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[translation] Michishige Sayumi and Nakazawa Yuko Top Yell Interview

Posted by kurikaesu.haru, in interview 16 August 2012 · 8527 views

translation morning musume michishige sayumi nakazawa yuko tanaka reina top yell interview
Here is a translation of Top Yell magazine's interview with Michishige Sayumi and Nakazawa Yuko. Huge thanks to lovemusic for sharing the scans :) Notes in parentheses are in the original publication; notes in brackets are my own clarifications. As always, corrections are welcome. :)


This is a long read, but a good one. Enjoy!

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The Study of How to be a Good Musume Ruler
Passed Down After 15 Years

Series: Ceremony to Pass Down the Morning Musume Spirit
From Nakazawa Yuko to Michishige Sayumi

A letter reporting her assumption of the leader position was given to the graduated members

--For the first time in 10 years, the 100,000 mark was surpassed by "One Two Three." Once again, congratulations!

Michishige: Yay! Thank you!

--Ok, at the event in which you appeared with Nakazawa-san recently, Michishige-san burst into tears......

Nakazawa: You were nervous, right?

Michishige: I was nervous. After becoming leader, my way of thinking about each and every job changed. Or maybe I should say that up to now, I really have been thinking only about myself......

Nakazawa: *evil laughter*......

--That wasn't just a character, you truly loved yourself (laughs).

Michishige: It's not a character, it's real.

Nakazawa: But that's fine, you know. That's a really important thing.

Michishige: Ok......(laughs). A part of me was like, "It's ok if even I stand out," but then I thought that I can't be like that. I realized that I have to think of the whole group, and it's good to think like that, but it's hard to figure out what to do the next time. When I have thoughts relating to the members, I should tell them, but up to now, I've never done that. I also get nervous when we appear on TV. I'm nervous even behind the scenes. I have thoughts like, "I'd hate for people to think that the previous leader was better." That kind of pressure got heavy and I became really negative. That's why when Nakazawa-san said to me, "It's ok for Shige-chan to be herself," everything...the things that had been steadily accumulating were unleashed and my feelings spilled out. Those were tears of joy.

--As time passes after the performance at the Budokan in May, have you come to feel the heavy responsibility as leader?

Michishige: Yes. Before I became the leader, I used to say things like, "I want to become the leader!" and "I'll quit after becoming the leader!" so easily during interviews, but now I think it's something that shouldn't be said so easily (laughs).

Nakazawa: Ahaha.....


--For the two of you, the time period that you were in the group didn't overlap, right? Be that as it may, you appeared together in TV shows and the like, right? At that time, did you imagine that Michishige-san would one day become the leader?

Nakazawa: No, absolutely not (*says it decisively*).

Michishige: *giggle* That's for sure (laughs).

Nakazawa: But maybe in these last few months. When we would do radio work together, I would hear Shige-chan say, "I want to become the leader~" She might have been saying it jokingly, but it made me happy. Up to now, I've never seen a member who wants to be the leader of her own accord. First, I think that feeling is important. On radio, (Akashiya) Sanma-san told her, "It's impossible for you!" but I was thinking that the person who wants to should be the one to do it. (*looks hard at Michishige*) ......I think she just said it without thinking about anything, though......

Michishige: Yeah. Actually, I wasn't thinking about anything (laughs).

--Nakazawa-san wrote on her blog that she received a letter from Michishige-san.

Michishige: I sent one to all the graduated members. To accompany the 50th CD single......

Nakazawa: That's remarkable, isn't it? You sent one to everyone?

Michishige: Yes, that's right. Even to my juniors who have graduated. I see Nakazawa-san through work, but I didn't see my other seniors at all, so I wasn't able to greet and inform them that I've become the leader. I also thought, "What about greeting them through email?" If it were through email, I could easily copy and paste. But here I wanted to convey my feelings. So, I went to Loft, bought stationery, and wrote letters.

Nakazawa: Up to now, there hasn't been a leader who has written me a letter, you know. From Shige-chan's letter, I could really see that she thinks about Morning Musume very seriously.

--From the contents?

Nakazawa: From the act of writing the letter itself. Honestly, it was the first time that I was moved by one of my juniors in the capacity of leader. Even if this was a calculated move, it's spot on (laughs). Writing letters and giving them to the graduates is not an idea that one normally comes up with, first of all.

