MORE February 2019



MORE February 2019

Yamada Ryosuke x Nakajima Yuto

Nakajima • At the moment the “SUITS” drama and the tour are both going on at the same time as we’re doing this shoot and interview. When it’s busy like this I get messages from Yama. He’s like “It’s ok, you can leave the concert up to me! You can do it!”. That… makes me really happy.

Yamada • Because I understand how difficult things are for Yuto right now so much it hurts.

– They work hard in the same fields, of course as idols, but also as actors. Now they acknowledge and support each other but, the truth is it took them a long time to get here.

Yamada • This comes up randomly, that is, we had a time and a past that we don’t talk about.

– When they were Johnny’s Juniors they said “We often went home from work together by train”, they were great friends in public, but this relationship changed greatly, with the “Centre Change Drama” from Nakajima-kun to Yamada-kun.

Nakajima • To be honest, it was a shock. In the past Yama had also experienced that cold time where he wasn’t in the spotlight. Even though I understand that because of that he was working desperately hard and putting his full power into being the centre. At the time I just couldn’t accept it.

Yamada • At the time we both felt like we didn’t want to lose to each other. It’s precisely because we had a such a strong awareness of each other that we didn’t know how to deal with each other…

Nakajima • But now, I think I’m happy that we experienced that time. Personally and together, it became a big chance for us, and we were able to grow. Because we were able to become aware of all kinds of different things.

– They expressed their relationship at the time well but, Yamada-kun’s words were “Clearly having a strong rival, we can aim for that and continue forwards. I can do my best because there is someone that motivates me”.  

Yamada • Firstly, if Yuto wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be standing where I am now. I still remember the first time I met Yuto really well. Because Yuto joined Johnny’s before I did, even amongst the Juniors he was a charismatic guy. When I saw him dancing on stage I thought he was amazing. And I was like “I wonder what kind of view you can see from where Yuto is standing?”. That was where everything started for me.

– Comrades are good rivals. They say “From now on I want companions that motivate me. So for this I also have to continue to grow myself”.  Now that the two of them are able to acknowledge each other they can say this, they have a mountain of things that they want to say.

Nakajima • The other day, someone said “Speaking of, the two of you have never been out for a drink together”. So I said “When I finish the drama let’s go for a drink”.

Yamada • I’m looking forward to it but… I’m kind of nervous (lol). Are you curious to hear what we talk about together? Will we tell you when we decide to go? No way, definitely not!! (lol).


Arioka Daiki x Chinen Yuri

Chinen • Do we have a “friendly” image? I’m sorry to disappoint you but, it’s completely different. It’s a friendship where we see each other in our private time.

Arioka • That’s what it means when the say “friendly”!

The first thing out of their mouths is a perfectly coordinated stand-up comedy routine. And then they had fun talking, saying things like “We went to a concert together once”, “We bought merchandise together before the show too. We organised it so we were wearing matching caps”, even though there’s an age difference, they joined the company on the same day.

Arioka • Chinen was only nine years old at the time. And when the group was formed he was still only a thirteen-year-old kid. He often used to sit on the members’ knees. Since then, Chinen has always been a cutie to me. He’s cute today in his white knitted jumper~ ♡ But like, he really hates prickly woollen clothes. You can actually see it right now, because he’s somewhat displeased (lol).

Chinen • Stop that, you’re exposing me (lol).

– They have something else in common apart from just the day they joined the company.

Chinen • That would be, our grandchild feeling ♡

Arioka• We have this image of being “The Nation’s Grandsons ♡”

– That is, being the bridges of the group. The younger members of the group often say “In the hard times, Chinen was always there beside us”. Arioka-kun started reaching out and brought the older members together, which became the big chance for the group to strengthen their bonds. If Arioka-kun was the bridge for “Hey! Say! BEST”, then Chinen was the one who brought “Hey! Say! 7” together. Saying it like sounds like an exaggeration. However, the people themselves…

Arioka • But, we weren’t particularly aware that that’s what we were doing.

Chinen • We weren’t thinking that and doing things deliberately.

– and, they laughed. The two of them certainly looked over the other members well. When I asked them if there was a time they had felt a change in the group lately they gave this answer.

Chinen • Lately, Yuya’s had a brilliant change. He’s started body building, and is genuinely stoic about it. Before it felt like he’d go straight home after rehearsals. But now he stays until the end to confirm the choreography…

Arioka • And if he feels like it, he even goes to training after. Lately, Chinen and I have been joining him. Now Takaki even prepares protein drinks for us (lol). He puts the protein in the shaker cup and says “All you have to do is add the water later”. And then if we say we’ll wash it and return it he says “Don’t worry about it, I’ll take it home and do it”.

