Over a decade ago, 25-year-old Takeuchi Miyu debuted in the J-Pop supergroup AKB48, but you may know her better from Mnet‘s Produce 48—the survival show that created IZ*ONE. After ranking 17th on the show and leaving AKB48 to join Mystic Story as a trainee, Miyu became one of the most highly anticipated upcoming K-Pop stars. However, sadly for fans, she departed the company back in May.
Now, on her YouTube channel MiyuTube, Takeuchi Miyu is opening up about her time as a K-Pop trainee—including what it was like to start training at such a late age.
In the K-Pop industry, it’s common for aspiring stars to begin training at a very young age. TWICE‘s Jihyo, for example, became a JYP Entertainment trainee at the age of just eight years old. As such, the majority of idols debut in their teen years, of their very early twenties at the latest. Takeuchi Miyu, on the other hand, didn’t become a trainee under Mystic Story until she was 23 years old.
I started as a trainee at the age of 23, which is very late compared to most other trainees. There are others who started from the age of 10 or during elementary school.
— Takeuchi Miyu
Since Miyu began her career as a J-Pop idol at the age of just 13, she’s no stranger to being a trainee at a young age herself. Of course, until she appeared on Produce 48, it’s likely she never envisaged herself going through the process a second time.
“Others in my age group were already at the age to be out working in society,” Miyu explained, recalling her time as a K-Pop trainee at 23. However, while some would have found it difficult to train at such a late age while those around them were teens or younger, Miyu tried to think about it positively.
If you think about it positively, to be in the situation where you’re told “you’ll be okay if you practice”—it doesn’t really happen very often does it?
Miyu went on to say that because she was starting at such a late age, she told herself she had to practice rigorously and “not waste a single second.” Revealing that she focused on training diligently, Miyu says, “I focused every day on improving myself, with the mindset of starting from scratch.”
“I always reacted emotionally then, before thinking about it afterwards,” Miyu confessed, talking about her past attitude. As such, she says her emotions started to affect her performances and even other aspects of her life. But becoming a K-Pop trainee for the past two years of her life ended up being “a major turning point in my life.”
Instead of reacting emotionally, Miyu reveals she began to think, “There should be a more efficient way of living or a way to be more helpful to others.” If she didn’t have the experience of being a K-Pop trainee at a late age, Miyu says she’d still be “idling around… living as a one-dimensional, lazy person.”