Yurumerumo! – Ano / IDOL AND READ 007

Hey! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But I’m back. Finally. FINALLY. Why do I say that? Because this is one interview I truly hadn’t planned on spending so much time on. And if it took me so long, it’s because of a mix of getting busy and the material’s length (my longest translation to date), which might be a good thing for you, at least. Anyway, it’s time for some Ano.

Another few words before we get into the thing though. That interview has been published in the magazine IDOL AND READ 007, issued on August 26, 2016. Ano was the back cover for this issue, which means she’s the one with the second longest interview of the paper. Which is cool, really. It’s also her second time getting featured in that magazine. Ah and the introductory paragraph is, always, ommited. The reason I do that is because I don’t even read them myself.

As for my opinion on this interview (you know, this is still a blog), I feel like we really get to know Ano a bit more. She’s always completely mute during TV shows or even webshows (except during that famous reading Line Live or whenever she’s in a more comfy/private environment), so it was really pleasant to read. She’s surprisingly talkative too and actually sounds like a kind girl… I guess.

Oh and I’m glad to announce you I passed my JLPT N2 exam! So you’ll all be happy to know I’m officially decent at understanding japanese.


Translation notes

Since the text is a bit longer this time I’ll be throwing away a few translation notes here and there inside the text itself, instead of cramming everything into one place like I usually do.

As a general note, however, Ano uses “boku” to refer as herself. It’s originally a pronoun used by men and while there’s really not much to add to that, it’s still a little thing I wanted to point out.

The real me

This is the second time we’re having you here for IDOL AND READ.

Thank you very much. I didn’t think a second time would come.

It’s been almost a year and half since then. And as we already got to hear about your pre-school life and your grade school days, I would now like to ask you about your life from middle school to this day. So first, how was it in middle school?

How? Hmm, to put it simply, it wasn’t fun.

Why was that?

It was uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand the people around me.

Can you tell us more about those “people around you”?

It was as though we weren’t breathing the same air even though we were in the same room.

And how did those “people around you” live their life?

Normally. They often told me to “die” or “disappear”. The word “die” was written under my desk, for example.

That’s sly. It was done so that the teachers wouldn’t notice but the targeted person would, right?

So that no one but me would see it, yes. They also told me the same thing when I was in the very back of the balcony where the teachers couldn’t see us neither.

Why did they start telling you those kind of things?

I don’t know.Despite acting that way, they would always start talking to me again like nothing had ever happened once a couple of minutes had passed — and I would simply play along. They just liked pretending to be friends. Maybe it was because the teachers were here but, even so, I have a hard time trying to understand the logic behind this kind of behavior.

Were you basically “bullied”?

I didn’t really think I was back then. But, they didn’t stop here — I also got done lots of other things. I don’t remember everything though, nor do I want to talk about it yet.

It’s fine, take your time. Just talk about what you feel like talking about.

What I feel like talking about? I suddenly got somewhat ostracized.
I didn’t think much of it, but one day, when we were in P.E. class, a girl hurt herself and the lesson got momentarily interrupted. It apparently had to be someone’s fault, so another girl who was there designated me as the culprit and told the teacher so. The other people then agreed on that, and I got yelled at by the teacher. I simply spaced out, unable to tell him that it wasn’t me and that it was a mistake, even though it truly wasn’t my fault at all.

Why didn’t you say so?

I knew that if I did, things would have escalated even more. It was at the time I had understood going with the flow, pretending I was the bad guy and apologizing for no reason, was better for everyone’s sake. So I went to the school infirmary and excused myself to a girl I had never even talked to. She probably understood it wasn’t me as well, but I still apologized with a blank expression and empty mind.
I did all of that because I thought it’d solve everything and be quickly forgotten, but I ended up remembering those events even to this day… (laugh).

From thereon, the number of things I got accused of doing increased a lot.
I was often late, absent or left earlier during those times. And even if I were at school, I’d be found in the school infirmary or would go back home halfway through, so, being cut-off from the rest of the class, it was easy to have me be blamed whenever something happened.

You said you started to ditch school more and more, why was that?

