The 4th translation from the Shukan Asahi interview series. This time we have AKB48's face, Team A's Maeda Atsuko (Acchan)! By the way I decided to make the translations bi-weekly.
Long time Acchan fans should probably know this. For quite some time she did not like being in the spotlight. How did she overcome that and become the girl she is now?
This is a story written by Acchan about how she was saved by her mother's words when she was depressed and withdrew herself to her room, refusing to leave.
I Was Saved by My Mother's Words
Translated by mammothb
I have been in AKB for 5 years. Actually, there was this one time during these 5 years that I have lost confidence in myself. I have caused my family and the staff to worry about me. Not matter what, I just didn't feel like leaving my house, I withdrew myself to my room and turned off my phone.....
4 years ago, when I was still in middle school year 3, Team B still wasn't formed and we weren't well-known. I wondered when we could become well-known. Maybe, it's very hard to get any more famous than this.... While I had this gloomy feeling, a chance to appear in a movie appeared in front of me. When I heard the news, I felt scared. I wondered if it was alright for someone like me to appear in a movie. I was worried about how the world is going to think of me, someone who is so inexperienced, appearing in a movie. Although it's for work, having to change my hair style to fit into my role in the movie and attracting attention to myself scared me too. Since I was a kid, I found it hard to stand out in of others. Although I wanted to learn how to play the piano, when I heard that I have to perform at a recital, I gave up learning. I also got really depressed when my teacher said I wasn't playing the right notes during lessons. It really seems contradicting for me to be in AKB, well that was really the case for me. When such a big chance for me to appeal to fans appears, I wouldn't want to stand out unlike other members. On that day, this contradiction became too overwhelming for me and I withdrew myself to my room.
Of course, I thought my mother would be angry at me. There was this one time when I ran away from something I decided to do and she got very angry with me. When I couldn't get out of my futon, "Shouldn't you be waking up now? Aren't you going to AKB today?!", my mother would shouted this repeatedly to wake me up. That's why I thought that she would've been especially angry during that time. However, on that day, my mother only looked at my face for a while and didn't say anything at all. After a few hours, I sensed that my mother had called the staff and apologized on my behalf. I heard my mother's footsteps getting closer to my room. She'll definitely get angry this time, and if she doesn't that I'll just say that I will reflect on my actions... However, my mother didn't scold me this time also. Instead of scolding, she said to me with sadness in her eyes, "You are doing the job you're doing now because you want to do it, right?"
Until now, my mother has never forbid me from doing anything I said I want to do. When I entered AKB, she said to me, "If it's Atsu, I'm sure you can do it!" and encouraged me. She woke up at 4am everyday for my sake and made sumptuous and nutritious breakfast such as rolled cabbage, steak, curry for me. she always sat beside me during breakfast, and chatted with me. She has always given me support...... Even so, for me to be so selfish as to say I don't like to stand out, I think I have troubled my mother and the staff. How long am I going to behave like a child? Being able to do what I want to do, I have to be more grateful for such good fortune I was blessed with. My mother's word on that day has made me grow up a little.
Even now, whenever I'm experiencing some tough times, I will think of my mother's words on that day, "I'm doing this because I want to do it, right?" They are like a spell that gives me courage.