April 12, 1985 — Saitama
2000/04/16 ~ 2007/05/06
Yoshizawa: When I’d first just joined, I felt there was nothing I couldn’t do. I was pretty good at all kinds of physical exercise so even without any prior dancing experience I just thought, “well, I’m sure it’ll work out somehow.” So when we actually started with the dancing lessons, I was just astonished. I had no sense of rhythm. My body just froze — I couldn’t move at all.
— You applied for the auditions without any prior experience in singing or dancing. You weren’t thinking of it very deeply — you couldn’t even picture what it would be like if you actually passed.
Yoshizawa: I saw them advertising it on “ASAYAN” and it’s not like I had zero interest in the world of entertainment, so basically I just thought, “I’m not going to pass anyway, so I might as well apply.” That’s how it all started.
I had no idea that having good reflexes and having a good sense of rhythm were two completely separate things. It was to the point where my body simply couldn’t get used to rhythm. When the teacher would talk to me about rhythm, it was as if they were speaking to me in some sort of an alien language — I literally couldn’t make any sense of what they were saying, and so I was in a constant state of panic. Honestly, at that point I thought to myself, “it’s quite possible they won’t let me continue.” When I thought about all the many choreographies I would have to learn, I felt that there was just no way I was going to be able to do it.
— I’m surprised to hear you say that as you never had an image of being someone who struggled with dancing.
Yoshizawa: Somehow I was able to manage as I kept at it, but never even until the very end could I consider it something I was “good” at. Not even close. When our instructor, Natsu Mayumi, would come in, I’d just be all, “ahhhh…” She’d show me my solo parts, telling me to watch carefully before she did. I’d watch and I’d be so focused, but it’d be so hard that I simply could not memorize it. It was so difficult that I was there thinking, “for an amateur like me… you’re going to have to show me that 300 more times!“
If it was a longer bit of choreography, I’d immediately start forgetting all the little, more detailed movements. When that happened, I’d be too scared to ask the instructor to show it to me again. Instead, I’d go to one of the assistant instructors, bow my head in apology, and ask them to teach it to me again. That cycle kept repeating constantly in the beginning. I only learned to enjoy dancing much later — maybe just before my graduation.
The Beginning of an Idol Life
— You spent seven years as a member of Morning Musume. That’s quite long, isn’t it?
Yoshizawa: Yes, from age 15 to 22. Before that, I was a member of the very accomplished volleyball club of our school. It was after I quit that club when I saw the advertisement for the audition and decided to give it a try. Nowadays there are lots of people who aim to become idols, but back then there was hardly anyone around me who had taken part in an audition. I was too embarrassed to even tell people that I’d applied for one. I pretty much only told this one friend in secret, just so she could take pictures of me to use for the application. I was hiding it from everyone — I was worried of what might happen if I failed.
— It didn’t take long, however, until people found out.
Yoshizawa: It was incredible from the instant they first showed me on TV. The minute my name and face were shown during the second stage of the auditions, the phone at our house started ringing. We began receiving calls from my friends and all my relatives. “Was that your Hitomi we just saw on TV?!” There was a quite a commotion at school the next day. I went to a combined junior high and high school, and for some reason there were all these high schoolers suddenly hanging about at the junior high building. It was this pressure of like, “Oh no. This is bad. Now I really can’t fail the audition!“
— This was right when “ASAYAN” was at its peak popularity. I can imagine how much attention it earned you. When you actually got into the group, it must have turned your life upside down.
Yoshizawa: People often assume that, but really, it just felt like I was doing whatever I needed to be doing. It didn’t particularly feel like I’d become someone famous. Well, it became more challenging to to do things like riding the train, and I always had to wear a hat and glasses whenever I went outside, but that’s pretty much it. I’d still go to game arcades for purikura, and me and Goto Maki would go to Shibuya 109 like it was nothing. It wasn’t a constrained lifestyle at all, so I didn’t feel stressed out.
— The actual work side of things must have been difficult though, what with the lessons and all.
Yoshizawa: Our manager was very strict. Even just the way I put aside my costumes, set down my belongings, things like meeting times, greetings… He was so strict about all of it. Everything had to both start and end with a bow — that was the first thing drilled into us. However, since I had been doing volleyball before, I just thought of it as being like part of this particular “sport,” and I was able to learn it quite painlessly.
