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|Country Girls, March 2019|
|Former Names||Country Musume (カントリー娘。)|
|Origin||Hokkaido, Japan (1999-2000)|
Tokyo, Japan (2001-)
|Anniversary||April 27 (Country Musume formation)|
November 5 (Country Girls formation)
|Group Color||(July 2015-present) Orange|
|Labels||POTATO (1999-2000) |
zetima (2001-2008; 2015-)
|Agency||UP-FRONT PROMOTION (2015-present)|
|Associated Acts||Morning Musume, Coconuts Musume, Ice Creamusume, 7nin Matsuri, 10nin Matsuri, Happy♡7, Odoru♡11, Sexy 8, 11WATER, 7AIR, ROMANS, H.P. All Stars, Elegies, Hello! Project Akagumi, Ongaku Gatas, Elder Club, Pabo, Berryz Koubou, Hello Pro Kenshuusei, PEACEFUL, ANGERME, Juice=Juice, College Cosmos|
|Current Members||Satoda Mai (2002-present (Supervisor))|
Yamaki Risa (2014-)
Morito Chisaki (2014-)
Ozeki Mai (2014-)
Funaki Musubu (2015-)
|Former Members||Yanagihara Hiromi (1999)|
Kobayashi Azusa (1999)
Toda Rinne (1999-2002)
Kimura Asami (2000-2007)
Saito Miuna (2003-2007)
Shimamura Uta (2014-2015)
Inaba Manaka (2014-2016)
Tsugunaga Momoko (2014-2017)
Yanagawa Nanami (2015-2019)
Country Girls (カントリー・ガールズ), formerly known as Country Musume (カントリー娘。; Country Girls), is an all-female J-pop group within Hello! Project. The group, which debuted in 1999, was known for its concept of being a group of "country girls from Hokkaido". The group's activities became inactive when Satoda became the sole member in 2007. On November 5, 2014, the group was revived with six new members.
Country Girls's highest selling single is "Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou" with 51,579 copies sold, while their lowest selling single is "Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request" with 26,984 copies sold.
- Main article: Country Girls Members
- Yamaki Risa (山木梨沙; Lime) Concurrent College Cosmos member
- Morito Chisaki (森戸知沙希; Orange) Concurrent Morning Musume member
- Ozeki Mai (小関舞; Medium Blue)
- Funaki Musubu (船木結; Yellow) Concurrent ANGERME member
- Members Outside of Hello! Project
- Yanagihara Hiromi (柳原尋美) (Deceased: July 16, 1999)
- Kobayashi Azusa (小林梓) (Left: July 31, 1999; Leader 1999)
- Rinne (りんね) (Graduated in late 2002; Leader 2000-2002)
- Asami (あさみ) (Graduated: January 28, 2007; Leader 2002-2007)
- Miuna (みうな) (Graduated: January 28, 2007)
- Shimamura Uta (島村嬉唄; Daisy) (Left: June 12, 2015)
- Inaba Manaka (稲場愛香; Italian Red) (Graduated: August 4, 2016)
- Tsugunaga Momoko (嗣永桃子; Pink) (Graduated: June 30, 2017; Playing Manager 2014-2017)
- Yanagawa Nanami (梁川奈々美; Purple) (Graduated: March 11, 2019; Concurrent Juice=Juice member (2017-2019))
- From Morning Musume
Country Musume was created by Tanaka Yoshitake, a Japanese celebrity who is famous for his strong Aomori dialect and his love for farming. According to an interview, Tanaka had thought: “If Tsunku can produce Morning Musume, I will go head-to-head with my own version of an idol group, Country Musume.” Although the idea may seem a bit outrageous, it is a logical move for Tanaka, a nature and farming lover, to create an idol group who can live the principle of “half-farming, half-entertainment industry” by actually working and living at a farm.
Auditions started in March, and 1.230 candidates had signed up. The audition process was televised on Idol wo Sagase, and nine finalists were selected. Out of those nine, three winners were chosen: Yanagihara Hiromi (from Chiba), Kobayashi Azusa (from Tokyo) and Toda Rinne (from Hokkaido). The four-week-long audition cycle included not only voice and dance lessons, but a physical challenge: working on the Hanabatake farm in southern Hokkaidou. The purpose of the physical challenge was to determine how responsible the girls were and how well they worked as a team to fit the image of country girls from Hokkaido, as the auditions were open to girls from all of Japan, not just Hokkaido.
While working at the farm, the girls were given charge of different aspects of farm life; Yanagihara was put in charge of specifically cultivated agricultural products, Toda of raising and training animals, and Kobayashi of dairy farming (milking cows and making cheese). Following he trend of their sister group, Morning Musume, Kobayashi, as the oldest member, was given the title as leader of the group.
