I love dinosaurs so much,
I talk my family’s ear off
As our DinoScience Ambassador, Kosaka Nao will spread the word about what makes this exhibition so special. She is a member of Hinatazaka46, the popular Japanese idol group, and has played a leading role in many of their hit songs. She is also known to be a huge dinosaur fan.
In this interview, the 18-year-old Kosaka shared her sincere love for dinosaurs in a way that we believe will resonate with both kids and adults. We hope lots of people will read this interview before attending the exhibition.
Creatures that went extinct millions of
years ago exist today as fossils—it’s magical.
Can you tell us how you fell in love with dinosaurs?
Kosaka: It started when I was in elementary school. Third or fourth grade, I think. The first time I saw a fossil in science class, I thought it was so cool. I’ve also always liked animals, and I remember learning in biology class about how animals evolve, and that animals living today “used to look like this a long, long time ago.” It gave me this feeling of wonder, like, “What if I could travel back in time? What would it be like?” That’s how I first got interested.
That led to your interest in dinosaurs, you mean?
Kosaka: Right. Then one day in elementary school they were handing out flyers for a dinosaur exhibit and I said, “I reeeeeally want to go!” (laughs) In sixth grade, I watched dinosaur movies like Jurassic Park a million times. I realized, wow, I really love dinosaurs! Then, at long last, I was able to see them at a museum.
How did you feel when you went to the museum and actually saw a dinosaur?
Kosaka: I was awestruck. I couldn’t believe how big they were! And also, their bones were so thick and sturdy. And I would look at their footprints and imagine the days when they roamed the earth...there were no humans back then, that’s for sure. It was so fascinating learning about something so ancient.
You really fell in love with dinosaurs!
Kosaka: These creatures that lived tens of millions of years ago became fossils, and now they’re here with us today—it’s absolutely magical. That’s the most intriguing thing to me. I think it’s fun to imagine what it would be like if dinosaurs were alive today. I mean, the planet would be...the planet hosted these creatures! There really was an age of the dinosaurs. (laughs)
You certainly have an active imagination! Do you share these thoughts and feelings about dinosaurs with your friends?
Kosaka: Not really, I must admit. None of my friends are big dinosaur fans. But I do talk my family’s ear off! (laughs) I also take my family to dinosaur exhibitions. I’m constantly pointing and saying, “Isn’t that amazing?!”
So would you recommend going as a family to a dinosaur exhibition?
Kosaka: Yes, I think you’ll have fun. Because parents and children are close. I think you have the most fun when you do something with people who understand you. But I do wish my friends would go with me too! (laughs)
In recent years, it seems like more young women such as yourself are going to dinosaur exhibitions.
Kosaka: It’s great to hear that! I want more women to get into dinosaurs. Including my own female friends and family. (laughs)
My favorite dinosaur is the Triceratops.
The plant eaters have cuter faces.
I’m curious—which dinosaurs do you like specifically?
Kosaka: My favorite dinosaur is the Triceratops. It’s got those three horns, and that huge body. With the way it looks, if you didn’t know better you’d think it was carnivorous, a meat eater, but Triceratops was actually a plant eater. I also like its cute eyes, and its cute face. Herbivorous dinosaurs are just cute overall.
What about the carnivores?
Kosaka: Of course I love them too. (laughs) They evolved the way that worked for them, and that’s great. Many of them evolved to run quickly on two legs, and Tyrannosaurs, at the top of the food chain, had a really strong jaw. These dinosaurs were the way they were in order to thrive. That’s cool, no doubt.
I’d like to return to the Triceratops for a moment. One of the highlights of this exhibition is Lane, the best preserved Triceratops skeleton in the world. He’s usually in the United States, but he’s making his first trip to Japan.
Kosaka: I know, I can’t wait to see him!
Did you already know about Lane?
Kosaka: Yes, I did. I follow stories about new dinosaur fossil discoveries on the internet, and one time when I was reading up about dinosaurs online, I learned about this beautiful, almost complete Triceratops skeleton in the US.
You really are a serious dino fan! So then how did you feel when you learned that Lane would be coming to Japan for the first time?
Kosaka: Very excited, of course. Right now, with the coronavirus pandemic, even diehard dinosaur fans aren’t going to travel from Japan to the US to see a dinosaur. It’s wonderful we can see Lane here in Japan. Since I am the official DinoScience Ambassador, I want to tell as many young people as I can that Lane is here in Japan, and that you can see him.
As an official ambassador, I tell people about
dinosaurs, but I also learn along with them.
Our interview today certainly has me convinced that Kosaka Nao was an amazing choice for DinoScience Ambassador. Could you tell us how you felt when you took up this post?
Kosaka: I couldn’t believe it! (laughs) I had mentioned that I love dinosaurs a lot on TV, on my blogs, in magazines, and it’s incredible that I could find this sort of outlet for my passion. I’m not an actual dinosaur expert, of course, so through the course of this exhibition, I’m really excited to learn alongside other people who like dinosaurs, but maybe don’t have super deep knowledge about them.
Finally, what are your personal expectations for Sony presents DinoScience The Dinosaurs of Laramidia 2021@YOKOHAMA?
Kosaka: Of course I can’t wait to see an invaluable specimen like Lane, who is coming all the way from the States. And as the name “DinoScience” suggests, I’m also looking forward to learning all the things these fossils and discoveries have to teach us. It’s also fantastic that we’ll get to see this realistic CG recreation of the world the dinosaurs lived in, on the big screen. CG these days is incredible—it’s incredible we can use cutting-edge technology to create worlds that we couldn’t in previous decades. I heard some young Triceratops make an appearance in the film. I wonder what their story will be? I’m excited to find out.