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Riko’s Secret Garden Odyssey – Inspired by Hitsujibungaku: 12 Butterfly Embraces


『”ひみつの庭” inspired by 羊文学 – 12 hugs (like butterflies)』


The creative team HUG is reinterpreting Hitsujibungaku’s latest album “12 hugs (like butterflies)” in a special exhibition titled “Secret Garden inspired by Hitsujibungaku – 12 hugs (like butterflies)”, which is being held at New Gallery in Jimbocho until Sunday, July 7. The ever-evolving band is defined as a “garden,” with the creators and staff nurturing it as “gardeners.” Haru, the creative director from HUG who has consistently supported Hitsujibungaku’s artwork, plays a central role. Various artists from different fields are expressing each song in their unique ways. Additionally, costumes, photographs, and production materials from the album are on display, creating a space where visitors can fully immerse themselves in the world of Hitsujibungaku.

This time, Riko, a model and actress who appeared in the streaming drama “DISTORTION GIRL,” for which Hitsujibungaku provided the theme song, and who has openly declared herself a fan of the band, experiences the exhibition. She shares her thoughts on the charms of the exhibits and the space, and discusses the theme of “butterfly hug,” which means hugging oneself, from the album “12 hugs (like butterflies).”

Exploring Hitsujibungaku’s Vision Through Innovative Expressions

-You’ve just experienced the exhibition. First, please share your impressions.

Riko: To be honest, when I first heard about the exhibition and they said, “We’re going to do an exhibition,” I was like, “An exhibition? What does that mean?” I actually enjoy visiting art museums regularly and have quite a lot of opportunities to engage with paintings and art. However, this time it started with music, and then they created the exhibition based on that, so I was really intrigued.

But when I actually visited the venue and had the artworks explained to me, I felt a clear sense of ‘Ah, so you can interpret it like that,’ and various things became very clear to me.

When I listen to Hitsujibungaku’s songs, I try to understand their worldview and think about various things while looking at the lyrics. However, by visiting the exhibition this time, I felt like I got closer to Hitsujibungaku’s worldview. I thought this was a new way of expression, and I felt it was a very luxurious space.”

Model and actress. Since starring in the drama ‘Black Cinderella,’ she has appeared in numerous notable works such as “Fight Song” (TBS), and films like ‘To Be Killed by a High School Girl’ and ‘And Yet, You Are So Sweet.’ Her debut leading role film ‘Take Me To Another Planet,’ slated for release in 2024, was selected for the “Asian Future” section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. Upcoming releases include the short omnibus film “Frail,” part of “GEMNIBUS vol.1,” premiering on June 28th, and the film ‘We Don’t Know Love Yet,’ scheduled for release on August 23rd.

-There is a sense that your understanding of the songs will become more three-dimensional, isn’t there?

Riko: Yes, it does. I really like to listen to music. When I get home, the first thing I do is put on some music, and when I wake up in the morning and stop the alarm, I put on some music.

When I listen to songs by artists I particularly like for the first time, I use noise-canceling headphones, look at the lyrics, and listen while imagining, ‘Is this what they mean?’ However, Hitsujibungaku’s songs are such that you can’t grasp them fully with just one listen, which is a good thing. They make you want to listen to them over and over again. It feels like there’s a worldview that you can’t understand in just one listen, so I think that’s why I get drawn deeper into their music. Even when I sang ‘Step’ in ‘DISTORTION GIRL,’ at first I kept listening and thinking, ‘What does this mean?’ and I wanted to listen repeatedly to understand it deeply, which I think is unique to Hitsujibungaku.

-On TikTok, content that is easily understandable and quickly grasped tends to be popular. However, Hitsujibungaku allows for various interpretations depending on the listener, which is why projects like the exhibition I experienced this time are possible.

Riko: I enjoy interpreting and associating with things on my own, so as a fan, I am very grateful to have an exhibition like this.

In ‘Secret Garden inspired by Hitsujibungaku – 12 hugs (like butterflies)’, artwork explanations shaped like letters are given to visitors as gifts



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