There are lots of reasons but, after a while, my legs would simply freeze once I’d be in front of the classroom, leaving me unable to enter inside. I would crouch down, head in my arms, and wait for an hour or so before going back home.

I see… What else happened? If you feel like talking about it.

The class’s website maybe? People bad-mouthed me a lot on that blog. Since blogs were all the rage (laugh).

You browsed those people’s blog?

It was in vogue. Even on the blog of a girl I thought I was friend with, the words like “she should die” or “she’s annoying” were written. And the same things would be found in the comments, it was nothing but insults all around.

It must’ve been hard.

The person sitting diagonally behind me had the best grades of the class, and he was basically an honour student. But during the lessons, he’d throw stuff at my back while telling me “You’re trash, just die!”. I was completely used to that kind of things, but… when he told me “trash like you will never ever find happiness in your life”… (Large tears started to well up in Ano’s eyes as she spoke.)

I tried to understand those words at this moment, but every time I did, I felt depressed, and they’re still lingering in my mind even now. I still can’t forget what the room was like or how it smelled.

“You’ll never find happiness” are some really strong words. Did that prediction got stuck in your head and ended up becoming reality?

That may be right. I’m not sure, but sometimes I recall them and I feel down again. However, now I want to win against this old self of mine. It makes me feel like I definitely have to find happiness.

Those people who treated you heartlessly, were they all girls?

The top student was a boy, but group matters were always done by girls.

Do the flashbacks of those times sometimes infer with your current life?

Even now, I often get told to “die”… which mixes up with my past memories.

That must be tiring.

Not that much…. But it gets me thinking it’s always going to be like that. Like things are never going to change. Even now that I’ve entered You’ll Melt More!, I still can’t clear up any misunderstanding when there’s one and lots of things overlap with my past. So it really makes me think nothing changes. Whenever I get told something, it reminds me of the past and so I can never completely forget about it.

And you never managed to object despite being treated that way.

I couldn’t bring myself to say “NO” or “you’re wrong”. Back then.

Wasn’t there anyone who could’ve become your friend?

No.

Like another loner girl or a boy who’d have an unrequited love for you; who could’ve been here to protect you?

There wasn’t anyone (laugh). Actually I may have tried to get a teacher to help me once, I asked him “what do you think of this?”, he turned around, looked at me, and thought it was bothersome so he went home.

I am not 100% sure it is a teacher she’s talking about. The original says this someone was またほこ先, which is something I found nothing about while googling. It might be a random person instead.


That sure is bothersome.

I was in the basketball club, but even there, things were no different. I used to practice alone, but when we had team plays, the coach would often tell me “you’re the only one with no motivation”, even though I intended to move the same way the others did, he’d tell me that wasn’t it, and I’d end up standing in one place doing nothing.

Eventually I’d be left with simply getting the balls out of the cart. Be it during the matches or the training phases, I was left out and people would laugh pointing at me while saying “we don’t need this one”. They wouldn’t pass me the ball or they would purposely throw it in another direction, it wasn’t fun at all. It became a hassle and I quit.
Ah, and I’m only talking about what I can (laugh). That’s how much it is (laugh).

It’s fine. When did you quit those club activities in middle school?

In the latter half of my first year.

That was pretty early.

But I eventually joined again in my third year. Since my parents were strict, they had me join that club again and made me participate in the school’s events because of the effect it would have on my high school’s enrollment application evaluation. As expected, it didn’t go any better, I was still left out and graduated with bad memories.

“School events” refer to things such as, the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony, the school festival, etc.


You probably had to split in groups when you went on school outings, how did it go?

I didn’t feel like engaging in that whole group business, so all I did was dozing off while the groups were being decided upon and once I’d opening my eyes again, everything would usually already be settled. I was always selfishly saying I didn’t want to go, but my parents and my teachers persuaded me.

You couldn’t even say “NO” to your parents?

I did. I told them “I don’t want to go” but they’d answer “it’s better for you to go, for your future”.

How were your grades and attendance?

That school was full of people obsessed with grades and ranks. As for me, I filled up to the second columns of my report card, as I was often late or left early. There were times when I didn’t show up for tests neither. So, being a yankee, my name was always in the last position of the tests’ results board, next to a blank grade.

