Fans of Morning Musume (now Morning Musume 14) are probably wondering what former member Sayaka Ichii is up to these days. I was wondering the same thing and so I have decided to write about her. It was in April 2014 that Ichii, 30, revealed that she had submitted an application to something called the Otona AKB48 Audition. This was an event where they were searching for members over the age of 30 that would become members for a short time. However, on April 14, 2014, Ichii said that she had failed the audition. And on May 6, 2014, Ichii joined the idol group OFR48 (the full name is Ofuro 48 and they are not related to the famous girl group AKB48). This group was formed in 2011 and the concept is bath house workers that you can go meet.
In August 2012, Sayaka Ichii got married to a hairdresser who was then 37 years old. And on March 2, 2013, she gave birth to a baby boy. Sayaka Ichii’s career goes all the way back to May 1998 when she joined Morning Musume as a 14 year-old. The members in this second generation that joined her are Kei Yasuda and Mari Yaguchi. I’ve always said that I think of all the second generation members, Kei Yasuda is the prettiest and sexiest of them. But Sayaka Ichii is very beautiful also. This beautiful pop singer was born on December 31, 1983 in the city of Chiba in Japan. A few other famous Japanese celebrities that were born in Chiba are the busty bikini model Harumi Nemoto and the very cute and talented singer Atsuko Maeda.
Former Morning Musume member Maki Goto has recently revealed details regarding her weight on her blog. She has been absent from entertainment related activities for over 2.5 years and she is now back. Of all the former Morning Musume members that I have written about, Maki Goto is not one of them. On a July 2nd blog entry, Goto wrote that she weighs 43 kilograms or 94.6 pounds. Goto also said that it would be best if she could keep it at this range. Choreographer Mayumi Natsu had very nice things to say about Goto, saying that her abilities are #1 among Morning Musume and AKB48 members. Goto was very joyful upon hearing these words and she described herself as a fortunate person. She values every piece of her happiness.
As of the beginning of this year, Morning Musume now goes by the name of Morning Musume 14. The name change was made by the group’s producer TSUNKU. The group has been making news especially recently. It was revealed that Sayumi Michishige who has been with the group since 2003 announced her decision to graduate from the group following a concert that will take place this fall. There were discussions between Michishige, her producer, and her agency about the time to graduate and the fall concert was determined to be the best time for her to do so. Maki Goto was part of Morning Musume’s 3rd generation and she is the only member of that generation. Preceding Goto was the 2nd generation of members which included the lovely Kei Yasuda. And even before this generation was the first generation which includes Yuko Nakazawa who began her career with the group in 1997 at the age of 24.
Goto is not the only former Morning Musume member to announce a return to the entertainment industry. Former member Ai Kago returned to the entertainment industry after forming a three member unit called Girls Beat!! And Asuka Fukuda also made her return after a long absence as well. Fukuda is now a member of the group called Peace$tone, a group that she formed back in 2011. Following Goto’s tenure with Morning Muusme came the fourth generation of members which included the mentioned Ai Kago, Nozomi Tsuji, and Rika Ishikawa who made news when she met and talked to the very cute Yuki Kashiwagi of AKB48. After that generation came the fifth generation with members Ai Takahashi, Risa Niigaki, Asami Konno, and Makoto Ogawa. Takahashi of course has also done work as a bikini model, appearing in FLASH Magazine back in 2011 showing her great bikini body! It was on May 27, 2010 that Takahashi attended a release event for her photo book called Katachi prior to her graduation from Morning Musume. Maki Goto joined Morning Musume back in 1999 as a young 13 year-old. She would remain with the group until 2002 and then she would “graduate” from the group to pursue a solo career. Atsuko Maeda of AKB48 also graduated to pursue a solo singing career of her own as well as to focus on becoming an actress.
It was just a few days ago on March 12 that Morning Musume 14 released their 2nd compilation album called Morning Musume 14 Coupling Compilation 2. It was also on this day that current 11th generation member Sakura Oda of Kanagawa turned 15. They will now hold and audition called Morning Musume 14 Golden Audition in another attempt to recruit new members for the group. People between the ages of 10-17 of any nationality that are not married are eligible to apply. This is really smart on the part of the group’s producer TSUNKU who is attempting to expand the group’s influence and popularity outside of Japan. He explained that as the current members’ skills are increasing, the criteria to select candidates is also getting higher. He is sure that there are many amazing and talented people out there. TSUNKU also explained the reasons behind this new recruiting process. He says that the support of the fans made 2013 a big year for Morning Musume as the group reached the top of the Oricon singles chart three times in a row! In 2014, he expects Morning Musume 14 to take what he called a “great leap forward to enter their golden era.” The candidates that prove to be successful will be introduced at a Morning Musume 14 event this coming fall. They will be taking lessons at this time and they can then join in earnest by 2015. Even if no candidate officially passes the audition, they can select a semi-passed candidate who will then be chosen to take free lessons as a member of Hello! Pro Kenshuusei or training group. The person will also be able to take part in live events. The semi-passed candidate will also be able to be selected as a member of any new Hello! Project groups that may be formed in the future. Last spring while the group was still known as Morning Musume, no one passed the audition for what was to become the group’s 12th generation. It was late in 2013 that TSUNKU announced that he was changing the group’s name to Morning Musume 14 to correspond with the current year. The deadline to apply for the audition is May 11. On January 29, 2014, the group released their first single as Morning Musume 14 called “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?” The group’s name is pronounced Morning Musume one-four and they have been in the music business since 1997. They are second in terms of popularity in Japan compared to AKB48.
