Keiko Kitagawa interview article in “Nikkei Woman” August 2013 issue (English translation)

Q – A message for the readers?

Keiko – Don’t be afraid of failing, keep trying, and have fun!

When you’re most exhausted, that’s exactly when you must move onto the next stage

Kitagawa Keiko, winner of “Miss Seventeen” when she was 17, now celebrates the 10th anniversary of her debut. This year she is scheduled for an incredible line-up of movies, music videos and a picture collection, but she responded by saying “I couldn’t decide on one thing I wanted to do more than anything else. I wake up each day thankful to have work.” So, when offered a job, no matter how small, she considers the feelings of the other person and replies to them. She takes her work seriously, so things seem to be getting easier.

“When I started working, I didn’t know my own personality well, and forced a version of ‘Kitagawa Keiko’ that wasn’t me. I got depressed when I couldn’t get the jobs I wanted or my photos turned out badly. I thought, ‘I lost my way’. But no matter how hard it was, I always got up the next day in front of the camera again. And as the days go by, suddenly you turn around and realize: when you’re most exhausted, that’s exactly when you must move on to the next stage. Now I know who I am better, and I don’t have those troubles anymore. If you take 100 people you find 100 different ways to live, and that’s where our personalities come from. And doing what’s natural for you makes you who you are. But before I understood that, I worked myself to exhaustion.”

What makes her happiest is “hearing the impressions of my fans after they see my performance. After the drama ‘The Riddle is Solved after Dinner (nazotoki wa dinner no ato de)’ was aired, I met a grade-schooler who called out to me ‘Reiko m’lady!’ When the next movie comes out in August, I wonder what I’ll hear on the street.”

5 Questions to Keiko

Q – What are your beauty secrets?

Mae-kun warm ups! It’s something Keno Maeda of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team developed. You spin your arms and shoulders super much, it gets rid of swelling in your head and shoulders. Look it up and try it yourself!

Q – What would you do with a million yen?*

I’d like to travel more. Go to a country I’ve never been to and sightsee. Right now I’m interested in Spain. Also if the DVD sells well, I want to go see Takurazuka, I love it!

Q – How do you approach someone you like?

I can’t approach them (laughs). In middle and high school I was in all-girls schools, so my feelings for men…What I mean is I worry about things like “if I give him my address, is that a confession of love?” So I usually keep those thoughts to myself.

Q – What do you do to pass the time?

Whenever I’m home I’m doing at least two things at once. For example, whenever I take a bath, I’ll usually also clean while I’m in there, and then vacuum while I’m drying off! Since I have a cat, I cannot miss daily cleaning.

Q – How do you manage your schedule?

Because I have so much to do all the time, I write down deadlines, dates, and my to-do list items down on paper and post them throughout my room. I guess you could say I waste a lot of paper. (laughs)

*Blogger’s note: one million yen is approximately US$10,000. Considering that Keiko likely earns at least several times that for even a 30 second commercial, it is not an amount that would fulfill any of her bigger dreams. Therefore, the magazine interviewer’s choice of amount is odd. That being said, it does affirm what many Keiko fans already guessed: what prevents Keiko from travelling the world for leisure is not lack of money, but lack of time.

(Translated by Miss Dream under their “Hire Us!” program. Paid for by this blog to the benefit of all English-speaking and English-learning Keiko fans)

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