On top of that, I didn’t have any interest in track races neither. I couldn’t. While everyone was running frantically, I just couldn’t do the same. And that’s because the lane I had was neither in good or bad conditions, it was zigzagging. Had it been a clean but slightly damaged lane, I could’ve ran like everyone else even if I would’ve been a little bit slower. But it wasn’t straight. So back in my room, I would think “wait… there’s something wrong” — but I still couldn’t tell anyone, not even my parents.

You couldn’t tell your parents?

No. But I think they were probably worried as well. Since I once heard my mother called one of my classmate’s parent for help. I felt sorry.

Do you talk to your parents about all of that now?

No… I don’t. But I certainly didn’t have much affection for my parents. I understand it’s because they’re my parents that they forced me to attend cram school or that they had me go to the school’s events for my high school entrance admission, but it’s been quite difficult for me.

Since I thought I had to go to high school, I did attend cram school, but even if I was in a different environment or my surroundings weren’t the same, even with only seven people, I couldn’t endure it. I ended up running away and went back home, before depressing in my room and repeating the exact same routine the next time.

You couldn’t endure it even though no one talked to you?

I couldn’t help hearing whatever the other people were talking about, and it was nothing but badmouth about their school’s friends, which is not something I wanted to listen to. I didn’t want to get worked up over words I didn’t need to hear, that’s how I ended up feeling.

I wanted to study, but since I couldn’t in an environment like that, I had to do so at home even though I was going there.
In the end, I enrolled in a last-choice school that anyone could enter thanks to the easy entrance tests.

Maybe it’s because of how your life at school has been, but you give off the impression that you would get along better with people older than you, rather than people the same age.

Yes, it was easier to talk to adults compared to people of my age.
Don’t you often eat your lunch meal in the toilets?

I don’t!

Well, it only happened once but I was eating in the toilets, and a teacher came, telling me that “it wasn’t a good thing to do”. But I wasn’t doing anything wrong and it felt better being there alone rather than in the classroom, so I didn’t really understand why he’d say so. But afterward, they set up a private room for me and allowed me to eat my lunch there, separated from the others.

What kind of room was it?

It was about as big as here (this interview has been conducted inside a narrow karaoke box). It was like a career counsellor’s room, the winters were cold and dark. I liked the scenery I could see from this room’s window. I would gaze at the other kids in the same grade as me as they were playing with a ball, spacing out. My father often played with a ball with me since I was little, so that’s something I liked.

Last time you said you also slammed the door of your classroom, and while everyone else were still doing calculus, you started doing rolls on the floor. Do you have any other episode like that?

Huum, but that’s the kind of things I did unconsciously so I don’t remember them (laugh). Ah, but I once jumped in the pool, still wearing my jersey when no one was around.

Why would you jump in the pool…?

Because you can freely cry or shout. It’s awesome.

A pool is certainly convenient for that (laugh). But what made you behave this way to begin with?

I don’t know. Being in the same place for too long always made me feel weird. But I thought I was normal, and that it was the others who were actually weird.

So you weren’t crazy, but the others were.

There were lots of times where I got scolded or warned about doing things I shouldn’t be doing, so I progressively started to think “So, I can’t keep living that way?” — which, at one time, made me wonder if things wouldn’t have been better if I didn’t exist at all. But I couldn’t change. I was myself, and there were lots of things people said I couldn’t understand. I hated everyone, whether it was me, the people around me, or anyone else. I just couldn’t understand what was going on in other people’s minds.

But I thought that, maybe, if I were to become another human, I would’ve understood them. So that’s why, once I entered high school, I started to think about what was the meaning of what everyone had been telling me up until now, or “why would people want me to die”. I thought I couldn’t understand those words because it wasn’t in the dictionary, and that I had to ascertain them with my own eyes, ears and body.

You see, I wanted to become a proper “high school girl”. I wanted to be all dazzling, to play normally and would’ve been happy to make friends. To do that, I at least tried to change my appearance, like growing my hair for example.

When referring to “high school girls”, Ano uses the term “JK”, which is a bit connoted to the “exactly-as-you-imagine high school girl” taking selfies with Snow, having dazzling pink phone case and such.


