AKB48, 2018
Front to back, left to right: Team A, Team K, Team B, Team 4, Kenkyuusei, & Team 8

AKB48 (short for Akihabara48) is a Japanese all-female idol group based in Akihabara, Tokyo, where they have their own theater in Don Quijote. The group, established in 2005, is produced by Akimoto Yasushi and signed under King Records, originally from DefSTAR RECORDS/Sony Music Japan. Currently the group consists of five teams: Team A, Team K, Team B, Team 4 and Team 8. In addition, the group also has trainees called Kenkyuusei, and an international transference team, Team Kaigai. They hold the record for highest overall single sales for a female group on the Oricon charts and also hold the Guinness World Record for world's "largest pop group".

The group also has five sub-units: No Sleeves, established in 2008, Watarirouka Hashiritai 7, established in 2009, French Kiss, established in 2010, and Not yet and DiVA, both established in 2011. Iwasa Misaki, Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, Takahashi Minami, Fujita Nana and also the former members Kuramochi Asuka, Itano Tomomi, Kasai Tomomi, Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Mai, Ono Erena and Hayano Kaoru have debuted as soloists.



AKB48 Logo

Theater Debut and Indies Era


In July 2005, renowned producer Akimoto Yasushi held an audition for a new theater based idol girl group. Of the 7,924 girls that applied, 45 passed the first round of auditions, detailed screening of the application documents. Finally, only 24 girls were chosen to be in the group. In November, the selected girls went through an extensive one month training program.

On December 1st, the AKB48 Theater had its grand opening. On December 8, 2005, the group held its first public show in the theater with only 20 girls, later known as Team A. The team consisted of:

Itano Tomomi‬, ‪Kawasaki Nozomi‬, Kojima Haruna‬, Komatani Hitomi‬, Maeda Atsuko‬, Masuyama Kayano‬, Minegishi Minami, Nakanishi Rina‬, Narita Risa‬, Ohe Tomomi‬, Oshima Mai‬, ‪Sato Yukari‬, Takahashi Minami‬, Tojima Hana‬, Usami Yuki, Orii Ayumi, Hoshino Michiru, Urano Kazumi‬, Watanabe Shiho‬, and ‪Hirajima Natsumi‬

A second audition was soon announced, and was held in cooperation with Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. It was the first audition ever where the applicants had to send in their audition video with their mobile phones.


In January 2006, three months before Team K was formed, Akimoto allowed Shinoda Mariko to join the group as part of Team A without passing the second audition. Prior to joining the group, Shinoda was actually working as a waitress in a cafe in the same building and on the same floor as the the AKB48 theater. She could not attend the first audition for the group because she was working at the cafe. Fans petitioned for Shinoda to be able to join the group.

19 of the 11,892 applicants who participated in the second audition were chosen to join AKB48, but in the end only 17 girls joined the group to become Team K in April 2006. They were:

Akimoto Sayaka, Umeda Ayaka, Oshima Yuko, Ohori Megumi, Oku Manami, Ono Erena, Kasai Tomomi, Kobayashi Kana, Sato Natsuki, Noro Kayo, Hayano Kaoru, Masuda Yuka, Matsubara Natsumi, Miyazawa Sae, Imai Yu, Uemura Ayako, and Takada Ayana

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AKB48, Early 2006

AKB48 released its debut single Sakura no Hanabiratachi in February 2006. The single peaked at #10 on Oricon charts and sold 22,011 units in its first week, a surprisingly high rank for a group on an indies label.

In March of 2006, Usami Yuki of Team A became the first girl to graduate from the group.

On April 1, Team K started performing at the AKB48 theater.

On June 7 AKB48 released their second indies single, Skirt, Hirari, and performed on TV for the first time. Shortly after, on June 17th, Uemura Ayako of Team K graduated from the group.

Major Label Debut and DefSTAR Records Era

2006 (continued)

In August 2006 AKB48 signed a major label contract with DefSTAR Records, a part of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Their first single under DefSTAR Records, Aitakatta, was released on October 25, 2006. It reached #12 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.

In October, another audition was announced, resulting in the arrival of 13 new members. The third team of AKB48, Team B, was created in December 2006. The selected girls were:

Inoue Naru, Oota Aika, Kashiwagi Yuki, Katayama Haruka, Kikuchi Ayaka, Saotome Miki, Tanabe Miku, Nakagawa Haruka, Nakaya Sayaka, Noguchi Reina, Matsuoka Yuki, Yonezawa Rumi, and Watanabe Mayu

On November 3rd and 4th, 2006, AKB48 performed their first concert AKB48 First Concert "Aitakatta ~Hashira wa Nai ze!~ at Nippon Seinenkan in Sendagaya, Shinjuku.

In December 2006, the first change was made to the three teams. Team A members Urano Kazumi, Watanabe Shiho, and Hirajima Natsumi were transferred to Team B.


