「Featured post」~Searching for Matsumoto Megumi…

Matsumoto Rio

Being less than 10 months in age difference and yet it’s amazing how time flies and Matsumoto Megumi now at 29, an idol that I sort of “grew” up with in the sense that she regularly graced the idol magazines that I began collecting early on in my road to idol obsession….now and for years now has gone by Matsumoto Rio~. My subscription to UTB began in late ’95 and on the September ’97 issue her name is still written as Matsumoto “Megumi” an earlier “stage” name that she went by prior to a hiatus from the entertainment industry which then saw her return with “Rio” in place of Megumi. I remember when I first saw her going under the name Matsumoto Rio a few years later….and I was thinking that she was possibly “Megumi’s” sister because they “looked” so much alike it was uncanny and in her hiatus reports surfaced…the details of a “breakdown” had occurred as speculation of an idol’s life becoming too much and the pressures and demands that go with it steadily may have taken its toll. All too often I think from a safe distance we take liberties in just what an idol’s life is like and how the engulfment of all that sparkles surely equates all it entails in glossy print, an often airbrushed~projected imagery. Oasis. With technology comes also an underlying responsibility and words in themselves cut deeper than the sharpest of knives….not the flesh but one’s very own well being falling and altered and in an ever growing age of ease of open media and expression where every nuance and whim is blogged, tweeted and F~booked we each and every one of us utilize and sometimes abuse such rights where even a thought typed to be innocent or a thought expressed to be harmless then commentary can be far more devastating and far reaching then you may imagine~.


Matsumoto Megumi re~engaged her career as Matsumoto Rio with notable success in modeling, fashion and acting, a career which continues today as her acting resume in particular reads most impressive in both t.v. drama and movies. In a hindsight sense 1998’s highly controversial t.v. drama “Seija no koushin” which depicted the darkest of dark in human cruelty where emotionally handicapped patients were abused and taken advantage of in unspeakable ways by their “caretakers” there resonates an eerie precedence in Megumi’s then blossoming career and while it’s apples and oranges so to speak…emotional hurt in any sense brought upon by any carelessness or wrong doing is all in the same.

While the bridging here between idols in this context and with fans and observers isn’t meant to be directly taken in context, please just pause and even if for a moment before words may escape from your fingertips to keyboard to a real person. Seemingly innocent banter from any vein whether it be in a large forum to a personal blog…a fashion sense in your eyes gone awry, an idol’s fluctuating weight, a line of lyrics sung without approval, a social affair of personal nature….idols are flesh and blood and embody emotions and insecurities like any of us. Being a “celebrity” in an enlightening sense in this context only differs them from “us” in that they’re much more easily accessible, visible on a day~to~day basis……and even if difficult to fathom, on that stage…..we all hurt the same.

Matsumoto Rio Seraphita no komori uta CD   DVD edition

Admittedly I’ve purchased my fair share of one shot idol music releases where things just didn’t pan out as hoped or perhaps the musical endeavor didn’t suit quite right, and in numerous cases perhaps some idol’s vocals just weren’t suited for the career…however that’s exactly where Matsumoto Rio differs. I had previously heard her speak in dramas and I never imagined that she’d have such a wonderful singing voice but this really can be the case with so many other vocalists as well. Matsumoto Rio’s vocals project a deepness with both strength and character and her ability to hit a subtle falsetto adds a beautiful and memorable touch to her release “Seraphito no komori uta.” And although this release is now approaching 7 years in age it holds no characteristics in style, arrangement or genre which the passing of time can otherwise tarnish….I know many will hate to hear the word “timeless” but  I can’t help but apply that very sentiment~. And with the powerhouse musical home Avex behind her this release didn’t skimp on any of its attention to presentation or extras as all of the outer pages of the booklet as well as the front and back covers are all presented on beautiful glossy thick stock paper along with the inclusion of a DVD containing the pv for the title track “Seraphita no komori uta” along with two t.v. CM spots (AVCD-30622/B edition). (This release was also available without the extra DVD.)

