The Bonkurasu Brigade

Perfume Portfolio Interview : Translated

“tannoy5” from the Perfume City Forums has recently finished translating the whole chunk text found in Perfume’s first photobook, Perfume Portfolio. Credits to him and his translator Yosuke Yamamoto!

(General editing done by sentinel011)



A-CHAN

A-CHAN’s 10 Key Words

Name: A-CHAN (Ayaka Nishiwaki)
Birthday: 2/15/1989
Hometown: Hiroshima, Japan
Blood Type: A
Height: 160cm

1. Good Points: Well…Let’s see…I find a lot of good points about people around me.
2. Bad Points: Talking is good, but I talk too much.
3. Hobby: Geek out about Japanese idols.
4. Special Skills: Being a mood maker.
5. Treasure: Fan letter box. A letter from Aiko (Famous Japanese Singer). SPEED (Famous Japanese girl’s group)’s Tour T-shirts.
6. Who do you admire?: Ms. Mikiko (Dance Teacher)
7. If you were an animal, what you would be?: Pomeranian
8. Favorite word: You’ll be happy after the storm.
9. Lucky Color: Pink, White
10. Things you always carry: Perfume, lipbalm, the bracelet, which is made by the power stones.

The Old Days

-I started working in the entertainment world as a model ever since I was in kindergarten, and I was also singing at the some festivals, held in the neighborhood. I was the kid who loved the spotlight. I loved and got influenced by SPEED, and I went to an actor’s school when I was a 5th grade in an elementary school.-

It was that period of time when one of most famous Japanese singer group, SPEED, got very popular, and I was very interested in the Acting school where SPEED went. There was a radio show I was always listened to. It is called “B.B.Wave,” and since it was airing at 2 in the morning, I asked my mom to record the show, and I listened to it after school. I was very interested in an Actor’s school. I started to learning how to act at the actor’s school when I was in 5th grade in my elementary school year, so I wrote specific goals for future on the class book. I wrote, “I will make everybody to know my name, Ayaka Nishiwaki as a star.” …Big mouth dreamer (lol). I, however, needed this aggressive style at the actor’s school, because every kid at the school already have big goals.

-It was very difficult and challenging when I started out as an entertainer. Lessons were so hard, but thanks to my family, I could face the problems.-

From 5th grade in elementary school to 8th grade in junior high school, I spent the whole time at the school. A regular school finished at 3pm and after school, I directly went to the actor’s school. I usually got home at around 1 or 2 in the morning, and I did homework and I went to school at 7am I just slept for 3 hours. What a crazy schedule (lol), I cannot do that right now. I, however, was that serious and having fun with it. My mom really supported me. She was the one who took me to the school, and came to pick me up, even the distance between my home to the school was very far. Yes, my family supported me so much. The tuition for the actor’s school was very very expensive. My family just let me do anything I wanna try, and cheer me up. I deeply appreciated my father, mother, sister and brother, and my grandmother’s support. If I was not in the entertainment world, I would be a kindergarten teacher (lol).

-It happened so suddenly as to how I met the other Perfume members.

At first, I met KASHIYUKA at the actor’s school. Her first impression was …kinda gloomy actually (lol). She was always wearing in all black (lol). Long t-shirts, pants, and shoes…everything was in black! Since my mom actually bought a lot of colorful outfit for me, and I was always wearing that, I was very shocked by her appearance. KASHIYUKA didn’t talk anything…(lol). Her aura was so dark. It was just shocking for me (lol).
How did I talk to her? Oh, maybe my mom and KASHIYUKA’s mom talked first time, and I introduced myself and I said “Nice to meet you” and asked her handshaking. KASHIYUKA told me later that the handshaking was a shocking happening for her that time. Yeah, she was more like a boy.
At the 2nd recital in the actor’s school, I met NOCCHI. KASHIYUKA and me were in the same class, but NOCCHI was not. In the actor’s school, there were classes from A through F. A class was for around first or second graders, B class was for fourth or sixth graders, C class was for high school kids, and D class was for anybody who do not have enough skills to get in to those classes. KASHIYUKA and me were in that class (lol), but NOCCHI was in B class already. In that recital, B class and D class performed SPEED’s medley together, and NOCCHI was singing solo in that recital. It is very hard thing to get solo in the school, but NOCCHI did it. KASHIYUKA and me were so amazed by her performance.

-We were in a different group, but since there were some member changes, A-CHAN asked NOCCHI to join her, and that is how we got together as Perfume.