You willingly tried to blend in with your surroundings.

I didn’t match with the others just by living and being myself, so I tried to change. I couldn’t change the way I talked though, so in order not to sound like a robot, I spoke using few words, but I went to karaoke, took photos and purikura, and chit-chatted with other people. “So that’s how it feels” — I was being cute.

You truly became a proper high school girl.

Only at first though (laugh). It was fine for one or two months. But it was exhausting, and the more I tried, the less interesting it got. Whenever we had free time, my friends would badmouth other people, trying to get me to agree — but no matter what, it was impossible for me to even blurt out some acquiescement. I just couldn’t do that. I felt like I couldn’t have cared less. I thought “So that’s how it feels to be dazzling and cute? But there’s absolutely nothing cute around me at all, not my heart, not my surroundings nor even the smells are. The world I could see through my window in that room in middle school was a hundred times better than that.” That’s when I completely switched myself off. I took off my mask and became ostracized again.

That didn’t take very long.

At that moment, the person I was getting along with the most out of our three-person group told me “Y’know, you’re not my friend. You just don’t make sense, for real.”. I thought “Again?” — I had enough.

So you got used to that, and distanced yourself from the whole world?

Not to this point (laugh). But even now when I’m displeased with something, it might not show up on my face right away. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I’d be fine had it only been once, but ever since I was little I got betrayed so many times, again and again. I ended up thinking that, even in high school, the very fact that I was breathing was wrong. I stopped talking to anyone, became a loner, started being late or ditched school altogether on some days.

One time, as I walked down the corridor, I discovered that lots of false rumors about me were being spread. There were some people talking about me right when I stumbled upon them, I asked them what was going on and it turned out lots of half-truths things were being said among both girls and boys at school on my subject.

That’s pretty vicious…

Well but since I got used to being alone in middle school, I was totally fine being on my own. If I had tried to change to become another person at first, it was only because I was super interested in high school girls, like I wanted to understand their train of thoughts. But “high school girls” seem more like a weird magical illusion (laugh). I don’t even see them as bugs. In the end everyone is human, and every human will eventually die, so if they’re alive they might as well want to live it as a human.

So after those rumors were spread, when did you stop going to school?

Was it during the first term? The second term? Third… or fourth?…

There’s no fourth term (laugh).

I stopped going during the first term. Around February or March.

Weren’t you worried about becoming “nothing”, since you wouldn’t be a student nor anything else anymore?

The feeling that I didn’t belong in that small world we call “high school”, that “I didn’t want to be there and couldn’t stand it” was stronger than any worry I had. I felt it was simply impossible, physically and mentally. I understood there was no way for me to get along with the others over there, as “being myself” was enough for them to get away from me. I wanted to confirm this intuition I had when I was in middle school, when I was 13, 14 then 15 year old, in my own way — that’s why I went to high school. I’ve confirmed it’s impossible for me to belong there, and so that was the end. I’m done being a good girl.

What did you do after quitting high school?

I lit up fireworks every night.

Fireworks?… Alone?

Yes. Fireworks. Which were lying around in the house. There were a lot, so I used them all over the course of many days. At night. In front of my house.

And, why would you do that?

I always liked the small kind of fireworks you can take in your hands ever since I was little, I’d always play with some when summer came. But this time, it was more on a whim. Lots of feelings were boiling inside me, and while I was trying to accept some of them it seemed like others would disappear as well, probably. Well, that and I also simply like watching fireworks.

What did you do during the daytime?

I was thinking about what I should’ve been doing from now on. I had nothing to do, so I spent my days sleeping. I’d get melancholic every time I’d hear laughters coming from outside. I felt like I had no place to be.

I think your environment changed quite a lot as you started your activities with Yurumerumo, compared to when you were a student. How do you feel about that?

I was desperately trying to understand what was going on around me, and I was a bit too slow paced (laugh). Although I think I haven’t changed on this front even to this day.

Last time, you said you joined Yurumerumo in order “to live”. Do you think entering the group with that feeling in mind was the right choice?

I hope I’ll be able to answer this question positively one day.

Are things still awkward for you?

I don’t think it’s really awkward or anything, but maybe it is. I don’t know.

