How did Morning Musume Become Morning Musume 17?

morning musume 17 band photo

Morning Musume started as a pop idol group back in September 1997. But how did they become the group known as Morning Musume 17? I will recap all the events that led up to this moment by the way of this website.

morning musume 17 band photo
A photo of the group now known as Morning Musume 17. Band leader Mizuki Fukumura is the 3rd person from the left on the main row.

Morning Musume celebrated its 16th anniversary on September 14, 2013. The band leader at that time was Sayumi Michishige.  Michishige announced in December 2016 that she would be resuming her activities after a hiatus. However, five months earlier, Reina Tanaka had graduated from Morning Musume. In 2014, the group’s name was changed to Morning Musume 14. The group would release its first single under that name called “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?

It was released on January 29, 2014. In March 2014, the group would hold what was called Morning Musume 14 Golden Audition to try and recruit new members for the group. They would not be successful in doing so until the fall of 2014 when 4 new members were chosen to be part of the group. It was also in 2014 that I first wrote about Ayumi Ishida of Sendai. I also did my first biographical writing of Sayaka Ichii (now 33).

I also wrote back in April 2015 that Morning Musume was known by the name of Morning Musume 15. They had and still have Mizuki Fukumura as their band leader. Fukumura released her first photo book called MIZUKI back in 2013. The photos for that book were taken in Guam. As Morning Musume 16, their 6oth single called “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only” made it to the top of the Oricon Music Charts!

On August 10, 2016, former first generation member Natsumi Abe turned 35 years old. She also released another photo book called Fin no Hito. Fin no Hito was the follow-up to her 2012 photo book called SUBWAY. The photos for SUBWAY were taken in New York City as Abe was seen exploring the city by foot or posing for photos while dressed in sexy lingerie! In December 2016, the group introduced two new members as part of its 13th generation. They were Reina Yokoyama and Kaede Kaga. Since the 12th generation had four members, the 11th generation only had one member. That member was Oda Sakura. The group became known by the name of Morning Musume 17 in 2017 and Ayumi Ishida turned 20 years old on January 7, 1997. The group now has 62 singles.

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