Yagami Kumi 「Her Resolution to Graduate」- from SKE Official History Book, Mada Yume no Tochuu (out 12/12/21)
—- Before to walk a new path… There are things I wanted to let you know, you who are precious to me.
It was still cold so I think it must have been in February or March of this year. I asked Oya Masana-chan for advice. We often go shopping together you see. This time we were walking side by side when I told her, out of the blue. She answered me that「If that’s what Kumi thinks, you should go on without second thought」.
I contemplated on graduating since about 2 years ago now. I lost sight of what I wanted to do with my life. I was often praised for my acting so I vaguely considered 「Should I aim at becoming an actress?」, but truth is I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I started to think that maybe if I was to stand somewhere else, I’d find the answer. I also consulted Rika-chan (Hirata Rikako) and Yukko (Kinoshita Yukiko). I often went to Rika-chan for advice since she was Team S leader and this time again she found the words to encourage me 「I believe you should follow the path you deem best for yourself」. Yukko is a 3rd generation member but more than a member, I consider her a close friend of mine, so when I told her she snapped「If Kumi leaves, how I am supposed to keep on living?!」. Not only did she sympathized with me, but she also managed to joke about it (laugh).
After the announcement, I received a mail from (Nakanishi) Yuka-chan . When I flipped my phone open there was a single word,「Idiot」. But later her words were soft and soothing「Why didn’t you talk about it with me before? I’m sorry for not noticing what was going on.」. When I met Jurina, she hugged me tightly and Rena-chan wrote about me on her blog.
Members, especially 1st generation…. they aren’t my family, nor friends, they have a special place in my heart. Even if we’re separated after I graduate, I want to keep cherishing this connection between us. I’ve seen all their tears and all their smiles and they’ve seen everything there was about me too. We’ve been each others support. That’s an unbreakable bound. I want to thank them but a simple “thank you” won’t be enough…. I don’t know what to say to express my gratitude toward them.
I was anxious thinking that staying in SKE48 might turn out to be the best option for me. But in the end it all came down to believing in myself. It’s the first time I decided of something on my own. Until now I had always took advice from my family, but this time I decided to graduate of my own will.
4 years passed in the blink of an eye. As I stand here now I feel like it was only yesterday I entered the group wondering 「How is it going to turn out?」. I was always my natural and smiling self. I couldn’t help but have fun. When we started, I was at the extremity of the group (tln : one of the most distant position from center). Since then, I have always been thinking about what I needed to do to stand out. That made me grow. Soon I won’t be around anymore but I want my juniors to know that. Not matter where, fans are always looking at you.
Truth is there are tons of things I wanted to teach KKS before leaving. I’m close from Mizuno Honoka-chan so I could help her dealing with her apprehension of stepping in front to get attention, but that’s something I want all the KKS to know :「Don’t hold back and try to pass ahead of your sempai」. If not, SKE48 won’t be able to pursue its growth.
In the time I’ve spent in SKE48, I’ve learnt how to overcome hard times. I’m sure there is no such thing as a life deprived of hardships but if I didn’t join SKE48 I’d have stumble over those obstacles all my life without ever crossing over. It made me stronger. I think it’s wonderful for me who was introverted and a crybaby to manage today to stand in front of people and address them normally.
You know, I want to gather XP. I want to try out plenty of things. I might even get a part-time job. Why not selling clothes or working as a waitress? Maybe someday I’ll want to return to SKE48. Maybe someday I’ll regret graduating. But even though, I want to try and live something else, experience as much as I can outside. Finally, I think it will be best for me to decide on what I want to do once I’ve explored more of what life has to offer.
My last words will be for my fans. You who put with my half-baked and selfish attitude, telling me 「Kumin is fine as she is」, you who loved me, you were all precious persons to me. It really sadden me that we won’t be able to meet anymore. I hope that from now on you’ll direct your support toward other SKE48 members.