Morning Musume

Morning Musume, 4th generation

Morning Musume debuted in 1997 with five members, and has gone through many lineup and style changes through its years. They are the lead group of the idol talent agency, Hello!Project, which is made up of young female artists and groups, such as Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and Mano Erina. They are all produced by Tsunku, former vocalist of Sharan Q.

Tsunku In 1997, Tsunku held an audition on the ASAYAN talent search show to choose a female rock vocalist to join Sharan Q. Heike Michiyo won the audition, but Tsunku saw greater potential in five of the remaining contestants, so he challenged them to sell 50,000 singles in 5 days. He named them Morning Musume, and they recorded the single Ai no Tane and succeeded in selling 50,000 copies on the fourth day. He gave them a record deal and the rest is history.

Morning Musume quickly became one of Japan's top groups with their fresh faces and girl-next-door personalities. The group originally started as a 5-member group, but by their second single, three more members were added. This began a series of additions and graduations which have seen members come and go, some remaining in Hello!Project as solo artists or in other units.

In April 2000, the group began hosting a television variety show called Hello! Morning (Haromoni), which further increased the group's popularity. They became a household name and were ubiquitous in Japan: they dominated the music charts, were regularly seen promoting their new singles on popular music shows, and have a lot of merchandise available, such as photobooks and DVDs.

The number of members generally remain around the 10-14 mark - the highest was 16 for a short time in 2003. Morning Musume members often participate in sub-groups and shuffle units within Hello!Project, releasing additional singles and albums.


    1ST GENERATION (1997)
    • Nakazawa Yuko (~2001)
    • Iida Kaori (~2005)
    • Abe Natsumi (~2004)
    • Ishiguro Aya (~2000)
    • Fukuda Asuka (~1999)
    2ND GENERATION (1998)
    • Yasuda Kei (~2003)
    • Yaguchi Mari (~2004)
    • Ichii Sayaka (~2000)
    3RD GENERATION (1999)
    • Goto Maki (~2002)
    4TH GENERATION (2000)
    • Yoshizawa Hitomi (~2007)
    • Ishikawa Rika (~2005)
    • Tsuji Nozomi (~2004)
    • Kago Ai (~2004)
    5TH GENERATION (2001)
    • Takahashi Ai (~2011)
    • Niigaki Risa (~2012)
    • Konno Asami (~2006)
    • Ogawa Makoto (~2006)
    6TH GENERATION (2003)
    • Fujimoto Miki (~2007)
    • Michishige Sayumi (~2014)
    • Tanaka Reina (~2013)
    • Kamei Eri (~2010)
    7TH GENERATION (2005)
    • Kusumi Koharu (~2009)
    8TH GENERATION (2006-2007)
    • Mitsui Aika (~2012)
    • Junjun (~2010)
    • Linlin (~2010)
    9TH GENERATION (2011)
    • Fukumura Mizuki
    • Ikuta Erina
    • Sayashi Riho (~2015)
    • Suzuki Kanon (~2016)
    10TH GENERATION (2011)
    • Ishida Ayumi
    • Iikubo Haruna (~2018)
    • Sato Masaki (~2021)
    • Kudo Haruka (~2017)
    11TH GENERATION (2012)
    • Oda Sakura
    12TH GENERATION (2014)
    • Haga Akane
    • Makino Maria
    • Nonaka Miki
    • Ogata Haruna (~2018)
    13TH GENERATION (2016)
    • Kaga Kaede
    • Yokoyama Reina
    14TH GENERATION (2017)
    • Morito Chisaki
    15TH GENERATION (2019)
    • Kitagawa Rio
    • Okamura Homare
    • Yamazaki Mei