The end of an era

Morning Musume or "Momusu" is an all-girl pop group that is notable for the way it periodically purges members (with "graduation" ceremonies designed to launch solo careers) and then replenishes its ranks through auditions. We are currently in the seventh year and sixth audition "generation" of the Momusu era, and the only member left from any generation before the fourth was YAGUCHI Mari (矢口真里). She's currently 22, which means she's been doing this job since she was in her mid-teens.

And yesterday, she suddenly retired. Why?

In the April 15th issue of weekly photo magazine Friday, her "repeated sleeping-together love" (連泊愛) with hunky actor OGURI Shun (22) will be paparazzilated (激写され), and [her resignation] represents her taking responsibility for this. Yaguchi apologised to her fans by fax for disqualifying herself from the position as group leader. She has also withdrawn from Morning Musume's current countrywide tour, and will begin her solo career soon. YOSHIZAWA Hitomi (20) will succeed to the post of group leader.

Yep: no love for the Morning Musume girls, or it's curtains for them. This is a remnant of an older age of Japanese idoldom. Yaguchi sez:

"Morning Musume was everything to me. I realise now that I was cutting my own belly betraying myself as an idol [by getting involved in] this kind of trouble."

Oguri had no comment.

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"Cutting my own belly" is evocative, but I think 裏切る (uragiru) is usually translated as "betray"... :)

I really like your blog, by the way -- found it a couple of months ago and now reading it regularly. Though I wonder if my view on Soseki will now forever be coloured by first having read him in your translation...

--Vilhelm Sjoberg


oh, you're right! I did that in a hurry and somehow read うら as はら. D'oh. Thanks for the correction (and for reading).

Just wait til you see my version of "Kokoro" ;)



What exactly does paparazzilated mean? Something to do with the paparazzi of course, but I've never crossed this use before.


Yeah, that's because I (cough) made it up. I couldn't think of a neat English verb phrase that meant "to take a picture of someone paparazzi style (and/or then publish such a picture)" and I didn't want to spend more time than I had to thinking about Morning Musume ;)

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