The real issue was Tsuji Nozomi and Kago Ai. They were both only elementary schoolers and they didn’t know any honorific language, so educating them about that was difficult. And since we shared collective responsibility, when those two couldn’t do something right they’d get mad at all of us in the 4th generation.
— Did you and Ishikawa Rika share the role of having to act like the watchdogs of those two?
Yoshizawa: Rika-chan took complete care of that. Rika-chan is the type of person who can see even the tiniest of details, so she’d always notice when there was a problem. And since Tsuji and Kago were constantly causing problems, she would have to be constantly nagging at them. (laughs) She was a new member herself, and yet, pretty much all her energy was taken by those two. That’s the real reason why Rika-chan was so gloomy in the beginning. (laughs) My role was more about just silently watching over them and only occasionally helping Rika-chan to give them a severe scolding, like I was their father.
This was… maybe half a year after we’d joined the group. The two of them were just so out of control — they wouldn’t listen to us at all. Rika-chan came in to my room and she was crying. I thought to myself, “okay, this is too much.” So I went over and angrily told the two of them, “ENOUGH! You two will listen to her when she’s telling you something!” I made them make up.
— That almost sounds like a family with two misbehaving daughters!
Yoshizawa: That’s exactly what it was. The 4th generation really was like a family. When we’d just joined, we were lacking in all kinds of ways compared to our seniors, so we’d often stick together even during lessons. And the more time we spent together, the more we quarreled. But through doing so, we felt secure around each other.
But surprisingly, at the same time I also felt like we were rivals. Tsuji and Kago immediately stood out because of the way they were. And Rika-chan, with her voice and all, was just such a girly character that everyone’s eyes were on her. It felt like I alone didn’t have anything special about me. Despite of how I’m known as today, when I first joined the group, I was for some reason thought of as this “beautiful girl character.” I actually struggled with that.
— It’s true that even during the auditions Tsunku♂ referred to you as being “masterfully” cute.
Yoshizawa: I was confused. It was so different to how I felt on the inside. From the very beginning, I felt that the “cute” thing definitely wasn’t me and how the “beautiful girl character” wasn’t something that I had within me either, so I didn’t know what to do. I was struggling. And so before I’d noticed it, it felt like I alone had been left behind.
— And just then, you were made the center in “Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~.” This role — that suited you so well — was your turning point.
Yoshizawa: Receiving the male role in that song, my boyish image was established and that made me feel quite a bit more at ease. Although, with that said, I wasn’t expecting something quite to that extent. I was supposed to be an idol, and yet it was like… “The first song featuring me as the center has me wearing a suit? And a regent haircut? Seriously?!“
— But you received lots of news female fans thanks to that song, and that must be because of how flawlessly you were able to play that role.
Yoshizawa: It did take some time before I really got into it. Tsunku♂ told me, “just pretend like you’re this super popular guy!” But I was like… “Um, but I’m not a guy — I don’t know how that feels!” (laughs) So for the longest time I doubted myself. “Does this really look cool?” But worrying about it wasn’t going to do anyone any good, so I just gave it my all and everyone seemed to like it.
I struggled with the dance, too. I had a choreography all of my own so I knew it was an opportunity for me to stand out, but even so I couldn’t do it well. I lost all confidence and I just couldn’t apply my mind to the lessons, so our instructor got angry with me a lot, too.
— Even though you’d been made the center, the dancing was still proving to be an obstacle.
Yoshizawa: We didn’t have a lot of time. We were supposed to shoot the PV as soon as we’d learned the choreography, and after that we were going to go straight onto the next thing… There was so much to do. I’m just glad I didn’t even have time to start feeling down about it.
— Did you receive advice from the members to help with the dancing that you so struggled with?
Yoshizawa: Yaguchi Mari was my mentor at the time so she would teach me. I also consulted with Tsunku♂ about it. “I just can’t seem to learn it, no matter what!” He just answered me all lightheartedly, like, “It’s all just about that one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four. No problem!” (laughs) Even though I was totally serious about it! But him answering me like that, it may have actually made me feel more relaxed about it. Like, “Oh, well. I guess if that’s how it is, maybe I will become able to do it soon!“
— I wonder if Tsunku♂ said it that way just to help you not overthink things, or if he actually was just being lighthearted about it.
