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Morning Musume。 ’14 “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe / Password is 0″ Interview

Morning Musume。 ’14 “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe / Password is 0″ Interview


Ishida Ayumi took decisive action in Morning Musume’s first solo interview. With members exploding
with individuality along with Morning Musume’s reviving popularity, she’s gone on without her inner spirit being discovered. An originality which she’s finally found. She doesn’t give up in anything. Just like then, she’s stayed that competitive girl. Please be sure to read.

“When Tsunku♂san returns he’ll say, ‘You’ve all come a long way’”

photo1[1]–Currently your country-wide tour “Morning Musume ’14 Concert Tour Spring ~Evolution~” is in session,so in what way are you approaching it this time?

Ishida Ayumi: With this being “Evolution”, it has a meaning of progression, and so it was like
Tsunku♂san saying “You’ve all come a long way”.

–Like, not being content with the status quo, right.

Ishida: But now, since we couldn’t see Tsunku♂san at the venue due to his treatment, he’s making surethis concert is going well through video and hasn’t been able to see us first-hand. Because of that,in order for Tsunku♂san to say, “You’ve all come a long way. You’ve evolved,” when he returns……the 10 members are working hard.

–Morning Musume has been returning with vigorous intensity since last year, but what do you thinkand feel about it?

Ishida: We’ve suddenly started being told by people around us things like, “You’ve been making yoursecond break-out”, and although that makes me incredibly happy, there’s honestly part of me which also thinks, “Why is that?” We’ve become able to feel like new fans are increasing suddenly, as well as
female fans, and within ourselves we don’t precisely understand why that is. But recently we’ve been
doing songs with a cool style, and especially begun doing formation dances. I think those plans and
ideas of Tsunku♂san’s are popular in the current environment.

–But with the members thinking, “I wonder why we’ve been having a revival?” part of it is the
activities you’ve been doing, right?

Ishida: That’s true. I feel that way. But thinking like that is because there are ways where we’re not
quite there yet in our abilities. Since I joined saying, “Dance is my specialty”, although I have
confidence in my dancing, when I hear, “Well, how about singing?” it’s something I can’t say “I’m good
at”. And so, although the abilities of each of us aren’t good enough yet, and that makes us think, “Why is everyone following us so closely like this?” I feel like because they’re following us, we need to keep improving our abilities.

–Your skills haven’t been keeping up with society’s assessment. Therefore you also have some

Ishida: We have confusion and such too, but since acquiring 4 straight #1 rankings on Oricon is
because of all the fans’ support, I feel grateful to them all for that.

–What did you feel the moment you made the great achievement of a 4th consecutive Oricon #1?

Ishida: Speaking honestly, even being told that it’s the first time in the history of Morning Musume,
it doesn’t really sink in with just those words since as far as number of CDs sold, there were more at
the time of “LOVE Machine”. And so, though I’m happy to get 4 straight Oricon #1s in this age, it’s
like, we’re not there yet. Though it’s not all about numbers, I want to become able to confidently say
“We’re #1!” after improving our skills more.

–You’re so modest. Well, what does Ishida-san think herself about what kind of group Morning Musume
’14 is now?

Ishida: Now, Michishige Sayumi (Leader)-san has been active for over 10 years and is 24 years old. But
our youngest Kudou Haruka-chan is 14, and our newest member Oda Sakura-chan has been in the group for
a year and a half. If I think that way, though there’s such an incredibly huge gap from my senpai,
I’m also becoming a senpai. For us, our biggest idol rival is the old Morning Musume. I want the new
Morning Musume to surpass the Morning Musume from that time.

photo2[1]–It’s the overarching theme of Morning Musume since that time, isn’t it.

Ishida: Also, in the dressing room everyone’s like “waa~ kyaa~”, and although that’s incredibly fun……speaking honestly, there are times when it’s just noisy too. But when the live starts we put on our cool faces and do the cool performances, so I wonder if that gap isn’t Morning Musume ’14′s most attractive point. Though we’re close like a family, we sometimes are conscious of being rivals, and so with all our strength aim to do cool performances. Myself, I think that’s something attractive.

–Well, within that current Morning Musume ’14, what kind of position do you think the 10th generation
(Iikubo Haruna / Ishida Ayumi / Sato Masaki / Kudou Haruka) holds?

Ishida: Since the 10th gen who joined were the “Energetic group” in the audition, the 10th gen really
are the most energetic. Sato Masaki-chan especially starts just doing funny things without
thinking about what’s going on around her, and it gives me an awful lot of energy when I’m down
myself. They also talk to me without thinking about it even if there are shocks which make me a bit
sad. They also make me think too that, “Well, it’s really all right!” That kind of energy we don’t give just to the fans but to the group as well. Also, there’s 1 year between when us and the 9th gen
members (Fukumura Mizuki / Ikuta Erina / Sayashi Riho / Suzuki Kanon) joined, and we’re close in age.
So at first our inter-generational sense of rivalry was strong, and we did competitions and such.

–Previously, we heard lots of things from Tanaka Reina-san (lol).

Ishida: But recently Michishige Sayumi-san has been acting as the leader for us, and the 9th and 10th
gens are below her, but since we won’t be continuing to face that and will need to properly create a
senpai/kouhai wall, we’ll continue talking to break through that. What made us able to do that is 11th
gen Oda Sakura-chan joining, making us feel like, “We have to teach her!” We’ve made a good change in direction with the relationship of the 9th and 10th gens toward Oda-chan.

–Well, what kind of presence do you think Ishida Ayumi has in the current Morning Musume ’14?

Ishida: Mm~m……I’m not really one who understands myself well. But when I joined Morning Musume our
first single “Pyoko Pyoko Ultra” was an incredibly energetic and cutesy song, and since then such
cutesy singles have gone away, and we’ve changed over to a really cool and danceable direction.

–Since “Ren’ai Hunter”, right.

Ishida: I told Tsunku♂san, “I’m good at dancing. I won’t lose to anyone in dancing,” and actually,
in our recent singles I’ve been dancing in a pair with Sayashi Riho-san, so I wonder if they’ve
started giving us dance scenes like that since I joined.

–What do you think has changed about you from when you first joined until now?

Ishida: What’s changed the most is my character. At first I was competitive and always acted tough,
and I was told by those around me as well, “You really shine” (lol). But recently the walls I’d
created without knowing have been breaking down, and I think you’ve become able to see the natural
Ishida. To say it clearly, my “suberi (fail) character” has taken hold, though I don’t know why.

–Saying “My suberi character has taken hold, though I don’t know why” is exactly the pattern, right?

Ishida: Ahahaha!

–Not having a state of self-awareness.

Ishida: That’s right, the character has come out without me even realizing it (lol). Moreover, the one
who noticed it was Leader Michishige-san. Though I don’t remember what the occasion was, she’d often
pick on me and of course followed me. Also, the one who gave the name “Ishida Time” to those
moments when I’d say something dull and everyone would just stare was Michishige-san. I’ve
changed thanks to Leader.

“I always think in my heart that ‘I don’t want to lose’. To any of the members.”

–You are grateful (lol). But Ishida-san, in the MC on opening day of this tour you talked about
something like, “Though there are lots of things i’m worried about, I feel better thanks to all of
you”. What kind of things are you most worried about now?

Ishida: Recently, like I said before too, since I don’t even understand myself well, I get to
thinking, “Is this good enough?”…… Doing work like this there are lots of times I do
questionnaires, with things like, “What is a recent hobby of yours?” Since I’m a person without
hobbies, I’m bad at things like that too. Since when I start writing about myself nothing
comes to mind like that… I get to thinking things like, “Why have all my fans come to like me?” But when I see everyone who supports me at concerts, I think that there doesn’t have to be a special reason. It’s not necessary to have a reason to like someone. So it’s like that, at the same time.

–So frankly, you’re worried about what your position is in a group like Morning Musume which has
gathered this much of a following, and have uneasy thoughts like, “Am I an important member in the
group?” Is that the case with Ishida-san?

Ishida: Since I’m able to do the dancing which I love at concerts, that’s not something I’m uneasy
about, but I get worried when appearing on variety or such. For example, Ikuta Erina-san and Suzuki
Kanon-san are easy to understand characters you can pick on……

–There are quite a few characters like that, huh. It’s like, that’s the “Current Musume.”

Ishida: That’s right (lol). But I think as an idol, it’s most important to be easy to pick on like that.Though I’m also known among the fans as the “suberi character”, if someone doesn’t know me and doesn’t know what kind of girl I am, they can’t pick on me and say things like that. Therefore as for what kind of position would be good for me, I’m still unsure about it.

