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6:00 PM on 10.31.2014

Idol of the Week: Ai Shinozaki

Name: Ai Shinozaki Birthdate: February 26, 1992 Hometown: Tokyo, Japan Measurements: 87/60/88 cm  When I haven't done Idol of the Week for a while I start to feel bad about depriving my dear friends of the lovely comp...

Hiroko Yamamura


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Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14 photo
Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14
by Hiroko Yamamura

After eleven amazing years, current Morning Musume '14 leader, Sayumi Michishige is graduating after their current tour. The super group known to fans as Momusu have been lighting up Japan's pop charts since 1997, and have absolutely no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Michishige leaves the always revolving line-up to the other 13 girls, with new girls being added to the gorgeous line-up.

Morning Musume saw a big spike in popularity last year, after a few years of a lull. Many contribute the group's success to Michishige's unique presence and grace, as well as god given amazing looks. Before their show in New York earlier this month, Sayumi took a few moments to speak to me about her thoughts on leaving the mega-pop machine.

Japanator -  Michishige-san, thank you for taking the time to speak to your fans in the United States. What are your expectations for your upcoming show in New York? What do you think of U.S. fans?

Sayumi Michishige - U.S. fans always show such strong feelings, and it's been a long time since I've seen them face to face. They're going to see a new side of Morning Musume。with a lot more dancing.

Japanator - Morning Musume has had non-stop success since their first single, "Morning Coffee". What is the secret to the group's success and popularity?

Sayumi Michishige - Four new members were announced recently, and it's our biggest group in a long time. Morning Musume is constantly developing by adding unique and colorful members. I think that this style of group which never loses freshness grabs the heart of the fans.

Japanator - We are all very sad to hear you are graduating this year, and feel you have really been the face of the group for so long. Can you tell us about any immediate acting or singing projects you would like to announce?

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like it's coming up fast, but at the same time there's a lot of work to do until that day. I'm thinking about what I can do for MorningMusume right up until the end.

Japanator - What has been the hardest part of being the leader of Morning Musume? Are you a little relieved to be graduating?

Sayumi Michishige - The challenge is about how to treat and teach the junior members. I wanted to be in the position of a leader, but I had never actually been in that position before. So, at the beginning I agonized a lot.

Japanator - While visiting New York, is there anything you are hoping to do in your free time?

Sayumi Michishige - There are so many great places to see! New York is a place for fashion, so I'm thinking about that.

Japanator - Please give a message for your fans in the United States and the readers of Japanator.

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like a long time, but now we're coming to the U.S. and the moment has come to perform live in New York. We will perform with all we've got, so please follow us!

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8:00 AM on 10.04.2014

Morning Musume '14 to play in NYC this Sunday

Morning Musume changed their name this year into Morning Musume '14. I'm not 100% sure what that really means for the flagship idol group of Hello! Project, but they're having a concert in NYC's Best Buy Theater on Sunday, October 5th. You can get tickets here and partake their first live in New York. We'll be there to take a look.

Jeff Chuang

6:00 PM on 09.12.2014

Idol of the Week: Haruna Kojima

Name: Haruna Kojima Birthdate: April 19th, 1988 Hometown: Saitama, Japan Measurements: 80/60/86 cm  There a few things that you can count on in life. Death, taxes, and that AKB48 will continue showcasing s...

Hiroko Yamamura

8:00 AM on 09.08.2014

Even AKB48 want to kick Nintendo's butt

Nintendo's been ramping up the hype train for its next Super Smash Brothers game, and in Japan, that means getting AKB48 involved, naturally.  It's a good thing that one of the key features of the upcoming 3DS and ...

Josh Tolentino

4:00 PM on 08.22.2014

Idol of the Week: Sayumi Michishige

Name: Sayumi Michishige  Birthdate: March 4, 1987 Hometown: Miyazaki, Japan   Measurements: 87/58/86 cm   This week get our visit from our favorite member of Japan's hit sensation Morning Musume, Sayu...

Hiroko Yamamura

6:00 PM on 08.01.2014

Idol of the Week: Asuka Kishi

Name: Asuka Kishi Birthdate: November 4th, 1991 Hometown: Osaka, Japan Measurements: 90/58/88 cm  I actually know very little about this week's idol, Asuka Kishi. When I was looking online for the gal who ...

Hiroko Yamamura

6:00 PM on 07.11.2014

Idol of the Week: Sano Hinako

Name: Sano HinakoBirthdate: October 13, 1994Hometown: Tokyo, JapanMeasurements: 84/51/87 cm  This week's amazing idol is talented actress an model Sano Hinako. She's sporting a killer smile and lips that just don't quit. She's a super charming babe, that I would share a meal with anytime. However I just have to ask. What's with the knit hat in the tropical pictures? Is that a thing now?

Hiroko Yamamura

4:00 PM on 07.04.2014

Idol of the Week: Tomomi Itano

Name: Tomomi Itano Birthdate: July 3, 1991 Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan Measurements: 76/56/79 cm  While she may not be tearing up the stage as a member of AKB48 anymore, the always adorable Tomochin is enjoying a hugely su...

Hiroko Yamamura

6:00 PM on 07.02.2014

AKB48 handshake events to resume this weekend

After two members of AKB48 and one staff person were viciously attacked by a knife wielding idiot, I was pretty confident that the super-groups already creepy handshake events were coming to an end. The girls are often made t...

Hiroko Yamamura

4:00 PM on 06.27.2014

Idol of the Week: Risa Yoshiki

Name: Risa Yoshiki Birthdate: July 27, 1987 Hometown: Chiba, Japan Measurements: 80/59/88 cm  Since we're only on our second week of seeing amazing gravure idols from Japan, I thin it's best that we visit with some of...

Hiroko Yamamura





2:00 PM on 06.25.2014

Perfume are finally coming to the US!

I can't believe it. This year is freaking amazing for fans of Japanese pop music. First, we have the return of May'N at the J-Pop Festival in San Francisco. Next, we find out out the pint-sized head bangers of BABYMETAL are ...

Hiroko Yamamura