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Matsui Jurina Long Interview - Entame magazine (released end of March 2012).

Note : interview was obviously taken before SSA and you can read how much Jurina
sacrificed for SKE, how much she love this group and wish for it to succeed wit
h her. Also, how tactlessly Aki-P has been treating her ever since she entered t
he group. I respect Yasusu for being a great business man, but I really have a h
ard time not hating him when I read things like what Jurina said in the intervie
w.
To all Jurina fans, please enjoy.

The 3 years span during which I want to become an adult(congratulations for enteri
ng high-school!)
At the time of Oogoe Diamond, this young girl was only 11. Three years and a half
have passed since then. SKE48 member entering high school this spring, Matsui Ju
rina. What was the busiest middle school student of all Japan thinking at this tim
e, why the tears?
6th year of primary school, the selection for Oogoe Diamond
Strong but weak. I think thats the perfect expression to describe myself You could
say that Im good at making myself look strong, maybe? Fans and staff alike tell
me Youre Jurina, you can do it. Its like they saw me as if I was already an adult so
mehow. Thats why I manage as best as I can. Even when from the bottom of my heart
I think Impossible, I cant do it. I dont really let surface this weak-part of mysel
f.
SKE48 - Matsui Jurina. Celebrating her birthday on March 8th, she just turned 15
. When I asked her what opinion she had of herself, she stopped for a while and
here is what she replied.
In 2008, she was selected to become double center with Maeda Atsuko in AKB48 10t
h single Oogoe Diamond. She was then in her 6th year of elementary school, had pas
sed the audition she had freshly succeed only 3 months earlier.
At the time, only very few knew of the existence of SKE48 and Matsui Jurina, the
face who brought the first signs of the long awaited recognition of AKB48 by th
e general public.
3 years and a half later, the Nagoya based group has grown to sell over 50k copi
es and the once elementary student is entering high school. SKE48s break story is
also the story of her struggle/battle.
Matsui Jurina idol career started with her coming and going between Nagoya and T
okyo.
Until then, I had only ever stop to Tokyo on my way to Disney Land, the first ti
me I came to Tokyo for real was for AKB 1.59 (Nihon Televi) recording. At the time
, it was only Masana (Ooya Masana) and me. There are so many things we have over
come together Masana and me, even now when I need to talk seriously to someone,
she is the one I turn to. When we started, I had no idea how to put make-up, she
was always the one to do it for me.
The success was such that the term
e who became fans thanks to Oogoe)
popularity of AKB48. There, Jurina
How does it feels to watch this MV

Oogoe shinki(literally Oogoe new customers, peopl


was created following the phenomenal rise of
gathered all the attention.
now?

Memories come back to the surface and I end up sobbing. For example if Im a bit t
roubled, I would watch it and think See, it was way more painful/difficult at thi
s time! . Now, AKB48 and myself know each other but at the time, it was a complet

e new experience for everyone, I had the feeling to have been brought along to s
tand alone among the group, the anxiety wouldnt leave me. To enter the group all
of a sudden and center in top of that. I was so scared I cant fully remember the
scale of that feeling now. But thinking about it, Im really grateful I was only i
n 6th grade at the time. Probably, if I had been in high school, I would have lo
ts of unnecessary thinking, it would have taken much longer to adapt myself.
Actually, Im really grateful to everyone who kindly received me when we were intr
oduced, like Mariko-san (Shinoda Mariko). But I strongly felt that I didnt want t
o cause trouble to anyone, to slow down anyone, so when everybody was on break I
was alone secluding myself in the lesson room to practice. I couldnt remember a
thing. I was desperate, digesting everything I was said / scold for. It was so h
ard I broke into tears many times. I hate crying in front of people so I would g
o where there is nobody to cry by myself. It possible that I used up all my tear
s thanks to those times Nowadays I only cry very rarely. Even if I cry of joy, I
wont show tears of frustration.
The everyday upheaval of coexisting between AKB48 and SKE48
As the 1st step of the plan to develop AKB48 all around Japan, in July 2008, aud
itions for the 1st generation of SKE48 took place. Among a total of 2670 names,
the last successful applicant whose name was called up was Matsui Jurina.
In primary school, I think was a good student (laugh), but I was primarily a liv
ely kid. I was the only girl blending with the boys to play dodge-ball or cavalr
y battle. Hum, Im really strong at dodge-ball! I was feared by everyone. Since ki
ndergarten my dream was to be a singer, I often went to koraoke with my mother t
o sing. I was only in 6th grade then so when I heard auditions were to be hold i
n my area, I decided to sign up.
One month later, the 22 members of the 1st generation were introduced during AKB
48 1st open air concert, in Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall.
Around this time I was constantly practicing showcase songs and only them. Even
though it was summer holidays from dawn to dusk I would practice the dance for t
he same song all day long. I was reckless then, and it was for everyone, we were
nt used to dance so our bodies hurt. The lesson room always stinked of poultice (
laugh).
While she had to prepare for the 1st representation of Party ga hajimaruyo decided
for October, Jurina had been selected to participate in AKB48 Oogoe Diamond, resu
lting in having lessons for both tasks piling up. No matter what, time was missi
ng. Hating appearing in front of the public without having a perfect grasp on th
e choreography , the day of her theater debut, she contemplated refusing to appe
ar on stage.

