Sakura Gakuin

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Sakura Gakuin
Four girls wearing school uniform outfits sit at a table against a white background
Members (from left to right) Sara Kurashima, Tsugumi Aritomo, Yuzumi Shintani, and Maaya Asou in March 2017
Background information
Native name
GenresJ-pop, Japanese idol
Years activeApril 2010 (2010-04)–present


Associated actsBabymetal, Karen Girl's
  • Kano Fujihira
  • Soyoka Yoshida
  • Tsugumi Aritomo
  • Momoe Mori
  • Miku Tanaka
  • Miki Yagi
  • Kokona Nonaka
  • Yume Nozaki
  • Sana Shiratori
  • Sakia Kimura
  • Neo Satō
  • Miko Todaka
Past membersSee list of past members

Sakura Gakuin (Japanese: さくら学院, lit. Cherry Blossom Academy)[4] is a Japanese idol girl group formed in 2010 by the Amuse talent agency. The group functions as a unit restricted to the "growing period", typically containing between 10 and 12 members at a time who fall between the ages of 10 and 15. With the theme of school life and extracurricular club activities, when the current nendo (年度, "academic year") ends in April, the group releases an annual studio album, new members "transfer in" to the group, and others who finish compulsory education "graduate", or leave.[5]

Members of the group also belong to one or more of its sub-units, which are modeled after school extracurricular clubs. Each club performs with its own theme and musical genre, and their music may be included in the main group's albums or released as a separate single.


2010–2011: Beginnings and Message[edit]

Sakura Gakuin was created around April 2010 by the talent agency Amuse. Members of the group often blog in a class journal by posting notes handwritten on loose leaf paper.[6] In August, the group participated in the first Tokyo Idol Festival (TIF). In October, the group formed the baton-twirling sub-unit Twinklestars, with seven members; in November, the group released its first single "Dear Mr. Socrates", which was sold only at live venues.[7] Sakura Gakuin held its first solo event on November 28, 2010.[8] On December 8, the group released its major debut single "Yume ni Mukatte / Hello! Ivy".

Sakura Gakuin's first album, Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message, was scheduled to appear on March 23, 2011,[7] but was postponed until April 27 due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The same year, Hana Taguchi and Rinon Isono joined the group. On May 30, Twinklestars announced a new single, "Please! Please! Please!", for a July 6 release.[9] In August, Sakura Gakuin performed at Tokyo Idol Festival 2011. On October 23, at an event held in Tokyo, the group announced that second single, "Verishuvi", would be released on December 21 through Universal Music;[10] the song had its live debut on November 23.[11]

2012: Friends, formation of more sub-units, and My Generation[edit]

Sakura Gakuin's third single, "Tabidachi no Hi ni", was released on February 15, 2012,[12] debuting at number 6 in the Oricon Daily Singles Chart for February 14.[13] Three of the members, Ayami Mutō, Ayaka Miyoshi, and Airi Matsui, graduated from Sakura Gakuin in April 2012, and three new members—Yunano, Saki and Mariri—were transferred into the group in May 2012. In August, the group performed at TIF 2012, on August 4 and 5, and revealing that a new sub-unit would perform at the Sky Stage on the 4th;[14] the following day, it was revealed to be a tennis club consisting of four members with Nene Sugisaki as the leader. On September 1, the science club Kagaku Kuymei Kikoh Logica? was officially revealed as another new unit. On October 1, the Logica? announced their first single, "Science Girl ▽ Silence Boy", for a November 21 release. On October 6, Babymetal announced their major label debut with "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" for January 9, 2013.

2013–2015: New look, Kizuna, and Kimi ni Todoke[edit]

Sakura Gakuin released their fifth single, "My Graduation Toss", on February 27, 2013, as well as their third album My Generation on March 13. The group held the 2012 graduation concert for Suzuka Nakamoto and Mariri Sugimoto at Tokyo International Forum on March 31.[15]

After sending fellow members Suzuka and Mariri, the group started their new school semester on May 5, 2013 at Shibuya Cultural Center Owada with two new members and a new beige uniform.[16] The group later released the song, "Ganbare!!", which ranked 6th on the Oricon Weekly Chart. Sakura Gakuin later released their seventh single, "Jump Up (Chiisana Yūki)", and fourth DVD, Sakura Gakuin Festival 2013: Live Edition on February 12, 2014. The Road to Graduation 2013 Final was held at Shibuya Public Hall, where Marina Horiuchi, Raura Iida, Nene Sugisaki and Hinata Satō, the last of the original eight members, gave their farewells to the fans and remaining eight members.