Yoshizawa: I think he was just being lighthearted. (laughs) Even the way he said it… “Yeah, yeah! No problem, no problem!“
— Tsunku♂ is surprisingly optimistic.
Yoshizawa: I don’t know whether he’s that way on purpose or not. One time, just after I’d joined, I was wearing these sandals with thick, 15cm soles. So then Tsunku♂ suddenly went, “you’re banned from wearing thick soles from now on, Yoshizawa.” When I asked him why, he said, “They make you look crabby. You shouldn’t wear them.” I was already tall to begin with, so when I was wearing thick soles on top of that, I’d find myself physically looking down on members like Yagucchan. And since I kind of have an intense face, too, it’d result in me looking conceited. When I realized he’d given me that advice to help me not come across that way, I totally got it.
— Even when it seems like he’s not thinking about things, he actually is. The producer’s way of looking at things really is something else.
Yoshizawa: It did feel that way. Tsunku♂ really does always say all the right things. Also, he would always be so clear in explaining to us the things he wanted us to fix when it came to recordings or concerts. He must’ve had a vision for everything; down to the very last detail. Despite being so busy, he would always check even the tiniest details of our concert MC’s and those mini skits we did. It made me think about how hard it must be for a producer, having to be that thorough. We would all move exactly according to Tsunku♂’s orders.
I could clearly feel those kinds of things in Tsunku♂. I’ve always respected him.
Demonstrating Her Free Spirit
— Your presence in Pucchimoni also left a strong impression.
Yoshizawa: Pucchimoni was fun. Me and Gocchin were the same age and we were pretty close. But the feeling of distance between me and Yasuda Kei… That was more difficult. (laughs) Kei-chan is too fussy! One time she invited us out to yakiniku just because she wanted to “get closer to her juniors,” but Gocchin declined. And so did I. (laughs) To this day, I haven’t gone to yakiniku with Kei-chan. (laughs)
— I get the image that Yasuda was very considerate of her juniors and that she would often be there as someone you could talk to.
Yoshizawa: No no no, it’s not that we would consult her about anything! (laughs) Even after our concerts with Morning Musume, there would be this certain thing awaiting us — something that us juniors were always deathly afraid of. It was called the “Yasuda Room.”
— That sounds fun.
Yoshizawa: When we did concerts in more rural areas for example, it would begin once we made it to the hotel. She would call us in there, one by one. Rika-chan would come out and say, “you’re next, Yossie.” I’d walk into the room and Kei-chan would be there, wearing a bathrobe, and she’d go, “so, how are things with you as of late?” Even if I didn’t have anything I was particularly troubled about at that particular time, I’d try to at least to give her something. “Well, uhh, the dancing…” And soon it would be someone else’s turn. (laughs) That was a very awkward ritual we used to have.
Obviously now we know Kei-chan’s character so we can joke about her and stuff, but at the time she was our great senior. We didn’t even know if it was okay for us to laugh. But despite her awkwardness, Kei-chan is such a warm person. That’s why she would always worry about us 4th generation members so much.
— As far as the 2nd generation is concerned, Yaguchi was your mentor, and (awkward as it maybe was) you had a connection with Yasuda as well. So then what were your relationships with the original members like?
Yoshizawa: The 1st generation members are all very determined people and it would be different things that would make each of them angry, so I was just trying to figure out what those points were — so I would be fine as long as I avoided doing any of those things. That’s why I’d be sort of keeping an eye on them whenever I spent time with them. Or rather, I felt that I wouldn’t be able to get along with them well if I didn’t keep a certain distance between us. The lengths of our respective careers were just so different that they would be so much faster at learning new things, no matter what it was.
Besides, since we were so busy and there was never any time, it’s only expected that the seniors would get irritated by the juniors in an environment like that. If things were calm on that day, great. But when there was tension in the air, it was better to just leave them be. Except, it would always be at those exact moments when Tsuji and Kago would do something to set things off. But, thanks to it being Tsuji and Kago causing those major incidents and not us, that meant we could sort of hide in the shadows which was a relief.
— That’s a very powerful “cloak of invisibility” to have. So you weren’t a troublemaker yourself?
