Tuesday, 8th December 2015
In Japan Entertainment News,
Justin Bieber causes a stir among Japanese idol group
Japanese pop culture and the Western equivalent have clashed this week, as Canadian singer Justin Bieber has been in Japan.
The What Do You Mean singer appeared on the popular weekly programme Music Station, which is filmed at the Asahi Studios.
There he met members of the AKB48 idol megagroup. For the uninitiated, these groups of manufactured starlets are expected to be role models for the younger generation in Japan.
Bieber therefore caused a stir by planting a kiss on veteran members Minami Takahashi and Haruna Kojima.
Both performers shared photos of the meeting on social media and expressed their delight at meeting the star, but it somewhat goes against the strict chaste image they are expected to portray.
Takahashi tweeted: “Thank you to everyone who watched us on Music Station! This was my final live studio performance as an AKB48 member.
“It was also a moving experience to be able to talk with Justin about many things. He’s a very laid-back, silly, and wonderful person. I’m glad we were able to meet each other.”
She is set to leave the group, which may explain her relaxed attitude to sharing the photo.
AKB48 was formed in 2005, taking its name from the Akihabara district of Tokyo where it began and the 48 original members.
There are now 140 girls in the group and they are among the highest earning performers in Japan. Their songs include Sugar Rush, Baby! Baby! Baby! and Beginner.
AKB48 are by no means the only idol group or bubblegum pop band that are popular in Japan. Sister groups include SKE48 and JKT48.
This uniquely Japanese phenomenon is just one of the elements that creates the hugely diverse culture in the country.