JoJo and Asami Araki's Bizarre Life (November 2009)

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Published November 21, 2009
JoJo and Asami Araki's Bizarre Life (November 2009)
Interview Archive

A live interview in front of an audience with Asami "Chami" Araki, Hirohiko Araki's wife. It was held at the 60th "Komaba Festival", the University of Tokyo's school festival, on November 21, 2009.


On November 21st, at Tokyo University's 60th Komaba Festival, was Araki Sensei's wife. We went to see Mrs. Asami Araki's public talk "JoJo and Asami Araki's Bizarre Life"!

With only 300 tickets being distributed, the ticket sales began at 10 A.M. and were immediately sold out. With 200 fans creating a line that extended all the way to the entrance of the emergency stairway, the manga artist's wife's lecture seemed to be the climax of the festival. At 1:30 P.M., all seats were completely filled and spectators began to line up around the outer circumference of the venue. In the Maninonrei (banners of thanks for the full house) Classroom, being greeted with a warm applause, the program director, Mr. Hiroki Terai announced the entry of Araki’s wife: Mrs. Asami Araki (Chami).

  • In this report all references to Mrs. Araki are standardzed to "Mrs. Chami". This was done through my notes and recollection of the event, and there may be parts with errors. If it’s clear there was a mistake, or there are any questions, please submit a form or e-mail me about the issue.

Reason for holding this lecture

Mrs. Chami did not get an invitation from the Tokyo University JoJo Research Society, but rather, the program director, Mr. Terai, was a friend from her student days. She heard about the offer through a mutual friend of their's. (in addition, the 2007 Cell Front Cover drawn by Araki was related to the Tokyo University Cranial Nerves Group, as well as author Kang Sang-jung and Mr. Kenichirō Mogi having relations to the school.) Since the lecture was to be in front of a large crowd, Mrs. Chami refused many times, but knowing that the fans would be enthusiastic to have her speak, Araki Sensei insisted, “What if you try once?”, and so the decision was made. Incidentally, she informed us that Araki would have stomach problems from nervousness if he had shown up.

Where is Araki right now?

  • We were told Araki was 100% not at the meeting hall.

He couldn’t come, but yesterday he went to a Shinto Shrine to pray for his wife and he joked, “I’ll scatter flyers around the university!” (Wouldn’t Araki putting out flyers in person cause an uproar?!). Now, as for where Araki Sensei was now, Mrs. Chami said, “Probably on a walk.”

Beginning of Romance with Araki

About 20 years ago, when Mrs. Chami was attending a friend’s marriage interview, sitting across from her was a man, Araki Sensei. After that moment, Mrs. Chami said she immediately clicked with him (however, it seemed like Araki wasn’t thinking about love at all). In that moment, she got Araki Sensei’s number and their friendship began. 3 months later, they were married. Certainly the marriage had a ‘Speed – A’ rating.

Araki’s First Date

Araki would frequently go to a Gym Pool. He was carrying his swimsuit to the pool when he got asked out by telephone. When she arrived, (with a Mona Lisa smile) Araki said, “I’ll be swimming back and forth in the 25 meter line a few times, so just play around here” and left her alone. She was looking at the training schedule in silence while Araki continued to swim. When he gave her a sidelong glance, she appeared to be doing the flutter kick by herself… (it sounds like a manga, but it’s a true story).

Araki’s ding-dong dash!?

About 10 years into their marriage, Mrs. Chami tells us, “I felt like I was living with a first-year middle schooler.” This childish, simple-minded troublemaker, how many ding-dong dashes he was doing! (The respectable adult! The popular Jump writer!) But, the people in the neighborhood loved Araki, and the older people would call out to him as if he was a boy. Strange folk…

Araki’s fear of strangers

Back then, Araki was extremely shy. For example, when Mrs. Chami’s friend came over, he opened the door just halfway. When he looked, he said “Ah! A stranger!” and immediately closed the door without even coming out. But, at the 2003 Paris Exhibition “JOJO IN PARIS”, when he was thinking that no one from Japan would come, the successive chiefs of Shueisha arrived. Since then, his shyness has begun to be cured. Nowadays, he’ll invite about 20 manga artist over for a party. Incidentally, when Mrs. Chami sees the manga artist arrive to the party, time and time again she thinks “Manga artist are a little weird, aren’t they?...” (haha)

Araki at home

According to Mrs. Chami, Araki is like a "business woman who's a friend and confidant." He loves candy and sweet foods, even remembering the types well, asking her questions like "Where did you put the X Chocolate?" or talking (like a kibitzer?) about subjects like women’s fashion, and the extent to which he keeps himself open to new information is enough to make her want to go "Be quiet!" (haha).

