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プロジェクトさいさいへい -まるごと埼玉最終兵器- All About S.S.H.

埼玉最終兵器 (Saitama Saisyu/Saishuu Heiki, often abbreviated S.S.H. or SSH,[1] hereafter referred to as S.S.H.) is a Japanese musician and was born on the 16th of May, 1982.[2] He lives quietly in Saitama City[3] [4] in the Saitama Prefecture while performing his “role”: composing loud music, and occasionally, composing not loud music, and having his PC break often.1 [5] Apparently, he is about 190cm tall.[citation needed]

S.S.H. had an interest in music since he was 12 years old and wrote his first piece of music at the age of 15.12 As the years went by, he continued to polish off his composition and arrangement skills and beginning the year 2000[citation needed], he made a name for himself arranging various classic game music in a heavy rock/metal style. In 2003[citation needed], he published his works (including original compositions) through his website of which he received a substantial amount of positive feedback. In 2003, he made his professional debut at the age of 21.12

Musical Style

In general, his overall style can be best described as heavy rock/metal, although he does dabble in other genres to various degrees[6] such as thrash metal[7], rock ‘n’ roll[8], liquid funk, trance[9], neo-classical, acoustic, “hero-style” (Super Sentai-style[i]), and others. Common characteristics of his music include guitar riffs and the incorporation of fast guitar solos, and in some cases, very fast. Indeed, the amount of songs he has composed and played that cross the 200BPM[citation needed] barrier are not negligible.

History

Back in his school days, he used to collect large quantities of iron scrap metal in order to construct tanks.[10] [ii] No actually, his primary/elementary school days were days of music and baseball (he won a baseball commendation award). Musically, he had some hands-on experience with the Yamaha organ when he was in kindergarten but he didn’t feel his musical abilities had improved much at all. Nevertheless, he did make slight headway in being able to interpret written music. Also looking back, even though he didn’t know it at the time, the organ classroom teacher was indeed quite a beauty. “How do I still have this memory.”[11]

In the first or second year of Junior High School, S.S.H. picked up the guitar, under the influence of his brother (he was in a band). In actuality, he wanted to start with the bass (perhaps under the impression it was a standard guitar), but when he went shopping for one, his brother, or his brother’s acquaintance, or the store employee, or someone else (S.S.H. forgot) said: “No, you can also practice your bass with a guitar, so get a guitar.” So on their advice, he bought a guitar. It was only after that did he discover that bass and guitar were two completely different things. For about a year, he did not seriously play the guitar thinking “doing things like playing fast, there’s no way I can do it”. A short while later, he was introduced to his friend’s drums. “This is it” thought S.S.H. and switched to the drums as his musical instrument of choice.11 28

He placed the newly bought drums in his room and for a while, he lived with not much space to move around in. His house was in the residential area so he used a noise-deafening pad to reduce the sound level. He has memories of playing Deep Purple’s Highway Star often. The “tension” levels would rise too high, and occasionally, he would remove the silencing pad. He was not apologetic to his neighbours and he abandoned the drums some years later. (to be continued… or not)11

The handle name (埼玉最終兵器) was decided “long ago” and was intended to be for a band (with S.S.H. taking composing duties and his older brother taking the management role),[12] but this arrangement ended soon after. Around the same time the name was chosen, it was also a period in which musicians and music-related activities had begun to move online and the name S.S.H. sounded suitably geeky so it had persisted up till now.[13]

As for the origin of the name “Live House S.S.H.” (the name of his website), it was based of “Firehouse”, a hard rock band S.S.H. liked a great deal. So from “Firehouse”, the site name “Live House S.S.H.” was formed. “Sorry, that was a lie”.[iii]  In actuality, he cannot remember how the name came about. During the early stages of creating his website, his knowledge of computers and the Internet were rudimentary and indeed, even concepts like “site” and “home page” were barely understood. For these matters, he enlisted the help of his brother and his brother’s acquaintances, and eventually, the website was launched with a home page. The inevitable issue of naming the website then reared its head. “Doesn’t Live House S.S.H. sound good?” asked the brother/brother’s acquaintance. Replies S.S.H.: “Alright, let’s go with that.” Or at least that’s what happened to the best of his memory.13

Speaking of the Internet, the first time he encountered it was when he was a primary/elementary student. While he was watching his brother (older by some years) connecting to the Internet via dialup, he thought to himself “I don’t know much about this thing but it seems cool. I think. But this… this sound the thing makes when you connect… KAKKE[iv].” It wasn’t until he was 20 years old or so that he connected to the Internet using his own computer.[14]

For S.S.H., 2011 was a year of life, music production, and of situations and the mind, changing in various ways.[15] He particularly liked the iPod Touch as well as cheap beef jerky.[16] The last thing left to do in 2011 was a “very big cleaning”.[17]

