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Previous parts to Aiba's 10,000 word interview:
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV
Aiba Masaki - 10,000 Word Interview
V. The Letter for the Other Members
Working alone like this allowed me to understand a lot of things that I hadn't known of before, like the joy of existing as Arashi, or the things that I can do for the sake of Arashi.
But I really like Arashi. It is my life right now, so I would always unknowingly say things like "Arashi's so cool. I love it" (laugh). Like the letter that I wrote to the other members in "24Jikan Terebi".
But writing that letter really gave me a lot of trouble. I used up an entire university-level notebook for it. I didn't actually plan to write an essay in the beginning, I was planning to just write down all the things that I can remember since our debut and list them out one by one. That alone took up one entire book. Then I wrote an essay after, so I used up two notebooks. I will never let anyone see that, because I wrote down a lot of things, and it's very embarrassing. While I was writing I also remembered all kinds of things that I had long since forgotten, and at times I would cry as I write.
I have very profound memories of "Here we go!", we would chat together every day, and pretty much slept for only an hour or so before leaving to start each concert. If we try that now, we absolutely wouldn't be able to do it (laugh). "Sorry, I'm worried that I might get hurt during the concert so please let me sleep", we'll say stuff like that (laugh).
At that time everyone had really come to a dead end. There was a feeling of crisis, yet we didn't know what to do, and we couldn't see the road ahead of us either, so we all felt very uneasy. If it wasn't because of this, it would have been impossible for us to talk all night like that.
In the year or so after our debut, we received attention because we were looked upon as "The New Group of Johnny's Jimusho". And then in the second and third years after, if we fail to send out signals of our own, people will gradually lose interest in us. To put it more seriously, if the group itself has no charisma, even if you send out your own signals, you will not attract the attention of others.
In this aspect the senpai in our jimusho are amazing. Working hard and trying various things bit by bit, yet they are always able to create something new.
As for Arashi, "We want to do something that no one else can from hereafter", this kind of feeling was very intense. So it wasn't the time to say "Amazing" and go admire our senpai, we should be thinking "We absolutely can't lose to them!"
I've reflected on a lot of things as well, and this is also due to the formation of Arashi. I gradually gained something similar to an objective, and I also began to want to work hard for that objective. I have a ton of things that I want to do right now, and also desires. Needing to know what to solve in order to realize my goal, or the places where I'm still lacking, I am able to see these very concretely, and then also specifically know what I should do. Although there hasn't been any obvious changes that people can tell, but I know. Some of these things have already been incorporated into my heart, and become like a protective talisman to guard my existence.