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Saturday, 19 December 2009

[Translation] Bea's UP Magazine January 2010 Article Translation

Bea's UP Magazine January 2010 Article Translation

The songstress who celebrated her tenth anniversary, still continued running through 2009 without pause. Her skin transparently white like snow and big eyes that seem to take in everything they see... That appearance and way of life still exist without change.

Ayu, who has been on this stage for a long time, looks back at this year.

The things Ayu gained from her record-breaking tour.

The footprints Ayumi Hamasaki left behind in 2009 were incredible. In this magazine’s 2009 April number, she gave an interview for the beginning of the year and said, “Because it was the turning point of my tenth anniversary, I thought I would continue leisurely at my own pace, but I have to keep running after all.” She, in accordance with those words, went on an unimaginable tour from April to October as the first solo female artist to gather 300.000 people in 12 cities with 35 performances.

Furthermore, she performed at her label’s live event a-nation, which included 42 performances and gathered 600.000 people. If you look at live and rehearsal time, 2009 was a year through which she kept running together with her surrounding staff and fans. Looking back, she says, “When I am asked about my impressions of this tour, I answer that it was long and surprising, but this year truly felt long (laughs)”. However, she comments that because she came into long contact with her fans, she has discovered new things. “The tour was a long journey, but I also had time; there were lots of times where I could feel or think. And, there were also times to reflect on what I thought. That’s why, the stage changed a lot from the tour’s first to the last day. During this tour, it was also the first time I constructed a set solely for the sake of rehearsing. Up until now, while talking to the staff about how to do things, I let them complete it, but this time I took my time and could revise and create things. Because of the true importance of meeting with lots of my fans and because there were lots of chances to listen carefully, this could be realized and new discoveries were made.”

During the long journey that took about a year, how did Ayu maintain her motivation, physical condition and physical strength? As the party’s chairman who leads the long journey, Ayu talks about the challenge of maintaining the motivation of the people around her.

“After having decided on the 2009 tour, I started a full-blown physical training. Because my foundation of physical strength and metabolism improved considerably, I wasn’t effected much by physical fatigue. Thanks to the habit, that I had before the tour and even now, to always run about 10 km, I think I have become more energetic than anyone else this year. Going on steadily from the launch of the tour until the final date, I always woke up the earliest the next morning. The people around me would say, “you’re so energetic~” (laughs). As for the mental part; it would be alright if only I strained myself a little. But, because it was truly a long journey, it was tough to constantly keep the motivation and physical strength of the staff, band and dancers the same with each other. By overseeing everything more than usual, I could stay calm. There must certainly be no injuries of accidents to the staff and members.”

My skin benefited a lot from increasing my metabolism.

Ayu, whose metabolism and physical strength has improved by running and training. She comments there has also been a change in her beauty regime.

“In the past, I almost wore no make-up during off or private times. I wonder if currently the amount and frequency of me using foundation has decreased. That’s because metabolism has become important to me. I didn’t know much about skin care originally, but because Banchou (Ayu’s nail artist) knew a lot about it, I tried it out after listening to her. I wonder whether I was the type who preferred not to spoil her skin too much.”

The rehearsal for the Countdown Live was waiting immediately after 2009’s long journey. We asked Ayu, who works without a single break, about her winter memories.

“Honestly, I don’t have many Christmas-like memories since I’m always busy with live rehearsals for the end of the year and with the recording of TV shows... But whenever I see snow, my spirit is lifted (laughs). If a lot of snow will pile up, I definitely want to build a snowman and have a snow fight with everyone. Actual memories...Several years ago, when I was alone in my room and casually looked outside during the morning, snow had piled up magnificently and I went out to the terrace. But then, there were strange footprints in the snow... I called my manager and also the police and there was a lot of commotion, but in the end they were the footprints of a dear friend of mine...(laughs). My memories of the snow might be surprisingly unromantic.”

This time Ayu has released a double A single filled with sad ballads. Please listen to them this season. She managed to compose not easily expressed feelings perfectly. And together with ‘RED LINE ~for TA~’, she’ll release three new songs.

“Aside from expressing myself via lyrics, I’ve also used things like jargon and metaphors. ‘You were...’ is straightforward but in ‘BALLAD’ I chose sugar-coated words.” Because Ayu knows the importance of moving forward more than anyone else, she can face new challenges. That charm increases steadily with each passing year. Confidence and anxiety, experiences and challenges; they all allow Ayu to keep changing. And without even a moment of rest, Ayu will once again travel to meet her fans in 2010.

Credit: tenshi no hane @ AHS
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