On the night before I left Japan to come to the U.S. to study, I was working in a recording studio for the CD my band was making. Our schedule was so behind that we decided to record all of my parts first because I had to leave next morning. I spent the night alone in the recording booth until past 2am.
After the recording was done, I went to say good-bye to my girlfriend. It was 7am when I got home and I had to leave to the airport in half an hour. So I grabbed my bass, bow case, and a backpack, and jumped in the car—there was no worry because I planned to be back home in a month for a couple of days.
I arrived to NY exhausted, only to learn that construction on the new dormitory I was to live in was delayed. It wouldn’t open for another month. I vividly remember standing desperately on 66th street with my bass, thinking how I should have opened those letters from school which undoubtedly explained the situation. Luckily, Juilliard had arranged temporary rooms for us in the 34th street YMCA. When I arrived there I slept for three days straight, skipping all the college orientations and placement tests.
It was a rocky start for my life in the U.S. This bow case, which I brought with me from Japan, reminds me of this time. I still use it to this day.
– Satoshi Okamoto