Sorashige Book (26 June)
Continuing from last week, Shige wanted to read fan messages about the tour and respond to them. In particular he said that he wanted to talk about his solo song, ‘Ayame’.
The first message was from a fan who wrote in to tell them how wonderful Neverland was and said that it made them feel like NEWS are always by their fans’ sides, and thanked them saying they’ll keep supporting them.
Shige said that although many things happened during the tour, including him losing his voice, he was glad they were able successfully complete the tour. He said that although he thinks that every tour they’ve done has been good, that every year they are improving and that he felt that this tour was a culmination of all the work they’ve done thus far and the start of a new chapter. He said that while it’s a bit conceited to say so himself, that he feels like he can say with confidence that they were able to put together a concert that showed off their ability and was full of charm. He said that they received a lot of good feedback.
He also said that for their next concert, he wants to work hard and improve himself to make it even better. During this part he started to say for their concert next year, but then added that there’s a possibility that they could even have one this year too. He added that this concert made him love the fans even more, and love the members even more as well. He said that this tour was the final one for him while he’s still 29, and that he feels glad to have been able to come this far while still in his 20s but that he’s still aiming to go even higher.
This week Shige recommended a song by the artist Aimyon, starting off by mentioning that some fans may recognize her name because she wrote the lyrics to Johnny’s WEST’s song ‘Time goes by’. He said that the style was to his taste, and that it was interesting to have a female singing from a male point of view. He played her second single, ‘Ai wo Tsutaetaida toka’, praising her writing skills saying that he read the lyrics feeling like he wanted to learn from them.
Next he read two message from listeners concerning ‘Ayame’. The first was from a listener who went to see Neverland in Tokyo. They praised the concert and Shige’s solo in particular, saying that they thought the performance was very artistic and seeing it made them cry. They asked Shige to share any unknown stories about the solo.
The second message was from a listener who said Shige’s performance was so beautiful that it gave them goosebumps. They added that the part where he raised up a rainbow flag reminded many people of the painting ‘Liberty Leading the People’ by the french artist Eugène Delacroix. They also added that seeing the members recreate Shige’s solo in the MC made them think about how loved he must be by the members, staff, and juniors.
Shige said that actually they were correct. Some people had written in asking if his performance was a homage to Joan of Arc, but that it’s actually of Delacroix’s painting.
He said like how he explained in his Liner Notes series he posted on his jweb when he wrote out detailed explanations of each song on the album, he made his solo song after everything else, so although he may be viewed as someone who has a lot of things they want to do he wanted to work within the constraints of the worldview presented by the album. He started out thinking about what kind of performance he can do with the single long cat walk with the four cranes that come out of the stage there.
Since he had a strong vision of what he wanted for certain things, he conveyed his ideas to their choreographer, air:man. He said within the song itself, ayame (iris) has the image of starting from a seed, budding and then blooming into a flower before flying into the sky. Therefore, he started his performance laying on the stage, and he wanted to convey slowly standing up in steps in a contemporary dance style, and he wanted to make a rainbow with the cranes. Then when he came down from the cranes with the flag is the part that was a homage to the Delacroix painting.
He then addressed the question of why he had so many juniors in his solo performance when none of the other members used them at all. He said that it was necessary to have that many people in order to recreate the painting, and that it also helped the flow into the next song ‘Brightest’. He also said that having that many people together doing contemporary dance has quite an impact and it gave the performance a play-like feel. He said he’s really thankful to air:man for creating a dance that allowed him convey what he wanted to in his performance.
He also mentioned how he had to change the performance for Tokyo Dome a little since the dome doesn’t shut out sunlight like arenas do and therefore it was still a bit light out during his solo performance.
The next message was from a listener who went to the last arena performance in Hiroshima. They talked about how they loved Shige’s solo and cried watching his performance. They asked if the flowers on Shige’s costume were ayame and said that they wore ayame patterned clothes to the concert.
Shige confirmed that the pattern on his costume were ayame and said that he wanted it to fit loosely and to not have a clear shape to it. Although Massu usually designs all the costumes for their concerts, he doesn’t do them for Shige’s solos since Shige usually has a vision for what he wants. This time, he worked with a professional to make his costume and requested ayame print fabric that is just short of being see through, and he also was particular about performing barefoot. He said the juniors were going to be barefoot as well, but in the end he didn’t because it’s a little dangerous to perform on the stage barefoot, since there are places on the stage with the holes.
