04 December 2011
Because You Were There for Me: Shinoda Mariko
Next up for the Shukan Asahi interview series is Janken center, Shinoda Mariko! Btw her new single [Ue kara Mariko] releases this week.
Ever wondered why Mariko and SKE48's Matsui Jurina are so close? It was all due to the same experience she got when she first entered AKB48. In this article written by Mariko, the reason is explained.
Mariko tells us how she isn't good at striking up a conversation with others and how that made her isolated from the rest of the team when she first joined AKB. And also, how her mother's words gave her courage to take the first step and strike up a conversation with Matsui Jurina.
Definitely worth a read.
The "Selfless Kindness" My Mother Taught Me
Translated by mammothb
I'm often told that I have an easy-going personality but on the other hand, how should I strike up a conversation with someone or what I should do for someone, I'm really bad at these. But due to a certain reason, I feel that I'm beginning to change that side of me.
2 years ago, Matsui Jurina, who just passed the SKE48 audition, was chosen to be the centre of the AKB single "Oogoe Diamond". But at that time, she was only an 11-year-old elementary school student. It was all unexpected, she had to travel from Nagoya to Tokyo and was made to stood in the centre of all the other members who are older and more experienced. Though she wasn't treated badly by anyone, she was still isolated by everyone at first. Seeing that I felt very pained for her and I wanted to do something for her because I understand how painful it's to have entered the group at a later time.
When I entered AKB, it was already 1 and half month after Acchan (Maeda Atsuko), Takamina (Takahashi Minami) and the rest have made their stage debut. Though I'm also considered a 1st gen member, honestly I was tough for me since I entered later than the rest...... When I first entered AKB, I felt that there's a wall between me and other 1st gen members, I also felt that there wasn't any place I belong even in the dressing room. I understand why everyone behaved that way. After passing the 1st audition, they fumbled around and created the team out of nothing at all, and finally they just managed to stand on the stage. Then all of a sudden, I appeared, of course they will think, "How did this girl manage to enter AKB?" I also wondered why was I the only one who entered later...... I felt very lonely during that time, and maybe Jurina is experiencing the same thing as I did. But Jurina isn't me. If I were to come across as being weird, I may be disliked even more. And furthermore, it's not a must for Jurina to answer my questions. When I was hesitating like that, I remembered my mother's words, "If you do something because you expect something in return, then it's better not to do it."
Since a long time ago, my mother has beening taking care of children and the elderly near where I live. She really loves looking after people. Every night, before my father sleep, my mother will give him a full body massage to relieve his stress from his heavy workload. She is always the first to wake up in the morning to prepare breakfast for the family. A few days ago, she came to Tokyo from Fukuoka and made me a lot of my favourite dishes. Looking at it carefully, she added in a lot of vegetables too, because she's worried that I'm not taking good care of my body since I'm living alone. My mother never ask for anything in return. On one hand, up until elementary school, I have the "I have done so much for XX-chan, why doesn't she understand?" personality. One day, my mother said me, "If you are doing something because you expect to get something in return, then it's better if you stop. When you are kind to someone, it's not for your own benefit but for that person's benefit. Have the mindset that you are doing it because you really want to."
It's as if I was given a push on my back by those words, I struck up a conversation with Jurina, "I'm glad that you came, Jurina" It's as if I was talking to the Me when I first joined AKB, I continued talking with Jurina. I'm doing it purely because I wanted to talk to her.
My father often talks about my mother, "Because of your mother, we are able to eat breakfast every morning." I also want to become as kind as my mother*, and I want to be able honestly express my appreciation with words just like my father. I am very blessed to have such parents.
*Translation note: The literal translation of original text is I want to become like my mother who is an expert of kindness.