Miyawaki Sakura and Yabuki Nako are 2 former members of IZ*ONE, but before appearing on Produce 48 and making it into the debut lineup of the group, they were popular Japanese idols and were a part of the idol group HKT48!

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Nako(left) and Sakura (right)

After IZ*ONE concluded their activities as a group in April 2021, Sakura, Nako, and Honda Hitomi left to go back to Japan after 2 and a half years to take the next steps in their respective careers!

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Nako (left), Sakura (center), Hitomi (right)

Recently, Sakura and Nako sat down for an interview with NHK TV (Fukuoka affiliate), where they talked about their idol careers in both Japan and South Korea! Translated by Youtube channel AK48 NYC, one of the questions they were asked in the interview was about self-love, and how they came to love themselves during their time as IZ*ONE members!

After 2 and a half years of activities, changes have occurred within them and they have brought those to Japan. It’s about ‘being able to love myself just the way I am’.

Nako spoke first, and talked about how her short height had become a complex for her while she was promoting in Korea. She shared how she was able to come to terms with it through the love and support of her fans, and turned her “weakness” into a source of strength!

There are taller people in Korea than in Japan. Since I look smaller there, at first, I was quite negative about it. But I heard a lot of compliments from fans saying that such a thing is also Nako’s merit, and I started to think my height is…a strength? I was able to turn a weakness into a strength.

—Nako

Sakura shared her own experience with learning to love herself, and revealed how inspired she was by her Korean members to be confident about herself!

Until then, I thought I had to be humble. I thought that self-growth would stop when you gain confidence. I thought it was bad to have confidence in yourself. So to the question of ‘who you want to be if you are reborn’, I answered with someone I respect or someone other than me. But seeing a Korean member clearly say that she wants to be reborn as herself…I thought it was so cool that she loves herself.

After realizing the difference between self-satisfaction and self-affirmation, I think I’ve come to realize that having confidence in yourself isn’t a bad thing.

—Sakura

Sakura also revealed how she’s changed with her newfound self-confidence!

Now I can praise myself for working hard. I can be more kind to others, and I think I’ve become more gentle with myself, and I’m able to live happier.

—Sakura

It’s great to see both Sakura and Nako being able to find their inner confidence queens!

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| @nako_yabuki_75/Twitter

You can watch them talk about this here!