Oh-chan. Riidaa. Captain. Sensei. Oji-san.
If someone asks me why you are my ichiban, I won’t be able to answer it. I can enumerate all your good points (as well as your bad points), but that doesn’t answer the “why?” I can go all day about your voice and your dance and your smile and your personality qnd your laugh and the way you look like an old man and a child all at the same time and how you are with the other members and how you actually like skinship so much and your love for fishing and painting and how you can be selfless and selfish all at the same time and how you can be so impatient and how you are such a perfectionist when it comes to yourself and I can go on and on. But those things don’t exactly define the “why?” I have no name for the reason/s why among five members, you are my “it”.
So “Kampai!” And thank you for existing. Thank you for just being here. Really thank you to your parents for bringing you into this world and raising you to be the man that you are. Thank you for sharing yourself with us, even just bits and pieces of it. Thank you for letting us take a peek into your life. Thank you for allowing us to have some sort of hold on you. Thank you for always being who you are.
A lot of things happened this year, huh? Crazy. That was some rollercoaster ride. Good thing you have your handles to hold on to. You got four of them right beside you. And you got millions more around the world, ready to support you, anytime.
Please stay healthy. Take care of yourself. Use UV protection for crying out loud! Skin cancer is real! Cut down a little on the other vices, ne? (I sound like an okaasan.) I would like to see you grow into your 70’s and 80’s.
Please be happy. That is my birthday wish for you. Please let yourself be happy. You can be selfish about it. Not everyone shares this sentiment. But isn’t it about time you think of your own happiness more than others’? And when are you getting married? You’re not getting any younger, you know. Well, you once said that you prefer a girl who will leave you alone, so I’m not sure how that’s going to work. I don’t think anyone would be able to leave you alone. You're too precious. But that’s your problem, so deal with it. You’re a grown up now. You already know what you’re doing, right? If you choose not to marry, that’s perfectly fine, too. You can fish to your heart's content. Maybe you can live with Ninomiya-san or whoever. Maybe Jun-kun?
You will never read this, I’m sure. Anyway, this is more for the benefit of the writer rather than the receiver. So, happy birthday, dear Oh-chan.