Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger‘s Junya Ikeda goes into detail about his mental health and asks fans for handwritten letters.
Previously, in October 2022, Junya Ikeda (Gai Ikari from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger) reported to Oricon News that he had been diagnosed with depression.
On September 7, he went into detail about his current mental health on his Twitter account:
I would like to take a moment to rant about my life’s greatest grievances. The words I am about to share are not to seek validation from anyone but words I am selfishly writing of my own accord. I have lived my whole life thinking that I should not speak out of my own selfishness. I say this as someone who people follow, as a performer, and as an entertainer.
In a sense, I think I have lived my life by desperately covering up how I really feel. I have been an actor for 17 years. In writing, it’s just a number but these 17 years have been full of countless encounters and partings, wins and losses, mistakes and setbacks, and so on. But it has also been full of joy and love… It’s been full of so many things.
I lived alone when I was 14, just after I made my debut. I never went to middle school and dedicated my whole life to my acting career. I missed out on a lot of things that most people experience as an adolescence, and instead I lived among adults. If you have no value, then no one will need you. If you have no talent, then you are dropped. As such, I have lived so far not knowing how to catch my breath in the stormy seas.
I have no family who will forgive me and lend a helping hand. If no one will help me, then I have no choice but to save myself. This is how I learned to live: by putting up a front and by being deceitful and cunning. It was to live more easily in my environment, but I think it was really to slowly kill myself. Eventually, I began to break down.
Who am I really? Laughing with friends, falling in love… So? Who are you? Where is the real me? These questions have plagued my mind for a long time, but I have found that I can forget these thoughts through acting. By becoming someone else, I am able to look away from who I really am.
I am now at the lowest point in my life. Within the pitch-black chaos of a starless night. I am a broken man who can only feel alive through the roles I play. If that is taken from me, there will be nothing left of me but shattered remains. My personal life is also a mess,and the repose that has befallen me is suffocating. Every day, it feels like the things I believed in and by things I hold dear are telling me to die. If this is my retribution, then how much sin do I bear on my conscience?
I cannot count the number of times I have thought, “Okay, I guess I’ll go away now.” Not to mention the number of times I have tried to follow through. But you know,to tell you the truth, I want to live for a bit longer. No, that’s not quite true. I’m actually afraid. I’m paralyzed with fear of living in this reality where I feel sad one day and then feel normal again three days later. As if nothing happened. I want someone to need me, and I want to die being needed. I want to be remembered.
It’s easy to just give up here and now, but there’s a part of me that wants to hold on. There are people telling me to hold on, so I want to hold on for just another second But my legs feel heavy, and I can’t walk in the same way that I always have. But that’s okay. Even if I’m clumsy, even if people laugh at me, I want to continue moving forward as I am now.
I want to ask everyone for a favor of a lifetime. I ask that you give me the courage to walk forward. Tell me whatever you want to tell me. Would you write a letter for me? Not with those lifeless lines and dots on social media but with a letter you dedicate to me. A letter written from the heart and by your hands.
That will probably help push me forward. I can’t explain it, but I just know it will. And if I cry until I die, cry until I wither, cry until there’s nothing left to cry, then I will be reborn tomorrow and live on as who I really am. I would be happy knowing if that came true.
Thank you for reading my long incoherent post. Thank you for being a part of my life. I too want to be someone who validates someone else. I always have.
Handwritten letters may be sent to the following address:
Kabushiki Kaisha Ba-ru Co., Ltd,
Gran Casa Minami Aoyama2F, 4-17-33
Minamiaoyama, Minato Ku
Tokyo To, 107-0062, Japan
On September 10, Ikeda shared the following update:
Good morning! It’s me, Junya Ikeda! I’m okay. I’m feeling better.
I received a shocking number of messages from all over the world. My heart is filled with surprise and gratitude at the number of people who know me, who support me, and who need me.
I will repay you for your kindness with my next production. Thank you all so much. I’m happy to have been born in this wonderful world.
Source: Junya Ikeda’s Twitter