It’s been 5 years since we debuted. At that time, Umetan’s hair looked like a helmet and Moe was really scary. You two now have become adult and have made your decision to graduate. To be honest, we feel really sad to lose you.
Moe, the one that unite 13th gen and Umetan, who can make the situation calmer just by being there. We can’t imagine how 13th gen will be without you two. Because for us, both Moe and Umetan are really important in 13th gen. But of course, we will always support the path that you’ve chosen.
Moetan and Umetan. Oh wait I’m wrong lol.
We always hope that Moe and Umetan will be happy in the future. Thank you for your hard work in these 5 years. We always love you.
UTB+ Vol 36: Kudo Haruka x Makino Maria Interview Translation
- - Interviewer: This time’s theme is the high school couple! So you’ve always been playing roles of ikemen characters up till now, do you plan on continuing to play such characters this year too?
Kudo: Hmm, I don’t actually really know (lol)? I do want to, to a certain extent but I also kind of want to be able to play a normal girl’s role properly. However, because recently, I have been given many boy roles to play, it makes me there would be a lot of difficult things if I were to play a normal girl’s role (lol).
Makino: Whenever Kudo-san plays a male role, it always makes my heart pound! It’s never not natural at all. So if Kudo-san were to switch around and instead put on some perfume and stuff, I think I will be like “Eh? Did something happen, Kudo-san?!”. Since Kudo-san is always so natural when she plays a boy’s role (lol).
Kudo: But, a boy’s role can also now be played by a 13th gen (Kaga) who recently joined. This makes me wonder whether I should turn into playing a girl’s role instead? (haha)
Makino: Eh? Please don’t!! Kudo-san is perfect as you are!
Kudo: On the other hand, Makino is really very girlish isn’t she. Like she winks when she’s on stage. And sometimes she even smirks (lol). Whether it just being girlish, or an ability that you were born with, I guess I am just lacking in this aspect (lol).
Makino: I think it’s actually a habit instead. It’s just that sometimes, when I sing, I just like to wink (haha).
Kudo: That’s the nature/character of idols! I’m going to try to work on evolving this part of me from now onwards then!
Makino: Then, how about if you also do “Marian LOVErin desu” too? While I will continue doing it as well!!
- - Interviewer: By the way, has there been anything that has changed after the 13th generation members have been added into the group?
Makino: Up till now, the seniors have been really kind & always fawns on us, but this is the first time that I have juniors. And whenever the 13th generation members asks me various questions, I always think to myself, “what will my seniors say if I were to ask them such a question in the past?”. Such as teaching them how some things done in Kenshuusei are not correct when in Morning Musume.
Kudo: Because Kenshuuseis (trainees) who joined the group have previous trainings, they usually do not require much training. So I actually felt that the time between when 11th Gen (Oda) & 12th Gen entered the group was very short. Honestly, I’m more worried about 12th Gen than 13th Gen, even though I think its really fun watching them grow. I’m especially worried about Makino & Nonaka! However, because the 13th Gen members will be faced with so many many new things, I fear they may lose themselves. But as the 12th Gen has had about 2+ years more experiences, I’m sure they will gradually change little by little. So I hope that will not feel too overwhelmed by the fresh new 13th Gen members.
Makino: I got it (lol). I hope that in our next tour I will be able to bring out my more mature side. I also want to be able to express more expressions that I feel with my heart in tours & H!P concerts. With all the energy that I’ve got! Perhaps this is something Kudo-san would actually say (haha).
Kudo: Since you debuted earlier than Kaga who is in the same generation as you when you were a Kenshuusei, I imagine it’s a little difficult getting used to how it is now isn’t it.
- - Interviewer: Well then, let’s move on to what your goals/aims are for this year. Please let us hear it!
Makino: I want to be able to stick firmly & complete my daily goals. As I tend to lose things often, I would like to stop being such a blockhead and stop losing things all the time. Also, I would like to be able to have “self-endurance”. My favorite quote is by Nakata Sho from Nippon Ham Fighters who said “Win with your heart”. I want to make that my goal. I want to be able to practice with all my heart & not give up/lose heart so easily!
Kudo: As this year will be Morning Musume’s 20th Anniversary, I would like for us to have a brilliant impact on people in this 1 year. As for me, I want to challenge myself to more plays. Last year, I participated in a commercial for Pro-active, and many people told me that they watched it. So, I hope there would be more opportunities for people to recognise us from stage plays, dramas and maybe movies.
Morning Musume 13th gen interview (UTB+ March 2017)
(Translator’s note: This is chronologically the first interview 13ki had ever done, so there is information now known (i.e. Yokoyama’s blood type) that was not known at this point.)
We’re the 13th generation of Morning Musume!
Kaga Kaede x Yokoyama Reina
The 13th generation members decided upon are these two from Hello! Pro Kenshuusei! There’s a stark contrast between Kaga-chan’s 4 years of Kenshuusei and Yokoyama-chan’s 3 months, but it seems that Yokoyama-chan has an aggressive personality (laugh). They’re beginning to act more and more like generation mates.