After working on their debut single, they were able to successfully record and complete the single and a promotional video. However, tragedy struck the group soon after their work seemed to be finished. On July 16th, 1999, Yanagihara died in an automobile accident, just days before their first single was set for release. Her family was given the decision to whether Country Musume should continue their work and release their single as scheduled, and they approved.
The girls made their indies debut (as planned), and on July 23rd they released their single, only for sale in the Hokkaido region. The plans for Country Musume was to continue as a duo, but just a month after the release of their debut single, Kobayashi decided to leave the group due to psychological stress.
After a two-month hiatus, Toda started performing as a solo act using the Country Musume name. She released the single Yukigeshiki, also considered an indies release only sold in the Hokkaido region. Toda said about this single: "'Yukigeshiki' gave me extra energy I needed to continue this career.I was able to take a break, to step aside and look back, and thought I was glad to make all these efforts."
Six months later, in April, Toda released Country Musume’s third single, Hokkaido Sha La La, her second single as the sole member of the group. This was also only sold in the Hokkaido region. Subsequent Auditions for additional members started in March of 2000 (a month before the release of "Hokkaido Sha La La"), but this audition was unsuccesful as no one passed the audition. The third audition was held in May, and Kimura Asami was the only one to pass. She was an employee at Hanabatake Bokujo (the farm Toda lived and worked at, which was owned and operated by the group’s producer), and was recommended by others to take part in the audition. She also impressed Rinne during a dog race competition.
In May, Asami was added to the group, Rinne became the leader and the duo released one more single. It was featured as part of the soundtrack for the movie "Country Girl Hokkaido Bokujo Monogatari" starring Country Musume and T&C Bomber.
A fourth audition was held in August, but no one passed this audition either. The fifth audition, held in December, was also unsuccesful.
By the end of the year, producer Tanaka decided to give Tsunku the producer’s position of the group, due to his difficulty in finding more members to join Rinne and Asami. According to Tsunku, he thought it would be a great experience for the girls (in Morning Musume) to have more exposures in different units, so he accepted the offer with pleasure. He decided to choose from the newer members, and his choice fell instinctivly (according to himself) on Ishikawa Rika. He also changed the name of the group to Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika.
Their popularity rose when Morning Musume's Ishikawa Rika, who is from Kanagawa, was lent into the group in April. Country Musume had their first charting single in Japan with the release of "Hajimete no Happy Birthday!". The trio released two more singles and an album.
A sixth audition was held in the fall of 2001, and one girl passed the audition: Satoda Mai (who had also auditioned for the 4th and 5th generation auditions for Morning Musume). All of these auditions were aired on Idol wo Sagase and Hello! Morning.
In December, Country Musume released their first album, Country Musume Daizenshuu ①.
The quartet released one single before Rinne, the only remaining original member, bid farewell on October 13th to pursue a career within UP-FRONT AGENCY as a stage actress, leaving Asami to become the new leader of the group. Afterwards, Asami, Ishikawa and Satoda released one more single.
On April 27, Country Musume had a major shift in its roster. Miuna, who is from Shizuoka, was recruited into the group. The group featured Morning Musume members and Hokkaido natives Konno Asami and Fujimoto Miki, replacing Ishikawa Rika. Under this new formation, named Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume), the quintet released three singles.
In 2004, Country Musume participated on the fifth edition of Hello! Project's Folk Songs series, which various Hello! Project artists sang covers of Japanese and Western folk songs.
On November 25th, 2006, it was announced that Asami and Miuna would be graduating from Country Musume and Hello! Project together on January 28, 2007, at the final performance of Hello! Project 2007 Winter ~Shuuketsu! 10th Anniversary~. Since Konno and Fujimoto had also graduated from Morning Musume, they were no longer “loaned” to Country Musume. Thus, Satoda Mai became the only member, and continued to work under the Country Musume name. This was the second time that Country Musume consisted of only one member.
In 2009, Satoda Mai graduated from Hello! Project. After graduating, Satoda continued to be the only member of Country Musume under UP-FRONT PROMOTION.
2014: Revival as Country GirlsEdit
On January 2, Tsunku revealed that he was considering restarting Country Musume.
On February 11, through a VTR message, Satoda Mai announced the Country Musume Shin Member Audition during the Hello! Project 2014 WINTER tour. However, Satoda would not participate in the group's activities for the possible new line-up, as she then resided outside of Japan.
On August 7, it was announced that the auditions had ended and no new members were chosen.
