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There once was a young man who chased after his dreams. Little did he know that he would one day become someone who inspires all of those around him…
With determination in hand, this young man would cross the ocean, and shine at the forefront of entertainment.
We bring you Japanese members of NCT, YUTA and SHOTARO, as the “SHOYU BROTHERS”. They are here to embark on an article series that is sort of a “shout-out” to the readers of MEN’S NON-NO. That’s right!
Like when you ask your friends how they are, “What’s up, Homie?”
We’ll be presenting to you, our readers, the “real now” of YUTA and SHOTARO… on a monthly basis.
Introduction – SHOTARO
n the day the announcement was made of his joining NCT, everyone was talking about it. “Who is SHOTARO?” But thereafter, SHOTARO shocked everyone with his super performance in place of a greeting, and in a world filled with excessive information, it was a rare experience in that everyone said, “It doesn’t matter who he is, his dancing is out of this world!” And yet still, we all want to know, where has a star like him been hiding and what has he been doing up to now?
On this occasion, the June 2022 issue of MEN’S NON-NO is not only the start of this series, but also SHOTARO’s first long interview in Japan. Even before this interview, his sincere personality shined through, conveying just how much thought went into his responses to the MEN’S NON-NO questionnaire. And on the day of our interview, SHOTARO appeared to be a bit nervous, opening up the notebook PC he brought with him to review the answers he had provided to our questionnaire. I said to him, “It’s not that often an artist comes so well-prepared for an interview.” He turned to me with a serious gaze and said, “I haven’t really talked about myself in depth before. It would be wonderful if you could help me to find the right words.” Despite what appeared to be some uneasiness, however, we reached an outpour of story-upon-story, displaying his strong will and passion. We bring to you the unveiling of SHOTARO’s memorable first-ever interview in a Japanese magazine.
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture on November 25, 2000. Debuted in 2020 as part of the NCT unit, NCT U in the form of music. He has been enthusiastically involved in presenting his own work, such as the choreography in dance videos and more.
Seriously looking back on myself
Seriously looking back on myself
——Thank you for being with us. Let’s have fun and take it mellow!
“Okay, have fun! But… I’m not sure if I can answer that quickly…”
——We can always skip anything that you feel it difficult.
“I don’t know about that…”
——It’s totally fine. I’m sure you’ll be bombarded with interviews in the near future, so consider this to be something like a rehearsal (LOL).
“That means a lot. Now, if you could kindly help me find the words to say what I want to!”
——The responses you provided for our pre-questionnaire was rich in content and full of passion. We grabbed on pensively to each and every word. We could feel your feelings packed deeply within.
“Oh, wow. Really? Yeah! Thank you so much”
——Your manager also told us how diligently you put thought into it.
“That’s true. I really did think it over a lot while writing down the answers”
——Our questionnaire covered a wide range of topics, SHOTARO-san, such as your childhood up to when you joined NCT, as well as your present and future plans.
“Well… I don’t often get to write down my thoughts in a formal manner, so I had these profound feelings, thinking, “Oh, so this is the kind of life I’ve led…” It was a great opportunity to think about and reflect on… dance, performance, fashion, and the people around me”
——The article for late last year, celebrating the release of “Universe”, was our first questionnaire interview with SHOTARO-san. It was only a few questions, but it was also impressive how carefully you wrote down your answers then, too.
“I was actually worried that I might have written too much (LOL)”
——For us, the more the merrier.
“Really? Oh, good!”
——One of your messages said, “I’m really happy to be interviewed in this way by MEN’S NON-NO, which I’ve admired for a long time! Our entire editorial staff were like, “We’re definitely going to support him…!” (LOL)
“Hahaha! I look forward to it! Thank you very much!! (LOL) My father was a fan of MEN’S NON-NO. So, when I secretly told him, “I’m going to be in it!” He was like super happy, saying, “Wow!” I’m sure he’ll be buying a lot of the issue I’m on the front cover with YUTA (June 2022 Special Edition) to celebrate the occasion (LOL)”
——Please tell your father we’re humbled! MEN’S NON-NO is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year, and we’ve had a lot of people come to us saying, “We’ve been fans for two generations.” We’re happy to hear that we have avid readers at your home as well.