With the Christmas of 2011 approaching, reminiscing about childhood Christmases brought up the following memory: “Santa’s not reeeeeeal!” In truth, he has next to no childhood memories of not only Christmases, but birthdays, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day(s). Having said that, he does cherish one particular Christmas. It was the day he received a present: Megami Tensei II (not the Shin Super Famicom one, the Shin-less Famicom one). Music-wise, the game’s tunes had a great influence on him and game-wise, he joined forces with Lucifer. Actually, this whole paragraph was a complete lie (or was it?).[v] In any case, S.S.H. does remember searching for Santa, for real. Okuta-kun/Okuda-kun[vi] (Santa-kun?) pulled out an RPG-7 (rocket launcher) out of the weapons box that was next to the fire extinguisher box installed in the apartment complex. He proceeded to ride through the sky on his sled, firing rockets aimed at the ground while saying “Bonus stage! Bonus stage!”. While this was happening S.S.H. was filled with admiration, thinking “Wow! He’s a good aim even while flying in the sky.” Actually, it’s yet another made-up story. S.S.H. was and remains safe from the rocket explosions and Santa continues to not exist except in his imaginative mind.[18]

Random

Were music composition not his current profession, he would possibly go searching the land with Shigesato Itoi[vii] for Tokugawa's Buried Treasures.[19] [viii]

Final Fantasy VI’s “The Decisive Battle” is a song that S.S.H. has arranged many times, as many as 10 times.[20] Time permitting, he would like to arrange “Devil Dance” from the Majin Tensei series (Nintendo Super Famicom).[21] As far as re-doing/re-arranging his past compositions go, he would like to revisit「めかぞんびのテーマ」(Mecha Zombie Theme): “Using the equipment available now, giving the song a heavier digital feel, it should sound interesting.”[22]

His personal interests include heavy rock/metal, liquid funk, Formula 1, and Jack Daniel's.1 His favourite video games include Ragnarok Online which he has followed since the beginning.4 His early album「冥土陰埼玉」is a pretty accurate representation of the games and game music he is interested in - “The World of My Interests” as he calls it.6

As far as beverages are concerned, he is of the opinion that Highball[ix] is the "best tasting drink in the world". He would be perfectly content with life if he could simply watch Formula 1 racing or play Metal Max while consuming said beverage.1

His influences include heavy metal bands such as Metallica, Impellitteri, Judas Priest,[Citation Needed]  and Kinniku Shoujai Tai「筋肉少女帯」10.

He is unable to remember exactly the first (Japanese) music CD he bought but he can remember the Western metal albums he has bought (of which there are many). Nevertheless, the first album he bought would be one of the following three candidates: 1. Romancing SaGa – Original Sound Version (which he bought using pocket money, this is definitely one of his first game soundtracks); 2. “Kimi o Nosete” (single, the theme song from Laputa: Castle in the Sky); 3. “Ari yo Saraba” (single by Yazawa Eikichi, the theme song of the drama of the same name. It was his favourite song). Chronologically, perhaps it was “Ari yo Saraba” that was acquired first. Or perhaps Kabuki Rocks’ “Yuuki ga Areba” (theme song for an anime called Yaiba).[23]

As of 2004, he resides to the east of the city of Saitama. Every day, he endeavours to fulfil his dream: "In the future, I'd like to live peacefully with a big dog at the base of a mountain somewhere..." But first, he must overcome his allergy to animals.12

There are several countries S.S.H. would like to visit or would like to have visited at one point. A long time ago, visiting Germany would have been a nice proposition, mainly because he used to like German metal (music). Another travel candidate was Finland since many of his favourite artists were Finnish, and because of the popularity of motor sports. However, the main barrier preventing him from traveling overseas is his fear of flying. Besides, there are places within Japan that he would like to visit. And even so, he will go there without stepping into an airplane.[24]

Although it shares similarities with his handle name, he has not read「最終兵器彼女」 (She, the Ultimate Weapon). He has read「いいひと」 (Good Person) from the same author.[25]

To warm you up on a cold winter’s night, he would recommend a hot pot comprising chicken leg, shirataki (noodles), and large quantities of chrysanthemum greens. [x] Furthermore, he makes clear his approval of the last item: “Even chrysanthemum greens by itself is good. Or to put it another way, a hot pot without chrysanthemum greens is not a hot pot at all. Chrysanthemum greens are the best. Chrysanthemum greens banzai.”[26]

On the other hand, if there’s no time to cook, then a packet of “Magic Spice Soup Curry”[xi] sure hits the spot, S.S.H’s spot that is. “Delicious!”[27] In any case, as long as the food in question is not rotten, he would be content.[28]

If he was to recommend one home electronic good, he would choose the kotatsu.[29] [xii]

He thought the documentary “Lemmy”[xiii] was pretty interesting.[30]

He smokes cigarettes and electronic cigarettes to a certain degree though he did at one point, refrain from smoking for approximately 365 days.[31]

 



[1] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012). "About". Live House S.S.H. Retrieved 2015, November 26.