He said that the costumes make him look a little like a priest so one time in rehearsal he turned around and Akiyama Taiga (MADE) and Watanabe Haruki were praying to him.
He ended by saying he’d like to be able to perform Ayame again somewhere, like on a music show and said that there might a chance for that to happen.
Kchan NEWS (27 June)
Shige was the guest again this week. Shige talked about how he hasn’t been writing that much since the tour ended, and that while Koyama has work the next day after a tour ends his manager usually doesn’t schedule any work for him for around 2 days after. So for those days he just spent it at home not doing anything besides go to the gym.
Then he talked about how tuna season started a month early this year, usually it starts at the end of July but because it started early he couldn’t go.
The first message they read was from a listener who has a friend who sent a selfie of themselves with the message “Aren’t I cute?” and they weren’t sure what to say so they just replied “Yeah.” They asked Shige how he replies when Koyama sends him selfies, they wanted to know how to respond without hurting their friends feelings. Shige said that Koyama doesn’t really send selfies, it’s mostly Tegoshi who does, for instance when he’s getting acupuncture done. Then, the talk segwayed briefly to talk about Tegoshi stealing Koyama’s underwear. They talked about how Tegoshi had underwear that matched Koyama’s since it was one of the pairs that he had taken Koyama originally, but then he ended up taking the one that Koyama still owned as well so now he has 2 pairs of the same underwear.
Returning back to the question, they said that they wouldn’t know how to respond to a question like “Aren’t I cute?” saying that they don’t have any friends that do that. They suggested that she take a cute picture of herself to send back with the message “Aren’t I cute too?”.
The next message was from someone who was asked to take a picture by a group of strangers on their way back home from NEWS’ concert. They said that it’s too embarrassing to say “Ok, cheese!” when taking a picture and usually just end up saying “I’m taking the picture!” and asked them what they usually say and if they have any good not embarrassing phrases.
Shige said he doesn’t have one, so they decided to come up with one. Koyama suggested “Here we go, ok!” then started to suggest “Ok, cheese” before remembering that the listener wrote in about that one.
Shige then suggested saying “NEWS!” and sympathized that it’s difficult to know what to say to people you don’t know. They mentioned how apparently in Korea people say “Kimchi”.
They started trying to think of things that end in the “e” or “chi” sounds like in cheese and kimchi, and Koyama suggested “Ok, Shiiige!” Eventually they gave up and advised that the listener try to escape from those kind of situations instead.
The next message was from a student who said that recently their teacher said that the word “bijin” meaning “a beauty” or “a beautiful women” used to refer to men rather than women, and that the first thing that came to mind when they heard that was Shige. They said that when they went to see Neverland in Osaka, Shige was so beautiful that they had thought “So this is the kind of person you would call a bijin.” They said that they wrote in because they wanted to have Koyama empathize with them.
K: I know he is! S: What’s with this. (laughing) K: I’ll tell you a behind the scenes secret. Kato-san does facemasks when we’re in our dressing room. S: No! It’s because you gave them to me. The Nebuta facemask. (laughing)
They then talked about how when Koyama was lying down using an oxygen capsule, he raised his head and suddenly saw a “nebuta” and it surprised him. He yelled and jumped so hard his oxygen capsule went flying.
Shige then said that he never used to use facemasks, but he ended up receiving a lot of them for free so he used them a lot during this tour.
Koyama called Shige a bijin again and Shige protested saying that though they get a lot of mail calling him a bijin, his face is rather manly. Koyama explained that during concerts Shige is more pretty than wild. Shige protested again that all of the members are pretty. Shige then asked Koyama what he gets called and Koyama answered right away, “simple” and Shige added that Koyama’s become more manly. Then Koyama added that recently he’s been told that he looks older, and Shige said that he’s been told that he looks younger.
Koyama then read a message from a listener who said that recently whenever something unpleasant happens to them they’ve started to say “Shige!”. For some reason, it makes all their bad feelings go away instantly. They asked Koyama to please give it a try as well, and apologized to Shige for calling out his name so much.