“I’m really happy, too. I can’t wait!”
Our first series of magazine articles across the ocean
——Now, then. I think our warm-up is complete… (LOL). Shall we get down to it?
“Yes, please~! Oh… I’m really nervous (LOL)”
——First of all, we are told this is your first appearance in a Japanese magazine and your first real interview. Let’s start with a standard gesture. Could you kindly give us a few words for our readers?
“Yes! Hello. I’m SHOTARO. It’s my first time to appear in a Japanese magazine, and I hope that this will be an opportunity for you to get to know me, in depth. MEN’S NON-NO is “THE” symbol of fashion magazines. That’s the image I have. I never dreamed there’d come a day when I would be on featured in the magazine, let alone on the front cover. Because the shoot was with YUTA, we were able to do it in a really nice and easy-going atmosphere. We had a lot of fun. I get to experience different types of fashion, which means I get to learn something new every time!”
——We could tell how much fun the two of you were having just from the monitors! This is also your first magazine series as a member of the NCT group as a whole, isn’t it? On that note, it’s also MEN’S NON-NO’s first series of magazine articles across the ocean!
“I’m honored that my first experience of appearing in a magazine series as a member of NCT is with YUTA and MEN’S NON-NO~! I really hope all the readers will enjoy it, too. The shoot this time was held in Korea, but I hope YUTA and I will have the opportunity to shoot in Japan as well”
——I too hope it becomes a reality! Is there anything you would “like to convey as being something good about yourself?”
“Something good… about myself… Mmm… What could that be, umm… Perhaps, “Unknown & infinite”
——Are you referring to having great potential in the future?
“Let’s see… What I mean is… rather than… “This is something good about me now!” … I hope that you will all watch over me from now on to the future. In return, I’ll show you infinite possibilities (LOL)”
——So, in other words, you mean, “If I can have your support from now, I promise you infinite possibilities!
“Hahaha. That’s it (LOL)”
——I think that’s amazing!
Dance, it always near SHOTARO
——We provided the question, “Please introduce yourself to the MEN’S NON-NO readers, while imagining yourself in a situation in which you become friends with them.” You responded with the message, “I hope to be able to enjoy fashion and culture with all the readers!” We are told that even before you joined NCT, you were exposed to various types of music and other cultures, and have always loved fashion.
“Let’s see… I think I’ve always been someone who is interested in all kinds of things. I was especially drawn to music, dance, and fashion, but when I was thinking back on when I was a small child, I went to all kinds of lessons, such as snowboarding and swimming. Although, I wasn’t that good at my studies… (LOL)”
——It seems like you were a very active child that particularly liked to move his body.
“That’s true. But I also love to eat (LOL). I think I wrote that down (in the questionnaire), didn’t I? (LOL)”
——Yes. You did write that down (LOL). The question was, “What was your childhood like?” Your response was about an adorable episode. “After school, I would play games at my friend’s house and go to Dagashiya [Mom-and-Pop candy store]! I just really loved to eat and I think I always carried some sweets around (LOL)”
“Hehe. That’s true. I used to go to our neighborhood candy store all the time. I was pretty chubby back in the days (LOL). I was a rambunctious little boy who went back for seconds even for school lunch.”
——You were full of energy, I see (LOL). When it comes to dance, “you come to mind, SHOTARO-san!” And it sounds like you had already come across dance during your childhood.
“Dance was always around me. It began taking lesson at local dance schools when I was a child on to many other different dance schools. The very first time was when I was about five years old and my mother took me to a local school. It was because my mother loved to watch dancing. I don’t remember much from back then, but according to my mother, there were only girls around that were good dancers and so I ran home crying about it (LOL)”
——For a young boy who cried home in the beginning to have continued to pursue dancing, experiencing many different stages, and then to join NCT as a result, there had to be a lot of effort that went into that. Why do you think you became so hooked on dancing?