On January 25, 2007 Team A member Orii Ayumi graduated from the group. Six days later, AKB48's fourth single (second under DefSTAR Records) Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru was released. It peaked at #7 on the Oricon charts. There has been speculation that the PV and lyrics of the song are an allusion to Enjo-kosai (援助交際?) - voluntary underage "compensated dating" - though this has

AKB48, Late 2007

not been confirmed. Their next single, Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou, featured a theme of bullying and suicide in the lyrics and PV. To promote the two singles, AKB48 went on their second concert tour, AKB48 Haru no Chotto dake Zenkoku Tour ~Madamada daze AKB48!~ which began on March 10, 2007.

In June 2007, Team A member Hoshino Michiru and Team K members Imai Yu and Takada Ayana all graduated. The group's fifth single, BINGO!, was released on July 18th.

AKB48's next single Boku no Taiyou was released on August 8th. It peaked at #2 on the Oricon charts, the highest chart position which the group had achieved up to that point.

On October 2, Team A member Watanabe Shiho graduated from the group. The eight single of the group, Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka?, was released on October 31st. It peaked at #6 on the Oricon charts. Another member of Team A, Masuyama Kayano, graduated on November 30.

On December 31, 2007, 43 members of AKB48 appeared on the 58th Annual Kohaku Uta Gassen, the prestigious end of the year music special. They performed with idols Leah Dizon and Nakagawa Shoko.



AKB48, Early 2008

On New Years Day 2008, AKB48 released their first studio album, Set List: Greatest Songs 2006–2007. The compilation album included all of the group's singles up until Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka?. Team K member Ohori Megumi (who was transferred to SDN48 in 2009) became the first member to have a solo cover on one of AKB48's CD releases. She appeared exclusively on the cover of the Limited Edition of the album. The album reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Album charts. On January 23rd, the group released their next single Romance, Irane.

In February 2008, AKB48 re-released their first indies single, changing the title to Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008. This would turn out to be their last release under the DefSTAR Records label. A spring concert was initially announced. Fans who bought a copy of the single at the theater would be given a random poster featuring one of the members. If a fan collected all 44 types of the posters, they would be entered in a lottery to win tickets for their spring concert. The concert was later canceled because this violated a Japanese anti-monopoly law.

In August 2008, Team B member Kikuchi Ayaka was fired from the group after a scandal. But after fans requested that the management of AKB48 give her a second chance for her, she auditioned again. Kikuchi was admitted to the group as an kenkyuusei.


2008 (continued)

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AKB48, Late 2008

On October 2008, the group signed with KING RECORDS under the You, Be Cool! sublabel, and released their 10th single titled Oogoe Diamond featuring Matsui Jurina of the just newly formed SKE48 on the CD cover. In that same month, at the final performance of A4 Revival, original members Ohe Tomomi, Komatani Hitomi, Tojima Hana, Nakanishi Rina and Narita Risa announced their graduation simultaneously. Their graduation took place at AKB48's NHK Shuffle Concert on November 23, 2008.



AKB48, 2009

From August 22-23, 2009, AKB48 and SKE48 performed a concert at the famous Japanese stadium, the Nippon Budokan. At the end of the concert a new formation of AKB48 was announced, shuffling members from all teams. Each team was also assigned a captain; Takahashi Minami was to lead Team A, Akimoto Sayaka was to lead Team K, and Kashiwagi Yuki would become the leader of Team B. Four of the group's oldest members, Ohori Megumi, Noro Kayo, Urano Kazumi, and Sato Yukari were transferred into the newly announced mature group named SDN48 (Saturday Night 48).

In October 21, 2009, AKB48 released the single RIVER which became the first AKB48 single to reach #1 on the Oricon Weekly Singles chart. It became the second best selling female single of 2009.

In December 31, 2009, AKB48 performed RIVER-Surprise special remix at the 60th NHK Kouhaku uta gassen. 72 members (all of AKB48 including the Kenkyusei, and 3 SKE48 members) were in the performance.


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AKB48, 2010

"Majisuka Gakuen" (Majisuka Academy), a drama featuring several members of AKB48, SKE48 and SDN48 started airing from January 8th, 2010 on TV Tokyo.

On March 3, 2010, a full 5 months after they announced that all the teams were to be reshuffled, the first new formation of AKB48's Team K premiered with their new stage titled "RESET."

On August 2010, AKB48 expanded their official shops outside of Japan (namely Asia region) with it being in Hong Kong. They then expanded their locations with it being: Taiwan (April 2011), Singapore (May 2011) and Shanghai (July 2011).

On December 8, 2010, AKB48 celebrated its 5th anniversary in the theater with a special performance by all members, as well as returning graduates. All 9th generation kenkyuusei were also promoted.