Yoshizawa: No no, you’d be surprised to know how much trouble I made. The fans had a tendency to see me as the “reliable honor student type,” but I’m really not reliable at all. The members all know my true nature — probably no one on the inside thinks of me as being a reliable person.
— What with you having had a strong leader’s image in the latter half of your time as a member, you definitely come across as that “reliable character.”
Yoshizawa: I’m sorry, but that’s completely off. I simply knew where the “line” was, and I behaved freely until just before crossing that line. Except, oftentimes I’d suddenly realize, “Oh, I’ve already crossed the line. I’m not supposed to be here. Te-he!“
— Specifically what kinds of things are you talking about?
Yoshizawa: Like suddenly dying my hair when we were in the midst of a stage play.
— Okay, that’s a problem.
Yoshizawa: I just went, “whatever, I’m dying my hair blonde.” And I just did it. After doing so, I phoned my manager and said, “I dyed my hair blonde yesterday.” They immediately hurried over to my house, saw the color of my hair, and with a sad tone of voice said, “Yocchan… Let’s dye it back to black…“
Also, another time on the day before we were supposed to have a photo shoot for a poster where I absolutely had to have black hair, I dyed my hair to an over-the-top blonde color. But that time the make-up artist was able to spray it back to all-black and I got through it, so it was okay.
— I’m not sure I’d call that “okay“… Why did you choose that timing to dye your hair?
Yoshizawa: I’d been telling them for some time that I was going to dye my hair blonde, but I simply forgot that I had to get permission first. I just rather carefreely thought of it as being good timing. “Hey, today’s probably good!” The hairdresser was trying to make absolutely sure if it was okay for me to do so, and I just thought it was. But of course it wasn’t okay — not in the least. At the time, they were trying to be mindful of the members not having images that were too similar to one another, so they were very strict even when it came to hair colors. Every change of hairstyle was a big deal.
Looking back, I’m in no place to be talking about how bad Tsuji and Kago were. I’ve caused quite a bit of trouble myself.
— You were so carefree about it, it must have felt to you like it was somebody else’s problem.
Yoshizawa: I’m reminded of lots of things like that, but I’ve also forgotten a bunch, too. In a lot of ways I was completely oblivious to fear back then. I just got through everything through sheer energy. And it’s because I wasn’t thinking about things deeply back then that I’ve forgotten so much of it. The only thing I can say is: my apologies to everyone for everything back then. I’ve now grown up to be someone who can stop and think a little before I act.
— It’s funny that a person like that was also the conscientious leader of the group.
Yoshizawa: It was quite difficult for me once I became the leader. Up until that point, I could just freely do as I pleased within the framework that had been set for me. I was always a lighthearted person, thinking only about how I didn’t want anyone getting angry with me. But once I became the leader, that didn’t cut it anymore. If I needed to tell someone off about something, I first had to make sure it was something I could do myself. It was difficult having to always try to be the no. 1 most reliable person in the group.
— You had to switch gears very quickly — both with your character as well as with your words and conduct.
Yoshizawa: I didn’t want anyone quipping me about it. Like, “you’re completely incapable.” I knew that when you’re incapable, you have zero persuasiveness. The most difficult thing for me was having to straighten myself out. But pulling the group together and looking over my juniors and our environment and everything, that’s something I didn’t struggle with as much. In that sense, my awareness changed quite naturally.
— The leader’s sense of responsibility is something that can change a person.
Yoshizawa: Another thing that helped was being made the captain of our futsal team. That was in sports — a world where every battle ends in clear loss or victory. That too would be quite taxing in a different kind of way, but having to always think about teamwork is something that was the same in Morning Musume as well. Thinking about it that way, the fact that I was able to keep both those things in balance must mean that the leader position suited me quite well.
Bonds Formed Through Futsal
— Gatas Brilhantes H.P. were the first idols to do futsal.
Yoshizawa: Looking back now, it’s pretty amazing how there were idols doing futsal seriously like that. Because really, that was no laughing matter. Like, Fujimoto Miki would seriously have the look of a sniper in her eyes! (laughs) We always had our sights on victory. It was always dead-serious.