Michishige: I'm glad. I’m thinking, "Wow, even I came up with a good idea..." (laughs).

The joys and troubles of being asked by the world to sing "LOVE Machine"

--Ok, with the success of the new song, some people have started to make some noise about the coming of a second Golden Age.

Michishige: The Morning Musume that I have watched was the one from the time of "LOVE Machine," and of course, it was truly amazing. When I joined that Morning Musume, all the fans followed me, but I feel like I didn't get through to the general public. A friend of mine from my home prefecture of Yamaguchi has also asked me, "What are you doing now?" I felt very strongly about it, like, "Even though I'm working so hard in Morning Musume!" Moreover, each and every one of the members is cute and has a lot of strong points.

--You were irritated that despite your hard work, your charm wasn't reaching people?

Michishige: Yes, that's right. It's because I've always had confidence in Morning Musume, confidence that we can definitely get even non-fans to like us. I always thought, "If only they would just glance at us, they'd definitely be crazy about us."

--Have your feelings changed after becoming the leader?

Michishige: Up to now, the feeling that we have to take over and carry on the past has been very strong. Having a history is characteristic of Morning Musume, so there was also a desire to cherish that history. I think that's something that everyone must have been thinking. Even if we sing "LOVE Machine," which is from before I joined, everyone knows it. But now it has changed. For the first time since I joined, the desire to do things in a new way has emerged.

--I see. You're turning over a new leaf, huh?

Michishige: Of course, we have to value the things that our seniors taught us, but we shouldn't rely on those alone. I think a part of us depended too much on those. To be sure, the name "Morning Musume" is so great that there's satisfaction in just being accepted into the group, but it's not like that, you know! Although we can say that we've sold 100,000 units, in general, I don't think there's anyone, other than the fans, who knows all of the members' names. On the contrary, I want to treat this as the starting line and build it up from scratch. Now I also want our seniors to look at this new Morning Musume!

--Michishige-san is saying that Morning Musume's true golden era is starting now, right?

Michishige: Being told things like, "During the golden era~" is extremely frustrating. When the current members are singing old songs, we are seen through that lens. I do understand that that is also amazing, though. But still, from the current members' point of view, we also want people to listen to the current songs. When we appear on TV, there have been times when we're still asked to do "LOVE Machine" even though we want to sing songs that we released recently. Of course, we're left with the feeling, "I wish they'd let us sing our current song also, even if just a tiny bit of it." To reduce that frustration, we have no choice but to aim higher, right? So it was with that sentiment that I said, "The golden era is starting now."

--What does Nakazawa-san think about all the attention that Morning Musume is currently getting?

Nakazawa: I think they're still far from a level that can be considered "getting a lot of attention," though. But I think everything that Shige-chan said is correct. I think it's only natural to want to surpass the golden era. I'm glad that the person who puts that feeling into words became the leader. The people creating the present should come forward. I know the era that's called the "golden era," but that time has passed a long time ago. I have no wish for the current Morning Musume to inherit "LOVE Machine." It's impossible for the current members to reproduce that song perfectly. That's the same as us [OGs] not being able to do current Morning Musume's music. But you know, with the 50-single history, if anyone says, "I don't really like this song, so I can't sing it," I'll beat her up.

Michishige: *chuckles*......

Nakazawa: I'll be like, "That's different!" "Don't mess around! Since you became a Morning Musume member, take some responsibility and diligently acquire a thorough understanding of it within you!" Well, under such harsh current conditions, there isn't anyone like that. There isn't a member like that, but there's a big difference between saying, "I don't really like 'LOVE Machine' so I don't wanna sing it," and saying, "I don't hate it, but if possible, I'd like to sing our current song." It's only natural to want to sing the current songs. In order to create their own "present," I told Sayashi-chan that I want her to surpass Nacchi and Gocchin. Similarly, I'll be worried if Shige-chan isn't told, "You're the person who's most suitable to be the leader."

--Like, "Surpass Nakazawa Yuko and Takahashi Ai."

Nakazawa: Of course! Surpassing me--she'll do that right away, though......

Michishige: No no no......

Nakazawa: I'm the type that thinks it's better to be put under pressure. At any rate, no matter how lenient I am, saying things like "center" and "leader" is inevitable. It's ok, you know, to push her hard. She'll be pushed hard, and it'll be tough, but I want her to have the mental and emotional strength to overcome it and crawl up from there. Under the current circumstances, that's unusual, you know. I think that Shige-chan probably feels like, "That's wrong! We should take the top spot!"

