Paperback Edition Afterword
Three and a half years have passed since I lost my vocal cords.
Would I say that I am unhappy today? No, not at all.
You often hear people talking about “the happiness found through illness,” and it’s true that it’s important to keep a positive mental attitude like that. But, of course, it goes without saying that nothing is better than not getting sick in the first place. The stress your illness inflicts not only upon you but also the people around you is enormous. Ultimately, health is the most important thing of all.
“It must be so inconvenient having lost your voice. It must be so difficult.” People will often say things like that to me. And sure, it’s difficult. But despite that difficulty, I try to have fun and stay positive — after all, it’s no use spending all your life just feeling down.
For example, being able to witness my children grow up makes me happier than anything. They’re constantly fighting with each other, but their smiles never fail to make me feel better. I treasure every moment I spend with them, trying not to let a single moment of their development fly past me.
And then there’s the person who has taken on a very thankless role: my wife. Being scolded and told off by her for the things I least want to be told off for, I may find it annoying in that moment. But then I’ll think about it and I’ll realize, “she does have a point…” It must be even more difficult for the person doing the scolding, and I’m sure she does it all for the sake of my health.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/12/10(日) 19:55:49.740
They should keep this approach with the OG songs for a while at least.
30: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/12/11(月) 21:00:40.030
A nice, lighthearted song.
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/12/10(日) 20:03:19.590
This really is a good song.
I downloaded it and I’ve been listening to it on repeat.
5: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/12/10(日) 20:03:51.590
From the title I assumed it was going to be just some joke song, but this actually wasn’t too bad.
8: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/12/10(日) 20:22:36.530
The words are by Hoshibe, too.
The guy could write lyrics like this?
June 19, 1973 — Kyoto
1997/09/14 ~ 2001/04/15
Nakazawa: For the “FNS Kayousai” at the end of last year, the five of us original members sang together for the first time in 18 years. It’s strange how even though it’s been such a long time, it felt like we were right back in those days… Everything from the way we sang to how we presented ourselves, it all came back.
Not one of us was thinking, “I’m not the same person as I was back then.” We could once again sing this song that had been written for us 20 years ago, all together, sharing in the same feeling. I was truly happy. Being able to go back to my initial resolve like that; being given the opportunity to do that… Just how lucky am I?
— Morning Musume’s 20-year history all began with those five people. The occasion for your formation was the “ASAYAN” audition show, and more specifically Sharan Q’s “Female Rock Vocalist Audition.”
Nakazawa: The five of us failed the audition. But we were called back on a later date, and that’s when they told us: “if you can sell 50,000 copies of your CD in five days, you’ve got yourself a major debut.” Full of determination, each of us said, “I’ll do it!!!” That’s how it all started.
Had even one of us said “no” that day, we wouldn’t be celebrating the 20th anniversary right now.
October 30, 1996 — Tokyo
Fukumura: I’ve always felt strongly about not wanting to lose to my generation-mates. But then on the other hand, from the very beginning it felt like I came last out of the four of us. Even at the shoot for “Maji Desu ka Ska!” the other three were in the front row while I was in the back. That was a bit of a shock. “I’m supposed to be a new member too, and this is where they put me…?” In “Only you,” I got to sing only during two parts while Sayashi Riho even received solo lines and she was right in the center.
It was a tough thing for a child to accept, but that was the reality. That was when the sense of rivalry within me was awakened as I decided that I was going to try and push my way closer to the center and receive more and more lines. That’s how it all started.
Reaching Morning Musume At Last
— I’m sure some of that strength of spirit can also be attributed to the circumstances regarding how you got into the group. You joined Morning Musume through H!P Eggs, and that was the first time in Morning Musume’s history for that to happen.