Shige said it was ok to say his name when they’re irritated and then laughed asking if there weren’t any other messages, complaining that he didn’t know what else to say except “Thank you”.
The next message was from a listener asking them to listen to something that’s been happening to them lately. They continued on to say that Shige was getting cooler and cooler every day and that it was exhausting.
Listener: His looks, and his husky but occasionally mesmerizing voice are killing me, what should I do?
S: Live!! S: What’s with this!! K: Ok ok, I get it. I’m sorry I’m sorry. S: The only thing I can do is say “Thank you”!! K: Here’s the last message! We’ll be able to discuss this one.
The last message was from a listener wondering which phrasing they used for “bitten by a mosquito”, “ka ni kamareta” or “ka ni sasareta”.
S: This is when you’re supposed to read one about Shige! You’re supposed to repeat it three times! That was way too unexpected. K: (laughing)
S: “ka ni sasareta”? “Ka ni kamareta”? K: Yes. “ka ni kamareta” or “ka ni sasareta” S: Who cares!! I don’t care!! But if I had to say, then I use “sasareta”!!
Since this aired the day before the TV Tokyo Music Festival, they promoted it saying that they’d appear in a different way from usual.
Tegomass no Radio (28 June)
Massu started off by asking how things have been since the tour ended, and Tegoshi said that right after he had to go overseas for a shoot, but that’s okay because he likes going overseas. Massu said he had the meal for the staff at a friend’s shop, which usually only opens at night. His friend asked him to go over at around 3pm so they could have the staff meal together, and he did. And Tegoshi said he’s hungry and shall pop out for a meal. They told Sakura to put them on speaker so they can eat. They then reminded the listeners that the deadline for the live phone calls is just 2 days later, after which Tegoshi started fooling around and Sakura got exasperated. Massu told her not to give up, and that it’ll be fine. Sakura started reading the next mail, only to realise she got the wrong one.
The letter from the listener that was supposed to be read first requested for “Distance”, which fits her mood perfectly, as she feels empty after having gone to watch the Fukuoka and Hiroshima concerts. Tegoshi said they haven’t sang this song at the concerts and he’s very sure of that, because he likes this song.
Next they read a message from a 21 year old listener who wrote in seeking advice about her 9 year old brother. He hates to lose and when playing a game of cards he gets angry and cries if he loses and won’t stop playing until he wins. He plays little league baseball, but when it comes to playing pitcher he doesn’t volunteer when the team is asked who wants to pitch that day because he doesn’t want to not do it perfectly so he gives up before even trying. She asked for advice since they don’t understand hating to lose that much.
Since Tegoshi also hates to lose they called on him to answer. He said that he never experienced not wanting to play because he didn’t want to lose. They praised the listener’s brother’s high goals, with Tegoshi adding that he feels like there are less people who hate to lose nowadays. He said that he feel that kind of spirit is important, saying it’s like the samurai spirit.
Tegoshi said to get over the fear of losing he should practice to build confidence. Massu said that it’s possible that there are other things that he wants to do more than baseball, and that when he does find whatever that is, his feelings of wanting to play will be stronger than his fear of losing. All three praised his desire not to lose, and Tegoshi said he’s the same way, he hates losing at cards or video games and was the type to instantly hit the reset button when he was losing. M: I hate people who do that!!
The next message was the one that Sakura started to read first by accident. Tegomass teased her and she apologized again before reading the message. The message started out by commenting on how it’s gotten really hot lately and asked them if they like summer. The message continued on to say that they’ve never liked summer, they don’t really like the outdoors and they can’t swim so they don’t really like the beach or pool. However, since becoming an adult and living on their own they’ve come to appreciate the good things about summer like how laundry dries quicker, and eating soumen, and summer vegetables. They asked them to share the things they like about summer.
Massu started out questioning whether laundry really does dry more quickly in summer since it’s so humid, but Tegoshi and Sakura insisted that it was true except during rainy season. They argued that it takes a long time in winter and that the sun is stronger in summer, but Massu remained unconvinced.