The uncertainty of debuting during the Kenshuusei days
— What was the initial reason why you joined the Kenshuusei?
Kaga: I’ve been watching Morning Musume since I was little, but in particular, when I saw the performance of “One Two Three” (‘12), everybody’s dancing and singing was amazing, and Sayashi Riho-san, the center, was really cool and left an impact on me. I admired that a girl in the same age group as me could dance so well. I went for the 11th generation auditions, failed partway through, and joined the Kenshuusei.
Yokoyama: I’ve liked Morning Musume since I was in sixth grade. Back then, I still viewed them from the perspective of a fan and never thought about wanting to become a member. When I entered junior high, I saw Morning Musume ‘14 being pranked on a TV show. It was a wake-up prank where everyone had to wake up and start singing and dancing immediately. When I watched that, even though everyone had just woken up, they danced crisply, sang properly, and smiled brightly. I thought that it would definitely be fun to join them. I took the first 13th generation audition (no passed applicants) and joined then.
The last member of the team is an amnesiac of mixed Indian/Pakistani descent. Due to her memory loss, she was called Mouse because of her quiet and unassuming demeanor. Others find her a little odd and depressing but they soon learn its the unassuming one that you have to watch out for!
(I was a little apprehensive about playing a Malkavian because research tells me that Malkavian is the hardest role to portray. Fortunately for me, I do have a fairly imaginative mind and is able to make unpredictable decisions and create some memorable WTF! moments in the game. My proudest moment was when I stumped our storyteller into having a bsod. Good thing everyone recovered quickly and we actually had the best outcome possible! We have guns now, watch out Sunnydale!)
Morning Musume ‘16 BLT “Beautiful Lady 100″ Interview 1/4
‘96 10 30. Hometown Tokyo. Scorpio. Bloodtype O.
Next year welcomes the 20th year since your formation and Fukumura-san’s will turn 20.
“Previously I hated turning 17. Because cute clothes would gradually not suit me, I wanted to stop at 15 (laughs). But recently I’ve finally come to accept “I’ll start wearing clothes that are more age appropriate” and “I’ll try an age appropriate hairstyle”
In one year, Morning Musume has had many changes.
“It was my first experience with a graduation in my own generation and I was sad; I uneasily felt ‘What is Morning Musume going to do?’. The members were also uneasy and previously, we were unable to advance forward. Therefore I strongly felt “We’re going to listen to each other!”, to make things more interesting and realizing things we didn’t think about to make things exciting!”
Do you think you don’t want things to change from now on?
“I want to protect the Morning Musume name we have inherited from our seniors. We have a heavy 19-year history, from now on I always want to cherish it; I want to properly transmit to the juniors my love and appreciation of my Morning Musume and I’d like them to inherit it.”
For example, how do you imagine Morning Musume after 10 years?
“I’d be surprised if it was all elementary school students (laughs). But, for Morning Musume, I want them to always wear silver costumes.”
TV I’m Into: “Toto Nee-chan” I like Mano Erina-san’s typist leader role
‘97 7 7. Hometown Fukuoka. Cancer. Bloodtype A.
Ikuta-san and BLT were both born in ‘97, you know.
“Morning Musume’s formation was also in ‘97, I appeared on “Ohastar” as the Oha girl and they also started in ‘97. I hear a lot of “It’s the same year,” about things, it makes me really happy.”
Do you have an example of a memory from BLT?
“In ‘11 with the “Haropuro Festival”. For Mobekimasu, we had a photo shoot with all of us in yukata. At that time, there was a photoshoot with a two-shoot with Maeda Yuuka-san and I; I was incredibly nervous about it, but now it makes me happy because it’s a photo that I cherish,”
What are your goals towards becoming 20 years old?
“I want to polish my singing, dancing, and performing even more. Recently, I’ve been paying attention to girl K-pop artists dancing; I think that the sex appeal they can put out as women is nice. Also, in order to find out how to be good at these dances I don’t do, I want to study various genres.”
For the 13th generation, what kind of girl do you want to join?
“Since the audition is open to international applicants, I think it’d be interesting for an international girl to join. I’m happy there are international girls that think “I want to be in Morning Musume!”. We also want to go and meet more of our international fans. Four years ago when we had our worldwide handshake; at the time I was still in middle school so I regrettably couldn’t participate, so I want to have another worldwide handshake with the current members.
TV I’m Into: “Hiru Nan Desu!” I like to see floor plans, and their property tours are fun!
It was at about this time, on August 24th, one year ago: the promotion of the 13th and 14th generation KKS as well as Minegishi Minami at Tokyo Dome; the formation of the then-new team 4.
For Miichan it was a step back into the light, and into of a new role. For her fellow research students, having “run for so long without ever touching the ball”, it meant that they at long last had a team to call their own. A turning point and a new journey for all 16 of them.