–Listening to you talk today, the thing Ishida Ayumi is most concerned about is “individuality” huh.

Ishida: I am concerned with individuality. Speaking honestly, while it’s good that I joined the group
saying I’m good at dancing, Sayashi-san’s also good at dancing. Talking about a suberi character, since Ikuta-san is also one, it’s like they’re pretty much covered (lol).

photo3[1]–Like, you can’t pick out something that’s “just you”?

Ishida: I can’t.

–And there are things you’re unconfident about too?

Ishida: There are.

–In the current Morning Musume ’14 there’s an eruption of the respective individuality of the members, right? In the 10th gen also Maa-chan (Sato Masaki) and Kuduu (Kudou Haruka) jump right out to the front. But since Ishida-san has a bit of a big sister position, you have a calming effect of
watching over those around you, and you think that you really want to go to the front more. Is that the truth?

Ishida: Of course I want to go to the front, and of course I want to talk when I appear on variety
shows, but…… I get to thinking that it’s really hard. As for not being able to settle on a character for myself, since there are lots of different things I can say, I can do it. But if I go in lots of different directions, I wind up thinking, “What kind of person is this in the end?” Mm~m……it’s hard. But, what should I say. Mm~m………..

–You’re searching for that now, right.

Ishida: That’s right.

–When Ishida-san joined you were burning with the desire of, “I’ll defeat Sayashi Riho!” and “I won’t lose to anyone in dance”, right? But after a period of time you started thinking, “Sayashi-san’s presence is really huge. Though of course there are times I think ‘I don’t want to lose’, my dancing is no match for hers”, and so you started shifting to a focus more on overall performance. What do you think of that as a turning point for you?

Ishida: ………With Tanaka Reina-san graduating, and it got to be where we’d be performing as the 10
of us, though a center-like or ace-like person is vital for an idol group, I was like, “That’s not
me”. Though of course I aspire to be the center, it’s like……. what should I say. I think I won’t
be heading toward being Leader or anything either. I think I’ll be in the position of like a subleader
who supports the leader. Since more than paying attention to those around me, I think I’m good at
listening to what people have to say. And so, for example, though I wouldn’t be supporting someone
who’s like the ace, and I won’t be leading people along from the center, I’ll be supporting that
person who’s leading us along…… like, pulling along?

–I understand what you’re trying to say. Something supporting your existence. Formerly when Tanaka
Reina-san was there as a senpai, you got fired up like, “I won’t lose”. But when there’s someone for
you to get motivated like, “I’ll defeat ○○○○!” isn’t there, it’s like you’ve lost your compass. Is that close to how you feel?

Ishida: That’s right. When I’m watching our concert videos and such, when there are parts where I
think, not limited to Sayashi-san, “This really is so cool”, I start wanting to imitate it, and when
someone else is praised for dancing or something, I always think, “I want that too……”. Though I
haven’t expressed it, I always think in my heart that I also want to be praised.

–If you aim for the “Supporting… pulling along” existence you mentioned before, it’ll be like the
role Ishida Ayumi should achieve is to be the “Best #2 member”, but what I can sense from the
frustration you just talked about now is a desire to become more. Like the idea that you don’t want to
lose to anyone.

Ishida: I wonder, right? Since the fans are supporting me, and there are people who say to me, “Become
the center, okay,” and I also think, “It’d probably feel so great if I could dance in the center”,
when there are moments I stand in the center during all the movement we do during concerts, it makes me happy that fans go like, “Wow~!” But…… if I’m told something like “You’re the absolute ace”, I feel like it’d be a bit painful. That’s the kind of thing I feel.

–Individually speaking, I love seeing Ishida-san and Sayashi-san dancing together. The more I can
feel Ishida-san’s “I won’t lose!” spirit, the stronger the feeling becomes. Though I think that’s an
incredibly strong highlight for Ishida-san as well, what do you think?

Ishida: From the fans as well there are those who say, “I like it when the two of you are dancing,” or
occasionally “Ishida definitely danced better,” and that makes me incredibly happy. So when I’m able
to dance together with Sayashi-san, though I say, “Sayashi-san is really great at it”, in my heart I
think “I won’t lose either”, and so I always think that when you can’t see it at practices, I want to
be told, “You’re doing better than Sayashi-san”.

–Because of that, I have a request. I want Ishida-san to always keep on touting, “I’ll defeat
Sayashi Riho”. The Ishida Ayumi everyone loves…… or rather the most sparkling Ishida Ayumi, is not
the calm, mature Ishida Ayumi, but the always competitive, reckless Ishida Ayumi. Don’t you think that

Ishida: Hmm. I’ve also been told over time by the fans and the members around me that “You’ve lost
your sparkle”, but that’s something which just hasn’t been expressed, hasn’t come to the surface, and
I always think in my heart that “I don’t want to lose”, to any of the members…… I’m not good at
showing that side of myself.

–Like you haven’t been able to say something like that in front of the members?

Ishida: Yes. Since that’s true, though I’m a person who’s bad at sharing my worries, in my heart I’m
always thinking, “I don’t want to lose” and “I want to do something more”. So if all the fans start
thinking things like, “You’ve lost your sparkle” or “I wonder if she’s given up being the center”, I
don’t want you to worry about that. That’s not the case.

–I think that the key to Morning Musume’s continuing breakout is Ishida Ayumi’s awakening. The
manifestation of Ishida-san’s feeling of spirit that you don’t want to lose to anyone. Wouldn’t that
have a direct connection to Morning Musume’s leveling up?

Ishida: Ok. Um… thank you. I’ve been praised by people around me for my dancing, and have felt happy
from that, but at the same time I really hate it that I’m thought of as like, “the girl who can only
dance”. It’s like, even though Morning Musume has to deliver it through singing, what is it with me
only dancing? And so, recently I’ve been thinking that what I want to work especially hard on is my
singing. Also, something that none of the other current members can do but that I can, is rap.

“So that the Morning Musume 10 years from now will think of us as rivals”

photo4[1]–So you have something, don’t you? Something that’s just yours.

Ishida: In recent coupling songs and such I’ve often been allowed to be in charge of the rap, and
since I was incredibly happy that I was chosen since I have a sense of rhythm from my dance, with the
rap being put into Morning Musume CDs and along with that people telling me “You’re good at it”,
that’s something I don’t want to lose to anyone at and be the one to do it from now on.

–Thinking of rap in Morning Musume, OG Gaki-san (Niigaki Risa) comes to mind, so you can learn from
her rapping too, can’t you?

Ishida: I do learn from it! Movements during the rap and such. Though it’s best to move prettily when
singing normally, since for rap it’s more intense and more masculine movements are necessary, I’ve
been studying that part of it. Though I’m good at dancing to choreography, I’m incredibly bad at free dancing. I’m bad at thinking it up myself. At times like that I try imitating Niigaki-san and
such. Niigaki-san is so incredibly cool at it. That masculine feel. But where it’s clean it’s very

–What kind of advice do you get most from Tsunku♂san?

Ishida: He watched the video from our current tour, and when I sent him a mail like, “We’re finally at opening
day. Though I’m nervous, I’ll do my best,” there’s one of Niigaki-san’s rap parts which I’ve gotten,
and he replied with something about that like, “You’ve become able to do it pretty well”. Since it was
before going on stage, it really gave me confidence that he said something like that to me.

–I’ll definitely go to see that.

Ishida: I’ll be waiting (lol). Also, he usually gives me advice about singing more often than dancing.
Though I don’t know if my lack of confidence in singing gets conveyed.

–Since if Ishida-san gained more confidence in her singing, it would make Morning Musume songs even
more colorful, that’s probably when those expectations will materialize. Do you have a strong desire
to live up to Tsunku♂san’s expectations?

Ishida: I do! When I joined Morning Musume he told me that I stood out in singing and dancing above
the rest, but even though he said that, since I didn’t have confidence in my singing, I’ve felt guilty about it. He also said something to me like, “What about your entertainer nature?” but
since now I’ve become a “suberi character”, it’s like, “Is that direction okay?” (lol)

–It’ll be a splendid art if you settle into the suberi role (lol). But in Ishida-san’s case, isn’t it
best for you to refine your entertainer nature through your performance? Since there are quite a few
comedians already.

Ishida: That’s true. So I always think “I’ll work hard to not fail in my performance”.

–Do you feel like you could shine brighter than you have up until now?

Ishida: I wonder? But a certain staff-san told me something like, “You’ve changed somehow during this
tour, haven’t you?” Also, since my dance teacher said something more specific like, “What’s lacking in
Ishida is femininity”, I want to work hard at that in this tour.

