Frequently Asked Ayu Questions - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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Old 23rd March 2007, 12:57 AM
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Frequently Asked Ayu Questions

Please read this entire thread through before posting a question in the Enquiries forum.
More FAAQ questions will be added in time.

First and foremost, please refer to the Ayu Library for the following factoids:
* Lyrics
* Articles & Translations
* Databank

Please refer to (miss)information: Ayu Myths Checked for a detailed discussion on some other Ayu questions (certain facts may be pulled from there to add to this thread).
There are also interesting tidbits that I've listed in the 2007 TV Appearance Keypoints thread.

Additional Sites:
Masa's Translations

Last edited by devilayu; 1st April 2007 at 08:13 PM.
Old 23rd March 2007, 01:52 AM
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Questions regarding very personal things, plastic surgery, religion, etc. will not be addressed as there is no confirmation from Ayumi on any of those things.

How do you write her name in Japanese?
Her given name is written as 濱崎歩 (Hamasaki Ayumi, family name first) (some people call this the "Chinese" way her name is written). [source: あゆろぐ]
However, she uses 浜崎あゆみ regularly for her career as a singer/producer/etc.

Is her last name Hamasaki or Hamazaki?
It is pronounced "Hamasaki" with an "s." Though the last name 浜崎 may be pronounced either way, her family name is "Hamasaki."

I heard her real first name is Kurumi, is that true?
False. "Hamasaki Kurumi" was a stage name that Ayumi used in her pre-Avex days (back when she was a teen idol and struggling actress).

Does Ayumi have a boyfriend?
In 2001, it was discovered that Ayumi was dating Nagase Tomoya of the Johnny's Jimusho band TOKIO. Though there are countless rumors of them either breaking up or getting married, it is generally accepted that they are still dating.
[edit] In a July 13, 2007 TeamAyu correspondance, Ayumi revealed that she broke up with her boyfriend (presumably Nagase Tomoya, though she doesn't mention him by name.)

Does Ayumi have a brother?
No, that was a mistranslation on the part of her HP's English site. She has no siblings. The only family member Ayumi ever mentions is her mother. She was also very fond of her grandmother, who has passed away. Her father left when she was very young.

Does Ayumi speak English?
Since late 2006, Ayu has been studying the English language. She even did part of an interview for CNN Asia in English. However, outside of that taped interview, not much is known about just how much English she can speak, or if she can carry on a conversation with a native English speaker.
[edit] In more recent making of videos, you can see Ayumi conversing in English with fans and her bodyguard.

Is MTRL her clothing line?
Upon visiting the MTRL site and reading materials on the brand, Ayumi's name is not attached to them aside from promoting the items. There is no mention whatsoever about her owning, co-owning, or founding the brand. Early on in the line's conception, Ayumi seemed to have designed some items (such as the denim jacket and mini skirt outfit featured in her "Rainbow" PV). In recent years, she has not promoted the line (aside from wearing shirts in concerts and photo shoots) and does not seem to have as much as an influence in the clothing they sell.
[edit] As of February 2, 2008, MTRL will officially be known as HEAVENARK. The old MTRL URL is still in effect but will only show HEAVENARK brand clothing.

Can Ayumi ride a bike?
For many post-Avex interviews, Ayumi has stated that she cannot ride a bike and on Hey! Hey! Hey! she demonstrated her poor skills. However, in an old Idol video she did as a teenager, she rides a bicycle very well. She has either forgotten how to ride a bike or has been pretending to be unable to ride for the sake of appearing cute.

Who is CREA?
This is Ayu's penname for when she composes songs.

How much school did Ayumi complete?
Ayumi is a high school drop-out. She quit school when she was 15 years old.

Who are her body doubles?
There are two to public knowledge: Atsuko "Minori" Kubota and Takami "Poroko" Desaki. They are generally used as stand-ins for PV's, CM's and photoshoots.

Does Ayumi play any instruments?
In the past, it has been said that she studied piano and learned some guitar but no one knows to what extent. There's been no mention of anything for a few years. There are no clips of her playing either instrument.