On November 5, it was announced that Country Musume was renamed Country Girls and 5 new girls were added: Inaba Manaka and Yamaki Risa from Hello Pro Kenshuusei and Morito Chisaki, Shimamura Uta and Ozeki Mai from the Morning Musume '14 (Golden) Audition!. Satoda Mai would be the group's general manager/supervisor. Tsugunaga Momoko would also become a member of the group as the playing manager after her group Berryz Koubou would go on indefinite hiatus in early 2015. The new unit would debut in the upcoming Hello! Project 2015 WINTER concert tour.
On March 25, Country Girls released their major debut single since re-joining Hello! Project, "Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou". It debuted in 4th place on Oricon's daily chart rankings and 3rd in the weekly chart rankings.
On August 5, Country Girls released their 2nd single "Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time".
On December 2, Country Girls performed at the UPDATE girls LIVE, alongside idol groups Lyrical School and Tokyo Performance Doll.
On February 9, during the 67th Sapporo Snow Festival, Country Girls performed a special live titled Country Girls Boogie Woogie LIVE. It took place in Odori Park in front of the HTB Snow Square.
On February 18, Country Girls performed a joint live with Idol Renaissance for DOUBLE COLOR session11 at Shinjuku BLAZE.
On February 28, Country Girls performed at the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2016.
On March 9, Country Girls released their 3rd single "Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~". It is Yanagawa Nanami and Funaki Musubu's debut single.
On April 28, it was announced that Inaba Manaka would be taking a break from Country Girls' activities due to asthma after consulting with her doctors. It was initially stated that she would be returning to Country Girls when she recovered from her illness, but on August 4 she graduated from the group.
On September 28, Country Girls released their 4th single "Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request".
During the Country Girls Live Tour 2016 Fuyu day concert at Shinjuku ReNY on November 5 and Country Girls' second anniversary, Tsugunaga Momoko announced that she would be graduating from Country Girls and Hello! Project as well as retiring from the entertainment industry on June 30, 2017 to work in education.
On March 12, Country Girls performed in the SKY PerfecTV! Ongakusai 2017.
On June 9, it was announced that Country Girls would be switching over to a new system after Tsugunaga's graduation. Morito Chisaki, Yanagawa Nanami, and Funaki Musubu would simultaneously join another Hello! Project group for their main activities, while Yamaki Risa and Ozeki Mai focused on their studies. Country Girls would mainly perform on school breaks and holidays due to the change. In addition to this, most of their singles from this point would be released in a digital format. Country Girls would continue to perform as a six-member line-up at the Tsugunaga Momoko Last Live ♥Arigatou Otomomochi♥, and as a five-member line-up throughout the Hello! Project 2017 SUMMER tour.
On June 26, through a special episode of Hello! Project Station, it was announced that Morito had joined Morning Musume '17, Yanagawa had joined Juice=Juice, and Funaki had joined ANGERME; all as concurrent members.
Tsugunaga Momoko graduated from the group and Hello! Project in the Tsugunaga Momoko Last Live ♥Arigatou Otomomochi♥ at an outdoor venue in Odaiba on June 30.
On August 11, they released the digital song "Konamaiki Girl".
On December 24, they released the digital single "Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You"".
Country Girls pre-released their first mini album Seasons on January 2 at the Hello! Project 20th Anniversary!! Hello! Project 2019 WINTER concert tour, and it was released for general sale on March 6.
On March 11, Yanagawa Nanami graduated from Hello! Project in the Juice=Juice & Country Girls LIVE ~Yanagawa Nanami Sotsugyou Special~ at Zepp Tokyo.
- Main article: Country Girls Discography
- Studio Albums
- Mini Albums
- [2019.03.06] Seasons
- Best Albums
- [2008.10.12] Country Musume Mega Best
- Other Albums
- [2017.06.21] Tsugunaga Momoko Idol 15 Shuunen Kinen Album ♡Arigatou Otomomochi♡ (all disc 2 tracks, disc 3 #12 Peanut Butter Jelly Love)
- As Country Musume
- [1999.07.23] Futari no Hokkaido (indies)
- [1999.11.30] Yukigeshiki (indies)
- [2000.04.27] Hokkaido Shalala (indies)
- [2000.07.31] Koi ga Suteki na Kisetsu (indies)
- As Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika (Morning Musume)
- [2001.04.18] Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (major debut)
- [2001.10.17] Koibito wa Kokoro no Ouendan
- [2002.04.17] Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~
- [2002.11.13] BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru
- As Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume)
- [2003.07.24] Uwaki na Honey Pie
- [2003.11.12] Senpai ~LOVE AGAIN~
- [2004.08.04] Shining Itoshiki Anata
- As Country Girls
- [2015.03.25] Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobou (2nd major debut)
- [2015.08.05] Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time
- [2016.03.09] Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu~
- [2016.09.28] Dou Datte Ii no / Namida no Request
- [2017.02.08] Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love
- Digital Singles
- [2017.12.24] Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You"
- Soundtrack Singles
- Collaboration Singles
- [2000.04.19] Garage Opening Theme Song Shuu Vol. 4 (ガレージ・オープニングソング集 Vol. 4)
- [2018.09.26] YEAH YEAH YEAH / Akogare no Stress-free / Hana, Takenawa no Toki (Hello Pro All Stars)
- [2015.12.16] Petit Best 16 (#11 Koi Dorobou, #12 Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne)
- [2016.12.14] Petit Best 17 (#5 Boogie Woogie Love, #13 Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!, #16 Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto ('15 5nin Ver.))
