Members of Onyanko Club with the main cast of Sukeban Deka II
|Years active||1985–1987, 2002 (released ONE Single), 2010 (for one BOSS COFFEE Commercial)|
|Past members||see below|
Onyanko Club (おニャン子クラブ Onyanko Kurabu , lit. "O-Meow Girl Club") was a large all-girl Japanese pop idol group in the 1980s. The group gave a new approach to the idol formula with its 52 official members and three unofficial members. Some members of the group participated in several subgroups such as Nyangilas, Ushirogami Hikaretai, and Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi, with the latter two groups providing most of the soundtrack to the popular 80s anime series High School! Kimengumi.
The group debuted on April 1, 1985 on their own Fuji TV variety show Yūyake Nyan Nyan with eleven high school girls selected from participants in the Fuji TV All Night High School Girl Special (オールナイトフジ女子高生スペシャル Ōru Naito Joshi Kōsei Supesharu ) aired in February that same year. The group disbanded on September 9, 1987 with a final concert. There have been several reunion appearances, including one on a recent episode of Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ. Several big-name idols stemmed from the group, one of the best known being Shizuka Kudō.
The same formula was used by the more internationally familiar group Morning Musume, and people regularly compare Onyanko Club to Morning Musume. They even gave a small tribute to Onyanko Club at the end of their member "roll call"-esque song "Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari" when they do the classic "Nyan Nyan" pose. The song is similar to the series of three "Kaiin Bango no Uta" songs released by Onyanko Club. The Idol-Group formula pioneered by the Onyanko Club is also similar to another Yasushi Akimoto-produced group, AKB48.
Listed in order of joining Onyanko Club. Members 1-11 were original members of the group when it started on 1985-04-01, and were randomly assigned member numbers. Subsequent members of the group were assigned numbers based on the order in which they joined. Members 12-16 joined during April that same year.
- Mika Okuda (original member, left the group on April 25, 1985 due to the Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal, first member of Onyanko Club to appear nude in a magazine (Playboy Japan October 1988))
- Michiko Enokida (original member, left the group on 1985-04-25 due to the Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal. Not to be confused with actress Michiko Enokida who appeared in tokusatsu shows, such as Kidou Keiji Jiban.)
- Kayoko Yoshino (original member, left the group on 1985-04-25 due to the Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal)
- Eri Nitta (original member, in the second "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, married an employee of Fuji TV, took a break from entertainment but is now working in the field again)
- Miharu Nakajima (original member, in the first "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, married the manager of the owarai group Tunnels)
- Aki Kihara (original member, in the fifth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, member of Nyangirasu)
- Mamiko Tomoda (original member, left the group on 1985-04-25 due to the Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal)
- Sayuri Kokushō (original member, in the fifth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, still working in entertainment, currently living with her ex-husband)
- Mika Nagoya (original member, in the second "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, member of Nyangirasu)
- Mayumi Satō (original member, left the group on 1985-04-25 due to the Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal)
- Satomi Fukunaga (original member, in the second "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, has put out four singles, married after retiring from entertainment)
- Sonoko Kawai (in the first "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, married bassist Tsugutoshi Gotō after retiring from entertainment)
- Kazuko Utsumi (debuted as a child actor in 1974, in the fifth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, announced the publication of a nude photobook after Onyanko Club broke up)
- Harumi Tomikawa (had been a member of Onyanko Club the longest when the group broke up (smallest member number))
- Rika Tatsumi (married in 1991, currently the editor of a magazine)
- Mamiko Takai (married Yasushi Akimoto in 1988 and retired from the entertainment business. Yasushi later became a producer of AKB48)
- Sanae Jōnouchi (member when the group broke up, currently an Enka singer, married a television producer in 2004)
- Ruriko Nagata (member when the group broke up)
- Yukiko Iwai (member when the group broke up, worked for a time under the name "Yuuyu", married in 1998 and retired from the entertainment business)
- Yōko Teramoto (left the group in September 1985)
- Tamaki Gomioka (left the group in September 1985, made her solo debut in 1988 with Don't Start Being Cheap (チープにならないで Chīpu ni Naranai de ), suddenly retired from entertainment shortly afterward)
- Mako Shiraishi (member when the group broke up, member of Nyangirasu, began working for Jaguar Japan after graduation, mother of four children)
- Kaori Hayashi (currently lives in Osaka Prefecture)
