Arama They Didn't

3:19 pm - 12/28/2012

The truth behind SKE Matsui Jurina’s sudden weight loss…

WARNING : I’ve wondered all afternoon if I should or not translate this article knowing full well the wailing it would engender but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather see fans react after having read the complete thing rather than launch in perilous speculations and interpretations based on badly translated bits of article.

About the source of the article, Cyzo, one should know that the website and publisher has since long work with SKE as they published the 2D enthusiasts association’s interviews on their site in the past and have also published their photobook in April. So they could well have insight into SKE and contacts among the stafff. Plus Men’s Cyzo has a good reputation online (not considered a rag in any aspect). This doesn’t make the content of this article, especially the SKE related person’s statements undeniably true but it does give the article some weight… Believe who will.


Matsui Jurina (15), SKE48’s center and member of AKB48 Team K, has become the subject of worries among fans who noticed she had lost weight considerably those past few months. The young girl who had always been athletic and energetic since her debut became noticeably thinner this year, to the point voices have risen at each of her appearances on TV programs since autumn 「Didn’t she lose too much weight?」 . Finally, a few days ago when she appeared for the NHK Kouhaku public announcement she was barely recognizable, with hollow cheeks and extremely slim limbs, which prompted an unprecedented surge of worry among her fans which unanimously evoked eating disorder as the cause of her sudden loss of weight.
Certainly, at the sight of Jurina’s arms or thighs, there is nothing left which would make one believe that the double center Matsui Rena (21) who was sitting next to her that day and had always been extremely slim, was once slenderer than the young girl. What on earth happened?

AKB48 staff - name kept secret - Back in April of this year Jurina was suspended from handshake events and sent to the hospital because of 「dizziness caused by anemia and overwork」. Global producer Akimoto Yasushi stated she would take a break for an undecided period of time, until she was in good enough condition to resume her activities. But then she appeared on stage a mere two weeks after having recovered and returned to having normal activities after that but again in November her condition worsened and she had to take a week of rest. There is actually a rumor going around that she suffers from Meniere’s disease.

Meniere’s disease is characterised by violent vertigo and buzzing in the ears which can last for several minutes and even temporary deafness. If not treated early, complete recovery is extremely difficult. In the past, artists like Kago Ai, Kubota Toshinobu and High Heel Momoko have suffered from the same disease. One can reasonably wonder if it’s not because her symptoms worsened that Matsui Jurina had to take a break last April.

AKB48 staff - same as previously - She was very busy around that time and her body reached its limit. She is extremely zealous when it comes to her dance performances and her image as an idol so from the moment her concurrent position with Team K was decided she trained extra hard every night with little to no time to sleep. Seeing how she barely took any rest, staff members tried to warn her 「You should sleep a bit」「Eat more」, but she insisted 「I’m not hungry」「I don’t feel like eating」, so she didn’t take proper meals. For this reason she progressively lost weight and in June already she had become slenderer than Rena. She even said as if she was willingly self-torturing herself 「My legs have become leaner than Rena-chan’s ones~」. But when the symptoms of her disease become too strong, she becomes sensitive to even the slightest noise and is assailed by dizziness and nausea, making it impossible for her to dance. If only she would listen to staff more and take better care of herself… She is only 15 and midway through her growth, but with all the strain she goes through and her extreme loss of weight it wouldn’t be impossible even for periods to stop at this point.

When devoting yourself without restraint to the idol occupation and living as a working slave, it is no surprise your physical condition will pay the price. It is also said that following those circumstances the young lady was like isolated within her own group.

AKB48 staff - same as previously - SKE’s Team S is full of members older than Jurina, I’m not saying there is anything like bullying going on, but it’s as if those big sisters had half given up on Jurina 「She won’t listen to anything we tell her, so better let her do as she please」 . When with other members, she will follow around one she is particularly close to or depending on the place she will stick to a particular staff member who caught her attention. She looks mature and extremely devoted to her work but emotionally she is very much a kid still. SKE management isn’t in a position to control her anymore, if the situation remains as is it could become very dangerous.

Nothing can be done as no matter how many times people around her ring the alarm bell, she won’t listen to their voices and simply answers 「It’s alright, I can do it」. In those conditions the best option would be to put her on forced holidays until her health is fully restored, but given her status of center and ace this option is in fact inapplicable.

AKB48 staff - same as previously - Truth is, there is a graduation rush scheduled for SKE for next year. There should have been all kind of announcements this year already but because of NMB’s graduations bombing they have been postponed to next year. But add Jurina’s poor physical condition and disobedience… Looking at the mountain of problems coming their way next year, big shots are already having headaches.

