get well soon. You are to lead us. You are our teacher, leader, and we ourselves. You have taught us many things. You are a very strong person. I trust you. 'I'll get well day by day no matter what.' 'I'm feeling better and better.' Please repeat these words in your thought." (This was translated mostly from Japanese.)

   The recording lasted 20 minutes with songs and continued to cheer up Morita. The "I'm feeling better and better" was especially repeated three times with several seconds of silence in between so that Morita would be able to say it by himself. Morita died six years later in October 1999, and he heard the recording every morning and evening all these years.

   This is an episode that shows the tender heartedness of Michael. Lamenting over the untimely death of Michael, Ryoko said in the website posting that "Michael could not believe anyone and he found comfort in children and animals. He is now in heaven and in the comfort of the quiet. He rests in peace, free from care for anyone."

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