Chinen/Arioka • He’s so nice~♡

– And so they continued smiling “The group is definitely heading in a great direction at the moment”, “There’s no doubt about that”. When I thought I’d ask for more details the two “bridges” said…

Arioka • It’s because we talk.

Chinen • I think it’s great that all of the members talk together. Next time… Do a round table discussion with all eight of the members!! (lol).

Inoo Kei x Takaki Yuya

Inoo • Amongst the members the one I contact the most is Takaki. The one I often meet up with in private is Takaki too. The main thing we talk about is our love interests ♡

Takaki • Are you a high schooler!?

Inoo • Long phone calls talking about love ♡

Takaki • We have never done that ever!!

– They start facing each other in a light-hearted banter. Now-a-days they and others acknowledge their friendship but, at the time of their debut they have stated that they “couldn’t stand” each other. These two members who had hardly anything to do with one another make fun of each other, “Have we exchanged contact information?”, “We should sometime?”, that time that has become a joke is now also in the past.

Inoo • No, it was obviously because Takaki was the kind to fight. When it was just the two of us I guess that’s what we’d end up doing, there was that kind of nervous tension.

Takaki • Hey, don’t make things up (lol).

Inoo • In reality it’s because there were so many people in the group. For some reason we didn’t talk. We had no interest in each other. I can’t even remember what it was that made us become good friends, it just naturally came to be that way.

– I wonder what they talk about together usually.

Inoo • For example, Takaki and I have the fact that we’re both active people in common. Before I go out I’ll message Takaki like “Do you have any recommended restaurants?”. And flowing on from that I end up inviting him like “Aren’t you gonna come too, Takaki?”… but, that guy, he definitely won’t come!!

Takaki • I can relax when I’m at home, going out has become a pain (lol).

Inoo • Even though I go 100% of the time when Takaki invites me!! Even though I will always go even when I am dying of exhaustion!! He turned me down just before and said “I have things to do” and I asked what they were, he was like “I’m going for a massage, then I’m going to the gym and then I’m going to the salon”, I was like… “What are you, a girl!?”

When I asked about their relationship these days, this was their answer.

Inoo • Friends, I guess. But being in the same group for so long it’s normal to have a strong awareness of each other as “workmates” but, my relationship with Takaki has a strong “friend” feeling.

Takaki • We actually go out with each other’s friends a lot. Inoo always has this same feeling. The good thing about him is that when we go somewhere, no matter who we’re with he doesn’t change. It’s like, no matter who he meets he can feel relaxed and it makes you want to meet him.

Inoo • We’ll eventually come out to our families. The next step will be introducing each other to our families (lol).

Takaki • That’s awful. I’ll definitely introduce you though (lol).

Inoo • The good thing about Takaki is his kindness. When we were taking pictures and I was feeling sick, he lent me his coat. I remember it now but, because it seemed cold outside, he bought me a jumper. When he thought “You don’t have one” he came back carrying a jumper… he didn’t just lend it to me he bought it for me, that is the kindness of Takaki Yuya!!

Takaki • But I’m actually even nicer to girls though ♡

Yaotome Hikaru x Yabu Kota

Yaotome • I remember it even now, after Yabu had been glaring at me he asked “Hey you, what’s your name?”. He’s still that blunt. The impression that I have of the first time we met is “He’s the worst”.

Yabu • The thing that brought us together was “The Boss’s House”. When I had work I stayed at the boss’s house. Yabu and that were like “If he’s on his own he’ll get lonely” and came and stayed with me.

Yabu • We’d play games and stuff until he got mad at us like “YOU kids, hurry up and go to sleep!!”. Because the boss has all these videos of past senpai and stuff at his house, we’d stay up watching them until midnight. The one’s playing with us in the early days of Kis-My-Ft.’s formation were Yoko-kun and Kitayama-kun, while we’d be intensely watching a Hikaru Genji video we’d talk like “They can do back flips on roller-skates!”, “Will we be able to do that too one day!?”.

– One after another the memories of their time as Johnny’s Juniors come out.

Yabu • It’s been more than 15 years since we met.

Yaotome • It’s been so long we may as well be dating (lol).

– Since that time the two of them have been well known by the nickname “Yabuhika”. At the time of Hey! Say! JUMP’s formation, Yabu-kun told us the story of how he was asked by the boss “I want YOU and Hikaru to bring this group together”. When they were first formed they “took turns to be mad as the groups representatives”, it seems like it happened a lot. As for the two of them in the beginning, they have said “We were in the same roles and circumstances together. There was someone there who felt the same way, we came to support each other a lot”. When I asked them to express in one word how their relationship has changed now…

Yabu • We’re “Chip & Dale”.