[2] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011). "ssh_saitama Profile". The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[3] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012). “ssh_saitama”. Soundcloud. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[4] 埼玉最終兵器 (2013, November 28). “Arranger’s Profile & Comment”. Pg. 10. Ragnarok Online - Elemental Tunes. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[5] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, September 8).ssh_saitama’s interview - 社会人になりたての頃のエピソードなどを聞かせてください」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 30.

[6] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, December 30).「埼玉最終兵器 冥土陰埼玉」pg. 2.「埼玉最終兵器 冥土陰埼玉」Retrieved 2015, December 1.

[7] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, July 10).Liner Notes - 02-FINAL FANTASY IV『バトル2』」. Blast from the Past. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[8] 埼玉最終兵器 (2006, August 5). “Summer Mix Main Store Ver.” pg. 2. Summer Mix Main Store Ver. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[9] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, January 14).Archive - 今度は文字化けしてませんでした2012. Live House S.S.H. Retrieved, December 6.

[10] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - 学生時代に一番のめり込んだ事はなんですか」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[11] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, September 8).ssh_saitama’s interview - どんな学生時代でしたか? 思い出話などを聞かせてください」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 30.

[12] 埼玉最終兵器 (2004, October 22).「埼玉最終兵器プロフィール」pg. 3. Sixty Nine 2 – Original Soundtrack from 埼玉最終兵器. Retrieved 2015, December 1.

[13] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, October 31).ssh_saitama’s interview - ハンドルネームやサイト名の由来を教えて下さい」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[14] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 24).ssh_saitama’s interview - インターネットとの出会いを教えてください。」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[15] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 29).ssh_saitama’s interview - 2011年はあなたにとってどんな年でしたか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[16] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 29).ssh_saitama’s interview - 2011年、あなたにとっての最大のヒット商品は何ですか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[17] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 29).ssh_saitama’s interview - 今年やり残したこととかありますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[18] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 23).ssh_saitama’s interview - もうすぐクリスマスですね、子供の頃のクリスマスの思い出ってありますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 30.

[19] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - 今の仕事をやってなかったら、どんな仕事をしてると思いますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[20] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, July 10).07-FINAL FANTASY VI『決戦』」. Blast from the Past. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[21] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, July 10).Liner Notes 05-魔神転生IIEvolution』」. Blast from the Past. Retrieved 2015, December 2.

[22] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 3).ssh_saitama’s interview - 埼玉さんに質問です!!今現在。過去の作品でもう一度作り直してみたいと思った曲はありますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 30.

[23] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, December 24).ssh_saitama’s interview - はじめて買ったCDはなんですか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[24] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - 一度は行ってみたい国とかありますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[25] 埼玉最終兵器 (2011, September 8).ssh_saitama’s interview - 最終兵器彼女は読んだ事がありますか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[26] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - 毎日寒いですね。好きな鍋料理を教えてください。」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[27] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - カレーをつくる時のこだわりがあれば教えてください。」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 29.

[28] 埼玉最終兵器 (2004). 「開発者インタビュー 第五回 埼玉最終兵器氏」Project Repeated Scene. Retrieved 2016, May 21.

[29] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 8).ssh_saitama’s interview - おすすめの家電をひとつ教えてください。」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[30] 埼玉最終兵器 (2012, February 5).ssh_saitama’s interview - 最近みた映画で面白かったのはなんですか?」The Interviews. Retrieved 2015, November 27.

[31] 埼玉最終兵器 (2016, December 14).「埼玉最終兵器 @SSH_SAITAMATwitter. Retrieved 2016, December 19.



[i] Super Sentai「スーパー戦隊」is the Japanese Superhero genre of television shows. The main theme songs of such shows tend to have a distinctive sound, a “heroic”-style one might say.

[ii] A reference to the post-apocalyptic open-ended role playing game series “Metal Max”.

[iii]「嘘だ」S.S.H. seems to have a habit of saying something and then revealing it as a lie straight after.

[iv] Onomatopoeia (sound symbolism) for the noise a dialup modem makes when you connect. If you’re too young to know what a dialup modem sounds like, or even what a dialup modem is, then Google for both.

[v] 「まぁ全部嘘」

[vi] Who? I am convinced there is a pun here.

[vii] Lead designer of the role playing series “Mother” (Nintendo)

[viii] The Buried Treasures of Tokugawa「徳川埋蔵金」refers to bullion and gold that were somewhere in Japan in the 18th century. Since then, there has been little to no success when it came to unearthing the treasure, if it even exists.

[ix] Highball is a type of mixed alcoholic drink. In particular, S.S.H. favours one comprising Jack Daniel's and Ginger Ale.

[x] Chrysanthemum in this case does not refer to the flower. Chrysanthemum greens「春菊」also known as Garland Chrysanthemum are a type of leafy vegetable more popular in East Asian countries.

[xi] Magic Soup Spice Curry「マジックスパイス スープカレー」is a ready-to-eat instant meal (heated up via microwave oven).

[xii] A kotatsu「炬燵」is basically a low table that has a heat source and covered with a blanket.

[xiii] “Lemmy” refers to Lemmy Kilmister, a British rock musician and member of the heavy metal band “Motörhead”.