An explosion on Tanabata! What's the true meaning behind Michishige's rage!?

--There's one topic that I want to ask about: Morning Musume and TV. The Morning Musume of Nakazawa-san's time was always centered on TV, right?

Nakazawa: Yes. That is, everyone wants to appear on TV. For a person in the world of show business, that's absolute. In general, finally getting to that point is difficult. But of course, you get a chance. And Shige-chan seized that chance.

--We have here the notebook that Michishige-san kept when she first started appearing on TV and was troubled about it.

Nakazawa: What is this? Shige-chan kept this? Is it ok if we look at it?

Michishige: Yes, it's totally fine (laughs).

Nakazawa: ......Huh! What is this?

(Nakazawa reads the notebook for some time. She becomes speechless at the contents.)

~~~~~Magazine insert~~~~~
Michishige is now in great demand in variety shows, but it wasn't always smooth sailing at the beginning. Rather, the girl who admits to being introverted and shy around strangers kept agonizing over TV more than anyone. Every time she appeared on a show, she wrote notes down on her "TV notebook." In this notebook, a history of trial and error remains vivid. Below is a selection from that notebook:

"It's better to say it and regret it than to not say it at all."
"First of all, I was too quiet today."
"I questioned myself too much, thinking things like, 'I wonder if it's ok to join in here' "
"Always be conscious of projecting your voice."
"Thinking too much and not stammering."
"Explosive power"
"Must not become someone who doesn't stand out"
"Increase your vocabulary!!"
"Make your reactions bigger"
"Complete everything decisively↑ No halfheartedness!!!!"
"Even if the other person pulls back, don't restrain yourself"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

--It seems she wrote down some preparations, things like, "If you appear on stage, absolutely do not draw back," and "Go forward, even if you have to ignore the room’s mood."

Michishige: Yes, that's right. Things like points to reflect on and reconsider.

Nakazawa: Ahh, I mean....it's also my first time seeing something like this, but who could watch the Michishige Sayumi on TV and imagine that she goes home and goes so far as writing something like this? This is a huge effort, you know.

--Bringing out your presence on TV is more difficult than people think, right?

Nakazawa: That's right! I don't think her friend from Yamaguchi who asked what she's doing now had any ill will, but from our point of view, having heard all this, those are some very hurtful words. I mean, she's working so hard. With all her might, she's thinking about how to talk so that she can convey herself.

Michishige: I'm basically shy around strangers. During recordings, I was surrounded by people that I don't know at all, so I couldn't talk at all. A staff member told me, "Go forward more!" but I totally didn't know at what point I should go forward. It was to the point that I wouldn't be able to talk unless it was set up for me, or I would only be able to say safe things. What's bad was that there were times when I could only say "Yes."

Nakazawa: (*keenly*) TV is difficult, isn't it.....Yup.

--As you laboriously accumulate reflections and research on variety shows......

Michishige: Yes. I re-watch shows that I appeared on and reflect on them. I also ask the staff for videos of the TV shows that are in my schedule and I watch a lot. Also, I do a lot of research on Wikipedia on my co-stars. The whole time, I was thinking things like, "Ah, if I poke at this, I wonder if it'll be painful for the other person," and "If I talk like this, I wonder if they'll get excited."

--Is that so? It's necessary to know about the other party in order to establish a poison-tongue character, huh?

Michishige: I can't ad lib. That's why I have no choice but to prepare beforehand.

--That's amazing. As Morning Musume rises up, I think the opportunities to appear on TV will increase from now on, and when that happens, it seems like Michishige-san will have many things to teach her juniors.

Michishige: Umm......a few days ago, the day before Nakazawa-san came to our event in Ikebukuro, we had an event in Kawasaki. It was exactly on July 7, Tanabata [a Japanese star festival which is usually celebrated by writing wishes on small pieces of paper which are then hung on bamboo]. We had an MC corner for which the topic was "If you were to make a wish on Tanabata, what would it be?" And then many of the members gave the same answer. Well, I thought it couldn't be helped if it was just a coincidence, but when I thought about it more carefully, I had heard someone say right before we appeared on stage, "Hmm what am I gonna say..." Sayumi felt very strongly about that, like, "Huh!?"

--About the fact that they regarded not being prepared at all as a good thing, right?