The end of year will probably be rather depressing for the staff. Putting all your might in activities of the group or individual work isn’t always enough to receive praises from others. Matsui has been entrusted with heavy responsibilities and therefore should pay a little more attention to the situation surrounding her. If her condition was to deteriorate beyond the point it has reached today, it will not only be a problem for people around her, but more than that, she will have to deal with the remorses of preventing herself from dancing.

Source / Translation (sakaeandfrog @ tumblr)
liniang 28th-Dec-2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
Awww, girl =( Take care.
active3minutes 28th-Dec-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
if it's true this is so sad. i wish she would think of her health first, especially if there's a huge possibility it could get worse if not treated :(
citrine047 28th-Dec-2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
my goodness. Jurina has always been one of my top faves in 48 family, but damn, the fact that she's only 15 y/o cannot be overemphasized. just put her on forced vacation before it's too late. she's very young and just probably wants to prove herself, thus the tendency to become stubborn, so the adults around her should take charge.
royu_kiyo 28th-Dec-2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
I second this motion.
royu_kiyo 28th-Dec-2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Dafaq? Last I saw her, she wasn't a skeleton. Girl, eat, sleep, and remember you're still a teen before becoming a workaholic.
hina 28th-Dec-2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
This all sounds believable tbh.
Since she was 11 years old Jurina has been praised by staff and AkiP as one of the greatest members of the 48 franchise, she's been centre of SKE and AKB, and now as one of the leads of the new generation it's absolutely no exaggeration to say that fans and management consider her to be one of the most important players in 48.
The article basically says that Jurina has lost weight due to overworking herself and not knowing when to stop, but is that reasonable thing to ask of a 15 year old? When Acchan collapsed at the Seibu Dome concert last year, the comments weren't of sympathy, but rather 'It's her own fault, if she was sick she should have realised her limits and not performed.' I've thought this for a while, but it's clear that there's noone looking out for the physical and mental health of these girls.
Jurina has seen AKB and SKE members graduate or leave senbatsu, and to her and the other girls, if must seem that if they stop for a moment they'll be overtaken and replaced. She is just reacting to the expectations of those around her.
citrine047 28th-Dec-2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
Jurina has seen AKB and SKE members graduate or leave senbatsu, and to her and the other girls, if must seem that if they stop for a moment they'll be overtaken and replaced.
interesting point
liime_arix 28th-Dec-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
I hope this is not true, and if it is, I hope she gets help before it's too late.

And Cyzo is definitely not a reputable source, just because they've collaborated with SKE doesn't mean there's any truth behind what they say (a lot of gravure shoots that AKB & co have done are with gossip rags). If it was Shukan Bunshun, I'd be more inclined to say it's definite. So taking this with a bowl of salt.

Edited at 2012-12-28 10:48 pm (UTC)
dramaticsurgeon 28th-Dec-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
I preface this by saying I don't really follow AKB/SKE/LMNOP idols, so let's just assume the article is true:

She's 15, SKE staff--15. Not an adult yet, but not a kid. It's fine to give her space so she can make her way as an idol, but when you see her self-destructing, *do something*. Something other than shaking your collective heads. It sounds like she's caught between wanting to fulfill everyone's expectations of an AKB-family idol, and just not knowing when to stop.

Hell, it's only speculation on my part, but having been 15 once myself I'd say she may even feel like slowing down/stopping is tantamount to admitting defeat or showing weakness. ESPECIALLY in X48 Idol World, where major shakeups seem to happen almost monthly these days. It's a wonder more girls don't feel insecure or start to crack.

Someone she trusts needs to show her it's okay to not overdo it, even if it's by forcing her to rest or eat. She's old enough to understand what she wants, but not necessarily old enough to handle it professionally when things don't go as planned.

Edited at 2012-12-28 10:51 pm (UTC)
mjlights 29th-Dec-2012 12:41 am (UTC)
More like signs of anorexia. Girl is 15, a teenager, an entertainer and I bet a very body conscious one. Where are her parents?
yuma_daisuki 29th-Dec-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
I admire her dedication to work... But keeping herself healthy should also be part of that dedication since it'll have a massive effect on her performance if she's not in good shape
mighty_orange 29th-Dec-2012 12:54 am (UTC)
It unfortunately sounds plausible, and she already has overexerted herself to the point of falling ill :/ HOWEVER Cyzo is a t e r r i b l e and unreliable source, them having worked with ske48 is irrelevant, they're just plain bad so I'm not holding my breath over this just yet
jell_o_jello 29th-Dec-2012 12:57 am (UTC)
Quite a few things in this article match what Jurina said herself about her work ethics and the atmosphere in SKE. I just did a translation of her Cross Talk with Mayu from the Yu Satsu book, I'll paste some parts of it here:

On work ethics/consciousness
M: I mean Jurina is someone who, even when confronted with whatever, her consciousness is high, she just wouldn't cut corners. That's what I respect about her.

