November 30, 1999 — Tokyo
Kaga: I’d already spent four years in the Kenshuusei — I thought that by this point, there was no longer any chance of me getting into Morning Musume. So in all honesty, when they made that surprise announcement there was also a part of me thinking, “…why now?” Still, regardless of the timing, I was glad to have made it into Morning Musume — the group I so loved — and ever since my activities in the group started it really has been so much fun.
Me? In Morning Musume?
— The 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th generations have all had Kenshuusei members join the group. Still, you had no idea that you would be the next one in line, right?
Kaga: Yes. I’m the same age as Kudo Haruka and Sato Masaki. I was nearing the limit of how long one can be in the Kenshuusei. Once I got in, I felt that I had to seriously think about why I had been chosen and to do my best to catch up to my seniors.
— Was there any of that sense of being the “newbie of the group” in your case?
Kaga: I had no time to depend on others or act like “the new member.” I wanted to immediately be an asset for Morning Musume and my seniors. I wanted to make myself useful. But in reality, even now when I’m talking to my seniors I still find myself holding back, and there are things I don’t know how to do in terms of our performances.