It was clear for me that there was no way I would go on stage that time. Lessons
with AKB48 clashed with those for the stage so I couldnt practice properly. I di
dnt have any self-confidence regarding that performance so my body gave-up, I got
a terrible headache and was extremely nauseous. As a result, I didnt attend the
rehearsal on the day of the performance. I thought the show wouldnt suffer from i
t, I told the staff that apart for the 3 opening songs, I didnt want to appear on
stage. It was the first day of our theater stage and for the occasion Akimoto s
ensei had came to see it. And then, he dragged me to a separate room and told me
Youre going to perform, right?. I couldnt answer anything else than Yes. After thi
cried aloud. Waah-waah, I cried like a small kid.
The pride of being SKE48 theater performances center
Usually the youngest members are treated as imouto character, but Matsui Jurina ca

se was different. Having been appointed center, despite her young age, just lik
e a devilish sergeant, she commanded to the team to continuously push it forward
.
At first, I was always telling the members exactly and directly what I thought.
I would get mad if there was a member who couldnt master a dance. But it happened
that I went a bit too far. In every team, there is an appointed leader, I thoug
ht to myself that maybe it wasnt for me who was the younger in the group to tell
members off, so there was a period where I had stopped speaking my mind. But I wa
s constantly trying to figure out Where lies SKE48 uniqueness ?. After listening t
o fans impressions and advices, I went to talk with the members. How could we br
ing out our individuality, what did we need to do to raise the quality of our sh
ows.

In 2009, AKB48 achieved their full scale break. At the same time, the repeated s
teady performances taking place in SKE48 theater gained a firm reputation This st
age is great!. In August 2009, their 1st single Tsuyoki Monoyo reached the 5th plac
e in weekly Oricon ranking. After that too, Aozora Kataomoi, Gomenne, SUMMER, 1!2!3!4
! Yoroshiku! steadily progressed toward the top of Oricon ranking. And finally, i
n March 2011 Banzai Venus was adorned with the so earnestly desired 1st place.
Since I entered SKE48, that has been my biggest joy. We had always been 2nd or 3
rd, it felt like we finally made another step forward. During handshake events,
many fans told us The next one too, it will rank on top of the charts, no doubt!,
between members too you could hear Next time too!, like everyone was set on the sa
me objective. To the point I start thinking, contrary to everybody else, that it
would be best if we were not to claim 1st position right next after.
The now well established AKB48 General Elections. For the 1st edition, in 2009,
she ranked 19th. She was the only member from SKE48 to enter the single selectio
n. The next year, for the 2nd edition she ranked 10th. While other members from
SKE48 ranked, this result was the proof that her fame had spread to a national l
evel.
And came the 3rd year. Ranking lower than the previous year, she ended up 14th.
In the so called WMatsui where both were constantly compared, Matsui Rena (10th) h
ad taken the lead.
Even before the 3rd General Election start, I already felt a lot of pressure. Wou
ldnt it be really bad if I didnt ranked 1st among SKE48 members?, I was constantly
thinking stuff like this. No matter the circumstances, I thought I needed to be
set as the vanguard. The pressure was really enormous. But after the elections I
came to think Its not such a big deal if Im not 1st!. I realized this wasnt my goal.
Of course it makes me happy to be supported individually, but more than anything
I want to hear There cant be SKE48 without Jurina, I want for everyone to recogniz
e my existence as such. (tl n: implied as a fundamental element of SKE48)
Once I had realized this, I felt a bit better.
Since weve started, Ive been compared with Rena-chan a lot, but we really only hav
e our family name in common. Our age and type are very much apart, we dont see ea
ch other as rivals. But I think fans see us as such (laugh). Making Rena-chan or
Maeda Atsuko-san my role models, I want to learn a lot from them. And so in 4 o
r 5 years, I want to grow to be a much more important person than I am now. (tl
n : literally to grow into a much bigger existence)
Middle school Jurina, SKE48 Jurina
During the sport festival of my 1st year of middle school I took part in the 100
m run. Because I always practiced athleticism, I volunteered for the event. And
so I won the race. I could hear voices around me She is fast for an idol~ (laugh)
. The last day of my 2nd year in middle high, we had a meet up with 20 kids of t
he class. We all went to the shopping mall, to play and eat. On our way back we