The group later welcomed two new members, Sara Kurashima and Megumi Okada, in May 2014, bringing the total to ten members. In March 2015, the group held a graduation concert at which Moa Kikuchi, Yui Mizuno, Hana Taguchi, and Yunano Notsu bid goodbye to the fans and remaining six members. On May 6, six new members joined the group, bringing the total to twelve members. At the same time, Rinon Isono was appointed as the fifth Student Council President. The remaining two Year 3 members, Saki Ooga became the Education Chairman, while Saki Shirai was appointed as the third Talk Chairman.[17]

2016–present: Kirameki no Kakera, Yakusoku, My Road, and Life Iro Asenai Hibi[edit]

March 2016 marked the departure of Saki Ooga, Saki Shirai and Rinon Isono, but in May of the same year Momoe Mori, Tsugumi Aritomo and Yuzumi Shintani transferred in. 2016 also marked the departure of the "beige" uniforms, instating a dark gray one in its place, and the promotion of Sara Kurashima to class president, Aiko Yamaide to vice president and Mirena Kurosawa to MC chairman. Sara Kurashima and Mirena Kurosawa left the group in March 2017, with new members Miku Tanaka and Miki Yagi joining in May.[5] Aiko Yamaide became the class president, Megumi Okada became the talk chairman, Momoko Okazaki became the effort chairman, and Maaya Asou became the Education Chairman. On March 24, 2018, the graduation concert for Aiko Yamaide, Megumi Okada and Momoko Okazaki took place at Nakano Sun Plaza.

In May 2018, Sana Shiratori, Kokona Nonaka and Yume Nozaki joined the group. During the concert in which the new members were introduced, it was announced that Yuzumi Shintani had become class president, with Maaya Asou as talk chairman, Marin Hidaka as breakthrough ("hamidase") chairman, Kano Fujihira as performance chairman, and Soyoka Yoshida as education chairman.[citation needed]

On March 30, 2019, Maaya Asou, Marin Hidaka, and Yuzumi Shintani graduated from Sakura Gakuin. 2019 also marked the departure of the grey uniforms, enlisting a deep blue one in its place. On May 6, Neo Sato, Miko Todaka, and Sakia Kimura joined the group. It was also announced that Kano Fujihira had become class president, with Soyoka Yoshida as effort chairman, Tsugumi Aritomo as breakthrough chairman, and Momoe Mori as talk chairman.[citation needed]


Sakura Gakuin employs a line-up changing system in which older members leave the group and new members join each year. Since the group's theme is that of an elementary and junior high school, when a member graduates from junior high, specifically her third year, she leaves Sakura Gakuin as well, during a ceremony the group holds around the end of the Japanese school year in which these members "graduate".[18]

As of May 6th, 2019, the group consists of the following twelve members.[19] Note: Names presented here are in Western format (i.e. given name followed by family name) as opposed to Japanese name.

Name Date of Birth Prefecture
of origin
Current grade Notes
Kano Fujihira (藤平 華乃) (2004-08-28) August 28, 2004 (age 15) Chiba Junior high year 3 Ninth student council president (2019)
Performance chairman (2018)
Soyoka Yoshida (吉田 爽葉香) (2004-06-14) June 14, 2004 (age 15) Osaka Junior high year 3 Perseverance ("ganbare") chairman (2019)
Education chairman (2018)
Tsugumi Aritomo (有友 緒心) (2004-09-07) September 7, 2004 (age 15) Chiba Junior high year 3 Breakthrough ("hamidase") chairman (2019)
Momoe Mori (森 萌々穂) (2004-12-08) December 8, 2004 (age 14) Tokyo Junior high year 3 Talk chairman (2019)
Sana Shiratori (白鳥 沙南) (2005-06-20) June 20, 2005 (age 14) Kumamoto Junior high year 2
Kokona Nonaka (野中 ここな) (2006-01-28) January 28, 2006 (age 13) Nagasaki Junior high year 2
Miku Tanaka (田中 美空) (2006-06-18) June 18, 2006 (age 13) Ōita Junior high year 1
Miki Yagi (八木 美樹) (2006-12-11) December 11, 2006 (age 12) Osaka Junior high year 1
Neo Satō (佐藤 愛桜) (2006-12-01) December 1, 2006 (age 12) Saga Junior high year 1
Miko Todaka (戸高 美湖) (2006-08-14) August 14, 2006 (age 13) Hiroshima Junior high year 1
Yume Nozaki (野崎 結愛) (2007-11-15) November 15, 2007 (age 11) Aichi Elementary school year 6
Sakia Kimura (木村 咲愛) (2009-02-20) February 20, 2009 (age 10) Tokyo Elementary school year 5