- Fumio Mita (currently lives in Hiroshima Prefecture, was member 611 of the Momoko Club (a 1980s variety show on TBS), currently studying theatre in New York City)
- Akie Yoshizawa (made her acting debut as Yujino Yajima in Sukeban Deka II: Shōjo Tekkamen Densetsu, retired from entertainment in 1992)
- Yoshie Akasaka (was a member for one week, was member 2142 of the Momoko Club)
- Aki Matsumoto (was member 1861 of the Momoko Club)
- Mutsumi Yokota (member when the group broke up, was a Young Paradise campaign girl (along with Minayo Watanabe), currently a yoga instructor)
- Minayo Watanabe (member when the group broke up, still working in entertainment, mother of two children)
- Chiaki Mikami (joined after winning the Triangle Blue audition)
- Yūko Yajima (joined after winning the Young Paradise campaign girl contest)
- Susan Kumiko Yamamoto (in the second "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, the only half-Japanese member)
- Tomoko Fukawa (member when the group broke up, sister of Shibugakitai member Toshikazu Fukawa)
- Mami Yumioka (in the third "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, joined after graduating from junior high school on 1986-03-14)
- Takako Okamoto (in the third "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, joined at the same time as Mami Yumioka)
- Marina Watanabe (member when the group broke up, still works in entertainment, married owarai conte group Neptune member Jun Nagura in 2005)
- Kaori Ōnuki (appeared on stage one day after joining Onyanko Club, was member 1809 of the Momoko Club, currently a tarento and model)
- Shizuka Kudō (member when the group broke up, was member 480 of the Momoko Club, currently a singer, married SMAP member Takuya Kimura)
- Maki Takabatake (in the third "graduating group" of Onyanko Club)
- Akiko Ikuina (member when the group broke up, made her solo debut after the group broke up, became a regular member of the cast of Abarenbō Shōgun for several seasons, currently on vacation from working as an entertainer due to marriage and children)
- Noriko Kaise (member when the group broke up, participated in the Miss Seventeen Grand Prix)
- Makiko Saitō (made her debut after the group broke up, participated in the Miss Seventeen Grand Prix, married in 1998 and retired from entertainment)
- Toshie Moriya (in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, participated in the Miss Seventeen Grand Prix)
- Naoko Takada (in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, won a special award in the Miss Seventeen Grand Prix)
- Yumiko Yoshida (in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, )
- Sanae Nakajima (in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, was member 1319 of the Momoko Club, had a role in Uchū Keiji Gavan as a child)
- Yuriko Yamamori (member when the group broke up, accepted into the group on her second try)
- Kayo Agazuma (made her solo debut after the group broke up, currently in entertainment, sister of idol Naomi Serizawa, has been married and divorced)
- Mitsuko Yoshimi (member #1 of B-Gumi, winner of special prize in Miss Seventeen contest, was member 1956 of the Momoko Club, )
- Miyuki Sugiura (member #2 of B-Gumi, winner of special prize in Miss Seventeen contest, became a race queen after leaving Onyanko Club, currently a model)
- Kumiko Miyano (member #3 of B-Gumi, winner of special prize in Miss Seventeen contest, joined a group named "Kiss" after Onyanko Club broke up, currently in entertainment)
- Wakako Suzuki (the last member to join Onyanko Club)
- Hiroko Tominaga (member #4 of B-Gumi, winner of special prize in Miss Seventeen contest, in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club)
- Mayumi Yamazaki (member #5 of B-Gumi, in the fourth "graduating group" of Onyanko Club, made her solo debut after Onyanko Club broke up, became a gravure model, worked with Yellow Cab for a short time, now a housewife and a lecturer on Hawaiian quilts)
- Yolinda Yan (was a trainee member of Onyanko Club, only non-Japanese member. Later became a popular cantopop singer in her native Hong Kong, active from late 80s to mid 90s)
- Don't Make Me Take Off My Sailor Suit (セーラー服を脱がさないで Sērāfuku o Nugasanai de ) / Speeding Generation (早すぎる世代 Haya Sugiru Sedai ) (1985-07-05, 7A0502 (EP))
- Featuring Nitta (#4), Nakajima (#5), Fukunaga (#11), and Utsumi (#13). Debuted at #5 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 17 weeks.
- Better Be Good, Teacher (およしになってねTEACHER Oyoshi ni Natte Tīchā ) / Teddy Bear Time: The Sweet Scent of a Young Girl (テディベアの頃-少女の香り- Tedi Bea no Goro: Shōjo no Kaori ) (1985-10-21, 7A0530 (EP))
- Featuring Nitta, Nakajima, Fukunaga, and Utsumi. Debuted at #2 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 15 weeks.
- See Ya (じゃあね Jā ne ) / Uh-oh-oh-oh (アレレレ アレレレ ) (1986-02-21, 7A0555 (EP))
- Featuring Nakajima for A side, B side features all the members at the time. Debuted at #1 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 9 weeks.
- Uh-oh Pervert! (おっとCHIKAN! Otto Chikan! ) / Memory of a Beautiful Woman (思い出美人 Omoide Bijin ) (1986-04-21, 7A0575 (EP))
- Featuring Fukunaga, Utsumi, Jōnouchi (#17), Nagata (#18), and Yokota (#28) (solo parts performed by Fukunaga and Nagata) for A side. B side performed by Utsumi. Debuted at #1 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 8 weeks.
