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Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩) is a Japanese singer, writer, TV personality and fashion designer. She is a former idol under Hello! Project as a founding member of Morning Musume. She was also a member of the Morning Musume sub-group Tanpopo. She graduated from Hello! Project in January 2000. Later, in 2018, she was part of the reunion group Morning Musume 20th.


Ishiguro Aya, 2019

Ishiguro Aya, 2014

Ishiguro Aya, 2013

Ishiguro Aya, March 2012

Ishiguro Aya, March 2011

Ishiguro Aya, March 2010

Ishiguro Aya, March 2009

Ishiguro Aya, October 2008

Ishiguro Aya, 1999

Ishiguro Aya, 1998

Ishiguro Aya, 1997

Early life[]

Ishiguro graduated from Sapporo Ichiritsu High School, but dropped out of college. She studied fashion, but wanted to pursue activities in entertainment.


On May 11, 1996 Ishiguro participated in the ASAYAN audition Komu-ro Garçons (ASAYAN Idol Group Audition 96) singing SUPER MONKEY'S 4 "DANCING JUNK" which qualified her to proceed to the studio examination in Tokyo. After the studio examination, she didn't pass and was disqualified.


On June 21, 1997, Ishiguro participated in an audition held in Sapporo called Sharam Q Josei Rock Vocalist Audition. Staff recognized her from another audition the previous year, and was surprised to see she had lost 7 kg.

On July 29, Ishiguro (along with 10 other people) had made it to the second stage of the audition, and was sent to training camp to practice her singing and dancing skills.

On July 31, they performed on stage in front of an audience, dancing as a group doing a choreography they had been practicing.

On August 3, Ishiguro had made it to the final stage and got to sing on stage in the ASAYAN studio. She lost to Heike Michiyo.

On August 20, Ishiguro, along with Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, and Fukuda Asuka, had been invited back to the ASAYAN studio. They had a meeting with Sharam Q and a producer asking them if they wanted to debut as a group on the condition of selling 50.000 copies of a single within five days.

On September 7, Tsunku named the group Morning Musume, and they started voice training, shoot the CD cover for their indies single Ai no Tane, recorded the song, recorded and released the PV before embarking on the task in November.The quintet accomplished that task on November 30, after just 4 days.[1][2]

In December, Morning Musume started recording three songs, where one of them would be released as their debut single in January.


On January 28, 1998, Morning Musume released their major debut single, "Morning Coffee".

On October 18th, 1998, ASAYAN aired an episode where Tsunku announced that he wanted to create a new unit with Ishiguro, Iida Kaori and Yaguchi Mari. THe unit was named Tanpopo, a sub-group of Morning Musume. Tanpopo's songs were slower and more mature than the majority of Morning Musume's, which allowed Ishiguro's voice to shine through.

On November 5, 1998, Ishiguro was featured as a guest artist for the track "Platon no Nageki" on Stardust Revue’s new album, Moody Blues. The song is featured in the imaginary musical, "Waga Taikutsu Na Jinsei" (My Mundane Life). The song is composed like an upbeat musical, and Ishiguro is featured as "laugh track", as well as the background chorus.[3]


On December 5, Ishiguro announcing her graduation from Hello! Project, Morning Musume and Tanpopo after seven singles and three albums with Morning Musume, and four singles and one album with Tanpopo. Tsunku, Wada, the members of Morning Musume and Ishiguro talk about her upcoming graduation, and Ishiguro gives us her final message. They said that now that LOVE Machine was a million hit, Ishiguro had achieved her dream as a singer, and now wants to follow her dream of becoming a clothing designer.[4]


On January 7, 2000, Ishiguro graduated during the Hello! Project Happy New Year 2000 concert at Osaka Kosei Nenkin Kaikan.


