14 comments on “Morning Musume 20th Anniversary Official Book Interviews: Sato Masaki

  1. Apologies to anyone who might’ve left comments on this post, or on any other post in the last 7 hours or so. There was an issue on my webhost’s server which resulted in data loss.

    (Bye bye to the 5+ hours I spent translating the next interview for nothing. Someone please kill me.)

  2. Henkka, I’m impressed at how you translate. Your English is perfect (in fact I think it’s better than most native speakers’ English) and the articles read as if the interviews had been conducted in English. Thank you for your work!

    Oh, and Maa-chan is love. Maa-chan is life.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous. That means a lot. I’m always striving to improve — I hope by this time next year, I’ll be looking back on this translation and cringing because of how bad it is.

      • If I had not have read this post, I would not have realized you are not a native English speaker! Of course we all have room to improve, but your writing in English is very good and makes sense. I cannot speak to its accuracy, but it’s goid English.

        And English is a wacky language in general. I have a lot of respect for people who take the time to learn it and use it.

        Also, the worst uses of the English language probably come from English speakers themselves. When you look at different dialects and accents in English, sometimes it even seems like the grammar and sentence structure are different. It can be very confusing for native speakers who run into problems with other native speakers who might come from their own country.

        For example, my family comes from the Appalachia region of the United States. While I understand that particular dialect almost perfectly (it was my original accent actually, but i can’t maintain it in conversation now since I unlearned it at a young agebecause it’s seen as rather backwards and unintelligent). But outsiders have a lot of trouble understanding it.

        I think the difficulty is that this particular accent either continuously breaks rules of what is considered proper or makes up its own in a weird way. For example, my mamaw (common southern term for Grandma) has said to me, “You’re all growed up now.” Most English speakers would understand this to be “You’re grown-up now,” but it sounds extremely jarring to most (specifically the confusion of grown and growed).. Another variant is “You’ve done grown up,” which means the same thing; however, it probably sounds worse, and I’m not tsure how to explain why it makes sense (it does).

        Where I’ve spent a lot of my life, Pennsylvania, people will also say things along the lines of “the car needs washed,” which apparently doesn’t make sense to speakers from other regions who don’t automatically recognize the omission of “to be” (“the car needs [to be] washed.””) But to me, both make sense and sound absolutely fine.

        I’m rambling and this is off-topic, but that’s just my thoughts on English. I’m sure other languages have weird quirks and local variants too. Keep up the great work!

  3. Thank you Henkka, a great post to start the year. If you were to ask me who the #1 ranked active idol is in Japan then the answer has to be Sato Masaki. Everything about her just makes you want to look her way and never look away again. A legend in the making if not a legend already

  4. This interview is pretty much a perfect complement to the Riho one: Riho was pure professional and kept everything to herself, Maa has no filter and has confidence in her love of the members.
    And yet, both approaches are key to pushing MM forward. Riho set the standard that everyone aspires to, preventing complacency, while Maa moderates the culture so people don’t burn out (because they can open up to each other more). Both place a high priority on being able to fully express the intent of the music through their performance.

    Thanks for all of your hard work, Henkka!

  5. It’s always interesting to read Maachan’s interview. Thank you so much for translating this, Henkka!
    She really loves Tsunku, It’s funny how she mentions him throughout the interview.
    Maachan’s growth is most shocking thing ever happened in Momusu’s history… no, the idol world’s history!
    I still can’t believe that she, from an airhead girl who has no experience in anything, is now the most popular member and is admired by many other people in the industry.
    When watching MM concert, I just can’t take my eyes off her, I’m always fascinated by her expressions and her dancing. I love how she dares to add new thing in her performance like try various styles of singing, add a little more special to the original dance moves and such but it’s also a double-edged sword since I can see a lot people criticizing her for that. Saying she’s ruining the formation dance or overdoing to be outstanding. Maybe that’s why they don’t make her to be the Ace, she’s a wild horse! But that’s what make her unique, I hope she doesn’t change!

  6. I relate to her so much. During the 10 gen auditions, she was the one I rooted hardest for (even though Honey ended up becoming my fave). I really hope to meet her someday and say something that makes no sense to anyone else but me because I know she will understand it.

  7. Ah, you have to love this girl. I both await and am terrified for the day she graduates, but damn, she’s going to do some interesting stuff once she does.
    Thank you once again for the translation Henkka!

  8. I am so fully and deeply in love with the idea of Maa-chan! As expected, Maa-chan speaks directly to my soul. I bet she would blow a gasket if she ever got to sing Jazz with a live band. Pure expression. She likely believes that art is ephemeral and that the beauty in art is that you will never see the same performance twice. We are kindered spirits…

    She is a music wota and in my life experience music otaku are the most interesting people I have conversations with. She is a tsunku wota and tsunku otaku are ALWAYS the coolest people I have met (or read the words of) in this fandom.

    I hope with ALL of my heart that this girl becomes a producer or composer for Hello!Project after she graduates. I would love to hear her arrangements of her favorite Tsunku compositions.

    All hail Princess Maa-chan!

  9. This interview further validates the label of “genius” put on Maachan. I remember thinking she was a silly Tsuji clone when she first showed up until she appeared on MaiMai’s webcast, played drums and piano and blew my mind. I can see, and have for years, where see struggles with being “one of a kind” in a culture that stresses group harmony and conformity and what she’s had to do to thrive in that setting. I definitely see her time in Momusu as just a chapter, I think she’s destined for greater things in her life.

  10. Masaki truly is a prodigy, is what I think when I hear her singing or read her talk about music. Keep doing your best at conveying Tsunku’s songs and being free.

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