AKB48 April 2011

AKB48, Early 2011

In March 2011, it was announced on their blog they have temporarily closed the AKB Theater due to the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. Many upcoming activities were also postponed, including their concerts at Yokohama Arena from March 25th to the 27th, and the release of their first studio album, Koko ni Ita Koto.

On June 6, 2011, AKB48 made public announcement during this evening’s Himawari H1 Revival Stage the formation of a brand new AKB48 team, bluntly titled Team 4. The Team will consists of the 10 previously promoted kenkyuusei.

On June 11th, 2011, It was announced at a handshake event that Eguchi Aimi, a girl who auditioned for NMB48, would be joining AKB48 as a trainee, she appeared immediately in Playboy Weekly and in advertisements. Producer Akimoto Yasushi stated that she will be “the heroine of the new age”. Eguchi was immediately met with skepticism from many fans and soon Team K member Kikuchi Ayaka leaked on her blog that Eguchi was made of parts of other members through photoshop. On June 20th, Weekly Playboy published an article about Eguchi, stating that she was made up of parts of Takahashi Minami, Maeda Atsuko, Watanabe Mayu, Shinoda Mariko, Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko and 12th generation Kenkyuusei Sasaki Yukari. There was an official announcement on the June 20, 2011 regarding Aimi.

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AKB48, Late 2011

On July 3rd, AKB48 announced and confirmed that they will be having their ‘24th Single Senbatsu Janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors) Tournament‘ in September. This will be the second year in a row that they will be choosing their ’senbatsu’ members for their new single, which is due to be released in December. The event will take place on September 20th at the Nippon Bukoukan once again. Moreover, This event will be broadcasting in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

On December 30, 2011, AKB48 won the 53rd Japan Record Award for their song Flying Get.


AKB48 2012

AKB48, 2012

On January 27, 2012, it was revealed that Hirajima Natsumi and Yonezawa Rumi resigned from AKB48.

On March 25, 2012, it was announced that Maeda Atsuko would be graduating from AKB48. This announcement was widely reported in the Japanese media, including the major Japanese newspapers. A rumor also ran around that a student from University of Tokyo had committed suicide because of this news, though this later proved false. This is one of the biggest surprises in AKB48 history.

On June 14, 2012, Team A member, Sashihara Rino, was transferred to HKT48. article: AKB48 Members

On August 24, 2012, AKB48 had another team shuffle since August 2009. It was also announced that "Team 4" which was formed in June of last year, will be discontinued, thus, they are back to 3 teams; Team A, K, and B, like it used to be. Each team was also assigned a new captain; with Shinoda Mariko leading Team A, Oshima Yuko leading Team K, and Umeda Ayaka (who was transferred from Team K) leading Team B. Takahashi Minami, the former Captain of Team A, was appointed as AKB48's General Manager. Several of the members were shuffled temporarily to AKB48's overseas sister groups. Takajo Aki and Nakagawa Haruka were transferred to JKT48. Miyazawa Sae and Suzuki Mariya were transferred to SNH48. Ota Aika was transferred permanently to HKT48. Kitahara Rie and Yokoyama Yui were appointed as dual members to participate in both AKB48 and SKE48/NMB48 activities respectively. These changes are in effect starting November 1st.

The AKB48 29th Single Senbatsu Janken Taikai was held on September 18, 2012 at Nippon Budokan. The top 16 members are featured in the group 29th single Eien Pressure.

On December 17, 2012, it was announced that Kasai Tomomi would be graduating from AKB48.

On December 30, 2012, AKB48 won the 54th Japan Record Award for second consecutive year, for their song Manatsu no Sounds Good!



AKB48, Early 2013

On January 25, 2013, it was announced that AKB48 and their sister groups will be having a concert at Nippon Budokan.

On January 27, 2013, it was announced that AKB48 will be holding a concert at Nissan Stadium. They were the first female group to perform there.

On February 1, another 1st-generation AKB48 member Itano Tomomi made an announcement about her intention to "graduate" from the group sometime within the year 2013. The announcement was made during a stage greeting for the film Documentary of AKB48: No Flower Without Rain: Shōjo Tachi wa Namida no Ato ni Nani o Miru?, which was released to cinemas on that day.

On March 26, 2013, AKB48 will be holding their annual “Senbatsu General Election” at Nissan Stadium on June 8! This year’s election will be held during the “AKB48 Super Festival”. The “Super Festival” will be titled “AKB48 Super Festival ~Nissan Stadium, Chicchee! Chicchakunaishi!!~“, and it will consist of 2 parts. The first part will be a live concert which all AKB48 groups appear (will begin at 3:00 pm), and the second part will be the event for the results of the vote count (will begin at 5:30 pm).

On June 8, 2013, at the 5th Senbatsu Election, Shinoda Mariko announced her graduation from AKB48.

On July 21, Shinoda Mariko graduated from AKB48.

