entertainment

Sashihara voted most popular AKB48 member

22 Comments

Rino Sashihara was voted the most popular member of all-girl singing group AKB48 in the 5th annual popularity contest before 70,000 fans at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on Saturday.

Sashihara, 20, received 150,570 votes, beating last year's winner Yuko Oshima who garnered 136,503 votes. Sashihara already has two singles to her name and last summer, she was transferred to HKT48, AKB48's sister group based in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Pictures of a teary-eyed Sashihara dominated the sports newspapers on Sunday. She will now stand center stage and take a lead role in the wildly-popular group's future musical offerings and performances.

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

This strategy, combined with the baring of much flesh, has given them a huge following among Japan's often geeky salarymen.

The group's popularity is staggering, as is the merchandising industry it supports. They are also advertising gold and have been involved in promotions for products as diverse as sweets and government bonds, while fronting a campaign aimed at reducing teenage suicide.

The general election for AKB48 is the largest annual event in Japanese music and entertainment.

© Japan Today/AFP

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22 Comments
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If there's no pic, it didn't happen.............

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Saw bits & pieces of the TV show. Can't wait for the ratings to drop in future shows so that such "tearjerkers" can be stored in the dustbin. After all, as has been said before, it's just a huge PR gimmick to make the girls that much more popular.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Gee whiz I missed that breaking news.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The general election for AKB48 is the largest annual event in Japanese music and entertainment.

facepalm

5 ( +8 / -3 )

So she's 20 now, which means she was not 20 when they put her in lingerie and had her on display for the males of this nation.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

you like to fight a losing battle smithinjapan kudos lol it's all double standards haha

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Much of the group’s appeal lies in their being idols you can touch

Are we talking about the same band?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"70,000 fans at Nissan Stadium"....... Proof people are deaf here. Pop is music's cancer.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

She will now stand center stage and take a lead role in the wildly-popular group’s future musical offerings and performances.

Plus a life long "career" in variety shows. Ah well...this is Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have to admit, this came as a surprise. I did not think Oshima would be unseated. One thing I cannot understand is why this is reported in sports newspapers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Honestly, I never heard of her or seen her in my life, then again I only know some members by certain traits-

Names I know- Yuko Oshima- the half something girl Tomomi Itano- the yaeba cutie with lots of platic surgery

Names I don't know but recognize-

The long-haired girl with big ears The girl whose mom slept with her brother's friend The half Filipino girl The girl that shaved her head after sexual relations The short-haired tall girl that called it quits

2 ( +4 / -2 )

ameicans should start a USA48, and "bomb" japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Picture would be helpful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She looks fab in the poster I have of her and the girls in my room.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This got more than 20 minutes of nonstop coverage on one of the morning TV programs (Zip!) today. I bet you the election in July gets less.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Rino is cute.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Names I don't know but recognize- The long-haired girl with big ears The girl whose mom slept with her brother's friend The half Filipino girl The girl that shaved her head after sexual relations The short-haired tall girl that called it quits

In that case Sashihara would be "The girl who got transferred to HKT48 for sending sexy pictures to her boyfriend who was a fan of her."

Either the AKB otaku fans aren't into pure and innocent as they are made out to be, or the whole "election" is rigged.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Either the AKB otaku fans aren't into pure and innocent as they are made out to be, or the whole "election" is rigged.

I lean towards the latter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

please spell check more carefully..

This strategy, combined with the bearing of much flesh, has given them a huge following among Japan’s often geeky salarymen. should be.... ":baring"

and that is hardly something to focus on...this group has many fine qualities and the efforts they make to portray and exhibit good values, mingle with people in daily events and give from the heart is much more siginificant to their popularity than to claim that they are somehow being aggressively sensual. Modern entertainment rarely is without that quality so it is hardly fair to single this one group out for that. They are a wonderful asset to modern entertainment and they bring joy to many. That is the reason for their success. And they can sing beautifully.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhEK1mxOm-I&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CrZ-P_rw1paPmSQwmrVBv0

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If only people would get as serious about REAL political elections that affect everyone's lives, rather than a stupid over hyped popularity contest

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should tour America

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sashihara, 20, received 150,570 votes 150,570 at a £10 a go that's how much in total?? that's a lot of cash

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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