Michishige: Yes. Because of that, that day, for the first time, I got mad at the members, or rather, I gave them a warning. Like, "When did you receive the script?" and "It would have been better if you thought about it in advance, right?" Of course, in that situation, what struck me is that in some cases, it could be interesting, but everyone's not quite there yet. I really hated the idea of standing up on stage with the feeling, "It'll work out somehow." Reina has been doing this for 10 years, so she can do that kind of thing. She already understands everything; she knows that she already has a character, knows what to say to get the audience excited, knows how to make the fans happy, knows that they already know her very well. For that kind of member, it's ok, but without any preparations, about 5 of them said the same thing, so I thought, "Hey, that's unacceptable, isn't it?" I mean, even though each and every one of them is supposed to have a strong point...Somehow, Sayumi got frustrated. With just a little bit of work, those girls' good points could have been seen. What a waste. We got the opportunity to have a gathering at such a large place as that, and many members of the general public even came to see us. Because of that, I had a serious talk with them.

--As the leader, you scolded them sternly, huh?

Michishige: Yes. At that time, I was really mad, but after that, Reina did an impression, you know. Of Sayumi being mad (laughs).

--Even though someone is seriously mad, she's being rude, huh? (laughs)

Michishige: No no no! On the contrary, that helped me out. Thanks to Reina's turning it into a funny story, I felt better. I was extremely grateful that she laughed at me, saying, "It's the first time I've seen Sayu get angry!" But because that happened the day before and it was just too much, when I saw Nakazawa-san, I felt relieved. And so I couldn't contain my emotions. Since the members also got scolded the day before, they were working so hard. Seeing that, I was really moved.

Nakazawa: That scolding the day before was really effective, huh? Only Shige-chan can say something like that. After all, that's something that Shige-chan felt after having gone through so much up to now. I think it's good if you say more and more. When I was active in the group, I was selfish, so honestly, there were times when I would confront the members with my own mood swings.

--You'll admit that (laughs).

Nakazawa: I'll admit it. There are things that I now understand, like, "That time, I was like this." But at the time, I couldn't control myself. In the midst of being so busy everyday, the stress piles up. But what Shige-chan said to the members is correct, so she's in a position to be able to say it, right? It's because she herself has appeared in variety shows and has learned a lot by studying various things. If they make a mistake, it's better for her to be ready to be hated and just tell them.

Michishige: *giggle* (embarassed)

A long email from Tanaka
The 6th generation bond that only the two of them understand

--Michishige-san often says, "Singing is not my strong point," right? When I see you fighting your way alone in the TV world, you seem to be doing it with the attitude, "I'll fight in a field that I'm not good in."

Michishige: Hmm, I wonder......It's a fact that I'm not that good at singing, so it's inevitable that I'll have few solo parts, but still, in truth, I want to become better. Whenever I receive the lyric sheet with the line distribution, if there are few "Michi" characters, I think, "I'll work hard on the next one," and at the same time, my feelings of shock, of frustration, and a desire to stand out are very strong. But then I get variety show appearances, and I think, "I gotta work hard on this. I have nowhere else to stand out."

--Among members whose strong points are singing or dancing, Michishige-san puts in a lot of effort to make variety her strong point.

Michishige: Yes. That's also for my own sake. That's why at first, I used to say "I'm Michishige Sayumi" as my greeting, but at some point, I started saying "I'm Morning Musume's Michishige Sayumi."

--Why is that?

Michishige: I came to think, "If only I could talk about Morning Musume even just a little bit." If I can get people to think, "Oh, so this poison-tongued girl is a Morning Musume," and get them interested even just a little, it might expand from there, right? That's probably because one of our managers told me, "There was a person who said that (s)he came to the concert after seeing Michishige on a variety show." That made me really happy. I was like, "Ah, we got a little bit of a result."

--But even with that result, Michishige-san's general popularity is a cut above the rest, right? Back in Nakazawa-san's time, everyone had equal exposure, right?

Nakazawa: I think that's far better than not having a single person be known. I often hear people say, "Morning Musume's still active?" It's sad, but that's the reality...But at those times, if I say, "They are! Michishige Sayumi is now the leader, you know!" it's easy for them to understand, like, "Aahh, that poison-tongued girl, right?" It might have taken some time, but the significance of Shige-chan becoming able to say, "I'm Morning Musume's Michishige Sayumi" is huge.