A notable timeline here too with this single is how the advent of the ill fated “copy control” audio CD came to be with Avex placing all of their releases at this time under such production. The perhaps then unforseen issue with the “copy control” format which was created wholeheartedly with the goal of preventing or at least discouraging song file sharing in piracy when it was then said to be threatening the well being of the music industry (which continues today) was that while it proved problematic to those perhaps intending to illegally share files on a pc it also impeded the paying/ supporting fans as well in that if you legitimately purchased one of these releases and say your media format for listening was in fact your pc and on its speakers, you’d not be able to access playback which brought upon issues which were not originally intended by record labels =(.

To further point out the elegance of this release, when both discs are removed they reveal an absolutely beautiful gate fold photo of Rio which is spread across both the front and back inner jackets.

Matsumoto Rio Seraphita no komori uta inner jacket scans (connected)



Three songs and a total of six tracks are included with this release: “Seraphita no komori uta”, “Sweet Season”, “Make me smile”, “Seraphita no komori uta” (piano version), “Seraphita no komori uta” (Instrumental), and “Make me smile” (Instrumental).

The songwriting is nothing short of excellent and with Rio’s strong performance it leads me to speculate that perhaps she opted for a career centered on acting and fashion design rather than music as with a debut this impressive it’s difficult to imagine any other reason for her abandoning the music industry altogether after just a single release with such strong backing and support. And I can’t stress enough how beautiful I feel the production is for this release as Matsumoto Rio is the picturesque vision of pure elegance throughout all of its included photos.


~Matsumoto Rio “Sweet Season” mp3~

~Matsumoto Rio “Make me smile” mp3~

Matsumoto Rio “Seraphita no komori uta (piano version) mp3~


Here’s the lovely pv for the title track….


~Matsumoto Rio “Seraphita no komori uta” (pv)~


I simply have been always confused about the whole whale imagery or is it some kind of symbolism??…again me thinking too much can produce embarrassing thoughts or conclusions so I’ll continue to wonder to myself (*≧∀≦)☆★ ↓ LOve this pv♥! there’s something so surreally alluring there….










~nostalgic zasshi……

Here’s a little trip down memory lane from years ago and isn’t she absolutely adorable in these photos! I’ve always thought that her best facial feature is her beautiful large almond shaped eyes! And this may sound a bit strange but I also loved her eyebrows too when she was younger perhaps why A~min♥ attracts me so much too now (*´∀`*) ♪

Matsumoto Megumi in zasshi...
















About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
This entry was posted in Featured, Japanese idols, J~Pop, Zasshi and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to 「Featured post」~Searching for Matsumoto Megumi…

  1. Pingback: ~J-drama “Taiyou no kisetsu”, why you must watch… | モーニングBerryz48…the morning after….. "Always wear protection before reading…(^q^)."

  2. philipleslie says:

    Brilliant job! Well researched and passionately written.
    I’ve just checked on eBay: no CD at the moment, but there is ‘Sotsugyou’.


    • I was really going through a rough period of hearing how some fans treat idols both in person as well as online through rash comments which are always so hurtful when I wrote this post….I could totally connect with Matsumoto Rio’s career this way and what she had gone through herself back then causing her to vanish for awhile altogether =(.

      Did you get a chance to watch her music video?..it’s really a lovely song and Rio’s voice is amazing!! The whole whale thing confuses me lol but it’s surreal~ly beautiful!

      Oh her photo book “Sotsugyou”…..

      Hmm…..Oh here under Matsumoto Rio as under her changed name her single “Seraphita no komori uta” is available \(^o^)/!!! The packaging is most pretty too with those old school wide double CD jewel cases as well as glossy liner notes inside!

      Only $9.49!! and this copy is still newly sealed!!



      • philipleslie says:

        Oh, thank you for the link! (Williamcheng is a trusted seller, too.) I loved the whale video…I didn’t realise people were unkind to idols. Saying that, there was a lot of anti-Paruru blogging going on around Christmas time, which was vile and unpleasant to see. I couldn’t understand it. The Miichan ‘scandal’ created a lot of unnecessary bad feeling too, but also generated a huge amount of support. (I don’t read newspapers, but spotted the UK take on the story on an online site: The Guardian, I think it was. Most of the opinions were from people who had heard the story second- or third-hand (“These women-haters ORDERED her shave her hair off!”) without knowing anything about AKB48, AKB company policy (and how, if you do decide to break the rules, make sure you don’t get caught. If you’re not supposed to use the firm’s photocopier for your own purposes, then only use it when everyone’s gone home!).