Last edited by devilayu; 6th June 2008 at 05:52 PM.
Old 23rd March 2007, 03:01 AM
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Has Ayumi ever lip-synched?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Although by fan accounts Ayumi doesn't lip-synch in concerts, it is argued that she has mimed songs for certain taped appearances on non-live music shows.

Has Ayu ever performed in America?
No, she has not. She has only filmed PV's and done photoshoots in the larger American cities (such as New York, Los Angeles, & Oahu). Also, prior to her Avex debut, she went to New York City for vocal training.

I've seen screencaps of Ayu's 1999 Secret Live. Where can I get it?
That performance has never been publicly released in full. Those caps are either from a news report about the live or from her old HP.

Has Ayumi ever performed the remixes from her remix albums?
Yes, but only once at the Cyber Trance presents ayu trance release party. Again, the live was never publicly released and only seen in news clips.

Why does she use a different pronunctiation for a common character? (ex. Bokutachi vs. Bokura)
With lyrics and prose, writers can take liberties with how to pronounce words. Although those characters are usually read as "bokutachi," Ayu has decided to replace the reading with "bokura" (which means the same thing). She does the same thing in other songs (evolution).

Another example of Ayu replacing readings is in 'evolution.' In the line with the characters for "chikyuu" she replaces the reading with "hoshi." Although the meanings are slightly different, a planet is a star so it fits in context.

This happens a lot in novels and the changes in reading are usually marked with furigana.

Why does she even use "boku" in her lyrics? Isn't that for guys only?
On SmapxSmap from February 26, 2007, Ayumi clarified that it's easier to say than "watashi" or "atashi" due to less syllables. She does not look at it as more masculine. Additionally, by using "boku," she feels that it separates the real Ayu from the voice of the speaker in her songs.

Has Ayumi released any songs in English?
No, she has not released any English songs commercially. She has, however, sung in English for promotions. In various lives, she has performed "White Christmas," "Silent Night," "Change the World," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." She sang "White Christmas" for a Suntory CM as well. For Disney's Japanese release of the "Snow White" DVD, Ayumi sang part of "Someday My Prince Will Come" for the special limited edition mail-in DVD that coincided with the release.

Are there any songs on Ayu albums with lyrics that weren't written by her?
Yes, this is a list:
- "LOVE~since1999~" (LOVE~destiny single) was composed and written by Tsunku
- "Sotsugyou Shashin" (A Ballads album) was originally by Yumi Matsutoya
- "teens" (Startin'/Born to be... single) was originally a TRF song
Also, her pre-Avex album "NOTHING FROM NOTHING" had songs written by someone else.

Are some of the songs on (miss)understood cover songs?
This is a grey area. In Japan, various articles describe the songs in question as "covers" even though Ayumi rewrote most of the lyrics in Japanese to fit her own feelings. She was a big fan of GEO and that is how these compositions came to be on her album. These songs were originally composed by GEO and performed by Sweetbox:
- "Bold & Delicious"
- "Ladies Night"
- "In the Corner"
- "Pride"
- "Beautiful Day"
- "rainy day" (Sweetboxed titled this song "Every Step")

Is there a difference between the Live and DVD versions of her concerts?
Yes. Usually, the performance on the DVD's are taped from the last concert of her tour. The televised version (usually aired on a pay-per-view station called WOWOW) is usually a show in the middle of her tour, and the cuts/costumes/hairstyles sometimes differ depending on where she is and when she performed.
Also, there is sometimes redubbing of her singing performance for the DVD version of a concert. The reasoning may be any of the following: technical difficulty during the live, poor recording feed, or poor vocals on Ayu's part. Case in point, Countdown Live 02-03.

Is there a "Memorial address Take 1" or 'original' version of the song?
No, the only version of that song is titled "Memorial address ~take 2 version~" which was actually a bonus, 8th track on the "Memorial address" mini-album.
Additionally, "Memorial address" is considered a cover song in Japan because it is the same composition as the LOVER SOUND TRACK song "Kumo." Ayumi wrote her own lyrics for her version.