–How do you work on your femininity in performance, I wonder?

Ishida: Probably expressions and movements and such. Since I’ve always learned nothing but dances with
hard movements like cheer dancing and hiphop, I’m proud of my sharpness, but not so great with supple
movements. Also, I tend to use expressions in patterns, or rather, it looks like I use this face here,
and that face for this other time, so since I’ve been told to draw that out and open up more, “Show us
a new Ishida”, I want to always be conscious of that.

–But Ishida’s expressions, compared to when you debuted……

Ishida: I’ve been told that too (lol). “You’d been dancing with an incredibly stiff smile in
the past. But recently you’ve been having fun, right?” When I say, “Yes,” they tell me, “It really

–That performance by Ishida-san is also in Morning Musume ’14′s new single we’ve been awaiting, “Toki
wo Koe, Sora wo Koe”. From the intro it jumps out as best of the year, and it gave me tremors inside. What kind of impression does Ishida-san have, listening to it?

Ishida: I think it’s a really incredible song. Before we did the recording, Tsunku♂san’s voice was
there temporarily, and Tsunku♂san’s singing was the best. Honestly, to the extent I want to hear
the version Tsunku♂san sings more than ours (lol) it was that incredibly beautiful. Listening to that
I really felt like crying. And so, we practiced a lot so that we might be able to approach
Tsunku♂san’s power of expression. Since it’s again a medium tempo song which we haven’t had in
recent Morning Musume, I think the fans will feel it’s refreshing as well, and that it’s a song where
you’ll be able to get to know a new side of Morning Musume from the singing and dancing.

–What part of it made Ishida-san feel like crying?

Ishida: Though it was Tsunku♂san’s singing voice, it was like a perfect whisper, which was so
beautiful it made me think that I want to listen to it always. Also, the part in the lyrics of,
“Kuyashikute Naitatte ii kara” (it’s okay to cry when you’re frustrated) I really love. For some reason I feel like it fits me well, and I’ve often been told by my mother, “It’s okay to cry if you want to”. But I haven’t obediently gotten used to it, and was like, “It’s all right”. But now, doing activities like these……what should I say. Words like these really resonate for me.

–Are there lots of activities you do within Morning Musume which are actually frustrating and make you cry?

Ishida: Mm~m……not physically speaking, but when I get busy with activities there are times when it’s tired me out mentally and emotionally. At times like that, though I don’t know why, tears start to come.

–Also from this single, “Password is 0″ is like an evolution from “What is LOVE?”, and is a number which gives an intense impact. Do you think there aren’t any other idols now who put out such cool dance music?

Ishida: I don’t think there are any other idols. “Password is 0″ is also an incredibly brisk song, and while jumping to make the “0″s, we sing with our mics too. At lives. While watching the video of us dancing this song, we’ve even said to ourselves “that’s so awesome” (lol). And so although it’s really a physical battle at concerts, we want to make clean “0″s since in the formation dance this time, if you look from above, we’ve become able to make it look like a “☆”. Since if we’re out of alignment even a little on that, if our arm reaches are at just a slightly wrong angle, you wouldn’t be able to see it, the formation dance level has evolved even more, and I think it’s something awesome.

–If you could get 5 straight #1s with this, that’d be really cool huh.

Ishida: It would be. Since we of course want to aim for it, I want to somehow be able to do it with the 10 of us now. I’ll be happy if we can improve on our Morning Musume record of 4 straight #1s. I also want to make it so that the Morning Musume 10 years from now will think of us as rivals, that “We want to surpass that time”.

And that Kouhaku appearance you’ve been waiting for. Would it be perfect if that was decided?

Ishida: We unfortunately couldn’t appear last year, and that was an incredibly frustrating time, but thinking about it now, it makes me have an even stronger desire to improve, and I want to look ahead. Since though during 2013 we got 3 straight #1s, there are still places where our abilities aren’t there yet. Though the fans are telling us, “Morning Musume is so cool”, looking at the bigger picture, I wonder how we’re thought of out of all the other idol groups? Since we don’t have complete confidence in regard to that, it’s certainly like we just weren’t there yet.

That’s a calm analysis.

Ishida: But, though I don’t know when it’ll be, it’s a place I want to keep aiming toward without giving up.




Did the choreography series ☆

{Blog post originally by MM’14 choreographer Yoshiko-sensei}


This one is from the double A-side single that went on sale today 、the 16th of April

Morning Musume。 14` 「Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe」


When the order was placed for this song

Space、Grand scale、 Spacey

…Besides those words、 there was nothing else 。 1504[1]

+Within myself、there would be Hikoboshi-sama(Saya) and Orihime-sana (Ishi)during Tanabata…

My image was that of the milky way。

Besides that, they would be swimming in the midst of space, looking at distant stars…

While imagining the cosmos….

The Promotion ver.  was completed beautifully

And so、 please have a look at the Dance shot ver.  3421113[1]





Soー。 The inside story。。 lol

When I first got this song

The arrangement still hadn’t been completed, so I did it based on the sounds of the melody and instrumentation that I had so far

The flow wasn’t powerful、 but the beat of the background was strong to the ear

Rather than ‘It’s a good song~’、 my impression was that it was a relatively cool song。

However, the moves for the intro were done differently

Also, the moves in the bridge are relatively more boyish、 the choreography was done in a completely different way。

Then, during the 1st business meeting

The arrangement of the music had changed… So I was told「?」 while I was thinking about it

Listening to the music that we had received, it ended up like that.. 2035[1]

However、 at the 2nd rehearsal, we switched the nuance into something newly crafted, and even changed the moves…

To the dummy dancer girls、 it was as if they had to learn an additional song’s worth。 2425448[1]

At the beginning, that made the dancer girls go 「Eh”~!!」

But they enjoyed themselves, 「It’s been a while since we did this kind of choreography~」。 lol

It’s been quite a while for myself as well to get such a song, so it was refreshing  :kirakira:


Until the next time, please make sure to dance, everyone  :kirakira: :nihihi:

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Morning Musume。 ’14 interview with Oricon Style for ‘Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe / Password is 0′


Currently making another break! What’s an event where you felt your faces and names were remembered? 

Fukumura Mizuki

Fukumura Mizuki

―― Firstly, we’d like to hear about the first of your two songs from the double A single 「Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe」! What sort of song is it?


【Ikuta Erina】 I think that this song, with its grand title (laughs)、 can evoke a response in anyone。 It’s packed with tons of lyrics such as “On days when you’re lonely and can’t sleep, it’s okay to cry,” impressive lyrics that can open up your mind。 

【Ishida Ayumi】 Although we’ve already performed this song at a concert, normally when we say things like 「We would like to perform our new song」, all of the fans would obstinately try to dance along together, yet everyone listened carefully when it came to this song。 

【Fukumura Mizuki】 That hasn’t happened before。 I think that this song really does cross time1。 As Eripon (Ikuta) mentioned、 there are plenty of lyrics that can resonate with you, and at the same time, the contents give you a sense of the future。 The music video (MV) is like that as well, and it drew out this amazing ‘sense of space’ in the concert! Even the dance looks like we’re moving in water, creating a sensation of zero gravity。
1 Reference to the song title: ‘Toki wo Koe’ means ‘crossing time’.

Ikuta Erina

Ikuta Erina

――Certainly、 the beginning of the MV does give an impression of an “Air Twelve Girls Band”。 And now the other song, 「Password is 0」。

【Sayashi Riho】 Right。 Password has all sorts of meanings, but in this case we’re it bears the meaning of 「watchword」。 In the lyrics, the lines <○○ nai>2 are repeated several times。 I started at the outset thinking that 「0」=「Nai」3 , but I think that the message is about “expanding one’s own possibilities”。 I feel that that’s exactly where the present Morning Musume。’14 is at。
2 <○○ nai> = <without ○○ >
3 ’Nai’ meaning ‘nothing’ or ‘without’

 【Iikubo Haruna】 Since 「Password is 0」 is a song with a great sense of speed, I think it’ll rouse up concerts。 Be it those fans who come with their friends or those who are battling it out alone, I want them to enjoy making the 「0」 character。 And I think that the lyrics are really deep。 For example, while we say that<For all your efforts, nothing is guaranteed>, we also mention <Yet beyond those efforts, something will be there>。 I think that that is applicable, whatever world you inhabit。 I feel like Tsunku♂-san is writing it for where we’re currently heading towards。

――Certainly。However, with that “Direction of the current Morning Musume。’14”、 I feel that everyone sings with conviction。

0_94438500_1397213474[1]【Sayashi】  About this song, we also recorded a 「Mori Musu。 version」 with Morisanchuu-san。 We were a bit saddened by the fact that part of the song was taken away from us (laughs), but I want you to make sure to listen to it, as it has this delightful feeling。

―― Well then, you’ve all been active on variety programmes on television recently, so haven’t there been more people who remember your names and faces recently compared to before?

