Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Equation 70 : Life

Though the melody was,
Still heard,
Even if period lighten,
Second passed by, 
Cascading every single hours,
Those flying buds,
Was once floated,
Has fallen down as the season,
To another time.
An empty pages was written,
Well excellent nor nothing,
Comes to mind,
Living creatures was walking by,
No longer seen,
In sight,
Through life, 
Wasn’t able to,
Standing still through,
Earth quakes nor even a,
Blizzard path.
Through journey that wasn’t at,
An any end,
Life has no faith,
Crumbled with anxiety,
Life full of tragedies,
Bleeds continuously,
 Living life with your smile and happiness,
Bringing bliss to our memories,
Only love can lift up the remedy,
Won’t ever wracked,
Written again in a melody,
With only rhythm of a beautiful reminiscence.

- ( c ) Kytty Sakuraiba 2014

Thank you for being with me through my life. Even if one day I won't be able to see you any longer, your smile and your happiness would still be in my memories, Arashi.
2000 - present.

Friday, 25 July 2014




Early October, 2013. This roundtable talk was held on a certain day about one month before the 'ARASHI Live Tour 2013 "LOVE"' kicks off. Although they were in the fever-pitched midst of concert rehearsals day after day, the mood within the group was the same as always: laid-back, natural, and peaceful.

The "party title" for "FUNKY", one of their songs from their albums which will have the entire venue dancing to it and having fun together, was actually decided upon during this roundtable talk! Please enjoy their enthusiasm towards the "LOVE" album and tour with this priceless group meeting (although it is certainly still very much characteristic of them, *laugh*).

---"P.A.R.A.D.O.X", the leading track in your "LOVE" album, was choreographed by an overseas artist. While you were there in New York, you also had photoshoots for this tour pamphlet. Firstly, shall we get you all to look back on that "Time in NY"?

Sakurai: About that... have we ever done photoshoots overseas for our tour pamphlets?
Ninomiya: It's a first in terms of pamphlets, isn't it? We had a photobook for our Asia tour ("ARASHI AROUND ASIA") though.
Matsumoto: We went on an Asia tour, but the pamphlet photoshoot was in Japan.
Sakurai: Ahh, I see. Which is why... this of course includes the choreography too, but the circumstances of doing our pamphlet photoshoots in New York was very artist-like, wasn't it?
All: (bursts out laughing)

---Seems like it was quite a tough schedule.

Sakurai: It was just a really short span of time. It wasn't supposed to be... training, you know? But we got there and had choreography lessons right away, watched a show, ate dinner. Then the next day, we woke up, did pamphlet photoshoots, practiced choreography, watched a show... and so on.
Aiba: We got up so early every day.
Ninomiya: Yeah. That was probably... what a "training camp" is supposed to be like, right?
Sakurai: Hahahaha, you're right (laugh)!
Matsumoto: It truly was like a "training camp" (laugh). Which is why... we shouldn't be going to athletic places ("Arashi no Kyouka Gasshuku", footage from the limited edition of "ARASHI 10-11 TOUR "Scene" ~Kimi to boku no miteiru fuukei~ DOME+") for a training camp.
Ninomiya: We shouldn't be saying things like "Uwaaahh!" or "Scary, so scary!" (<-- reactions to athletic challenges)... when we're doing that, huh.
Sakurai: We shouldn't be going "Ow ow owwww!" (<-- state of pain from when the mini camera that was attached to Sakurai struck him in the arm)!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Sakurai: So as expected... that was wrong?
Ninomiya: Seems like it. I knew we were going to talk about how this is what training camps are supposed to be, once we got back to Japan from New York.
Ohno: Hahahahaha (bursts out laughing).
Ninomiya: This is what... a true training camp is like.
Sakurai: Exactly what you said!
Matsumoto: We went to Yamanakako (reinforcement training camp), but nothing was "reinforced" at all (laugh).
Ohno: Hahahaha! (keeps on laughing) Ahh... it hurts. [T/N: As in he laughed so much it probably hurt from laughing]
Sakurai: That's true. In that sense, (the New York trip) was a "training camp".
Matsumoto: Because we were able to "improve our skills" from it.
Aiba: And the choreographer said "He's 15 years old" about Nino, too. The translator had to interpret it for us, "You look like you're 15 years old"...
Ninomiya: Yeah... he kept calling me "Fifteen".
All: (bursts out laughing)
Aiba: I was like, he says you're 15 years old! That was so hilarious (laugh).
Sakurai: But in his own way, the choreography instructor didn't look like he was 23 years old at all, did he?
Other four: Yeah! He didn't look it at all!
Ninomiya: I mean... when this guy (Leader) was doing this move (makes a motion with his fingers like he's going "Come on!"), he was like "Hey! Hey! (get into it more!)" to him. So he was like, "Why am I getting told off this much by some 23 year old younger guy..."
All: (bursts out laughing)
Sakurai: That's true. Setting aside our positions (as choreographer and students), when you're looking only at our ages... that's a 10 or so year difference, after all (laugh).
Ohno: Man... he told me off so much that I was like, "Why do you have to talk to me that way?"... (a bit bummed out)
Ninomiya: Yep yep. That was just so funny to me (laugh).
Ohno: But it's definitely amazing. People overseas are so much faster at everything. Being a top choreographer at the age of 23... isn't that awesome?
Ninomiya: Ahh... that's true. But that has to do with talent, doesn't it?
Ohno: Yeah. I really thought it was amazing. It's just... you know? Being told "Do it!" by someone 10 years younger tha me... he really told me off so much, like "Hey! More, do it like this! (very energetic moves)"... (wry laugh)
Ninomiya: And then, at the end, you mastered an imitation of him and came back.
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ohno: Hehehe. I couldn't help noticing how he walks and stuff.
Sakurai: Oh yeah, you mimicked him during our PV shoot, didn't you? (laugh)
Ohno: Yeah, but you know... it really made me think that choreography can be so different. Like the concepts, or even this (move) at that point would be different... yeah. That was interesting.
Ninomiya: I think it was very original.
Aiba: In terms of choreography, I think it might give people a sense of "novelty".
Matsumoto: That's right. It's because we put in an order for something sexy in a masculine way that is more universally appealing.
Sakurai: I don't really know if we were able to give off any "sex appeal", though... I think the choreography is more mature.