        • A~h you’ve shopped from him before =)…it’s amazing that he’s got an unopened brand new copy of Rio’s single!!

          It goes way back sadly. Were you into C-ute back when Arihara Kanna was still in the group? Well she fell victim to the media photographing her with a celebrity guy and it was really blown out of proportion albeit the no dating rule does exist sadly in the lives of idols although I fully understand the reasons and there are many besides just the pure image thing but I could go on and on about that single topic but i won’t not to bore you and also because I’ve posted repeatedly over the years about the whole idols and forbidden dating rule…it’s a really controversial topic with lots of mixes of emotions surely from both sides of the point. Anyway getting back to Kanna~chan, shortly after that ‘scandal’ broke she was being shunned by fans who were attending C-ute’s meet and greet events, it was absolutely heartbreaking and horrible as she was brought literally to tears during these events where fans would make it a point to completely ignore her and just meet and talk and shake hands with her fellow members =(. I originally posted about that incident here:


          As far as Paruru goes, it was a bit more complicated but I tried to sum it up all here:


          U~n Miichan’s ‘scandal’ was hurtful too on how it all ended up, I was horrified to say the least =(. It struck a huge chord for me personally….I was on a blogging break when it occurred but needed to return for just this one post when I first learned of what had happened with Miichan….



          • philipleslie says:

            Kanna-chan’s story is so very sad, and to be blanked (ignored) by the fans must have been a true low point. Thank you for the excellent links. Your Paruru post is almost the definite word on the subject!


            • philipleslie says:

              I wrote ‘almost’… on second thoughts, strike that word out. Your post sums up what was going on exactly!


              • It was a really rough period thinking back to how Kanna~chan must’ve felt going through all of that and although I miss her I also was happy for her graduating from C-ute/H!P back then as how could she have been happy with those things happening to her. The fans really went to far I think, that was inexcusable.

                Did you watch this year’s General Election as it was streamed live for the first time? I had stayed up rather late watching it and posting my observations/ reactions/ thoughts live along the way, but anyway it was in particular Paruru’s acceptance speech and her overall demeanor on that night plus really an ongoing conversation with Sagsousuke the very next day (he’s here on WP too), which prompted that Paruru post.

                It was my very first time watching the General Election and live too, as in the past I had waited till the next day or so to go look up the results, a most memorable night:



                • philipleslie says:

                  Frustratingly, I wasn’t able to watch the election on YouTube, but did spend several hours shortly after the event going through all the blogs and being really happy for Sasshi. It must have been exciting to watch it live.


                  • I did like a live comment for the election, I sometimes do that too for particular sporting events if I’m really into them, then it’s like having an online thought diary just to document my reactions as the events are happening….may seem strange though to comment by oneself but I still have fun doing it in any case. I was more shocked than anything at just how far the gap between Sasshi and Yuko ended up =O…I thought it’d be a lot closer and yet the preliminary results had Sasshi with a commanding lead which she wrote about on her blog and she rarely posts anything there these days so it was such an amazing development for sure and I just can’t even imagine all of the emotions she must have had just seeing the fan support she was getting from the get go =). The elections ran really long and yet I was so engrossed into seeing whom would rank next every step of the way and how their speeches and demeanor would be so the time just flew by all several hours of them! Hopefully AKB management saw just how many fans were online live for the event so that they’ll continue to stream the election results live into the future too.


              • Oh and I nearly forgot xD, it’s interesting how Japanese names are given at times as some parents choose to be a bit artsy about how they choose a given name taking into consideration the kanji characters aesthetic appeal as well as meaning and in some cases there are liberties taken in the sense of kanji vs. exact meanings. For example if you take Tsuyoshi’s name (Smap) it’s written with this in mind. For Mayuyu you’re correct in her kanji’s literal meanings with Wata having the possible definitions of migrate; imported; passage while na(be) alone can mean edge; border; neighborhood; vicinity, etc…..Ma for hemp; flax and Yuu as friend. When in combination of course meanings and their context can change and in some cases too even the chosen pronunciations can differ as parents choose them to…it’s really a unique aspect of names. My last name basically has the means of referring to a beach peninsula shaped part of land, so I’ve always imagined that my great ancestors at some point or another lived in such an area of land in Japan years ago although I’ve never traced back that far.