【Ikuta】 Yes!  Morning Musume。’14 were selected as the ambassadors for the 『Nippon! Call Project』 in conjunction with the Sochi Olympics held in February, and during the live performance we held for the Japanese representative team at their send-off party, some of the representatives pointed out, 「Ah、 the magic girl!」, which made me really happy。

―― That’s amazing! But you still continue to look down in the dumps。

【Ikuta】 But recently I’ve been thinking of looking for a 「new skill。 For example, that I’ve been playing golf since I was a child。 

【Iikubo】  I’m said to be 「In charge of flattery4」, and I’ve been acknowledged by Kato Kouji-san。 It makes me really glad whenever Katou-san brings up the subject whenever I make an appearance on a programme。 Therefore, I’ve become the self-styled “Katou Kouji approved flattering idol”。
4 The word I’m translating as ‘flattery’ is ‘taikomochi ‘, lit. possessing a taiko drum. It’s a reference to court entertainers who would entertain guests through praise. 

【Sayashi】  I’ve often got the chance to be remembered as 「The girl with the complicated name」。 The number of people who can write my name is slowly increasing。The character 「鞘」 (Saya) is a complicated character that isn’t even taught in university, so I’d be really glad if this kanji seeps throughout the whole country!

 ――Rather than remembering Sayashi-san, it’s become a tale of kanji (lol

【Ikuta】 That’s niceー。 My name’s too simple, that in town I get called 「Oi Ikuta!」。It makes me wonder: why are you not attaching an honorific? Sooner or later, it might be that no one will call me 「Eripon」 any more……。 Even the kids in the lower grades of primary school don’t add an honorific either。 

【Ishida】 My name too。 Since it’s the same as famous actress Ishida Ayumi, they remember that aspect of it! 

【Fukumura】 I emerged the victor when I was challenged in a 『Taiko no Tatsujin』 showdown on television。 Since then, the people around me have been referring to me as 「It’s the 『Taiko no Tatsujin』 girl」。 I think I’d like to raise my skills up even higher from now on!

If you could cross time… which era would you like to go to?

Iikubo Haruna

Iikubo Haruna

―― You know, it’s interesting that 2 of you have something related to taiko drums (laughs)。 Well then, in relation to 「Toki wo koe Sora wo koe」, if you could cross through time, which era would you like to go to? Please tell us, one at a time!

【Fukumura】Since I’m of the <past faction>, there’s a lot of things I want to tell to myself in the past。 I want to go back to when I was in my 5th year of primary school。 It’s the year when I would soon be joining the Hello! Pro Eggs, and I think it would be better if I had had more practice with all sorts of things from when I was small。 In classes at school, there were parts of it where I definitely cut corners。When I was in junior high, there were some things that I had to give up。I want to enter that time and scold that self of mine。

―― It seems like it would develop on the lines of, 「Some weird oneechan came up to me and told me to 『Go study』!」。

【Fukumura】But I think my past self will believe me if I tell her 「I’m you from the future」。

Ishida Ayumi

Ishida Ayumi

――(laughs)。 Well then, next is Ikuta-san, go ahead!

【Ikuta】 Erina’s in the <future faction>, so I’d like to go to the 23 century。 It’ll be a world where Doraemon is something ordinary、the 23rd century。 Also, I’d also like to try personally experiencing a 「Dokodemo Door」! 

【Sayashi】 Similarly, I’m in the <future faction>。 I want to be moved by an era that has seen progress。 There might also be the possibility that life might have become more difficult。 However, I think that Japan will definitely have progressed well (Grunts and nods of agreement) 

【Iikubo】  On the topic of whether the past or the future would be better, I think it’s amazing how Sayashi-san gave such a serious answer! 

【Ishida】 Flatterer!(laughs)。 For me……I’m of the <past faction>, since if the future is good, I’d think 「Ah、 the future is like this」 and not put in any effort, and I feel like something odd would happen that would mess with the future。 So, I’d head to the past。 Rather than savouring the development of the future, I’d like to venture into something that I know is an inconvenience at present, and I’d realise the value of something convenient!

0_94274200_1397210856[1]―― Somehow the conversation ended up turning into what feels like a discussion in class about morals。 Well then, finally, Iikubo-san。

【Iikubo】  Everyone said such cool things, it makes me feel embarrassed…… But I’d like to go to the Yayoi period, and be revered as a deity by using all of the knowledge and technology that I understand。 

【Everyone】  Whoaーー……。 

【Iikubo】  As someone who supports Yamatai-koku,  I’d like to win fame as a deity。 I want to be pampered and to receive treatment similar to Himiko ……But you know, it’s significantly different from all of you。 It might be better to think of something different……(Regains control of face)

―― In Doraemon, if you were to do that, you’d be arrested by the time patrol (laughs)。 Well then, finally, please show your enthusiasm for the 5th consecutive 1st place. Fukumura-san, if you please!

【Fukumura】 Right, I think this every time, but for the songs this time around, the lyrics for both are magnificent。 Since I think that the final verse of both songs have the meaning of <hope> embedded in them, I want us to have hope, and move forward。 For the sake of that, I’d like it if a lot of people listen to these songs。 All of the members have become salespeople, feeling like we’re selling things by hand, and to that extent, we’ll do our best!

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Concerning Morning Musume. ’14 New Member Auditions

Thank you always for your support。
Going right into it、I have an announcement for everyone。
Starting in 2014 the girls have been doing activities as「Morning Musume。’14」、
and we’ll be recruiting new members to join those girls!

It will be titled「Morning Musume。’14 <Golden>Audition!」

In March 2013 they attained consecutive Oricon chart weekly #1 rankings、
so due to the fans’ support it was a year of a big leap for Morning Musume。
In 2014 they made another big move ahead、and so I want to do a mass recruitment for members who’ll break the current Morning Musume。’14 into a Golden Era!

Those who think, “I love to sing!”and、
“I’m a person who believes in her future!” and
who can imagine, “This is what I’ll be like when working hard at it!” These will receive warm welcomes!!
Those who may still not have confidence in themselves、but even so would like to try to push themselves!
Those who feel these and other things、
Anyone can apply if you’re a single girl from 10~17 years old, regardless of nationality。

Won’t you try to play an active role as a representative partner in bringing the current J-pop sound to the world!
I’m also itching to do that!

Successful applicants will debut at Morning Musume。’14 events this fall、
and while taking lessons will prepare to be able to  fully participate come the New Year。

Even if an applicant doesn’t meet the qualifications, if they’re chosen to pass as an associate、
they can obtain a qualification to right there join the Hello Pro Kenshuusei for free lessons、
and will have the opportunity to participate in periodic live activities。
They’ll be targets for selection in a next Morning Musume。’14 audition held
or for new groups formed within Hello!Project。

Since the skill level of current members has certainly become high、the selection criteria are becoming higher as well、
but even so I think there are still-dormant talents out there in the world which are so great they’ll surprise us。
If you believe in yourself、believe in your future、
and would be endorsed by your parents who wouldn’t judge by their own measures but would anyhow support you、
if you believe in your ability to be chosen by us、I think it’ll be a challenge!

We’ll be waiting for many applications!

Morning Musume。’14 Producer

Details are here


Kame-chan [Fujimoto Miki]

I’ve been fairly busy with work

and I couldn’t get much time

for teaching yoga, but 1787123[1]o0020002012379911080[1]


I was finally able to do a lesson. 


Because this time having read on my blog

that I’m teaching yoga o0020002012436641621[1] Reina

6th-gen Kamei-chan

told me “I wanna try

when she contacted me


The lesson o0020002012397540434[1] Reina1754261[1] Miki




Other members couldn’t arrange a time to meet, o0020002012483528788[1] Reina

with my friend and

Gyouji my manager, there were 3 people http://blog-project.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/o00200020123184664481.gif


Kame-chan also

seemed glad that

she got to relax


It’s been 2~3 years

since I last saw Kame-chan o0020002012469892648[1] Reina

but she’s cute as always

And I was happy to see

her character hadn’t changed at all~ 4329829[1]4329829[1]4329829[1]


Even having graduated and retired, I’m happy

we can still get together once in a while like this http://blog-project.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/o00200020123184664201.gif4370692[1]


The yoga pose I did with Kame-chan

is in this book o0020002012464952023[1] Reina

[Mikitty's Slim-Down Yoga]


T.N.: Special thanks to maxperkins84 at MM-BBS for the translation, I merely edited it, and to Meikochi for prepping.