“Well… I’m pretty sure I’m the type of person who likes to step up little-by-little by working diligently. I think I became consumed with dance, because it’s something where you feel each and every step up with your entire body. I have always set goals for myself. Every time I achieve a goal, I feel this immense joy, which I believe has led me to want to come face-to-face with myself over and over again. With dance, I was able to achieve that and so, before I knew it, I was already hooked”
——Would you say that currently, hip-hop is your genre of specialty?
“Absolutely! My style is to incorporate other dance styles with hip-hop as the foundation!”
——When I’ve asked dancers how they reach their own style, I’m often told that they continuously evolve from what they learn in the beginning.
“Yes, that’s true!”
——How did you reach your current style, SHOTARO-san?
“That part is the same as well. I’ve always been inquisitive, doing this and that, and here you have me today. When I was in dance school during elementary, my mother told me to “learn everything!” I could there. So, I did every single genre of dance they had to offer”
——“Learn everything” (LOL). That’s pretty “Spartan [education]” of her!
“Hahaha! I felt like it was “Spartan” back then, but now it’s like, “Thanks, Mom! (LOL)”
——For sure. Looks like your ability to handle NCT’s wide range of music is thanks to your training!
“Exactly. So, I would try out different styles of dancing and if there was something I wanted to further challenge myself with, I’d take a class for it, and if it didn’t work for me, then I’d quit, grateful to have been able to find that out. But I’ve always wanted to be able to do as many different styles of dance as possible. And I think the fact that I went through all these different styles, is now working out for me”
——Your hard work has led you here. Even though you started out in tears (LOL).
“Hahaha. I did cry, I did! (LOL)”
——With such an inquisitive nature, how are you able to identify what actually strikes a deep chord at your heart?
“I think it pops out in a natural way depending on the environment I’m in, like breathing. But when I feel like, “Hm? This might work?”… I’ll take a step forward to “try it out and see what happens.” I think by taking one step past the start line is how you come to understand things. Even with dance, there are so many ways to express yourself. And so I think that by having tried as many different styles of dance as I possibly could… without prejudice, I was able to find my current style of dance. After all, someone that’s good at everything is super cool (LOL), so I still have the desire to absorb a variety of things”
——So, perhaps if you continue to absorb various things, you’ll find “it” when your antenna beeps, like “That’s it!”
——Oh. “Be-beeps!!” not “Beeps! (LOL)
Yes, it’s be-beeps!! (LOL)”
I want to shine as a professional
——So from there, how did you go from taking dance to the next step beyond just enjoying dance as a hobby?
“When I was in my second year of middle school, I took the stage for dance. That was huge. I found out there was an audition for “artist dancers” and so I went for it. But when I experienced it, I was genuinely touched, thinking, “Wow… that’s what you can do in dance?” From there, I went for auditions in gradual steps and was even able to participate in a large-scale stage at the Tokyo Dome. As the performance stages leveled up, I realized that I was also leveling up little-by-little and I thought, “I like this feeling”
——Do you think the importance of having taken one step at a time in a concrete manner connects with where you are today?
“Yes! Exactly! This connects to what I have always valued the most, “to build on one step after the other.” I believe that it’s an artist’s job to constantly grow. So, I increase the amount of what I can do, absorb whatever I need, and as I have always done, I continue to gain experience, so that I can create a “bigger” version of myself. In that sense, I haven’t change the way I think at all from back then”
——Listening to you, it’s as if you found your way early on and have been forging ahead ever since.
