Japanese Idol Sayaka Ichii Turns 33

As of December 31, 2016, Japanese idol Sayaka Ichii celebrates her 33rd birthday! And because of this special occasion, I have decided to address this event! Normally, we would discuss celebrity birthdays if they reached a certain milestone such as 40 or 50. But for me being a Morning Musume fan, I will write about Ichii even though she is not even there yet!

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Japanese Idol Sayaka Ichii is sitting on a mat in a yoga style pose and smiling. We wish you all the best for 2017!

This former Morning Musume babe took part in an event called Otona AKB48 Audition. This is an event where a search was being done for members over the age of 30 that would become members for a short period of time. However, ichii did not win the audition. Although she has been one of the less successful Morning Musume members, I think that she is one of the most beautiful members in the group’s history. Ichii has worked as a swimsuit model where she showed her very impressive body! She released her only photo book called Self on February 10, 2002. In that photo book, Ichii is seen being happy or relaxing poolside as she is in a one-piece swimsuit! Ichii has also spent some time giving birth. She has raised two daughters by herself since filing for divorce from guitarist Naoki Yoshizawa. In August 2012, Ichii married a 37 year-old hairdresser and then announced that she was pregnant for a third time. She would eventually give birth to a baby boy. On November 10, 2016, Ichii announced that she was pregnant for a fourth time. The baby is due in spring 2017. Until then, she can relax and enjoy herself knowing that she celebrates another birthday with her family! Happy Birthday Sayaka Ichii!

Wagamama Ki No Mama Ai No Joke By Morning Musume

Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai No Joke is the 54th major single by girl group Morning Musume released in 2013. It is one of the group’s best singles even though it is not ranked as one of their most popular songs. An instant classic!

The girl group Morning Musume (now known as Morning Musume 16) came out with what was their 54th single called Selfish, Easy Going Jokes of Love.

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The cover for Wagamama Ki No Mama Ai No Joke Regular Edition Type A.

I am listing the name of the single in English first to make it easier for readers to understand. The single was released on August 28, 2013. The single comes in seven different editions. There are 2 regular and five limited editions of the single. The single is actually called Wagamama ki no Mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan. I would be doing a major disservice if I did not write about this amazing song. This post will also discuss some of the events that have happened in the long history of Morning Musume and how they have survived for so long as a group. The single came out just before Morning Musume celebrated their 16th anniversary as a group. There are different versions of this song including a Masaki Sato solo version and a solo version performed by Ayumi Ishida of Sendai!

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Ayumi Ishida of the girl group Morning Musume 16 and she is from the city of Sendai. Ayumi is dressed in a bikini for one of her photo book sessions.

Track listing for the regular edition Type A

 

  1. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
  2. Ai no Gundan  (Army of Love)
  3. Bouya  (Boy)
  4. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke (Instrumental version)
  5. Ai no Gundan (Instrumental version)

Track listing for the regular edition Type B

  1. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
  2. Ai no Gundan
  3. Funwari Koibito Ichinensei  (Gentle First Year Lover)
  4. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke (Instrumental)
  5. Ai no Gundan (Instrumental version)

Some interesting facts about Wagamama ki no Mama Ai no Joke/Ai no Gundan

  • It became the group’s greatest selling single since Koko ni Iruzee! (2002)
  • It also became the 3rd #1 selling single for the group. The last time that such a feat was reached by the group was back in 2001.
  • This was the last single for the group under the name of Morning Musume.
  • The single reached #1 on the weekly Oricon music charts selling 158, 915 copies.
  • The single also reached #41 on the Oricon Yearly Music charts for 2013.
  • It also became the highest selling single for Hello! Project in 2013.

The members that became featured for this single were:

  1. Sayumi Michishige (then the band leader)
  2. Mizuki Fukumura (band leader since November 2014)
  3. Erina Ikuta
  4. Riho Sayashi (graduated on December 31, 2015)
  5. Kanon Suzuki
  6. Ayumi Ishida
  7. Haruna Iikubo (sub-leader of Morning Musume 16)
  8. Masaki Sato
  9. Haruka Kudo
  10. Sakura Oda (Oda Sakura)

This single is the follow-up single to the group’s 53rd single called Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba/Nani mo Iranai. It is a double A-side kind of single and it was the last one to feature Reina Tanaka as a member. Tanaka would graduate from Morning Musume on May 21, 2013 to focus on her other band called Lovendor. And in spite of being overtaken in popularity by AKB48, Morning Musume did not quit as a group and they kept on releasing singles and albums. The group would celebrate its 16th anniversary in September 2013. Their producer TSUNKU would decide to change the group’s name to Morning Musume 14. The reason given for the change is so that fans could know which single was released in what year. For 2015, the group became known as Morning Musume 15.

