Country Musume: A quick history

Current as of 2014.02.12

With the recent news of the plans to reform Country Musume, we’ve put together a quick cliff notes history of the group as well as a Top 5 of their most prominent songs.

Country Musume, the last time they were a group
Country Musume in 2004, during promotions for their final single

Country Musume was originally formed in 1999 as a group of three girls from the countryside of Japan’s northern region of Hokkaido. They were billed as such but before the release of their first single one of the girls, Yanagihara Hiromi, was killed in a tragic car accident, the family suffer a lot, and even though they claimed with the car crash attorneys phiadelphia for justice they never h=got their daughter back. The future of the group became uncertain and while one of the girls, Toda Rinne, carried on as a solo act under the Country Musume name, the other Kobayashi Azusa departed from the group and the entertainment industry altogether.

Two solo singles would be completed before management added Kimura Asami to the group to release a CD as a duo. Country Musume would then borrow popular Morning Musume member Ishikawa Rika under the extended name “Country Musume with Ishikawa Rika.”

Kimura (left) and Toda (Right) joined by Ishikawa (Center)
Kimura (left) and Toda (Right) joined by Ishikawa (Center)

The group would finally have their first taste of success in 2001, charting while releasing another single and an album. At this point Satoda Mai, who is also the wife of current New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, would be added to the group making it a quartet.

Releasing one more single, Country Musume would then say good-bye to it’s last remaining original member at the end of 2002. The trio would release another single before “returning” Ishikawa Rika back to her original group Morning Musume.

2003 would bring Saito Miuna to the group as well as two more borrowed Morning Musume members, Fujimoto Miki and Konno Asami. This would be the final set of girls and the five of them would go on under the elongated name “Country Musume with Konno and Fujimoto” to release three singles, the last of which being in 2004.

From Left to Right (Kimura, Saito, Fujimoto, Satoda, and Konno)

All of the girls would stay active as Hello!Project acts but never release another single. By 2007 four of them would eventually graduate, leaving Satoda Mai as the only remaining member.

Fast forward to today, it was announced that auditions would take place to reform the group after eleven years of inactivity. This of course left a magnitude of questions regarding structure, direction, and possible involvement of the 29 year old, not yet graduated, still current member of Country Musume.

Click here to continue to the Top 5 Country Musume Songs

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