Announcement regarding Morning Musume。

Truly, thank you very much for always supporting Morning Musume。 as well as Hello! Project.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.

Well then、 without delay、 this is an announcement regarding Morning Musume。.

I would like to alter how Morning Musume。 is addressed as a group.
Morning Musume。、 from 1st January 2014 , will have their group name changed into 「Morning Musume。 ’14」.
It will be read as 「Morning Musume One Four」.

Being rechristened in 2014 after 17 years of being 「Morning Musume。」、
For the sake of the group continuing on for 10, 20, 30 years from now on
「The single of the song entitled ○○○○, when was that song from!?」 or 「○○-san、 which age of Morning Musume was she from?」
I think such simple questions can be easily answered by distinguishing them with the 「year」 address.

Accordingly, the plan is to address them as 「Morning Musume。’15(Morning Musume One Five)」 from 1st January 2015.

Well、we’ll try to go ahead with this and if it turns out to be confusing、 we might give it up、(lol)
At any rate、  from the beginning of the new year to the extent of supporting the girls who have become 「Morning Musume。’14」 、 by all means please treat them well!

Morning Musume。’14′s 55th single will be on sale 29th January 2014.
From now、it’s the start of a fresh sensation!

6th December 2013
Morning Musume。 Producer



Morning Musume 『The Best!~Updated Morning Musume~』Interview

The Morning Musume that has definitely hit a turning point with their “3 consecutive #1 singles”。。To hear Michishige Sayumi say「I want you to know about the current Morning Musume」in tears while chasing after the shadow of their seniors, it makes one wonder how one would be needed in this group?Bearing these burdens while steadfastly going on as part of “Morning Musume”, these are the girls with us now.
Sayashi Riho & Suzuki Kanon, the 15 year old combi and their 2 years and 9 months……The dreams and discord that laid there. The real idol story of 15 year old girl who can only be herself with the other, and the other 15 year old who truly loves and respects the first. This is their story.


(For Kouhaku)We really want to appear on it!

--With the accomplishment of “3 consecutive #1 singles”, congratulations. How did you feel when you heard about it?

Sayashi Riho:The release week was especially nerve wracking for us, but we felt this was a chance we had to grasp.

Suzuki Kanon:We were nervous every day, weren’t we.

Sayashi:We were concerned with the daily rankings too. We even said stuff like「Man that other artiste really is strong」. But when the result of our 3rd weekly consecutive #1 came out, it was a huge relief……that would probably be the closest to how I felt about it, like I could finally be at ease. When we got 2 consecutive #1 singles, we actually declared「The next one will be #1 too」……so I was really happy we achieved that goal.


--You joined as 9th generation members in 2011. Compared to now, the 2 of you were just kids back then, and I believe that just getting by day to day was a struggle back then, but have you every imagined that you would achieve 3 consecutive #1 singles at the time?

Sayashi:Oh noー, not at all(lol)

Suzuki:No way!At that time all we had on our minds was how to catch up. Even though we were in the same rehearsals with our seniors, we were unable to match up to their performance levels, so we had to try as hard as we could to close the gap, even if it was just a little. That’s all we had then. That’s why we never even imagined a situation like this at the time.


--Be it the current leader Michishige Sayumi-san, or the leaders when 9th gen joined, Takahashi Ai-san and Niigaki Risa-san, all of them wished for the same thing, that「We want everyone to know the current Morning Musume」, but when was it that you two also started having that kind of consciousness for it?

Sayashi:If you’re talking realistically, probably around last year(lol)

Suzuki:That’s cos we were so busy thinking only about ourselves and how to improve that we couldn’t focus on anything else. That’s why, for me, honestly, it was probably also around last year too(lol)

Sayashi:Probably around the time of『Renai Hunter』or『One・Two・Three/The Matenrou Show』. It was around that time where people around me started saying「Recently, I’ve started liking Momusu’s songs」, and because of that, I started thinking「I have to start aiming higher」too.


--There was once when Michishige-san wept while saying「I want people to know about the current Morning Musume」on the variety show『Ougon Densetsu』. Do the 2 of you bear the same kind of frustration as well?

Sayashi:I have many things I’m frustrated about. I have to balance my daily activities with stuff like tour rehearsals, and there were so many things I couldn’t remember perfectly, so on the day of the full dress rehearsals I couldn’t do everything properly and got scolded for it. Even though I’ve worked so hard, there were no results to show for it, and I couldn’t make it work out right. That was frustrating enough in itself, but even as that went on, other lesser known idol groups were getting to go on TV programs. It worried me, and I felt like Morning Musume had to work even harder.


--What about Kanon-chan?

Suzuki:Of course, I don’t want to lose to the other idol groups either, but I want to learn from their strengths as well. I believe every group has their own strengths and weaknesses, so I feel like stealing only their strengths(lol).

Sayashi: Also, even as we say「We want you to learn about the current Morning Musume」, I want us to continue improving as a group, and I’ll work hard so that the greatest charm of Morning Musume, our performance level, will continue receiving even better reviews from everyone.


--I believe that determination is connected to how you have achieved 3 consecutive #1s so far, but doesn’t it lead to expectations that Morning Musume must achieve #1 every single time? Won’t that be an even greater pressure on you?

Sayashi:Honestly, even with 3 consecutive #1 singles, it feels like「Will this be enough?」. The last time Morning Musume achieved 3 consecutive #1 singles was around the time of「The☆ Peace!」 , and those songs were songs that no Japanese person could fail to not know about. But can the current Morning Musume achieve the same kind of results?That’s the kind of pressure we have.


--I wonder what would have happened if you have gotten 2nd place instead?


Suzuki:But that’s something I don’t really want to think about.

Sayashi:I tried not to imagine it at all(lol)

Suzuki:If we thought about it, it might affect us adversely, that’s why we’ll place our trust in God and our fans(lol)


--If you already feel the pressure with 3 consecutive #1 singles, but Sayashi-san already went ahead and declared “A 4th consecutive #1” as a goal. It’s a record that hasn’t yet been achieved in Morning Musume’s long history.

Sayashi:Since we’ve come so far already, honestly, I have some confidence.…………we do right(lol)!?

Suzuki:Yup. Up till now we’ve mostly been thinking「Can we make it?」, but right now it’s changed to「We might just make it」.

Sayashi:But it’s not like we’ve gotten complacent!It’s not like we think that we will definitely get it, as if it was already all in the bag, not at all!……it’s just that by saying that we will get it, we build our own confidence in actually achieving it.


--So, this thing about appearing on Kouhaku?

Sayashi:(lol)I’ve always been watching it on TV, and only the chosen show up there, so I have no idea how it’ll turn out……

Suzuki:It’s too much of a dream right now so I can’t even grasp it.


--I feel like you will appear on it though.


Sayashi:As a matter of timing, I really pray now that we can appear on it!


--I really do understand. Rather than having to「start from the beginning」from next year, if you want to appear on Kouhaku you might as well go with the momentum and appear on it this year.

Sayashi:That’s exactly it(lol)!


What if I were not needed in Morning Musume


--But it seems like your media exposure has been increasing. Just the other day you guys appeared on『Music Station』for the first time in 6 years, how do you feel about it?

Sayashi:That’s right……


--Well, even though I said 6 years, for the 2 of you it was your first appearance on it.

Suzuki:Riho-chan, you watched the broadcast 6 years ago too didn’t you?

Sayashi:I was still young then, so I don’t recall it clearly, but I really loved Morning Musume back then, and I really admired them too, so I’m pretty sure I watched it. That’s why, with our appearance on 『Music Station』as a member of Morning Musume, I feel like I have gotten a step closer to the Morning Musume I used to watch……how do I put it?It was a huge dream fulfilled in itself, and from the viewpoint of an ordinary middle schooler, the only people who appear on that program were all respected entertainers/artistes, so when we heard that we were going to be appearing on it as well, all I thought of was how amazing it was. The response was amazing too, with the way my friends suddenly switched to a respectful tone in their mails to me.



Sayashi:I thought「You don’t have to do that!」to them, but it was with this that I felt how happy and amazing it was to appear on TV.

Suzuki:My friend texted me as well, but she has always been a passionate fan of Morning Musume. Anyway, she sent a really long essay in her message to me(lol), and I’m really grateful to the devoted fans of Morning Musume. Even while we were walking down those steps (on Music Station), all I thought of was「Thanks」.

Sayashi: I was really moved by those steps! Something like「Ah, I’m walking down on it」.


--Something like「I’ve seen this on TV」(lol)?

