Hair? That’s his ‘antenna’
New Age musician Kitaro says he uses it to channel energies of the universe
By Tan Kee Yun
February 13, 2010
TO most of us, hair is simply, well, hair.
But to 57-year-old Japanese New Age musician Kitaro, his trademark long locks hold a far more significant and spiritual meaning.
“My hair is like an antenna, receiving energies from the different planets,” he told The New Paper matter-of-factly in heavily-accented English.
“It’s like my sixth sense.”
Kitaro, renowned for scoring the soundtrack of Heaven And Earth, director Oliver Stone’s Vietnam war epic, was in town on Wednesday to promote his upcoming concert.
His Love & Peace Planet Music Tour next month will be his fifth gig in Singapore.
Peace and serenity are terms commonly associated with Kitaro’s instrumental hits.
In person, he strikes a Zen-like demeanour, greeting us by putting his palms together.
He has kept his hair long for nearly 30 years.
“The longest I allowed it to grow was when I was in my 20s, I kept it till it touched my waist,” said the father of two, grinning.
These days, he prefers to keep it at a comfortable length – just slightly below the shoulders – and goes for a trip “every couple of month”.
While he obviously loves his black, frizzy mane, he doesn’t go th extra mile to pamper it.
No special hair treatments or playing around with wacky, bizarre styles either.
“I wash it once every two days. That’s enough for me,” he continues.
“Most of the time, I like to let it down. But if the weather gets hot, I’d tie it up in a bundle.”
Don’t bet on his snipping away his “antenna” – ever.
Kitaro remembers vividly his encounter with Singapore Immigration 26 years ago.
He was ordered to cut his then waist-length hair when he arrived at Changi Airport.
He had made the trip as a goodwill ambassador on behalf of Japan’s 1985 World Exposition.
“The immigration officers told me I was on a “blacklist” because of my long hair,” he said, chucking. “They said I could cut it at the barber nearby.”
Kitaro reused and returned to Tokyo instead.
Ten years later, on his second visit here, he didn’t face any problems with his hair.
“When I saw the woman at the immigration counter huddling around her colleagues in deep discussion, I was very worried that I had got into trouble again,” he said.
“Then, when they approached me for autographs, I heaved a sign of relief.”
The musician currently lives in Sebastopol, California, with his Japanese wife, Keiko.