One of the members in the group I was in that time broke away, and NOCCHI joined. KASHIYUKA and I were always together, and also, NOCCHI and I were good friends… But KASHIYUKA and NOCCHI didn’t have much interaction. They came my house to spend night one time, and I think that is the first time they actually talked.

Now

-Ever since we moved to Tokyo, our bond became stronger. We became to be able to talk everything from the bottom of our hearts.

We didn’t know what moving to Tokyo really meant that time. We were just too excited about the fact were gonna move to Tokyo.
I, however, actually learned that traditional belief in the power of words exists. We were just saying that we gonna debut by Spring, and then we released some indie label CD, and we were just saying that we want to release another CD, and it came true also. One year later since we moved to Tokyo, we were saying let go to same high school exam and hopefully everybody got in. It came true again. So, I just realized that if I say my goal or hope, I tend to keep working hard on it to come it true.

-Yes, the power of a word does exist, but we also went through many challenging times in Tokyo, and we handled those problems individually.

There were many unforgettable experiences. One of them is the work at Sanrio Puroland. We were working with many characters from Sanrio that time. Sun Street of Kamedo is also good memory. Mr. Kamedo taught us about the live performance, we also learned how difficult it is to get fame, and we realized how small we were in the entertainment world in Japan. Moreover, we were trained as singers.
The event at Loft in Shinjuku was a new style event for us that time. It was the first time to sing with bands. This experience taught us how to enjoy music, and we felt so happy in that event as musicians. We cooked in the live performance too (lol), including a cake, and ramen.

-We constantly think on how we can improve further.

We were always thinking about Perfume. One time, our ex-manager said to us, “You guys do not have individual needs or ego. You guys always say your needs or hopes as a group, Perfume. It was not how I become famous, or how I can improve. It is always how Perfume can step next level. That is why our staff supports us so much because they believe we have serious visions as a performer for the group. We actually always acted as professionals since we were in the actor’s school. We learned and knew how idols should be in this country, so we didn’t even get close to people who smoke, drink, and even for Mr. Nakata’s DJ event, we didn’t show up, simply because we didn’t want people to misunderstand us. We were not even famous, but we were that serious. We always make a move with strong ambition. We also learned the right attitude for everything from the artists who belongs to same agency, and staff.

-We were changing little by little, but very positively.

We talk about the memories in the university, and TV we watched last night (lol). We talk about fashion and cool guys (lol). Since we moved to Tokyo, we opened our heart each other. When we were in actor’s school, we tend to be overly nice to each other. Well, I was the one who was always with high energy and noisy (lol). We are growing up mentally. NOCCHI and KASHIYUKA too. NOCCHI became more sociable, and KASHIYUKA has changed a lot. I don’t know how to explain, but we love each other and we are also best friends.

-We were sophomores in a college. Private life was also very productive.

Since I started my life as a artiste, there was almost no time to be able to relax or enjoy life as Ayaka Nishiwaki, not as A-CHAN. But now, I got back some of my moment or time that I become just 19 years old girl. There are many nice people around me. Since I went to college, the chance to talk to friends who doesn’t belong to entertainment world increased, and it was very fun. I don’t put my make-up on to go to college (lol). I am that open and enjoying my college life.

-My views on love?

Well, I don’t think the first impression does tell almost everything about that person (lol). But I like person who didn’t give me strong first impression. I also like person who doesn’t make me feel anxious, and I prefer dry person, because usually those people are very nice to people who are special for him. Even if he doesn’t talk much, he is caring and has responsibility, I like that. There are some people who don’t say anything, but do things for others. And even he did it, he didn’t need tell us. I think it’s very nice and there are few people who can do this. When I notice that, I feel so happy and become liking that person.
I do have marriage plans. Well, one of the fortune-teller told me I’ll find somebody who is rich in 2 years (lol).

The future

-I wanna be charming person.

I want to become a woman who is loved by not only guys, but also girls too. I wanna be the person who always give positive aura to other people.

-Perfume’s Future.

I actually cannot think about the future. I am just doing my best and keep concentrating on right now. One of our biggest dreams came true, live at Budoukan. My first order is always being with Perfume members. Again, as we are still growing up, and I want to keep learning many things from people around me. Also, we now have some young artists who follow us, so I want to give right and nice attitude to them just like we were given in the past. I will do anything our staff, and our fans want us to do with NOCCHI and KASHIYUKA forever.