A video letter from Masanori Morita!


We get a screening of a video letter from one of Araki’s manga artist friends, the author of 「ROOKIES」 Masanori Morita! At the party in Araki’s house, he drew a picture of Jotaro and before Araki was able to comprehend what he was doing, he drew 2 or 3 more. When they were drinking alcohol together, he was worrying about whether to sit next to Araki or Mrs. Chami and finally he said “Hey!” and sat next to Mrs. Chami. He said to Mrs. Chami, “Beautiful as ever”, “I hope your happy” and to Araki Sensei, “I respect you a lot”, “You were so mellow and easy to approach” and so on. At the end of the video letter, he shrewdly inserted an advertisement for the Rookies DVD and Besharigurashi Volume 9. (Looking at the video was super interesting! The playful Morita Sensei drew a large laugh from the crowd.)

Araki’s height, has he gotten taller?

At this year’s first Ultra Jump party, Araki met with 「High School! Kimengumi」’s Shinzawa Sensei for the first time again in 20 years. For some reason, he asked “Araki Sensei, your height, have you gotten taller?” Araki was petrified for about 10 seconds and then said, “No, it’s unacceptable.” (It was a surreal spectacle…)

Araki and music

According to Mrs. Chami, music is super important to Araki’s writing. For example, when there’s a battle scene, Rock, when there’s a scene with horses running, country music, and so on. He does the job of putting on music that fits the scene. Conversely, when the house is silent, it seems to be very much so. By the way, the music that was playing at the entrance of this event was chosen by Araki (the name of the song wasn’t revealed?). Initially, the JoJo Research Society were preparing to play Perfume’s ‘Chocolate Disco’.

Araki’s workspace

A few years back, Mrs. Chami entered Araki’s work area to bring some tea, and when she opened the door, Araki exclaimed in a strange voice, “Dohyaaaaaa!!” During this, his brush extended out from his manuscripts greatly and he was writing as if he was possessed by some spirit. She said she was scared and trembling, so she shut the door and went back to where she was.

JoJo’s Bizarre Hyakunin Isshu


Famous lines from JoJo were organized into a JoJo-themed card version of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu titled ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Hyakunin Isshu’ (the following year, the sequel went on sale). While he was messing around in the house, he came across a single card that he couldn’t stop laughing at. Furthermore, (about this line) he said, “I don’t remember writing this!?” (Before, at the Jump SQ Interview, he said “I write carelessly, it’s really irresponsible, haha”). As for whether he has heard about the JoJo "Hanafuda", Mrs. Chami said “Probably.” Does Araki have a chance of winning at them!?

The Louvre

When the Louvre Art Museum was picked as the theme of “Rohan au Louvre”, the family stayed there for 2 days. The arrangements near the Louvre allowed them to enter on a day where it was normally closed, and so they were able to see the Mona Lisa up to a centimeter close, and even got the opportunity to touch the Nike of Samothrace statue a little bit. After “Rohan au Louvre” goes on sale in France in January of next year, a fully monochrome version will be published a few times in Ultra Jump Magazine. After that, a fully-colored version will be made into a comic, and there are plans to sell it in Japan!!

  • Speaking of the Louvre and the Mona Lisa, there’s a joke going around the Internet right now of the classic Mona Lisa painting and a picture of Hijikata Toshizo being compared with a picture of Araki Sensei. Both Araki and Mrs. Chami seem to be aware of it (haha).

Is drawing manga fun?

From what Mrs. Chami has seen, it appears as if Araki draws a diary. For example, he’ll use the things they talk about in the morning in his manga, and even if she tells him something completely unrelated, he’ll ask again, “What? What was that?” It also looks like that a character who "resembled her friend" appeared in the manga once, but that character eventually had their head chopped off, and so she couldn’t tell them in the end (haha). When Mrs. Chami asked Araki “Is drawing manga fun?”, he replied with, “Yup, it’s fun.”

Please teach us how to learn Ripple!

