November 15th, 2014

Inoo: intimate

On Inoo's fourth year graduate-level lab, and his feelings on school

Earlier this week, a paper that Inoo co-authored got put up on an internet scholarly resource database called CiNii (it seems to be like the Japanese version of jstor), and this has sparked a lot of discussion as to if Inoo was in graduate school, or how he got such a paper posted. The paper is posted here; you can see that Inoo is listed with the subtitle of "graduate school" beneath his name. Assuming from this that he was or is in graduate school seems rational, and even sparked the confusion and surprise of various Japanese fans on Twitter (the second link there clarifies later that Inoo isn't a graduate student as far as the fan knows, but was just working in a graduate lab), but actually, while I can't prove for a fact that he doesn't go, I can prove that his work on this paper was not as a graduate student.

Inoo has mentioned before that he chose to take his senior lab on earthquake reconstruction in his 10,000 character interview (you can read a translation here), but a little digging around reveals that specifically, he did his lab here, with this particular professor. I'm not going to translate it all word for word because frankly, I don't have the energy right now, but on the website, it says that the lab is for 4th year college students and graduate students. So while the lab is associated primarily with the graduate school it also is open to 4th year students, which is when Inoo participated. As far as I can tell, Meiji University was either not allowed to use Inoo's name anywhere, or they didn't want his events getting attacked by yarakashi, because his name isn't listed pretty much anywhere, and, in fact, events that I have proof he attended aren't even listed on the website. I found two slip-ups, the first of which is on the schedule-- if you scroll down to the 2011年度 section (which means the 2011-2012 school year), the event on 2月28日(火)(2/28, Tuesday) lists Inoo's name. This was the beginning of the project that he worked on for the whole next year, a study about elementary and junior high schools in Iwate prefecture in relation to the earthquake. In the Japanese school schedule, February 2012 was right at the end of Inoo's 3rd year of college, so he took part in this lab mostly in the next year, 2012年度, or the 2012-2013 school year, which was his fourth year.

Unfortunately, since his name/events he attended aren't listed, I can't give that much more information, but in relation to this project, I found him in two news sources, by some miracle. The first is this news article, which doesn't mention him by name but (accidentally?) posted his photo for a brief time. A bunch of fans screencapped it, but by now, his photo has been removed from any remaining news sources, which leads me to believe that the press didn't realize one of the students was a Johnny |D; But either way, it talks about how on May 19th, 2012, Inoo went to Iwate with one other student and the professor, Yamamoto, to interview students in a survey they were doing. This trip isn't listed on the lab's schedule website (others to the same town in Iwate are listed), which, like I said above, makes me think that they didn't list anything with Inoo so that fans wouldn't stalk him.

The other place I can find him named is this article, which talks about his lab's group taking a trip to talk about post-earthquake development in Germany. It lists that three graduate students and eight 4th year college students, including Inoo (you can contol+F 伊野尾慧), for a total of 11 students, going on the trip. This is posted on the Meiji Graduate School page, because, as mentioned before, the lab seems to be more affiliated with the graduate school than the undergraduate architecture department (it seems like the undergrads are more research assistants?), but when the same article was posted on the Meiji undergraduate architecture department's site here, Inoo's name was removed and instead it lists 10 names "etc" for a total of 11 students. XD;;; Seemingly, the graduate school didn't get the notice that they were supposed to remove Inoo's name.

So then that brings us back to the paper that was posted on the CiNii database. It doesn't say it in the English, but in the Japanese, it says that the paper was published in relation to its presentation at the 2013 Japan Architecture Academic Conference. The conference happened from August 30th to September 1st, 2013, which means that Inoo was already graduated, and its existence on the schedule on the Yamamoto Lab website leads me to believe that Inoo didn't go, but on the conference's website, it says the submission deadline was April 4th of the same year, just a week after Inoo graduated. So it seems logical that the paper he helped write would have been submitted at that time. While, without either being enrolled in a Japanese university or paying, I can't access the actual articles, if you search "2013年度日本建築学会大会 都市計画" on the CiNii database ("2013 Japan Architecture Academic Conference Urban Planning"-- Inoo's paper was in the urban planning section) you can see other papers submitted in the same publication; many of them are works by students who participated in the conference, and at least some percentage of them appear to be college students despite being listed as graduate students. I tried to see if Inoo himself participated in the conference, but I can't find any proof that he was in Hokkaido, where the conference happened, in late August/early September 2013, so I can only assume that, since he had already graduated, he didn't go.

And… on top of all that, it was never any secret that Inoo went to college, or where he went. It was common knowledge that he studied architecture at Meiji University. Why would it be a secret that he went to graduate school, if he was going to go? Just recently on Little Tokyo Live, he talked about how he had graduated with an architecture degree. If he was doing grad school, why wouldn't he have said he was in grad school?

And besides, Inoo has said before (sorry, I'm too tired to dig up the articles now; the problem with reading Japanese is that I read things in magazines and then forget which magazine from my huge shelf of magazines it was in) that he was really glad to be done, and the other members have talked, too, about how happy he was to be done. I saw him with my own eyes at the Johnny's World Kanshasai back in March 2013, and his demeanor was so different than it had been. And I think, more than anything, what sticks with me is what he said in his 10,000 word article. This is my own translation below-- I wanted to translate what he said in my own best expression of his feelings:

ーYou went on to college after you debuted, huh.
Yeah. I said that high school never really agreed with me and I never really adjusted to it, right? I always thought there was no point in going to high school, and there was no point in graduating. But then my mom said to me, "Is that really so?" Wasn't it true that if I graduated high school, I'd have the qualifications to get into college? Since that's how it was, I started to think, maybe I should try out going to college in order so that I could feel like there was some meaning to graduating high school. I guess I decided sometime around the end of my second year of high school.

ーYou didn't get the feeling that, in going to college, your work and your classes might end up half-assed or done carelessly?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's because I was constantly in state of indecision. There were times when I thought that deciding to go to university was a really bad choice. But I also thought that there were good sides to it, like being able to meet a wide variety people, and being able to view my job from the point of view of a university student.

ーThat is to say, that one that was your base was…?
My base was first and foremost being an idol . Even though it's difficult (laugh).

This interview was done after he had already graduated, which means that these were his feelings about college after he was done. It's not that he didn't really feel it before he went, but then went and discovered that really what he wanted was to continue education… he appreciated that he went, but being an idol has always been what he wants in the end.

So in conclusion, I'm not so much of a stalker that I can say with conviction that he isn't in grad school and never went, but I do feel that it's highly unlikely!

…wow am I a weirdo. I'm sorry for all this. x___x;