Third conservation meeting of Hello! Project

From the left, we have Kokoro Maeda(BEYOOOOONDS/ Kawaumi Amenomori), Reina Yokoyama (Morning Musume ’19), and Akari Takeuchi (Angerme).

The great joy of being selected as a special supporter of a worldwide event

Akari: It’s my first time to be selected as a special supporter of anything, so I’m truly happy! Personally, I really like sports, and I always thought, somewhat jealously, that it would be good to be a sports-related supporter. And then, suddenly, I became a supporter of the worldwide event that is the World Cup! I really felt that it’s an honor, and the first thing I did was boast to my family. (Laugh)

Reina: I also love sports, and I went to sporting events with my family and watched sports on TV at home, so I was really happy when I heard that I would be a special supporter.

Kokoro: I had been just chosen as a member of my new group (BEYOOOOONDS/Kawaumi Amenomori), so I was surprised just to be chosen together with my seniors from Saitama Prefecture. It might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the World Cup to be held in Japan, so I felt really lucky to be from Saitama Prefecture.

Akari: That’s so true! It’s amazing that it’s an event with a worldwide scope – it’s something that I’ve only watched on TV, so it’s such a happy feeling to be able to take part in such a large event. And it’s amazing that it’s going to be held in Saitama. I immediately felt proud of Saitama. (Laugh) I’ve yet to watch a match in person, so I really want to go soon! It’s the same as with idols’ performances, but it’s totally different to experience and feel a match live rather than on a screen.

Reina: I’ve also only watched matches on TV, but I felt that teamwork must be really important in order to make even one successful pass. We Morning Musume ’19 also place great importance on our formation, and we can fail if even one of our breaths is off-beat, so I think that we have a lot to learn about teamwork from watching rugby matches!

Kokoro: I think teamwork is super important. I think it would be really hard for someone like me who does an individual sport, karate. (Laugh) But, as a member of a new group, we need to deepen our bond, so through this work as a special supporter, I want to learn about teamwork on a deep level from the players.

It might be a bit scary, but I want to try interviewing the players!

Akari: When I went to the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Saitama, I passed by some players a few times, and they were so big that you could wonder if they’re humans just like us. I kept on looking up at them. It might be a little scary to see such huge people crashing into each other.

Reina: That’s true! They’re tall and well-built, so to be honest I was a little bit scared. (Laugh)

Kokoro: They’re really bulky, aren’t they? They were bigger than I imagined! I felt like they were bigger than karate athletes.

Reina: But if you become friends with them, I can imagine they would protect you! Our impressions of them might change by talking to them. I’m not sure if I could do it, but I want to try to interview players from every team. If we could hear them speak their minds, and have them talk about how they feel during matches, it would be exciting for rugby fans.

Akari: When I stood on the field, the feeling of being surrounded by the stands was amazing, so I want to ask the players how they feel during matches! I think the pressure must be immense, and at the same time, the fans’ encouragement must help the players a lot. I also want to ask what emotions they feel the strongest during a match.

Kokoro: When I think about the fact that the World Cup is going to be held here, I get excited, and I feel unexpectedly thrilled even though it’s still a ways off. I can’t wait to see the top players play!

Reina: I want to see how the players move in unison towards a try even as they crash into each other, because that’s my image of rugby. I just feel like I might forget to cheer and focus fully on watching the match. I think I’ll end up feeling like I don’t have enough eyes! (Laugh)

Akari: Seeing people try their best to achieve a common goal is really charming, and sports players are especially attractive in that sense. I think I might become attracted to the players if I watch a match.

Reina: Some of the seats were so close that the ball might come flying your way, so I want to sit in the front row! I think you would be able to hear the sound of the players’ bodies crashing into each other. I think that if all the members of Morning Musume ’19 were to go together, we would have a lot of fun. (Laugh) In order to do that, I need to get them interested in rugby.

Akari: I also need to spread the word my fellow members! (Laugh) I think there aren’t a ton of girls who are familiar with rugby, so I want to show these people how fun rugby is.

Kokoro: I just recently started a blog, and I want to spread the word on there as well.

Reina: I also write a blog, so I want to give my best efforts to spread the word about how great rugby is and about the fact that the World Cup will be held at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Saitama. In order to do so, I need to continue to learn more about rugby, because I want to be able to say, with a grin, something like, “What he just did was a feint” to someone with whom I’m watching a match who doesn’t know much about rugby. (Laugh)

I want to show the attractiveness of rugby and the attractiveness of Saitama to many people.

Kokoro: It goes without saying that I want to promote rugby, but yes, I want to promote Saitama as well.

Reina: I think that Japanese people just imagine Kumagaya as being hot, but other than the heat, there are many good things about Kumagaya, like food and nature, so I want to spread the word about that. I took part in an event in Kumagaya recently, and there were many booths where the famous specialties of Kumagaya were lined up. I was pleasantly surprised and thought, “There are so many good things about Kumagaya!,” so I hope to spread the word to many people.

Akari: I think there are a lot of people from Saitama who have never been to Kumagaya, and it’s surprisingly close to Tokyo as well, so I hope that we can experience such a possibly once-in-a-lifetime event live at the stadium and cheer for the players together.