During my own interview, when I asked her thoughts on the recent hawkish moves by the Japanese government, she responded, ‘Japan cannot suddenly militarise itself by changing its Constitution. That is a big move, which threatens some countries and will be welcomed by some. It’s all part of the world game.’
When I asked her what it is that allows her to keep alive the hope that despite continuing global wars and injustices, we will eventually achieve a world of peace, love and freedom – as she continues to insist upon on her website – she replied, ‘First of all, you should know that the skirmishes created in small countries do benefit the big countries. Check the weapons where they are made.’ Erm, okay then. Although I get her point – she’s encouraging us to connect the dots that the power establishment prefers us not to – I’m not entirely sure how this reply engenders hope. But that is the cryptic beauty of Yoko Ono, isn’t it?
In a final attempt to unravel her inner workings, I followed her to Fuji, hoping to eke out more insights via her performance. On home ground, the reception to her show was in stark contrast to that of the Glastonbury crowd. Both the audience and her backing band – all clad in trademark Lennon-Ono ‘War is Over’ T-shirts – were clearly drinking in the presence of a legend. At one point, Ono said she ‘felt a breeze despite the heat’. Perhaps she was referring to John Lennon’s spirit, to which she is known to make vague allusions. Or, maybe she just felt a breeze. She also said, ‘Sometimes you think you’ve failed at something, and it might not be until much later that you find out you’ve actually succeeded.’
Was this comment about her reunion with her daughter Kyoko, from whom she was estranged for 20 years? Or was it a small injection of hope into the world’s elusive search for peace, or maybe something else altogether? With Ono, one just never knows.
Catch up with Yoko Ono's latest news or ask her a question via Twitter or Facebook at imaginepeace.com.
A pioneer of ‘destruction art’, she sets fire to a painting during a performance. Meets John Lennon and they record ‘Two Virgins’ together, appearing naked on the album cover.
Releases her first solo album, ‘Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band’, and three more albums. Completes her 16th experimental film. Loses custody of her daughter Kyoko to ex-husband Anthony Cox after being declared an unfit mother due to drug use. Cox ‘kidnaps’ Kyoko. Sean Lennon is born.
Goes into seclusion after witnessing Lennon’s murder. Releases five albums, including a concept album ‘Starpeace’, intended as a reaction against Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ Missile Defence System. Wins a Grammy Award for Album of the Year (‘Double Fantasy’).
Releases six-disc box set ‘Onobox’. Produces off-Broadway musical ‘New York Rock’, featuring renditions of her songs. Collaborates with her son Sean and his then-band Ima on the album ‘Rising’, which spawns a world tour. Is reunited with Kyoko, who had grown up in a cult with her father.
Her songs get remixed as dance tracks and consistently hit no. 1 on the US dance charts. Releases four albums (up to 2013). Award-winning 40-year retrospective of her art, ‘Yes Yoko Ono’, is held.