Japan Today

AKB48's adult member 'graduates' after 4 months


Mariko Tsukamoto, a 38-year-old mother of two, who joined idol group AKB48 as an adult member in April, has "graduated" and says she is happy to go back to being a mother.

Tsukamoto was picked from a pool of over 5,000 applicants, including an 82-year-old lady, in the Glico Papiko spring campaign to appeal ice cream lines to the over-30 demographics.

Since she was introduced at a press conference on April 17, Tsukamoto has been working as an idol, participating in handshaking events and concerts. She made her stage debut on July 16.

At her graduation performance held at the AKB48 theater in Akihabara on Aug 31, Tsukamoto , Tokyo, she sang 20 songs including "Oshiete Mommy" (Tell Me, Mommy), Sports Nippon reported.

Tsukamoto told the audience that the past four months were quite exciting and she thanked fans for their warm-hearted support and kindness which she said gave her courage.

The collective, whose 90-plus singers and dancers are rotated in and out of the limelight according to their waxing and waning popularity, regularly pump out songs that sell more than a million copies.

AKB48, one of the most lucrative groups of all time, is part pop act, part talent show, where a member's time on the front line is determined by how much adoration they inspire from fans.

The most popular girls or young women remain a part of the core group that sings and dances their way through formulaic bubblegum tunes. Those who fall out of public favor are demoted to a sub-group in an organization structured somewhat like a soccer league.

Much of the group's appeal lies in frequent opportunities for fans to meet them, chat with them or befriend them on social networking sites.

© Japan Today/AFP

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Brilliant business strategy. Too bad the girls cannot take it to a higher level after leaving.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who else thinks that AKB (and their similar peer groups) appears on TV too much? I'm kind of tired of seeing them on pretty much every channel. Sure, I could change the channel, but as most of anyone who watches Japanese TV knows, there's always something similar waiting for you no matter which channel you pick. Sorry to any fans

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What a load of crap that was, the entire thing was fake, you could never become a fulltime member

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Nightshade 2014Sep. 03, 2014 - 08:08AM JST

Why would you watch tv anyway? It's not like there's anything but variety programs and dubbed movies split into 8 parts. Get a Hulu subscription and get rid of broadcast tv once and for all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well that was a waste of time

3 ( +4 / -1 )

She will be sorely missed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sure she has a glittering career ahead of her.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


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AKB48's adult member 'graduates' after 4 months

Adult member? There is more than one adult member of AKB, but they don't want anyone else to know about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most of them are adults. When Shinoda left she was 27, I think.

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Wonder how much money she earned

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At her age, I'm assuming she got a GED.

(For those not from the US or Canada, the GED is what you get when you don't finish school at 18 but go back and take classes as an adult to get a diploma.)

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At her age, I'm assuming she got a GED.

And your assumption would be WAY off the mark, as much as I do not appreciate AKB , the average, typical, Japanese woman is well educated,and more than likely a college graduate. Besides that, and here's to assuming about your ignorance of Japan, GED's here are a hell of a lot harder to get than actually graduating from a 3 year HS.

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Yubaru, John Becker was just making a gentle poke at her age, not her intelligence.

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Yubaru, John Becker was just making a gentle poke at her age, not her intelligence.

Then why make the comment about her having a GED? That to me is a poke at her intelligence or education background.

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@Yubaru The joke is a GED isn't a "real" diploma, a play on AKBinc using the word "graduate" to mean "sacked" or "quit".

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