Sayashi:It’s true!It was like「This is!That was!」at everything in sight. And the introductions to the other guests before the show also made me think「Ah, they’re here too!」.


--Previously it was often said that「Even though the names of Michishige-san and Tanaka(Reina)-san were known, our names weren’t known」. But with the effect of your recent increased media exposure, won’t you be better known by now?Like being recognized on the streets.

Sayashi:Ah, it sort of increased but didn’t really.


--Sort of but didn’t really(lol)

Sayashi:Also, even if they don’t know my name, they just say stuff like「You’re that girl with the really difficult name」(lol)


--To the rest of the public, 9th gen still hasn’t shed the image of being “the new members”, but the truth is you guys have already been around for 2 years and 9 months. Both of you are already 15 years old and part of the central core of the group, but how did the journey to reach this point feel like to you?

Suzuki:We just kept running on.

Sayashi:It was really all just happened in the blink of an eye, with 9th gen being next in line after Michishige-san, the speed with which things changed was really fast. We had multiple graduations one after another with the 5th gen members, then 6th gen, and 8th gen as well.

Suzuki:With every tour it was like「They’re not going to be here anymore……」, and it felt really lonely. That feeling really increased after we joined. The lineup hadn’t changed in 4 years before that, and then suddenly everything changed, so even while we were still unprepared for it, everyone was already graduating.


--When Michishige-san graduates, 9th gen will become the most senior in the group.

Sayashi:That’s right…… The current Morning Musume’s activity can be attributed to the efforts of Michishige-san, and no matter where Michishige-san goes she is recognized as “Michishige Sayumi”. She stands out no matter where she is. We too want to be like that, 「So we have to try out best to stand out a bit more!」, and we do our best to try and get our faces recognized, but really only Michishige-san is the only one with that kind of presence.


--I’m sure that the pressure on that end is pretty heavy, but you’ve been in the group for 2 years and 9 months. Honestly speaking, was there any point in time where you felt like「I can’t do it 」or「I can’t go on anymore……」?

Sayashi:Honestly, I’ve felt that many times. Morning Musume really is a group that exists thanks to the efforts of our seniors. That’s why I can’t help but think sometimes「Can someone like me continue on in Morning Musume?」or「Am I not needed in Morning Musume」, things like that……that’s why I have to find all my weaknesses and somehow do something about them.


--What sort of situation would make you think「I am not needed in Morning Musume」?

Sayashi:It just happens spontaneously. 「Can I continue on even with me being the way I am now?」I’ve stopped thinking that now, but the first time it happened was about 2 years ago. I felt like I could improve more during that period, but I couldn’t improve as much as I wanted then. With the entry of 9th gen and the expectations on us, I felt like I had to match up to those expectations but had failed somehow, so I was extremely uncertain and worried then.


--Did Kanon-chan have the same problems?

Suzuki:The toughest part was my first rehearsal upon joining, but since I only just joined then, I never even thought of things like「Let’s quit」then. Basically I just had to work hard. But after getting past that point, even though it didn’t hit me often, but sometimes I wondered whether I was needed. I wondered how I had to change. I thought about those things all the time. It’s not like I wanted to quit just because bad stuff happened.「I’ve never thought of quitting at all」I can say this, but「I’ve always felt like quitting」. Do you understand?


--I understand. You never thought of quitting Morning Musume, but you’ve always wondered whether you were needed by Morning Musume.

Suzuki:I’ve felt that way for 2 years and 9 months.


--Around fall last year, you wrote on your blog that「I had a dream that I was made to quit Morning Musume for some reason today.」, didn’t you.

Sayashi:She did!


--It was quite a shock.

Suzuki:I was shocked myself too(lol). At that time, it was towards the end of our tour and I was scolded for「Didn’t you just totally mess up during the MC」. And then I had that dream of me being made to quit Morning Musume after that. I was probably subconsciously thinking「It’d be bad if I went on like this」which was what triggered the dream. I don’t remember it clearly now though……

Sayashi: When I saw that post I was like 「Oi!」(lol)

Suzuki:I don’t even remember writing that post(lol)


--By the way the two of you are not only in the same generation, but also the same age. Do you discuss your problems with each other?

Sayashi:For that first tour we had way too many things to remember and was stressing out over it, so we often grumbled to each other about it……didn’t we?

Suzuki:It’s totally different from the way we are now though, back then it was a really bad atmosphere!

Sayashi: For example when someone points out to us「It’s not quite right here」, we would be like「……yeah yeah we know」(lol). None of us had any time to relax for ourselves, so we barely spared a thought for the other person. It was something we really had to reflect on, and now we’ve moved on to being like「Sorry」to each other when something like this happens.

Suzuki: But it’s kind of funny when we think about it now.

Sayashi: Just thinking of how it was back then just makes us laugh now. The fact that we were all surly little brats back then. In a way, we’ve come to an amicable conclusion.


I really think that Riho-chan’s dancing is the best in the world


--A 15 year old saying「coming to an amicable resolution」(lol). Compared to when you first joined, what else has changed I wonder. How has Suzuki Kanon changed in Sayashi Riho’s opinion?

Sayashi:At the beginning Kanon-chan was trying her hardest to remember the choreography, but there were parts she just couldn’t grasp. But now she pays close attention and seeks clarification the parts she’s unsure about. Then she sorts it out from start to finish within herself. Kanon-chan is the one asking the teacher the most questions. 「How is it supposed to be like here?」「Is it like this?」, things like that. I only notice these things after I’ve done it once through myself, but Kanon-chan always notices these things first, and I think that’s really amazing.


--Also, the Kanon-chan back then used to do a lot of impersonations. Why did that Kanon-chan of that time disappear to?

Suzuki: Oh, I can still do it any time I want……but, right now I’m already in my third year of middle school(lol). I was still in elementary back then.


--Well then, so how has Sayashi Riho changed from Suzuki Kanon’s point of view?

Suzuki: My first impression of her as a standoffish person has totally changed. At first I had this image of her as the “cool Sayashi Riho”, since she was good at both singing and dancing, and I felt like the difference between us was like the distance between heaven and earth. But after we had joined for about a year, I noticed that「Ah, Riho-chan is actually really cute at times」. She falls asleep almost instantly, and her sleeping face is really adorable. That really made her seem more like a regular human being, and after finding her clumsy side I felt that「We really are the same age」, and the image of the  ”cool Sayashi Riho” in my head slowly changed to the “restless Sayashi Riho”(lol)


--By the way when you’re talking about a “cool Sayashi Riho”, it’s not like she was putting on airs or acting cool right?

Sayashi: During the auditions I didn’t want to talk anyone at all, and Eripon(Ikuta Erina)mentioned that I had an aura like I didn’t want anyone to talk to me either. I was just really focused, and shy among strangers on top of that, so I couldn’t really talk to anyone right at first.

Suzuki:「Ah, a strong challenger」, that’s what I thought about you.


Suzuki:I personally felt like I only just made it to the finalists by the skin of my teeth, but for Riho-chan it felt like she totally deserved to be there. That’s why even after we both made it into the group, I thought that was no way we could talk to each other.

Sayashi: That’s why even though her impression of me has totally changed by now, I actually still haven’t gotten over my shyness with people.(lol)


--Tanaka Reina-san mentioned this as well. During her graduation interview she mentioned「The moment I looked around I’d meet her eyes. I used to think she was really cute, but Sayashi’s not good at approaching people so she would always keep her distance. It’s not just with Reina, but with Sayu too.」.

Sayashi: When there’s someone I want to talk to, I naturally just stare at them a lot!

Suzuki: She wants to join in, but usually she just ends up sitting by the side(lol)


--So you can’t be like Maachan(Sato Masaki/10th gen member. Is afraid of nothing and clings instantly to anyone)and just step in?

Sayashi:Impossible. I can’t be like Maachan and tackle Tanaka-san the moment she steps off stage at Budokan. I’m not that brave……


--Well then, what do you think hasn’t changed about each other.

Suzuki:The speed with which she memorizes the dance choreography. Not only has it not changed, it feels like she has improved even further, and the speed at which she commits them to memory still surprises me. It’s almost as fast as the wind. I really think that Riho-chan’s dancing is the best in the world. That’s why……

Sayashi: That’s not true!What are you saying!

Suzuki: But that’s what I believe. That hasn’t changed.


--Should I be listening in on this conversation? The best in the wo……

Sayashi:I told you that’s not true(lol)!

Suzuki: Whenever I watch videos where people say「This girl dances really well」, I think「No way, Riho-chan’s better」, every single time.


--Now then, what do you think hasn’t changed about Suzuki Kanon.

