[translation] Girlpop 1999 March (magazine) - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #1  
Old 31st October 2009, 04:35 PM
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[translation] Girlpop 1999 March (magazine)

I translated one of Ayu's older interviews ^-^ (this is just after she's released WHATEVER).

It's quite interesting, she talks a lot about the past, 'A Song for XX' and about how important writing lyrics is to her.

(I'm still studying Japanese, so it's not 100% fool proof)
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Quote:
Girlpop ’99 March

After debuting with “poker face”, she has released a single every two months, resulting in a total of five singles; Ayumi Hamasaki has run through 1998 perfectly. She entered the year 1999 together with her on New Year’s Day released first album “A Song for XX”. The album features a total of 16 songs. Of course all the lyrics were written by Ayumi Hamasaki. Furthermore this work reached the first place at the album charts.

These words were written in a corner of the album’s inner slip, “I was born twenty years ago, up ‘till now I’ve worn various faces but the naked Ayu is recorded here.”

This time, more than just being reflected in her lyrics, the “naked Ayu” recited a realness that is almost too great for a twenty year old.
 
----What kind of child were you?
“I wasn’t talkative. Even now I don’t chat much, but I was a really quiet child. If someone greeted me with ‘good morning’, I would turn completely red, look downward and just nod. I wonder if adults thought I was an impolite child when they saw me (laughs).”

----And at school?
“Even at boring times when everyone laughed, I wondered if I had to laugh along; I was desperate to blend in. Crowds tired me greatly.”

----Did you have any friends?
“I first understand what real friends were after middle school. We’d all gather together while playing hooky and would talk about trivial things; those times were fun. But I wasn’t a delinquent. Though I wasn’t diligent either (laughs). It was a real rural area without any cities like Shibuya. I remodelled my uniform in order to be uniquely fashioned; I spent all my pocket money on it (laughs). Maybe I acted that way to create my own existence. I don’t really know how other people viewed my behaviour.”

----That’s cute.
“I was often late, because I was happy that everyone would say “she isn’t here yet” and would worry about me.”

----Were you lonely?
“I wonder (laughs).”

A lot of people probably know this, but at the end of last year Ayumi Hamasaki appeared at All Night Nippon for one day. She looked back on the road, which she has crossed together with her songs from “A Song for XX”. She openheartedly talked about the circumstances in which she’s been raised; the divorce of her parents when she was still young, not being able to remember her father’s face and about her mother who she calls ‘mommy’. It was a natural result for Ayumi Hamasaki to convey the way she had lived up ‘till now to the people who support her. When I asked her why she had talked about herself to that extent, she answered with a fresh smile, “This might surprise everyone, but I have never thought that the circumstances in which I was raised were pitiful. That’s because it was natural to me. That’s why it doesn’t mean that I talk about it because I want to be sympathised with nor because I wish to have people tell me ‘good luck’.”

----What was your mother like?
“Because we have both grown older, and because I am now able to understand various things, our relationship has improved. But the feelings of wanting to be like mommy and not wanting to be like her are still coexisting together. I wonder if there’s a feeling of rivalry. It is very difficult when we take pictures together. If I’m photographed nicely, but mommy isn’t, she will yell, “it’s horrible!” and throw the picture away (laughs). Perhaps we are more like sisters.”

----Where there any instances where you were hurt due to your family background?
“Because I still wanted to compare to other people in my primary school days, there might have been some cases. For example, my mother never came during athletic meetings. Those kind of things. I was never truly hurt or angry. That’s because I thought those things were natural. Actually, I feel gratitude now. Because I am here because of her.”

----Well, what path did you take after your fun middle school days?
“Using the fact that I was scouted in Fukuoka, I followed high school in Tokyo. I quickly wanted to be able to do everything be myself. Paying the rent and food with my own earned money. But, that is impossible with just a part-time job.”

----What were your impressions of coming to Tokyo?
“Because I didn’t fit in the atmosphere that was filled with adults, I was tired by various things. I thought that Tokyo was a scary place (laughs). I don’t even know how many times I thought about going back home. But if I would really go home, it would be regrettable because I was certain, the words, “Hamasaki has failed, just as expected”, would be said. I absolutely didn’t want that to be said. I didn’t really need the world of show business. I wanted to return home after accomplishing something by myself. Even if I would be laughed at by people, it would be all right as long as something strong was left inside of me.”

