By Emily Senger - Friday, February 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
Singer demoted for breaking no-dating rule
A widely popular Japanese pop music star has issued a tearful apology and shaved her head in penance after photos of her leaving the home of a 19-year-old boy band member were published in a tabloid magazine.
While leaving your boyfriend’s place might not seem like such a big deal, it may have spelled the end of a career for Minami Minegishi, who is a member of the all-female group AKB48, which does not allow its members to date.
The group has 90 members who audition through a Japanese-idol type process. Members are also moved in and out of the public eye, depending on popularity, explains an Agence France-Presse report. It also cashes in on promoting its members–who are in their teens and early 20s–as both innocent and sexy, hence the no dating rule.
After the picture of Minegishi was published in the tabloid Shukan Bunshun, the singer appeared in a tearful Youtube apology. She wore a white shirt had shaved off her signature long black hair. Continue…
By Colin Campbell - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM - 0 Comments
Selling government bonds just got a whole lot more glamourous
Selling government bonds is hardly a glitz and glamour business, especially in this era of ultra-low interest rates and weak demand in most countries. Japan, one of the developed world’s more indebted nations, has come up with a solution in its bid to help sell $34 billion in bonds this year.
It is enlisting its country’s hottest pop stars, all 90 or so members of the teen girl band AKB48. The group, whose name is derived from a district in Tokyo called Akihabara, will reportedly pitch Japanese reconstruction bonds—money raised will go to areas damaged by the tsunami. The group, with its signature short skirts and knee-high socks, may raise more eyebrows than actual bond sales, but there is no doubting AKB48 is a hot commodity, with broader appeal than just a female teen fan base.
The band has already appeared in a number of commercials pitching everything from candy to cellphones and has racked up $200 million in music sales across Asia.