Sayashi:Ummm……her face.


--Surely that has changed(lol). It’s a difference from an elementary school kid to a middle school student!

Sayashi:I really wonder. She’s gotten really reliable, and she says what needs to be said immediately, but the one thing that doesn’t change is the way she still drifts off in a daze sometimes. Even when we’re talking, there are times when she totally isn’t listening! 「Eh, what? Did you say something just now?」She says stuff like that. The fans only see the dependable part of Kanon-chan, and she has that image of being the level-headed one, but actually she still has moments where she’s not paying attention. I think that’s what that hasn’t changed, and I don’t want her to change either. If she became too serious she would stop being Kanon-chan.

Suzuki: Actually, when I’m looking straight into the eyes of the other person, most of the time I’m probably not listening. Conversely, when I’m drifting I actually am paying attention.


--When you think she’s listening, she’s actually not(lol). What kind of relationship do you think you two share?

Suzuki: Among all the members, she’s the one that feels most like family to me. We might not fuss over each other all the time, but we have the kind of relationship where we can just let our hair down around each other and not be conscious about it(lol)

Sayashi: If it’s Kanon-chan, I can just relax and be myself. Around the other members I’m concerned about them thinking「Sayashi-san is being sloppy」, so I usually try to be neat and proper around them, like sitting properly and all, but with Kanon-chan I don’t worry so much and just relax.


--Except that as part of Morning Musume, I expect that there is always a sense of rivalry between the members. Sayashi-san is always sparkling brightly, and I have the image of her as someone who would never want to lose to anyone……

Sayashi:Do I really stand out that much!?


--Whenever I go to the Hello! Project concerts, everyone is shining because they’re idols after all, but Sayashi-san is the only one that’s literally sparkling.


Suzuki:I get it!


--Truthfully, do you often feel strongly that「I don’t want to lose to anyone」?

Sayashi:That’s right. Having said that「Dance is my forte」, I especially don’t want to lose to anyone in dance. With all our seniors leaving one after another, I strongly feel that I need to find the strength to be able to lead everyone forward. I feel that it doesn’t matter who, but it would be better if all of us felt this way.


--Currently Sayashi Riho has been pushed as the new ace, and often takes the center spot. Do you feel anything like「That’s frustrating」about that?

Suzuki:Since we’re the same age and joined at the same time, I can’t help but feel that way sometimes, but for me……this is probably a bad thing and I know I probably should feel a healthy sense of rivalry at least, but in the end I just end up seeing her as a fan myself.


Suzuki:I really love Morning Musume. So even though I have to consider the rest as rivals, but as a fan I end up forgetting that and just wind up staring…… When I see the performance my reaction is like「Wow that’s amazing!」. I basically just end up grinning a lot like the way our audience does for us.


--(lol). If you’re wondering why I asked this question, actually it’s because I feel that Suzuki Kanon’s singing is really good.



To their (our seniors)voices「I don’t want to lose」, that’s why

--That’s why I actually want to see you take the lead vocals next to Sayashi Riho.


Sayashi: In『Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan』’s b-side「Funwari Koibito Ichinensei」, Oda(Sakura)-chan, Kanon-chan and I were the main vocals for this song, but before the recording of this song I was really looking forward to it, because I really like Kanon-chan’s singing too.


Sayashi:When we sang「Shabondama」, I was really moved by Kanon-chan’s singing, I even had goosebumps.

Suzuki:Ehhhh!Are you for real.


--Kanon-chan, your self-appreciation is way too low(lol)

Suzuki:Even though I have to focus on improving, in the end I’m usually thinking「I just like to sing」or「I love Morning Musume」, so I never really thought about whether I’m any good.


--Right now with the tagline「I want you to learn about the current Morning Musume」, it lumps all the members into a single entity. But if your goal of appearing on Kouhaku were to to be achieved, the next step would probably be「What side of myself would I want to show to everyone who now knows the current Morning Musume」, so have you two ever thought about standing together at the center spot?

Suzuki: For me, I still think that Riho-chan is the best in the world. Just being able to sing by her side…………I am honored to be there. I truly respect her, it’s like a dream out of a dream.


--This isn’t quite the level of respect you would normally accord to someone of your own age in the same generation, isn’t it

Suzuki:Since we’re the same age, on our days off we can just go out and interact as “friends”, but the moment we step on stage she becomes “someone I really respect”. That’s why I’m living for the day where someday everyone else would feel the same way as I do.

Sayashi:Kanon-chan has never practiced singing or dancing before joining Morning Musume. Even then now she is able to keep up with the high quality performance levels. She really has a talent for dance as well, and I can see that she has one of the best sense of rhythm in the group. In that way, I can’t afford to lose……


--People like Suzuki Kanon are the scariest types.


Sayashi:Honestly!It feels like she’ll suddenly overtake me and open up a huge gap between us.

Suzuki:Oh no no


--It’s easy to guard against someone like Ishida Ayumi who declares her fighting spirit for all to see, but Suzuki Kanon is the type who doesn’t talk about it but just grows quietly.

Sayashi:She just improves like woaaaahhhhhh, and before you know it you’re looking up at her.


--In order to realize that future, it’s as Sayashi-san said; not only can you not lose to other idol groups, but you can’t lose to the former lineups of Morning Musume as well. Can you win?

Sayashi:I have always admired Morning Musume and pursued them as a goal so far, which is why out of all the idol groups, Morning Musume is the most amazing for me. That’s why I want to work hard so that lots of people would feel the same way, and when I look at all the previous Morning Musume members that have come before me, I feel like all of us have to work even harder to bring out our own individuality. Even if you were to just look at a single photo, you could see the individuality of our seniors clearly in them. But for the current Morning Musume, it’s often said that「All of you look the same」. Even though we improvise by changing hair colors and the like, I don’t think that’s actually the point. It’s something we have to change from within. Having a solid presence is really important.


--There are many idols who also say「We don’t want to lose to other idols」. But in Morning Musume’s case there’s also the fact that「We don’t want to lose to the seniors that came before us」. Which is why the album『The Best!~Updated Morning Musume~』was released in my opinion, so that you can remake the iconic songs of the past with the current members. What did you think when you first heard of this?

Suzuki:I was just simply overjoyed.  Songs like「The☆Peace!」and「Souda!We’re ALIVE」can be found in albums in my house. I used to listen to them all the time when I was in the car, and these songs strongly evoke the image of Morning Musume. That’s why, I was happy……but, I was nervous too. We will be recording with our voices instead of the voices of our seniors that we’ve listened to. There’s a serious pressure when it comes to re-recording.


--How does it feel like to make past hits your own?

Sayashi:Trying to make the songs our own was really a huge pressure on us. Even though it was the same song, we had to make it the New Morning Musume’s「LOVE Machine」or「Renai Revolution 21」. That’s why for the recording, even though we already knew all these songs, we had to keep listening to the demo tape over and over again to relearn the singing techniques. We absolutely felt like「We didn’t want to lose」to the previous voices.


--By the way how old were you two when「LOVE Machine」was released?

Sayashi:Errrr, 2 years old?

Suzuki:Shouldn’t it be like 1 years old?


--(lol)In that case, for the two of you, won’t the Morning Musume who sang「LOVE Machine」be like something out of a legend?

Sayashi:I think we actually learned about it in school during history……

Suzuki:That was how pervasive it was(lol)


--Well then, our time grows short, and it’s time to sum it up. Hm,  suppose if it was confirmed that you will be appearing on Kouhaku……



--Please tell me your resolution for the year’s end.

Suzuki:On December 31st last year I went to the amusement park. If I had been able to appear on『Kouhaku Uta Gassen』that time, I wouldn’t be playing in the afternoon and instead be in rehearsals, and it was when I was at the amusement park when the reality hit that we would not be appearing for Kouhaku. That’s why even though I went to the amusement park last year in order to be given hopes and dreams, this year I want to appear on『Kouhaku Uta Gassen』 and be the one giving out hopes and dreams to others. My greatest joy is to bring a smile to people’s faces with my singing, that’s why on December 31st this year I want to share my singing with the rest of Japan.

Sayashi: I’m not planning to do something particularly audacious or anything, but I want to show off the normal Morning Musume in our usual way and carve that impression deep enough to leave a scar. 「Please watch the current Morning Musume」I want to leave a performance that will remain clearly in everyone’s memories when we are there.


--By the way I want to see Sayashi Riho’s Shuwashuwapon!there.



--And in order not to lose out to her, Suzuki Kanon must also mimic this move too.


Sayashi:What should I do? If this really happens.

Suzuki:Just let it fly, let Japan feel your Shuwashuwapon!