                • philipleslie says:

                  Thank you for that. I do find name kanji greatly puzzling! I’ve learnt to treat them separately. I have learnt that some given names, such as that of 入山杏奈 have been created after a Western model, in this case Anna (when I investigated her kanji, I seem to remember they’re both fruit bushes). Weren’t really old names written using katakana? You probably know this, but my first name actually means lover of horses. Not particularly fitting as I’ll only go near one if there’s a sturdy fence between me and it! Then I might offer it a handful of grass.


                  • philipleslie says:

                    I remembered earlier that I’d spotted an NMB48 member who uses katakana for her given name: 與儀ケイラ, but it appears that Keira (or Keila) is a Brazilian name; one of her grandparents was Brazilian. It’s not usually common for katakana in names, though, is it?
                    Saw a lots of horses today, on a visit to the nearby town of Newmarket, which is built around horse racing. Apart from the racetracks and stables, there are special routes through the town for jockeys and trainers to get their animals about without encountering traffic. I believe there is a lot of money to be made in owning racehorses. It’s not a sport that’s followed in Japan, perhaps (unlike golf and baseball etc).


                    • Sometimes too with celebrities they’ll go with katakana instead of their given name’s proper writing giving it a much different aesthetic appeal and sometimes they’ll change their first name completely, like actors having a stage name and being known by it instead of their real names. That’s a great example and a pretty name! That’s such smart thinking having a separate route for the horses♥ as a few years back a tragedy occurred on our freeway as a horse got startled when a motorcyclist whizzed by and sadly the horse was injured and past away =(. They weren’t using the necessary precautions for holding the horse in a completely covered compartment but I believe there are strict regulations now on how a horse must be kept while being moved by vehicle so that nothing terrible like that ever happens again. I sometimes watch the big horse races on t.v. like The Preakness and Kentucky Derby and there’s one more of the Triple Crown I’m missing. Reading about Secretariat was so moving and then seeing vintage footage of Secretariat blowing the entire field away by so far is just amazing!! I always hear of how expensive and prized those bred for racing are and there’s an incredible amount of money involved in the care and training..it’s mind boggling just thinking of those numbers =O.

                      I’ve been meaning to ask as I’m most curious as to know how and when you first discovered CoCo? We’re sort of a rare breed of fan as far as currently active blogs go so I’m most curious. For me it was a combination of both their “Sweet and Bitter” and “Singles” albums being on the Oricon chart at the same time back in ’94 along with a most helpful friend whom shared and introduced me to so much about CoCo, their music, books and members…it was fun too as we would go together searching for more CoCo as we had always planned to complete their collection.

                      Oh and on a side note, I thought it’d be a good time to share with you one of my very first J-pop loves~♥…she’s Mochida Maki and she has the most pure and lovely of voices you’ll ever hear…anyway I explain it all in this post which has her song recommendations too so if you get the chance I hope you’ll give her songs a listen as I’ve included pretty much her discography in mp3 playable tracks there and I’m pretty confident that you’ll love her voice and music as well…oh and check out Tsunku in that live clip of hers it’s quite amusing:



                  • Originally the Japanese created katakana as a means to show foreign languages in their written language as hiragana is typically used for Japanese words which Chinese kanji doesn’t allow for. But more and more the use of katakana has become much more free and sometimes it’s just used for the visual impact of it all and doesn’t necessarily mean that word(s) they’re spelling is foreign. Oh that’s really cool!..did not know that and Philip’s a wonderful name, I’ve always thought of it sounding distinguished and a gentlemanly name.