Tegoshi started talking about how he likes girls who can’t swim. He explained that if you were to go in the water to where you can just barely touch and then took away the inflatable tube then they would have to grab onto you. Sakura: You’re twisted. T: I am?? M: Yeah you are. T: Wait wait! You see they’d have to grab onto you. S: They would but… M: That’s twisted and creepy. T: Why! M: Also, I’m a lifeguard. I have a lifeguarding license. T: Yeah. M: That’s dangerous, so cut it out. T: No way! It’d definitely be fine- M: Ok well then when you’re getting all cuddly I’d come in blowing my whistle! T: That’s the worst! M: Asking “Are you ok?” (laughing) T: Don’t interrupt!
M: Then I’d seem really cool to the girl you came with. T: Then you’d both get on your lifeguard board (laughing). M: That’s right.
They then returned to talking about summer and Tegoshi said he likes summer, so Massu asked him what parts of summer he hates. Tegoshi said he doesn’t go shopping that often but he likes walking and if you go in summer you end up all sweaty after only 10 minutes walking between stores. He also said that he likes to take walks at night after taking a bath and eating dinner but since you get all sweaty if you walk outside in summer he can’t take walks.
Tegoshi then commented that Massu doesn’t like summer, and asked if that means that he doesn’t like festivals since they’re usually held in summer. Massu explained that he likes summer events a lot, like going to the beach, festivals, and fireworks shows. He just dislikes summer in regards to his day-to-day life. He also commented on how he doesn’t really go shopping in summer. The heat and humidity make it difficult and right after the middle of summer is when winter clothes start being sold and he doesn’t feel like buying those in summer. He also said how he can’t wear many accessories like belts in summer because he’ll sweat and and the colors will rub off or they’ll get dirty.
Tegoshi also talked about how he went to Singapore and how hot it is there. He said you end up showering 3 times a day, because he becomes completely covered in sweat just from walking outside.
For the section where they give advice to people who write in about their troubles, they had a special guest to help answer questions, Nakahara Toshiaki, a lawyer from the Home One law firm.
The first question was from a mother who had previously written in for advice regarding children’s last names after a divorce. She said that after her divorce she reverted back to her maiden name, but her children kept their previous last name. However, about half a year later her oldest daughter, younger son, and younger daughter decided that they wanted to have the same last name as their mother after all. While keeping the timing of job searching and advancing to a new school in mind, they put their names on her family register and changed their last names. Only the oldest son didn’t change his name because he was still in the middle of high school. He didn’t really face any difficulties from having a different last name than his siblings. However, recently she has heard rumors that her ex-husband is getting remarried, she said it’s unrelated to her so she doesn’t care but since her son is still on her ex-husband’s family register she’s concerned about if that means that his new partner will become his step-mother. Even if it’s just on paper she doesn’t like that idea. Her son isn’t interested in changing his name after all this time, so he wants to start his own family register, but since he’s still underage he can’t. She asked if they had any advice for what to do.
Massu asked if the son changed to his mother’s family register if that meant the his last name would have to change too, and Nakahara confirmed that that was the case. Tegoshi proposed that he could change his last name, but then just not tell people about it and continue using his old last name, kind of like a stage name. Nakahara explained that that wouldn’t work because at school and when it comes to the government they’re strict about requiring you to use the name in your family register. Tegoshi proposed that if the teacher or school was understanding they could still have them call them by their previous name and not tell the other students, but Nakahara said that it may be difficult to do that.
Nakahara then explained that just because her ex-husband got remarried it didn’t mean that his new partner would become the son’s mother, the new partner would have to adopt him for that to be the case. Even if that were to happen, it would just mean that he would have two mothers because his biological parents wouldn’t get erased. In the end he said it can’t be helped, the son has to wait until he’s 20 to make his own family register, so if they can’t go on with the way things are he could wait and put his name in his mother’s family register after graduating high school and befor going to college or wait to make his own.
Massu commented that he could understand the son’s feelings as a guy not wanting to change his last name.
