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[number] = more explanation of the sentence below
xxx = more detailed explanations
[xxx] = what I felt a certain part of the sentence meant
(xxx) = other meanings of the word or literal translations or missing word/words not specifically mentioned. For e.g. The fans screamed when (Gackt and his band members) entered the stadium! Read it like you will a normal sentence.
=xxx= = real brackets used in the interview
I first heard about Leslie from Taiwanese artist Wang Leehom.  I didn’t get a chance to meet Leslie directly at that time, so I didn’t know much about “Super Stars” project. Quite some time passed after that and this time, a friend of mine who has been living in America came back to Japan and asked me, “Have you heard of this cameraman, Leslie, before?” When I told him, “Leslie sent me a mail once, ” he asked me if I’m interested in talking to Leslie directly.
 Wang Leehom acted in the movie Moon Child together with Gackt. Wang Leehom also took part in the Super Stars project.
 “He sent me a mail once (but that’s all I know of him)” Gackt didn’t say that, but it can be inferred from the sentence.
Leslie came over the next day and I managed to hear in person his views which he is so passionate about. I was very happy to know that the views he has of Asia and of the world is similar to mine, and we talked about what we can accomplish as Asians. We became like brothers almost instantly. You hear so many stories of charities turning out to be frauds in this world, and honestly, it’s hard to determine which (charity organization) is real and which one is not. Of course, there had been offers from charity organizations before, but rather than check their credibility one by one, I think it’s easier (lit. better) to approach them myself and give donations.  But when I met Leslie and heard his thoughts, for the first time, I felt that (what he is trying to do) is real. That is why I squeezed his photo shoot into my schedule even though I didn’t have much extra time. 
 Literally, he said that it‘s better to “do such activities” himself. So I think it means that rather than waiting for offers to come and then checking them one by one, it‘s easier for Gackt to approach directly the organizations which he is interested in. Or he could also be saying that it’s easier to organize such activities himself.
 The photo was taken in September 2006, and Gackt was preparing for the GACKT TRAINING DAYS 2006 DRUG PARTY tour at that time.
When we were still planning the photo shoot, Leslie told me that he wanted the concept to be “the image I have of myself”. During our meeting, I talked to him about my views on Asia and what I can do as an Asian and he was happy that it was the same theme as the one he has had for a very long time. He was truly pleased that the photo shoot with me was the last =at that point= for “Super Stars” project.  As the last model to join this project, I wanted to show my respect to all the Asian stars who were involved in it. I hope that someday in the near future, we Asians will be able to cross national borders and close the distance between one another. I hope that my fellow Asians will take greater pride in our identity as Asians. With such thoughts in mind, I proposed the idea of putting the name of all the stars who had taken part in this project on my face.
 Three more people joined after Gackt.
It all starts with coming face to face with each other
I was born in Okinawa, but I left the place at a very early age and I started thinking about the place that I was raised in. Okinawa was invaded by many different countries in the past, and even now, it’s a “country” with the most ethnic variety in Japan. And the pride I feel towards my country is stronger than most. But I went back to Okinawa once when I was still a teenager, and my old friends said to me, “Those who left this place early cannot be called Okinawan,” and I was hurt by their statement. Though I have left Okinawa, I have not once forgotten the pride of being an Okinawan. If anything, (I think) those who have been living there all their life are the ones who don’t think much about (what it means to be an) Okinawan. Often, you will be able to see and understand things better if you take one step back, right? In any case, I felt as if my existence has been denied. Since then, I’ve gone to (other countries in) Asia and have become more certain of what I am meant to do as an Asian.
Even now, I believe the pride I have as an Okinawan is stronger than most. But I realized that I’m also an “Asian”. There are so many people living in Asia right now, but even though we are so close to each other geographically, the distance is still very much felt in our heart. A lot of people are still affected by the scars of war that still remain (in our heart).
The purpose of my existence is to express through my work that all Asians belong to the same family; that we shouldn’t be fighting each other; and that we should join hands and face the future together. What I’m trying to say is, “Let’s start by facing each other (truthfully).” All of us should put in effort to try and understand one another, regardless of one’s nationality. That will in turn help raise a common awareness that we are Asians and I believe it will help us form a deeper link (with one another).
We have great power within us
I think most Japanese artists don’t know much about the state of affairs of other Asian countries. We don’t even have the desire to learn more, even though Japan stand at the forefront of Asia in terms of business, entertainment (lit. music), and technology. We are in such a position where we need to reach out to the outside (world), but we are not even trying to learn more about them. I find that really sad. We should know more about our own country, as well as other countries, and interact with them. I believe that’s what being an artist is all about.
Leslie’s passion towards photography is real. Though I have met many cameraman before, and many of my friends are professional photographers, it’s very rare to find someone who thinks about (lit. feel) the purpose of their existence and their mission (in life). But with Leslie, he makes you feel as if taking photos and leaving behind his work is his mission, his destiny. He is a true artist.
The world is currently facing a crisis, in various sense, and each of us need to think of what we can do (as an individual) to stop or (even) solve the problem. Then we need to act on it before it reaches the point of no return. We are like the cells of this planet known as Earth, and just as the cells (in our body) have their various functions, (we too have ours). And if these cells turn to cancer, it will eventually lead to the destruction of Earth. I think it isn’t too hard to imagine that.
We are given great power. Even though there are some things which we cannot do by ourselves, as long as it has meaning and we have the will (to carry it through), we can gather a lot of people together and realize that dream. “Super Stars” is a project which carries such hope and is filled with the love (of all the participants). I hope that together, Leslie and I can express that humans have unlimited possibilities; that everything we come up with in our mind can be realized; and that it is possible for every single one of us to join hands as Asians .
 The literal meaning of the sentence is “to be linked/connected as Asians.”
Message from Leslie
When I first met Gackt, I was surprised to find out that he is fluent in Chinese, Korean and English. I also knew that he is friends with many Asian artists. I really wanted him to take part in this project, but he didn’t seem interested in it, so I was about to give up. That is why I was doubly excited (when he agreed to join this project). I think I was very lucky to have been able to meet him. The concept of having the names of the artists written on his face is also 100% his idea. It shows what an artistic person he is. We cut out the stencils, on which the artists’ names are printed, and pasted it onto his face one by one. The whole process took six hours to complete, so Gackt had to be at the studio by 7 a.m. on the day of the photo shoot.
My translation skill is rusty. ^^;;; I need to polish them till their nice and shiny. XD I hope you enjoyed reading this article! A little Gackt for you to enjoy during his birthday~ I know it's rather old, but I wanted to start with something light, so I chose this article to do. :3
As always, his views on Asia never fail to amaze me. ^^ I can sit in front of him for hours and listen to him talk about his vision of Asia. XD I love his definition of an artist. Most artists only view their work as... being something "fun", so it's great to see someone like Gackt (and Leslie) who sees something more than that. And it is very true. It's mostly through music, songs, drama or movie that one first learn about a country and gets interested in it. Some often dismiss "artist" or "entertainers" as jobs which aren't of much importance, but they are! They just contribute in ways which are not as obvious as other jobs. ^^
HAHAHAHA! Love it when he started comparing us to cells. @__@
Okay, that's all for me. Please comment and let me know what you think of the article~ Even comments on my translation will be greatly appreciated. X3
And last but not least, I'd like to wish you...
Wish you happiness and may you always be surrounded by your loved ones.
May this be another great year for you~~
(And get more rest, dude! XD)