--It's easy to deal with talk and variety shows as well as newspapers with the catch, "Michishige Sayumi is in it," right?

Nakazawa: That's right. And then it would be good if Shige-chan, as the leader, hands it over to the 9th and 10th generation. When it comes to a place to appeal with "Morning Musume are singers," if it's Shige-chan, she's able to create that.

--If the 9th and 10th generation would build up the chance that Michishige-san creates, that would be ideal, right?

Michishige: But they're really doing it, you know! Their "go forward go forward" spirit is really amazing, so much so that it sometimes surprises me. Also, their improvement is quick! The pace of their improvement is certainly faster than when I joined Morning Musume. In singing, dancing, and performing. Also, Sayashi was saying that 9th and 10th gen have become accomplices, but now there's a sort of charged atmosphere.

--That's the interesting thing about the current Morning Musume, right?

Michishige: Yes! I feel like that's connected to the "go forward go forward" spirit in a good way. Or perhaps I should say that I can sense their feeling of not wanting to lose in singing and dancing. That's something that I want others to see more, so I always think that it'd be great if Reina and I can back them up on that.

--Do you also talk about such things with Tanaka-san?

Michishige: Reina and I don't often talk one-on-one, but recently, for the first time, we exchanged long emails in a way that's similar to that. I think the fans know this, but Reina is candid and she thinks about herself realistically...

--So that means...?

Michishige: Reina and I were the type to be fine with looking after just ourselves, rather than after other members......We used to be like that, but I received an email from Reina, saying, "Sayumi nowadays has a lot of hard things to deal with as leader, huh?" That made me so happy. Ahhh my tears......

--It's unimaginable for Tanaka-san to send that kind of email, right?

Michishige: (while crying)......It just made me so happy.....I totally had no idea that Reina felt that way.

Nakazawa: That girl, she's not one to express her feelings, right?

Michishige: But she also said, "If there's anything I can help with, I will."......Up to now, I've never gotten an email like that from her. In the past 10 years, for the most part, we didn't even interact through email. Also, it seems like the fact that I cried in front of Nakazawa-san was a big deal to Reina.

Nakazawa: Ah, is that so......

Michishige: Yeah. She said it in Hakata dialect, though, like, "Thinkin' 'bout lotsa things, huh?" (laughs). It's hard to reproduce it, though (laughs). But well, it seems like she was really surprised by it. She sent me something like, "The fact that Sayu cried there like that...Sayu must have been brooding over things a lot, but I wonder why she didn't come and talk to Reina about it." From my point of view, it's not that I was convinced that I couldn't talk to Reina. It wasn’t like that at all. But it seems like from Reina's point of view, that's how it felt. That's why she was kinda like, "I can't do anything but listen, though."

--Although it hasn't been long since Michishige-san became leader--only 2 months--it's not just Michishige-san who changed, but perhaps also Tanaka-san.

Michishige: That's right. She's changed a lot. Even her attitude towards rehearsal is very positive. I was late to our dance lesson because of work, and she did things like wait until I got there. Also, you won't hear about that kind of thing from Reina herself. After the dance lesson ended, when I went to say thank you to our instructor, she told me, "You know, Tanaka waited and didn't do the choreography until Sayu got here." That made me so happy. Until now, that kind of thing was unthinkable.

--I see. Ok, lastly, Nakazawa-san, please give a message to the 8th leader.

Nakazawa: More than ever, I really have high expectations of the current Morning Musume. When I saw the 9th and 10th generation at the Ikebukuro event, I thought, "What an interesting group!"

Michishige: *giggles* (laughs)

Nakazawa: So far, I've always watched my precious Morning Musume juniors, but now I wonder, "Has there ever been an era when they looked like they were having this much fun while also doing things with all their might?" Morning Musume mixes various generations, new and old, so there are times when the difference in degrees of enthusiasm, commitment, and the like, emerge, but now, I get the sense that everyone is like, "Ready, go!" and is aiming towards the same direction. It's wonderful. Really, if I ask the fans to please make Morning Musume grow big from now on, too, I think that the members will do their best to live up to those expectations. And if that effort comes to fruition, I'll be happy, too. I have a premonition that if it's the current members, they'll accomplish something.

--What does Michishige-san think?