What is even more remarkable about Morning Musume 15 is that they have survived as a group in spite of the scandal that Miki Fujimoto was involved in, the extramarital affair by Mari Yaguchi, and the smoking scandal by Ai Kago. In spite of these personal issues with their members, the group showed their strength and cohesiveness as a unit and continued to sing on stage, record albums, and go on tours. Morning Musume 15 would even go to New York City to hold a concert there. In Japanese culture, you have to sacrifice your interests and take into consideration what is best for the group. For example, members of Morning Musume 15 and other idol groups cannot date or be romantically involved with members of the opposite gender. They have to do what is best for the group and not focus on their own desires if those desires go against the rules and policies set forth by management. This kind of dedication to the group is what has made Morning Musume 15 as strong and cohesive as a musical group. Morning Musume 15 now has two of the cutest members. These members are Erina Ikuta and the very cute Ayumi Ishida of Sendai. The group has released 14 studio albums and they have their single called Oh My Wish which was released on August 19, 2015. Since the release of that single, the group has released Tsumetai Kaze To Kataomoi. The song reached the top of the Oricon charts in December 2015. The group has seen one of its members leave the entertainment industry for good. That member is Makoto Ogawa who officially left her agency and retired on March 31, 2015. I wrote a while ago that it was my belief that Miki Fujimoto and Makoto Ogawa were the prettiest singers that Morning Musume had. However, there are so many of them that are pretty that it is tough to say which member is the prettiest one of all. But one thing is for sure: the single just described above is one of my favorite songs from this group. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai No Joke should have sold more copies than it did because it is a classic, high energy kind of pop song.

 

 

Morning Musume 16 Now Has Two New Members: Reina Yokoyama And Kaede Kaga

Japanese girl group Morning Musume 16 has two new members! They are Reina Yokoyama, 15 of Saitama and Kaede Kaga, 17, of Tokyo.

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Reina Yokoyama of Saitama, Japan. She is not related to AKB48 member Yui Yokoyama.

The audition for the 13th generation actually started back in January 2016.  Initially, no one was chosen. But the auditions were resumed back in June 2016 and Yokoyama and Kaga were chosen. These two girls were chosen from Hello! Project Kenshuusei. This is the training program that these girls are a part of before they audition to become members.

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Kaede Kaga of Tokyo and one of the new members of Morning Musume 16.

The names of these two girls was first mentioned at the famous venue Nippon Budokan during the group’s latest concert tour. That tour is called Morning Musume 16 Concert Tour My Vision.  The group’s name is now Morning Musume 16 which they are performing under since 2016. The group’s leader is now 9th generation member Mizuki Fukumura. Fukumura, 20, took over as group leader following the departure of Sayumi Michishige in November 2014. Also, this event is the first successful audition since the fall of 2014 when four new members were introduced as part of the 12th generation. At that time, the group was known as Morning Musume 14. The four girls that were introduced were:

  • Maria Makino
  • Miki Nonaka
  • Akane Haga

AND Haruna Ogata.

Congratulations to Morning Musume 16 as they finish the year on a very positive note! They now have 60 singles including Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi/ ENDLESS SKY / One and Only which reached the top of the ORICON Music Charts! They have also released memorable singles such as Morning Coffee,  Kimagure Princess, and Wagamama ki no Mama Ai no Joke. There are several versions of that song including one of them that was done by 10th generation member Ayumi Ishida of Sendai!

Morning Musume has had many significant events happen in their history. I’ll just mention some of these events here. Morning Musume has had 12 generations of members. They have had several band leaders. One of the group’s members Asuka Fukuda left the group in 1999 after spending the shortest amount of time with the group. She was out of the public eye for many years until she resurfaced in 2011. In 2011, it was revealed that Asuka Fukuda had formed the band called Peace$tone.

Several of the former band members have gotten married including Risa Niigaki who got married to actor Yoshikazu Kotani in July 2016. What is perhaps more significant but may be forgotten by some Morning Musume fans is that these members have expanded their reach in the entertainment industry and released photo books. For instance, former member Risa Niigaki released her photo book called Ascension while she was still a member of Morning Musume. That photo book featured Niigaki displaying her bikini body and she is really cute! Former member Natsumi Abe has released 12 photo books including her latest one called Fin No Hito. The photos for that photo book were taken in Helsinki, Finland in 2015 and this photo book shows that Abe still can be beautiful even though she is now 35! Abe is so beautiful that I can say she looks like a goddess!! Words can’t describe how beautiful she really is!! Morning Musume 16 is no longer Japan’s most popular girl group but they are still relevant today almost 20 years after their formation!

Former Morning Musume Leader Sayumi Michishige Will Resume Her Activities

Sayumi Michishige, the Morning Musume member who spent over a decade as leader of one of the most popular musical groups in Japan has announced that she will be resuming her work in the entertainment industry. After she graduated from Morning Musume on November 26, 2014 and handed leadership duties to Mizuki Fukumura, Michishige has been on a hiatus period.

At this point there are not many details that even I have read about. Michishige also said that not right away but in the spring of 2017, her activities will be different from the usual live performances that fans are used to seeing. She only described these activities as a “new type of performance.” She urged fans to continue to support her. Welcome back, Sayumi! In the meantime, I will also address this story on my main website Asian Celebs Hut which has been turned into a magazine as of June 17, 2016. Stay tuned for that!

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Sayumi Michishige (farthest member on the right side) has lots of fun in 2014 with a few of her band mates during filming of the DVD Alo! Hello! 7. To her left are Haruka Kudo, Sakura Oda, and Miizuki Fukumura.