Fans Happy to Meet Idols in the Past and in the Present! Special Idol Event Stories From Then and Now

今も昔もアイドルに会えるのは嬉しい! 接触イベント今昔物語
Fans Happy to Meet Idols in the Past and in the Present! Special Idol Event Stories From Then and Now

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As someone who was an idol fan in the 80s and 90s, but has now time traveled to the present, I’ve been thinking about what surprises me most. I would have to say it’s actually meeting the idols. In the very least on the weekends, or at the most practically every day, you can now meet and talk with your favorite idols.

When you think about idol contact events from the 80s and 90s, basically they were handshake meet and greet perks for those attending new release events. At the most, during release periods often there was one a week. You had to look hard to find information about them from, naturally from fan club member newsletters, as well as television, radio, and magazines, and then eagerly and patiently wait until the event.


During the 80s and 90s, event information was written into the magazine profile section and so on. This one happens to be an announcement for Noriko Sakai’s fan club opening ceremony at Korakuen Hall. It was often necessary to contact the fan club to get detailed information.80、90年代は、雑誌のプロフィール紹介部分などにイベント告知が書かれていた。ちなみにこちらは、酒井法子の後楽園ホールでのファンクラブ結成式の告知。イベントの詳細を得るために、ファンクラブに問い合わせることも多かった

Then, once it was time for the handshake event, it was nerve-wracking trying to come up with something good to say.

But surprisingly these so-called “idol contact events” are being carried out daily with an amazing amount of ease. Those who attended events during the 80s and 90s might have a hard time believing they’re actually idols. There are girls who talk to their fans as if they were friends, and those that call their fans by name. Then there are those who will let you take a memorial picture together while making a heart sign… Of course, it must feel like heaven to experience, but it seems like it must have been hell at first.


The majority of current idol contact events include taking a polaroid (cheki). They’ll even sign their name or write a message on the blank, white part. These instant polaroid (cheki) cameras, which first appeared during the late 90s, have now become an integral part of the idol scene. 今の接触イベントの主流はチェキ撮影だろう。撮影した写真の余白にサインやメッセージを入れてくれる。90年代後半に登場したインスタントカメラ・チェキは、今やアイドル現場には欠かせない存在となっている

But during the 80s and 90s it wasn’t so easy to meet your favorite idol.

When I think about it, I just have to remark again how amazing AKB48’s “idols that you can meet” concept is. Nowadays it seems normal, but people with their image of idols in the 80s and 90s probably would have thought, “That kind of idol exists?!” Of course, since the time when idols began touring live houses there were an increasing number of events where you could get closer to idols and meet them, but having that as an actual concept is really astounding. Especially now that this concept has been established as one of an idol’s many charms.

But how did idol fans in the 80s and 90s meet their favorite idols? I’d like to focus on this topic by sharing with you some of my own personal experiences.

…How fans were enjoying meeting with idols in 80's and 90's, without internet? There are so many premium events that you won't be imagine were held at that time.
…インターネットが普及していなかった80年代、90年代、ファンはどのようにしてアイドルとの接触を楽しんでいたのか? 今では想像できないような形のイベントが、そこでは行われていたのだ。

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Toshiro Arai
Toshiro Arai

A producer of website "TOKYO IDOL NET", which "photography" and "idol" is its concept. He also writes for Tokyo Idol Project, and so on.

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