Michishige: Morning Musume has a 15-year history, and this is my 10th year. There was a time when I felt like only the current members were working hard. I thought, "Even though we're working so hard...why?" But if I think about it, even just being able to be active now is amazing, right? We also release 3 or 4 CDs every year. The ones who made that into a routine thing are our seniors. We have to be thankful for that. Even though she graduated and many years have passed since then, even now Nakazawa-san still sends me email, and she listens to our CD every time we release one. I really feel the love. While being grateful to our seniors but without relying too much on them, I think it would be great if we can eventually reciprocate. We've received a lot of things from our seniors, you know. Of course, there are the things that they've taught us, but also, they created the environment in which we are able to work now. Someday, I'd like to repay their kindness.

Nakazawa: I'm happy just at hearing that speech, though. Just the thought that a girl who thinks like that is the leader is already promising. I'm definitely gonna go watch the next tour!

Michishige: I'll do my best! *giggle*
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sayu!!! <3 <3 <3




Wow. I honestly think Sayu might have jumped about 10 places in my rankings and become my favourite musume (Which is extremely weird since when I first started liking them, vocals were my number 1 criteria, and I still hold them in high regard.) I just have so much admiration and respect for everything she does, and I honestly think of every Momusu member, past and present, she has the most love for the group.
thanks for the translation
i respect her soo much!
Thanks for the translation.
thanks for that.... can i ask a favor....? can someone point out where in the article that translate "It's better to say it and regret it than to not say it at all."

That is one part of the read that I truly enjoy and will take out from it.... thanks in advance.
This interview is amazing, thank you so much for translating!
Thank you for translating another great interview! You can really see how much thought and love she puts into Morning Musume, and for that, I really respect her. I hope that her efforts pay off and we start to see Morning Musume gain more attention!

@rattrap316: That line is in the 3rd page, in that box on the bottom right, where it's talking about her "TV notebook". It's the first line in the second paragraph: 「ゆわないでこうかいするよりゆってこうかいした方がいい」
Thank you for translating this article! Sayumi has been my tentative favourite for a year now, and this really cements her place. She's just so thoughtful, and hardworking, (and beautiful of course), you can't help but at least admire her a bit.
You know, I usually don't read interviews that are this long... Heck, I barely read any interviews at all. I mostly skim. But I knew that with Sayu-leader being included, I had to finish 'til the end. I started out hating her, (like most girls XD) then disliking her, then being neutral about her, then liking her, then loving her and now adoring her! And the way Reina is portrayed by their words makes me go "awwwww!" since, as it says, she isn't one to express her feelings, that often. I really respect the Rokkies a lot, and this just added onto that respect.
Thanks!
Thanks for your wonderful translation. Sayu is the best, much respect for her. Reina too.
I must say that I fell in love with Sayu again <3 I just want to hug her and tell her that she always makes a good job!!! Thanks for the translation :D I love Morning Musume more than ever, if that's even possible XD
awesome. thanks a lot. back in 2003 when i discovered momusu, sayumi was my least favorite, but i feel like she's really grown into quite a confident, eloquent, and passionate young woman. it's great to hear nakazawa getting excited about the new line-up, too. :)
Thanks for the translation!!
"I told Sayashi-chan that I want her to surpass Nacchi and Gocchin" Wow! That's a tall order
Sayu made me cry T_T
Thanks so much for the translation.
Thank you so much for translated this Kurikaesu.haru, i thougth it was impossible but now i love Sayu even more, i have such a warm feeling in my heart, i even tear up, and those TanaShige moments <3 I'm so happy that Reina is there for Sayu, this interview really made me feel like Morning Musume is in good hands and that a new wonderful era is really starting
thanks for the translation~!!! bet reina felt quite responsible for not realizing sayu's hard work...man sayu really grew her popularity through the hard way..that's a true japanese musume....salute her leadership and may MM prospers ~!!!
Thanks so much for the translation! These kind of interviews are usually interesting and this one was brilliant!
this interview is great and thanks for translating. Sayumi have rise up to a higher position in my heart, she really thinks alot for momusu and thats why i have more and more respect for her.
What number of Top Yell is this?