Soon to follow was the shonichi of “Te wo Tsunaginagara”. They had all the energy in the world that night, and captured my heart and many others’.
They vowed to work hard to become the strongest team…
And 6 months later, they stood center-stage at Saitama Super Arena, claiming the #1 spot in Request Hour 2014, praised for their powerful theater performances.
Strongest or not, all I can say is that getting to know the 15 girls of the first Minegishi Team 4, over 7 months and 64+ stages of memories, was an unforgettable experience.
Though their time was brief, they made it count.
So to Umemoe and Nororinzu…
to Mogishima and Triple 彩…
to the Three Musketeers and Kabutomu Chu…
and to Captain Miichan…
Thank you for those wonderful two hundred and thirty four days.
And to everyone in Team 4, past and present, and the whole 48G, for the incredible year.
Here’s to more to come!
Happy anniversary Minegishi Team 4, we won’t forget you.
Letter to Iwatate Saho from her mother (From 10/9/14 Iwatate Saho Seitansai)
(Read by Kitazawa Saki)
20 years have passed since Saho was born. I think it’s really Ha–ya–i!
Today I will tell a hi–mi–tsu, a secret story about Saho.
Saho was going to be born in September. But maybe because she loved her mother’s womb, she wasn’t quite born then. Mou, she was really o~so~i!
You were around 10 days late and were born on October 4th. Thinking back, I wonder if you wanted to be born on “Tenshi no hi”*?
When you were born, I was told you had come down with pneumonia from aspirating the amniotic fluid. You also weighed 3,546 grams, but you probably don’t remember your mother’s worry when you were placed in the incubator.
[Saho: Of course.]
Unable to wait for milk to the point of drinking the amniotic fluid, it certainly seemed like you were a big eater. And since that time, while holding the baby bottle too, you had your little finger raised.
[Saho: No way!]
At the time when your mother was having another baby, you arbitrarily believed that you would have a little sister. When you learned that your brother had been born, I heard from your grandmother that you cried in shock and refused to eat your favorite sushi. I felt that you were a child who can make her intentions clear.
Nowadays, the two of you have a very close relationship, like waiting together on the return from school, going out to eat together, go to karaoke, and getting together to study.
The first two times you auditioned for AKB I knew about it, but third time I said “Since It’s already impossible, give it up; think about university”, but your brother took the picture for you, and you auditioned. This convinced me that you were not entering AKB with half-hearted feelings, but there was also the matter of your age; as a parent I worried if this was really a good thing for your future, Saho.
With the promise that you would both enter AKB and take the university entrance examinations, I gave the OK. But between daily lessons, stage performances, rehearsals, and concerts the schedule was more than I thought. Seeing you in the interim––going to school and cram school, being up until late, and studying for exams––at the sight of it all, although you had made a commitment, I wondered if, how many times, the thought of “This exam, stop it already!” crossed your mind. However, without vomiting complaints, you did your best and passed.
The day before your 18th birthday celebration, you stayed up all night finishing a report. To be going straight to the stage just like that, your mother was worried that you would collapse. But standing on stage, Saho, you were an idol full of energy, with such a happy face. And my tears wouldn’t stop, knowing that the road that you chose was not wrong.
For the 13th generation there was also the selection, when you and your fifteen companions became the ten that there are now. I think that the bonds between everyone became stronger through these various painful experiences.
When you had several worries about your age and your standing position, there was the kenkyuusei concert at Budokan, where amongst the many I heard Yuko-san say “The best was Iwatate Saho-chan”. With many people willing to notice you, Saho, you became much more confident, and your feelings changed. I remember you saying “No matter where I am, I will blossom”.
Saho, I think that the time when, someday, you too will graduate will be a celebration. Then also, wanting to continue to be seen working hard, deciding to become a personality who can speak in her own words, you have seen and heard various things, and have broadened the scope of your work through studying French, weather forecasting, and so on.
There’s still more hi–mi–tsu, but because this has gotten na–ga–i, that’s the end.
Finally, to the members, staff, and everyone who it concerns, and to everyone cheering for Saho, and the birthday committee who prepared and looked forward to the variety of surprises today, although in truth I would like to say thanks to all of you one-on-one, please let me take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone.
Saho is still an immature daughter, so from now on too, thank you for guiding her. Please continue to watch over Iwatate Saho forever.
And so, as Sahho oshi, i–te–ne, let’s go!
I too am a Saho oshi, and I’m not about to lose to anyone.
Saho-chan, be grateful to have met so many people who support you, and keep walking towards your goals.
*“Tenshi no hi” means “Day of Angels”, which is October 4th (Saho’s birthday), being the 10th month and 4 in Japanese is “shi”. Therefore “Ten-shi”.
**Other “Saho-isms”: “Ha–ya–i” = “early/quickly”, “O–so–i” = “late/slow”, “Hi–mi–tsu” = “secret”, “Na–ga–i” = long, and “i–te–ne” is from “iku” or “to go”.