Exclusive Photo Report: AKB48 Group Coming of Age Ceremony 2016 at Kanda Myojin!
Thirty-two members from AKB48 and their sister groups, including NGT48, took part in the Coming of Age Day Ceremony at Kanda Myojin, a shrine near the AKB48 Theater in Akihabara, on January 11, 2016. This is the largest number of participating members since the group was formed in 2005.
A large group of fans gathered at the shrine since early morning looked on as members arrived in traditional but colorful furisode and received prayers inside the main hall of the shrine. Marina Nishigata of NGT48, who just had her theater debut on January 10, 2016, arrived wearing the same kimono that her mother wore to her ceremony.
Anna Iriyama called this group “Late Bloomers” and jokingly said, “the lineup for next year is much better.” She also asked for everyone’s blessings, promising that, “We will bloom beautifully, so please keep supporting us.”
During the media interview, the members talked about their dreams and goals as adults. While many are determined to become more mature, Rina Izuta declared that this year, “will be my breakthrough year!” There were also unique comments like “I want to graduate from being stupid” that made everyone laugh.
In Japan, turning 20 means being able to drink alcohol, and this was definitely brought up during the interview – “I’m turning 20 this month,” said Chihiro Anai, the only participant from HKT48, “so for my first drink, I want to go out with Sasshi (Rino Sashihara) and ask her to buy me a drink.”
As usual, those who participated went to AKB48 Theater afterwards to share the joy with their fans and talked about their dreams and goals as adults.
Comments from Anna Iriyama:
Today, 32 members of the AKB48 Group celebrated their Coming of Age Day.
Last year, the adult members said they were the “Gap Generation” and many wondered how those turning adults in 2016 would think. Well, the line-up for next year is even better, so please look forward to it.
We are calling ourselves “Late Bloomers”, and we will bloom beautifully, so please keep supporting us.
Personally, I want to become a “good woman” when I turn 20. I want to improve myself and get one step closer to becoming a sophisticated woman. Thank you very much.
Here are the pictures of the members entering the hall for the press conference and posing with their individual groups.
Photos by Nathan Gey
AKB48: Anna Iriyama (A), Yukari Sasaki (A), Chiyori Nakanishi (A), Ami Maeda (A), Maria Abe (K), Ayana Shinozaki (K), Natsuki Uchiyama (B), Yuria Kizaki (B), Miyu Takeuchi (B), Rina Izuta (4), Wakana Natori (4), Ai Yamamoto (8), Riona Hamamatsu (8)
SKE48: Rika Tsuzuki (S), Mikoto Uchiyama (KII), Yukari Yamashita (KII), Kumiko Koishi (E), Marika Tani (E), Yuki Takahata (KKS)
NMB48: Rina Yamao (N), Yuki Azuma (M), Ayaka Okita (M), Rena Kawakami (M), Airi Tanigawa (M), Megumi Matsumura (M), Mao Mita (M), Ayaka Morita (M), Konomi Kusaka (BII)
HKT48: Chihiro Anai (H)
NGT48: Marina Nishigata (NIII), Maho Yamaguchi (NIII), Yuria Otaki (KKS)
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
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