Mrs. Chami says, “I don’t fully understand Ripple” (haha), but Araki seems to say, “You can’t live long unless you lighten your hip joint.” Also, Araki puts on sunscreen often. He doesn’t like the beach, but he enjoys places like mountains, forests, etc. He lives life avoiding the sun as much as possible. (Is he a vampire as we thought!?)

Is Mrs. Chami a model for his work?

According to Araki, Mrs. Chami is something like the president (like Steel Ball Run’s main villain, haha). Will she also kill someone in such terrible ways!? (haha)

What would he have done if he didn’t become a manga artist?

As for this question, Araki has said he would’ve became a makeup artist (with a specialty in mannequins). (An enigma of a man…)

What extracurricular activities did Mrs. Chami do in her school days?

(She seemed to be surprised that someone wanted to know this) Tea Ceremony Club. (As expected of Chami).

(Note: "Tea" in Japanese is pronounced "Cha")

About the “Press-Fest”!


(Note: From the Tohoku University Lecture on the Literary Junkie Paradise website.)

Student: I was really surprised seeing the line "press-fest", where did that come from?
(This is referring to the scene [in SBR Vol. 13] where Scarlet Valentine asks Lucy Steel to sit on her face and give her a "press-fest".)

Araki: My wife will sometimes charge at me and say "It's press-fest time! It's press-fest time!" (audience laughs)

Regarding this line, Mrs. Chami told us, the original “Press-Fest” appeared to be a Pro Wrestling move where the wrestler would hurl his body as an attack over and over again. Back then, when Araki was a prankster, he would make her stand at the entrance and take one! When someone said they wanted to see what this looked like, she replied with a single word: “Impossible!”

Are there any plans for things such as writing about her life with Araki after this?

She said since she wasn't a celebrity, “There are no plans.” Is this lecture the first and the last?

An extremely rare video! “Araki Hirohiko’s Cooking Class”

This video was a great surprise! It was a cooking class from Araki Sensei himself! The video was simply Araki cooking by himself. It began with Araki saying, “And now, I will cook” which drew out a great laughter from the crowd. The menu was ‘sweet-and-sour pork with black vinegar with a side of broccoli’ and ‘shrimp and Japanese scallops with linguini’. I’ll present the most interesting lines from the notes I took. (Of course, I didn’t take notes on the whole recipe),

• “As for the heat… medium? I'll adjust the heat later.”

• “Cook the pork entirely. It’s dangerous raw.”

• “Deep fry it until it gets to a color that looks tasty…”

• “Hot, Hot!”

• “Pass the smell of garlic… into the oil!” (He said this twice.)

• “The ladle's goooone!”

• “It’s done. Phew. Dojyaaan!”

The food looked like it smelled and tasted delicious! Mrs. Chami told us that in regards to cooking, “Weeell… I do it occasionally.” (Is Mrs. Chami also an expert cook!? [haha])

Present Corner

Mrs. Chami brought JoJo goods as presents from Araki’s house. The Medicos Avdol Super Action Statue was for “the person who called themselves the president of the school” (-> What a woman!). The Kakyoin Super Action Statue was for “the person who came the farthest” (-> All the way from Aomori!). An assortment of figures (later these would be compiled into a collection called ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Stand Collection’) was for the person with the same initial as Araki Sensei, H and A. The Jotaro figure (previously a gift prize) was for the person who “has decided to read JoJo because of this lecture.” The SBR Glass (originally a gift for UJ readers) was for “someone who has a pet named Iggy.” Each of the respective people were given their presents.

Chami’s Pose

Finally, Mrs. Chami decided to introduce surprise guests from the ‘JoJo Posing School’, the well-known Mr. Kajipon, the Demon Teacher! A year after the ‘Tokyo University JoJo Posing Class March 2007’, Tokyo University continued to have the JoJo Posing lessons. Mrs. Chami was the one who decided that ‘JoJo Posing’ would be perfect to bring to the lecture when she saw the advertisement posters for it. The Demon Teacher’s demonic teaching (with a kendo sword in hand) was strict, saying “I’m sorry, but you can’t do it” and correcting students if they messed up even once. It makes your joints scream! (haha). However, when the Demon Teacher and Mrs. Chami pulled of ‘W JoJo Poses’ without fail, it caused quite a stir in the venue (at any rate, the Demon Teacher’s presence was incredible!). When a pose was done, the crowd immediately broke into applause! The Demon Teacher and Mrs. Chami revealed their passing conditions, all of which had to be done in a short amount of time: LV1 (JoJo Volume 4 Front Cover, Jonathan’s Pose), LV2 (JoJo Volume 8 Front Cover, Joseph’s Pose), LV3 (Risotto’s Pose), LV4 ([Pointing Finger Pose] and say Yare Yare Daze). The crowd all rose up. (Incidentally, Risotto wears flowing, striped sweatpants, and that day, Mrs. Chami was also wearing flowing, striped pants. Coincidence!? Or maybe not…)

