Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
This is going to be a short one. As you all know, Inaba Manaka of Country Girls has announced to be going on a summer hiatus due to health reasons. She has had asthma ever since she was a child and her symptoms have flared up to the point that it’s interfering with idol activities. Therefore, she will be missing part of the group’s spring/summer tour (along with the H!P summer tour) and the Osaka performance of their musical has been canceled.
When the news broke Thursday morning, I was a little surprised and looked for confirmation. I was also surprised nobody else was talking about it, given the nature of the announcement. (Eventually, the front page of the Hello! Project Wikia reported it and two blog posts were made by Friday morning.)
My Two Cents
What’s my take on it? Well it is saddening when an idol has a to take a break from sharing her smiling face with the world. However, her health comes first and it can’t exactly be helped. We all remember the Saga of Tsunku, culminating in the removal of his vocal chords.
Kame (an asthmatic himself) mentioned that the change in climate might have something to do with her symptoms. The climate of Tokyo is very different from Inaba’s native Hokkaido. (Hilariously enough, Hokkaido was the original motif for her mother group’s predecessor and actually is the only member to be from the area.) This is especially so during the summer time where it becomes a heated dome, a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.
Heck, as someone with asthmatic parents and an asthmatic nephew, I’m somewhat familiar with how even the tiniest changes in the air can affect you.
Regardless, may Inaba Manaka be well. (At least it didn’t go the way of Kosuga Fuyuka.)
Sources and Further Reading
Further Reading about Tokyo and the UHI Effect
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Environment – Definition of Heat Island Effect
- The Japan Times
- Wikipedia Graph of Average Temperature of Kanto metropolitan areas
- Facts About the Weather & Climate in Tokyo | USA Today