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All About Japanese Girl Group "Keyakizaka46"

Updated on July 20, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Keyakizaka46 Group Logo

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What Is "Keyakizaka46?"

“Keyakizaka46” is another one of those Japanese girl groups that is similar to Nogizaka46 and it is considered to be a rival musical group to the famous AKB48. As of 2019, there are certain members that broke off from this Keyakizaka46 and joined what is now Hinatazaka46 which can be a bit confusing for some of us trying to keep track of these different names. Note: because of the fact that the names of these programs and TV shows are Japanese in origin, the attempt to keep things simple for readers is the goal in addition to describing what Keyakizaka46 is.

The Moment In Time I Discovered Keyakizaka46

Girl group Keyakizaka46 would end up releasing a new single on April 5, 2017. Their last single called Futari Saison was released in November 2016. Note: the name of the single that followed Futari Saison is called “Fukyouwaon.”

In addition to this, the Senbatsu or top-ranking members for this single have also been announced. They are:

  • Nanako Nagasawa
  • Rina Uemura
  • Neru Nagahama
  • Yurina Hirate (center)
  • Yuka Sugai
  • Nana Oda
  • Nanami Yonetani
  • Miyu Suzumoto
  • Yui Imaizumi
  • Rika Watanabe
  • Akane Moriya
  • Risa Watanabe
  • Yui Kobayashi
  • Manaka Shida
  • Mizuho Habu
  • Nijika Ishimori
  • Rika Ozeki
  • Aoi Harada
  • Fuyuka Saito
  • Minami Koike
  • Shiori Sato

Formation of Keyakizaka46

This group at its very beginnings was known under the name of Toriizaka46. The idea for a new “sister” group to support Nogizaka46 was conceived during “Nogizaka’s 3rd Year Birthday LIVE” at the Seibu Dome. Applications were being accepted by Sony for potential members starting on June 28, 2015. Final auditions in August 2015 resulted in 22 new members being chosen and their identities were also revealed during a press conference. On October 4th 2015, the group debuted by doing its first regular television programming with the program called Keyakitte, Kakenai? on TV Tokyo's Sunday night line-up. Neru Nagahama who was one of the members at that first audition was no able to take part in the final selection. At this time, it was also announced that there would be the formation of Hiragana Keyaki which was a secondary group to the main group Kanji Keyaki. In April 2016, the group released its debut single Silent Majority which immediately rose to #1 on the Oricon Music Charts and sold 260,000 copies in the first week of its release. This was the best showing for a debut made by a female artist, surpassing the previous record held by the group HKT48.

Award & LIVE Concert For Hiragana Keyaki

Yuuka Sugai and Akane Moriya would be chosen as the captain and sub-captain respectively. At the Japan Gold Disk Awards in February 2017, the group got the New Artist of the Year award from the Recording Industry Association Japan in the domestic category. It would be on March 21 and March 22nd that Hiragana Keyaki would hold a LIVE concert separate from the main group at Zepp Tokyo.

Keyakizaka46 Fan Club & Debut Album

In June 2017, the group’s official fan club got started. However, fans that wanted to sign up for this club would have to pay a monthly fee of 423 yen. They then would be able to access rare content such as certain photos of the members. In July 2017, the group released its first full-length album called I Want Pure White Things To Be Soiled. The album was placed at #1 on the Weekly Oricon Music Charts and went on to become the 9th best-selling album in Japan.

"Silent Majority" the First Single

Second Generation & Acting In a Drama

In this same month, both the Kanji and Hiragana splinter sections of the group held their first annual “Keyaki Kyouwakoku" concert for 2 days at the Fuji-Q Highland Conifer Forest. On August 13, 2017, it was revealed that 9 girls out of a possible 15,000 applicants were chosen for the final lineup of the 2nd generation of members. In October 2017, the first generation members of the Hiragana group were chosen to act in the TV Tokyo Drama called Re:Mind which was then made available through Netflix.

Keyakizaka46 Will Do a Tour Across Japan in August and September 2019

Note: there are some new news about this group as this update is being written: the group is set to do a nationwide tour in August 2019. The tour will last from August 16th through September 6th. The last show will be held at the Fukuoka Convention Center in Fukuoka.

Keyakizaka46's 9th single release postponed

As of December 2019, news has come up about this group. It is now being reported that the group’s 9th single that is without a title at this point was scheduled to be released this winter but the release date for the single is being postponed. The reason given for the delay of the single is due to the fact that the group is now in the production stage and they are in the process of choosing their Senbatsu or highest ranking girls. This 9th single will also be the 9th straight time that member Yurina Hirate will be named as a center!

Keyakizaka46 Will Put an End to Their Group Activities and Start Under a New Name

However, as of July 17, 2020, there is even more breaking news about this group and this latest news will sadden some of the fans of the group. After the group’s last LIVE event held online on July 17, 2020, it was announced by captain Yuka Sugai that Keyakizaka46 will put an end to their activities in October 2020 with plans to restart working under a new name.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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