Past members[edit]

Members that leave Sakura Gakuin also complete ninth grade education in school, and are considered "graduated".[20]

Graduation date Name Date of Birth Prefecture
of origin
March 25, 2012[21] Ayami Mutō (武藤 彩未) (1996-04-29) April 29, 1996 (age 23) Ibaraki First student council president (2010-2011)
Past member of Karen Girl's
Airi Matsui (松井 愛莉) (1996-12-26) December 26, 1996 (age 22) Fukushima
Ayaka Miyoshi (三吉 彩花) (1996-06-18) June 18, 1996 (age 23) Saitama
March 31, 2013[22] Suzuka Nakamoto (中元 すず香) (1997-12-20) December 20, 1997 (age 21) Hiroshima Second student council president (2012)
Past member of Karen Girl's
Mariri Sugimoto (杉本 愛莉鈴) (2000-08-04) August 4, 2000 (age 19) Hiroshima Left group at end of elementary school rather than junior high
March 30, 2014[23] Marina Horiuchi (堀内 まり菜) (1998-04-29) April 29, 1998 (age 21) Tokyo Third student council president (2013)
First vice president (2012)[citation needed]
Raura Iida (飯田 來麗) (1998-04-09) April 9, 1998 (age 21) Tokyo Performance chairman (2013)
Nene Sugisaki (杉﨑 寧々)[24] (1998-05-08) May 8, 1998 (age 21) Ibaraki Talk chairman (2013)
Hinata Satō (佐藤 日向) (1998-12-23) December 23, 1998 (age 20) Kanagawa Mood chairman (2013)
March 29, 2015[25] Moa Kikuchi (菊地 最愛) (1999-07-04) July 4, 1999 (age 20) Aichi Fourth student council president (2014)
Yui Mizuno (水野 由結) (1999-06-20) June 20, 1999 (age 20) Kanagawa Production chairman (2014)
Hana Taguchi (田口 華) (2000-03-04) March 4, 2000 (age 19) Nagano Spirit ("kiai") chairman (2014)
Yunano Notsu (野津 友那乃) (1999-12-14) December 14, 1999 (age 19) Tokyo Talk chairman (2014)
Stage name Yunano Honjyō
March 27, 2016[26] Rinon Isono (磯野 莉音) (2000-11-16) November 16, 2000 (age 18) Kanagawa Fifth student council president (2015)
Saki Ooga (大賀 咲希) (2000-04-11) April 11, 2000 (age 19) Tokyo Education chairman (2015)
Saki Shirai (白井 沙樹) (2000-09-28) September 28, 2000 (age 18) Niigata Talk chairman (2015)
March 25, 2017[27] Sara Kurashima (倉島 颯良) (2002-02-24) February 24, 2002 (age 17) Ibaraki Sixth student council president (2016)
Mirena Kurosawa (黒澤 美澪奈) (2001-05-22) May 22, 2001 (age 18) Tokyo MC chairman (2016)
March 24, 2018[28] Aiko Yamaide (山出 愛子) (2002-12-01) December 1, 2002 (age 16) Kagoshima Seventh student council president (2017)
Second vice president (2016)
Megumi Okada (岡田 愛) (2002-04-04) April 4, 2002 (age 17) Aichi Talk chairman (2017)
Momoko Okazaki (岡崎 百々子) (2003-03-03) March 3, 2003 (age 16) Kanagawa Perseverance ("ganbare") chairman (2017)
March 30, 2019[citation needed] Maaya Asou (麻生 真彩) (2003-11-04) November 4, 2003 (age 15) Kanagawa Talk chairman (2018)
Education chairman (2017)
Marin Hidaka (日髙 麻鈴) (2003-12-01) December 1, 2003 (age 15) Kanagawa Breakthrough ("hamidase") chairman (2018)
Yuzumi Shintani (新谷 ゆづみ) (2003-07-20) July 20, 2003 (age 16) Wakayama Eighth student council president (2018)

Member timeline[edit]