- Excuse Me Until Next Time (お先に失礼 Osaki ni Shitsure ) / Summer Print (プリントの夏 Purinto no Natsu ) (1986-07-21, 7A0607 (EP))
- Love is the Question (恋はくえすちょん Koi wa Kuesuchon ) / The Great Anmistsu Battle (あんみつ大作戦 Anmitsu Taisakusen ) (1986-11-01, 7A0646 (EP))
- No More Make-Believe Love (NO MORE 恋愛ごっこ No Moa Ren'ai Gokko ) / Good Night to Only You (あなただけおやすみなさい Anata Dake Oyasumi Nasai ) / Onyanko Message (おニャン子メッセージ Onyanko Messēji ) (1987-01-21, 7A0676 (EP), 10P3042 (cassette)
- Featuring Tomikawa, Nagata, Iwai, and Shiraishi for A side. B side features the entire group at the time. The "Onyanko Message" is found only on the cassette. Debuted at #1 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 6 weeks.
- Snail Samba (かたつむりサンバ] Katatsumuri Sanba ) / Pistils and Stamens (めしべとおしべ Meshibe to Oshibe ) (1987-05-21, 7A0718 (EP))
- Featuring Tomikawa, Kudō (#38), Yoshimi (#49), and Sugiura (#50) for A side. B side features Nagata, Shiraishi, Kaise (#41), Agazuma (#48). Debuted at #1 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 5 weeks.
- Wedding Dress (ウェディングドレス Uedingu Doresu ) / Please Treat Me Well (私をよろしく Watashi o Yososhiku ) (1987-08-21, 7A0758 (EP))
- Featuring Tomikawa, Nagata, Shiraishi, Yokota (#28), and Fukawa (#33). Debuted at #2 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 7 weeks.
- Shōmikigen (ショーミキゲン) / Classmates (同級生 Dōkyūsei ) (2002-11-20, OCCA-70026 (CD))
- Featuring Nitta, Kokushō (#8), Utsumi, Jōnouchi, Iwai, and Watanabe. Debuted at #48 on the Oricon charts, remained charted for 5 weeks.
- 1985.09.21 : Kick Off
- 1986.03.10 : Yume Catalogue
- 1986.07.10 : Panic the World (2 cds)
- 1986.12.05 : Merry X'Mas For You (mini-album)
- 1987.02.21 : Side Line
- 1987.08.05 : Circle (2 cds)
- 1986.12.21 : Non-Stop Onyanko
- 1987.06.03 : Sailing Yumekoujou (live)
- 1987.03.05 : 家宝(2 cds)
- 2002.12.18 : Mini Best
- 2007/07/18 : Onyanko Club Singles Complete
Nyangilas (ニャンギラス Nyangirasu ) was the second of three off shoot groups within the Onyanko Club. They had the shortest run with only two singles and one album. Members consisted of Aki Kihara (6), Mika Nagoya (9), Rika Tatsumi (15), and Mako Shiraishi (22).
Ushirogami Hikaretai (うしろ髪ひかれ隊) consisted of members Akiko Ikuina, Shizuka Kudo and Makiko Saito, and released five singles, two studio albums and one live album, in 1987 and 1988. now are having a revival group "Watarirouka Hashiritai" From AKB48
Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal
The Shūkan Bunshun Smoking Scandal (週刊文春喫煙事件 Shūkan Bunshun Kitsuen Jiken ) was an underage smoking scandal involving six of the original eleven members of Onyanko Club, all of whom were high school students at the time. Onyanko Club had a rule against smoking, as well.
About two weeks after the airing of the first episode of Yūyake Nyan Nyan, the weekly magazine Shūkan Bunshun published photos of Mika Okuda, Michiko Enokida, Kayoko Yoshino, Aki Kihara, Mamiko Tomoda, and Mayumi Satō (all under age 20, the legal age for smoking in Japan) smoking at a local kissaten after leaving the studio. After the April 18th episode, these members were removed from appearances on the show, and were officially fired on April 25. After this, fans of the show referred to this group as the Phantom Kittens (幻のおニャン子 Maboroshi no Onyanko ) and the Smoking Group (喫煙組 Kitsuen-gumi ).
Despite being in the photograph, Kihara was reinstated as a member of the group several days later. Additionally, only Satō's skirt could be seen in the photo, and her face was not visible. She did not return to the group, though.
Fuji TV reacted very swiftly, and there was not much protest when they fired the members of the group as they weren't very well known then. Due to the scandal, the show was moved from Mondays to Fridays at 5:00 pm, which was considered a poor time slot. It was also only broadcast locally rather than nationally. Shortly after the scandal, however, Onyanko Club's debut single, Don't Make Me Take Off My Sailor Suit, was released, and the show became so popular they expanded the broadcast area very quickly. The topic of the Smoking Group was made a taboo subject at that point.
The members of the Smoking Group have appeared on a recent DVD release of performances from the first few months of Onyanko Club's existence.
- Musukko Club, an all-male group started at about the same time
- "Onyanko Club". Encyclopedia Idollica. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "Onyanko Club: Singles". Encyclopedia Idollica. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Onyanko Club Complete Works Collection Vol.II Limited Edition CD-Box Book 2 (おニャン子クラブ大全集 下巻 限定CD-BOX BOOK 2) (CD insert booklet). Onyanko Club. Tokyo, Japan: Pony Canyon. 2008. pp. 17–19. PCCA-50002.
- "週間文春 タバコ事件" (in Japanese). 週刊文春. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Onyanko Club, Information page with full member profiles and Discography
- The Onyanko Club, Discography