Wow. I honestly think Sayu might have jumped about 10 places in my rankings and become my favourite musume (Which is extremely weird since when I first started liking them, vocals were my number 1 criteria, and I still hold them in high regard.) I just have so much admiration and respect for everything she does, and I honestly think of every Momusu member, past and present, she has the most love for the group.

Vocals used to be at the top of my criteria, too, until I found out how awesome Sayu is. I'm sure all other members have put in a lot of effort, too, but Sayu really goes above and beyond any expectations.

Thank you for translating another great interview! You can really see how much thought and love she puts into Morning Musume, and for that, I really respect her. I hope that her efforts pay off and we start to see Morning Musume gain more attention!


I agree and I hope so too!

Thank you for translating this article! Sayumi has been my tentative favourite for a year now, and this really cements her place. She's just so thoughtful, and hardworking, (and beautiful of course), you can't help but at least admire her a bit.

Agreed. Her dedication is very inspiring.

You know, I usually don't read interviews that are this long... Heck, I barely read any interviews at all. I mostly skim. But I knew that with Sayu-leader being included, I had to finish 'til the end. I started out hating her, (like most girls XD) then disliking her, then being neutral about her, then liking her, then loving her and now adoring her! And the way Reina is portrayed by their words makes me go "awwwww!" since, as it says, she isn't one to express her feelings, that often. I really respect the Rokkies a lot, and this just added onto that respect.


I'm glad you read this :) I went through a process similar to yours XD. Thanks to her blog, the hating/disliking/neutral part didn't last long :) This article also reminded me how awesome Reina is too.

I must say that I fell in love with Sayu again <3 I just want to hug her and tell her that she always makes a good job!!! Thanks for the translation :D I love Morning Musume more than ever, if that's even possible XD

Lately, with almost every MM thing that I see, I fall in love with MM all over again, especially with Sayu and Reina <3

awesome. thanks a lot. back in 2003 when i discovered momusu, sayumi was my least favorite, but i feel like she's really grown into quite a confident, eloquent, and passionate young woman. it's great to hear nakazawa getting excited about the new line-up, too. :)

I've only been a fan for about 2 years, but even compared to the Sayu from 2 years ago, she has really grown so much and in a way that deserves admiration and respect.

"I told Sayashi-chan that I want her to surpass Nacchi and Gocchin" Wow! That's a tall order


It is, but as the lyrics to the new MM song, "Be Alive," say, "If you're gonna aim for something, aim for the highest pride and glory." :)

Thank you so much for translated this Kurikaesu.haru, i thougth it was impossible but now i love Sayu even more, i have such a warm feeling in my heart, i even tear up, and those TanaShige moments <3 I'm so happy that Reina is there for Sayu, this interview really made me feel like Morning Musume is in good hands and that a new wonderful era is really starting


I feel the same way :)

thanks for the translation~!!! bet reina felt quite responsible for not realizing sayu's hard work...man sayu really grew her popularity through the hard way..that's a true japanese musume....salute her leadership and may MM prospers ~!!!

It's amazing how proactive she has been in building up her popularity, not just for her own sake, but also for MM's.

What number of Top Yell is this?


It's the September 2012 issue, released on Aug 6.
I've been a huge Sayu fan for a long time. She may not have the best voice, but she's clearly one of the cleverest Musumes we've ever seen. A genuine wit who doesn't take herself too seriously. This terrific interview with your wonderful translation gives us a real insight into her mind and the inner workings of the group. My respect for Sayu continues to grow. Thank you!
I've also read the article in the original Japanese, but your translation conveys all the emotional/moving moments perfectly. It's a wonderful thing for us to share those inside stories. You're amazing. Keep up the good work! ^^
@Cotton Cloth You're welcome :) I love Sayu's wit! She never fails to amaze and amuse me XD


@Vajra Thanks! Glad to hear that :)
I started following M.M. right from the begining, but became a bit uninterested by around 2004, since most of the originals I loved so much had graduated and I just didn't feel the newer members, but this is the type of stuff that has been getting me more and more interested in the recent years.

After reading this interview, I'm totally getting the 50th single and becoming a fully dedicated M.M. fan again!
Sayu is going to lead the group into a wonderfull new era!
(Super love to Nakazawa-san too, she is still so beautifull and still my fav. member!) :)
^ I'm so glad this interview helped make you a fan again :) I hope to see a long, wonderful new era under Sayu's leadership! And yes, Nakazawa is just awesome.

She is the Best leader.