Idols all hate to lose to begin with, and we picked especially the more sports-minded individuals among those people, so it was like this huge condensation of character. And maybe it was actually quite difficult to pull a team like that together, because when I went from futsal back to Morning Musume, it was like… “this is so easy!“
— Aside from the matches themselves, you always had heated battles as to which members would be chosen as the starting members.
Yoshizawa: That was the toughest part. It was a different kind of battle from what we’d have in Morning Musume. In the sports world, there is no chosen “center” — whoever gets to go first is something that is determined through results produced in practice. That would lead to quite a bit of dispute.
We had two goalkeepers: Tsuji and Konno. Obviously, only one of them could be out there at the start of the game. There was this one time when Tsuji couldn’t show up to practice very much, so Konno did her absolute best in practice. And yet, at the following tournament, Tsuji was announced as the starting goalkeeper. The moment they did that, Konno burst out in tears and ran away.
I went, “oh no, this is bad,” and ran after her to console her. When I did, Konno struck back at me, going, “but Non-chan didn’t even show up for practice!” I was shocked, but I was also happy to realize just how passionate she was about it. She had never before told me how she really felt, not that directly. Had it not been for futsal, we wouldn’t have built that relationship and I would’ve never been able to see that side of Konno. It was that episode that made me realize how there was meaning in every single part of our activities.
— It’s all connected.
Yoshizawa: None of us initially thought we were going to get that serious about it. We’d practice twice a week for two hours, quickly wash off in the shower, change clothes, and then head for our concert rehearsals. But I felt so fulfilled, and it didn’t feel the least bit tiring. On the contrary: it just made me feel even more determined. It was fun. And pretty soon I was also happy about losing weight through futsal.
— There was a time when you were chubby — they would tease you about it on variety shows.
Yoshizawa: By my nature, I’m someone who’s very easily bored of things. I hate being in one place for an extended period of time. When we were practicing for a musical, for example, I’d just start eating because of the stress from that. We’d have to sit there at the theater throughout the entire performance, and since we’d get lots of refreshments, that meant there was a lot of temptation, too. The actual musicals themselves were fun to do, but whenever we did one, I’d discover that I’d gotten fat.
— Weight fluctuation can be an issue with girls at that age.
Yoshizawa: I did have a healthy appetite for my age. But even though we’d be wearing similar outfits, I’d notice how my outfits would have more material than the others’. They wouldn’t let me reveal my stomach or my legs. I was pretty shocked by that. So then it was like, “just lose weight then!“
— Did you take steps to control your weight?
Yoshizawa: I got myself a trainer and I’d go running every morning. I also changed to a diet menu consisting mainly of vegetables. When the others around me would be eating curry and rice or something, the smell would be just hell for me. But besides that, it was just all about exercise. I went hard at futsal. It wasn’t easy, but even that memory now feels nostalgic.
— But when you were restricting your eating because of your weight, would it not push you towards a breaking point? What with how busy you were working, wouldn’t not having an outlet for stress make you want to quit?
Yoshizawa: Things never felt so tough to the point where I felt like I wanted to quit. Instead, I always felt like I was ready to quit whenever — that’s how much I was giving it my all. I was always doing my best to the point that, even if I was to quit right then and there, I wouldn’t have any regrets.
— It sounds like you’re very positive and like you always carry things out in your own way.
Yoshizawa: I did have my conflicts and my share of worries, but I think I was always a person who could switch between on/off very easily. When I’m “on,” I take whatever I’m working at head-on and I just go at it with all my strength. When I’m “off,” it’s like I just allow myself to go with the flow. There were times when I would be adamant about something, unable to let it go… But eventually I’d get tired of resisting and I’d just go, “ah well, whatever.” I was so young…
— Did you decide on the timing of your graduation yourself?
Yoshizawa: It was Tsunku♂. When he told me, I just thought, “Ah, okay. Obviously.” (laughs) Back then, everyone was pretty quick to graduate. But I spent seven years in the group. I don’t really feel like I left anything undone.
— The members changed quite a bit in those seven years. The whole atmosphere of the group was different.
Yoshizawa: It was just such a dense group in the beginning. (laughs) That goes for the members’ characters, but also all our relationships, too. The group was constantly facing heaps and heaps of challenges, and as we were all trying to resolve those challenges, we had no choice but to communicate. We didn’t have email back then, so we’d have to meet face to face in order to talk.
