Takahashi Minami interview 【Words for working women】; pt. 1
Special interviews made to popular celebrities in occasion to “Shigoto Nadeshiko”’s renewal.
Takahashi-san, first generation general manager from the idol group famous to national level, AKB48, who graduated April 2016 and whose book “Leader Theroy” has become argument of discussion. To that Takahashi Minami-san I tried to throw some of the most troubles some worries and questions of working women. This will be published in two parts.
What does “work” mean to you, personally? It’s something we ‘need’ in order to be able to keep living.
I’m just like everyone else. I think that happiness is also when you’re able to make the things you enjoy the most to do your own occupation.
When I was a little girl, I didn’t think of my dream as something I could do for a living. Since my primary school days I’ve wanted to be a singer, but at that time I only wanted to sing songs and nothing more. When AKB48 came into my life, though, throughout 10 years my favorite thing to do also became my job, and I think I’m very lucky to have that.
Please, tell me what’s something you focus on when it comes to human relationships. I keep treasure of the first impression I have on people. I nothing like ‘making up a character’ or ‘faking’, it’s just I wanna people to keep liking me.
And also, I always keep my ‘good manners’ not matter how much friends/close I am with someone.
Please, tell us how you behave when you first meet someone and if you’ve got any secret on how you decide to open up to someone. Hmm… There are many ways to make a good impression to someone when you first meet them. For me, at the time of the first introduction, I’d always throw a very cheerful, “Nice to meet you!” to the other person.
As for any secrent on how to trust someone, I don’t think I’ve got any, but, I always carry with me the will to make the effort to actually know people.
Just by conversing with them I understand what things me and someone else have in common and stuff like that, and that’s probably something that will also make the trusting process easier.
Do you have any life plans for the future? For now, as I graduated from AKB48, I wanna start replying on myself as Takahashi Minami alone.
I wanna give the kouhais a reason to believe in dreams.
So it’d be just great if I could enjoy every day that’s gonna come.
In what occasion you feel like your work is being rewarding? When I get responses from the fans! The fact that, no matter what, we’re going to always rejoice together and cry together. It’s when you’ve got such a connection with someone, when you get to share your own emotions with others that you tell yourself you gotta keep doing your best for the people who’re supporting you.
At the time of AKB, I had the chance of meeting with fans at events such as handshake events, but with the graduation now those occasions are becoming gradually rarer. I’ll be able to let them know that I’m still doing my best if I’ll appear in television more.
When you don’t feel like working, how do you switch into the right mood? As a humen being, I’ve got yes and no days as well, but because it’s work we’re talking about I do my best to keep up the good spirit. Even if I’m exausted, even if until a moment ago I was in OFF-mode, I always think I gotta switch ON even for that working moment only.
I haven’t got any of those advice that are like, “If you do that you’ll feel more positive” etc., but I do tell myself, “I gotta do this now” and fill myself of the right spirit.
Women have a tendency to form groups on workpace, but for people who do not enjoy group-work, how can they still get along with the others without joining them? Women particularly join groups, don’t they. I, too, am not the type of person that’s very good at group activities, actually, I’m more the kind of a loner when it comes to that kinda stuff.
I think that women are more prone to be concerned about the impression they make on people. They think they wanna join a group because otherwise they’ll end up isolated, but,
if you’re someone who enjoys her alone time, then that’s not isolation. So just do as you feel like doing.
What about the kind of ‘power harassment’ that comes when your superior approaches you only with very rude manners? How should one deal with that? No matter where you go, in every workplace you’ll always find that kinda person, won’t you. For me, it’s either because they don’t like me or because they’re jealous of me. But I’m the kinda person that’s driven by such situations.
“In order not to let that person tell me something bad again I’m going to do better than them. In order not to get any kind of critique, I’m going to do a very perfect job”, that’s what I think.
By doing so, I think the other person won’t find the chance to tell such things either. I believe it’s something positive to get oneself driven by mortifying feelings and work hard because of them.
If you’ve got to work with someone that has different opinions from you, is that personally stressful for you? And agin, how do you overcome that? For me, personally, it’s more convenient when I get to work with someone that thinks differently from me. Working with someone that sees things the way I do brings me to one and only conclution, which can be good, but working with someone that sees things differently will bring me to consider different options I didn’t even notice in the first place.
Basically, I do feel comfortable working with someone that shares my same opinions, but with those that don’t share them, I’m led to make new discoveries.
So I think it’s a waste to hold any kind of prejudice toward such people.
When there’s no sign of effort from the kohais you have to duty to guide, how do you deal with that? If the person shows no will to make efforts, to me, they’re helpless.
But if it were me and if I really took to heart that junior, I’d give them a piece of advice such as, “Wouldn’t it be better if you did it this way?”.