KASHIYUKA

KASHIYUKA’s 10 Key Words

Name: KASHIYUKA (Yuka Kashino)
Birthday: 12/23/1988
Hometown: Hiroshima, Japan
Blood Type: A
Height: 160cm

1. Good Points: Always calm.
2. Bad Points: High pride.
3. Hobby: Taking pictures, listening to music.
4. Special Skills: I am good at letting cell phone strap into it (lol).
5. Treasure: Everything. So that I cannot throw anything away…
6. Who do you admire?: Ms. Mikiko (Dance teacher)
7. If you were an animal, what you would be?: Cat
8. Favorite word: Secret.
9. Lucky Color: Black, Red, and Purple
10. Things you always carry: Cell phone. I cannot live without cellphone.

The Old Days

-I had never worn a skirt before, I just wear only black. That was my trademark at that time.

I actually don’t like to be in front of people in the beginning (lol). Black costumes or wearing black makes me feel relaxed. I do not like raffishness and girlish outfits.
My mom wanted me to wear cute girly outfits, but I always brushed off (lol). I didn’t think that I wanna show myself as a cutie, and I didn’t dislike girls but I just didn’t wanna be a girl. Going actor’s school was not my decision actually. It was my mom. So, that is why I hated to go to the acting school in the beginning.
At the elementary school, I was not the kind of student who raise their hands and answer the questions. Again, I didn’t dislike it, but I guess I was too shy to do everything.

-Yet now I am one of the members of Perfume who will be performing at Budoukan for 2 days in front of 20,000 people.

It’s funny, isn’t it? (lol). Everybody says I am confused. The reason why I was keep going to actor’s school was dance. I loved dance class. I’d never thought I would be a singer (lol). So, that is why I didn’t have any hero or heroine musicians in that time. I, of course had favorite songs and music, but I thought music was the thing I listen to, not to sing (lol). In school, I was always thinking, “Why do I have to sing in front of these scary people?” (lol). I, however, was so into dance. Dance kept me to go to the school.

-I’m still accepting the fact that I sing for a living

I am not good at singing still… I am getting used to listen to my voice, but still uncomfortable. So that is why I’ve never had experience that I did sing perfectly with full of confidence. Of course, I loved our songs once recording and mixing was finished, but I just do not like myself when I am singing. So, that is why I hate Karaoke (lol). I love music, but I don’t like singing… Oh, but I like humming (lol).

-My first impressions about the members.

A-CHAN was just like A-CHAN right now (lol). When we had an orientation in the actor’s school, I didn’t see any people who were around my age, and I was so ready to go home. After lesson, I went to my mom and my mom was talking to other person. That was A-CHAN’s mom. I was thinking about A-CHAN as a high-energy girl, and then she said “Nice to meet you!!” and gave a handshake. I was like, “What is this girl?” (lol). I was never seen the girl like A-CHAN and I was like “N…Nice to meet you too…” From then, A-CHAN and me has been best friends.
As we were still young, there were some change in character as time goes by, but A-CHAN doesn’t change much. She is always very aggressive, outgoing, she wanna do something new and try anything she interested in. She, however, became more girly these days (lol).
At the actor’s school, NOCCHI was not Perfume member. At that time, NOCCHI was singing with other 4 people as a different group. So, at the beginning, I didn’t know about NOCCHI or anything. I actually talked to her through A-CHAN. When I went to A-CHAN’s house to hang out, I talked to her. It was very awkward at that time (lol). To get know about each other, we talked about our future, but A-CHAN went to take a bath (lol). I couldn’t talk to NOCCHI without A-CHAN (lol). A-CHAN asked us to solve some quizzes on cell phone, and NOCCHI and me just playing with cell phone (lol). Our conversations were just like, “Did you solve?” “Hmmm…No…” (lol). I do not remember how we became such a great friends like now (lol).

-Two different cool girls in one group.

I think it was the time our debut for indie label was approved; we practiced until late of the night everyday. NOCCHI’s house was very far away from the studio, so she had to take a bus or express train. So, I offered a ride for her to the train station because my mom always picked me up after practice. My mom and me gave a ride to NOCCHI everyday since then, and we became close friends. It was fun at that time. Even as we went to the convenience store to buy some snack, we always yelped with delight (lol). Since NOCCHI has fear of strangers also, it was perfect time to get know each other.

Now

-I love my college life!

