One Step Forward for Wasamin

Iwasa Misaki of AKB48’s Team A and subgroup Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 is not a particularly well-known member, but is a rather peculiar one. Mainly because of her affinity for the ye olde art of enka music. She showcased her passion for it several times now, performing enka songs at Team Ogi concerts and several times on televised programs.

She had changed her agency earlier this year, from the well-established Ogi Productions to the smaller Nagara Productions to pursue her niche interest in enka music. It’s been rather quiet since the move in March of this year, but the news has finally come: Wasamin will have a solo debut single on February 1st!

I always had respect for her interest and pursuit for a future in enka, even at the cost of leaving a renowned talent agency. How often do you find idols with such aspirations these days? Iwasa may not often get the spotlight, but she will always stand out to me because of her unique passion. Having grown up with Korean trot music, enka was an extremely easy transition for me and I will always have a soft spot for it. It may never become mainstream as it once was, but it will always be around in some form, and Wasamin is an example of one.


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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  1. AkiP enka pen with the AKB brand on her back, I wonder how it will sell….

    Optisimitic about this! Ever since seeing her sing, I been preaching about a solo debut.

  2. You mentioned it Dae but Wasamin gained alot of respect from me by leaving Ogi to go to Nagara Productions. It was a real statement of her future intentions and the first meaningful step on her path to what she said she wanted to be, an Enka singer (Also Ogi have been very helpful in this too, by keeping her in Warota etc)

    It’s great to see an idol like this one that is willing to give up, what really quite a few of the girls (more so one’s who like Wasamin are not the most popular) was a good position, a place in a sub-unit (which though she holds onto for the moment I can’t see her in there much longer after her debut) and a place in one of the top agencies. It shows she cares, that her dreams are real and that to me means something….

    I have always had time for Wasamin and though I must admit Enka is not something I am really interested in I am happy to see her getting her solo debut and wish her all the best for it!

  3. My favorite part about following these groups is learning something interesting about their lesser known members. This is fantastic and refreshing to see.

  4. This being AkiP produced,The enka master that he is, I originally wanted for all her songs to be original to truely bring out her full potential as a enka singer, but I changed ly mind and want this ONE cover.

    Thanks to AkB programming, and EXILE Programming, and the Ichiban Song Programming, I have seen some of AkiPs past work. His enka work has all stand out to me. Before this announcement I was on the edge of buying songs filling my mp3 with enka. But now, I have a new genre to follow, with Iwasa songs as the center of it. Thank u AKB for exposing many things of Japanese culture to me just by watching ur shows, thank u AkiP for fantastic body of work, and Iwasa for giving the final push.

  5. I’m really looking forward to this, I hope Iwasa does well. Even though I haven’t listened to much enka it’s definitely something I enjoy listening to, and when Iwasa sings, it’s something great to watch.

  6. I’ve been listening to enka since I was a young child, as my Bachan would watch enka programs whenever we visited. I’d love to hear Wasamin progress from idol to enka singer, but it will take some time. Her voice is not powerful enough yet, and she’ll need to devote herself full-time to that art. Even Jero needed almost 5 years of professional training after winning his first competition before his debut hit “Umiyuki” (lyrics by Aki-P!).

    My thoughts are that she can sing enka on the side and use the power of AKB to help fuel appearances. We won’t know for sometime how successful she can be until after her AKB career is over and she can devote 100% to proper enka vocal training.

  7. I think management can still get her to have training and be in AKB too.
    Everyone initial thought would be leaving W7.

    So just have her have her solo training and work, and her AKB activities.

    This is AkiP first enka soloist out of AKB so I’m sure he will personally make sure management is taking really good care of her enka training. I’m seeing this, AkiP is kinda putting up his pride on display. If AkiP didn’t believe she can be really something, then this debut for her would not happen as a AKB member. I’m curious how to how he and management will do….

  8. IM glad westerns are being very supportive of her. Maybe kuz we like to cheer for the underdog. And she deserves it this chance.

    2ch is a different story, though. Criticism, which is normal (Warota7, her age, lack of experience, AkiP taking advantage of AKB popularity, doubt,etc.) . But some others are just calling her some really harsh words. Very unnecessary things. Things I don’t wanna mention, but if u can read Japanese, here’s the link:

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