                    • philipleslie says:

                      Hi! Discovered CoCo quite late: early 2008. But better late than never. I’ve always loved 1980s music–my vinyl collection covers many acts, from Japan to Aha via Duran Duran and Talking Heads and you name it–and being a MoMusu fan, decided to delve back in time to see what came before them. A lot! And a lot of that was blissfully so very 1980s: hyperactive bass, jazz-derived chords and chord changes etc plus great melodies, which Western acts quite often neglected to provide.(Maybe this is to do with the way the Japanese language is set to music: the stresses in Western pronunciation aren’t present as such, and J syllables tend to be short, so that a lot more notes are required? Please correct me on this is wrong. Just a theory. So many times when I’m following the lyrics to a song, I’m amused by the way phrases sometimes drive a wedge in the middle of a word, dividing it into two without any loss of comprehension.) Anyway, CoCo really stood out, because I loved the kawaii voices and especially the melodies, which, as always with kosher Jpop (ie not imitating Western models), are really strong. (Mai Kuraki may be very Western in her approach, but she’s simply an exceptionally good performer.) I love that 1980s-1990s era of Jpop so much because there’s nothing not to like about it: beautiful songs, beautifully arranged, beautifully sung…
                      Mochida Maki is wonderful. You created a fan because of your post. I’ve just located a copy of her first album ‘Spring Summer Autumn Winter’.

                      I’ve noticed that many Japanese performers use English wither for song titles or albums. Is this for attracting the US market, or because it just looks cooler in a different language?


                    • Oh but you’ve still been a fan for a few years now =D, it’s amazing how you discover so many artists which you fall in love with I think that’s great! U~n the eighties were an amazing time for music and even though I was just getting born into life during that decade its one of my favorites when it comes to the song writing and the musical styles of that time. A~h so in a sense it all stemmed from Momusu gaining your interest and then checking to see whom came before and before then. I remember one of the first things I noticed about J-pop early on was me thinking just how great it was that they didn’t have the need or tendency to rhyme their lyric endings as it can open up so much more. It was Rieko’s initially for me, I’d just never heard anyone sign quite that way ever!! CoCo’s vocals really complimented each other so well and I so agree as it’s definitely the excellent song writing which wins in the end. I have a few of Kuraki Mai’s earliest albums, like her too….sadly I never watched her live performances much =(. Which brings us back to AKB48 and just how AkiP relates it all back to that golden age of J-pop! I’m overjoyed!!! You’re going to so further love Mochida Maki’s voice and music!!! Perfect you found her 1st album, it’s the same very songs which I heard from her first too and then watching that anime movie “Mermaid’s Scar” and just being caught by surprise as she’s singing the ending theme song was really an amazing experience back then.

                      In the past surely there was a cool image to the usage but now it’s become so universal for even Japanese to borrow English words regularly throughout all of their pop culture, only some times you find yourself looking at an Eng(R)ish worded T-shirt which is cute in a way =P.


                    • philipleslie says:

                      Mai Kuraki’s live shows are amazing, and pretty consistent from the earliest to the most recent They seem to be readily available too. Her band is magnificent.
                      Funny, but recently I’ve been watching several H!P and MoMusu shows (for the umpteenth time!) thinking how much wild energy there is compared to the very precise AKB performances, but that’s probably because the latter are differently choreographed. What I love about the H!P stage shows is that the singers (and they are singing too!) are flying around in an apparently random way, occasionally falling into synch. It looks spontaneous, but I bet it isn’t. Yesterday I watched the One Happy Summer Day 2002 (the one with the afro humour!). A really enjoyable show (it must’ve been hot as everyone was completely soaked with sweat), and I love the final 5 minutes backstage. Wish there had been more of that. I’ve also recently re-visited MoMusu’s ’15nen non-stop’ show, which is truly excellent.
                      Music aside, my first encounter with Japan, not including the postcards and gifts my uncle had sent when he worked at various British Embassies in what we call the Far East (he was based in Manilla for a long time), was when my best friend at art college was visited by her Japanese penfriend and her penfriend’s friend. All three were passionate Queen fans, and even though the Japanese visitors could only communicate by pointing at a phrasebook, they did know the English words to every song! They were older than us, in their early 20s, and still wearing seifuku. And they were Minimomi-sized too. Somewhere I have a photo of me towering over one on Paddington Station. As they were Queen fans, one of the necessary holy destinations was a band member’s London address. Possibly there still exist in a photo album in Japan the photos of us all taking turns to pose in front of the house. Later we were treated to a bomb scare that prevented the visitors from returning to their hotel until the all-clear. A fun couple of days.


