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To my friends in Japan...

My love affair with Japan started at University whilst studying film. Quite by chance I ended up taking a course on Japanese cinema mainly because everyone seemed more interested in the module entitled "Modern American Cinema". I discovered the works of Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa and later works from Beat Takeshi. I was hooked, not only by the images, the singular narratives and style but also by the culture of this distant land that I longed to visit. I wanted to live Tampopo and I wanted a real Ramen.

I finally visited on my first promotional trip for my album 20Something and from Hiroshima to Tokyo, Japan lived up to my university day dreams. I ate, I partied, I shopped for clothes, I learned, I spa'd, I hotspringed, I played music to the most appreciative of audiences, I shopped for records, I made friends, I kissed a couple of pretty girls. I have returned countless times and I always stay longer so I can spend some time there outside of my work commitments. This is a place with a unique and precious soul that has become so special to me.

I have watched events unfold in Japan with a profound sadness, as buildings and homes crumble, lives are lost and many face an uncertain future. I send to you all, however you've been affected, all the love and support I can muster and pray for a swift recovery. It has been said by many but it is true - if there is a place on earth that can, it's right where you all are.

I long to see you all soon and toast better times,

Your fan,

With love,

Jamie Cullum
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