Keiko Kitagawa interview article in “With” March 2016 issue (English translation)

Keiko Kitagawa: Without feelings originating from “Pink”

Ms. Kitagawa once said that pink has not been her colour choice in clothing, but at the end of this interview she declared with a smile that “from now on, it seems that I can use pink as a colour in everyday outfit combinations”. Following this interview, when she announced her wedding to Mr. DAIGO on 11 January, it is obvious to all that her joy and happiness have been awakened.

Whether it be marriage or parenting…I want to be able to take care of both my private life and work at the same time.

Although my thirties will not arrive until this summer (Blogger’s note: Keiko’s birthday is 22 August), but I really hope that day will come soon! I hear from my seniors that “one’s thirties may be the toughest life stage but is also the most fulfilling”, so I can’t wait for my birthday to come (laughs). In the future, I hope that no matter it be work or my private life that I can completely manage properly. For me, up to a few years ago I always thought that time should be spent on working hard, and everything else is just time-wasting activities. Every day I lived the so-called workaholic life. As for now, for some reason once I began to have thoughts of “I should get married soon”, my feelings begin to change. Before this, I thought that I would stay single forever. However, my parents married and began to have children around back when they were around my current age, and my friends are also at their peak marriage period. As a result, I finally began to ponder what kind of lifestyle I want, and concluded that I want both work and marriage. Furthermore, I want to get married and have children, but perhaps I might get divorced or become very sick. I think both good and bad things happen in life, and today’s experiences and choices will definitely affect the future; this is how I feel. One should not singularly overanalyze or be anxious over one aspect of life, rather, one should strive for balance in living.

10 years after my debut, I immersed myself in the relaxing and happy bubble of “doing nothing” for the first time.

In my early twenties, I put my heart fully into work without regard to anything else. Even if I am just resting a bit I would begin to worry and feel that I might be forgotten by everyone. But, three years ago – which was the 10th anniversary of my debut – I seem to have slowly built up self-confidence in my then 10 year old career. Now I have learned to allow myself to manage myself according to the flow of things, and thinking about each job responsibly one at a time. If I had the chance to take a long vacation, then I would temporarily stop thinking about work. I also did my best in matters outside of work, so as to enjoy the time spent on vacation: reading magazines, listening to music, playing with my beloved cat etc. I once thought “idling = laziness”, but it turned out to be not true – personal time is necessary. Recently I am able to change my thinking and so began to relax and enjoy my personal time.

On Valentine’s Day I probably received more gifts from females! (Laughs)

I have never in my life experienced the stereotypical and momentous event of “giving chocolates to the boy I have a crush on and expressing my feelings to him”. As I attended a girls’ school, so since my days as a student I was the recipient of gifts (laughs). After becoming an adult, even though I had experience in giving chocolate, the recipients were always fellow actors or production staff. I would give them my hand-made chocolate, although except for simple kinds such as chocolate truffles or chocolate cake, I don’t know how to make other desserts (laughs). Of course, if I were to receive luxury chocolate I would be really happy! This is because I love desserts – I would feel happy thinking about what desserts to eat each day, like yesterday I bought dark chocolate! I am OK with both Western and Japanese desserts, because I really like sweets. In order to be able to enjoy them, I will do my best exercising in the gym! (Laughs)

I am a Premium member at Cookpad!

Except for watching Takarazuka performances, I don’t really have any hobbies. During vacation I would get together with friends for meals, or to shop at the supermarket. Now I find delight in these ordinary life events. About 2 – 3 years ago I began to cook and am getting better at it now, and the recipes I successfully tried have been increasing. No matter the cuisine, my principle in cooking is to cook my best. My everyday homework is to review Cookpad’s recipe rankings while cooking!

In my teens and early twenties, I was anxious over “I seem to be later than everyone in everything”.

My first job was to be photographed for “Seventeen” magazine; even though I was just 17 years old at the time, one of the models on the job was only 12 years old. As I was a novice model, I was not able to fully express my smile. I was also unfamiliar with the poses, so when I saw the younger models pose effortlessly, it was depressing for the older me who wondered why I was not able to perform better. When I was 20 years old I became an actress, but girls of my age were already being cast in lead roles while I had to start from the bottom. Although after my debut I was continuously cast in amazing works – for which I am thankful – I constantly felt that no matter what it is, I am one step behind everyone. Looking back, I was anxious back then as I wanted to catch up with my peers, and I spent every day in stress. Even though I knew clearly that it is meaningless to compare myself with others, I was not able to resist comparing. I was very discontented back then.

Until I cannot move my body, I want to continue to be an actress.

Apart from being an actress, I am not good at anything, so I will never give it up. For the rest of my life, until the point when my body is unable to move, I will continue to act. Until now, not everything has gone without a hitch; indeed this line of work absolutely requires persistence and dedication. Due to this, I am very serious about this career of being an “actress”. Up to now I am still not satisfied, as there are still many things that I want to try and do. Since I was born and raised in Japan, I want to use my identity to portray early Japanese society. Whether it be works depicting the Edo period or the wartime, or any other history-related topics, I would like to challenge myself in those roles. Until now most of my works were elegant contemporary dramas, so if in my thirties I can participate in works that demand solid acting skills, that would be wonderful.

While filming I continually chatted about mundane things with Mr. Kenichi Matsuyama.

While filming the movie “No-younamono Noyounamono”, the staff were very considerate, in addition I have previously worked with my co-star Mr. Matsuyama, so I was able to spend this work time in a free and relaxing environment. During breaks between scenes, how did we end up chatting? Each time it was like this: I continued to chat with Mr. Matsuyama about mundane subjects of daily life. It was about 7 years ago when we last met, so we were interested in each other’s recent lives. The last time we met, Mr. Matsuayma was still single and childless, but today he has become the father of three children! Even though we kept saying to each other “we both have not changed a bit” or similar, but Mr. Matsuyama has become a reliable adult! This harmonious atmosphere was also naturally expressed in the movie, so a good way to describe it is, this is an effortless, gentle and solidly good movie. After watching, my worry dissipated. Many actors who have previously worked with the late director Mr. Yoshimitsu Morita also appear in this movie, so please enjoy it!

The light pink colour that slightly reveals subtlety is just right for displaying a mature style.

This is because pink gives people a deep cute impression, so for adults who want to portray a mature style, it is important to wear a mature look. Looks that use every piece to express cuteness, such as a lace top combined with a light pink skirt, should be reserved for young people (laughs). Combinations that bring out one’s personality, such as having this blue knit top as the focal point while matching with subtle pink trousers, I think is easy. For a mature woman, the motherly instinct naturally adds a sense of invisible femininity; so when choosing to wear pink, adding a bit of personality would appear more balanced. Choosing slightly subtle and darker pink and combining with colour variations in handbags and shoes would achieve a fashionable look. From my kindergarten days I mostly worn black and white clothing while rarely wearing pastel colours and patterns, so the outfit today feels refreshing! Basically, I do not want to worry about what to wear in the morning, so I mostly choose simple pieces; nowadays as long as I have jeans from rag & bone and tops by Alexander Wang it would be enough (laughs)! This spring, I want to freely buy shirts and knitwear.

Translated by this blogger using the Taiwan International Chinese edition, with reference to the Japanese original where necessary.

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