It’s been years since we lost hide (Matsumoto Hideto), on May 2, 1998. The legendary musician was not only the guitarist of X Japan but a solo artist, record label owner, and one of the pioneers of visual kei. This is a man who left such a strong impact that even to this day, he’s a major inspiration to musicians all over the world.
To show our appreciation and respect for everything hide has done for the rock scene, we visited his grave together with one of his best friends, Seiichi Hoshiko (also known as "Visual Kei Oyaji"). A key-person who helped spread visual kei to the general public with magazines like SHOXX.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we suggest that you do not visit hide’s grave this year to avoid any risk of getting infected through public transportation or public gatherings. To circumvent all of that, we wanted to instead share our trip from last year so you can join us on a virtual journey.
With that said, we also deliberately limited information on how to get to the cemetery for now, in order to not encourage travel.
Buying flowers at the hide-filled flower shop
Before making our way to the place where hide rests, we made a stop at Miurahanazono Flower Shop to pick up some flowers. We were suggested to get him the white-colored lily, which is a great choice considering how symbolic it is; you’ll find this flower engraved on hide’s memorial stone.
While Hoshiko and the shop owner spent time chatting about hide, I was running around photographing every corner of the shop.
The place where hide rests
Arriving at the cemetery, you’ll notice that one of the memorials stands out more than any other. The stone in the center has hide’s name engraved and to the right, the signature guitar which is surrounded by butterflies and lilies, along with the sentimental lyrics from Hurry Go Round.
On the left side, you’ll find a black stone including a message in golden characters, one last farewell from hide’s father and mother:
Like the wind, you ran through the 90s
Loved by everyone and very kind
The grave is guarded by cute animals placed around the area. Here you’ll find the coolest dog you’ll ever meet! (Of course, it's not an actual living dog.)
We also met a fan of hide who was already mourning ahead of our arrival. She had been crying so much that her makeup was almost completely ruined by the time we got there. Through those tears, we could really feel her sincerity and dedication as a fan.
Leaving a farewell message to hide
Something that can be easily overlooked is the hidden notebook inside the white statue. By reaching from the back of the barrel, you can access it and write a few appreciative words or send a farewell message.
Don’t be surprised if you find messages from people overseas (which we did find), after all, hide’s influence has spread all over the world. With his legacy ingrained in history, we’re certain that he will keep continuing to inspire musicians with generations to come!