On August 8, it was announced that a new event called "AKB48 Group Draft Meeting" will be held on November 10th at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa. The event will be held to recruit new members by the draft. Just like the drafts in sports, the captains of 10 total teams in AKB48, SKE48 (*leaders for SKE48), NMB48, and HKT48, will appoint new members among the candidates who pass the "AKB48 Group Draft Candidate Audition" (to be held one of these days), after consultations with each group's theater managers.

On August 21, the group released its 32nd single, "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie", which reached number one on the Oricon daily chart. The single contains graduation songs for Shinoda Mariko and Itano Tomomi. The music video involved 3,800 extras, the most for any AKB48 and sister group-related video. Sister group JKT48 also released it's own version of "Koi Suru" on the same day.

On August 22, Akimoto Sayaka graduated from AKB48.


AKB48, Late 2013

On August 24, AKB48 announced the reinstatement of Team 4, with Minegishi Minami as the captain, and the members promoted from the 13th and 14th generation trainees.

On August 25, Itano Tomomi graduated from AKB48.

On September 18, AKB48 held its annual rock-paper-scissors tournament to determine the lineup for its 34th single. The event was held at the Nippon Budokan. The winner was Matsui Jurina. Following the event, AKB48 announced the lineup for the group's 33rd single, "Heart Electric", and performed the song, which will be released in October.

On November 6, it was reported that the title of 34th single would be "Suzukake no Ki no Michi de "Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru" to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimaunoka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue deno Yaya Kihazukashii Ketsuron no youna Mono" (鈴懸の木の道で「君の微笑みを夢に見る」と言ってしまったら僕たちの関係はどう変わってしまうのか、僕なりに何日か考えた上でのやや気恥ずかしい結論のようなもの A sort of slightly embarrassing conclusion after several days of my deliberation about 'how will our relationship be changed if I tell you "I dream your smile" on the platanus road), composed by Tetsuro Oda.

On November 10, the AKB48 Group Draft Meeting 2013 was held.

On December 31, Oshima Yuko announced her graduation from AKB48.



AKB48, 2014

On January 22, 2014, AKB48 released their 4th studio album Tsugi no Ashiato.

In 2014, AKB48 will release their 35th overall single "Mae shika Mukanee" (前しか向かねえ?, "Not Fit to Go In Front").

On January 26, it has been announced that AKB48 groups will reshuffle for the third time since in 2012. The shuffle will take place at the "AKB48 Group Dai Sokaku Matsuri" (AKB48 Group Big Team Shuffle Festival) to be held at Zepp DiverCity TOKYO on February 24. The team shuffle was announced during the encore at the 4th day of the "AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 200 2014" held at the Tokyo Dome City Hall on January 26. While the members on stage are still confused, AKB48 group's general director Takahashi Minami said, "We don't know what kind of team shuffle will occur but as different people go on to different teams, AKB48 will be come even bigger and better in 2014. Please look forward to February 24, Zepp DiverCity TOKYO. Thank you."

On February 24, AKB48 group's big team shuffle "AKB48 Group Dai Sokaku Matsuri" was held at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo. One of the biggest surprises was that AKB48's "official rival" group, Nogizaka46 member Ikoma Rina would join team B. Ikoma will continue her activities as a Nogizaka46 member, but will also be in team B as an "exchange student." It was also announed SKE48 Team E member Matsui Rena will also hold a concurrent position in Nogizaka46. Also announced was that they would launch a new "vice captain" system for the whole teams in 48 group in which each team would have both captain and vice captain ("leader" and "vice leader" for SKE48.) When all the announcement for the team shuffle was ended, Takahashi Minami who will continue serving as the whole 48 group's general director, spoke her mind, "I was taking it too lightly. I did not expect the members coming apart this much, and I am shocked. Both members and you fans need some time to think, so I would also like to have some time before comprehending this."

On May 25, 2014, during a handshake event held at the Iwate Industry Culture & Convention Center in Takizawa City, members Kawaei Rina, Iriyama Anna and a staff member were attacked by a male person (24) with a handsaw. All three victims suffered light wounds and were taken to hospital; the event, as well as all other group activities on that day, were halted.

On June 2, the AKB48 theater resumed operation. Sister groups SKE48, NMB48, and HKT48 have not suspended their theater performances, but have introduced security measures such as metal detectors, forbidding the use of the theaters' front rows, suspending post-performance high five events, and increasing security guard presence



AKB48, Early 2015

On January 21, 2015, the group released its sixth studio album, Koko ga Rhodes da, Koko de Tobe!. On March 4, the group released the single "Green Flash". The group became the first group who sold their 20 consecutive singles in 1 million on the first week. On March 26, member Kawaei Rina announced her graduation from the group in order to continue her acting career on her own, stating that the previous incident and long period of rest brough her to reflect on her future without depending on the group.