“Oh, no, far from it… I’ve been confused. I left the world of dance once during middle school to be part of school club activities. When I was in high school, I was studying, dancing and had a part-time job all at the same time, which was rough. So, when I somehow made it through the three years of high school and was able to graduate safely, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. On top of that, during my middle and high school years, not only did I continue with my dancing, but I also have memories of enjoying my so-called normal teenage years… like, going shopping, watching movies, doing club activities, and working hard for our culture festivals with my local friends and my schoolmates. There was a time when I thought about going to college and finding a job. I really had a lot of doubts and hesitation about what direction I should take. But I’ve never once thought about quitting dance. Bottomline, I think I’ve always felt that “I want to shine as an artist!”
——It is well-known among your fans, SHOTARO-san, that you have had experience as a professional on stage prior to joining NCT, but it appears you’ve always wanted to be an artist from the get-go.
“Exactly. In fact, prior to becoming a part of this agency, I tried out for all kinds of auditions, not just as a dancer”
——You responded to the question, “What was the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced up to now?” You answer was, “I’d have to say it was hard every time I failed an audition.”
“That’s right. But even so, since the day I experienced that stage in my second year of middle school, expressing myself in front of all those people, fueling my passion, I have not once thought of quitting or giving up. And I think I have been chasing this huge goal ever since”
——So, your desire “to shine” was always stronger than anything that has been difficult or frustrating.
“Yes! I have always held that feeling of wanting to shine since forever. As we’ve been talking, I’m realizing that I may be the type of person that can continue to focus on something, once I find that path”
Meeting NCT 127 changed my life
——So, while you had this uncertainty about your career path, you continued to dance and audition and it appears that NCT 127 was the deciding factor on you realizing that “I do want to be an artist after all!
“Exactly! Seeing NCT 127’s concert was big! It’s something that often comes up, but I was never a huge fan of K-POP. It’s more like I listened to a lot of music without prejudice, and I liked various cultures. I was always interested in a wide range of songs from what was trending to older songs, J-POP to Western music, exchanging information with my friends, like “Wouldn’t it be interesting to dance to this song” or “This song is hot!” That’s why when I actually saw NCT 127 on stage with my own eyes without any prior information or prejudice, I was overwhelmed by their one-of-a-kind performance and artistic worldview. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was like, “Man, what I’d give to do a concert in front of all these people in this way!” I always knew I wanted to perform on a big stage, but having a vision in which I knew I wanted to be an artist that could create a worldview like that… that was something I felt for the first time ever when I saw NCT 127 on stage”
—— NCT 127’s stage is impressive not only because their performance is breathtaking, but also because of the stage design, staging, costumes, hair and makeup, etc., they all truly feel like a comprehensive piece of art.
“Exactly! A comprehensive piece of art! I thought it was wonderful how they all created something together in various aspects, not just the dances. There are many places to showcase my dancing, but I was imagining what it might be like if I could perform on an artistic stage like that. My goal was clear. I wanted to be able to create my own unique view of the world on a level of high quality, just like the members I saw at that moment. Now that I have joined the group, my impression remains the same. I think the members are special in that they are always pursuing a way to express their performance in a way that only NCT is able to”
——The way that you respect the members of NCT is clear from your responses to our questionnaire, SHOTARO-san. Your response to our question, “NCT is a group that constitutes the colors and strengths of “diversity”, “expansiveness”, and “borderless”. Now that you have joined the group, what do you feel is the most appealing aspect of NCT, SHOTARO-san?” was fiery to say the least: “All of these aspects really exist with a good balance. I am convinced that the appeal of each of the 23 members is able to turn the gears perfectly, and I have seen firsthand how the puzzle pieces simply fit together! Because NCT is global and the members offer up a variety, it is also mesmerizing to have a wide range of expression and various styles in music. Each individual is able to make the most of what we have to offer, and that is something that only NCT can deliver!”
NCT NCT 2020 Year Party
“In my view really, NCT is truly a form of art entertainment. The unique personalities of each and every member is a part of it, but there’s this NCT worldview that is placed together in a perfect way and further, it reaches the viewers’ hearts… I think that’s incredible”
Crossing over to Korea and the firm resolve
——And then it’s also amazing that you actually became a member of NCT, but first, it must have taken extraordinary resolve to go to Korea.