Back in AKB, I did nothing but give advice as well. “This is shown this way, so wouldn’t it be better if you did it like this?”, thins like that. And I believe that even if they didn’t realize it at that very moment, they definitely will in the future, one or two years later.
How do you think should be approached those people that keep complaining about others even when you try to change the subject but they inevitably end back to complaining? I think that women mostly just need someone who listents to them talking, they don’t even pay much attention to complaints.
However, if you feel like tired and listening to that is a problem for you, you better just avoid to meet with that person.
When you’re having a conversation it’s important that both sides keep talking actively and are equally present in the conversation, when it comes to listening to complaints it might look like the listener is absent, but sometimes it’s just tiredness. If the complainer is a treasured person, however, I think it’s better make an effort and listen to them nonetheless.
The senpai that’s teaching you and your boss give you two different opinions･･･How would you deal with such a situation? If it were me, I’d listen to both their opinions and then ask myself, “How can I match them both together?”.
And after I’ve gathered in one the two opinions I’d pass them to my juniors.
This might sound weird but imo there’s no bad singer in aqours like in u’s some ppl have voices just for the sake of matching their character (like nico no shade tho I love nico) but everyone in aqours has such a nice lovely voice and they all blend together idk aqours just sounds like a real idol group
This is Romi Park, voice of Edward Elric. She often represents Arakawa at events.
This is also Romi Park.
This is Haruka Kudo, member of the long-running idol group Morning Musume, and fan of Silver Spoon. (Also, Kudo is 16 and Arakawa is 43.)
Hiromu Arakawa is known for not revealing her face to the public. If you see a photo that’s supposedly of her, it’s probably Romi Park or someone else who isn’t Arakawa. Please stop posting photos saying “This is the real Hiromu Arakawa gaiz!!1!1!” when they aren’t.
1st on the Billboard World Album chart, from
dominating the Oricon charts to a world tour spanning Europe to South America,
an Asia tour that sold out 150,000 tickets. BTS, who is unbelievably entrancing
as they break numerous records as an idol group, always make their own music
and are artists who direct their own stages. Through the most BTS-like tracks
and performances, BTS have forged a world of unexpected idol music, and among
those 7 men is Suga, who calmly came from the underground to take the mainstream
Suga is experiencing his 20s while repeating a pattern of
hitting a wall after darting off at his peak, then getting up again and moving
forward. Because of this, he didn’t want to miss even one of the moments that
flash by. Like this, he filled his sound with the daily life that could fly
away at any moment. Instead of the name “BTS’ Suga,” he has put a
mixtape out into the world under the name “Agust D” that freely expresses the beauty of one youth’s experience.
Q. After your world tour you had an Asia tour, and I heard
that it’s all finished now. Traveling all around the world for nearly 2 years
must have been dizzying. A. I really like it. I’m living the life I dreamed of when I
was young. There’s a time difference of around 12 hours in Brazil. It’s
fascinating to stand onstage literally halfway around the planet. Even if I
sleep a little less, it’s okay.
Q. Even while you’re that busy, you put out a mixtape. A. I write songs while going back and forth on the airplane,
and I worked [on music] back at the hotel room after our concerts are done. Now
the second half of the work is almost finished, and today after this interview is
over I’ll go back to work more.
Q. What kind of songs are they? A. It’s full of the kind of tracks that you can’t hear in
BTS’ music. In particular, the feeling of the lyrics is very different. I
straightforwardly expressed myself in regards to how I think of youth. I also
spoke honestly about my own self. I’m the type who likes making material out of
things like the reality that I experienced from my late teens to my twenties,
my daily life, my conflicts, and my dreams.
Q. It seems like you think deeply about those things,
ordinarily. A. It’s because that’s the time I’m living right now. If you
hear the conversations I have with my peers or with my older brother, not
having a clear dream has been my biggest worry. I lived this far by fitting
into the societal mold, but after becoming an adult and actually facing up to
that reality, it’s different than what I thought. Even if you just endlessly
search for a job or take entrance examinations, your thoughts become more
Q. Then what kind of 20s is the youth named Min Yoongi
spending? A. I think that I’ll only know if I’m living well after a
little more time passes, but I can assure you that I’m living a very satisfying
Q. Your mixtape is a perfectly self-produced product in that
you wrote songs, wrote lyrics, and even produced the tracks. You must want to
be a little greedy, and there are many things you want to include, right? A. Since I’ve done everything on my own from one to ten, my
greed seems to be getting a little bigger. I also have the kind of personality
where I really can’t abide doing things roughly. I focus on the highest point
of completion. In particular, when I made the tracklist, I worried a lot. About
how I should put it together for flow and how to clearly convey the stories
that I wanted to include. It’s a mixtape I made meticulously as if it were a
Q. But rather than making a full album, you chose the unique
form of a mixtape. A. The reason is simple. I started with the purpose of
trying all the things I wanted to try. While thinking I should just express
myself transparently. I wanted to try putting out music that was just made how
I thought of it, the direction my heart went. I worked very freely on both the
genre and the lyrics.