- [2017.12.13] Petit Best 18 (#6 Peanut Butter Jelly Love)
- [2018.12.12] Petit Best 19 (#9 Kaite wa Keshite no "I Love You", #10 Matenai After Five)
- Video Collections
- Fanclub DVDs
- [2007.02.10] Country Musume LIVE2006 ~Shibuya des Date~
- [2015.10.xx] SATOYAMA Taiken Tour Dai 3 Dan! Country Girls to Sugosu 1paku 2ka Bus Tour in Ashikaga
- [2017.02.11] SATOYAMA Taiken Tour Dai 4 Dan! Country Girls to Sugosu 1paku 2ka Bus Tour in Isumi
- [2017.03.xx] Country Girls FC Event 2016 ~Christmas♡Girls~
-  Morning Town
-  Morning Musume Shuen Musical Edokko Chuushingura (without Saito Miuna)
-  Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!
- [2015–] Hello! Project Station
- [2015–] Country Girls no Tadaima Radio Housouchuu!! (カントリー・ガールズの只今ラジオ放送中!!)
- [2015.09.19] Country Girls 2016 Calendar
- [2016.09.24] Country Girls 2017 Calendar
- [2017.10.05] Country Girls 2018 Calendar
- [2018.xx.xx] Country Girls 2019 Takujou Calendar (カントリー・ガールズ 2019卓上カレンダー)
- [2004.03.20] Minimoni & Country Musume ni Konno & Fujimoto (Morning Musume) in Hello Project 2004 Winter (ミニモニ。&カントリー娘。に紺野と藤本（モーニング娘。） in Hello! Project 2004 Winter) (with Minimoni)
- [2005.10.11] AYA MATSUURA & COUNTRY MUSUME. - Hello! Project 2005 Natsu no Kayou Show '05 Selection! Collection! (AYA MATSUURA & COUNTRY MUSUME。―Hello!Project2005夏の歌謡ショー 05’セレクション!コレクション!) (with Matsuura Aya)
- [2016.09.24] Country Girls 1st OFFICIAL BOOK
- Out of the active and former members of Country Musume, only Rinne, Asami, Satoda Mai and Inaba Manaka were from Hokkaido prefecture.
- From March 31, 2009 to November 4, 2014, the group was not an active part of Hello! Project. As of November 5, 2014, Country Girls (excluding Satoda Mai) were contracted to Hello! Project, but were not produced by Tsunku.
- Satoda Mai hopes that Country Girls will expand into the United States.
- Yamaki Risa and Inaba Manaka are the first Country Girls members to come from Hello Pro Kenshuusei.
- Morito Chisaki, Shimamura Uta, and Ozeki Mai are the first members to be born after the group's formation.
- During their time as Country Girls, the group had a sweets ban, where eating sweets three times would result in having to eat celery as punishment. The rule was repealed on a radio broadcast of Country Girls no Tadaima Radio Housouchuu!! the day before Yanagawa Nanami's graduation, with the thought that it was pointless to keep a rule that was not followed. After the broadcast, former playing manager Tsugunaga Momoko gifted a celery bouquet to the group after Yanagawa’s graduation concert, and the members carried out the celery punishment that same night with the exception of Yamaki Risa, who had already eaten celery on a trip with Ishida Ayumi to Sendai.
- As of June 31, 2017, they are the only group in Hello! Project to not have an active leader (excluding supervisor Satoda Mai). For interviews or press conferences with all the current group leaders, Yamaki Risa acts as Country Girls' representative as the oldest member.