---Between the choreography lessons, you also went to concerts and musicals. You took in a lot on this trip, didn't you?

Matsumoto: That's right. It was fun.
Sakurai: It passed by in the blink of an eye. It really was pretty tough, wasn't it? But you know, on the other hand... that's what it would be like for us to go overseas as a group nowadays. We can only push our schedules back for about that long and be able to go somewhere, after all.
Ninomiya: It had to do with the timing too, because we went as a group around the time when we had to get started on our location shoots for 24 Hour Television.
Sakurai: Yeah. Weren't we going, "What are we even going to do?". It's really like what Nino said... "A true training camp". That's a famous saying right there (laugh).
Matsumoto: Looking at it that way, I'm really grateful that we were able to go. It was very fulfilling. 

---Will people be able to watch "P.A.R.A.D.O.X" at the concerts?

Matsumoto: Yes, at this point in time.

---And so, please talk in detail about this new "LOVE" album and the "LOVE" tour that you will be producing, including your outlook for this tour.

Matsumoto: In the beginning when we started holding meetings about the album, we talked about doing something else. We thought that would be interesting in its own way, but... when we tried to go with that theme, we couldn't quite seem to "picture" it... As we were wondering how to go about it, we decided, "Let's do something easier to understand".
Sakurai: Something like "POP" from "Popcorn" last year, we wanted to bring in something that would be easy to understand, didn't we?
Matsumoto: Something conceptual.
Sakurai: Right. We searched for a concept that would be easy to understand, both as an album and as a concert tour.
Matsumoto: It was then that the word came up: "Something like 'LOVE', for example..." And we all discussed it together. "That's not bad! People might shriek less and less at us from this point on anyway. We want to bask in more of those shrieks while we still can!" (laugh)
Sakurai: And that was how it became LOVE. In the end... we came up with an even broader theme than we had the year before (laugh).
Matsumoto: Yeah, which is why (the tour planning) is super hard... it's super hard!
Sakurai: You're fuming mad!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: But you know, "LOVE" is a theme we've been singing about all along, like love songs or songs of support for somebody. Within all that, it was like, "So what should we do now that we have to present 'LOVE' all over again?" Which meant we would have to figure out what we can produce from that theme. But... we've settled down quite a bit. We can picture it now.

---What were your impressions upon completion of the album?