In the later half, we could just email each other and it was like that’d be the end of it, so to me they had an impression of being rather “easy” relationships. But, with that said, we were all friendly with each other and I also felt fulfilled. It’s just that, in the beginning, everything was always so extremely dense. (laughs)
The Fans Connecting 20 Years of History
— As its 4th leader, how do you feel about the group’s current members who you didn’t get to be active with?
Yoshizawa: As they’re all girls who joined the group because they loved Morning Musume, even that alone makes me feel an affinity towards them. When I see them singing those same songs that they’ve inherited from us, I can’t help but see them as my cute juniors. What with the formation dancing and all, they keep constantly evolving. And when I see the current members doing their very best, it makes us OG’s want to do our best, too. As I get more and more juniors, it makes things fun for me, too. It gives me a chance to compete with them, and I feel like it just enriches my life.
— They’re all constantly growing up and evolving. It certainly is fun watching over them.
Yoshizawa: It’s so charming to see my juniors grow up. Tanaka Reina was pretty incredible when she was going through that rebellious phase of hers. But then, before I’d even noticed it, she’d be saying things like, “thank you, senpai.” When I asked her, “do you actually mean that?!,” she’d go, “sure I do!” We’d be joking around like that. It made me feel good about the relationship I had with her. Seeing her having become able to pay lip service like that, it made me realize how she had grown up.
Come to think of it, even Reina is now 28 years old — a fully grown-adult. In my mind, she’s still that same, pretentious, junior high schooler Reina. Time sure flies…
— It’s the 20th anniversary, after all. It’s that sort of history that makes Morning Musume what it is.
Yoshizawa: I was watching that Morning Musume audition program on AbemaTV the other day, and I was shocked by how the youngest of them — a 9-year-old — knew about me. I felt in a very real way then how that’s the kind of group it is. Even though it’s been years since I graduated, there are people who think back on those times and go, “I sure liked that era.” And kids of the people who were fans in those days will become fans of today’s Morning Musume because of their parents’ influence.
That’s the amazing thing about Morning Musume — how it creates these relationships that stretch over many generations. Normally, if someone’s a fan of a group, they stop doing so once that era ends. But that’s not the case with Morning Musume and its fans. Yes, the group continues to go on, but the fans too help keep everything connected. That’s why it’s now the group’s 20th anniversary. It makes me happy to think that the connection we have with those fans who have supported us might continue to last forever.
— Are there other main factors for Morning Musume’s lasting success?
Yoshizawa: I think Tsunku♂’s songs have been a big influence, too. I’ve heard from people who’ve said they became fans when they saw some old Pucchimoni video, or after they heard some other old song. Even though it’s an entirely different era the songs will always be there, unchanged, and they’re all saturated with that Tsunku♂ color.
— What do you see happening to Morning Musume in the future?
Yoshizawa: I want us to have a big celebration for the 50th anniversary, too. (laughs) I’m going to be a granny then, huh…? But I hope it continues for as long as possible, and no matter the generation I want it to always be a group that people talk about, going, “Morning Musume sure is amazing.“
— Finally, what is Morning Musume to you?
Yoshizawa: It’s like my family. I’d spend more time with them than my actual family and I devoted so much of my life to it. Laughing, crying, getting angry — I got to see all those sides of everyone, so it was also a place for me to be myself just as I am, not having to hide or keep up appearances.
My mental image of it is this big mansion. Right now it has 41 rooms, one for each member… and it’s a place that we’re all constantly leaving and entering.
— As there are 41 of you, one hears about all kinds of news concerning its members, both bad and good. Is that something that’s on your mind?
Yoshizawa: It’s an unspoken rule in Morning Musume: if something happens to one of us, the others will always be there to support her and to cover for her. And that’s something that doesn’t change even after you graduate.
— With it being the 20th anniversary, you’ve gotten the opportunity to see the members again for the first time in a while. It must be a nice feeling, happily reuniting with everyone again.
Yoshizawa: No, to tell you the truth… Whenever we have to get together with the OG’s, I always think to myself, “bleh, what a bother!” (laughs) Because they all have such strong personalities! But at the same time, I always feel confident that it’s going to be a lot of fun, too. It’s not just a sense of accomplishment or fulfillment either… It’s that ultimately I just love it. Morning Musume, I mean.