The sub-units of the group are described as extra-curricular activities, each with its own theme and genre. For example, the Heavy Music Club Babymetal performs music which combines J-pop and heavy metal and wears Gothic Lolita outfits; the Go Home Club Sleepiece performs live wearing pajamas, with light choreography invoking movements during sleep; and the Science Club Kagaku Kyumei Kikoh Logica?, which members perform wearing lab coats, aims to get people more interested in science and uses scientific terms in the lyrics.[6]

The Heavy Music Club, performing as Babymetal, was spun off from Sakura Gakuin in 2013 following the graduation of its lead singer, Suzuka Nakamoto, and is now considered a separate musical act, with no current Sakura Gakuin member being a member of the club.[29]

An italicized English name in the "club" column denotes that the group in question is presently known to be defunct.[30]

Club Sub-unit name Members by nendo
Baton Club (バトン部, Baton-bu) Twinklestars 2010–2011 Ayami, Raura, Marina, Nene, Hinata, Yui, Moa
2014 Yui, Moa, Yunano, Sara, Aiko
Heavy Music Club (重音部, Jūon-bu) Babymetal 2010–2012[a] Suzuka (leader), Yui, Moa
Cooking Club (クッキング部, Kukkingu-bu) Mini-Pati (ミニパティ) 2010 Raura (pink), Marina (yellow), Nene (green)
2011–2014 Hana (pink), Yui (yellow), Moa (green)
2015–2017[31] Aiko (pink), Momoko (yellow), Marin (green)
Go Home Club (帰宅部, Kitaku-bu) Sleepiece 2010–2013 Raura (pink), Marina (yellow), Nene (green)
2015 Maaya (pink), Saki Ooga (yellow), Mirena (green)
2016 Maaya (pink), Kano (yellow), Mirena (blue)
2018 Maaya (pink), Kano (yellow), Marin (green)
Newspaper Club (新聞部, Shinbun-bu) Scoopers 2010–2011 Ayaka, Airi
Tennis Club (テニス部, Tenisu-bu) Pastel Wind 2012 Nene (leader), Hana, Yunano, Marina
2013 Nene (leader), Hana, Yunano, Saki Ooga
Science Club (科学部, Kagaku-bu) Kagaku Kyumei Kikoh Logica?
2012–2013 ("Ver. 1.0") Marina (leader), Hinata, Rinon
2015 ("Ver 1.2") Rinon (leader), Sara, Megumi
2016 ("Ver 2.0") Sara (leader), Megumi, Momoko
Pro-wrestling Fan Club (プロレス同好会, Puroresu dōkō-kai) Pro-Wrestling Circle 2014 Hana, Rinon
Purchasing Club (購買部, Kōbai-bu) Koubaibu 2014 Yunano Notsu, Saki Shirai
2015 Saki Shirai, Soyoka
2016–present Soyoka, Tsugumi
Art Club (美術部, Bijutsu-bu) Art Performance Unit trico dolls 2018 Momoe (leader), Yuzumi, Yume
  1. ^ Babymetal split from the main group in 2013, and continues to perform as a separate group, but the club is defunct in that there is not currently a group of this nature currently performing as a sub-unit of Sakura Gakuin.
  2. ^ English name is "Science Investigation Mechanism Logica?".[32] Name provided in table is Romanization used in official sources. Hepburn romanization is "Kagaku Kyūmei Kikō Rojika?"