After graduation, Ishiguro concentrated on housewife business, but in August 2003 she returned to the entertainment world by publishing an essay on marriage, childbirth and child care. She appeared on TV programs as a talent and talked about her own childcare experience, mainly in women's magazines and children's magazines, and gained much sympathy from mothers of the same generation. While being a mother and homemaker (the Yamadas had two more children in the years that followed), Ishiguro also dabbled in various careers —ranging from fashion designer to writer (she has written a book about her transition from being an idol to a mother) to TV show host (where she interviewed celebrity wives). She also re-united with the new Tanpopo briefly to sing the Grand Symphonic version of the song "Tanpopo."

In November 2004, Ishiguro's released a book called "Kosodate Project."


On February 23, 2012, it was announced that she would make a guest appearance at Dream Morning Musume's last live at Nippon Bukodan, with Tsuji Nozomi, after 12 years.

On March 10th 2012, Dream Morning Musume held their ‘First chapter final’ live concert titled “Dream Morning Musume Special LIVE 2012 Nippon Budokan~Dai 1 Shou Shuumaku ‘Yuusha tachi, Shuugou seyo’~” at Nippon Budokan. Current Morning Musume members, and OG members Ishiguro Aya and Tsuji Nozomi made their guest appearance. Moreover, Goto Maki, who had been on indefinite hiatus since the end of 2011, also made a surprise appearance. For this day’s live, a total of 24 former and current Morning Musume members got together on the stage.

In 2012, she performed on stage at a Hello! Project concert as part of Tanpopo, and in 2013 at a Hello! Project concert called Hello! Project Countdown 2013 ~Hello & Good Bye~ along with several other graduated members.

In May 2016, Ishiguro appeared on a segment of TV Tokyo's Yoso de Iwan to Itei ~Koko Dake no Hanashi ga Kikeru Himitsu Ryoutei~ (ヨソで言わんとい亭~ココだけの話が聞ける㊙料亭~, Tell It to Yoso ~You Can Only Hear These Stories at the Secret Restaurant~) and revealed the low pay earned by the original members of Morning Musume. According to Ishiguro, the original members earned a monthly salary of 200,000 yen (approx. $2,000 US), which then came down to 120,000 yen (approx. $1,200 US) after the cost of insurance and agency fees. However, she would revise this statement later in the same month, and noted that that agency fees also paid for many of her living expenses during her time as a Morning Musume member. She apologized for going public with her remarks.[5]

In 2017, on November 3, a remake of Morning Musume's demo single, titled "Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.)", was digitally released exactly 20 years after the original. The remake is sung by the original five members and Morning Musume '17 as a special anniversary unit named Morning Musume 20th.[90]

On February 12, 2018, TV Tokyo aired the Morning Musume 20 Shuunen Kinen Special starring 25 current and former members of Morning Musume: all thirteen Morning Musume '18 members and OG members Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Ishiguro Aya, Abe Natsumi, Fukuda Asuka, Yaguchi Mari, Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Tsuji Nozomi, Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, and Michishige Sayumi. The show included a talk corner about group history, a look back at Hello! Morning, and several studio performances.[106]

On December 26, 2020, Aya announced on her blog that her husband Shinya had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing a poor physical condition. Aya has tested negative and her children are currently awaiting a test result."[6]


On July 2, Ishiguro appeared alongside Yasuda Kei and Iida Kaori on TBS 爆笑!ターンテーブル2時間SP (Bakushou! Turntable 2-jikan SP). [7]

Personal Life[]

In May 2000, Ishiguro married Shinya Yamada from J-Rock band LUNA SEA and changed her name to Aya Yamada (山田 亜弥). She gave birth to their first daughter, Rimu (玲夢) in November, 2000.

Her second daughter was born in September 2002.

Her son was born in August 2004.


