02 August 2021

Interview: Fujiyoshi Karin and Morita Hikaru

with Magazine September 2021

 


 

Morita – It feels to me as if all the members do what they do for the sake of the group

 

-- The difference between the 1 gens and the 2 gens is…?

Morita: The 2gens get along especially well. The day we were selected, we all went out to dinner together.

Fujiyoshi: Oh! Yes, we did (laughs).

Morita: Right from that time, there has been no feeling of distance between us. No matter who’s with whom, everyone can feel happy and at ease. But when it’s time to be serious, everyone is able to express their own opinion. I think that everyone’s earnestness is very cute.

Fujiyoshi: I thought of saying that we’re like students, but it’s better to say that the atmosphere is like boys of student age. Thinking of it this way makes me smile. The feeling is like naïve and innocent boys. Really very cute.

Morita: I’ve always wanted to work at something I liked doing. Until we became Sakurazaka46, we went through a lot of troubles. It’s hard to put these things in words. But in the process of becoming an idol I realized something: that you can’t achieve anything alone. “We can only achieve things because we’re all together!” This has become the foundation of everything.

Fujiyoshi: I’ve really received a lot of help. Not long after becoming a 2gen, the other 2gens all said to me: “Karin should just relax and do as she pleases.” Starting then, my feeling of wanting to live honestly burst out, and I suddenly became someone who dared to express her own opinion. Before that, I worried about it. I thought this group was created by our seniors, and maybe it wouldn’t be good to interfere too much…. Everyone was so kind to me.

Morita: So Karin-chan can always express her own opinions. But I myself do tend to agree with her opinions.

Fujiyoshi: I think I really am the type who can out forward my own opinions. But usually only Hikaru agrees with me (laughs).

 

Fujiyoshi -- Usually only Hikaru has the same opinion I do (lol).

 

 

-- As for what kind of group Sakurazaka46 will become from now on, what do you envisage?

Fujiyoshi: Myself, I want to go further in the artistic direction. But for now I’m just thinking of what artistic feeling I envisage. Maybe only on the covers of singles….

Morita: Karin is always laughing when we’re shooting single covers. For me, it’s probably in the area of the songs. Since Sakurazaka46 was established, although we’ve only done two singles, we have 14 original songs, each one going in a different direction, and the more we explore, the more interesting it is for me (laughs). Whether in tune or in words, every song is different. I hope that the audience can enjoy the fact that we don’t give a fixed impression, but have all kinds of styles. I always think it’s good if I can unfold a different me in every song.

Fujiyoshi: You’re the type that pays a lot of attention to these things.

Morita: Yes. If I start talking about what I pay attention to, I’ll never stop. In performing, I always hope I can keep emphasizing the details. So when I start, even when I don’t completely understand the lyrics, and am confused as to what mood to convey, I still want to study these things, and when we can bring a good song together, it makes me very happy.

Fujiyoshi: That’s great. Real perfectionism.

Morita: Well, I hate not being able to reach perfection. But I also don’t like telling people: “This is what I’m paying attention to!”

Fujiyoshi: You’ve probably already revealed it all to the fans (laughs).

 

Morita -- Perfectionism. I hate not being able to make things perfect.

 


 -- Do both of you like challenges and taking risks?”

Morita: Yes, that’s right. We generally have an abundance of curiosity. Even if we try something and it fails, we can still try again, adding or subtracting things.

Fujiyoshi: From doing this work, I’ve come to love it. When I was at home, I really didn’t do anything, almost to the point of staying in my room all the time and not coming out. But now I enjoy taking on challenges here. I can even enjoy the most difficult things a bit (laughs). Like when I’m filming or something, the pressure can get so great that I suddenly feel like vomiting. Do you get that?

Morita: Uh-huh. We’re both people who want to live at the limit (laughs).

Fujiyoshi: Yes (laughs). Even when I’m falling apart, I feel “what fun!” This world has a kind of simplicity -- in a good sense. Someone who on the surface seems so sparkling could be injured, could be pouring with sweat as she rehearses, could be feeling depressed. Seeing this, I can feel how human it is, and how cool. I feel that as idols, the members of Sakurazaka46 are people who break conventions, and we 2gens have also become this way.

Morita: Although everyone can clearly convey their own opinions, they don’t try to take credit. This is something I like very much. So I have always strongly felt: “I want to live for this group.”

 

Fujiyoshi: Whether good or bad, I always want to maintain my true self. I don’t want to lie.

 


Fujiyoshi Karin

-- When you hear the word “professional,” what kind of person do you think of?

Someone who makes a film. When I think of creating a film right from nothing, it seems like something really great.