“That was a turning point. Honestly, I moved to Korea, thinking this would be my last chance to become an artist. Both my parents and my grandparents stopped me once, but I had this firm resolve within me and told them that, “I would come back after I debuted.”
——So, your hope was stronger than your concern?希望に満ちていましたか？
“Mmm… I did have a lot of concerns, but I also had this image of shining bright on a big stage. Of course, it wasn’t like I could go to Korea and just debut. There were a lot of issues I had to overcome… like training and learning the language. I knew I had to work hard at this as I crossed over to Korea. On the day I was to leave, my friends came to the airport to see me off. It was sort of ‘emosh’. Although there were no tears and they were like, “see ya later…” (LOL)”
——No pressure there (LOL). What did you tell your family?
“ I just kind of nonchalantly said, “I’m heading out!” I think might’ve also said something like, “I’ll land the audition” and “I’ll work hard.” But it seems… not my family, not my friends, nobody ever imagined how it was going to turn out (LOL)”
——Makes sense. It was quite an edgy debut, after all. They must have been startled like, “Wait… something amazing happened out of the blue?!”
“That’s it (LOL). They were like, “Before we knew it, something amazing had happened!”
——Next, they’ll be like, “And what’s going on with your IG follower count!? (LOL)”
“I get asked that all the time!! (LOL)”
My debut period was like a whirlwind
——So you made good on your promise and landed a brilliant debut. You mentioned how you felt at the time as having been “non-stop excitement, but also hints of fear, of course…”
“The excitement came from how excited I was about being able to stand on the stage that shocked me. When I was first told that I was going to be joining NCT, I was so very happy. I went from being part of the audience and being touched deeply, to then realizing that I would actually become part of that! The excitement was nonstop. As for the fear… there were so many different aspects. Honestly, I had a pretty hard time with learning the language… okay, still do, but… (LOL). Activities as a group, the world of show business, living abroad… it was all so new to me and I was constantly on edge and I was also wary about what the future had in store for me”
——I’m sure you were. Everything must have been new to you… And still, you shook the world with the debut song. “Make A Wish（Birthday Song）”! to our comment about how you appeared to be completely holding your own performance-wise, you responded with, “Holding my own!? (LOL) I couldn’t tell which end was up.”
“Hahaha… that’s exactly how it was. I felt like I was on final sprint all the time and engaged like crazy that it all felt like a flash of instant(LOL). That song was the trigger to everyone getting to know about me. I am also deeply grateful that the members welcomed me in”
——As a new member, was there anything from the members that had an impact on you, or words of encouragement or even something that left a strong impression on you?
“Everyone helped me out. First of all, Yuta is somebody that I look up to as my senior member who has been active in a foreign land as a Japanese member for many years. I have so much to learn from him. I admire his strong confidence and that energy he emits brightly. And DOYOUNG stood right by my side during recording, teaching me many things. TAEYONG was very enthusiastic in giving me advice on the composition of our performances, and gave me so many specific suggestions like, “For this performance, if you look to the side while your dancing, they’ll be able to catch you on the camera.” I can never forget how all the other members stood by me and taught me so much. But that doesn’t mean that I have more wiggle room now on my own, but I do think that my eyes are just a little wider open now. I feel like I am now able to enjoy working with those around me while also having respect for the communication”
What it means to be part of the group
——As an artist dancer, you have performed on various stages, but in what way do you feel a difference when you perform as a member of a group?
“There’s a strong sense of creating something together as we move forward together. Of course, there were times as a dancer that I also felt that way. But when it comes to releasing a song together as a team, the difference is how we share various images, such as worldviews and directionality, as well as the strong cooperative relationship with the members and how we are conscious of “moving forward together.” I think that my self-awareness and realization as a member of NCT grew through the process of creating work with my senior members. I’ve always loved to express myself both on my own as well as part of group. So, I don’t think my approach to dance itself has changed, but I have learned to think objectively about what it means to be a member of NCT, not only in terms of responsibility, but also in terms of how best to express my own self”
——Like taking a step back to understand the concept?
