Encountering Sincerity / Maeshima Ami’s “Sincere Words” ①

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QC: ramen, Zero, Ghostavich

Maeshima Ami began with idol activities and currently focuses on voice work and theater. What are the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this woman who strives for an honest life? These words will come sincerely from her heart.

 Nice to meet you. My name is Maeshima Ami, and I’ll be writing this column for Da Vinci News. I’ve always wanted to “write about something”. I want to make it happen someday. As someone who’s had these thoughts in the back of my mind, I’m genuinely happy to be writing a column here.

“Maeshima Ami’s Sincere Words”

 The title of this column contains “真心” (sincerity), which combines my desire to speak from the “心” (heart) with my favorite kanji, “真” (truth).

 I’d like this to be a place where I can share my view of the world, thoughtfully writing about things like my feelings on the many people I’ve met, thoughts that have come up over the course of my work, and ordinary moments from my everyday life as someone who entered the entertainment industry at the age of 12. I hope this column can be enjoyed both by those who don’t know me and by those who do, from the past or the present.

 Since this is my first time writing here, I’ll start with a brief introduction.

 Or so I said, but it’s really difficult to introduce yourself, isn’t it? Over the past 23 years of my life, many people have called me “serious”. More people began to praise my attitude, courtesy, and choice of words, all of which I considered ordinary. It occurred to me that “Kyokushin karate” had taught me these mentalities.

 In this article, I’ll be writing about the sincerity that I learned from my special skill, “Kyokushin karate”.

 I was a young and innocent girl who preferred playing sentai over dolls. While other kids around me studied piano and ballet, I wanted to be strong, so in early grade school I visited a karate dojo near my home. The first martial arts dojo that I visited radiated with excitement. The instructors and adults had an air of dignity and the kids around my age looked so cool in their uniforms. Whenever I heard the rustling uniforms and energetic shouts echoing throughout the dojo, my heart would fill with excitement.

 I was somewhat anxious and nervous since there weren’t many girls at the dojo back then, but I wanted to know more about this thrill and I wanted to be cool, so I mustered up the courage and enrolled. The first thing I learned in karate was how to greet others. You greet your instructors and seniors with “osu”, greet the dojo, then begin practice. I loved that polite “courtesy”.

 My passion for karate grew each time I learned a bit more about “martial arts” at these practices surrounded by boys. It didn’t matter if I was a girl. Every day, I would fight my heart out at practice, training camps, and matches. I simply enjoyed karate and fighting, even if I was in pain or covered in bruises.

 There’s a joy that comes after victory from hard work. The color of your belt changes and training your body trains your spirit in turn. I found it “fascinating” to keep myself disciplined, believe in my own efforts, and boldly take on challenges even when faced with anxiety and dread at big matches or promotion exams.

 Train your mind and body while showing respect to your instructors and seniors: I think karate is what taught me this mindset. The instructors guided us with love, and I loved seeing the smile on their faces when they told me “good job”. That dignified dojo enveloped me with a comforting warmth.

 Respecting others while working hard with humility and earnesty. I like the “sincerity” in this way of life.

 As I became busier with work, I couldn’t really join practices and I stopped going to the dojo. However, I definitely want to do karate again and I’d very much like to thank my instructors. As I grow older, I want to treasure this “真” (truth) which I took to heart as a student and the sincerity I learned after finding Kyokushin karate.

 In this article, I introduced myself and wrote about karate, which forms the roots of my spirit. Next time, I’ll talk about why such a spirited girl began working as an entertainer.

 Thank you for reading to the very end. I hope you’ll continue to follow me.

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