Sayashi:Shuwashuwapon! What if it doesn’t come out right!

Suzuki:Let’s hope it comes out like soda(lol)


--That’ll surely leave a mark.


[Billboard Japan] To the girls who are praying for everyone “To learn about the current Morning Musume”

It was a really long time. To have waited for Morning Musume to come up with two consecutive #1 singles (11 years), to once again see them appear on Music Station (6 years), to have waited for them to deliver cutting-edge music like that of Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan to make a magnificent return to the idol scene (impossible to gauge). How long have the many members over the years striven, how hard have they slogged, just so that the public could “get to know the current Morning Musume”; to have continued smiling despite physical and mental exhaustion, only to find their youth gone as graduation looms, and then entrusting their legacy to the next generation. Do you have any idea?


In recent years, Morning Musume has adopted EDM (Electronic Dance Music) as their style, which in itself was a groundbreaking step for idoldom; and with the introduction of increasingly complex formation dance in combination with the new sound, they are achieving the highest levels of artistry in the current idol movement. To borrow the words of one of the former leaders, “we are striving for a cool Morning Musume”; and even Matsuko Deluxe commented on them saying “These girls are doing something really incredible”; but we want you to remember that this incredible Morning Musume is the result of the hopes and dreams of the members that came before them.


Morning Musume’s direction is decided by the producer and the staff, along with occasional discussions with the members themselves, but if one day that member had not opposed that idea, if they had not appealed to the rest of the members while in tears, if they hadn’t given body and soul to deliver the best possible performance…along with all the other episodes that the world would never know about, the number of times history was changed by the strong will of the members is innumerable. The reason why this current Morning Musume, this group with an average age of 16 years old, is able to deliver unbelievable levels of performance ability is a result of them clinging on fiercely to the hard work and legacy left  by all those who have gone before them.


Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke (MV): http://bit.ly/14LPPO4

Ai no Gundan (MV): http://bit.ly/19Bhc5D


Their individual vocals and dance skills are still in the process of evolving and improving, but even if you remove one of them from the equation, their sound has caught on as the foremost trend right now; their appearance is in no way inferior as a group, and as for their performance ability, their current 54th single has hit an all-time high. Even taking into account the long history of Morning Musume, I wonder if there has been any lineup that has hammered out a “cool Morning Musume” quite like this one.


To the girls who have been hoping for people “To learn about the current Morning Musume”, only God knows whether or not the current single can achieve that 3rd consecutive #1 position, but I would like you to take pride in how far Morning Musume has come.


[Article by Hiraga Tetsuo]

*Note: This was written before the Oricon #1 was confirmed.


Morning Musume 8/28 single 『Wagamama Ki no mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan』

Tsunku♂ Comment: 『Wagamama Ki no mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan』
This is part of the cool, danceable Morning Musume series.

As I thought, just watching that cool dance is refreshing to the heart.


『Wagamama Ki no mama Ai no Joke』
The clincher for this song is the “aisaretai aisaretai” part, probably.
This is a song that would get a crowd pumped up during concerts, but I pretty much planned for that phrase to get stuck looping around in your heads.
I wonder if everyone will end up humming along to that “aisaretai” phrase eventually.
I got the girls to sing the beginning “wagamama kinomama” part in somewhat of a whisper.
When I was writing the song I had originally been planning for them to sing it normally, but when I was recording the demo tape, I thought “Oh, if this part was whispery it would be good!”, so I went with that.

Well then, about the content, it’s a song about a girl who is just a little awkward but still aims to improve her social standing in life.
Even though she tries her best to put on a fake smile and works hard to master social skills, it doesn’t go well and she experiences a lot of trouble, but if one were to look at it in a different way, in the end it’s really a story of a girl who worries too much, but even so is still determined to do her best and move on.
To be honest, I feel like this really fits the current members of Morning Musume.
The underpinning of the sound would the Simmons-style drum beat, and on the whole it has a springy rhythm.
Without getting a feel for the beat, dancing to it will be difficult.
The choreographer for this dance is Yoshiko as well, but I did set a few minor things myself.
With the calmness of the interlude, the spirited dance, as well as the chorus that emerges to smack you in the face.
Well, this is also in part a homage to Imokintorio’s (a famous comic song unit) “High School Lullaby”, so I hope everyone will enjoy it!


『Ai no Gundan』
The points of this song is, firstly, the riff in the intro as well as the digitized voice that enters before the music begins. That voice is also originally from one of the members (It’s Michishige’s voice sample).
In this world, stuff like “There is value in being scolded”, or “Work hard while you’re young” are given out as advice a lot, but sometimes you end up wondering “is that really true!?”.
That’s just the beginning of the complaints of the young, and the repetition of “really?” throughout the song is sort of a characteristic for it.
For someone like me who has spent more than half their life in Tokyo, I gradually start to feel like Tokyo is a second hometown to me.
Well, it may be more because of the fact that my family is here with me.
As there are many members of Morning Musume who were born in the other prefectures, it is my hope that one day they will come to understand the meaning of the lyrics, so I used it in the bridge.
Indeed, it is only human to always be conscious of what someone else has.
But if you were more grateful for your current circumstances, I wonder if that is the split in the path between loss and gain in life? That’s what I thought.
That is why I inserted such a phrase.
As for the dance, it begins with smooth movements in slow motion like in taichi.
But the defining point in the end would be the “Ai no Gundan!” part.
The last half-time has “ai no” on repeat, but this part was an idea that came to me while I was recording the demo.
Michishige is a lot older than the rest of the members, and well, she takes care of them.
This is a great learning experience for her. There’s a lot she can learn from coaching her juniors.
I too have learned all sorts of things from when I started guiding Morning Musume, because I had to look into some many things.

Fukumura’s expressions have changed ever since she has been made sub-leader.
She has set her own lines of expectation and brought herself up to that level, that’s the kind of image she has.
I hope that she doesn’t simply stop at her sheer love of Hello!Project, but to aim for even higher goals beyond that.

Ikuta has gotten even more photogenic on video lately. She looks very stirring.
I don’t know just how conscious she is of the expressions she is producing, but it’s really cool.
The way her hair is slightly mussed with sweat makes for a really cool picture.

Sayashi does no less than expected for dance, but more than that, you can see the way she puts her heart into the song.
There is a certain anguish and depair in her expressions, and adds a convincing finishing touch to the song.
I shall challenge her with songs that will require her to smile and laugh more in the future!

Suzuki’s dance is a lot sharper now. Her singing has more power in it now too.
Now if she could improve on the way she ends a note while singing, it’d be even better.
I hope that she finds more confidence in herself, regain her original humorous character, and then bring that to perfection.

Iikubo is a sub-leader too. I’m grateful for her occasional mail about how things are going.
Like what the other members are doing, so I know very well just what sort of potential Iikubo holds.
And though I was worried about Iikubo’s dancing back when she first joined, but recently she has improved a great deal. I’m looking forward to her future!

Ishida’s dance is sharp and cool as always, but with the colour of her hair, she gives off an impression of a mischievous little devil.
She has learned how to show more expressions now. This is what makes Morning Musume what they are. It can’t be helped that Moring Musume is currently a collection of good children.
Ah, it doesn’t mean that Ishida is a bad child, please don’t misunderstand me!

Satou still has that “are you doing this on purpose!?” image of childishness to her.
But I really want to start raising Satou to become more adult-like gradually.
Since her voice and expressions have developed quite a bit, tis the season to raise a COOL Satou!

Kudou has been growing taller rapidly, looking ever more gallant, and the intensity of her voice is starting to match her body type.
As she hates losing, sometimes she makes fruitless efforts, but even so I hope that she will fearlessly continue to push forward.

Oda has gotten somewhat girlier, her voice more stable, and she has gotten enough fine control over her dancing down to her fingers as well. Despite it not being quite a year yet, she has really improved.
I really hope that she will continue to grow into a member whose singing can touch hearts, so she should study and read more in order to see things from different perspectives and gain insight into them.


Tsunku: An Announcement Concerning Berryz Kobo

Berryz Kobo’s spring tour has also come to an end, and I’m as grateful as can be that lots of people attended their concerts.

The members are also again turning toward the Hello! Project summer concert, as well as new single releases,
so they have daily preparation.

Along with that, Berryz Kobo are aiming even higher, and to intensify their teamwork, though Shimizu Saki has been serving as Captain up until now, it’s been authorized that beyond that, Natsuyaki Miyabi will act as sub-captain.

Because of this, I think an even cooler Berryz Kobo than we’ve had before will be born.

Everyone, please give them your support even more than you have up ’til now!

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