After about one and half hours, the presentation reached the end. About 5 or 6 friends of Mrs. Chami came out and handed her bouquets of flowers. At 2:55 P.M., being sent off by a thunderous applause, Mrs. Chami Araki left the venue. (Later I was told that Shizu-chan (!) from the comedy duo ‘Nankai Candies’ also slipped out during this time.) It was Di Molto fun! Mrs. Chami, Program Director Mr. Terai, members of the JoJo Research Society, and everyone else, from the bottom of my heart, ‘You have my thanks.’ (Ringo)


  • To Asami Araki
  • Hirohiko Araki
  • From Lucky Land Communications

The right side of the classroom was decorated with flowers from Araki to his wife! To their side, flowers from Shinnosuke (SOUL’d OUT) were also placed. After the end of the lecture, I took a picture of the center of the flowers. A bizarre scene.














 結婚して10年くらいの間の荒木先生は、チャミさん曰く、「中学一年の男の子と暮らしてる感じ」。とにかく子供っぽい、無邪気ないたずら坊主で、なんとピンポンダッシュまでしていたとか!(いい大人が!ジャンプの人気作家が!) でも、近所の人たちから、荒木先生はとてもかわいがられていて、近所の老人から息子のように親しく声を掛けられたりしていたとか。不思議な人だ…。


 以前の荒木先生は、人見知りがかなり激しく、例えばチャミさんの友人が来ても、ドアを半分だけ開けて、「あ、僕の知らない人だ!」と、そのままドアを締めて出てこないほどだったとか。でも、2003年のパリ個展『JOJO IN PARIS』で、日本からは誰も来ないだろうと思っていたら、集英社の歴代担当の方々が来てくださって、その頃から、人見知りがかなり直ってきたらしい。今では家に漫画家を20人くらい招いてパーティを開くこともあるほど。  ちなみにパーティに来られた漫画家さん達を見て、チャミさんは、漫画家ってちょっと変わってるなー、と改めて思ったそうな(笑)。




 ここで、友達の漫画家の1人として、『ROOKIES』(ルーキーズ)の森田まさのり先生からのビデオレターが上映! 森田先生は、荒木邸でのパーティで、承太郎のイラストを描いた際、納得できず後で2~3枚描き直して送ったことや、一緒にお酒を飲んだ際、荒木先生とチャミさんのどちらの隣に座るかで悩んだ末、エイッ!とチャミさんの隣に座ったこと、また、チャミさんに「相変わらずお美しい」「気遣いが嬉しい」、荒木先生に「とても尊敬してます」「丸くなった、取っつきやすくなった」などを語った。

 また、ビデオレターの最後では、ちゃっかりルーキーズのDVD[AA]や、『べしゃり暮らし』9巻[AA]の宣伝も入っていた。(超カメラ目線だったのが面白すぎ! お茶目な森田先生に会場大爆笑。)








 ジョジョの名ゼリフで構成された、『ジョジョの奇妙な百人一首』(翌年には『ドゥーエ』も発売)を、荒木家で遊んだ際、荒木先生は笑ってしまって1枚も札が取れなかったらしい。しかも、(こんな台詞を)「書いた覚えがない」とも!?(以前、ジャンプSQのインタビューでも「考えて描いてないんですよね、超いい加減ですよ(笑)」) ちなみにジョジョ花札は、チャミさん曰く「たぶんする」との事。荒木先生に勝機はあるのかッ!?


