Q1 : We heard that you are a little bit nearsighted. Don’t you wear glasses?
A : My right eye is 0.02 and my left eye is 0.4. I do have a pair of glasses, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to wear them all the time… I’ve tried contact lens, but no matter how many times I gave them a shot, it never worked out. I can walk around in familiar places through sheer intuition, but the worse thing about this is how I can’t really see the faces of people I meet…
Q2 : What sort of club activities did you do in junior high and high school?
A : I was in the brass band for both, playing the flute. I skipped practice most of the time, though, and I never was a very good club member.
Q3 : Is it true that there are models for Ohkawa Utako and Ohkawa Mako from 20 Mensou ni Onegai!!?
A : Both Utako and Mako are based on my older sister’s daughters. My nieces, so to speak. My father named both of them. Our family is just full of odd names.
Q4 : Any recent books, TV series or video releases you want to recommend?
A : For something recent, I would recommend the manga Chinmoku no Kantai, Dragonball, Kyonyuu Hunter and Gingyo Chuuihou, the TV series Onihei Hankachou and Haguregumo. For movies, I guess I’d recommend Total Recall and Dick Tracy. I also really enjoyed the novel Power Shift, too, so I’d love it if everyone could it give it a try.
Q5 : Which of CLAMP’s commercialized works is your favourite?
A : I have an equal amount of ‘love’ for all our works, so there’s no ‘one true favourite’. All of them are ‘dear’ to me, but that’s a bit different from ‘liking’ them…
Q6 : What has captured your interest the most lately?
A : The state of affairs in the Middle East and my neighbour’s soon-to-be-born puppy.
Q7 : Can you write us something for each of the other 5 CLAMP members?
Akiyama Tamayo-kun : We were born in the same maternity ward and somehow we were together from kindergarten to high school, like one of those proverbial ‘unfortunate buddies’. There’s no one in the world who looks forward to your Cluster more than I do, so get it together and give it your best! I’m rooting for you!
Igarashi Satsuki-kun : Our openminded Satsuki-chan. It’s a shame that you couldn’t go skiing last year, but do your best with your new skiis this year! I’ll go with you this January, but I’m really, really a newbie at skiing, so please be kind when you teach me.
Sei Leeza-kun : Our hardworking Leeza-san. Let me start by saying that I’m not the only one pulling your leg all the time. Nekoi does it, too. In my defense, I didn’t think anyone would believe that ‘otters have been walking on the mountain roads’.
Nekoi Mick-kun : You’re the Number One authority in CLAMP. We’ve been going to the same salon for two whole years now, but why is it that your hair grows so much faster than mine? You’re turning into such a beauty, Nekoi-kun. Just so you know, I’m not going to let you get married before me.
Mokona Apapa-kun : It’s been two years since we started working together, Mokona-kun. Though we’re like a married couple now and we don’t need words to understand each other about ‘creating the work’ anymore, there’s still a long, long road ahead. Let’s do our best until every single ‘work’ safely reaches its ending, okay? I’ll attend your wedding like I promised, so don’t worry.
Q8 : Are there any restaurants or dishes you’d recommend in the Kansai area?
A : I haven’t gone that often lately so this might be outdated, but the okonomiyaki restaurant called Fugetsu at Tsuruhashi is really, really good. When we were in high school, Akiyama and I always went there after class was over.
Q9 : Any places you can recommend in Tokyo?
A : I don’t know much about what’s available in Tokyo, either, but the lunch at the Kagetsu restaurant in Ikebukuro is absolutely first class.
Q10 : Can you tell us any favourite brands of cosmetics, perfume, or shampoo?
A : I use Shiseido’s Premier as base, and the foundation is either IPSA or Premier. Otherwise it’s Clinique or Reciente and so on. For perfume I always use Guerlain’s Sharlimar, which I got from Nekoi-kun (it appears that it’s no longer being imported). Other than that, my mother gave me this preference for Mitsuko, and I also use Narcisse Noir that I received as a gift. (I’ve also used IPSA as a base to make my own scent that I call Alligator Garden Part 2.) Shampoo is also IPSA.