“Yes, exactly what I mean! I’m still in the learning stages, but in the process of discussing with the directors, other dancers, and various people involved in the production, I’ve gradually been able to make proposals like, “Why don’t we try this?” And I have come to realize the importance and enjoyment of working together to create a piece of art. Since joining NCT, I feel that something is really happening, that we are all together, giving birth to art every single day. When expressing the worldview of NCT, the concept, meaning, and showcase of the songs we release, I think of those things first and foremost, rather than drawing the attention to myself, and I want to give 100% of what I can do now, every time, every single time. I think that there are times when it is important to take a load off our shoulders when expressing ourselves, but I’m still working that out and I hope that you will all watch over me as I get there (LOL)”
——Earlier you mentioned, “…that doesn’t mean that I have more wiggle room now on my own, but I do think that my eyes are just a little wider open now.” After “Make A Wish（Birthday Song）” and the comeback of “Universe（Let’s Play Ball）,” what kind of growth did you feel within yourself with the release of “coNEXTion（Age of Light）,” where the topic of conversation was all about the dance performance?
「Universe（Let’s Play Ball」 NCT U
「coNEXTion（Age of Light）」 NCT LAB
“I think I have a little more confidence. I’m able to look at myself more objectively than when I first came to Korea and realize now, “Oh, I could be better if I did things this way.” When I think back to my debut, I think I was just going through the motions, but with “Universe (Let’s Play Ball)” and “coNEXTion (Age of Light)” I think I was gradually able to work with a sense of comfort. Understanding what I should be doing and conveying my opinion to those around me. Although there are things I need to get used to and I still get nervous (LOL)”
——Once you get over the whirlwind and have a little more wiggle room to see yourself objectively, “what you should’ve done” or “what you want to be” becomes clearer, doesn’t it?
“For sure. There are times when I’ve calmed down and I checked the monitors after a performance, thinking “I could have done more,” even though I gave it my all. But I don’t like when that happens, so I always try to practice as much as I can so it doesn’t. I absolutely do not want to regret something just because I didn’t put in the effort. So, I always give it my all when it comes to practicing.
——It is vital to look at yourself objectively regardless of the circumstances.
“Don’t you know it~! Not just with dancing, but also with variety videos or taking just one photograph, the balance has to be there. I’m the type of person who tends to focus on things, so in order to achieve growth, I think I really need to be able to see things objectively. Besides, depending on the TPO, there’s a trend, you know? I don’t intend to match up that completely, but I think it’s important to keep my antennas up in that direction as well…”
——There’s so much to do!
“That’s so very true!! There’s so much to do~! I’m going to have to work harder!”
When I saw firsthand just how incredible my senior members are
——As you know, in Korea, there is something called “chikkem [fancam]” (Editorial note: Fixed camera footage of an artist’s performance during a music program. Each camera follows a single member of the group.) We hear the number of views for your fancam footage is out of bounds, SHOTARO-san.
“Oh, come on… Thank you very much…”
——You’re shrinking in humbleness (LOL).
“I am genuinely happy that people are paying attention to my dancing. However, I am also keenly aware that the reason why they are able to look at me and appreciate me in this way is because the senior members of NCT have really worked hard to get to this point. I’m still in the process of exploring what my role is in NCT, but I do know that what I need to be working on more right now is my “expressive ability.” I want to be able to do what I can as a member of the team to the fullest of my ability”
My silent little voice for a huge dream
——You responded to the question, “As you respect your senior members ahead of you, do you have any ‘ambitions’ for the future? Your answer was, “I would like to use my strong dance style to assimilate with various songs and performances (I want to be like no other in the K-POP world… silent little voice)” That is a sort of secret, now?
“Hehe… that’s true. I would like to have a uniqueness that’s my own, where those who see me will immediately think, “Hey, that’s SHOTARO’s dance!” Though I say it now with a silent little voice… I’d like to take advantage of the powerful hip-hop-based performance I have now and create a worldview like no other. For example, from the same agency as me, is TAEMIN-san of SHINee. He has this style called “The Taemin” where he just stands there and has this presence. I’d like to create my own style in that way. Michael Jackson was like that, too. You know, you immediately know who it is by his silhouette. I want my uniqueness to shine… like no other…”
——Please shout it out sometime soon!
“It’s still a silent little voice… but it comes with infinite possibilities. And I kindly ask for your support (LOL)”
SHOTARO’s journey of fashion
——And now we’ve reached the easy-going section of our interview!
“Sigh… (with an expression of relief)”
——Nothing to worry. The hard part’s over! (LOL)
“Hard part’s over! Oh, good… (To his manager) Did I say something wrong?”
Manager: Nope, not a word (LOL)”
——Now, I’d like to ask you about fashion, the one thing you like just as much as dancing. MEN’S NON-NO readers love this topic!
“Yay. Yes, please!!”
——When did your interest for fashion spark?
“Around high school”
——That’s surprisingly recent!
“I know. It’s recent (LOL). I started to pay more attention to fashion when I was in high school. Until then, I was dressed with what my parents bought for me like, “Wear this!” (LOL)”
——Dance was “Learn everything!” Clothes was “Wear this!” (LOL)
“Hahaha!! Yup. That’s really exactly how it was (LOL). Like I did everything as advised by my parents in the beginning, for dance and fashion. But when I was in high school, I had to go to Tokyo through my dancing. That’s when I thought for the first time, “Wow, Tokyo really is fashionable…” Like I was in awe. Everybody I met through dance was fashionable, and their knowledge of fashion was incredible. I’m always interested in things, so just by being in that environment, I found myself thinking, “Maybe I’ll try that” or “Hey, I’ll give it a try.” And I wound up fall in love with fashion the natural way”
——What you wear in dance is important, too, isn’t it? Do you find yourself getting more into it when you’re wearing what you like as you dance?
“Sure do! Above all, my excitement is heightened. So, I pay even more attention to fashion when it comes to dancing”
——And when you start to work, you’re able to discuss things with the stylists and pros in fashion.
“That’s true. I was surprised at how fashionable everybody in the editorial department is at MEN’S NON-NO. Do you have to be fashionable to be accepted for employment…?”
——Hahaha… not at all (LOL). But everybody loves fashion and there are a lot of people who like to try new things. Do you tend to keep an eye out for the trends, SHOTARO-san?
“I mean, I do keep an eye out, to a certain extent. I look at SNS, and I like going directly to the stores to check things out and say, “Oh, so this is style that’s ‘in’ these days.” And of course, I ask the stylists all kinds of things like, “What kind of brands or styles are ‘in’ lately?”
——You responded to the question, “What kind of style did you have when you were in Japan?” by writing, “Street-style and vintage-style.” There’s this street-style that pours out of you, SHOTARO-san, and the entire editorial department was like, “I knew it!”
“Wow… is that so?! When I was in Japan, I used to go to the vintage stores all the time”
——Oh, you’re a pro!
“Yes. I was a vintage store lover, yes I was! It was so much fun to go to Shimokitazawa and dig for those great finds. I haven’t been to any vintage stores in Korea yet, because I don’t know where they are, but apparently there are some”
——We’re really interested in that, too! Let’s definitely talk more about fashion during this series.
“I can’t wait!!!”
What I’d like to do with YUTA
——When we asked about what you would like to do with YUTA-san during this series, as you said in the beginning, you wrote, “I’d like to do an on-location shoot with YUTA in Japan.” Is there an actual spot that you would like to go to with YUTA-san?
“Um… A hot spring trip! MEN’S NON-NO often does on-location shoots, doesn’t it? I’d like to go on a hot spring trip with YUTA! … Quote, Loud voice!! (LOL)”
——Now that’s a sudden plunge forward (LOL).