Popular all-girl group Morning Musume is scheduled to release their very first single as Morning Musume 14. The single is called “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?” it will be relased on January 29, 2014. The single will come in six different versions, Limited Editions A-D and Regular Edition A and Regular Edition B. The group will start their tour, Morning Musume 14 Concert Tour Spring Evolution in March 2014. the tour will start on March 15 and they will stop at 9 different cities in Japan. It was just last month that the group’s producer TSUNKU announced that he would be changing the group’s name to Morning Musume 14 and that in 2015, the group would come to be known as Morning Musume 15, Morning Musume 16 in 2016 and so on. I really think that the group’s name should just remain as Morning Musume. That’s what the group has been known as since the beginning and that is what the fans have been accustomed to. Why does he want to keep changing the group’s name every year? That is a really odd thing to do but it is what it is.
In December 2013, it was announced that Ai Takahashi would be registering her marriage to comedian Koji Abe. That is set to take place on Valentine’s Day, a special day that is associated with love and romance. Miki Fujimoto who was one of the group’s sixth generation members from 2003-2007 also married a comedian, Tomoharu Shoji in July 2009 in Hawaii.
With the announcement of Risa Niigaki graduating in May 2012 that created big news and shocked her fans, Morning Musume fans have had to deal with another member that has graduated from her activities with the group. Reina Tanaka, a sixth generation member of the group since 2003 announced her decision to graduate on May 21, 2013. I know that this is old news but it is still newsworthy.
She wants to now focus on her band Lovendor. Any Morning Musume member that graduates or leaves the group seems to make news. It was also announced that Mizuki Fukumura and Haruna Iikubo will both be the sub-leaders of Morning Musume. On January 19, 2013, Reina and current Morning Musume leader Sayumi Michishige who calls herself the cutest member of Morning Musume both celebrated their 10 year anniversary with the group.
But this has been a challenging year for Tanaka so far as she has had to deal with some health issues. She revealed in her blog in February that she had come down with a duodenal ulcer and esophagitis. She said that she would be taking medicines and requiring surgery to heal herself. On March 23, she had experienced a painful ringing in her ears and the next day, she was forced to miss a concert. Her own band had to do without her. But Reina has recovered and I am sure she is excited about this next phase of her career. Reina Tanaka was born on November 11, 1989 in Fukuoka, Japan. Reina Tanaka is also no longer associated with the label Hello! Project. The motto that Reina lives by is “If you’re allowed to be yourself, you won’t do bad things to people. Don’t do things to people that you wouldn’t want for people to do to you.” Source: http://www.generasia.com/wiki/Tanaka_Reina.
Pop music group Morning Musume marked their 16th anniversary on September 14, 2013. Yes, this is a very happy occasion for a very popular band.
Note: this content is also on my main website. Morning Musume also has had Hitomi Yoshizawa as one of its members.
Band leader Sayumi Michishige was very grateful adding that the group was able to make it through these 16 years because of support from the fans. In the music business, many groups do not last very long but Morning Musume has been around for more than a decade and a half. The group was formed in September 1997 just a few short months after I finished high school. During the event, Morning Musume performed the song “Renai Revolution 21” with new choreography. Michishige who has been with the group since 2003 gave credit to the earlier generations of members that worked hard. Producer TSUNKU also had a voice message saying that he has added a concert which will be performed at the venue Nippon Budokan as part of their concert tour which will start on September 21st. Member Sakura Oda said that she had a dream where the group’s extra performance was at that same venue. She had what can be called a precognitive dream. Morning Musume has had many members come and go. Yuko Nakazawa was part of their first generation of members and she was 24 years old back then. Kei Yasuda who recently got married was part of the group’s second generation of members. And there are two of my favorite Japanese celebrities that were also members of Morning Musume at one time. They are the lovely Miki Fujimoto who is a native of Hokkaido and Rika Ishikawa who was part of the group’s fourth generation of members. Rika Ishikawa especially also looks great in bikinis along with Fujimoto. The first Morning Musume song that I heard was Morning Coffee and since than I have not looked back. Congratulations Morning Musume! You are great!! Morning Musume has had a long history. They were formed when producer TSUNKU had a plan to start the group with five girls. He promised to take them under his guidance and direction if they could sell 50,000 copies of the single called Ai no Tane in five days. Well, the girls did better than that, reaching the mark in four days time and Morning Musume was born. They started as a group on September 7, 1997. One of their first members and main singers was Asuka Fukuda, a Japanese pop music singer from Tokyo.