Matsumoto: Definitely that we've matured. Before we hold concerts, I basically listen to all the albums we've done up until that point over again... and as you listen to them over again, there are a lot of songs that make me go, "This... doesn't suit (the current Arashi)". I think we can still do what doesn't "suit" us, of course. But it's kind of... it definitely feels like this album turned into something that can only be possible now.
Sakurai: And like, I selected "IRO Asenaide" for a segment in the fanclub pamphlet (vol. 61) a while ago. But we'd never say things like "Don't make the colours of my emotions fade away / I want to protect you" nowadays, would we?
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ohno: We did some pretty mature songs back in the beginning, but it feels like we've "stretched" ourselves, doesn't it? It feels kind of natural now whether to sing or to listen to them. In that sense, I think we've grown up.
Aiba: And since there are so many forms of "LOVE", maybe we'll be able to express the span of that range in a relatable way.
Ninomiya: That's right. It became an album that's packed with "LOVE". It's Arashi's 12th original album, you know.
Sakurai: 12th! Isn't that pretty awesome?
Ninomiya: Exactly. We really do get to release (an album) every year. It's something to be thankful about.

---And you're planning "something" for the tune called "FUNKY", aren't you?

Matsumoto: That's right! This started off with yet another different idea too. Originally, there was something we wanted to do as a part of our performance in concert. That kept changing shape and ended up with "We want to do something using the penlights". And since it's such a rare opportunity, we said, "Let's do something together with the people coming to the venues". Going off of "Let's do some mass choreo together", we were like, "Then wouldn't the most fitting song be 'FUNKY'?", and that was how we made our decision.

---By the way, are there quite a lot of moves to that choreography for everyone to dance to?

Matsumoto: Yeah. It's quite a bit... but I think everyone will have fun dancing to it. For example, going by our own choreo there's the chorus from "Hadashi no mirai", or the chorus to "EYES WITH DELIGHT"... and the intro to "CARNIVAL NIGHT part 2" as well. People watch us dance at the venues and then memorize those moves in order to dance together with us, but within all those songs I would say this one is the most jam-packed in terms of moves, I suppose.
Ninomiya: The entire (song) is choreographed, isn't it?
Matsumoto: All of it, yes. There are parts that aren't choreographed too, but all the things you need to do is choreographed for more or less the entire song.
Aiba: That's amazing. I really hope our fans can memorize it for us.
Matsumoto: There's a chance that it won't just end with this tour too, after all.
Sakurai: In the future too, you mean?
Ohno: It might turn into a concert staple too, right?
Matsumoto: But we don't know yet. We'll try it out first for now, and it's going to depend on how that turns out.
Aiba: If it doesn't get the crowd going... it would end, wouldn't it (laugh).
Ninomiya: If they just did it like this (waving a penlight like usual)...
Matsumoto: If no one would do it with us at all, then... it's going to be a one-off.
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: If things really turn out that way... even during the tour, we might not be doing it anymore by the time we get to Fukuoka (the final destination). (laugh)
Aiba: And we'd be dancing to completely different choreography for it (laugh).
Ninomiya: Like, "Wait... but we memorized it! It's different now?"

---(laugh). Have you decided upon the "party title" for it yet?