On May 10, AKB48 was invited to the annual Japan Day festival in New York, their second performance in the city since 2009. A small away team consisting of members Rina Hirata, Ryoka Oshima, Haruna Kojima, Tomu Mutou, Saho Iwatate and Rina Nozawa performed a total of five songs cheered by a crowd of 5000 attendants.

On May 20, the group released the single "Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai".

June 6 saw the announcement of the seventh general election results. The event was broadcast live from Fukuoka Dome on Fuji TV, which reported an average viewer rating of 18.8% with a peak of 23.4%. A record 3.2 million votes were cast, with Rino Sashihara winning the poll for the second time with a record 194,049 votes.


AKB48, Late 2015

On August 26, the group released the single "Halloween Night".

On October 25, 2015, during the handshake and autograph event at Pacific Yokohama had announced the details of AKB48's 42nd Single and Request Hour 2016. The 42nd Single will be released on December 9, 2015. Takahashi Minami will be the Center which will be her final appearance on an AKB48 single.

On November 18, the group released its 7th album, 0 to 1 no Aida. This album marks the 10th anniversary of Japanese group, founded in 2005.

The group's 42nd single Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby sold 813,044 copies on its first day of release. This brought their combined single sales to over 36,158,000 single albums sold, making them the artist with the highest number of single album sales in Japan, surpassing rock group B'z

Musical style 

The group's style is loosely characterized as "bubblegum pop and synchronized dancing" that appeals to pre-pubescent girls as well as older males who support the group's merchandise. Mari Yamaguchi of Associated Press wrote that the "performances can seem orchestrated. As the girls sing and dance in unison, fans follow a cheering formula" and likened the fan responses to a Kabuki audience. Monica Hesse of The Washington Post described the group's style: "It is as if Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and the entire cast of Twilight were placed into a saucepan and simmered on a low boil until nothing remained but the sweet, cloying essence of fame, and if that fame were then poured into pleated tartan skirts and given pigtails."Andrew Joyce and Kenneth Maxwell of The Wall Street Journal described the music as "sugar-sweet pop tunes and sometimes-suggestive lyrics". During the AKB48 performances, "members perform a revue of simply choreographed routines in front of a roughly 95% male audience. The music is typical Japanese pop: fast-paced numbers with high-pitched, singalong choruses."


The pop group has achieved enormous popularity in Japan, and has been characterized as a social phenomenon. In 2011, the group had record sales in Japan of over $200 million. According to Oricon, AKB48 had sold a total of 11,787,000 singles as of January 6, 2012, breaking the record of "the most singles sold in Japan by a female group". Twelve of its singles have topped the Oricon TOP10 Weekly Singles Chart. In 2010, "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation" placed, respectively, first and second in the list of Japan's best selling singles for the year, while in 2011 and 2012 AKB48 occupied the top five positions on the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart. Japanese ambassador to the United States, Ichirō Fujisaki, on meeting the group on its visit to Washington, D.C., stated that “AKB” stood for Adorable, Kind and Beautiful.

AKB48 holds several Guinness World Records, including being recognized on December 1, 2010 as the "largest pop group", when it consisted of 48 members. It set the record for "Most Number of Same Product Television Endorsement within 24 Hours" on February 28, 2012, after 90 of its group members appeared in 90 different commercials that were aired in the Kanto, Kansai and Tokai regions of Japan.

On February 1, 2012, Japan Post issued a postage stamp in honor of the group.


Over the years, AKB48 has received criticism for sexually suggestive lyrics, which some felt were unsuitable for its young members. When asked about it by CNN's Anna Coren, AKB48 founder Yasushi Akimoto, who also writes all of AKB48's song lyrics, said that his works were a way of "depicting reality" and were meant to provoke in listeners thought about difficult issues.

The band's risqué music videos have also been a focal point for controversy. Underwear shots, teenage members hugging, kissing, and taking a bath together were complained about. "Heavy Rotation" music video director Mika Ninagawa explained she wanted to appeal to both men and women by creating a creative and fun video, due to the group's rising popularity among girls.

In a TV commercial for the candy brand Puccho, which aired from March 15, 2012, featured AKB48 members in schoolgirl uniforms passing a candy from mouth to mouth. Although the girls held the candy between their teeth, some viewers were offended, and called it "encouraging homosexuality", apart from being simply "unhygienic" and a "bad example to children".

In the second week of January 2013, the group came under fire when an image that showed a boy's hands covering a topless Tomomi Kasai's breasts was intended to be published in Shukan Young Magazine. The image was subsequently pulled from the magazine and from Kasai's upcoming photobook, where it would have been the cover picture. The sale of the magazine was postponed from January 12 to January 21.

In February 2013, member Minami Minegishi appeared in a YouTube video with a shaved head to apologize after it was reported by a tabloid that she had spent a night with a man in violation of her contract. The act of shaving her hair was seen as extreme and drew criticism on how the situation was handled. Labor expert and writer for The Japan Times Hifumi Okunuki argued that a no-dating clause in a labor contract would be in violation of Japanese labor laws.


