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DO NOT claim these as your own. I spend a lot of time translating these, please be respectful.
My notes are in italic like usual
“Although what you worry about may change, the way you worry won’t”
‘Unless I have work during the weekend, every week, I’m with my friends. We don’t do anything special. It’s probably the same kinds of things that the readers of this magazine do. We hang around at each other’s houses, if it’s summer we shoot off fireworks… go to karaoke… it’s just, the only thing that’s different is when we talk about work.’
Matsujun went to high school while having to juggle being a performer, playing sports, and studies in high school.
‘I had a lot of friends like (Nakamura) Shichinosuke and performance artists. Kabuki, Kyogen, shamisen…. I’ve already quit all that, but there were also some kids that went to play sports overseas. The students were 1 year younger than me, but I’d occasionally hang out and stuff with (Ikuta) Toma, and as for actors I’d spend time with people like (Matsuda) Ryuuhei.’
It seems like you still spend time with the friends from that time.
‘Recently we got together after a long time of not seeing one another, and we all watched the World Cup. When I got there, Ryuuhei had already gone home so I wasn’t able to meet him, but Toma was there. We all get together and have fun the same way we used to when we were 17. We do talk about work, but I feel like we talk with more vigor than we did even before.
In the past, did you talk about your dreams and such with beaming eyes?
‘No, not really. On the contrary we fought about us bad mouthing one another (laugh). When we would get heated at one another, I would get really obnoxious and think that they were really annoying, and then go to bed early out of anger (laugh). It was more like instead of me saying nice things, I would just state my own opinion. When you’re 17 years old isn’t that how that period of your life is? We got together and complained to one another and laughed at our stupid antics.’
So for the various classmates that you were spending time with during your activities, when was a time that you thought they were really cool?
‘For example, there’s lots of different stuff that Shichinosuke-san has taught me, it’s like when I listen to him talk, I think that he’s really awesome… but I don’t tell him that. Between guy friends, we don’t do that kind of thing. I haven’t really been praised myself too (laugh). Even now, they’re simply my colleagues. It becomes a type of motivation for the various activities that my colleagues are doing’
When you were 17, it was the first year since you had debuted as Arashi. Do you remember what kind of state of mind you were in?
‘….I guess I was a little ambitious. If I were to say, I was a student but I still had 1 year in as a working adult. Activities as a Johnny’s Junior felt more like club activities, and when we became Arashi, it was a period in time when it turned into feeling like a “job”. However, it wasn’t like we were given things that a new employee would do, don’t get me wrong I’m glad we debuted, but there were so many times that I didn’t understand why it was a good thing. But at the time there were things that I wanted to do myself, and times where I showed a selfish side of me. In that way I was probably a little irritable. I guess, assuming that I decided to cover that part of me up, I probably wouldn’t. I was a young kid, and I had nowhere to go in a sense.’
Before you can prepare yourself, you were next to the Arashi members, and your days as a 17 year old were blindly following that.
‘I was reckless. We continued on like that, and while we piled on the experience, I think that irritability slowly dissolved. ‘
But even in your heart, if you get right down to it, it seems that you haven’t changed a bit from your 17 year old self.
‘With the years piling up, because of the various things that we have experienced, and actually I now know how to do things like predict what’s gonna happen next, or how to deal with things that are troublesome which I wasn’t so sure how to do in my teens. But even now I have a lot of different worries. Although what you worry about may change, the way you worry won’t. I thought that that stress was something you only experience in your teens, but that’s not the case. I’ve arrived at that conclusion.’
But even as an adult with unending worries, you don’t seem to have taken any negativity with you.
‘I mean, that’s just the way I am. Worries are something that I keep to myself. It’s not because I’ve gotten older or because things around me have changed, it’s something that is born when you face yourself. It’s just, those worries gradually become simpler. It’s not that we are against everything, just that it seems if we chip away unnecessary things, what’s left is what’s inside of us.’
