Q1 : What sort of club activities did you in junior high and high school?
A : I was in the table tennis club for the first two years of junior high. During my third year, I switched to the art club. In high school, I was in the astronomy club for all three years. It sounds a bit gloomy when I put it that way, but I really liked the nighttime starwatching activities. (Oh, and I liked table tennis a lot, too.)
Q2 : The consensus goes that the portraits (?) of CLAMP members that appear in CLAMP Newspaper really look like the members themselves. Did you take any special care drawing each character?
A : The characters all have the same silhouette and body shape, so I take care with little changes in their forms. (They don’t look all that different in the end, though…) Other than that, I rely on differentiating them with the hairstyles.
Q3 : What do you recall when you think of your birthplace, Kyoto?
A : The all-night study sessions we pulled, the scent of humid air. After that I guess it’s the temples and stuff.
Q4 : Any recent books, TV series or video releases you want to recommend?
A : I haven’t read a lot of books lately, but I enjoyed Violence Jack and Cyborg 009. Also this is really old as far as videos go, but Penguin Memories (the animation) is an incredible work and it’s really moving. For really recent things, my current favourite is the TV rerun of Abunai Deka.
Q5 : Which of CLAMP’s commercialized works is your favourite?
A : Gakuen Tokkei Duklyon. Isn’t it such a balm for the heart?
Q6 : What has captured your interest the most lately?
A : Going outside and visiting shrines and temples. (Ah, I’m old…) I want to go buy some summer clothes, too.
Q7 : Are there any restaurants or dishes you’d recommend in Kyoto?
A : It’s not a restaurant, but I’d recommend going to the Sanjuusangen-dou temple. Please visit if you have any interest in the 28 Guardian Deities at all, it’s such a delight. I loved it and went there often when I could find the time. That place really cleans your soul. (laughs) The udon restaurant called Kyounaya in front of the Heian Shrine is also quite delicious.
Q8 : Any places you can recommend in Tokyo?
A : This is something I got from someone else’s recommendation, too, but the restaurant called Bungeiza towards the east exit of Ikebukuro (it’s not that close, though). The food here is outstanding. I recommend their ‘bungei tea’. The kamameshi and kushiyaki place called Torikko on the 8th floor of Ikebukuro PARCO is great, too.
Q9 : Can you write us something for each of the other 5 CLAMP members?
Ohkawa Nanase-sama : I always rely on you so so so much. I’ll follow you to the end, so please keep on doing interesting things. But please don’t become a bride before me.
Akiyama Tamayo-sama : You’re working hard all by yourself in faraway Osaka, Tama-sama. It’ll soon be time for Cluster, right? I’m really looking forward to it. And oh, thank you very much for the Calpis you sent! They were really good!
Igarashi Satsuki-sama : Thank you so much for taking the time out to make food for me when you’re always so busy yourself. I probably will be completely reliant on you in the future, too, but please take care of me. Please call me when you’re going outside somewhere.
Sei Leeza-sama : I know it must be rough to work on your manuscript all by yourself, but please don’t forget to eat your meals. Please do your best every day to create interesting stories from now on, too. You’ll get wrinkles if you stay in the bath all the time, so please moderate yourself.
Mokona Apapa-sama : You’re always working whenever I see you, Mokona-sensei. Even play turns out to benefit the work when you’re doing it, I can’t help but bow to your dedication. No matter how much of a ‘Miss Forgetful’ you are, I’ll follow you to the end. But please don’t forget to turn off the faucet or lock the front door.
Q10 : Can you tell us any favourite brands of cosmetics, perfume, or shampoo?
A : I use Premier as base and Sofina for foundation. My eyeshadows and lipsticks are a mishmash of things I don’t really know to things like Reciente. So many of my lipsticks are gifts and there are a lot of imported brands. For perfume, my favourite scent is Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit. I also like Guerlain’s Mitsuko and Sharlimar and Cacharel’s ANAIS ANAIS.
Q11 : We heard that the names of Nomiyama-kun and Hino Hikaru-san, your original characters in Shoten, come from real people’s names. Is that true?
A : I’m really, really terrible at naming characters, so I took their names from my acquaintances (without their permission). ‘Nomiyama Taku’ comes from a really cute little boy who lived in the house next door (he was really cute) and ‘Hino Hikaru’ is from my classmate back in school. I’m always breaking out in cold sweat over the possibility that they might find out one day. (I’d like to think there’s no way that could happen…)
Q12 : You seem to like animals, any special story for how it started?
A : I don’t think there’s anything special to it, really. We just had a dog in the house when I was growing up, but it seems that a love for animals have gotten into my bones since I moved to Tokyo.
Q13 : You seem to have a dog at the family home, too. What is its name? Any interesting stories you could share?