The next question was from a listener wrote in about the laws regarding paid time off for part-time jobs. They said that they currently have a part-time job in retail, since they just past the half year mark they asked their manager about paid time off, and was told that part-timers do not get any. They did some research online and saw that part-time jobs as long as they’re with a company should also have paid time off, and asked if there were actually companies where you could take paid leave. They said that they can’t understand this since when they worked a part time job as a highschooler at a restaurant they were able to get paid time off.
Massu said that he has the impression that people in the fashion industry take paid leave, he said he doesn’t know if they are part time or not but they definitely take time off. Tegoshi added that in soccer, if players take time off during a match then the team can’t play, since the matches are 11 vs 11. As he was talking Sakura tried to cut him off saying his name, and Massu cut in to say that they weren’t talking about taking breaks but about taking time off. Sakura scolded Tegoshi for starting to talk without thinking.
Nakahara then confirmed that as the listener found in their research, part time jobs should also have paid leave. That under the law, as workers, they should get paid leave. He said sometimes companies end up thinking that paying employees when they’re taking time off is a burden and say that there is no paid leave, but that’s against the law. In the case where a worker is told they can’t take time off when they request it they can complain to the Labor Standards Supervision Office, but that in reality it could make it hard to continue working at the same place since they might figure out it was her who complained if she was asking for paid leave.
Massu pointed out that at a smaller business where there are fewer workers it can be hard to take time off. Nakahara added that in that case it’s the company’s responsibility to respond to that issue. The discussion ended with the conclusion that while they have paid leave legally, in reality it’s a tough situation.
At the end they chose the listener who wrote in asking about summer to win the ballpen present. As Sakura was reading the ending information Massu and Tegoshi were being a bit noisy and making her laugh. They teased Sakura questioning whether she had said all the correct information or not.
Masuda Takahisa’s MASTER HITS (30 June)
Songs played: “Happy Birthday”, “FOREVER MINE”, “Full Swing”
He started saying it’ll be July soon, meaning July 4th will be here too. He’ll be turning 31, and he’s waiting to be asked to endorse a certain ice cream brand, one that is currently endorsed by his juniors (Baskin Robbins, which is commonly referred to as 31 in Japan). He repeated twice that he loves ice cream (laugh). He mentioned the Master Hits staff asked him what he wanted for his present this year and said they gave him a 30-year old alcohol for his 30th birthday, so maybe a 31-year old one this time? (laugh) But as he’s probably mentioned this before, he’s been meaning to go out for a meal with the Master Hits staff, so maybe they can go sometime near his birthday?
The first message asked if he prefers having meat sauce pasta or napolitan pasta, and that she only eats carbonara and pepperoni. She loves Massu’s cool sounding voice, so please tell her the answer in that voice. Massu answered in a weird, high-pitched voice, “Meat sauce!”
The following message is from somebody who bought a new suitcase, light purple in colour. She wants to stick some stickers on it but don’t know how to do it in style, so asked Massu for advice, and whether or not he’s the type to stick stickers on his suitcases. He said he owns about 3 suitcases, but only uses 1. On the one that he uses, he’s got Rolling Stones stickers pasted on it, but nothing on the ones he isn’t using. Once you start sticking one on it, you’ll probably want to keep sticking more. He continued to say that this trend probably started when people go overseas and receive stickers from like the hotels they stay at and stuck them on their suitcases. Other people found that fashionable, and it became popular to do the same. So people start sticking stuff from brands and all. He mentioned that hotels in Japan don’t seem to give stickers, and it’d be interesting if they did, so they can get them when they go on tours. He said one thing to take note of is to always remove the barcode sticker they stick on your suitcase to track where to send it to. If you don’t, there’s a likelihood of the suitcase being sent to the wrong place. As for how to stick the stickers stylishly, he said it’s really to just try placing them on, look at it from all sorts of angles and if it looks right, then stick them there. If she’s not confident, she can choose to not stick any. But to differentiate her suitcase from others it might be good to stick some.