Fukumura: It happened just around a time when I’d experiences some pretty serious setbacks in the Eggs, so I took part in the audition thinking it would be my last chance. I made it as far as the third round of judging before I failed. During the auditions, I saw girls like Suzuki Kanon who just shined so much brighter than me; girls who looked like they weren’t afraid of anything. I remember thinking, “It’s girls like this who will get into Morning Musume. It’s going to be a new era.“
September 14, 1986 — Fukui
2001/08/26 ~ 2011/09/30
Takahashi: Right around the time when people started calling it the “Idol Warring Period” and we suddenly had more rivals and less exposure, Tsunku♂ said something to us. “It’s because it’s a time like this that you need to raise the level of your performances.” It was such a relief to hear him say that. It seemed like nothing was going well for us, and yet, now it suddenly felt like I could see the road ahead. It felt like I had been shown the direction that we were supposed to take.
— The group’s Golden Era that had begun with “LOVE Machine” was showing no signs of slowing down even in 2001 when the four members of the 5th generation joined. However, there were tough times ahead.
Takahashi: It was so, so difficult. “Platinum Era” is something they started calling it only after I had graduated — we received zero acknowledgement in real time. I just barely got to experience the Golden Era, but when the 5th generation joined, things in Morning Musume began to change. We couldn’t help but always struggle with the thought that it had been our fault; that we had lacked something.
February 26, 1985 — Hokkaido
2003/01/07 ~ 2007/06/01
Fujimoto: The first dream I ever had was to become a singer. Or rather, it was the only dream I ever had. My grandmother used to take enka lessons and when we’d be singing together, the people around me would praise my singing. That’s when the feeling first arose. I decided that I would aim to one day become a singer.
— You then took part in an audition — namely, the one for Morning Musume’s 4th generation.
Fujimoto: As an elementary schooler, I was in shock when I first saw Amuro Namie. Someone like her… she was a miracle. But I lived in the countryside of Hokkaido and there were no auditions anywhere. “ASAYAN” was the biggest audition that was held even in Hokkaido, and that’s why I thought to apply.
— You ultimately failed the 4th generation auditions. Not long after, however, you made your solo debut.
Fujimoto: I made it as far as the third round. But because I had already previously failed in the Komuro-produced audition — also held on “ASAYAN” — I knew from experience how passing wasn’t that simple. I thought that I would just wait and try my best again when my next chance came.
But that’s when I suddenly received an invitation from the company to come and do lessons with them, and so I moved to Tokyo.
September 23, 1985 — Tokyo
1999/08/22 ~ 2002/09/23
Goto: The amount of time I spent as a member was a mere three years, but there’s no question that it was the most intense three years of my entire life.
— It really was a surprisingly short amount of time. One thing is for sure though: when that blond-haired junior high school student made her first appearance on TV, something had instantly changed all over Japan.
Goto: I’d only dyed my hair because I was on my summer vacation. That was back when that whole gyaru boom was happening and I just got swept up in it…
— But you were taking part in an idol audition. Were you not worried about the hair hurting your chances?
Goto: I liked the way I looked. And besides, while I did hope to become a singer, I also wasn’t the type of girl to hold back from doing something I wanted to do just because of that.
— You have also said that you were able to proceed in the auditions only because you didn’t go on your school’s field trip.
Goto: Going on the field trip, we would’ve had a certain dress code. I absolutely did not want that. I intended to go in full makeup, wearing a paleo skirt and everything, but the teacher said no. So I withdrew from the field trip and went to the audition instead. (laughs)
January 7, 1997 — Miyagi
Ishida: In the beginning, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to live up to Tsunku♂’s expectations because he had commented on me: “she can sing and dance well — she seems like someone who is going to inherit the soul of Morning Musume.“
I had been learning dance since I was little, but I just felt so inadequate and there was a period of time when I couldn’t help but wonder just why he had chosen to put me in Morning Musume.
The Soul of Morning Musume
— So you felt burdened by the pressure of not knowing what exactly this “soul of Morning Musume” that you had inherited from your seniors was.
Ishida: Ever since I was little, I’d loved performing for people. So I took up dancing, and just when I’d started thinking I might as well aim to perform on big stages, I found an advertisement for the Morning Musume auditions. I’d grown up on Morning Musume’s songs, hearing songs like “LOVE Machine” in my everyday life, so I knew they were an amazing group. But I didn’t particularly admire them or anything.