When we are hanging out, we talk about the time when we were not together. It is so fun to share stories with them. I am really enjoying my college life now. It is good break time for me. I do eat lunch with friends at the cafeteria, and I do not have to hide from anything. I do not change myself as a student and as a performer. I am always just Yuka Kashino, so when I am on stage, I enjoy live concert very much, and when I am in college, I enjoy hanging out with people. Everybody says that I know how to swim with the tide.

-My view on love?

I am actually the person who always has to be the mood for love (lol). So, I always am trying to find somebody cool (lol). It is not like “I wanna date with him.” But more of, “If he is falling love with me, what am I going to do?” It’s fun (lol). I enjoy the process on love. Some people get me wrong way (lol).
My type is skinny guy. I see some beauty in slenderness. And I also feel some beauty in some voice. I like husky voice (lol). I, however, do not want to do kissy-kissy relationships. A lot of girls feel happiness when they feel be loved, but I am opposite. If I feel love too much, it becomes pressure to me. Am I dangerous? Yes, I am a dangerous girl (lol).

The future

-My goal as a woman is to be stronger, and to be sweet.

I wanna pull myself together always, but being nice to people. I am still learning on it. Sometimes my pride bothers me.

-I am not good to take advantage of people’s kindness.

I cannot take advantage of people’s kindness. It is my biggest challenge right now. I love A-CHAN and NOCCHI, of course, and I trust them, but I cannot even ask favors from them sometimes. It is part of personality, but especially for girls, I get scared of asking something. I guess I have fear for breaking up good relationships . I have been spending time with A-CHAN and NOCCHI for 9 years, and we are the best friends, but at the same time, I sometimes have fear like “What if they come to dislike me?” Hmm…I don’t know myself either (lol).

-I need to know what my position in Perfume is.

It’s one of the reasons why I sometimes lose my mind. A-CHAN and NOCCHI have strong characteristics. A-CHAN is cute and girly. NOCCHI is cool, and boyish. What am I?? So, if I can find my character, I think I can be more stable mentally.

-Perfume is the proof that I exist.

I sometimes totally lose my confidence and become very negative. I am trying to find my position very hard as a member of Perfume. I used to cry whenever concerts were over back in the days, because I didn’t have confidence. One of the staff said to me, “Think of just one thing you can trust.” That word saved me, and I realized the things that are precious and I can put my trust on are fans, staff, and the members. I will keep working hard to improve myself as a person, as part of Perfume.

NOCCHI

NOCCHI’s 10 Key Words

Name: NOCCHI (Ayano Otomo)
Birthday: 9/20/1988
Hometown: Hiroshima, Japan
Blood Type: A
Height: 164cm

1. Good Points: I do not get mad.
2. Bad Points: Sometimes irresponsible
3. Hobby: Being relax in my room.
4. Special Skills: Cut food into strips.
5. Treasure: Letters
6. Who do you admire?: Everybody who works hard.
7. If you were an animal, what you would be?: Dog
8. Favorite word: What one likes, one will do best.
9. Lucky Color: Purple
10. Things you always carry: Make-up kit.

The old days

-When I was a little kid…

I was the kid who fears strangers, but I didn’t dislike anybody in particular. I was the kid who loves people. I was also forgetful. I’m still like that(lol). I always forget something to bring to school. One day I forgot to bring my school bag (lol). It was when I was 4th grade. After I arrived to the school, I was like, “…Where is my school bag…???” (lol). I forgot to bring some of the paper works for this interview today also… I need to fix that (lol).

-First love…

When I was 5 years old during preschool. I fell in love with one boy (lol). It was during winter, and there are a lot of snow. The boy was playing with at a slide, I went to him, and a photographer came to us and asked us to take our picture. I was so happy (lol). I do not remember about him much, but my mom told me about him later. My mom said that the boy was a typical boisterous boy (lol).

-My dream when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a singer. When I was a 3rd grade, I admire SPEED. I was singing and doing recital with my friends in the classroom. I get scared when I talk to people by myself, but sometimes I get confidence whenever I perform. I believed, perhaps almost knew I’ll be a singer someday.

-When I was a 4th grade, I start going actor’s school, and I met them.

Lesson was basically twice a week, but I went to school everyday. Lessons for acting, correct methods to talk to people, and how to walk nicely. I was in another dance school also, so I didn’t have any Saturday and Sunday, but it was not hard and it didn’t trouble me at all. I thought it was part of my commitment.

-That was my main part in my elementary school.