The readers of Seventeen who are just entering their teen years: It seems they are worried about whether they can go with the flow when they have worries of their own.
‘That is something you will understand if you just live. You don’t have to do anything special for it. At least that’s how I feel. Just live by your heart. Moreover when you worry about something, it is not easy to stop. When you don’t know what to do I just hope that you have a friend that understands those worries. You can forget about it when you’re with that person. Worries are just like that.’
“Even though I was in Arashi I didn’t change anything about myself at school”
The moment Seventeen asked about the age of 17 the first thing Sho said was “I had to make sure that I made my high school life fun~”.
‘When I was a freshman, the first friends that I made were from basketball club. I got to know them when we would always eat lunch together in the cafeteria. On the cafeteria menu there was a fancy beef box set… that was a super luxurious item. The guy that ate that box set was always looked at with envy (laugh). I also made friends with the lunch lady…that’s another really fun memory I have. In the cafeteria there was a lady called Rie-mama. To a freshmen kid, Rie-mama was freaking scary. She really wouldn’t listen to any of the first year’s orders. Only when you became a third year would she treat you like a human, and calmly take your order. When it became close to when you were going to graduate, she would say something like, “Today is the last day, huh” and get all sentimental. That lunch lady is infamous from freshmen year to junior year until you become friends after your 3rd year. To this very day my high school friends and I talk about wanting to eat from that cafeteria menu again. Sometimes I REALLY want to eat it.’
The culture festival is also one big event for those in high school!
‘It was a boy’s school, so it only happened during the culture festival. The fact that there were girls on the school grounds, that is. So when the culture festival came around, we got strangely hyper about it. There was a cafe that my friends and I would often visit and it was called “Kaze” (The kanji for ‘kaze’ in Japanese is the bottom half of the kanji for ‘Arashi’). Of course it’s completely coincidental…. that right after that I went from ‘Kaze’ to ‘Arashi’, in a sense (laugh).’
When you became Arashi, did your lifestyle change?
‘We were extremely busy around the time of our debut, and soon after that it really was just… (laugh). Especially when I was in school for 1st through 6th period nothing changed, so I’m really glad that high school was comforting. After our first appearance on “Music Station”, I didn’t really want to go to school the following Monday.’
You were more worried that everyone in your class had seen those legendary see-through outfits rather than the whole country!?
‘Yep. But it was okay, at that time I was a third year student. If I was a first year, I probably would have been horribly teased by the class (laugh)’
So it seems that during high school you were very much just a normal high school student. It also seems that after school you spent your time like a regular student.
‘We were in Shibuya a lot when I was with my friends. We didn’t really go there for any particular reason though.’
Were there any troubles that you had in your daily life of fun?
‘I’m not getting any taller. It’s not a laughing matter… for guys it’s a big worry. Up until my first year of high school, the girls who liked guys mostly all liked the ones that were tall. I did stuff like drinking extra calcium milk~. For me I’ve already obviously grown a bit but, well… it resulted in me still having the same height in reference to the other members of Arashi, but the height balance turned out well I guess.’
Do you regret anything from your high school days?
‘I don’t. It really was fun.’
Like Sho-kun, how do you finish up high school and not have any regrets even if you look back on it? Please give us advice.
‘Well then…. shouldn’t it be play hard and study hard? For me the first half of freshman year I was thinking about doing a study abroad, and in the last half I studied pretty hard. Before a test, I would not go out to hang out with friends of course. Because there was a really important test right there that was more important than that (laugh). Yeah, but you know, I really did study. But more than that I really just went all out and acted like an idiot in front of my friends. If you were held back a year and became a little older it wouldn’t change that much, but you know, if possible it’s better to move up along with everyone else. That way when you do become an adult and talk about your memories, there won’t be a weird gap. You’re 17 years old, do what you have to do. Have the time of your teen life after you study hard.’
Aiba & Nino's Part