I really liked this latest issue of Nino's It column and decided to translate it. Sometimes Nino can be very frank about his thoughts, especially towards things you would normally expect him to be blase and vague about. In this one, he talked about the hypothetical situation of somebody leaving Arashi. KAT-TUN was also mentioned.
Enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts!
Nino - MORE - 08/2016
Ninomiya Kazunari no Itto
I don't want to dwell on the past because I plan to keep going.
I'm not going to quit Arashi of my own volition.
In this season of dazzling greens, he spends his days touring around the country. The stage is no doubt one of the things which Nino feels wholeheartedly about, but it also exemplifies the path which he walks upon.
Volume 92 - The so-called past
A month has passed since we last saw Nino; it seems his hair has grown quite a bit and he looks almost ephemeral. When we asked him if he lost weight, he shook his head as if he had no idea himself. This interview took place just before he left for a regional concert. We spoke with Nino while he requested a haircut from his hair and make-up artist.
He's currently touring around the country so we first ask for his thoughts on that, to which he replies: "It's always like this, but I don't really remember much of it be it before or after the fact".
"These shows are all one-of-a-kind so I don't reflect on them nor do I have any regrets. To me, there isn't much of a point in remembering them. That's why it gets a little awkward for me if you were to ask me to look back on concerts from such and such year (laugh). But of course, there's still a sense of enjoyment and the feelings of gratitude towards many different people are very strong."
With each passing year, it appears that he has grown to dislike dwelling on the past.
"I particularly don't want to dwell on the past when it comes to work, and I don't think there's a need to either. For example, there are times when I see people whom I worked with a long time ago on past dramas and we start reminiscing together. But it's already over and done with; be it time or our involvement together, everything had stopped at that point so we can only talk about things that happened back then. But if it's something like Arashi's activities, things that are still going on in the present time, it feels somehow wrong to talk about looking back at the past when you have plans to keep on going. It's a different matter if the group is going to disband or there was some other sort of enormous change; I think that's when you can start looking back."
It's a given that I would never quit Arashi of my own volition
In other words, if you were to enter a recharging period like KAT-TUN did, there would be a need to look back at the past?
"Who knows. They chose to recharge rather than to disband, after all. I've never had that experience before, so..."
Speaking of which, KAT-TUN's Nakamaru (Yuichi)-kun once said in a TV program that he "consulted Nino about the dwindling number of people in his group".
"It wasn't just this once. He talked to me about it last time too. I've known Nakamaru for a long time now, so he just naturally came to me about it. But I was at a loss for words myself. Arashi never had any one of its members leave before. Even so, I could imagine the internal conflict and struggles that Nakamaru was going through. I mean, the remaining members were put on the hot seat every time someone left. As a group, the best choice is no doubt to keep the activities going. It was their decision to make that sort of choice so there's nothing that I can say. But I'm sure it was tough..."
He couldn't give any advice, but he did give his own candid opinion to Nakamaru. At this point, we couldn't help but ask: what if Nino found himself in the same situation as KAT-TUN? What would he do?
"First off, it's a given that I would absolutely never quit Arashi of my own volition. But if any one of the other members were to leave the group, I wouldn't be in Arashi anymore either. I think we're better off disbanding."
His answer is immediate. When we probed for a reason, he says, "I have no interest in Arashi if it's not made up of five people". Again, very matter-of-fact. His comment is practically that of an Arashi fan's.
"Is that so? But it's because of 'those five people' that 'Arashi' exists, so it becomes something else entirely if it grows or shrinks in number. It's almost as if anyone will do in that case. I don't have anything against that sort of group, but I have no interest in them. I don't think I can keep going if it wasn't the five of us, and I wouldn't want to see that happen either."
Nino always has two perspectives in relation to Arashi: the involved party's perspective, and the observer's perspective. Either way, his determination to "not leave Arashi of his own volition" is very strong. Does that mean his love for the group runs very deep?
"Is it love? I think it's closer to obligation instead. If there's obligation involved, the thought of quitting doesn't even come to mind. After all, I've come all this way as a part of Arashi. I was given work opportunities, I was given my livelihood, and I was given the support of everyone around me. If I were to quit, that would be like biting the hand that feeds me. To me, that's just out of the question."
It's precisely because he keeps going out of a sense of obligation that he also says, "I do my work without thinking that this is for myself".
"I don't think that this is done 'for me', which is probably why I rarely feel any discontent or stress no matter what sort of work I have to do. And the other Arashi members most likely share similar sentiments, no? I think they're all mature working professionals. I want to do the work I have now without thinking about the future or what the end result will be like; I'm going to try and meet whatever demands are being asked of me with my best efforts. I'm sure I'll keep going on as a part of Arashi that way."
His haircut was also done as the conversation came to a close. As if brushing off his past, Nino dusted off strands of loose hair and slowly got to his feet.
- [Arashi] Nino - MORE - 08/2016