Takahashi Ai Graduation Letter translation
Posted by sferris
After passing the LOVE Audition 21 on 2001-08-26 and having joined Morning Musume as a 5th generation member, as of today 10 years and 1 month will have passed. Now that I think about it, it all went by in a flash. When I think about it, I was always watching ASAYAN back in Fukui, but the airing of the shows, compared to Tokyo, was always about 3 weeks behind… so when I thought about applying, I always missed the deadlines, but when the 5th gen audition came around, one of my friends spotted the ad for it in a newspaper and that led me to apply. Looking back at that me eventually becoming the leader for 4 years and 4 months even surprises me.
When I first joined, I was often scolded. The 5th gen members were often usually the last ones to leave at dance lessons. The 4 5th gen members were always together so one of the staff guys came to us and said “You should watch and learn from the 4th gen, you guys need to stand out more individually. Don’t always be so group-minded.” We were told that a lot, and it made us cry. It was tough, but I believe because of that the bond between the 5th gen was strengthened even further. Around the same time when I was down about having no character, I started as a semi-regular guest for the Young town radio show and got to meet Sanma-san and Shouji-san every week. Since it was radio, I felt like I needed to speak but when I did I got a lot of “Your accent is so strong you can’t make it as an actress”, but before I knew it I became stronger, and I felt like I developed part of my personality, and to that I would like to thank Sanma-san. One of my fondest memories was the first time I was given a solo part in “Souda! We’re ALIVE”. It was my first time so I was really happy, and it was a very powerful song so I completely remember going to the recording studio looking to sing with a lot of energy. I sang all out on that and before I knew it everything was done and the staff guys handed me the finished product. When I listened to the CD and hear my voice, the image was completely different from what I had imagined at the time I was singing. It was really childish and kinda bad but I was still happy anyway. After deciding on to graduate and annoucing it in January of this year, time has passed by so much faster than ever before, and as I moved towards my graduation, every time a new graduation event came up it wasn’t painful, but rather made me love Morning Musume even more. Right now I am really glad to have become a Morning Musume member. When I became leader, I was really worried, but Tsunku-san said to me “You should make Morning Musume a Takahashi-styled cosy feeling group”. Because of those words, we have the family-like Morning Musume that we have now.
Sayu, Reina, Aika, Fukuchan, Ikuta, Sayashi, Suzuki… thank you for following such an unreliable leader. I’ve only been a leader for the 10th gen for 2 days but thank you too.
Gaki-san, sorry for graduating before you. But knowing you Gaki-san, I have full faith you will make a brand new Morning Musume.
My precious members, the love of the staff, and most important of all the support from all you fans… I am truly grateful. During the bus tour we had in Fukui a little while ago the fans threw a surprise and read thank you letters to me, that was truly the best. Thank you to everyone who listen to our songs at home or on the road. I will treasure the moments I have spent with you guys at concerts and fan club tours and events. And because I have these treasured moments, I will continue to work hard. Thank you.
And let me say one last thing… I love you all!