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Miyuki Watanabe: The Japanese Idol Singer of NMB48 That Survived an Embarrassing Personal Scandal

Updated on August 6, 2017

A few photos of the very cute Miyuki Watanabe

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Miyuki Watanabe Profile



  • Date of birth: September 19, 1993
  • Place of birth: Nara, Japan
  • Made her debut with NMB48 back in October 2010.

Why is Miyuki Watanabe so significant in Japan?

Miyuki Watanabe, the Japanese idol singer from the groups NMB48 and SKE48 has announced that she will be graduating from the group. Seriously, it seems that wherever we read about these J POP idols that they graduate left and right. Those of you that are saddened by Rena Matsui’s graduation will be sad to read about this news. But I have not done a biography about Miyuki’s life and career so let’s talk about who she is. Miyuki Watanabe actually survived a very embarrassing personal scandal, one that could have destroyed her career. But she has emerged from it and will move forward with her career.

Miyuki Watanabe: her career and how she has ranked in the AKB48 General Elections

Watanabe would be promoted to NMB48’s Team N on March 10, 2011. Miyuki would also have a position with AKB48’s Team B from March 2012 until February 2014. Often times, these Japanese idols are moved from group to group because of these group shuffles that take place in the spring time. Miyuki also had a position with SKE48’s Team S from February 2014 until March 2015. During the AKB48 General Elections, Miyuki has done pretty well. In the group’s 4th such election, she was ranked as the 19th most popular member. In 2013, she improved somewhat in the ranking, finishing at #15. In 2014 during the special AKB48 37th single Senbatsu Election, she finished at #18. And in the 2015 AKB48 General Election, she was ranked as the 12th most popular member.

Photos of Miyuki with her good friend and band mate Sayaka Yamamoto

Yamamoto (left) and Watanabe (right) are seen here in the 12th issue of Weekly Playboy Magazine in 2013 and they are both VERY beautiful!
Yamamoto (left) and Watanabe (right) are seen here in the 12th issue of Weekly Playboy Magazine in 2013 and they are both VERY beautiful!
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The scandal of Miyuki Watanabe

Because I have made reference to the personal scandal, it is necessary to mention what the circumstances were that led up to this event. It was reported in March 2014 that Watanabe was seen leaving the apartment of Tom Fujita, a male model. Miyuki who said that she would never betray her fans did so for the second time in her career. She did so in violation of the no romance policy set forth by AKB48’s management. That means Miyuki was not even allowed to sleep over at the residence of a person of the opposite gender. That scandal could have destroyed her career! She was the first high profile Japanese idol to break the rules after Yuka Masuda did so back in 2012. And then of course before her, there was that scandal involving former member Rumi Yonezawa. Yonezawa revealed that she had a boyfriend while she was a member of AKB48. Watanabe was lucky that she was not demoted to trainee status or kicked out of NMB48. Although she used poor judgement, her career was kept intact.

Miyuki Watanabe does some exercise!

Interesting Facts about Miyuki

  • As hobbies, she enjoys sleeping and taking baths. However, it is said that her baths can sometimes be longer than 2 hours!
  • She is skilled at being able to do calligraphy.
  • Miyuki likes to drink orange juice because it is good for the skin.
  • And what are her favorite foods to eat? They are yakiniku (a kind of steak), cream cheese, and cucumbers.
  • What are her least favorite foods? Eggplant and natto.
  • Her favorite colors are pink and white.
  • She says that her favorite artist is Namie Amuro.
  • She wants visit Switzerland one day.
  • After changing her mind a few times, her mother decided to name her daughter Miyuki.
  • Watanabe is the only child in her family. Her parents are divorced. Miyuki lived with her mother until she finished high school.
  • Miyuki has two dogs. They are Yorkshire terriers.
  • However, she is allergic to cats.
  • She also talks in her sleep!
  • Miyuki wears glasses at home. When she is in public, she switches to contact lenses.
  • She says that if she had not joined NMB48, she would want to be a nurse or housewife.
  • She is a fan of Japanese idols Miori Ichikawa and Yuuri Ota.
  • Miyuki has taken dance classes. In fact, she started taking them after watching Morning Musume performances in her elementary school years. By the time she was in middle school, Miyuki was taking dance classes six days per week! However, because of her busy schedule, she did not take part in any school clubs or take a part-time job. By her sophomore year of high school, she stopped taking dance classes.

With Sayaka Yamamoto (my favorite NMB48 member)

Watanabe wins the 2014 Rock Paper Scissors Tournment

Watanabe, 22, was coming off of her victory in the 2014 AKB48 Group Janken Takai 2014 when i first wrote about her. . This is known as the Rock Paper Scissors Tournament. She has now been named the Queen of the Janken Tournament, defeating Haruna Kojima in the last round. It was on November 3, 2014 at Makuhari Messe during an AKB48 handshake event that this news was made public. This year is the first time that the winner will make their solo debut. In past years, winners of this tournament such as Mayumi Uchida, Mariko Shinoda, Haruka Shimazaki, and Jurina Matsui became centers for AKB48 singles. This means that they got the most media attention. Miyuki Watanabe will be the 12th member in the history of AKB48 and its other groups to make her solo debut. Other members that have made their debuts include now former Team B captain Asuka Kuramochi, Minami Takahashi, Tomomi Itano, Atsuko Maeda, Mayu Watanabe, Rino Sashihara, and Yuki Kashiwagi. Watanabe is the first member from NMB48 that will be making her solo debut. Both Kashiwagi and Kuramochi were from the AKB48 sub-unit called French Kiss.

The release of Watanabe's solo single and another special AKB48 event explained here

Besides the title track, the single called Yasashiku Suru Yori Kisu wo Shite will have a song that is sung by the members that finished between 2nd place and 16th. The single was released on December 24, 2014. Haruna Kojima whom it is rumored is the next person to leave AKB48 would end up being the center for that song. It was also during this same handshake event that it was announced that AKB48 will release their 6th album on January 21, 2015. The album did not have a title at the time I first read about this news. However, the mentioned album is called Tsugi no Ashiato. It has been a super successful album selling over a million copies in its first week of release. AKB48 also holds an event every year called AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 1033 and in 2014 they will sang a total of 1,033 songs all in order of how they are ranked. The event was held from January 21 to the 25th of 2015 at Tokyo Dome City Hall. AKB48 performed 200 songs last year during this request hour event. Miyuki Watanabe has risen to the top ranks of NMB48 and she is a center along with her friend and bandmate Sayaka Yamamoto. The two girls are often known as the duo of SayaMilky.

With Atsuko Maeda

Miyuki Watanabe (right) is pictured here with Atsuko Maeda back in August 2012. Maeda graduated from AKB48 after seven years with the group.
Miyuki Watanabe (right) is pictured here with Atsuko Maeda back in August 2012. Maeda graduated from AKB48 after seven years with the group.

A little bit about Watanabe's graduation

Watanabe has said that she wants to graduate so that she could leave NMB48 to the next generation of members. Being only 22, she is still young for an idol so I wonder why she would step aside now. She says that she is grateful for so much and urged fans to continue supporting her. Of course, Miyuki’s graduation may not be as much of a shock as Rena Matsui’s graduation was but the fans will miss her. Good luck Miyuki!

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