Collected translations of Maaya Sakamoto news, essays, interviews, and articles


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Radio Director, Kōichi Taniwaki

Part 7 of 12 in a series:
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I have a radio show called “Maaya Sakamoto’s Vitamin M” airing on BAY FM, and this month’s guest is Mr. Taniwaki, the show’s director.

You might not be able to tune in from outside the Kantō area, but it’s a 30-minute program that airs every Wednesday at around 1:15 a.m.

I’ve worked with Mr. Taniwaki since before “Vitamin M”, when I had a five-minute spot called “The Diary” on BAY FM. It’s been nearly a year since we started working together. A year may not sound like much, but we see each other every week for recording, and what’s more, he looks exactly like my older brother! Both his looks and the way he talks are the same!

So I never feel like I’m in the company of a stranger when he’s around. Today I’d like to find out how Mr. Taniwaki views me.

1) What led to your meeting Maaya Sakamoto?

We started a regular show together back in October 2001.

2) What do you normally call Maaya Sakamoto?

For the first couple of times, Maaya-chan.
Since then, I’ve called her “Maaya”.

3) Share your first impression of Maaya Sakamoto.

We met in the Victor offices on Omotesandō to discuss what sort of show to create, and I recall there was a reserved, quiet atmosphere to her (she was in college at the time)…

4) What’s your impression of her now?

A total 180 from that! (That’s going overboard)
She’s a cheery, energetic, somewhat bashful girl.

5) Let us in on an extra-special Maaya Sakamoto story.

This happened while recording an episode, when she made the comment, “I tend to avoid clothes!” I was stunned for a moment.

Of course there was a punch line waiting at the end.

But that aside, she has a wonderful capacity for communicating with people!
Her mind just zeroes in on it—she starts the story somewhere, brings it through twists and turns, and ties it up in the end—that sort of “Maaya chain of thought” is really spectacular and impresses me every time.

6) Is there anything you wish Maaya Sakamoto would stop doing?

Not at all! I’m still hoping she’ll surprise me with all sorts of things, and I hope she’ll try out things she wants to do.

7) Maaya Sakamoto is like _____.

A translucent sphere with a will of her own.
(Because she can turn into anyone—first a voice actress, then a musician, then a DJ, then an actress, etc.)

8) Taking everything together, where would you put Maaya Sakamoto on the sexiness scale?

Around 30, maybe?

She’s still on the way up! I have high expectations for her three, five, and ten years from now.

9) What do you anticipate for Maaya Sakamoto’s future?

I hope she’ll continue to inspire and impress various people from the stage that is “expression”.

10) Lastly, please write a word or two for Maaya.

Let’s go out to dinner someday with everyone and have a great time.

Maaya Sakamoto’s Response

We have a new question starting this month…the “sexiness scale”?! And that’s way too low! Hmm, so I’m still around 30, huh? I’ll work on that. Right, on the famous (?) “Vitamin M” corner “People who Rock”, I take listener mail and make my own judgments about where they fall on the rock scale. Please write in about people around you who rock. Lately the most rocking event for me was spending 120,000 yen at the dentist on a single tooth…

And here again, we have testimony proving my shyness. I was really so nervous when I first met Mr. Taniwaki that I have no memory of what we talked about. Besides, my first impression of him was pretty scary. But now it’s a total 180! He’s a cheerful guy.

By the way, as for that legend that I don’t like clothes. Hahaha. It’s no lie. I love going barefoot. I love having nothing on my legs at all. Anytime I’m somewhere I can relax, I tend to take off my shoes and clothes right away. When I’m in the studio for several days straight, like for an album, I think of it as my own home, and I wander around without shoes or socks. Winter or summer, I dress lightly. When I sleep I prefer wearing nothing, but everyone told me to stop that, so I’m trying to avoid it. It’s not as if I’m into exhibitionism, just that I’m not comfortable in heavy clothing. Well, let’s call it being natural and leave it at that.

Part 7 of 12 in a series: