story published in the "Yomiuri Shimbun", TL by Thoseguiltyeyes from Scandal-heaven
Simple pajamas with white piping accents on chocolate-colored satin. There is a modest message on the back of the neck: "Proceeds will be donated to organizations that support women in need and those living in family environments."
Requesting assistance via crowdfunding in return for pajamas
Last year, RINA and her friend+model Seina started "MAKE A WISH DAISY PROJECT." The first thing they worked on was the production of these pajamas.
"There are of course cases when you need to communicate this subject in a serious manner.
But for us, we wanted this to be a non-serious entryway into it, to incorporate it into your daily life and be fashionable.
Also, to make it something that reminds you of the support you're giving."
In return for pajamas and requesting support via crowdfunding, over 7 million yen (~$62,000 USD) was collected in a month and a half starting from last December. After deducting the cost of materials, they donated about 1.29 million yen (~$11,300 USD) in August of this year to two organizations that support women survivors of domestic violence, single mothers, fathers, etc. Since then, they have been selling original T-shirts and other items on their online store.
RINA met Seina via a vintage fashion store she used to frequent.
They hit it off, sharing an interest in clothing as well as many other similarities.
They met up once a week, chatting at cafes and going shopping, and learned that they were both troubled by their family situation. "I wish I could do something for those who are in the same situation as me." During the time they were frequently discussing those thoughts, the pandemic hit.
"We were ordered to stay home, but I thought of how being at home wasn't safe for everyone.
There's a different danger aside from the virus. This made me realize that if we continued to live our lives normally, I would have never thought of that," said RINA, looking back on last spring. Seina also thought the same.
The two of them agreed that if they were to do something, now would be the time.
Struggling alone as a child, thinking, "Why is my family the only one all jumbled up?"
RINA was raised as the eldest daughter of five siblings in a single-mother family. Her mother remarried, but her relationship with the other man hurt her mentally. It was tough seeing her mother like that. "How can I protect her? I want to make my mother happy," is what she always thought. At the age of 15 she started her dream of working in music. However, when she was working, phone calls from her mother would shake her up—it was all she could do to keep her composure. Naturally, her mother was unable to attend live performances.
In her second year of high school, her dream of making a major debut came true and she moved to Tokyo. As her siblings bawled, she felt guilty that "I was the only one who got away." Strengthening her resolve, she told herself, "I'll make sure to succeed and give back to my family," and has continued to support her family financially. Smiling gently, she said, "Of course this is a job that I want, and I like being in a band—it's so much fun. But I think I've been able to make it this far without stopping because I had my family [to worry about]."
"I kept wondering why my family was the only one that's all jumbled up." - She recalled her childhood as she struggled alone without being able to talk to anyone about it. "I wonder how much it could have helped me if back then my favorite musician told me that there are families like mine."
She was also conflicted to share things that weren't related to music.
However, now that fans can feel closer to artists via social media, she felt that she might be able to get closer to the fans.
Additionally, another reason was that her relationship with the band's fans changed close to her late 20s.
SCANDAL launched its own imprint label within its record company [Victor Entertainment] three years ago.
They began promoting more independent activities.
"We can now tell our fans what we're worried about. We're able to make music as human beings, while also showing negative aspects.
I feel that our fans are also speaking to us as fellow human beings." Feeling this warm support, she thought she'd be able to launch this project now. She puts all of her strength into it: "I've received fan letters that say things like, 'I'm actually in the same boat.' I've also come into contact with people who are learning about this kind of topic for the first time. It really feels like things are being conveyed."
"Because I have my three other band members...being a solo act would have been absolutely impossible for me"
SCANDAL played at a live music club in Odaiba, Tokyo on the third of this month.
They performed cool and cute songs one after another, such as danceable songs and songs with strong rock themes to them. RINA could be seen surrounded by the members, hitting the drums powerfully. It's been 15 years since the band formed. Her three bandmates understood her situation and gently supported her.
They also support this current project from the bottom of their hearts.
A cozy place can be found right here. "Being with these three always makes me excited and happy. We're good matches for each other as human beings. I've made it these past 15 years because I've got these three. Being a solo act would have been absolutely impossible for me."
Her family situation had always been a complex for her, but recently she's been able to gradually start accepting it.
There are thoughts and problems she is able to notice due to having experience in that area. The amount of support still isn't that big yet, but she feels that the responses are moving forward.
"I'm sure there are people who are suffering and wondering if their current situation will keep continuing. I want to continue doing this for a long time so that these people know they're not alone."
"Live the way you want to, without denying anyone"
We asked RINA about her personal tastes.
The appeal of drums
The way your feelings will come out in the sound. If you're in a bad mood, you won't be producing any fun sounds. I started doing it and found out that it suits me.
Words she cherishes
"Live the way you want to, without denying anyone." I've always cherished this in my musical activities. It's the feeling that the four of us feel comfortable doing what we like.
How she refreshes herself
Watching thrilling, slightly scary movies or anime. I like the fear of something feeling bizarre and mysterious.
Favorite fashion items
Incorporating vintage items. Most of them are from Europe. A lot of my interior items are antiques purchased at flea markets.