I think your encounter with Yurumerumo’s producer, Take Taichi, is an even bigger event than you entering this group, isn’t it?

It is.

What kind of person is Taichi from your point of view?

I feel at ease when he’s around. I sometimes gets anxious when he’s not here… Sometimes.

If you feel anxious when he’s not here, it must means he’s a really kind person. Is there anyone else you feel like you can trust?

No, since I’ve always had a hard time trusting others to begin with, I haven’t been able to trust anyone else since I joined Yurumerumo. During my first and second year, as I was purposely avoiding contact with people at that time, I often got told by the staff or some other close persons that they didn’t understand what I was thinking. But now I’m really thankful to those who come to me by themselves. It might not be much, but that’s why I appreciate it.

Thinking about it now, right after you joined Yurumerumo, you really gave the impression you had to put in quite a lot of efforts in order to act as an idol. As I thought, you were feigning it right (laugh)?

That might be true. To begin with, all I knew about “idols” before entering was from whatever we see on TV, so I knew nothing about underground idols and had to learn by imitation. Things would only have turned out the same way as before if I hadn’t. So I copied those idols appearing on TV or the other members.

Even though I’m completely different now (laugh). Because in the end there’s only one way I can act, and that’s the way I naturally am. I can’t become someone else.

Did you feel uneasy about being an idol?

Yes. There may be people who know that already, but I was really bad at talking with people. Even if I did my best I couldn’t hold a conversation, it was even worse than it is now. I did say at first that I hated taking cheki.

Do you still hate that?

It’s still not one of my forte.

How did you feel during your first lives?

There were lots of “firsts” at that time, like I couldn’t dance or wasn’t especially skilled at singing, I felt like there was nothing I was familiar with. I even told Taichi I would quit within a couple of months. But after I joined, the atmosphere changed little by little and it became increasingly hard to quit.

Ah yes, Yurumerumo progressively got more popular so it was difficult to resign.

At first I thought it was better not to think about anything while performing, so I was constantly absent-minded on stage and wouldn’t even look at the spectators’ faces. Making eye contact was difficult for me, even if it was with Taichi or the other members. So whenever my eyes met those of a spectator’s, I was at a loss.

But at that time, someone from another group told me to “Grow up and take the top”. I didn’t quite understand back then, but after three years had passed, I started to wonder if I had in fact grown up a little. There are times when I think I was really just a child before, and am now able to see things in a different light. Although there are still tons of other thoughts and feelings that I bear that have not changed at all since then as well.

Do you think you managed to “grow up and take the top”?

I don’t think I consciously did but there’s a part of me who feels so. I don’t know (laugh). But maybe I want to be a bit different from the me of yesterday.

I heard you often got scolded after your lives by the adults, what were they angry about?

Eh? Well, about things I shouldn’t have done? I often had to apologize after lives (laugh).

Things you shouldn’t have done?

Yes. It seems like I often ended up doing things I shouldn’t have and made the people managing the venue very angry. It was quite common.

So you didn’t have any self-awareness (laugh). You might’ve been scolded, but do you like lives?

Yes. I always liked music, and I like doing lives. There’s nothing comparable when it comes to feeling like I’m truly alive, and it’s the only moments in my life where I can forget all of the rules and complicated things I’m usually bound by. I don’t have to think about how other people see me or what my surroundings are like. I don’t want my feelings or my thoughts to be controlled by the society. Of all the things I experimented during those three years, I cherish lives the most.

I remember you made a long tweet after your live in Vietnam about how even when it’s impossible to convey your feelings through words, it’s possible through music.

That’s right. Yurumerumo isn’t that big so maybe it’s a bit of a presumptuous but I thought that music might really be more powerful than words.

During those three years, I kept thinking things aren’t about words but about results, and that’s why I never talked much. The truth is, I do have a lots of things to say and want to express myself, but since I want to show actions more than words, I refrain myself a lot.