Yoshizawa: I was happy how the 4th generation was being featured for the first time, and I still remember how I was scared to do that bit where I’d link shoulders with Nakazawa Yuko. Both now as well as then, the song has always made me feel this certain something. I think it’s a really good song.
i hope everyone can learn to forgive her and give her a chance to make amends…
No matter what she’s done in the present, the fact that Yossi was Yossi in MM’s past can’t be changed or taken away. I can imagine her disappointment being thrown to the wolves after her DUI, especially when her ideas of loyalty within the ranks of past musume are so pure.
In spite of all that “boyish” nonsense they pushed on her during her time in MM, I think the best clue of who Yossi was and is can be found in the 12ki dokkiri footage. Her sincere panic and concern for Makino after she burst into tears was quite moving. It is a shame that an awareness of that sort of sensitivity is still buried under that “boyish” image the public has of her.
Where can i watch the dokkiri footage?
(Anon, please watch this fast as the 10+ copies of it which were all over Dailymotion and Youtube have now been reduced to this one link!)
The footage between 5:38 and 5:48 is telling. Up until she actually saw the monitor (and thus saw Makino falling to pieces) everything had been a prank. Yossi’s genuine alarm is quite moving–especially since she may or may not have been aware of Makino’s early tendency to cry all the time.
Well firstly joining others: it was low what Hitomi did but no need to kick someone when they are down..let her redeem herself..
On topic: Not one of my favorite member(she was funny tho) but still glad to read this you still learn from others. Fujimoto always so fierce, eyes on target. Konnoooo! [ Tsuji was announced as the starting goalkeeper. The moment they did that, Konno burst out in tears and ran away. I went, “oh no, this is bad,” and ran after her to console her. When I did, Konno struck back at me, going, “but Non-chan didn’t even show up for practice!” ] my heart I adore that girl. Lastly “I WISH” has the best cover ever!
In light of last year’s events, it’s interesting that she says she wasn’t a responsible person in her MM days, and she gave a couple of examples of making quick, unwise decisions.
This remark of hers is also interesting because the other MMs did NOT support her last year:
“It’s an unspoken rule in Morning Musume: if something happens to one of us, the others will always be there to support her and to cover for her. And that’s something that doesn’t change even after you graduate.”
Well, to be fair, whenever one of them has a scandal of any kind, when do the members ever speak out in public in the person’s defense? Obviously this is just pure conjecture on my part, but I’d bet many of them have shown their support to her — in private.
Sure, she fucked up. But I don’t think any reasonable person out there feels that her life should end because of it. And maybe I’m just being overly optimistic, but I can definitely picture her coming back from this, even to the world of entertainment.
It’s amazing what a genuine apology and the passage of a little time can do.
Also, there is the recovery angle, too. She needs to write a book on “How I overcame my alcohol dependency”. I bet her die-hard fans would scoop it up during her Apology tour.
The defended Mai from C-ute. Mai was seen with a friend and people made a piss about it.
She considered quitting but the girls tried to help her and Maimi made a statement.
They did disband a year later but I doubt it was because of that.
Also Hitomi had 2 incidents. I think people are forgetting. The first one was a car accident which gave the man a minor foot injury. The other one she hit a cyclist and their bike flew several meters to hit another person while under the influence. This is why she got shit on because she continued to make mistakes 1 year apart so she served prison time. It’s so fucking sad to see people go down the hole like this. You all forgot her brother died from a drunk driver and now she almost killed someone.
That said, she wants to come back to entertainment. Her probational period ended/s this year. She’s a full-time housewife now so I hope she recovers and learns from all of this. It’s also sad that everyone from MM turned their back on her, even Aibon still has friends lol.
Okay she really fucked up leaving the scene of an accident she caused while DUI, but SHE CAME BACK IN LESS THAN 15 MINUTES. That took tremendous courage. I don’t hold it against her at all. We all screw up in our lives. It is a shame Up Front cut her off at the knees over it.
When I think of Hitomi, it is always in absolutes. Yossi is absolutely one of the best MM members EVER! Absolutely best MM concert EVER was her graduation, Sexy 8 Beat. Absolutely best post MM entertainment career was Yossi with Rika: Ongaku Gatas, Angry & Hangry, et al.