-You wrote on your blog that you couldn't talk with Acchan in person during Tokyo Dome concert.
“Honestly I wanted to talk to her in person, and wanted to take a photo with her, too. But because I didn't say good bye to her, I'm really looking forward to seeing her again.”
-I heard you sent a message to her instead.
“Yes. I sent a very long message to her lol”
-If you don't mind, may I ask you to share what you wrote to her?
“Yes, but only a little bit, okay? When we were together at the filming of Majisuka Gakuen, I played a role of Gakuran and spent a lot of time with Acchan. And, during a break, she found a magazine where I appeared in girly clothes. Looking at it, she casually said 'Sae-chan, you're totally different in this magazine. I think it's your strong point that you can show the two sides of you, and there're few people who can do a thing like this actually, so I think this is good.'” I myself didn't think that way, so Acchan helped me realize it. So I expressed my gratitude to her about this in the message.
-Your transfer to SNH48 was announced at the first day of Tokyo Dome concert. I was so surprised! May I ask you the reason why you decided the transfer?
“Actually I was told about the transfer only 3 days before the Tokyo Dome concert. Of course I was surprised. When he started talking about it, my first reaction was 'How come? What am I lacking!!!??' Then Akimoto-sensei told me 'I think it's good for you to aim at becoming a world class actress. So I want you to learn anything that can be learned in China. I figured Sae is the only person who can lead SNH48.' And… actually I have had an affliction for the last 2 or 3 years, and was thinking to make some change with Tokyo Dome as a cue. So when I heard the offer of transfer from Akimoto-sensei, I figured this is the chance I've been waiting for, let's give everything I've got!! This offer made me ponder a lot upon my life.”
-Have you consulted someone about your transfer?
“I talked with Akimoto Sayaka and Oshima Yuko. Plus staffs. Almost everyone said that this will definitely do good for me. So I determined that it's definitely not wrong to accept this offer.”
-I guess your parents were surprised.
“At last, they gave me a supportive push. But this is the first time my parents opposed my decision. They cried and asked me 'Why?'…. Both as parents and one fan of me, they felt so sad and lonely for my decision.”
-I think even your fans didn't know you had a sort of affliction for such a long time.
“I've been long worried…. or should i say I'm still worried. But if I didn't get an offer for Shanghai, I would have a bigger trouble, something that I could never find an answer to it forever. I… am a kind of person who don't like to do the same thing as others. So I've been always seeking for something that can be done only by me, something that I can be No.1 in AKB48…. I'm also surprised at my decision to go to Shanghai. But it's so great that I can try something that other AKB members have never done before, together with Mariyanne (鈴木まりや/すずきまりや). It's like…. I can be confident, I can stick my chest out.”
-Do you have dream or goal in China?
“I just think I want to expand the field of my activity. I want to take on various challenges. Because everything will be my first experience, it's other way round. I don't feel any fear.”
-Your transfer to Shanghai will pave a path for younger generations?
“I hope so. I hope my transfer to there will make junior members eager to follow me. For that, I will do it in all seriousness, because I think I made a decision for something worth risking my life. I was told the studying overseas will only be for one year at maximum, but I'm thinking that I want to be there until my heart's content. You can live you life only one time, so I don't want to have any regrets.”
-Finally, please leave message to your fans.
“When I made a decision on this transfer, it will be a lie if I say I didn't feel any anxiety if my fans wouldn't support my decision. But at the same time I believed that everyone will definitely support me and give me a supportive push on my back.
I will definitely return to Japan and show the improvement I've made to you. So please looking forward to it.
And, at last, let me say this. I'm not going to Shanghai to make a vacant spot, but I make a vacant spot to make myself move forward.”
-What Sato-san had been doing before you joined HKT48?
“I've worked for the management company of online video distribution, and I joined AKB48 related work because I got an offer to join the project to launch AKB48 Live On Demand. (skip) It was a little before the release of Ogoe Diamond.”
-In the summer of 2008?
“Yes. The first time I met with Sashihara Rino was when she was performing Tadaima Ren'aichu in Kenkyusei Stage.
how to get your ex boyfriend back
n style=”color: #800000;”>-It's A4th Revival stage. So for members, Sato-san was kinda of like a man in charge of DMM?
