Last summer, I traveled to Rome on a photo shoot for “Fujingaho” and visited BVLGARI’s flagship store in Rome. I was given the opportunity to wear BVLGARI’s luxurious jewelry, known for their gemstones that were loved by Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. It was only for a short while during the shooting session, but it was a very valuable and meaningful experience for me in playing “Kurotokage (Black Lizard),” for which the final performance was held just the other day. I was given the opportunity to wear a long necklace decorated with diamonds and a huge emerald, similar in size to the 113 carat diamond, “The Star of Egypt,” which Kurotokage was infatuated with in the play. The shooting session took place early in the morning, in Piazza di Spagna, and as the jeweler, Shobei Iwase says, “Anxiety always accompanies jewels. It’s the anxiety which makes them beautiful,” and we were accompanied by three security guards keeping an eye out to protect the dazzling jewels. Wearing jewelry that was beyond my reach, I was awestruck by its beauty. On the other hand, the page that the photos were to be shown on was based on the theme, “Joy,” so I had to act with dignity without seeming to bat an eyelid before the jewelry. Although it was only for a fleeting moment, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of wearing the jewelry, which was designed to closely fit the curves of the body.
The cover of a photo-book of Jeanne Moreau I once bought in a secondhand bookstore in Paris had a photo of her on the cover showing her elderly hand, covered in wrinkles, sporting a ring with a huge gemstone. The photo left a powerful impression on me, and made me realize that only experience and the wrinkles that accompany aging are what make a person worthy of wearing such jewelry. Because of this, I rarely showed interest in gemstones in my younger days, but I have found with increasing age that I am learning to appreciate their beauty.
Yukio Mishima’s Kurotokage feared belief in living things and people with compassion, and she said, “Gemstones represent complete microcosms that are transparent and filled with their own dazzling light.” And just as Kurotokage tried to steal “The Star of Egypt,” the fathomless allure of complete and flawless gemstones is uplifting, and they supplement the sheen of the skin and the glitter of the eyes which begin to wane with age.
BVLGARI’s flagship store in Rome, said to have been visited by Elizabeth Taylor while shooting a movie, had a secret room that was said to have been used by her to meet her lover in secret. That combined with the ancient, historical cityscape enveloped me in a romantic feeling.
Photos of BVLGARI’s beautiful jewelry can be seen in the March issue of “Fujingaho” currently on sale. I recommend everyone to take a look.