Musumes Come and Go

Morning Musume celebrated their tenth anniversary yesterday with a concert at Yokohama Arena, bringing an end to the Hello! Project spring tour. The weekend was marred by an accident on Saturday, when a 35-year-old male fan fell from a 3rd-tier balcony and had to undergo emergency surgery. But the mood was upbeat on Sunday, as former Momus member Konno Asami (19, photo left) made her first appearance on the tour. She is entering the prestigious Keio University this year. The show also marked the first on-stage look at new member Mitsui Aika (14) and the graduation of Country Musume members Asami (22, photo center) and Miuna (19, photo right). Mitsui introduced herself as the first member from Shiga Prefecture and her arrival brings the lineup to sixteen members, though leader Yoshizawa Hitomi (21) is graduating in April. The group performed their new single, “Eigao Yes Nude”, due for release on February 14.

• The Stardust Promotion agency represents some of Japan’s top actresses, including Tokiwa Takako (34), Nakatani Miki (31), Shibasaki Kou (25) and Takeuchi Yuko (26). But it is promoting its young male talent in a new “mook” (magazine/book), the first time a geino management agency has published its own magazine. The 112-page, full-color “Real G – vol.1” features photos and interviews with up and coming actors like Ichihara Hayato (19) and Takaoka Sousuke (24) and singer K (23). Stardust plans to publish future magazines featuring their young idols and popular actresses.

• The fake data scandal that brought an end to the popular “Hakkutsu! Aru Aru Daijiten II” show goes back further than the recent episode on natto. It seems that there was a similar show back in 1998 that used made up data and misrepresented comments by a university professor to promote the health benefits of eating lettuce. The show claimed that eating it before bedtime helped people sleep. The Kansai TV show has already been cancelled due to the scandal, but more revelations of this kind can only hurt the credibility of TV in general. KTV president Chigusa Soichiro (62) appeared on the network yesterday to apologize again.

• Actor Sakai Masato (33) and actress Tomita Yasuko (37) have split up, according to the Sports Hochi newspaper. Their romance was first revealed by a weekly magazine in 2001 and acknowledged by their respective management agencies, meaning it was serious. Though they were thought to be on the road to marriage, a source says they broke up in the spring of last year.