Yaotome • Are we that cute?!

Yabu • I say it too much (lol). But, I wonder what it is really. Because we’re adults now but, we’re not really “alone together” very much… Ah, we did go drinking that one time. Hikaru suddenly invited me.

Yaotome • I thought “It seems fun to get together just with Yabu after so long”.

Yabu • It was actually really fun. At the end I was like “One more drink, just one more drink” (lol). Saying that, when we went to Hong Kong I went and had a drink in Hikaru’s room. I wanted to have a drink with someone… Without even thinking about it, I rang the doorbell on Hikaru’s room. At the time I was also in the mood to drink beer like “One more can, one more can” (lol).

– The two of them are fine even without speaking, it’s a relationship of trust where they can relax around each other.

Yaotome • Um, I think this is true. Of course, when we have free time I end up sitting next to Yabu without realising it.

Yabu • So, I have this habit when he comes to sit next to me where I say “You’re beside me again”.

Yaotome • It’s a happy habit.

Yabu • The reason you sit next to me is “Because we’re left handed buddies”. That way we don’t bump elbows, that’s all it is (lol)!

Group Talk

Yabu • Up until now, apart from at work the members rarely all get together. Because of this, when all the members went out to eat together to celebrate our 10th Anniversary it was the first time we’d been able to do it.

Chinen • But lately, the chances we’ve had to all get together suddenly increased. In 2018 alone we went maybe 2-3 times.

–  When I asked about Hey! Say! JUMP “NOW”, the talk got them all excited right from the very beginning.

Yaotome • One thing is, Yabu organised our “We have to make a reservation once every 6 months” at a sushi restaurant.

Yabu • Because we can reserve nine seats, the eight members and one of the managers can come. The only time all the members can adjust their schedules is so they can come to the sushi restaurant (lol). I think it would be nice if we could continue having these sushi parties from now on too. We’re already going again in March next year.

– When all the members are together, what kind of conversations do they have, that’s something else that I’m curious about.

Yaotome • The conversations…

Yabu • Mainly we give our sushi related opinions (lol).

Takaki • Because we sit side by side at the L shaped counter. The people on either end are far away and can’t talk to each other properly.

Yamada • It’s not the kind of store where you can be all loud and excited.

Nakajima • So as a result, we really only talk about what everyone thinks of the sushi.

Arioka • And, whenever the members are all together we’ve made a habit of taking a group photo. That photo will eventually be used as Inoo-chan’s “Inoo Picture” on “Mezamashi TV” (lol).

Chinen • It’s used as a “business photo” (lol).

Inoo • That’s because when I’m eating sushi, the only thing I can think about is taking that photo (lol).

– Now that it’s the 12th Anniversary since their formation, the eight of them talk about how “Spending time with the members has become more and more fun”.

Arioka • When we’re on tour, everyone has a single hotel room. They put the drinks and food in the manager’s room and it turns into the catering room. Without even noticing, all of us gather together in this room.

Yamada • Because we’re tired after the concert. Even though normally you’d want to be resting on your own (lol).

Takaki • And if there are people gaming there, there will be people watching the TV too. Everyone just relaxes and does their own thing.

Yabu • It’s got a strong “living room” feeling.

Nakajima • We squeeze together at the little table to eat.

Yabu • Because of that, Yuto is sure to knock his plate over, and suddenly there’s an accident and the steak that he’s hardly started eating falls on the floor.

Nakajima • When it happens, everyone else shares a little bit of their meat with me. Because everyone has different kinds of meat all grilled differently. In the end, it’s like a luxury a la carte (lol).

– Even in private, it seems that the time the members spend together has also increased.

Yabu • After work we go out to eat a lot. Before it would be about 2-3 people but, now it’s more common to be 4-5 of us.

Yamada • The one who seems like they’re “waiting to be invited” is Hika.

Yaotome • It happened the other day too, Yamada invited Dai-chan like “Wanna go for sushi?” right in front of me.  But, Dai-chan turned him down like “I can’t today”. In that critical moment I started straight at Yamada to appeal to him but… Because Yamada didn’t notice at all when he saw me he said “Hika, make a silly face ♡”, he came back at me with total curve ball.

All • Ha ha ha ha!! (Roaring with laughter).

Yamada • You have to say it in words or else I won’t know!! (lol)

Yaotome • Oi, I do it like that because I’m an otome ♡ (t/n: young girl)

Nakajima • Coz you’re a Ya-otome (lol).

– In 2018 Yabu-kun formed his soccer team, the “Yabucchi FC”. So the members have had a chance to get together on the soccer ground too.