                    • I love that she toured with a live band and as we both agree it just makes a world of difference whether for groups, idols or solo artists…I’m only familiar with her earliest catalog though but I do love those songs very much! The real live aspect for H!P is so worlds apart from the 48 shows but as you say they both have their place albeit so different for the girls and fans alike. I still wish AKB would perform truly live with their vocals although I do get the whole artistic performance approach they’re taking. I know!!..it’s truly sweaty with so much movements around the stage and so much energy spent no doubt! Remember that scary time when I believe it was Nono who accidentally fell off of the stage or was it Aibon? Gosh no I do think it was Nono and then she was on crutches and couldn’t continue on with the tour for awhile but happily she was okay =). What’s amazing is that all of these early concerts are now being offered up on Bluray and although I have them all on DVD it’s awfully tempting as Bluray has its ways of spoiling you xD. U~n only some of the early concerts included bonus backstage footage and in particular the graduation concerts began including them…still remember vividly Aichan being so crushed after Gomaki graduated (her confessed favorite member in Momusu both before and when she joined the group as she really looked up to her) and they had the camera on her so intently while the staff was trying to interview her but Aichan said not a word as you could just feel her sadness immediately after the concert had ended. That’s so awesome!!! So many classic groups outside of Japan have such a following there and if you scan the best sellers @ cdjapan from time to time there’s often an abundance of reissues or specially packaged releases from classic bands and artists alike on their top sellers listings! Queen is amazing!! A friend at my old job turned me onto them and I eventually collected I think most of their albums over time, they wrote some amazing music and so much of it groundbreaking for its time no doubt. That’s a wonderful memory~♥ ^^.


                    • philipleslie says:

                      I’ve spotted a couple of Tanimura Yumi concerts on CD Japan. (I’m listening to her Christmas album as I type this!)… After searching high and low for a couple of days, I’ve found the photograph of me and one of the Japanese visitors. False memory syndrome: unless she was standing on a plinth, she was taller than I remembered. As for the house we posed outside of, I’m told it was Freddie’s residence off Kensington High St. Queen were heavily derided at the time by critics, I believe, but they’re awesome musicians, and the songs are so varied. Quite a number of the songs start off in one style and change to another half way through before changing to something else. They seemed to have had a huge following in Japan. Live, they must have been incredible. Brian May still plays, but divides his time between music and astronomy, because he continued his studies and acheived a PhD in astrophysics (I think it was).


                    • I”m thinking that one may be Yumi~sans’ “Feel Mie special live” DVD?…


                      There are just a couple of just incredible performances!!! in that post, but also a few more performances from that concert DVD in a few other Tanimura Yumi posts here. She’s talented beyond words as we both agree and seeing her live is mesmerizing and just thinking that her career began so idol like is just additionally astonishing as before long she was already composing her own lyrics and music for her singles and albums. I actually had no idea that they were from the U.K. =P! Silly me didn’t do any research on them back then xD…awesome that you’ve visited the actual home of the lead singer and thank you for the photograph linked and I will reply soon as I’ve had a bit of a busy day..well busy with AKB48’s new single as I’ve been preparing a post for the entire afternoon till now from late morning. Queen really were so creative and diverse in their styles, Brian May an amazing guitarist too! Well I’m barely over five feet so you’re friend is perhaps even taller than I am lol =P.


                    • philipleslie says:

                      Thanks for the link. That’s the concert which looks like a must-have! Will add that to my ‘wants’ list. Yes, Queen very much British, although (I’m checking these facts with Wikipedia) Freddie was actually born in Zanzibar and spent his teens in India. I’ve learnt something new today, then.


  3. @Philip, you won’t be disappointed the concert is 110% amazing!!! Her performances on piano in particular are all mesmerizing perfection ~*.


Say something nice

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s