Q. Is the music that you made freely by yourself that
different from the music you’ve worked on as part of BTS? A. Of course. Like the way that my mixtape came out as
“Agust D,” rather than under the name “Suga.”
Q. Even before you did activities with BTS, you did music
for a long time. You put out another mixtape before your debut, didn’t you? A. The thing that I put out at that time is the kind of
quality you can’t even listen to. (laughs) My thoughts have changed a lot in
the 3 years I’ve been doing activities with BTS. To be honest, I was seriously
daunted after debuting as an idol. I was like, “I’m a person who’s been
continuously doing music since I was young, but now that I’ve become an idol
people are going to look at me differently, right?” But those were all
idle thoughts. No matter how you look at
it there are things that have changed, but it seems like I agonized about it
and hung this heavy meaning on it for no reason. I was in this severe, serious
mode. (laughs) The things that at the time felt as though they were molds that caged me now feel more like a fence. My heart has become more comfortable.
I’ve also done away with some of my stubbornness about music. How should I say
it? It feels like my outlook has become much wider compared to before.
Q. It seems like you’ve gone through a sort of growth
process. A. Yeah. It seems like that. My self-confidence has become
more robust. All of the BTS members are like that. All 7 of us have our own
thoughts about things, but we’ve discovered the way to combine them, and our
conviction onstage has become stronger. Our musicality, choreography,
performance, stage setting, etc. are all individually important, but I think
that only if we combine all of those things properly can we make a final
product. Since we’re onstage, we unconditionally have to do well. We want to
show even more than what’s anticipated by the fans who come to the concert
venue to see us perform.
Q. Since you have so much greed toward the stage, it seems
like you’d share a lot of discussion about music with your members. A. We all work individually, and then we consult each other
only after organizing the things we’ve made on our own. Because if we always
just talk about work then it gets stressful.
Q. From where do you get the inspiration for your work? A. I put everything in endless memos all the time. the
things I think of at any moment, sudden emotions, words that come up into my
head unprompted… I write down everything. Sometimes really good ideas come to
me 2 or 3 years later while I’m rummaging through things that I wrote down after
just staring blankly for a while. I also listen to other musician’s music quite
Q. Whose music are you mainly listening to these days? A. I like the lyrics that Lupe Fiasco writes, and recently
I’ve been listening to American rapper Desiigner’s new stuff and to rapper YG’s
songs. Among Korean artists, there’s a team called XXX, and their songs are
really good. Ah, also the vocalist Suran, I first encountered her through her
demo album but I really liked it, and now she has worked with me as a featuring
on this mixtape.
Q. Since you listen to so much music and like focusing so
much on thoughts and emotions, it must be important for you to have time to
yourself. A. Yes, that’s right. It’s an absolutely necessary time for
me. There have been times that I’ve sat alone in my recording studio for 10
hours. Although to be honest I was just goofing off for 8 hours and working for
1 hour. (laughs) It’s important for me to have time where I can calmly organize
my thoughts in a room by myself. I get overwhelmed if I’m just running around
without any of that kind of time.
Q. What’s your favorite line among those that you’ve written
while sitting by yourself like that? A. “Because the dawn is darkest before the sun rises,
even in the far future don’t forget the you of now,” from the track
‘Tomorrow.’ I like lyrics with this feeling. Content related to comfort or
development. I want to make music that people can easily sympathize with.
Q. Now that we’ve been talking for a while, it’s all talk
about music. A. If you asked me to talk about my other interests… uh,
collecting music equipment? buying things like rings and necklaces or
bracelets? There’s not much. (laughs)
Q. When I look at BTS’ SNS accounts, it seems like the
atmosphere is really cheerful. Suga, you seem more like the quiet type
yourself. A, I can be bright sometimes, but I don’t really like loud
things. But in the chatroom with the members, things are always crazy. We’re
seriously funny. They take their own ugly photos and upload them, they take
each other’s ugly pictures without permission and share them. Yesterday
somebody posted a video of Yang Sehyung-ssi’s and it was seriously nuts. There
were so many “LOL.” It’s difficult on everybody to work and do activities,
but we laugh together and by chatting like this we can support each other and
get along well.
Q. You have this team called BTS that shares each other’s
joys and sorrows, and you made a mixtape full of the music you wanted to do. As
much as you worried, it seems like you’re spending a fruitful 20s. A. There are still a lot of things left that I want to do. I
want to do better. I’ll keep making music for a long time into the future. I’m
going to keep clinging to this floor. My 20s will be spent youthfully, and when
I reach my 30s and 40s then I’ll spend my time well as befitting a person of
* when they say “greed” it doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, it just means having a strong desire towards one aspect of life ** Yang Sehyung is a popular Korean gagman