Hamasaki Ayumi was sixteen years old when she was invited to sing. For such a girl, it might have been a too sudden development. “Going to classes was boring and I was only thinking about how I could skip classes. I was tired of raising my voice (laughs).” Hamasaki answers like this with a wry smile as she remembers those days. The fact that she’s become interested in singing even though she said she didn’t like to at all is because she was encouraged by her producer to write her own lyrics.

----What if you hadn’t started to write lyrics?
“I probably would’ve quit. If it had just been singing, then I surely wouldn’t have been able to find any significance there. After I started writing lyrics, I started to accept singing, because the words that I sang came from my heart. In my middle school days, the feeling of wanting to understand my own existence created the wrong impression, but at last, I discovered the way by which I could make people see me clearly. I truly enjoy writing lyrics. That’s because it is like writing a letter to everyone in the world. It isn’t a one-way traffic either.”

----On your first album “A Song for XX”, what kind of shape has been created?
“I feel the real Hamasaki Ayumi is shown, not just some image. Everything is included, the bad and the good.”

----A compilation of your twenty years?
“Though I felt I shouldn’t hide anything, up until now, I was denying, or should I say, hiding my past. Because I was behaving like an honour student, I felt guilty. I hated feeling like that all the time, but after my career took off, no matter what I’d do, I would be told, “that’s nice, isn’t it?”. When my days became like that, I thought it wouldn’t be an issue even if I did reveal my past for the first time. That’s why, I wrote everything like this. Since you can only have one first album in your entire life, I might be forgiven (laughs).”

----Maybe you validate the meanings you feel within you when you write?
“There is only one person in the world like you. It’s often said that there are three people similar to you in this world, but that’s only your outward appearance. I believe there isn’t a single person that is exactly like you. There are definitely things that only you can do, and there are things that you cannot do. That’s why I love humans and why I believe people cannot live alone.”

----Though you have finished working on your album, you said you still have lots of things you wish to write about.
“I really felt like that at the time. But, when I had to write my new song that was released in February, I totally fell down (laughs). I’d think, write and thrown it away. That process was repeated over and over.’’

Unable to sleep in such circumstances, she felt like running away and planned to escape Tokyo. When, in the car, Hamasaki opened her eyes after a long time of sleep, the scenery was covered with snow. “I said I wanted to see the snow”, in that instant the car got trapped in the gutter and Hamasaki, by raising her finger, requested the help of the Saruganseki. Her sixth single “WHATEVER” was created during such strange events. I was surprised that the first track “Version M” had a euro dance beat arrangement.

----For a moment, I wondered if you would continue along such a line.
“The standard Ayu track is the second track, “Version J”. I hope that when people buy the single they will suddenly get surprised as they listen to “Version M”. I also talked about that with my producer. I wondered if it was okay to have a little fun with this year’s release.”

----I heard a rumour that you will again release singles in a fast pace this year.
“It’s not a rumour. I really will (laughs). I think I’ll pick up the pace compared to 1998. Right now, there are a lot of things that I want to do. This time I’m playing around with a dance beat, but the next song might be a grand ballad or reggae. No matter what I’ll do, it’s important to me that people will recognize that I created it. I want to make such things.”

----I’ve heard there will be a secret live in March.
“It’s in a small place in order for everyone to be able to see my face. I want to gather people who purely want to hear me sing. I might start thinking about a tour after that.”



*All Night Nippon was a radio broadcast. Masa's translation of it is on AHS too.
*Saruganseki is a comedy duo, who hitchhiked the globe.
This took forever to translate >.< So you'd better credit me if you post this elsewhere ;D

Last edited by tenshi no hane; 31st October 2009 at 08:03 PM. Reason: typo
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  #2  
Old 31st October 2009, 05:04 PM
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Thank you so much. Well done and really interesting!
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Old 31st October 2009, 05:28 PM
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Thank you for your effort!