 ルーヴル美術館をテーマとした作品『岸辺露伴 ルーヴルへ行く』(「ウルジャンまつり」で原稿(複製)も展示された)の執筆に際し、ルーヴルには2日間、家族で滞在。ルーヴル側の計らいで休館日に入場でき、モナリザを1cm前で見たり、「サモトラケのニケ」の石像に許可を取った上でちょっとだけ触らせて貰ったりできたとか。なお、この『岸辺露伴 ルーヴルへ行く』は、来年1月にフランスで発売された後、ウルジャン本誌で何回かに分けてモノクロ掲載され、その後、フルカラーでコミックス化され、国内でも販売される予定との事!!













(学)“圧迫祭り”(※『SBR』 13巻で登場)にはビックリしたのですが、あれはどこから出てきたんですか。(笑)
(東北大学講演『ジョジョ立ち教室 with 荒木先生』より)

 この件について、チャミさん曰く、オリジナルの『圧迫祭り』は、体当たりのようなプロレス技で、全身で何回もアタックするような技らしい。昔、荒木先生がイタズラした際は、玄関に立たせて食らわせた事も!? ぜひこの場で見せて欲しいというリクエストには、一言、「無理です!」




 ここでグレートなサプライズ映像! それは荒木先生による料理教室! 漫画家・荒木先生が1人で調理する様子をビデオで納めたもので、のっけから「ぼくはこれから、料理します」という荒木先生のセリフに会場爆笑。メニューは、『黒酢豚とブロッコリーの添え物』と、『エビとホタテ貝のリングイネ(パスタ)』。面白かったセリフをメモ書きから紹介すると(さすがにレシピまではメモれなかった)、

  • 「火は…中火? 後で調節する」
  • 「豚肉はちゃんと火を通す。生はヤバイです
  • 「美味そうだなぁと感じる色まで揚げる」
  • 「あつッ、あつッ」
  • 「ニンニクの香りを、オイルに…こすりつける!」(このセリフは2回言う)
  • 「お玉ねェェ――――!」
  • 「完成しました。わーい。
  •  どジャアア~~~ン!」



 ここでチャミさんから、荒木家にあったジョジョグッズのプレゼント。メディコス 超像可動「アヴドゥル」が「大統領と呼ばれた事のある方」(→なんと女性!)、「花京院典明」が「一番遠くから来た方」(→青森から!)、「フィギュア詰め合わせ」(後で聞いた話だと『ジョジョの奇妙なスタンドコレクション』だった模様)が「荒木先生と同じイニシャルH・Aの方」、承太郎フィギュア(以前プライズ景品であった物)が「今回の講演をきっかけにジョジョを読もうという方」、『SBR』グラス(UJ読者プレゼントの品)が「イギーというペットを飼っている方」に、それぞれプレゼントされた。


 最後にチャミさんが招待したサプライズゲストとして、「ジョジョ立ち教室」でおなじみの、カジポンさんと鬼教官さんが登場! 「東大ジョジョ立ち」(2007年3月)以来の、東大でのジョジョ立ちが決行される事に。

 告知ポスターでもバッチリ「ジョジョ立ち」を決めていたチャミさんだったが、鬼教官の鬼指導(手には使い込まれた竹刀!)は厳しく、「残念ながら出来てないですね」とポーズを矯正されてしまう一幕も。悲鳴を上げる関節!(笑) しかし、鬼教官とチャミさんの「Wジョジョ立ち」はバッチリ決まっていて、一挙一動で会場がどよめき(鬼教官の存在感がとにかく凄すぎる!)、ポーズが決まると会場からは割れんばかりの拍手! 鬼教官から「合格」も出て、短い時間ながらも、LV1(ジョジョ4巻表紙のジョナサン)、LV2「ジョジョ8巻表紙のジョセフ」、LV3「リゾット立ち」、LV4「(指さしポーズで)やれやれだぜ」を2人で決め、会場は大盛り上がりだった。(ちなみにリゾットが掃いていたようなシマシマのスウェットパンツを、当時チャミさんが掃いていたらしい。偶然!?それとも…)


 ディ・モールト楽しかったッ! チャミさん、進行役の寺井さん、ジョジョ研の皆さん、その他関係者の方々に、心から「感謝いたします」(リンゴォ)


荒木麻美 さん江
ラッキーランドコミュニケーション より

 教室の右前に飾られていた、荒木先生から奥様に送られた花!。その横には“Shinnosuke”さん(SOUL’d OUT)からの花も置かれていて、講演終了後、花を中心に写真を撮るという、奇妙な光景が見られた。[1][2]


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