Yaotome • Here it is, the “Yabucchi FC” that I wasn’t allowed to join. Yabu said “You can join” but, Yamada said “Hika will make himself sick so he can’t!!”.

Yamada • Because we take our practice seriously. I don’t think Hika would be able to keep running for 7 minutes (lol).

– By just throwing out this one question, they start negotiating straight away, and burst out laughing. The eight members are having too much fun with their boys talk. From here on too, you can really tell that the current Hey! Say! JUMP is in a really great place.

Takaki • Lately, even in concert rehearsals, everyone’s quick to get together at work too.

Arioka • The heat is going up.

Yaotome • The one I think is “amazing” is Yutti. Because he’s doing drama filming at the same time as concert rehearsals. We have to remember new choreography in a single day, it’s really hard. He has to do things properly.

Yabu • In the end, he’s going to overtake Hikaru who attends every single rehearsal (lol).

Yamada • He’s right on his tail.

Inoo • Lately, we’ve been called an “on their tail” kind of group.

Arioka • The people who can’t remember choreography say “Tomorrow, I’m coming to rehearsal early” and keep us all on our toes.

Takaki • But, that’s because everyone went to that rehearsal the other day. Some of us aren’t being kept on our toes. We ask “Can Yuto make it?”. And say, “Ok then, we’ll all be together”.

Yabu • Lately, that kind of thing has been happening more often.

Yamada • It’s because our feelings that we want to deliver “Better things” and “Even more better things” is growing. All the members really feel like we are facing in the same direction and doing our best.

– When I asked the eight members about “From now on”, they said in unison “It’s important to focus completely on the things right in front of you. The good thing about looking far into the distance is, nothing”.

Yabu • The meaning of “From now on”, when we’re asked about it it’s always “But the Heisei era is ending”, “But the era is changing”, “What will Hey! Say! JUMP do?”, “Will you change your name?” (lol).

Takaki • The people around us care more than we do (lol). Even though the era is changing, nothing will change about the members’ relationships, the group or us.

Arioka • In 2019 we’re only moving into a new era, and we’ll be rushing into our 12th year since the group was formed… It feels like a great opportunity to challenge new things.

– So I asked “Is there anything you want to try doing before Heisei ends?”

Yamada • To start with, I want all the members to play in the “Yabucchi FC”. Especailly Dai-chan. This person would seriously be like, “I don’t wanna go out to eat!! I don’t wanna play soccer either!!” No matter how many times you invite him he’ll turn you down like “Sorry, I’ve got plans”.

Chinen • Which is more important, your plans or playing soccer?

Arioka • No, I’ll have made my plans before hand. I’m an active person, and always end up making lots of plans.

Yamada • Even though when we were getting uniforms made right back at the beginning you said “I’ll be number 3 thanks”.

Yaotome • Give me a uniform!! I’ll be number 11 thanks!!

Yamada • I’m sorry, number 11 is already taken (lol).

Chinen • But, I do really want to play soccer all together.

Inoo • Well then, maybe I’ll make a laid back team called the “Inocchi FC”.

Nakajima • Who would be on it?

Arioka • News reader Miyake will be~

Yabu • News reader Nagashima will be~

Chinen • News reader Karube will be~

Inoo • Ok, we’ll practice after we finish “Mezamashi TV”. The members will be together already (lol).

– The mood goes up and up in the eight member round table discussion.

Nakajima • But the meaning of “From now on”, lastly shall we guess what the new era will be? (lol)

Chinen • This is Hey! Say! JUMP’s Ikegami Akira, Ino-chan, if you will! (t/n: Ikegami Akira is a famous Japanese journalist, from here on Inoo is doing an impersonation of him)

Inoo • I see. Now, we shall guess the two words that will make up the name of the next era. Personally, I feel like the word “peaceful” (t/n: 安・an) will be in it. I guess it will be the second of the two words. What will the first one be?

Yamada • Something like smiling face’s “smile”? (t/n: 笑・e)

Inoo • Isn’t that a little too simple? (decisively)

Yamada • !!!!

Nakajima • It’s ok, don’t be scared (while putting his arm around Yamada’s shoulders)

Inoo • I’m sorry, I’m sorry (lol). Well then, taking into account Mr Yamada’s idea, the new era will be the “Ean” era!! I hope that for us and for all of the readers of MORE, that this year is filled with the peace from your smiles ♡

Author: Claire

Almost 30-year-old Australian. I've been in love with JE idols for 10 years now. Started with Arashi, moved on to JUMP and recently I've fallen in love with Ebi. I started studying Japanese with a tutor after I graduated university, and have been teaching myself ever since. I lived in the Japanese countryside and taught English at primary and middle school for two years. Currently back in Australia, working as a speech therapist and am about to get married~!

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