But because of that, I have caused a bunch of misunderstandings, wasted my time and must’ve had caused lots of pain to my fans. So I at least wanted to reach out to people in Vietnam through music alone. In this world, words are everywhere, and of course some can bring salvation. But words are powerful enough to affect people’s minds — and so they are just as capable of inspiring hope as they can inspire despair. It’s so easy to blurt out a few words and hurt other people in the process. I truly think words are violent. That’s why there are times when I don’t want to be influenced by all of those things.
And that made me like music even more.

You do seem like the type of person who’s very results-oriented and goes “all or nothing”. But I think it’s fine to be using words from time to time when you really need to.

Well, yes that’s for sure. But I learned that for everything I wanted to gain and keep, I also had to throw away something else. I have no choice. It’s necessary. It might be off-topic, but, for example, the fact that I do not use words is one of those things I “threw away” in a sense. It might be very easy to say whatever you want on social networks, but that’s a part of me I discarded.

So are you going to live on without using any words now?

I still think I’ll use some.

You must’ve had lots of occasions to get into contact with your fans after joining Yurumerumo. Did that manage to cure your middle school’s trauma that made you distrustful of other people?

Hum, no it’s still kinda here. There are lots of different people, so I can’t really group everyone under the same label as “fan”. I’d like to keep thinking of lives as a “1vs1” thing.

But you actually perform in front of thousands of people during your one man lives. Can you still call this a “1vs1”?

Yes, it makes no difference.

So concretely, what kind of expression do you have when on stage?

I closely watch everyone’s faces.

Even though you couldn’t look people in the eyes before?

Now I often do. Every single one of our spectator coming is unique, so I think there are just as many different emotions to behold as there are people. So that’s why, because all of those persons came all the way to see us, each having their own unique feelings in mind, I don’t want to merely address them as “all the fans”. I regard every person as unique individual during our lives.

During your previous interview, you said you joined Yurumerumo the same way you’d join a part-time job, do you still regard it as such?

It’s more like an actual job now (laugh).

Certainly (laugh).

Whenever I get more work I kind of feel like “oh, that’s more to add to my schedule”. But “work” and “lives” are two totally different matters. What I call work is, for example, shootings, TV-shows or acting stuff.

Can you ride the train now?

Yes. Even though there are still times when I fail to transfer lines (laugh). It felt like some kind of “society rehabilitation” program at first. I had to take the train in order to go to various places for work. Be it dance training, singing, TV stuff or modeling, everything just kept having me going round and round — and before I realized it, I had arrived where I am now.

How do you feel when you get told you’re “cute”?

“Cute” is a praising word, so of course I feel grateful, but there was a time when it made me think I was getting made fun of. It’d get me “They’re saying I’m cute even though I’m not?”. Like, aren’t they saying that just because I’m an idol? But now that my way of thinking has changed, I feel grateful.

Wasn’t there anything difficult for you when your image changed from the regular Ano to the “cute Ano”?

Okay, this one is slightly trickier. The interviewer obviously uses “Ano-san” respectfully and the original text for the “cute Ano” is “Ano-chan”, which refers to her idol-chara. I hope the whole thing is still comprehensible, because it is quite imaged even in japanese.

Ah yes, people easily make up their own image of other people. After all, you two right now are the only ones aware of my very existence (there are two persons with ano, one conducting the interview and the other writing down everything). Yet, out there right now, thinking about how there are people talking about me calling me cute or whatever, certainly feels strange.

Like, there are people in this world somewhere who I never ever met even once, whose name nor face I don’t know, who are imagining all kind of things about what I am doing, what I am thinking about, even though they actually have absolutely no idea. That tons of people would thus be referring to me as “the cute ano” isn’t surprising and can’t be helped. This is quite impressive. But I have to live with it — I came to a term with that feeling inside me that refused to live a boring life. Right now, I just want to face people who come to face me during our lives.

Are those people who “come to face you” all of those who come to your lives?

Of course they are, but I know there are also people who’d like to come but cannot. So it’s not restricted to them alone. You need a very open mind, and look at places you cannot see. You have to reach to the very very bottom of everything.

Hearing your words, you remind me of that early 80’s era with YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra). About how the philosophy of YMO was about walking alone and that’s why they eventually disbanded, or spread out as they said.

But, I do think I’m walking alone. My mind and my body might be here, all of those “other me” that people imagine are all alone. It’s like there are lots of different “ano”.