I was hanging out with my friends during school. So, I didn’t know what I should do when I hang out outside of school with my friends (lol). I saw A-CHAN and KASHIYUKA at the recital in my actor’s school. Their group was consisted of 3 people and named, Perfume. I really enjoyed their performance. They were the idols in my school.

-I joined Perfume when I was 6th grade.

A-CHAN and me were already good friends at that time; we were hang out many times. KASHIYUKA and me however, had not met each other yet. We both are kind of people who need some time to get to know each other. At first, we couldn’t talk to each other without A-CHAN around.
Once we became friends, however, we did hang out a lot. We went to shopping malls to take a picture at the print club before lessons.

Now

-I moved to Tokyo when I was 14 years old.

I was so happy when I moved to Tokyo. I didn’t miss my hometown.

-BEE-HIVE.

Our first job as Perfume was alive concert sponsored by the agency, BEE-HIVE. We did rehearsals so many times for this show. After this show was over, we didn’t get any other jobs, so I was very anxious about our future. I, however, had never thought to give up, and I’d never thought we gonna get this busy like now.

-Our bond.

A-CHAN is the specialist of affecting moods. If A-CHAN is happy, everybody become happy, and if A-CHAN is sad, everybody become sad. She is always caring for people and very kind. KASHIYUKA hides her real feelings even if she is going through some difficulties. And she is easily moved to tears. Our bond is very strong. We do not change our personalities at work and private. We are always the same. That fact brings us strong and great friendship, teamwork, and trust.

-Our fashion changed a lot.

I was sophomore of a high school when I did debut with major label. I was always wearing boyish style outfits. Lately I am trying to wear more girly style also. I couldn’t wear skirts before because it was too girly for me (lol). But since we are trying to wear a lot of styles costumes these days, and there are some girly styles, so I guess I am just getting used to it.

-I liked Hip-Hop music when I started to listen to music.

I like listening to Hip-Hop music, including Rip Slyme, Kick the Can Crew, and Rhymester. Also I liked to listen to J-Pop. One day, I tried to listen to techno music at a CD shop, and it became one of my favorite genres. I bought a lot of Nakata’s CDs. I listen to Rock music also these days. One of my favorites is Asian Kung-fu Generation. Now, I am trying to listen to many different music genres.

-I like the time when I spend at my room, just doing nothing.

When I have a day off, I just sleep until evening, and go to shopping at night. That’s it (lol). It is very simple (lol). I do cook also. I am trying to learn more recipes right now.

-My view on love?

Hmm, I like black hair guys, and I like gentle attitude guy. I also like fashionable guys, but not too complicated. Simplicity is best.

-My college life.

I was little bit nervous when I was a freshman, but I am comfortable right now. When I was a freshman, I didn’t know how to spend time with friends…I was always like “What should I talk about???”

The future

-I want to be like Ringo Shiina.

I admire Ringo Shiina. She is very cute, but also very stylish and cool. I want to be a performer who has a lots of female fans. One day, a girl came to me and said, “I cut my hair short because I wanna be like you!” I was so happy when I hear that. Again, I wanna try to be a good cook. Since I do have marriage plans, learning how to cook is important to me (lol). I want to find the person who gonna be a good daddy for my kids, someday, somehow (lol).

-We will never break up.

I love our strong relationship between us. I wanna be 20 years old ASAP, and go to the bar with A-CHAN and KASHIYUKA. I’m just wondering how we gonna be when we get drunk (lol). I do have several friends around me, but A-CHAN and KASHIYUKA are really special to me we’re the best of friends. (During the point of the interview, NOCCHI, as well as A-CHAN and KASHIYUKA are still 19.)

6 comments

6 Comments so far

  1. Jesus Downing April 26th, 2012 7:16 am

    Thank you for having an interview with Perfume! I wanted to know more about them as a fan, without going through all the unknown or unofficial information about them. I would like to know what they really think compared to somebody just randomly posting information about the lives and this is as close as I get to them, I think. Bonkurasu Brigade, you are awesome! :]

  2. sentinel011 April 27th, 2012 3:48 am

    Hey, thanks for your wonderful comment. =) I merely edited the translation for easier reading.

  3. Jesus Downing July 13th, 2012 9:46 am

    You are welcome sentinel011! :) I am sorry that it took me so long to reply, I do not understand how your site works. I thought that I would get an email, when you replied to my comment.

    Sorry, I did not know I could not get it like that. Thanks again for translating the interview, so people that do not know Japanese could enjoy it too! It was interesting and those ladies rock, always! :D

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