Chapter 3: Youth – High school girl’s life
a.k.a. Mizuki Nana’s time as the pauper 😀 Thinking about the time when she had to live with 180k yen/year, then looking at her last year (2010) sales of 1.2 billion yen. Even if she get only 5-10% of it, it’s still around 60-120m yen/year. It’s almost unbelievable
High school life
Horikoshi’s gate (Source)
- Her time in Horikoshi high was the most wonderful school life she hadn’t experienced before. Most students in entertainment arts program had experience of being bullied or alienated, so they understood and tried hard to help each other.
- She was irritated with some regular program students. They often went to her class to see idols or ask for their autograph (Domoto Tsuyoshi of Kinki Kids was one of them). Later, spreading bad rumors about them when they passed the exciting period of having idols in school. Nana herself was gossiped, too. “What’s the meaning of having the girl who goes to school everyday in entertainment arts program?” But she didn’t give a damn about it as all classmates were with her.
- She met her best friend, SAYURI, a stage actress and composer who composed many songs for her albums, there.
- She tasted McDonald and pasta for the first time with her high school friends.
- Nana hates raw food but her long-awaited dinner during high school field trip in Hokkaido was a sashimi dish. Therefore, she ended up eating only rice and Miso soup. 😄 (First time I knew a Japanese hating sashimi).
- Due to her interest in manga & anime, she also attended short summer course for voice acting and later attended full year voice acting vocational course. Her agency financially supported her but it went bankrupted before she finished the vocational school. Luckily, she could continue it after her enka teacher found a new agency for her.
- Finally, she could debut when she was in the third year (but as a voice actress).
Life in poverty
- Her family was already in debt from building enka school, so her parent had to borrow money for her enka training tuition fee, lodging fee and her private expense.
- Her monthly income in Tokyo was only 30k and she had to spend half of it for monthly train ticket.
- The school strictly prohibits part-time job, so no extra money unless you have job in entertainment industry, which she hadn’t had one.
- Being a very good eater, it was painful for her to have very limited expense for foods. Her regular foods were onigiri and cheap bread. The most luxury food she bought was a grilled beef bento (400 – 600 yen) from convenient store.
- No new private clothes. Only had few times for going out with friends (eating McDonald or pasta) because of limited budget.
- When she didn’t have enough money for lunch, she often had to rely on her friend’s left over foods and tap water.
- She didn’t have enough money to buy new school socks (750 yen/pair), so she had to fixed the current ones herself when they had holes. She wouldn’t buy a new pair until they were in very miserable shape that she couldn’t wear anymore.
- The only way to reduce fixed expense in her current situation was to get a scholarship. She had to study hard in order to pass the qualifications. The result was that she got top grade in school despite being a student from entertainment arts program and got a scholarship. She had to maintain it and also her good behavior until she graduated in order to continue the scholarship.
- Due to her excellent grade and behavior, she was the second entertainment arts student who got school honorable award when graduated.
Living with perverted benefactor
- Her enka teacher from record company was also her host family. He provided her a cheap private room with 2 meals (excluded lunch).
- The teacher was a kind person but also a pervert. He often sexually touched her during their singing lesson. Their conversation went like:
“When exhaling, control this part of your stomach, understand?”
“My stomach is LOWER than that, teacher!”
“Don’t bend your hip.”
“My hip is definitely HIGHER than that!!!
- Later, he also did it in ordinary life.
- Despite feeling sick of it, she couldn’t do anything except told him off or avoiding him. She couldn’t move from his house caused there were no place with cheaper rental fee and she didn’t have enough money for additional expense.
- Feeling disgusted with what he did, she tried to be away from his house as much as possible when she didn’t have voice training class. However, she didn’t have much money, so she often ended up cycling around the city or going to bookstore.
- Having tensions from being sexually harassed and lacking of works, she developed irregular eating habit and ended up gaining 7 kg. in a year (resulted in the chubby Nana at the beginning of her career).
- However, the teacher was the one who helped her when she had a risk of being kicked out from school because her agency went bankrupted (no agency = lack of qualification to be in entertainment arts program). He helped her to find new agency, stopped her from joining one that the president of previous bankrupted agency created months later because he didn’t want her to be in the hand of untrustworthy one. He eventually built his own agency to support her.
- She was really thankful for him and thought she would pay him back a favor but sexual harassment was one thing that she couldn’t forgive.