“I think they still think like that. Because I've been at the theater like everyday. (skip)”
“Before I joined AKB48, I've never been involved idol related business. The connection between Akimoto-san and me all started from Live On Demand. When I first met him, it's become an absolute order that I must distribute footage of theater performance online everyday. Akimoto-san said though we hold theater performance everyday, there's no same performance ever. I couldn't believe it at first, but members lineup changes everyday, there're accidental happenings, and members constantly change according to the reactions from audiences. So I experienced that there're no same performance ever myself.”
-Back when AKB48 released Ogoe Diamond, it was the dark period when AKB48 are struggling to find the bright future.
“They just changed the record label, and it was the time when they wanted to make a new start. So I haven't experienced a tough period unlike Togasaki-san. But I can say I walked together during the period when AKB48 has made their big breakthrough.”
-During that period, who left the strongest impression to you?
“The online distribution has started from A5th, K4th and B3rd. I think team A's performance was the most impressive.”
“But I love the old team K's 'Saishu Bell ga naru' stage. I love their athletic mood that was different from team A. (skip)
-And after a while HKT48 project has started.
“Yes. When I heard about the project, I asked to let me work as a project leader of it.”
-So you've started from zero, and done all the miscellaneous yourself.
“Yes. I think I've done the same thing what Togasaki-san has done to start the AKB48 project. It took almost one year to hold the Shonichi stage.”
-The audition for the 1gen HKT members finished on July 10, 2011. Did you have a feeling that this project will be successful?
“Because the average age of successful candidates are every low, I honestly felt uneasy. So I consulted Togasaki-san for many times.”
-What was the reactions from Akimoto-san?
“I was told, on the whole, the average level of members are very high.”
-So what's crucial is choosing Center. I know Akimoto-san made the final decision but you're the one who recommended him to let her to be Center of HKT48, right?
“Yes. But I asked opinions from others, of course. Dance instructors, Stage directors, managers… As a result, I couldn't think of anyone but Kodama. Kodama is the girl who works the hardest. She is an athletic type of girl, and had been playing basketball at a school, so she hates to lose to others.
But she is humble, at the same time. I think Center has to be loved by others. Ans I thought Kodama is loved by members the most. Sure, she left a lot to be desired but because HKT48 are younger, and AKB also couldn't do everything from the beginning I dared to choose Kodama for Center.
-And in this June, Sashihara joined HKT48, and HKT48 has suddenly become the center of attention.
“Suddenly HKT48 has reached the top gear. She already has several of regular shows in Fukuoka.”
-That's great. I think it has influenced other members in a good way.
“Because Sashihara is a girl who grabbed the chances herself, with her own efforts, I think members can learn a lot from her. Precisely speaking, it makes a whole lot of difference whether Sashihara joins MC or not.”
-I was surprised that 5 members suddenly graduated.
“Because they violated the rule that is imposed on members of 48 groups.”
-Especially, Sugamoto Yuko was the most famous members of HKT48. So I think it took a lot of nerve to make that decision. How the rest of members were like after the 5 left the group suddenly?
“I think they still feel lonely at the small corner of their hearts. There's a void in their hearts. But we can't let these feelings linger forever, and what we must do is just striving forward to our own dreams. So I believe that they are gradually overcoming it.”
-And now SKE48 members made surprise appearances in HKT48's theater performance.
“Memebers surely have a complex feeling about this. (skip)”
-This is the biggest change ever in HKT48's history.
-Who is the most anticipated member for you?
“Everyone. But especially I expect Anai Chihiro's captaincy. I want her to be closer to Takahashi Minami whom she admires. (skip) She always tries to make the team one. And everyone listens to Anai's word, and Anai listen to everyone, too. And… maybe Sakura. I think now Sakura has the wind at her back.
-What is the character of HKT48?
“Akimoto-san told HKT48 to become the most friednly group. Certaily they are very friendly to each other but I think members misunderstand what the word actually means. (skip) Personally I want them to be a group that can sing, because many of the members dreams are to become a singer. ”
From BUBUKA November Issue