Other songs that do not have "original" versions are:
* Key -eternal tie ver.-

Is the song "monochrome" supposed to be cut-off, with a door slam and a man talking?
Yes, that is indeed the correct version of the song. It is meant to be cut-off mid-sentence.

What is the deal with the song "RAINBOW"?
On the album "RAINBOW" there was no title song. Instead, for the limited edition first press of the album, there was a track labeled "00 RAINBOW" on the sleeve. It was actually a short instrumental track that you could download via a secret website with a code included with the disc. On the site, Ayumi invited her fans to write a line of lyrics that fit with the music. In the final version of the song, Ayu in fact did not use a fan's exact lyrics. Instead, she claims that she read each and every one of the 100,000+ entries she received and then wrote a line that expressed the feelings she got from reading those entries. The full version of the song was later released on the compilation album "A BALLADS."

What is the "XX" in "A Song for XX"?
According to Masa's translation, Ayumi says:
"I'd like you to insert whatever words you like to the part XX. Well, I wrote this lyrics in my own manner thinking about the person I've told you now, which some of you may understand only by listening to this song."
It's also important to note that you do no pronounce the "XX" as it is a silent representation of an anonymous something or someone. For Ayumi, this someone is her mother, Mariko Hamasaki.

Additional thanks to kinix & DA1SUK1DAY01691

Last edited by devilayu; 21st July 2007 at 08:53 PM.
Old 27th March 2007, 04:04 AM
Posts: n/a

What is an "ayupan"?
ayupan are the little plastic figurines that are based on Ayumi and are detailed with designs that match outfits she has worn in the past (usually from her tours or photoshoots). It is said that the "pan" in the name comes from Ayumi thinking they look like pandas. The average price of an ayupan is 500 yen (differs depending on when they were sold, where they were sold, and how detailed they are). They gained so much popularity that it spawned a line of ayupan-related goods (plushies, stickers, keychains, etc.) and for a time, there were even ayupan shops. There was even a short series of CG ayupan cartoons.

What is 'ayu ready?'
Official ayu ready? HP
ayu ready? REAL MUSIC REPUBLIC was a music program that Ayumi hosted, which aired from October 12, 2002 through March 20, 2004. It was a half hour program on Saturdays starting at 11:30pm. Most of the guests were also musicians and at the end of the show, Ayu would sing a song (sometimes with the guest).

Who is Max?
Masato "Max" Matsuura is Ayumi's producer and the man who "discovered" her. He is a high-powered producer for other Avex artists as well. He is often seen with Ayumi and greatly helped her career early on. Ayu seems to have great affection and respect for him judging by her comments on him. Max's Blog

Who is Bancho?
Kanako "Bancho" Miura is Ayumi's nail artist. Anytime you see Ayumi's nails, it is the work of Bancho. Official Site

Who is Mika/John?
Mika "John" Noguchi is the President of a popular lingerie line in Japan, Peach John. She is Ayumi's friend and is often seen in Ayu's pics. As a joke, Ayumi has called Mika her "Mother" because she is like a stage mom, drawing confusion amongst non-Japanese fans.

What are the names of her dogs?
On the Feb. 28, 2007 episode of 'Hanamaru Cafe,' Ayumi stated that she has 5 dogs. They are named after foods/desserts and are Marron (the only mini dachshund), Crea, Choco, Vanilla, and Purin. Marron in French means chestnut and Purin is a Japanese custard or pudding. Crea is the dog that Ayumi took her penname from.

[addendum]Popteen February 06. Here is what she has to say about her dogs:
* The white Yorkshire Terrier is her first dog. It's name was Lily (deceased).
* The first dog she got and named was Ringo, a Yorkie (deceased). Her mom named it Ichigo originally it seems but Ayu changed it back to Ringo.
* There was Melon, a black Chihuahua. She named it after an expensive fruit. (deceased)
* Then Crea, which she says was named after the Honda commercial she did for the Giorno Crea!
* Then she got Marron.
* Then she got both Purin and Vanilla at the same time.
* Lastly, she got Choco, a black Chihuahua.
* She says if she were to get another dog, she might name it Cookie in the vein of names after sweet foods.