A few days after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, AKB48's official blog reported that that a sum of more than 617 million yen had been donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society. On April 1, the group issued a digital charity single titled "Dareka no Tame ni (What Can I Do for Someone?)", all profit from which was donated to a 2011 earthquake and tsunami relief fund. AKB48's 23rd single "Kaze wa Fuiteiru" was also dedicated to the 2011 tsunami victims, its title song's lyrics having been written with the intention of cheering up the Japanese people who were affected by the March 11 disaster.

In February 2012, the group announced another donation to the Japanese Red Cross, of over 580 million yen. It was reported that to date AKB48 had raised a total of over 1.25 billion yen for the earthquake and tsunami relief.

Performances outside of Japan 

AKB48 Team A became an honored guest at the Japan Expo in Paris between July 2 to 5, 2009, and featured an English version of "Ōgoe Diamond" for the first time. AKB48 had their United States debut concert at Webster Hall in New York on September 27, 2009.

On 23 October 2010, the band represented Japan and performed at the 7th Asia Song Festival, organized by Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.

In November 2010, AKB48 performed in Russia for the first time. A 12-member team gave a concert on November 20 at the Japanese Pop Culture Festival which took place in Moscow. Also in November 2010, AKB48 performed in the Cool Japan Night in Singapore as part of the Anime Festival Asia X. This is followed by a 2nd performance also in Singapore at the Singapore Toy Games & Comics Convention.

In February 2012, AKB48 performed with JKT48 in Jakarta for the first time as part of "Jakarta Japan Pop Culture Festival 2012"

In April 2013, they performed at the Inaugural Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore.


Names in Bold are Team Captains and Co-Captains.

AKB48 Members

Team A

Team K

Team B

Team 4

Team 8

Team Kaigai

AKB48 Kenkyuusei

Team Mitei (Unknown)

Draft Members

AKB48 Draft Candidates


ALL48 General Manager: Mukaichi Mion

Team 8

Hokkaido & Tohoku




Chugoku & Shikoku


AKB48 Kenkyuusei


Former Members

 ;Team A

Team K
Team B
Team 4
Team 8

Otona AKB48

Sister Groups

Former Sister Groups

  • SDN48 (disbanded in 2012)

Rival Groups




Baragumi and Yurigumi

On November 4th, 2006, it was announced that the members of Akihabara48 would be rearranged into two groups: Baragumi ('rose group') and Yurigumi ('lily group'). No more official announcements have been made on this matter since then, and it is widely believed that this idea has been scrapped.

The two groups are as follows (☆ denotes a girl who has graduated, and ☆☆ changed teams, since the announcement was made):

  • Baragumi
Team A: Hirajima Natsumi☆, Kojima Haruna☆☆, Komatani Hitomi☆, Masuyama Kayano☆, Minegishi Minami☆☆, Oshima Mai☆, Takahashi Minami, Urano Kazumi☆, Watanabe Shiho☆.
Team K: Akimoto Sayaka, Imai Yu☆, Kasai Tomomi☆, Kobayashi Kana☆☆, Matsubara Natsumi, Noro Kayo☆, Ohori Megumi☆, Ono Erena☆.
  • Yurigumi
Team A: Hoshino Michiru☆, Itano Tomomi☆, Kawasaki Nozomi☆, Maeda Atsuko☆, Nakanishi Rina☆, Narita Risa☆, Ohe Tomomi☆, Sato Yukari☆, Shinoda Mariko, Tojima Hana☆.
Team K: Hayano Kaoru☆, Masuda Yuka☆, Miyazawa Sae☆☆, Oku Manami☆, Oshima Yuko, Sato Natsuki☆, Takada Ayana☆, Umeda Ayaka☆☆.



  • [2007.07.01 - 2007.11.30] Himawari gumi 1st Stage "Boku no Taiyou" (ひまわり組 1st stage 「僕の太陽」)
  • [2007.12.08 - 2008.04.19] Himawari-gumi 2nd Stage - Yume wo Shinaseru Wake Ikanai (ひまわり組 2nd Stage 「夢を死なせるわけにいかない」)

AKB48 Events


Team A

# Stage name Date Performances
1 PARTY ga Hajimaru yo
2005.12.08 - 2006.03.31 98
2 Aitakatta
2006.04.15 - 2006.08.11 70
3 Dareka no Tame ni
2006.08.20 - 2007.01.25 83
4 Tadaima Renaichuu
(ただいま 恋愛中)
2007.02.25 - 2007.06.26
2008.04.20 - 2008.10.11
5 Renai Kinshi Jourei
2008.10.19 - 2010.05.27
2014.04.25 - 2015.08.23
6 Mokugekisha
2010.07.27 - 2012.10.29
2018.06.12 -
Waiting Waiting Stage
2012.11.02 - 2014.04.21 42
7 M.T ni Sasagu
2016.02.10 - 2018.05.16 60