I think the number of misunderstandings about you greatly increased alongside your popularity. What do you think people misunderstand about you?

There are so many things people misunderstand, I’m not even trying to explain myself anymore. Because since everyone has their own personal image of me, no matter what I say, no matter what I do, there will always be some who will make up their own self-satisfying explanations, there will always be some who can’t agree, and there will always be some who will flat out refute anything I say. I can’t just play along with all of that, for there is, in fact, only one human named “ano”.

Wouldn’t it be the occasion to clear some of those misunderstandings?

Eeh… No it’s fine. There are too many (laugh).

How do you manage to keep going with Yurumerumo even though you are so deeply misunderstood?

Throwing away things, discarding parts of me. But I’m not doing those sacrifices for a reason so shallow as “trying to be famous”. At first, I joined out because I wanted to surpass myself, to be alive, but the reason I later couldn’t quit is because, even though there were things I was willing to throw away, music was the only one I never could have. Trying to discard that would only make me hit a wall.

Whenever I tried to get another go at fitting myself in that society, I’d end up like my old self — spacing out in my room while watching the ceiling and letting the days go by without doing anything. I didn’t want to go back to this life. I want to surpass myself.

This way of thinking makes me think you’re trying to find yourself.

I am. All the time. Sometimes I do so because of my circumstances, but there are times when it’s very deliberate. To this day, I may not have had a single real period of peace. It’s something I think about at any instant.

So it’s like you’re always walking a tightrope.

That’s right.

Aren’t you afraid of falling one day?

I am scared. I am walking holding my fears in one hand and my anxiety in the other. When talking about private matters, I fall once I’m home (laugh).

Do you dislike being home?

No, it’s not like that, I just always had the habit of ending up looking for a place to be alone. Before a live or even after.

People who aren’t aware of your strong love for music would probably think you’d be “better off just doing modeling instead of being in Yurumerumo”.

Nah, this isn’t something I ever gave much thought about. If my work was only about modeling, I wouldn’t do it. Having music as well is good. I’d gladly accept other types of work from now on as well though. And I think it’d be even better if that were to be related to me or Yurumerumo. It makes me happy that there are people saying they saw me modeling or on TV, got interested in Yurumerumo, and thus came to our lives.

Now, what do you do when you’re feeling down mentally?

I don’t know. Various things. I don’t want to say what. I go out a bit to breath some fresh air, or run barefooted while singing songs I made — before getting drowsy and having my head hurts. Then I’d get a bit too ecstatic and my feet wouldn’t follow, and I’d fall down abruptly on the floor (laugh).

Just be careful of cars… Last time, you said you were “easy to hurt”. And there are people out there saying that’s because you’re mentally ill, but I think it’s in fact the result of your great sensitivity.

That might be true. Those around me often say so. I don’t really get what “mentally ill” means, and I don’t personally think I am.

So concretely, what is the “result” you’re trying to reach?

Ah no, that’s something I don’t want to say (laugh).

Is it a dream in your heart?

Maaaybe.

Alright, so, what personally is your goal then?

Not that either (laugh). I mean, I don’t want to talk about it (laugh).

After the 10th of August, Yurumerumo will continue its activities as a four-person group. Are you worried about that?

I think it’ll be a challenge. But we’re all prepared for it, and we know what we have to do so I don’t think things will change.

Finally, can you tell us about anything that has happened recently that you remember more than the rest?

When I was in middle school, there was a girl I met in the infirmary. She was also one of those girl not attending school neither, so as we both skipped classes often, we never met each other more than a few times. Plus it’s not like we particularly got along very well. But after the graduation ceremony, when I got invited to go out, she was here as well and so we went to a karaoke together.

Well, a little while ago, I got a message on twitter. It read “You really haven’t changed at all, thank you for still being the same.” I had no idea who that was, so, while wondering what was up with that one, I went on and checked her profile — and it was her. For some reason, I felt relieved. The words of those people who had accepted me back then and are looking at me now, despite all the years that has passed, are very dear to me.

And these aren’t the only things I cherish. I want to engrave all of these feelings precious to me deeply in my heart, in a way that only me will ever understand.

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