J: Sonna (embarrassed), is that how you see me?

M: It's like that. How do you have that high level of consciousness, I've always wanted to know?

J: Unnn, I guess it's my personality. Since when I was an elementary school student, I was the class representative type, like I have to do things properly. I mean because people would think "even she's the class rep", so I will do my best so that people will say "as expected from the class rep". I've become used to that kind of consciousness, like an extension of that feeling.

M: That kind of personality, doesn't it tire you out?

J: Probabaly, But in desperate times, you don't realize that you're tiring yourself out, right?

M: Times like that, ne.

J: Yes. But if I calm down a little, then there are times that I'd think "Ahh, I've overdone it again". For example, during concert, you'd put all you've got on the first day, then you'd have so much fun on the stage. But when it ends, you wouldn't be able to stand anymore and you'd think "yabai, will I be ok for the second day!?". There is that kind of feeling, right?

- So ill or not, I'm not surprised that she's lost so much weight. I've noticed how skinny she has become recently. If she is indeed ill, then her determination and personality will only make it worse... Jurina needs some serious time-out.

J: Basically, when divided into groups, each group piles up their noisiness, so it becomes very lively. But lately, I don't keep track of that.
J: When with SKE at the backstage, even not being AKB, maybe I think that I can't lose my physical strength.

- What I get from here is that, she's too tired to keep up with other SKE members, not because she doesn't like them or anything, but because she's too exhausted. (Have to say I'm not sure whether I understand this part of the interview correctly)
writerserenyty 29th-Dec-2012 01:25 am (UTC)
I also have issues with my inner ear sometimes that involves dizziness and buzzing (though it hasn't been diagnosed as Meniere's). It's really frustrating and not fun, but would be a PAIN to perform with (I've had dizzy spells where I literally can't stand and have to immediately sit down; not fun). The issue really is that it's hard to treat. When I went to the doctor's about this, they just prescribed me a basic antihistamine and told me to wait. It's not something that necessarily goes away if you wait a month.

That being said, Jurina really needs to take it easy, because her situation is beyond this. Even without medical problems Jurina is CRAZY overworked with her work in SKE48 and AKB48, and she's only 15!
xists_09 29th-Dec-2012 02:52 am (UTC)
Is Cyzo even trustworthy? I thought it was in the same status as SB. I remember reading something about Mayuyu being an arrogant/bitchy girl from Cyzo just to have the staff and production crew denied that claim.

Anyway whether or not it has some truth in it or not, Jurina really is pushing herself too hard. There have been many comments from members and staffs telling her to take it easy yet and focus more on her health. But these days I guess she isn't as stubborn persistent anymore, I don't think she has appeared in a Team K waiting stage, she missed some UZA performances on TV. So I think she's more aware that there is a limit to her strength after all.

Though I hope she eats a balanced meal in an organized pattern. Hopefully she can learn to take care of her own health even more, and get well soon Jurina.
fareien18 29th-Dec-2012 05:55 am (UTC)
As expected from my oshi, always work harder than anyone else.
Oh wells, the adults should know what to do. Give her a break for at least 2 weeks and let her be a normal 15 year old girl during that period of time.
sakinah95 29th-Dec-2012 06:32 am (UTC)
Just hoping she will take care of herself. She's just 15 and damn talented!

It's okay to take a long break. I prefer that rather than watching another graduation T-T
crimsonbreeze 29th-Dec-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
Poor Jurina, she's a baby who needs to enjoy her teens, which are one of the best times of the life of a girl.
I dunno if this is true or not since it's Cyzo, but in any case, I'm kinda glad to see that the staff is also paying attention to her. How many companies have we seen that don't give a damn about the state of their employees... Jurina, you need to take a rest. 2012 was an awesome SKE year, so maybe give it up a bit for 2013? You already have an important place in our hearts that nobdy is going to replace, promise <3
pandapaw 30th-Dec-2012 01:11 am (UTC)
i can relate to her
im 25 but i have a waight issue
ugh my family cant look at my without commenting all the time
i have had 9 operations and recovery has been hell and though these recoverys my eatting has droped so bad
shes only young bless her but i have to be on medical food drinks its that bad i dont wanna see her go down the same pole, i hope she recovers soon
she needs to rest and not have stress and worry on her mind because that is also very draining!
all the best to her x
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