Sayaka Akimoto(秋元 才加,Akimoto Sayaka?, born July 26, 1988 in Chiba Prefecture), is a Japanese idol singer, dancer, actress, television host, and model. She is best known as being a member of the Japanese idol girl group AKB48, where she had served as the captain of Team K and has also been involved in the AKB48 sub-unit Diva.
This section requires expansion with: detail on how she joined the group, when was she made a captain of Team K, any major headlining singles, and brief mention of the controversy (or move controversy section here). (August 2013)
Sayaka Akimoto during her live performance at Japan Expo 2009 in Paris
On the last day of the Budoukan concert on August 23, 2009, during the team shuffle, Akimoto was officially made captain of Team K. Akimoto has been featured on every single by the group as she is the Captain of Team K making her a regular featured member for most of their A-side tracks until she was suddenly hit with a scandal in 2010. Since then she has only appeared on A-side tracks from a general election or a rock-paper-scissors tournament. On August 24, 2012, Yuko Oshima replaced her as the captain of Team K.
She is sometimes seen performing with the group during their live appearances on TV when the other featured members are on busy schedules.[vague] She has since been involved with sub-unit group Diva under Avex. Akimoto is also one of the most well-known members among the public,[peacock term] as she was a regular on the popular noon TV show Waratte Iitomo, and as well as appearing in many variety TV shows.
On April 7, 2013, Akimoto announced on her official blog that she would not be participating in AKB48's 2013 general election, and would be graduating from AKB48 to focus on her acting. Her graduation ceremony was held on August 22 at the Tokyo Dome, and her final stage performance was held on August 28 at the AKB48 Theater, and has been streamed live by Nico Nico Namahousou. Later in 2014, she reunited with her sub-unit group DiVa to release their final single "Discovery" and eventually disbanded.
On June 26, 2014, Akimoto was appointed as the Goodwill Philippine Tourism Ambassador in order to promote the Philippines as a tourist destination in Japan.
On October 13, 2010, Akimoto was caught up in an alleged scandal with director Oji Hiroi after Weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported that he visited her apartment on October 9, and stayed overnight. According to the magazine, Hiroi visited her place 30 minutes after she came back home. After Ayaka Umeda (another AKB48 member), who at the time was Akimoto's roommate, left the house the next day, Akimoto and Hiroi were seen coming out of the apartment, albeit separately. The magazine asserts that Hiroi visited Akimoto's apartment on the 7th as well. Hiroi was known as the creator of the hit games Tengai Makyo and Sakura Taisen, and also produced the musical AKB Kagekidan. The scandal lay in the fact that Sayaka starred in the AKB48 musical, leading many to speculate whether she landed the part in an honest manner.
Akimoto and Hiroi both denied anything happening between them during that night although Hiroi did admit that he stayed overnight and slept on a sofa and that they were only watching a movie together. Akimoto later on talked about this issue on the radio show AKB48 no all night Nippon which aired on October 16, in which she also apologized for creating a big issue and misunderstanding. She also announced that she would step down as the captain of Team K.
On February 27, 2011, it was announced that Akimoto was re-instated as the captain of Team K after she completed the Tokyo Marathon. Various members of AKB48 showed their support for her by watching the marathon in the studio and leaving kind messages to her.