Gorgeous pictures of Freddie Mercury during his interview with Japanese magazine, ‘Music Life’ by Midory Tsukagoshi in Tokyo late September / October 1986 Midory:

When you were in Kyoto, did you stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)?Freddie: Yes, that’s it! This was my first time staying at a traditional Japanese hostel and it was fun and interesting. I took a bath in a Hinoki (traditional cypress wood) tub, and thought the tub looked like a big cup of sake so I jokingly said, “Can you pour some sake in here for me?” And they responded by saying, “Sake is very good for the skin.” So, I decided to take a liquor bath (laughs). The way you bathe in Japan is completely different, so I was a little confused at first, but I’m totally used to it now. I also slept on a futon and it felt so comfy. (He laughs again). Did you see all this!? Haha. This time around I bought a lot of hibachi (charcoal heater). Everyone said to me, “What exactly are you going to do with all those hibachi you bought?” I bought 20-30 of them. Hahaha.

I bought so many other items too. Like, artwork, kimonos, tansu (wardrobes), silver sake kettles, silver teapot…..would you like to see my shopping list?! It’s 9-10 pages in total! (Freddie is laughing as he shows us his list. It really is an incredible amount!) Midory: Freddie, can you tell us what is the most valuable thing in your life?Freddie: Music is probably the most important thing in my life. For me, normality is everything. It’s my life and my life is music! You have to be confident in it. I’m very confident. I know my music is great. You have to feel like this. For example, even if my music will be over, I can help someone else do their music. That is my way of life. So, if I don’t think my music will sell, I can still help others with my experiences, my values and musical ideas. I think I can live happily. I think a lot of people will be delighted to accept that. This makes me happy!Interviewer: I understand. Thank you very much for today. A portion of the interview with Midory Tsukagoshi – Translated from the Japanese magazine This was Freddie’s final trip to Japan All photos were taken by Koh Hasebe