Matsumoto: Not yet. We'll be announcing it later on... no, let's make a decision now!
Ninomiya: Yeah. Let's do it now!
Sakurai: (raises hand) Then... can I go first? What I want to recommend is "LOVE FUNKY MOB".
Matsumoto: "LOVE. FUNKY. MOB", huh.
Sakurai: "LOVE FUNKY DANCE" is fine too.
Ninomiya: What would that be for short again?
Sakurai: Um, "LFD"!
Aiba: Sooo cool!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ninomiya: "LFM(MOB)" is cool too.
Sakurai: I'm leaning towards "LFD" based on how cool it sounds when you shorten it.
Ninomiya: If it has DANCE at the end, right?
Aiba: Should we go with DANCE, then?
Sakurai: Are we going with shortened (alphabet letters) after all? (laugh)
Aiba: Should we not shorten it, then?
Matsumoto: No, I think it's good. As for me, I think it would be neat to take a long slogan-like sentence and really shorten it up.
Sakurai: I see, I see. Then... I want to suggest "Odoranya son son" [T/N: This translates roughly to "Why don't we all dance"] too. So that makes it OD... NSS? That's right, "ODNSS"!
Ninomiya: It sounds kinda cool when you shorten it (laugh).
Sakurai: Doesn't it?
Matsumoto: We should each come up with something.
Ninomiya: I definitely want to add "Arashi" in there, in that case.
Aiba: And you definitely want "Together" to be in there too. "Let's do it together with Arashi! FUNKY PARTY"... what do you think?
Sakurai: With Arashi? Do it together? ... then it's "ATFP"!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: This is starting to turn into a meeting, huh (laugh).
Ninomiya: So that length (for a title) is better, right?
Sakurai: That was Lou Oshiba's gimmick, wasn't it? (laugh) [T/N: Lou Oshiba is a Japanese comedian who was known for mixing English and Japanese when he talks]
Ninomiya: I definitely want to add "Arashi" in there. "Arashi" and "LOVE".
Sakurai: That's true. I want "Arashi" and "LOVE" to be in there.
Ohno: (all of a sudden) "Stay with the rhythm"!
Other four: Eh...?
Ninomiya: That guy basically... isn't even listening, huh.
Sakurai: Nah. Well... let's hear him out at any rate.
Aiba: Let's hear it, let's hear it.
Sakurai: "Stay with the rhythm" ...and then?
Ohno: Yeah. ...Ah, sorry. That's all for now.
Ninomiya: Ahh... you just wanted to get that phrase out, then.
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: "Arashi" and "LOVE" and... "FUNKY", and...
Sakurai: That's right, we want to add "FUNKY" too.
Ninomiya: Yeah. And... "DANCE"?
Ohno: (again, all of a sudden) "Stay with the rhythm, dance with Arashi"
Matsumoto: Um... you don't have to think about that anymore.
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: Ehhh, what should it be? What's better? "Arashi to (A) issho ni (I) odorou (O)" so it's A, I, O, something...? Or?
Sakurai: "AIO" would mean "Ai wo", then.
Matsumoto: Yeah. AIO... then we can add something after that, so in the end it's like "That's love, isn't it?" or something... I wonder if that's feasible.
Aiba: Like, "What to do with love".
Ninomiya: Then what about something like "L, O, V, E"?
Sakurai: Ooohhh! That's good.
Matsumoto: "L" would be "Let's", right... "O" would be... "Odorou!"
Other four: Oooohhh!
Matsumoto: Then... "V"!?
Sakurai: What's "V"?
Ohno: V-Vu... Vo, "Vokura (Bokura) to"!
Ninomiya: Ooh, nice pronounciation!
Sakurai: So something like Vocal or Violin, then! "Vokura to"!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Sakurai: Vokura to...? Then "E" would be "Eien ni". But when you say that... it gets so heavy all of a sudden (laugh).
Matsumoto: E... "Enjoy"!
Sakurai: Ohh! "Enjoy!", huh!
Matsumoto: So it's "Enjoy! FUNKY DANCE"!

---So it's "LOVE" for "Let's odorou vokura to Enjoy"!

Matsumoto: With a "FUNKY DANCE" after Enjoy. But... what do you think about "Vokura to" for "V"? Is that okay?
Ninomiya: I think it's good!
Ohno: Hahahaha! (keeps on laughing)
Matsumoto: Then we'll go with "LOVE Funky Dance". "The 'LOVE' means 'Let's odorou vokura to Enjoy'!", in other words...
Ninomiya: When you break "LOVE" down, right?
Aiba: That's great!
Sakurai: That's great! But now there's... no space to add "Arashi" in there, huh.
Matsumoto: How about "Arashi no LOVE Funky Dance"?
Ninomiya: Yeah, we can only add it in at the front now.
(and, as they all look at the title over again...)
Ohno: You know... the way it turned out, you don't really notice the "Vokura" anymore.
Matsumoto: It seems like Ohno-san doesn't notice it!
Ninomiya: You don't notice it, right? Then that should be fine!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: So what should we do with "Arashi no"? Should we add it?
Sakurai: Isn't it better to have it there?
Aiba: Let's put it in there.
Ninomiya: Yeah. Then... that's decided. "Arashi no..."
Matsumoto: "Arashi no"? Or should we go with just "Arashi"?
Sakurai: I guess the "no" isn't necessary.
Aiba&Ninomiya&Ohno: Yeah. Go with "Arashi"!
Matsumoto: Then we've decided-- "Arashi LOVE Funky Dance"!
All: (applauses)

---Wow! You made your decision. And during the roundtable talk for this pamphlet, no less.

Sakurai: Isn't that a first? This "live coverage" sort of thing (laugh).

---I am extremely happy to be able to convey to the fans what it was like the instant you decided upon a title.

