Sakura Gakuin was interviewed in December by Indonesian site Japanese Station to talk about the concept of Sakura Gakuin, their favorite experiences, favorite songs, recommend songs and their stay in the school. This interview was also their first international interview of the group in 7 years! Read the interview translated below.
Sakura Gakuin Sara, Maaya, Yuzumi and Tsugumi interviewed on Japanese Station
Sakura Gakuin is an idol unit from Japan that is "limited to the period of growth". This unit was formed back in 2010. The uniquness of this unit is that they uses "School Entertainment" as their main theme. After the members graduated from their real middle school, they also need to graduate from this group through a graduation ceremony.
At the end of last year, on 19th of December, Japanese Station had an opportunity to interview Sakura Gakuin in Tokyo, Japan. At that time, there were 4 members of Sakura Gakuin that were present to answer all the questions presented by us, Japanese Station. The members were Kurashima Sara that is currently in 3rd Grade of Middle School and also the current student president of Sakura Gakuin, Asou Maaya and Shintani Yuzumi that are in 1st Grade of Middle School and lastly Aritomo Tsugumi that is still in 6th Grade Junior School. I wonder what the interview will be like? Lets check it out!
Q1: Sakura Gakuin uses school as the main theme of the group. What does school means to each of you?
Sara: "First and foremost, a school is a place to study. However, aside from that, it's also a place where we can be united and overcome lots of challenges with our friends. Other than that, we're also able to build our relationship together and because of these reasons, I think that school is also a place to learn all these important things aside from studying."
Tsugumi: "In my opinion, school isn't just a place to study, but also a place to learn just how important the bond with your friends are."
Yuzumi: "I think that school is a place where I can enjoy studying and growing with my friends."
Maaya: "Studying is of course important, but I think that school is also a place to create valuable relationship with your friends."
Q2: Please explain, what type of song Melodic Solfege is?
Sara: "Melodic Solfege is one of the song in the "Songs that makes you smarter series" in Sakura Gakuin and just by listening to them, you'll be able to become smarter. The theme this time is classical music. Before this, we also have a song with Mathematics as its theme and it contains the technique to remember the formulae for triangle's area and much more. Just from listening to this song, you'll be able to learn about the title of the classical songs, its composers and the story behind them that the adults probably didn't know of as well."
Tsugumi: "In this song, we are able to learn about the title and the knowledge about the songs that we probably didn't know about even though we listened to it before."
Yuzumi: "In this song, we will easily be able to learn about the name and the characteristics of these historical composers. The song itself is interesting because the arrangement changes around depending on the composers."
Maaya: "Just by memorizing and listening to this one song, we are able to remember a lof of the composers because the song contains a variety of classical music."
Q3: Which song would you recommend to someone that had never heard of Sakura Gakuin before?
Sara: "I recommend the song called "School Days". There're several Sakura Gakuin songs that utilizes choir-type vocal including this song. In my opinion, there are not that much idol group that have this type of song. Other than that, this song is like a school theme song for us where our feelings are also embedded into the song, so please do listen to it!"
Tsugumi: "I recommend the song "Yume ni Mukatte" because this is the first ever Sakura Gakuin song and its filled with the feelings from all our seniors."
Yuzumi: I recommend the song "Makeruna, Seishun Hizakozo". In this song, there are a lot of interesting points such as lyrics that are only available in Sakura Gakuin and also the dance moves. Because of all these, this song is my favorite!"
Maaya: The song that I recommend is "FLY AWAY". This song illustrates the feeling that we had when I first got transfered into Sakura Gakuin. This song gives me the feeling 'Ah, Sakura Gakuin really is this kind of place'."
Q4: Among all of the Sakura Gakuin songs up until now, which song is the most memorable?
Sara: "To me, the song called "I.J.I" is the most memorable. This song was first released back in summer when I just got transfered here. At that time, there was a dance move where I was praised by the teacher. I was really happy at that time to the point where I would repeatedly practice that same dance move during practice. This really was my most memorable song."
Tsugumi: "The song that is the most memorable to me is "School Days". There is a stop motion scene in one section of the song. That part is really fun to do and I hope that fukei will also watch it."
Yuzumi: "For me, it's the song called "FRIENDS". This was the first ever song that I performed back during the transfer ceremony. Apart from that, the lyrics also contains lots of stuff that I can relate to and because of these, I really really love this song."
Maaya: "For me, it's the song called "Marshmallow Iro no Kimi To". In the choreograph of this song, there is a move where it looks like we are throwing something. Each year, the thing that we throw changes and for this year, it is decided that we do the feather throwing motion. During that part, I feel that our hearts become one that I really came to love it."
Q5: Sakura Gakuin have a regular live-stream show called LoGiRL. During the show, what are the usual topics being discussed about?