Team K

# Stage name Date Performances
1 PARTY ga Hajimaru yo
2006.04.01 - 2006.07.05
2006.04.01 - 2006.07.05
2 Seishun Girls
2006.07.08 - 2006.11.06 77
3 Nounai Paradise
2006.12.17 - 2007.06.22 64
4 Saishuu Bell ga Naru
2008.05.31 - 2009.04.04
2014.02.20 - 2014.04.16
2015.11.30 - 2018.05.15
5 Saka Agari
2009.04.11 - 2010.02.21 90
2010.03.12 - 2012.10.24
2014.05.07 - 2015.08.26
2018.07.06 -
Waiting Waiting Stage
2012.11.01 - 2014.02.12 95

Team B

# Stage name Date Performances
1 Seishun Girls
2007.04.08 - 2007.10.02 94
2 Aitakatta
2007.10.07 - 2008.02.21 73
3 Pajama Drive
2008.03.01 - 2009.02.01
2014.04.28 - 2015.08.27
4 Idol no Yoake
2009.02.08 - 2010.04.16 166
5 Theater no Megami
2012.11.03 - 2014.04.23
2018.09.08 -
Waiting Waiting Stage
2012.11.03 - 2014.04.23 41
6 Tadaima Renaichuu
(ただいま 恋愛中)
2015.12.26 - 2018.05.28 70

Team 4

# Stage name Date Performances
1 Boku no Taiyou
2011.10.10 - 2012.10.25 94
2 Te wo Tsnuaginagara
2013.11.03 - 2014.04.15
3 Idol no Yoake
2014.04.24 - 2015.08.24 106
4 Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikanai
2015.12.03 - 2018.05.18 79

Team 8

# Stage name Date Performances
1 PARTY ga Hajimaru yo
2014.08.05 - 2015.08.16
2018.02.17 -
2 Aitakatta
2015.09.05 - 2017.08.20
2018.02.12 -
3 Kimi mo 8 (Eito) de Nakou janai ka
2017.09.02 - 2018.01.08 23
4 Sono Shizuku wa, Mirai e to Tsunagaru Niji ni Naru.
2018.11.22 - TBA

Special Stages

# Stage name Date Performances
1 Eve wa Adam no Abarabone
2015.09.13 - 2017.03.07 31
2 Seishun wa mada owaranai
2015.09.18 - 2017.03.17 48
3 Dounaru?! Dousuru?! AKB48
2015.10.16 - 2017.03.05 -
4 Boku ga Koko ni Iru Riyuu
2015.11.08 - 2016.12.27 -
5 Koukando Bakuage
2016.11.21 - 2017.04.13 -
6 Minerva yo, Kaze wo Okose
2017.02.28 - 2018.12.20
7 Thumbnnail
2017.05.12 -
8 Kamikyoku Shibari
2017.07.20 - 2018.12.25 -
9 Sekai wa Yume ni Michite Iru
2017.08.16 - 2018.12.18 -
10 Yabai yo! Tsuite koren no ka?!
2018.04.17 - -
11 Idol Shuugyouchuu♡
2018.05.04 - 2018.11.17
12 Boku no Natsu ga Hajimaru
2019.06.30 -







TV Shows

  • [Nippon TV] (2008-10-01 to Present) AKBINGO!
  • [Enta!371](2007.10 - 2009.9) AKB48+10
  • [Family Gekijo] AKB48 Nemousu Terebi (AKB48 ネ申テレビ)
  • [Nippon TV] (2008-04-07 to 2008-09-29) AKB 0ji 59fun (AKB0時59分)
  • [NHK] (2008.11.8-2009.3.31 to present) Suiensa すイエんサー
  • [TV Tokyo] (2009.7.10 to present ) ShuukanAKB 週刊AKB
  • [Enta!371] (2009.11.18. to present ) AKB1/48


  • [bayfm] ON8
  • [CBC Radio] AKB48 Konya wa Kaeranai... (AKB48 今夜は帰らない…)
  • [Star Radio] AKB48 no Zenryoku de Kikanakya Dame Jyan!! (AKB48の全力で聴かなきゃダメじゃん!!)
  • [Bunka Hoso] AKB48 Asu Made Mou Chotto. (AKB48 明日までもうちょっと。)
  • [Bunka Hoso] Sakurazuka Yakkun no Sukeban Rengo Kinkyu Shukai (桜塚やっくんのスケバン連合緊急集会)
  • [TOKYO FM] AKB48 no Yonpachi After (AKB48のよんぱちアフター)