Q11 : It seems like you’re growing your hair out. Is there any particular reason?
A : No real reason, but I’ve always wanted to try growing it to chest length at least once.
Q12 : Do you make the decisions on the formatting and scheduling for CLAMP’s doujinshi and other publications?
A : Everyone has their own ‘publication contribution’ in CLAMP, and mine is planning for the ‘formatting’, ‘publication content’ and ‘schedule’. I tend to come up with crazy things with formatting, everyone would be against it when I consult them, so I often end up doing it quietly. (Everyone seemed to have enjoyed our New Year’s cards, and that gives me a lot of ‘happiness’ as The CLAMP Planner.)
Q13 : You seem to love dogs. How did it start? Have you ever kept any dogs?
A : There was no special start to it, but we used to have a Doberman until I was in sixth grade. His name was Pero (it wasn’t really the sort of name you’d give to a Doberman, was it?). I’ve always believed that it was because he licked my hand when he first came to our house, but recently my brother and sister told me that it was because ‘you loved the character Bero from Youkai Ningen as a kid, so you named it Pero’. Hearing that was a bit of a shock.
Q14 : What word processor do you use?
A : Rupo, same as Satsuki-kun.
Q15 : Please tell us the best dishes you make.
A : I’m not really all that good at cooking, but I used to make bentos as a hobby during high school.
Q16 : What is your favourite brand of clothing?
A : I’ll wear anything, but my current wardrobe has a lot of Nicole, Comme des Garçons, Youji Yamamoto, KENSHO and PINK HOUSE. I also take my designs to my mother’s tailor friend and have them made for me often.
Q17 : Your favourite color?
A : Black, ecru.
Q18 : Favourite flower?
A : Showy Baby’s Breath.
Q19 : What kind of present makes you happy?
A : ‘Presents’ are ‘happy’ things no matter what they are.
Q20 : What have you been emotionally moved by lately?
A : An elderly couple I saw at the Mitsukoshi department store in Ginza. (I think they’re around eighty.) They were cheerfully choosing rings together (the husband was buying one as a present for the wife, I think) and they looked really, really happy. They crossed the intersection in front of Mitsukoshi together, hand in hand, as I watched. It was really, really ‘moving’ for me.
Q21 : If you could pick one CLAMP character for a husband, who would you choose?
A : Hirota Ikuo-san from Shoten.
Q22 : If you could pick one CLAMP character for a boyfriend, who would you choose?
A : Okiya Shougo-san from Shoten.
Q23 : Please tell us who your most beloved fictional character is up to now.
A : Yokomiso Seishi-sensei’s Kindaichi Kousuke-san.
Q24 : What would you call your ‘treasure’?
A : It’s a secret.
Q25 : What did you want to be when you were young?
A : Apparently I wanted to be a ‘yakuza’ when I was in kindergarten. (It was written in my kindergarten essay.) I also wanted to be a ‘zabuton’.
Q26 : Can you tell us what kind of person your ideal man is?
A : If you could turn a person into a dog, it’d be ideal.
Q27 : What comes to mind when you think of CLAMP?
A : ‘Creative works’.
Q28 : Please give us a message for the readers of CLAMP Newspaper!
A : An author’s job is to create ‘creative works’. It sounds really redundant, but if you neglect this one simple-sounding thing, you’d be doing a grievous wrong to the people kind enough to read your work. We’re doing our very best to work hard and never forget this ‘precious’ thing, so if you could stay on and ‘enjoy’ it ‘together’ with us, all of us would be ‘happy’.
Translated from Japanese by ET.
 A zabuton is a Japanese sitting cushion. It’s placed on the ground for sitting at low tables, the sort you might see in a traditional Japanese living room.
This Q&A was originally published in CLAMP NEWS 3, released in February 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.