played tag in some sort of vacant land I thought So thats what it is like to be you
ng, I really had a lot of fun (laugh).
This spring, she graduated from middle school to enter high school. Between her
student life and her various activities in the world of public entertainment, sh
e was the busiest and most pressed middle schooler of all Japan. What look does
she have on those past 3 years?
So far because of my age, there were restrictions regarding the time until which
I could perform on TV, I experienced that frustration many times. Now that I en
ter high-school, Ill be able to perform one hour more on many occasions, Ill also
be allowed to wear more adult outfits (tl n : bikini orz), I want people to say t
hings like She has grown into a young lady, hasnt she?. I want to become an adult f
ast, I strongly wish for it. And then, I want to become a proper adult. Its possi
ble that I completely missed what a middle school student would usually experien
ced. But I got to experience so much more than any other middle school student,
by being mixed with adults all the time, I think I came to see the best in them
as well as the worst. Thats why I believe I could become a wonderful adult. Latel
y thats the expectation I have been nourishing for myself.
In other words, she cant imagine herself who wouldnt be part of SKE48. All along, w
hat helped her to keep going forward?

There are times, when my physical condition turn really bad, where I wonder if g
iving up on everything wouldnt be better for myself. I also wonder at times Wouldnt
I have enjoyed my school life more if I didnt enter SKE48? But normal middle sch
ool students too are bound to stumble over obstacles, there are many walls they
need to cross over no matter what, there is no such thing as a life without worr
ies and distress.
All of us, every member without exception, have to shoulder the responsibility o
f representing SKE48, so when new members enter the group I take upon myself to
strictly coach them. When SKE48 was formed, we had a relentless dance teacher, b
ut there isnt such person around anymore. Thats why, now, we need to watch over e
ach other ourselves. It may be an odd way to put it but, when I take actions its
not as Matsui Jurinabut as SKE48s Matsui Jurina. Its always in the back of my mind.
yeah. I always gave my best to protect SKE48. Entering SKE48, I learned the impo
rtance of being true to myself. Burdening myself with too many responsibilities,
did I become stronger or did that made me weaker, Ive yet to find out.
___
Edit : Ive had people telling me you were both Aki-P fan and Jurina fan. Good for
them. But I do wonder how thats even possible when you read It possible that I us
ed up all my tears thanks to those times Nowadays I only cry very rarely. Even if
I cry of joy, I wont show tears of frustration. and then you watch the announceme
nt of SSA D2. How desperate must have she been? How humiliating must that have b
een for her to break down like this in front of 25k fans and all 48 group when s
he couldnt stand crying in front of AKB senbatsu members alone?
All of that could have been avoided easily. Make the announcement clearer, discu
ss it before hand with her but NO.Would have ruined the shock value of the announ
cement, right? And it was all Aki-Ps doing. Jurina didnt deserved to be humiliated
like this. And liking Jurina like I do, I resent Aki-P for that. Was it simply
a mistake from his part or does he really sees her as a merchandise, I dont know.
But what is sure is that I lose a lot of respect for him that day. And I wont ap
ology even if that irks some suck-*hum* fans.