At the time of publication, she states she has 5 living dogs.

As of September 15, 2007, Ayumi stated on Countdown Japan Radio that she has 6 dogs (no names were mentioned).

In the January 2008 issue of Deji Deji Diary, Ayumi revealed the name of her new miniature Yorkie, Cocoa.

Where was Ayumi when she stayed in Hong Kong? And where did she shoot the covers for "glitter/fated"?
She stayed at the Presidential Suite at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. The cost is approximately $11,000 USD a night.

Where was Dearest filmed?
"Dearest" was filmed in California. The scenes with the windmills are specifically on a windmill farm in Palm Springs, CA.

Where was fairyland filmed?
The PV was filmed in O'ahu, Hawaii. The waterfall scene, specifically, was at Waimea Falls. The PV reportedly cost 240,000,000 yen to make. Part of the cost undoubtedly went into building the hut that was specifically made to be burnt down later.

Where were Bold & Delicious and Pride filmed?
These were filmed at the same time in uptown Manhattan, New York. It's filmed underneath the Riverside Drive/12th Avenue Bridge, at W134th/W133rd street, looking south. (thanks to zoomzoom)

Where was BLUE BIRD filmed?
"BLUE BIRD" was filmed on an island in Guam.

Where was Beautiful Fighters filmed?
Though it had a very American feel to it, the "Beautiful Fighters" PV was filmed on a stage in Japan. (confirmed in Getsurei the Television, August 2006 issue)

Where was Talkin' 2 Myself filmed?
It was filmed on location in Fukushima.

Last edited by devilayu; 6th June 2008 at 05:53 PM.
Old 6th June 2008, 01:42 AM
Posts: n/a
How to join TeamAyu (Official Fanclub)
Relevant links:

First off, you must have a Japanese mailing address to join. There is no international fanclub at this time and so basically the only way to join is if 1) you live in Japan or 2) you have a friend who will register on your behalf. The fanclub is only in Japanese.

There are two types of memberships for TeamAyu:
A Course
Annual Fee: 6,000 yen
This package includes:
1) Original membership card
2) Subscription to the newsletter
3) Priority for buying concert tickets (however this is based on balloting/lottery)
4) Chance to mail order for concert goods or fanclub exclusive goods
5) Priority invites for tv and radio events
6) Video reports
7) Photo gallery
8) Screensaver downloads
9) Access to other TeamAyu exclusives, etc.
10) Web access

B Course
Annual Fee: 4,000 yen
This package includes:
1) Original membership card
2) Subscription to the newsletter
3) Priority for buying concert tickets (however this is based on balloting/lottery)
4) Chance to mail order for concert goods or fanclub exclusive goods
5) Priority invites for tv and radio events
6) Updates via e-mail (inconsistent)
7) Access to other TeamAyu exclusives, etc.
* you may upgrade to A Course from this package. Basically, this package doesn't include access to the daily Ayu pics & posts.

Registration Instructions
1) register with a valid email
2) if the email is valid, you will receive an email with steps on how to join
3) follow the directions in the email
4) you will receive a mail regarding payment
5) within a week of payment, you should receive a hard copy of the bill for joining
6) pay the fee (a yearly fee)
7) after paying, you should receive a Team Ayu confirmation letter
8) you should start getting Team Ayu mailings in about a month

At this time, I do not have any firsthand accounts of joining TeamAyu. All the above information is from the official sites. I will move to Japan this summer, so I will try to document everything it takes to register along with screencaps/pics if I can.

[August 17, 2008 Update]
The info on the site is pretty straightforward. After registering with an email address, you should receive an email within minutes (the email does NOT have to be a Japanese email, it can be with any email provider.) The information you provide to them upon registering is standard fare (name, sex, birthday, Japanese address, home or cell phone number, password.) Payment is by credit card or combini. If paying by combini, there is an extra 200 yen charge in addition to the fanclub fee. You have a month after registering to pay the amount in full.

Last edited by devilayu; 17th August 2008 at 04:18 AM.
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