It's worth reading.
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  #4  
Old 31st October 2009, 05:39 PM
Zemus Zemus is offline
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Thanks for your great efforts. I enjoy reading these older interviews.
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  #5  
Old 31st October 2009, 05:43 PM
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Thanks a lot for this translation tenshi no hane !!
You did a wonderful job and I truly enjoyed reading ^^

About "Saruganseki" I found that:
http://www.sapporo-u.ac.jp/~youth/20...20english.html
Spoiler:
Saruganseki, another Japanese comedy duo, who hitchhiked through the Eurasian Continent from Hong Kong to London in about half a year. Saruganseki also moved us, especially at the goal at Trafalgar Square in London. They had to stay in Calais and find a car to England and went without eating anything for three days. They walked the last 30 kilometers to the goal, taking nine hours to do so. I was really impressed by their stamina over extreme fatigue. Both, Saruganseki and Doronzu, overcame hard circumstances and finally succeeded.

These trips gave us a big dream: no matter how difficult a position you are in or how long the endless road continues, you can surely reach your goal if you never give up and forge ahead. They became acquainted with many people in each area on their way to their goal and received much kindness from them. This TV program conveyed the importance of the spirit of mutual help as a human being, and of peopleユs warm hearts and hospitality.
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Old 31st October 2009, 05:47 PM
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I love to read this. Find more old magazine and translate it and post it here. I'll read it from A to Z!
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  #7  
Old 31st October 2009, 06:41 PM
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Thank you very much!!!

The thing about WHATEVER was really interesting. ^^
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Old 31st October 2009, 06:52 PM
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Thanks for the info... but i don't think this is the place to put it since it's not new anymore...?
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Old 31st October 2009, 07:21 PM
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Wow, thank-you! It's interesting to read about her feelings at that time... It's hard to imagine that that was ten years ago!

^I think it's fine, since the translation is new? If she puts it in the Library, or a place like that, it won't be as easily noticed. The whole point of translating it was to share it, right? People are more likely to check this area for this type of thing, even if it is old.

Last edited by lividlillies; 31st October 2009 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 31st October 2009, 07:41 PM
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Thanks so much for translating. I also study japanese so I know how much work you must've put into this - translating is hard work. It's an interesting, refreshing read. A look into young-Ayus mind and thoughts. I really enjoyed this, so thanks again!
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Old 31st October 2009, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for the effort
Great interview!!
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  #12  
Old 31st October 2009, 08:01 PM
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you're welcome everyone ^-^

Quote:
Originally Posted by crea_spain View Post
Thanks a lot for this translation tenshi no hane !!
You did a wonderful job and I truly enjoyed reading ^^

About "Saruganseki" I found that:
http://www.sapporo-u.ac.jp/~youth/20...20english.html
Spoiler:
Saruganseki, another Japanese comedy duo, who hitchhiked through the Eurasian Continent from Hong Kong to London in about half a year. Saruganseki also moved us, especially at the goal at Trafalgar Square in London. They had to stay in Calais and find a car to England and went without eating anything for three days. They walked the last 30 kilometers to the goal, taking nine hours to do so. I was really impressed by their stamina over extreme fatigue. Both, Saruganseki and Doronzu, overcame hard circumstances and finally succeeded.

These trips gave us a big dream: no matter how difficult a position you are in or how long the endless road continues, you can surely reach your goal if you never give up and forge ahead. They became acquainted with many people in each area on their way to their goal and received much kindness from them. This TV program conveyed the importance of the spirit of mutual help as a human being, and of peopleユs warm hearts and hospitality.
Ah, thanks for finding that. Now it makes more sense xD
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  #13  
Old 31st October 2009, 08:08 PM
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Thanks so much for this! I love reading older Ayu interviews. ^_^
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  #14  
Old 31st October 2009, 08:11 PM
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Wow, Ayu was so similar to me o.0
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Old 31st October 2009, 08:57 PM
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Thanks a bunch tenshi .
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Old 1st November 2009, 12:59 AM
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omg you had a beautiful idea to translate that interview!!!
thanks a lot!
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Old 1st November 2009, 01:39 AM
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thanks so much, this is really good! it's so interesting to hear the way she talks about herself, especially regarding loneliness. a great insight to a fascinating mind!
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Old 1st November 2009, 01:52 AM
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thank u so much!!
i really love her old interviews!! it's so interesting!
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Old 1st November 2009, 02:03 AM
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flantastic job, thanks!
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Old 1st November 2009, 02:15 AM
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Thank you so much for the translation.
so WHATEVER single is a song that really affect her feeling to release dance song for LOVEppears..
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