Sara: "In the show, we usually talk about our activities in school or events that happened in Sakura Gakuin to the viewers. Other than that, there are also topics that which the members also didn't know of and we're also looking forward to that."
Tsugumi: "Usually, we will talk about stuffs that happened recently or our growth/how much we're grown to the viewers."
Yuzumi: "We normally talk about the stuffs that the Sakura Gakuin members are hyped about or into lately."
Maaya: "We also sometimes do class segment in the form of a quiz show. We learn by answering lots of different question presented to us. It is really fun because the members will sometime give weird answers. Lately, there is a gesture that originated from Okazaki Momoko's weird answer which is "Seishin Jun'ichi" and it's really popular among us at the moment."
Q6: What type of Super Lady do you want to be in the future?
Sara: "My dream is to become an actress in the future. Until now, I'm learning a lot from the Sakura Gakuin members that are good at acting and I'm really working hard at it. I want to be a multi-talented actress that can do variety of stuff and even after I graduated from Sakura Gakuin this March, I will still be doing my best towards that dream."
Tsugumi: I want to be a Super Lady that can make people like foreigners to understand what I'm saying just based on my feeling even if they don't understand my language."
Yuzumi: I really admire Miyoshi Ayaka that had graduated from here and I want to be a Super Lady that can do different kinds of stuff, from modelling to acting."
Maaya: "My dream is to become an actress. I wanna be an actress that has a very, very, very, very, very good acting ability that is able to make the viewers smile or moved."
Q7: Among all the activites done by Sakura Gakuin up until now, please tell us about the activity that is the most memorable to you.
Sara: "There are activities that are done by only a few selected members of Sakura Gakuin and they are called club. One of them is called Kagaku Kyumei Kiko LOGICA. One of its members which had also been mentioned by Maaya just now, Okazaki Momoko had at one time mispronounced the word LOGICA to LOGACI. I find that to be really funny."
Tsugumi: "During our appearance in Tokyo Idol Festival last summer, we performed a song called Message at Sky Stage. During that song, there were lots of fukei that waved our flags. The venue became like a beautiful sea of pink flags and that gave me the most impression."
Yuzumi: "The most interesting for me was that, one day, the student president, Kurashima Sara alongside Yamaide Aiko sang a song "Kobuta~ tanuki~ kitsune ~neko ~kobuta"(piglet, raccoon, fox, cat, piglet). While singing the song, Sara-chan just realized that the words in the song are connected. I find that to be really funny that she only just realized that."
Maaya: "For me, I find this memory to be funny and also amusing at the same time. During the final song of the graduation ceremony 2015 last year, there was a special effect added where there were lots of silver confetti that were shot towards the audience. However, I was too focused on my performance that I had totally forgotten about this part and was really surprised when it came out. That was a very fun memory to me."
Q8: Looking back through your journey this whole year, what are you feeling at the moment?
Sara: "Ever since I got appointed as the student president back in the transfer ceremony in May this year (2016), I felt that the time flows way faster than ever before. I'm really surprised that March is already coming so soon and that I'll graduate on that month. Every time we do live performances, we're also able to create lots of wonderful memories. Looking back at those memories, I feel really glad about all the things that I did this year."
Tsugumi: "For me, I can't really dance at first, I got scolded a lot and sometimes I also felt like quitting. However, after performing as 12 members during our live, I felt that we could perform as one and that made me love Sakura Gakuin."
Yuzumi: I feel really glad that I'm able to do lots of things that I can't do before joining. I always feel like I want to challenge myself even more and I'm really able to grow a lot. Next year, I want to work even harder to the point that I can become a good example to others."
Maaya: "There were lots of things that happened this year and all of them are wonderful to me especially during the summer where I got the chance to appear in Sakura Gakuin first ever theater play. I also said this earlier, I want to become an actress and I feel that this theater play gave me lots of valuable experiences."
Q9: Please give a few words to all the fukei in Indonesia.
Sara: "I'm so happy to hear that we not only got fans in Japan but also all the way in Indonesia. Eventhough we're far away from each other, we want to show all the good sides of Sakura Gakuin and also our songs! Also, within the 3 months that I have left, I'll be doing my best to grow even more, so please do watch over us!"
Tsugumi: "Sakura Gakuin is an idol unit that is 'limited to the growth period'. The fans will be able to watch our growth that we can only show during our growth period, so please do come to Japan to watch our shows!"
Yuzumi: "Sakura Gakuin is an idol unit that is 'limited to the growth period' and because of this, we are still growing. Please take care of us!"
Maaya: "I'm also still actively growing at the moment, so please do watch over us as well!"
Interview by: Japanese Station.
Translation by: Awadigw.