  • Cokyo Koukoku Kikyo (公共広告機構) / Mittsu no R de Chikyu wo Sukue! REDUCE RESUME RECYCLE (3つのRで地球を救え! REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE)
  • Recrute (リクルート) / Hana Saku・Project (ハナサク・プロジェクト)
  • Tokyo City「TOKYO exercises」
  • Yomiuri Newpaper 『読売新聞×AKB48』
  • Recochoku 「レコチョクの部屋 AKB編」


The most important awards received by the group

Year Ceremony Award Nominated work Result
2009 11th Mnet Asian Music Awards Asia Recommended Award (Japan) Won
2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards Top Pop Artists Won
2011 Billboard Japan Music Awards Artist of the Year Won
Top Pop Artists Won
Hot 100 of the Year "Everyday, Katyusha" Won
Hot 100 Single Sales of the Year "Everyday, Katyusha" Won
53rd Japan Record Awards Grand Prix "Flying Get" Won
2012 Billboard Japan Music Awards Artist of the Year Won
Top Pop Artists Won
Hot 100 of the Year "Manatsu no Sounds Good!" Won
Hot 100 Single Sales of the Year "Manatsu no Sounds Good!" Won
14th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Asian Artist Japan "UZA" Won
54th Japan Record Awards Grand Prix "Manatsu no Sounds Good!" Won
2013 Billboard Japan Music Awards Artist of the Year Won
Top Pop Artists Won
Hot 100 of the Year Won
Hot 100 Single Sales of the Year Won
55th Japan Record Awards Gold Award "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" Won
Grand Prix Nominated

Records attained

The group and its songs have attained the following records:

  • Guinness World Record for Largest Pop Group - In November 2010, Guinness named AKB48 as the largest pop group.
  • Guinness World Record for Most Number of Pop Singers Featured in a Video Game - In December 2012, AKB48's dating simulation game AKB1/149 Ren'ai Sōsenkyo featured 149 members of the group.
  • Guinness World Record for broadcasting the Most Number of Same Product Television Endorsement within 24 Hours - In February 2012, AKB48 broadcast 90 solo member’s CMs for Asahi’s ‘Wonda Coffee Morning Shot’ and defeated the previous Guinness World Record for broadcasting 60 commercials in 24 hours.
  • Oricon – Most consecutive number one singles by a female group in Japan
  • Oricon – Most number one singles by a female group in Japan, beating the previous record set by Pink Lady.
  • Oricon - Most singles sold by a female artist in Japan - In May 2013 after the release of the group's 31st single "Sayonara Crawl", the combined sales figures of all AKB48’s singles have reached 21.852 million since the group’s debut in 2006, exceeding the previous best record of 21.416 million held by J-pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki.
  • Oricon - Highest sales of female group single in Japan - In June 2013, the 31st single of the group, "Sayonara Crawl"'s cumulative sales number reached 1,872,000 copies, exceeding the previous best record for a female group's single sales (1,845,000 copies) which SPEED had kept for over 15 years with their 1997 single "White Love". The total cumulative sales of "Sayonara Crawl" marked at 1,955,800.
  • Oricon - Highest number of consecutive million-selling single sold in Japan - In October 2013, the group's 33rd single "Heart Ereki" sold 1,021,000 copies on the first day of release, becoming the 14th consecutive million-selling single of the group and beat the previous record of 13 by B'z.
  • Oricon - Most million-selling singles sold in Japan - In December 2013, the group's 34th single "Suzukake Nanchara" sold 1,033,000 copies during the first week, scoring their 16th million-selling single and surpassed the record of 15 which B'z had kept for 13 years and 9 months.
  • Oricon - 30 million sales in 8 years and 10 months since their debut is the fastest record in history (Broke B'z as it took 14 years and 7 months to reach the number).
  • Oricon - Consecutive and total number of million-selling singles
  • Oricon - First female artist to have a total of 30 million sales for singles.

Number of current members

(as of April ,21, 2017)

Team Members Notes
A 13 2 sister group Kennin members (Miyawaki Sakura, Shiroma Miru)
1 AKB48 Kennin member (Yamada Nanami)
K 16

1 sister group Kennin members (Kodama Haruka)
1 AKB48 Kennin member (Nakano Ikumi)

Shimada Haruka , Suzuki Mariya , Nakata Chisato

announced her graduation 

B 14

Umeta Ayano , Kizaki Yuria , Tanabe Miku Yokoshima Aeri

announced her graduation

1 sister group Kennin members (Yabuki Nako)
1 AKB48 Kennin member (Sakaguchi Nagisa)

4 18

Okada Ayaka  announced her graduation

3 sister group Kennin members (Kitagawa Ryoha, Shibuya Nagisa, Tomonaga Mio)

8 47 Fukuchi Rena  announced her graduation-
KKS 23 -
Total 131 AKB48 Kennin members (Yamada Nanami, Nakano Ikumi and Sakaguchi Nagisa) are not counted twice

See Also

External Links

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