IZ*ONE Yabuki Nako: “When I first started in Korea, I even cried alone in the shower”

Yabuki Nako, a former member of the project girl group IZ*ONE and currently a member of HKT48, recalled her life in Korea in an interview with the Japanese media. 

On Oct 22nd, an interview with Nako Yabuki was released on Yahoo! Voice – a content of portal site Yahoo! Japan. Through this interview, Nako Yabuki had the opportunity to look back on the two years spent in Korea.

In the interview, Nako Yabuki said, “As I went to Korea right after the audition, my life began without knowing any Korean. At first, I couldn’t even share my feelings with the members and it was really hard. There were many Korean words that I didn’t know during dance practice. For example, I still remember the way we Japanese members look at each other in confusion because we didn’t know expressions such as ‘gather your legs’ and ‘heel’ at all.”

Yabuki Nako

Nako Yabuki then said, “Korean and Japanese members wanted to somehow express our feelings to each other. So, Korean members learned Japanese, and Japanese members learned Korean. While using each other’s language, we communicated, including gestures. And then we started to connect. I was touched the moment I thought, ‘Oh, I understand now,’ she confessed.

At first, there were difficulties other than the language barrier. She said, “As we lived in the dorm, I really didn’t have time alone. The only time I could be alone was bath time, so when I was really tired and wanted to cry, I cried with the shower on. Because I could only be alone during shower time at the dorm.”

Yabuki Nako

Nako also confessed to having a complex. Nako Yabuki said, “I was worried because I was short. There are not many Korean idols who are short. There was a 20cm difference in height between the tallest member in IZ*ONE and I. There was a time I almost lost my confidence when I thought I would ruin the team when we danced. When I expressed my worries about this, the Korean members would say, ‘We don’t think of height when we danced,’ ‘You’re cute just by breathing,’ and ‘We are grateful for your existence.’ Thanks to this, I gained confidence. Above all, the happiest thing for me was the nickname “the tallest fairy in the world” given by the Korean fans,” she added.

produce izone

Nako Yabuki made her debut as a member of the Japanese idol group HKT48 in 2014 and appeared on the Mnet’s “Produce 48” in 2018, making her name known in Korea as a member of the project group IZ*ONE. She returned to Japan and returned to HKT48 after IZ*ONE‘s disbandment in April this year.

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