Sakurai: No no, we should be the ones saying thank you!
Matsumoto: That's right. We just so happened to have to make a decision today anyway.
Sakurai: If it wasn't for this opportunity, ve wouldn't have been able to come to a decision, you see! [T/N: The "ve" is on purpose because they start using "vokura" instead of "bokura"]
Matsumoto: Ve're very happy too!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Sakurai: Ve're just that sort of people.
Ninomiya: And now we're suddenly going to start endorsing that, huh?
Matsumoto: It's sudden, yeah. Starting from now on, it's going to be "Vokura" for a while.
Sakurai: Let's get used to it! From now on, let's use it bit by bit!

---And now, what sort of tour would you like to do this year? Please tell us what your ambitions are.

Aiba: It's LOVE after all. Wouldn't it be nice to have a LOVE-filled tour? It's got love, you know? And this time around, we've got "FUNKY", a song where the audience takes the starring role... no, it's also "Arashi LOVE Funky Dance" (laugh). I'm sure it's going to be tough to memorize the choreography to an entire song, though.
Ninomiya: Yeah, I think it'd be tough.
Matsumoto: But... this is a "self-inspection", by the way. I think it's surprisingly doable. I tried verifying it once and taught someone who's never danced before, like "This is how you do it..." And they were able to do it, surprisingly.
Other four: Hehhh!
Sakurai: They were pretty amazing when we did "Happiness" during "Wakuwaku Gakkou" (A rhythm session with the entire venue based upon their instructions) too.
Aiba: That's right. If they're doing it together with us while watching (us dance), it might be easy to do.
Matsumoto: If we make it too simple, that might be kind of boring too... there's no sense of accomplishment, so to speak.
Ninomiya: I see. So we'd want something with a "walkthrough" feel to it. In that sense, I think it's got that, don't you?
Sakurai: Yeah, which is why... even if people are coming to the venue without memorizing it, they can hopefully ask those around them for explanations. I don't want them to be like "Um... excuse me (while looking at the person next to them). You're knocking your arm into me" to the people who committed it to memory and are doing the moves (laugh). We're all hoping that everyone will come with it memorized, but even if they haven't...
Ninomiya: If everyone dances together nobody will be hurt!
Sakurai: Yeah! (laugh) Which is why it's "Odoranya son son"! For me, it's "ODNSS"! (gasps and corrects himself) For ve, that is!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Matsumoto: Hahaha (laugh). The theme is definitely "Everyone becoming one", after all.
Sakurai: That's right, it's "LOVE"!
Matsumoto: Right. Which is why we want those who aren't good at dancing to enjoy themselves as much as they can too.
Ninomiya: And that sort of "connection" too, yeah? That's "LOVE"!
Matsumoto: Yeah, which is exactly why it would make me happy if each person who comes to see us can get along with those beside them and have fun together.
Sakurai: For who?
Matsumoto: For ve!
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ohno: I'm sure they'll memorize the choreo quickly though. They're always dancing for us at our concerts.
Matsumoto: That's true. It's the same for other songs.
Aiba: Like "Hadashi no mirai", they're amazing.
Ohno: Yeah. And "CARNIVAL~" too, I was so surprised.
Sakurai: They really do it for us, huh. Which is why they're outstanding, right! Ohno-san!
Ohno: Yeah, they're really outstanding (laugh)! They memorize so fast. Even faster than us.
Sakurai: Eh? Who?
Ohno: Vus! (with very emphatic pronounciation)
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ninomiya: If anything, right? We should be the ones working hard...
Matsumoto: Eh? Who?
Ninomiya: Ve should!
Sakurai: I wonder if we're being too persistent about it...?
Matsumoto: If it gets too annoying... we can just have this part cut out.
All: (bursts out laughing)
Ninomiya: Length-wise, our schedule for this tour is really short, isn't it? It feels like we can dash right through it.
Sakurai: Yeah, I really feel that way. It feels like we have concerts every week.
Aiba: That's true. It's not a schedule that's going to cross over to the next year.
Matsumoto: It feels like we can truly say "Let's see each other again next year!".
Ninomiya: That's right.

---It's Arashi's 15th anniversary next year, after all!

Matsumoto: Yeah. Around the time this tour is starting will mark 14 full years since our CD debut, right? Which means we're heading into our 15th year.
Ohno: Is that so... this November makes it 14 full years, huh.
Matsumoto: Which means it's "LOVE" at that time!
Aiba: Right before our 15th anniversary!
Sakurai: And Christmas is like that too, for sure. It's more about the 24th than the 25th, right? So it's about the "Eve", right? And Arashi's "15th Anniversary Eve" is "LOVE"! (smug)
All: (bursts out laughing)
All: Let's make this "15th Anniversary Eve" tour a great one too!

Credit :