In the Past Distance Between Idols and Fans Didn’t Matter, but Now They Provide Support to Each Other

In the Past Distance Between Idols and Fans Didn’t Matter, but Now They Provide Support to Each Other

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Suddenly it begins to pour, and you run towards the nearest underpass to take shelter until the rain passes… And you discover that you’re not alone! She turns to you and says, “It’s pretty bad out there, isn’t it?” and then you realize that, oh my god! It’s your favorite idol. This is the kind of random encounter many idol fans have dreamt about before.

In fact it’s even happened before, like with Chiemi Hori, where one chance encounter with a fan lead to many more, and eventually they both tied the knot. As an idol fan myself, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to run into my favorite idols more than once, even if it would be nothing short of a miracle.

Actually, though, I really have run randomly run into idols before. Once, in the morning, while I was waiting at the west gate of Shinjuku Station for a friend I always walked to school with, I noticed Reiko Miura from CoCo doing the same. Or rather, I should add, this happened before she’d made her debut.


This is what JR Shinjuku Station’s west gate looks like now. Before automatic ticket gates were introduced, there was a pillar that stood outside the gates. This is where Rieko Miura and I stood as we waited, although now I think this spot is located where the automated gates now stand. 現在のJR新宿駅西口改札。自動改札が導入される前、実際の改札部分は柱ひとつぶん外側にあった。筆者と三浦理恵子が待ち合わせで使っていた場所は、今の改札機に挟まれている柱だったと思う

Her voice already had that appealing “cat-like” quality to it, and overall, she was really cute. Because we would see each other there almost every day, we began to give each other a nod, and when I finally gathered the courage to speak to her, we would sometimes make small talk.

So, you could probably imagine my surprise when she debuted as an idol. By the way, she attended Hinode Girls’ Academy High School (which was later renamed to Hinode Senior High School). At the time it was an all-girls school, and a number of girls from there went on to become idols.


I have to confess that in the end, after she’d become an idol, I wrote a fan letter (or love letter..?) to give to her to show my support. Here’s sketch of what the original letter’s envelope looked like. I remember that I kept it in an 8 cm copy of Yasuyuki Okamura’s “Daisuki”. I was already into the full-blown stages of adolescence. Of course, you can probably guess how things turned out… 執筆ついでに告白すると、筆者はアイドルになってからの三浦理恵子にエールを送る意味も込めてファンレター(ラブレターかな?)を渡した。その時に描いたオリジナルレターの封筒絵柄の下絵。8cmCDで発売されていた岡村靖幸の「だいすき」を同封した記憶がある。かなりの中二病だ。結果は……もちろん……

After she debuted as a member of CoCo, I would see people who appeared to be fans hanging around this morning meet-up place. During this time SNS didn’t exist, so I have to marvel at how amazing the idol fan information network was back then. Because of this, I hardly ever had the chance to see her anymore.

Because there were no cellphones back then, there wasn’t really a good way for us to exchange contact info. Even though I wasn’t able to really see Rieko after she became an idol, those random encounters we shared are a treasured memory. So anyways, what I’m saying is, random idol encounters do happen.

And, because I’ve given up on the thought of ever being “cool”, I’ll share one more thing with you all.

…to continue reading

Read the author’s serialization about “idols’ past and present” more

Translated by Jamie Koide

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Toshiro Arai
Toshiro Arai

A producer of website "TOKYO IDOL NET", which "photography" and "idol" is its concept. He also writes for Tokyo Idol Project, and so on.

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