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  2. ^ Each of these sources (except the first) has "Amuse" in the area for the label:
    仰げば尊し 〜from さくら学院 2014〜 [Aogeba Tōtoshi (from Sakura Gakuin 2014)] (case cover) (in Japanese). Sakura Gakuin. Amuse. 2015 – via Universal J. Marketed & Distributed by UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLCCS1 maint: others (link)
    DVD「The Road to Graduation 2014 ~君に届け~」 [DVD "The Road to Graduation 2014 ~Kimi ni Todoke~]. Asmart (in Japanese). Amuse. 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09. 発売・販売元:アミューズ [Distributed by:Amuse]
    School days -2015- (case cover) (in Japanese). Sakura Gakuin. Amuse. 2015. Manufactured, Marketed & Distributed by AMUSE INCCS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "さくら学院 バトン部 Twinklestars" (in Japanese). LD&K inc. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  4. ^ Distefano, Alex (2014-05-14). "What the hell is Babymetal". Westword. Denver, Colorado, USA. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  5. ^ a b "「BABYMETAL」ら輩出で注目される 成長期限定ユニット「さくら学院」とは". Tokyo Sports. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  6. ^ a b Yamamoto, Noboru (2013-02-13). "Hotwave" (Interview). Saitama: Television Saitama.
  7. ^ a b ""新・なっちゃん"三吉彩花所属のアイドルユニット・さくら学院が熱いバレンタイン・ライブ". De View. Oricon. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  8. ^ "ガールズユニット「さくら学院」が初の単独イベントを開催". De View. Oricon. 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  9. ^ "さくら学院、グループ内ユニットが新曲発表". Oricon. 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  10. ^ "さくら学院、"学院祭"盛況 12月にユニバーサルから新曲発売決定". Oricon. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  11. ^ "さくら学院、アイドル史上初の「学校説明会」開催 1年ぶり新曲も披露". Oricon. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  12. ^ ドリーム モーニング娘。明日「笑っていいとも!」に初登場 (in Japanese). Natalie (Natasha, Inc.). 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  13. ^ "Oricon CD Single Weekly Ranking – ORICON STYLE Ranking (2012-02-14)" (in Japanese). Oricon Inc. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  14. ^ "Tokyo Idol Festival TIME TABLE (2012.08.04)" (in Japanese). 2012 TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  15. ^ さくら学院、2012年度卒業式は東京国際フォーラムで実施 (in Japanese). Natalie (Natasha, Inc.). 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  16. ^ さくら学院新生徒会長に堀内まり菜が就任、転入生2名加入 (in Japanese). Natalie (Natasha, Inc.). 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  17. ^ さくら学院が転入生6名迎え12名体制に、生徒会長は磯野莉音 [Sakura Gakuin welcomes 6 new members, bringing total to 12. Rinon Isono becomes Student Council President]. Natalie (in Japanese). Japan: Natasha,Inc. 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-05-07.
  18. ^ "[Sakura Gakuin] "Tabidachi no Hi ni" (On the departure day), the last single by the current members is to be released on February 15! We've heard best memories of 3 graduating members at Sakura Gakuin and new resolutions of every member. (2012-02-13)". Kawaii girl Japan. 2012-02-13. Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  19. ^ "Sakura Gakuin Seito Shōkai" さくら学院 – 生徒紹介 [Sakura Gakuin – School Roll]. Sakura Gakuin (in Japanese). Japan: Amuse Inc. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  20. ^ "さくら学院 - 卒業生". さくら学院 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-01.
    さくら学院 [Sakura Gakuin]. Amuse Official Website (in Japanese). Japan: Amuse Inc. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  21. ^ 「夢に向かって旅立ちます!」さくら学院、涙の卒業式 ['Embark Toward Your Dream!' Sakura Gakuin Tearful Graduation Ceremony]. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  22. ^ さくら学院・中元すず香が涙と笑顔の卒業 [Sakura Gakuin: Suzuka Nakamoto's tearful and smiley graduation] (in Japanese). Oricon. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  23. ^ さくら学院、12人の"絆"が見えた卒業式 [Sakura Gakuin: I watched the 12-member "Kizuna" [bond] graduation ceremony]. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  24. ^ 杉崎寧々 [Nene Sugisaki]. Sakura Gakuin (in Japanese). Japan: Amuse, Inc. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  25. ^ さくら学院、菊地最愛&水野由結ら涙の卒業式 [Sakura Gakuin: Moa Kikuchi, Yui Mizuno and others have tearful graduation ceremony] (in Japanese). Oricon. 2015-03-29. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  26. ^ Inc., Natasha (2016-03-28). "さくら学院、笑顔の花咲いた2015年度卒業式 - 音楽ナタリー". 音楽ナタリー (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  27. ^ さくら学院、中3倉島颯良&黒澤美澪奈が卒業 “父兄”に恩返し誓う [Sakura Gakuin: Junior High 3rd Years Sara Kurashima and Mirena Kurosawa Graduate] (in Japanese). Oricon. 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  28. ^ Inc., Natasha (2018-03-24). "【ライブレポート】さくら学院、笑顔と涙であふれた2017年度卒業式(写真19枚) - 音楽ナタリー". 音楽ナタリー (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  29. ^ "Babymetal on five fiery inspirations - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
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  31. ^ "【ライブレポート】さくら学院、笑顔と涙であふれた2017年度卒業式(写真19枚) - 音楽ナタリー". 音楽ナタリー (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2018-03-24. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  32. ^ LogicaChannel (2012-11-20). "さくら学院 科学部 ロヂカ学 #1". Retrieved 2018-08-03.

External links[edit]