- Country Girls Members
- Country Girls Discography
- Country Girls Concerts & Events
- Gallery:Country Girls
- Gallery:Country Girls Music Videos
- Country Girls Auditions
Total Sales CountEdit
|Year||Group Sales||Collaboration Sales||Total Sales|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "『カントリー娘。』改め『カントリー・ガールズ』について" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2014-11-05. (archived)
- ↑ While Satoda Mai is still a member, she will not be participating in any group activities.
- ↑ http://www.helloproject.com/newslist/cuntry_0611250100.html
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "カントリー娘。「カントリー・ガールズ」に改名で再始動！ “ももち”も加入" (in Japanese). AliveM.net. 2014-11-05.
- ↑ Satoda Mai (Translator: Skoban). "A report！ (Satoda Mai)." Blog!Project. 2014-11-05.
- ↑ "forTUNE music PRESENTS スペシャルアイドルライブイベント『forTUNE fes vol.0』" (in Japanese). forTUNE music. [Archived]
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズ 島村嬉唄に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-06-12.
- ↑ "The Former Members of Morning Musume Gather for a Live Performance After One Year!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-06-20.
- ↑ "【イベントレポート】カントリー・ガールズに新メンバー船木結、梁川奈々美ら2名加入" (in Japanese). BARKS. 2015-11-05.
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズ 新メンバー加入決定！" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-11-05.
- ↑ "UNBELIEVABLE LINEUP! Country Girls, Tokyo Performance Doll, lyrical School Gather in Shibuya!". Tokyo Girls' Update. 2015-11-30.
- ↑ "第67回さっぽろ雪まつり「カントリー・ガールズ ブギウギLIVE」開催！ (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-02-06.
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズ出演「DOUBLE COLOR session11」開催！" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2015-12-16.
- ↑ "スカパー！音楽祭2016" (in Japanese) SKY PerfecTV! Official Site. 2016-01-19.
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズ 稲場愛香に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-04-28.
- ↑ "嗣永桃子に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2016-11-05.
- ↑ "「スカパー！ 音楽祭2017」にモーニング娘。'17、カントリー・ガールズの出演決定！!" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2017-03-12.
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズの今後の活動について" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2017-06-10.
- ↑ "[EN] Concerning the future activities of Country Girls." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-10.
- ↑ "ハロ！ステ号外 ～ハロー！プロジェクト2017新体制決定スペシャル～" (in Japanese). Hello! Project Station (via YouTube). 2017-06-26.
- ↑ "[EN] Concerning the new organization in Hello! Project." UP-FRONT LINK. 2017-06-26.
- ↑ "ももち、“らしさ”満点でアイドル引退 ももち結びも一夜限り復活" (in Japanese). ORICON NEWS. 2017-06-30.
- ↑ "アプカミ ミュージックデリバリー カントリー・ガールズ 配信曲紹介" (in Japanese). Upcoming (via YouTube). 2018-08-23.
- ↑ "梁川奈々美 卒業に関するお知らせ" (in Japanese). Hello! Project. 2018-11-02.
- ↑ Yanagawa Nanami. "ラジオ&嬉しいお知らせ！ 梁川奈々美" (in Japanese). Country Girls Offical Blog. 2018-12-13.
- ↑ Ozeki Mai. "12月13日 ミニアルバム！ 小関舞" (in Japanese). Country Girls Offical Blog. 2018-12-13.
- ↑ "Juice=Juice＆カントリー・ガールズ、東西で梁川奈々美ラストライブ" (in Japanese). natalie. 2018-12-11.
- ↑ "梁川奈々美、Juice=Juice＆カントリー・ガールズから卒業！「これからも、私は大丈夫です！」" (in Japanese). Pop'n'roll. 2019-03-11.
- ↑ "里田まいの“采配”は吉と出るか凶と出るか？" (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports Web. 2014-11-06.
- ↑ Yamaki Risa. "優しさのマヨネーズ/山木梨沙" (in Japanese). Country Girls Offical Blog. 2019-03-18.
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu_Uwz9gh_3/
- ↑ "カントリー・ガールズの山木梨沙がメンバー愛を語る！【ハロプロ誕生20周年記念連載】" (in Japanese). NewsWalker. 2017-12-14.
- ↑ "2018ハロプロリーダー座談会(1) マジメなお話がお弁当トークに!? 【ハロプロ誕生20周年記念連載】" (in Japanese). NewsWalker. 2018-01-01.
External Links Edit
- Country Girls Official Profile
- Country Girls Official YouTube Channel
- Country Girls Official Blog
- Social Media Pages: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram
- Wikipedia: English, Japanese, German, French, Korean, Malay, Dutch (Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto), Romanian, Chinese
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