The next listener wrote to say she went to the Tokyo Dome concert and received a lot of energy from the concert. She thought she’s probably the only one who thought, “Okay! I’ll do my best at drawing blood from the pigs tomorrow too!” out of the 55k people at the dome. And asked what Massu thought of girls who draw pigs’ blood. Massu guessed maybe she’s a vet, and said it’s really nice. And he’s glad the concert managed to be a venue where she could recharge herself and feel like wanting to continue doing her best and the following day. He always tries to work on the overall production and how he presents himself while keeping in mind that everyone goes to the concert with different backgrounds and will be watching from different angles from different seats. It makes him really happy that people gets motivated to continue doing their best by watching their concert or through listening to their songs. When he watches TV specials on vets, he thinks it must be really tough on them and there are probably not that many vets who take care of animals bigger in size than them. As her job is probably one that supports the livestock industry, he thinks it’s an amazing job. There may be lots of difficult things, but he’ll be supporting her so please do her best!
Another listener wrote in to say she moved recently and came across a magazine interview Massu did when he was 20, saying his favourite drink is milk and he always has milk in the fridge. She asked if he still likes milk, and that even though she likes milk, she’s switched to drinking soy milk after considering various factors. But what hasn’t changed is how much she likes Massu. He replied that he likes lots of beverages, like water, tea, milk, soy milk, coffee, red tea, oolong tea, beer… and has lots of them chilled in the fridge. To him, milk and soymilk belong to the same category and BEER! He says as they always had milk provided at school lunches, he’s used to having milk at meals, alongside rice and miso soup.He said there would always be 2 or 3 girls in his class who’d go, “My body can’t really take milk” and he’d be like, “What are you talking about, stupid? Give that to me then!” But if he could go back to that time with what he knows now, he might have suggested making tea or something. However, he didn’t know better then and just thought milk to be a delicious beverage, which makes your bones stronger.
The next listener thanked Massu for giving her suggestions on what to buy her childhood friend for his birthday. She’s grateful for Massu’s numerous suggestions, but as he concluded on “An embossed mug”, she had no idea what to do with such a weird answer. So she bought him a mug with his initials. He was happier than expected to receive the mug, and she found him already using the mug as a pen holder when she went over to his place the other day. She thanked Massu for giving her an answer that perfectly reaches the heart of a grade 9 boy. It may be thick-skinned of her to continue asking for more, but she’d be happy if he would name the spectacle case she received from the childhood friend. He did a brief recall of the mail he received from her previously, and that mugs are almighty gifts and that he hopes to make some as Master Hits merchandise some day.
The next mail was from somebody who works at an airline and is happy to have fulfilled her childhood dream. She loves planes and airports so much she can tell the model and type of each plane just by looking at them from the observation decks. Her friends who have zero interest say she’s like a male. She asked if Massu likes aeroplanes and how he thinks of girls who have male-like hobbies. He thinks it’s absolutely amazing that she’s working for an airline and has a passion for aeroplanes. For him, he always says he likes clothes, and if you had to categorize it, it’s probably a hobby that’s more female skewed. Even with male friends who like clothes, there aren’t many like him who even find clothes for females cute. Which makes his interest in clothes more female than male. So it doesn’t really matter how people view the interest as something more male or female, and she should be proud that she’s overcome stereotypes to do what she likes. He thinks she’s cool. Even though he likes planes, he knows nothing about them at all so she’s amazing. He says he likes looking out the window from the planes till right to the moment when the roads and all disappear from view. The romanticist in Massu always comes out then, getting all thankful and thinking, “Okay I’m going to write my jweb!” (laugh). It’s the power of aeroplanes that make him feel that way. He concluded saying he finds girls with male-like hobbies amazing too.
For Brain Master this week, the person wrote in to say to fill in the hiragana reading for kanji is to write “ruby” on. What word did this “ruby” come from? He got it on first try, saying because rubies are red, so it’s something like underlining the text in red? And he was very surprised to find out he got it right. The correct answer is from the precious stone, ruby (“Eh?”). Apparently the printing technology was imported from England in the Meiji Era, and in England, the size of the print type used for furigana was referred to as “ruby”. So in Japan, people started calling that the ruby print type. (M: Wow! Amazing! Massu’s amazing!”) He’d just said what came to mind and was expecting the buzzer for the wrong answer to be sounded but he got it right! Though it’s got nothing to do with colour.
He said this will be his last radio programme as a 30 year-old, and to please take care of the 31 year-old Masuda too.
The ending song has also been changed from “Full Swing” to “U R not alone”