Iikubo Haruna (24), the subleader of Morning Musume ’18, announced her graduation from both her group and Hello! Project early this morning. Translated statements state that Harunan will continue in the entertainment industries, although specific plans were not discussed. Haruna will continue with Morning Musume ’18 and Hello! Project until the conclusion of the group’s Fall Tour, “Morning Musume ’18 Concert Tour Aki ~GET SET, GO!~” ending in December. International fans attending Morning Musume ’18’s Mexico City and New York concerts will be among the last to see a Morning Musume lineup with Iikubo Haruna as she will still scheduled to participate in those two events.
Iikubo joined Morning Musume and Hello! Project in September 2011 from the Morning Musume 10ki Member “Genki Jirushi” Audition along with generation mates Ishida Ayumi, Sato Masaki and Kudo Haruka. A former model for Love Berry under the stage name “Den Hau”, Haruna quickly became known for her fashion sense and her love of the manga “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” from which she would often strike signature elaborate poses. Most famously, the always sunny Haruna rebranded her initial member color from brown to chocolate until she was given her current member color (Yellow/Honey) in 2012. With Morning Musume, Iikubo participated in 18 singles with her debut in 2012’s “Pyoco Pyoco Ultra”.
As fall tour tend to run until December, fans have about 4 months left with Iikubo Haruna. Please enjoy every moment.
Morning Musume ’18 (モーニング娘。 ’18 Mōningu Musume One-Eight.), formerly simply Morning Musume (モーニング娘。 Mōningu Musume.) and colloquially referred to as Momusu (モー娘。 Mōmusu.), is a Japanese female idol group, holding the second highest overall single sales (of a female group) on the Oricon charts as of February 2012, with the Oricon record of most top ten singles with an amount of 64, and they have sold over 21 million copies in Japan alone.
Morning Musume was formed in 1997 by rock singer-songwriter turned record producer Tsunku, who later composed the vast majority of the group’s songs over the decade. They are the lead group of Hello! Project that specialises in upbeat, pop-oriented music coupled with dance performance. The group produced several splinter groups, and often collaborates with other Hello! Project acts, including Country Musume, Berryz Kobo, Cute, Melon Kinenbi, and v-u-den. The group’s name can be translated as “Morning Girls” or “Morning Daughters”; as the name suggests, it consists of members mostly in their late adolescence and early 20s. The average age of the group members has remained more or less unchanged since its original formation because the group maintains a “school-like” system for their continuous line-up changes, with older members “graduating” and new, usually younger, members selected from nationwide auditions admitted to the group almost annually.
Morning Musume ’18 currently includes 9th generation members Fukumura Mizuki and Ikuta Erina; 10th generation members Iikubo Haruna, Ishida Ayumi, and Sato Masaki; 11th generation member Oda Sakura; 12th generation members Nonaka Miki, Makino Maria, and Haga Akane; 13th generation members Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina; and 14th generation member Morito Chisaki.[background information via Wikipedia]
(translated by NSK’s @missingno15)
As Morning Musume celebrated it’s 20th year anniversary last year in September, I started to think not only about the future of Morning Musume but for my own future as well.
Concerts were the most fun out of all our activities as a group and even though we call it “concerts”, we don’t just sing and dance but we do MCs and act out songs among other things as part of the performance included in our concerts.
Aside from singing and dancing, I like theatre, talking on the radio, introducing manga, fashion, outside of JapanーI have so many dreams and things that I want to do.
I understand it’s a lot.
But, it was because of Morning Musume that I was able to realize what it is that I’m interested in. Morning Musume has taught me about the world’s endless possibilities, hope, and love. And that time is finite.
When I thought to myself, “what things do I want to try out the most”, I came up with many answers.
This year, I will turn 24 years old.
In order to follow through those things, I will take this opportunity to go solo and challenge many other things. After graduation, I will continue to work hard in the entertainment industry as “Iikubo Haruna”. I may not be able to show much for all of the things that I want to do but I will continue to work hard so that you all hear more about me in the future!
I want to treasure my remaining time together with the members and the fans and add more chapters to the story of Morning Musume. And, I will continue to work hard to earn your love and support so please continue to look after me!
9/22 Harmony Hall Zama, Kanagawa
9/23 Harmony Hall Zama, Kanagawa
10/6 Sunport Hall Takamatsu Dai Hall, Kagawa
10/7 Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima
10/8 Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan Dai Hall, Ehime
10/13 Fukuoka Shimin Kaikan Dai Hall, Fukuoka
10/14 Fukuoka Shimin Kaikan Dai Hall, Fukuoka
10/27 Nagaoka Shiritsu Gekijo, Niigata
10/28 Sendai Sunplaza Hall, Miyagi
11/23 NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka
12/1 Aiplaza Toyohashi, Aichi
12/2 Sinfonia Technology Hibiki Hall Ise, Mie
12/8 Kishiwada Shiritsu Namikiri Hall, Osaka
12/9 Fuji-shi Bunka Kaikan Rose Theater, Shizuoka
Hello! Project (Japanese)