“Hokkaido or Oita, either one works!”
——Location is specific and somewhat far away (LOL)”
“Hahaha. The further the better! YUTA and I have never hung out in Japan. We could wear a yukata and talk about all kinds of things together”
——For part in the questionnaire asking, “Please give us a message for YUTA-san,” you wrote, “YUTA, I love you (heart).” Since we interviewed YUTA-san first the other day, I told him your message. His response was, “SHOTARO’s heart sounds a bit business-fishy to me” and laughed (LOL)…. In his dialect.
“(slapping his hands together) Hahaha… That’s a shocker! (LOL) Then, my response is, “It’s not business, Quote, heart!” And I’ll even add the finger heart. We hang out together on our private time, too, so it’s like a big brother to me. I’m able to be myself around him and I hope to be able to continue working with him in the future as well. I promise to get along for the series, too”
Lastly, is there anything you left out!?
——Now, then… I believe we’re ready to end your first interview with us, SHOTARO-san. Is there anything you left out?
“I was a bit awkward in the beginning…”
——Not at all. Thank you for talking about things that nobody knows about yet.
“Oh, good… Um, anything I left out… anything I left out… I ask that MEN’S NON-NO plan a hot spring trip for us!”
——You did not leave that out at all (LOL). You were loud and clear earlier! (LOL)
“Hahaha! I did. I did. Everybody, don’t miss out (LOL)”
——Leaving no stones unturned… (LOL). As we eagerly await the final development… For now, let’s end with… SHOTARO’s first interview in Japan was a huge success!
(A round of applause from the entire staff)
“Yay! Oh, please put it all together like it should… (LOL). Thank you very much!”
☆And the series for these two continues! We hope you enjoy YUTA and SHOTARO, as well as MEN’S NON-NO magazine.
by Youngjin Kim
-stylist from Seoul
Just landed! Celebrity stylist from Korea, KIM YOUNGJIN, who styled the outfits this time, sent us the story behind the styles he arranged. For details on the complete styling, please also check the previous article.
“I’d like to talk about SHOTARO-san’s styling this time. He is a member who has always had a deep interest in fashion and has also been a part of various shoots in Korea. I can say that he is very aggressive, challenging, and ambitious. MEN’S NON-NO’s styling keywords were “Street” “Youthful” and “The atmosphere of a friend of the readers of MEN’S NON-NO.” I knew this was right up his alley. For his camouflage pants, I was prepared that SHOTARO-san might say something like, “I don’t know about that…” But contrary to that, he was ready to please and wore them perfectly with ease. And since he is also a first-rate dancer, he has this cool, taste that comes from the street, Yet on the flip side, he also has this rambunctious attitude that peeks into his expressions every now and then. I created the look with that mix in mind and I think the youthfulness comes through with abundance. In the same way as with YUTA-san, items that tantalize the challenging spirit are also perfect for SHOTARO-san. Rather than something formal and safe, I think that items that are hip and street savvy look great on him”
[YUTA]JACKET・HOODIE／CELINE HOMME by HEDI SLIMANE PANTS／SURGERY NECKLACE／VIOLLINA
[SHOTARO]JACKET・PANTS・SHOES／CELINE HOMME by HEDI SLIMANE KNIT／SURGERY NECKLACE／VIOLLINA
NCT is a special group, where the various units NCT 127, NCT DREAM, WayV, and NCT U gather together. With overwhelming performance skills, cutting-edge fashion, and unique, attractive characters, this boy group has countless fans all over the world. Their skills – singing, dancing, and rap – are all remarkable. Once you have seen them, you can never forget them!
Models:YUTA SHOTARO[Both are NCT] Photos:Heehyun Oh Hair:Songhee Han Make-up:Seongeun An Stylist:Youngjin Kim Coordination:Shinhae Song Asaki Kan Sachiko Tanno[TANO International] Logos:ZUMA Transration: Keiko Tsuyama
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