In this Shukan Asahi interview, Kojima Haruna talked about how she has been hiding the fact that she was in AKB from her grandfather and how she decided to stop lying to him after 5 years.
The moment when I closed the "5 blank years" between me and my grandfather.
Translated by mammothb
On the summer 5 years ago, I was walking in Harajuku all by myself, I stopped in front of a certain poster. "An Idol Project in Akihabara has started!" was written on the poster. Somehow, something occurred to me. Rather than worrying to much about it, I continue eating my breakfast, a crepe. 5 seconds after I finished it, ehh....? Isn't Akimoto Yasushi the person who created Onyanko Club? Isn't Natsu Mayumi-sensei the person who choreographed Morning Musume.'s dance? While, the crowd walking in Harajuku kept brushing past me, my eyes remained glued to the poster. The next day, I went for the audition. This was my fateful encounter with AKB.
I come from a very cold family. Both of my parents cared very little about my interests, because of that, I made most of my decisions on my own since young. I hardly quarreled with my family members and I don't have any memories of me being in the rebellious phase. Even though, it really sounds like I came from a very cold family, it does have its "warmness".Well, it's the laissez-faire policy in my family. (Laughs)
That's why when I entered AKB, all I received was a simple "Good for you.", but there was this one problem. My grandfather from my mother's side was the only stubborn one who opposed my action. I have always admired the idols since I was young, my grandfather told my mother and grandmother, "She mustn't enter showbiz. What if she gets involved with some weird man!"
One day, my grandmother came over to my house and said, "Let's keep it a secret, if he knows that you entered AKB, he'll definitely ask you to quit." Hearing that, my mother bowed her head in assent. Though I was shocked at my mother and grandmother going to such extent, I still felt complicated about hiding the fact I got into AKB from my grandfather...... Because the reason why I admire idols and like to wear glittery clothes was because of my grandfather's influence. When I was in elementary school, my grandfather would occasionally bring me to Harajuku. In order not to get seperated in Takeshita Street, I held tightly to my grandfather's hand. And we would visit as many shops I'd like to visit as possible. That's why, I've always felt guilty for lying to my grandfather.
After entering AKB, I can only meet my grandfather around twice a year. Everytime I see him, I tell him that I was working in an apparel company, after hearing which he would always feel happy for me. (Laughs) However, as I have been appearing more frequently on TV since the start of this year, I was startled when my grandfather told me, "There's a girl with the same name as you appearing on TV, she looks quite like you." When I told him, "My name is quite common, I also know a few people called Kojima Haruna.", he seemed to accept that excuse. My grandfather is an airhead, just like me. (Laughs) During the conversation, somewhere in my heart, it felt as if time has stopped for me and my grandfather.
August 2010, in one of the TV programmes I appeared in, I was asked, "Right now, who do you wish to expression you gratitude to?" Somehow, I answered, "My grandfather." After apologizing for hiding the fact that I was in AKB, I expressed my gratitude to my grandfather as I was able to reach where I am today because of him." Those lines weren't in the script. I shall stop trying to hide the fact that I'm in AKB from him. Even if I were to be told to quit AKB, it can't be helped...... That's what I thought.
After the TV programme recording ended, an unexpected call came from my mother, she said, "Your grandfather cried. After hearing that you express your gratitude towards him, he cried."...... Ticktock ticktock...... All of a sudden, the clock between me and my grandfather which stopped 5 years ago has started moving.