Members (from left to right) Sara Kurashima, Tsugumi Aritomo, Yuzumi Shintani, and Maaya Asou in March 2017
|Genres||J-pop, Japanese idol|
|Years active||April 2010–present|
|Associated acts||Babymetal, Karen Girl's|
|Past members||See list of past members|
Sakura Gakuin (Japanese: さくら学院, lit. Cherry Blossom Academy) 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 ("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.
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. 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. Sakura Gakuin held its first solo event on November 28, 2010. 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, 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. 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; the song had its live debut on November 23.
2012: Formation of more sub-units
Sakura Gakuin's third single, "Tabidachi no Hi ni", was released on February 15, 2012, debuting at number 6 in the Oricon Daily Singles Chart for February 14. Three of the members, Ayami Muto, 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; 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
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.
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. 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 Sato, 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.
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. 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.
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, or specifically ninth grade, 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".
As of May 7, 2017, the group consists of the following twelve members.
|Name||Date of birth||Prefecture
|Aiko Yamaide (山出 愛子)||December 1, 2002||Kagoshima||7th Student Council President|
|Megumi Okada (岡田 愛)||April 4, 2002||Aichi||4th Talk Chairman|
|Momoko Okazaki (岡崎 百々子)||March 3, 2003||Kanagawa||Effort Chairman|
|Maaya Asou (麻生 真彩)||November 4, 2003||Kanagawa||2nd Education Chairman|
|Marin Hidaka (日髙 麻鈴)||December 1, 2003||Kanagawa|
|Yuzumi Shintani (新谷 ゆづみ)||July 20, 2003||Wakayama|
|Kano Fujihira (藤平 華乃)||August 28, 2004||Chiba|
|Soyoka Yoshida (吉田 爽葉香)||June 14, 2004||Osaka|
|Tsugumi Aritomo (有友 緒心)||September 7, 2004||Chiba|
|Momoe Mori (森 萌々穂)||December 8, 2004||Tokyo|
|Miku Tanaka (田中 美空)||June 18, 2006||Ōita|
|Miki Yagi (八木 美樹)||December 11, 2006||Osaka|
|Ayami Mutō (武藤 彩未)||Ibaraki||March 25, 2012||1st Student Council President
Former member of Karen Girl's
|Airi Matsui (松井 愛莉)||Fukushima|
|Ayaka Miyoshi (三吉 彩花)||Saitama|
|Suzuka Nakamoto (中元 すず香)||Hiroshima||March 31, 2013||2nd Student Council President
Former member of Karen Girl's
|Mariri Sugimoto (杉本 愛莉鈴)||Hiroshima||Graduated early in sixth grade|
|Marina Horiuchi (堀内 まり菜)||Tokyo||March 30, 2014||3rd Student Council President
1st Vice President
|Raura Iida (飯田 來麗)||Tokyo||Performance Chairman|
|Nene Sugisaki (杉﨑 寧々)||Ibaraki||Talk Chairman|
|Hinata Satō (佐藤 日向)||Kanagawa||Mood Chairman|
|Moa Kikuchi (菊地 最愛)||Aichi||March 29, 2015||4th Student Council President|
|Yui Mizuno (水野 由結)||Kanagawa||Production Chairman|
|Hana Taguchi (田口 華)||Nagano||Spirit Chairman|
|Yunano Notsu (野津 友那乃)||Tokyo||2nd Talk Chairman
Stage name Yunano Honjyo
|Rinon Isono (磯野 莉音)||Kanagawa||March 27, 2016||5th Student Council President|
|Saki Ooga (大賀 咲希)||Tokyo||Education Chairman|
|Saki Shirai (白井 沙樹)||Niigata||3rd Talk Chairman|
|Sara Kurashima (倉島 颯良)||Ibaraki||March 25, 2017||6th Student Council President|
|Mirena Kurosawa (黒澤 美澪奈)||Tokyo||MC Chairman|
The sub-units of the group are described as extra-curricular activities. The Heavy Music Club Babymetal performs music which combines J-pop and heavy metal. The Go Home Club Sleepiece performs live wearing pajamas; the dances include feather-like movements, with light choreography involving rolling over or stretching like a spring on stage. The sub-unit's songs often use a call and response with the audience to get people excited. The Science Club Kagaku Kyumei Kikoh Logica? aims to make people more interested in science; the music often uses scientific terms in the lyrics.
An italicized English name in the "club" column denotes that the group in question is presently known to be defunct.
|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[note 1]||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)|
|2015–2016||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 (blue)|
|2016||Maaya (pink), Kano (yellow), Mirena (blue)|
|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, Saki Shirai|
|2015||Saki Shirai, Soyoka|
- 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.
- Lit. "Scientific Investigation Organization Logica?". Romanization provided in table is that used in official sources. Hepburn romanization is "Kagaku Kyūmei Kikō Rojika?"
- Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message (2011)
- Sakura Gakuin 2011 Nendo: Friends (2012)
- Sakura Gakuin 2012 Nendo: My Generation (2013)
- Sakura Gakuin 2013 Nendo: Kizuna (2014)
- Sakura Gakuin 2014 Nendo: Kimi ni Todoke (2015)
- Sakura Gakuin 2015 Nendo: Kirameki no Kakera (2016)
- Sakura Gakuin 2016 Nendo: Yakusoku (2017)
- さくら学院 [Sakura Gakuin]. Universal Music Japan (in Japanese). Universal Music. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- 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 LLC
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 INC
- "さくら学院 バトン部 Twinklestars" (in Japanese). LD&K inc. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- Distefano, Alex (2014-05-14). "What the hell is Babymetal". Westword. Denver, Colorado, USA. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "「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.
- Yamamoto, Noboru (2013-02-13). "Hotwave" (Interview). Saitama: Television Saitama.
- ""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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Oricon CD Single Weekly Ranking – ORICON STYLE Ranking (2012-02-14)" (in Japanese). Oricon Inc. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
- "Tokyo Idol Festival TIME TABLE (2012.08.04)" (in Japanese). 2012 TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "[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.
- "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.
- さくら学院 [Sakura Gakuin]. Amuse Official Website (in Japanese). Japan: Amuse Inc. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- 「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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Sakura Gakuin Sotsugyōsei" さくら学院 – 卒業生 [Sakura Gakuin Graduates]. Sakura Gakuin (in Japanese). Japan: Amuse Inc. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- 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.
- "さくら学院 – 部活動紹介". さくら学院 (in Japanese). Amuse, Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
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