A : It’s a tricolored Sheltie named ‘Rowdy’. If you let it out to the garden in the morning, when people are leaving for work, it’ll run around in circles and bark in front of the door. The entire neighbourhood knows about it just for that habit. It’s always been a bit of a chubby dog, but lately its weight has gone straight into ‘fat’ territory. 11kg or so, I heard. For a dog whose size is about 60cm. (People say that it looks like Rascal the Raccoon when it’s walking around…)
Q14 : Your favourite pen? Ink?
A : Maru-pen. I’ve also been using more kabura-pen lately, but I’m still terrible at it and can’t use it properly yet. For ink, I use Kaimei’s Indian Ink.
Q15 : Please tell us who your most beloved fictional character is up to now.
A : My first love was Akira-kun from Raideen. After that there’s Friender from Casshern, Rodem from Babel II and Kamui from Kamui Gaiden. I tend to latch onto thigns when they get popular, so I have a lot of favourites.
Q16 : Please tell us the best dishes you make.
A : Eggplants boiled with meat. Bok choy boiled with thick fried tofu. Potato salad. I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly good at any of those, though… (If I have to choose, I’d say that I actually can’t cook at all.)
Q17 : What is your favourite brand of clothing?
A : I have some NICE CLAP [sic] and a few from Junior GAULTIER. My wardrobe doesn’t have a lot of brands. Other than the two I mentioned, I’m interested in some Comme des Garçons, some Tsumori Chisato, some HIROMICHI NAKANO, but I barely have any of those. I want them, but they’re expensive…
Q18 : Your favourite color?
A : Black, beige, blue.
Q19 : Favourite flower?
A : Lilies, Calla lilies, Showy Baby’s Breath, wisteria, sakura, Bridalwreath spirea and Thunberg spirea. I love many, many kinds of flowers.
Q20 : What kind of present makes you happy?
A : Rice gift vouchers. There’s no such thing as too many of those, and they don’t take up any space… (I’m fussy with my preferences, aren’t I?)
Q21 : What have you been emotionally moved by lately?
A : A beautiful, smartly dressed person on the road had this tricolored Sheltie who looked back at me. A gorgeous, long-haired Afghan Hound I saw from the bus windows. Those kinds of things, I guess.
Q22 : If you could pick one CLAMP character for a husband, who would you choose?
A : Zouchouten-sama from RG Veda. He’s the ideal husband, honestly. He’s got just the right dose of that refined middle-aged gentleman quality, and he’s awesome. He seems really kind, too.
Q23 : If you could pick one CLAMP character for a boyfriend, who would you choose?
A : Nanase-chan’s version of Hashiba Shiametsu. It’ll never be boring with him around.
Q24 : If you could become one CLAMP character, who would you choose?
A : Inuko. (Can we call her a CLAMP character…?) She’s the most venerable among CLAMP characters, you see. After all, people who hurt dogs really aren’t human.
Q25 : Who’s your favourite character out of the ones that you draw? Please tell us why, too.
A : Osaru. The character looks okay even if it’s a bit distorted, so it’s easy to draw.
Q26 : What would you call your ‘treasure’?
A : My treasure is hiding in the life I’ve led and the life that I will lead from now. It comes in and out of sight, so even I myself have trouble catching it. (Is this prose purple? Is it too purple?)
Q27 : What did you want to be when you were young?
A : A policewoman. There’s no deep meaning to it, I just came up with the thought looking at my father. I’ve learned how demanding the job is since then, so I no longer want to be one, but…
Q28 : Can you tell us what kind of person your ideal man is?
A : Appearance-wise, someone tall and kind-looking like Abe Hiroshi-san. Personality-wise, someone who’s like a big doggie.
Q29 : What comes to mind when you think of CLAMP?
A : 100 yen factory girls?
Q30 : Please give us a message for the readers of CLAMP Newspaper!
A : Dear everyone who’s been following us since we started and everyone who came on board with us recently, CLAMP will continue to work hard without forgetting the spirit we have from when we started. Please continue to watch over us with patience.
Translated from Japanese by ET.
 Nomiyama and Hino Hikaru are both really odd names that sound like they’re meant to be funny joke names rather than names that exist in real life, which is probably why this question was asked. Also, it’s possible that Hino Hikaru could be Hino Hikari or Hino Kou instead. They aren’t in the common lists of Shoten characters, so I cannot verify it. Also, Nomiyama may be listed as ‘Nomi Yamataku’ in the wiki, but here the name is quite clearly separated as Nomiyama Taku.
 Rascal the Raccoon is a character from an anime of the same name, an adaptation of Rascal, A Memoir of a Better Era.
 I’m not actually sure who Osaru is. It might be a nickname…possibly of Igarashi’s SD character?
This Q&A was originally published in CLAMP NEWS 5, released in June 1991. Original scans available upon request.
If you found mistakes in this translation or would like to contribute with translating other interviews, please contact me.