Original blog entry here.


New Year’s Greeting and Announcement
6 January 2012.

Happy New Year for 2012, 24th year of Heisei.

How did everyone spend their New Year’s? I returned to my old home after 18 long years, and spent a heartwarming New Year’s with my family.

First, an announcement I’ve already made via Twitter. Hamasaki Ayumi’s 2011 POWER OF MUSIC TOUR was my last time standing on ayu-chan’s stage. I’ve graduated.

I’ve received many warm messages via Twitter and this blog, and I’m really thankful for them.

I am sorry for not announcing this when the tour concluded on 19 October, that I wouldn’t be performing for Countdown Live. I feel really guilty for not talking about CDL and not replying all the messages encouraging me to “work hard at rehearsals”.

When I was 26, I took part in ayu-chan’s first tour. 12 years have since passed in no time, full of wondeful, memorable scenes. But as a 38-year-old now, this life no longer provides me with the urge to renew myself.

I was a victim of the Hanshin Earthquake Disaster, which struck when I graduated from my 3 years in university. Friends lost their lives, and caused a strong feeling of “I must spend my life doing what I really want to do!” to grow within me. Thus, I pursued a dance career.
When I was 23, I came to Tokyo. My days were filled with part-time jobs and dance lessons, and though it was tough, thinking back now makes me realize that they were the best and most fulfilling days I’ve had. I was still full of youthful energy then.
When I was around 25, I became skilled enough to take on jobs as a dancer. At 26, I went for an audition for ayu-chan’s troupe. The audition then was held by Peco-san, and I really thank her for giving me that chance to enter the troupe.
And, from then until now, I have devoted my entire life to dancing in the troupe.

I know that I should be grateful for this opportunity to be able to pursue what I want, but if I continue here for another 12 years, I’ll be 50. This time, I want to have a new vision for the next 12 years, and so I decided to graduate.

ayu-chan, all the staff, all the dancers past and present, band members; I thank you from my heart.

When the Tohoku Earthquake Disaster struck last year, my heart was terribly shaken, just like when the Hanshin Earthquake Disaster occurred. I had a vague wish to “do something” to help. I can choose to stay where I am, or to create my own place. To do things my own way. To take responsibility. To be useful to others. To do good… The earthquake stirred up all these thoughts in me once again.

Not a full year has passed since the earthquake, and I wish to treasure these feelings which have developed during this period.

I won’t quit dance, but maybe it has gone down on my list of priorities??
I still want to learn ballet, and I’ve fallen in love with teaching dance to others. I also wish to perform at club events.

I also finally got my fortune told! I’ll update more on this next time!

And then, actually, I am in the process of opening a store. It’s still a secret now, but it’ll be open by spring.

Same as everyone else, I’ll be going down to support ayu-chan at her tour this year.

I have so much more to say, but I will update Twitter and this blog again.

“As usual”, please support me this year too.

This was taken when I went to Barcelona end of last year.

I’ll update about that next time.


Otsubo Tsuyoshi