Idols You Should Meet: Morning Musume (Part 5)



Name: Sayashi Riho
Born: May 28th, 1998 in Hiroshima Prefecture
Group: Morning Musume
Nickname: Yasshii, RihoRiho, Sayamaru
Blog: Ameba Blog
Hobbies: Listening to music, dancing, sleeping, drawing
Talent: Penmanship, massage, calligraphy

Joined Hello!Project and Morning Musume in 2011 as part of the 9th generation.
Her motto is “If you can sing you can rock the stage”.
Her favorite colors are pink, white, black, green and blue.
Her favorite foods are peaches, Chinese noodles, chicken wings, cereals, sushi and oysters.
Her least favorite foods are carrots, shrimp and eggs.
She looks up to Takahashi Ai and Suzuki Airi.
She has an older sister, a younger sister and two older brothers.
She attended Actor’s School Hiroshima since age 6 and received training in singing, acting and dancing.
Before joining Morning Musume, she was in the stage play “Fashionable” with the group.
If she wasn’t in Morning Musume she said she would like to be a nail artist.
She has the ability to paint and draw without looking.
She can bend both of her thumbs all the way back.
She believes that she is her own biggest rival.




In the idol business, personality is vital. It displays an identity. You can be the nicest person in the world, but if you can’t translate that into something consumable for the public, it’s worth little in this business. Riho’s struggle with this aspect was immediately spotted by Morning Musume fans. It wasn’t rare to see supporters questioning her position, as well as feeling like she was hiding her personality from them.

Seeing Sayashi Riho dance for the first time was mesmerizing. You knew you were seeing the product of hard work and talent – not only in proficiency, but you could plainly see her personality and enthusiasm shine through.

However, whenever she was showcased outside of dancing it was as if she entered a fugue state – reserved, overly-polite, and worst of all, safe. Where was the confidence? The determination? The fire? It could have been a lot of things – clashing with the status-quo Morning Musume, being pushed to the front, not being familiar with the members, camera fright, or all of the above. The main problem seemed to be the running narrative that Riho was putting up a front. Her strive to be perfect and professional was covering her natural self.

But that was back then. These days? Riho couldn’t be more radiant. Perhaps it was the influx of new members and competition, becoming more comfortable in front of the camera, or simply just time – but Riho’s charisma and charm has increased tremendously in the past year – and not just limited to her performing abilities.

There’s still a semblance of an invisible barrier when it comes to being social with others– but it’s much less apparent, and her front-facing position feels much more natural. Above all, she looks like she loves her work and openly displays her natural personality on and off the stage – which I feel is what most fans really wanted from her. She’s just a kid, and she’s not afraid of showing that side of herself.

She might not have a personality that fans can describe in a one-sentence archetype, but that’s part of why I enjoy seeing her. “Balanced” is too mundane a word to describe it – balance seems to imply an even keel, something stable, something unmoving. It’s more that there is a sense of energy and giddiness that exudes from Riho in everything she does.

This has to be an exciting time for the members of Morning Musume. The landscape has drastically changed for 9th generation especially in the past couple years, and Riho looks more determined than ever to be a driving force in Morning Musume and launch it into a new era – And I hope she does.

Biography and trivia courtesy of Hello!Project Wiki

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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