-- When did you first have the concept of “work”? And after you started working and thought “So this is what work is,” what did you think of?

I really became aware of it only when I started doing this work. What I felt was that work is not just doing what you want to yourself.

-- What do you think is the difference between professional and amateur?

I have a very ordinary conception of it: it’s simply whether or not you get paid.

-- In what is each member of Sakurazaka46 professional?

Uemura Rina: In giving an idol feeling that no-one else can give.

Ozeki Rika: In filling in a lack of heart between other people.

Koike Minami: In giving off a girlfriend feeling.

Kobayashi Yui: In being contrary.

Saitou Fuyuka: In making everyone laugh.

Sugai Yuuka: In showing a tender regard that treats everyone equally.

Habu Mizuho: In giving a boyfriend feeling.

Harada Aoi: In making even younger people dote on her.

Moriya Akane: In beauty.

Watanabe Rika: In having a charm that makes people want to love her.

Watanabe Risa: In her attractive voice. I feel she’s the member with the most charming voice.

Inoue Rina: In being easy to get close to, giving a feeling of being easy to talk to.

Endou Hikari: In being pure and unaffected.

Ozono Rei: In removing her own concealment. She often reveals herself and then laughs, seeming to be very happy.

Oonuma Akiho: Has many weird things about her. She’s just a strange person, strange in every way. But that’s her charm.

Kosaka Marino: The 2gens’ put-down specialist. To me, she has a very unexpected feeling.

Seki Yumiko: In looking after Inoue.

Takemoto Yui: In showing love for Lake Biwa. Her love for Lake Biwa is almost scary.

Tamura Hono: In loving Winnie the Pooh. She’s so cute talking about Winnie the Pooh.

Masumoto Kira: In entangling people.

Matsuda Rina: In giving a feeling of great warmth.

Morita Hikaru: In drawing. She’s always drawing my portrait. She’s very happy doing this.

Moriya Rena: In being an idol. She's an extremely cute classic idol. Recently I’ve come to really like her.

Yamasaki Ten: In winking. During recent performances, she’s always winking, It’s very cute.

 

 

Morita Hikaru

-- When you hear the word “professional,” what kind of person do you think of?

Someone having great enthusiasm and living for their work. Someone who can really lift themselves up this way.

-- When did you first have the concept of “work”? And after you started working and thought “So this is what work is,” what did you think of?

Right from when I was little, I’ve always wanted to work at something I liked. I think that entering the work world means self-reliance.

-- What do you think is the difference between professional and amateur?

I think there are various differences in attitude to work. There are all kinds of occupations in the world. I can’t make a general rule, but a professional has definite goals, and when they succeed at them, they can continue in the same line of work.

-- In what regard is each member of Sakurazaka46 professional?

Uemura Rina: Long hair. Her hair is really extremely pretty.

Ozeki Rika: In warmth and kindness. She’s always very warm and kind.

Koike Minami: In being cute and cool at the same time.

Kobayashi Yui: In acting.

Saitou Fuyuka: In being a very consistent dancer.

Sugai Yuuka: In making people like her.

Habu Mizuho: In making people happy.

Harada Aoi: In modesty.

Moriya Akane: In beauty.

Watanabe Rika: In cuteness. She’s altogether very cute.

Watanabe Risa: In having a broad vision.

Inoue Rina: In having a good figure.

Endou Hikari: In getting people to help her.

Ozono Rei: In the tastefulness of the way she speaks.

Oonuma Akiho: In her way of thinking.

Kosaka Marino: In put-downs.

Seki Yumiko: In her interests.

Takemoto Yui: In pursuing things.

Tamura Hono: In brightening up a place.

Fujiyoshi Karin: In frankness.

Masumoto Kira: In receiving put-downs.

Moriya Rena: In making people want to protect her.

Yamasaki Ten: In being contrary.

 


 Sakurazaka46 members are very professional in this way——

Fujiyoshi Karin is professional…

…in really engrossing herself in a performance or a song. (Koike Minami)

…in her power of expression. (Kobayashi Yui)

…in paying attention to the details. She pays attention to the details of performance twice as much as other people. (Sugai Yuuka)

 

Morita Hikaru is professional…

…in her bangs always being pretty (Koike Minami)

…in her understanding of songs. (Kobayashi Yui)

…in adaptability. No matter what style of song, she can make it her own. (Sugai Yuuka)

 

Translated from the Chinese translation of the original Japanese article made by the Chinese Fujiyoshi Karin Support Group’s “Summer Wind-bell” sub team. Translation by G. Editing by Yao.  (藤吉夏铃应援会【夏之风铃】字幕组. 译:G 对:).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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