  • Birth/Stage Name: Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩)
  • Legal Name: Yamada Aya (山田亜弥)
  • Nickname: Ayappe (あやっぺ)
  • Family: Husband/Rock Singer Yamada Shinya, 2 Daughters Rimu, Sona and 1 son, Youta
  • Date Married: May 2000
  • Birthdate: May 12, 1978 (1978-05-12) (age 44)
  • Birthplace: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
  • Blood Type: A
  • Height: 165 cm (5 ft 4.9 in)?
  • Western Zodiac: Taurus.svg Taurus
  • Eastern Zodiac: Horse.png Horse
  • Hello! Project Status:
    • 1997-09-07: Member
    • 1997-09-07: Morning Musume Member
    • 2000-01-07: Graduated
  • UP-FRONT GROUP Status:
  • Years in Morning Musume: 3 Years
  • Hello! Project Groups:

  • Assets: E.T. mimicry, nose piercing
  • Vices: Smoking

  • Discography[]

    Discography Participated In[]

    Morning Musume

    Morning Musume 20th

    Morning Musume

    Morning Musume
    Morning Musume 20th



    • [1998] Morning Cop ~Daite HOLD ON ME!~ (モーニング刑事。~抱いてHOLD ON ME!~)
    • [2004] Sore Ike! Anpanman: Tsukiko to Shiratama ~Tokimeki Dancing~ (それいけ!アンパンマン つきことしらたま〜ときめきダンシング〜) (voice role, as Tsukiko-chan)
    • [2007.10.06] Arena Romance (アリーナロマンス)

    TV Shows[]

    • [2000] Friday Night wa Onegai! Morning (フライデーナイトはお願い!モーニング)
    • [2004.03-2004.09] Hapihiru! (はぴひる!)
    • [2008.08-2013.03] Gohan no Gakkou (ごはんの学校)
    • [2009] Ishiguro Aya Mama no Oishii wa Tanoshii ~U Kids 2009~ (石黒彩ママの美味しいは楽しい〜Uキッズ2009〜)
    • [2011.04-2016.03] Arigato! (ありがとッ!)

    Music Videos[]

    • [2012] Stardust Revue - "Crying"
    • [2017] Gatchankobaraeti “Sake Mentally Ikihaji Joujou” Sai 8-dan (ガッチャンコバラエティ『酒メンタリー 生き恥上々』第8弾)


    • [2011.04-2012.03] Aneki to Keiko no Healthy Cooking (アネキと慶子のヘルシークッキング)
    • [2012-] Anetama! (あねたま!)

    Essay Books[]

    • [2003.09.01] Musume. Kara Mama e Ishiguro Aya no LOVE 2 Kosodate Reboryuushon (娘。からママへ―石黒彩のLOVE2子育てレボリューション)
    • [2004.11.12] Kosodate Project! (子育てプロジェクト!)
    • [2007.10.30] Ishiguro Aya no 3Biki no Kobuta Shokudou (石黒彩の3びきのこぶた食堂)


    • During her years in Morning Musume, Ishiguro was given mostly harmony lines due to her low singing voice, which was used to support the voices of others.
    • She changed her name to "Yamada Aya" after she was married, and the character for "Aya" (彩) was later changed to two different characters (亜弥).
    • After losing the Sharam Q Josei Rock Vocalist Audition in 1997, Ishiguro had immediately begun to look for dance classes, reflecting on the inability to dance at the training camp. She had also joined "Teen's Music Festival" (a music event that anyone can participate for teens. There is a chance of a major debut for the main contestant who has won the qualifiers held nationwide), as well as writing songs. She had been running every day because of the regret of the audition.
    • Contrary to popular rumor, Aya was not pregnant when she left Morning Musume. She officially resigned in December of 1999, with her last public performance with the group in January of 2000. She was, however, pregnant when she married her boyfriend, the former drummer of Luna Sea Yamada Shinya. Her daughter was born in November almost a full year after she announced that she was leaving the group.
    • She is good at mimicking E.T.
    • During her time in Morning Musume, she had her nose pierced.
    • Her daughters' names are Rimu (玲夢) and Sona (宙奈). Her son's name is Youta (耀太).
    • She is the first former Morning Musume member to get married.
    • On March 10, 2012 She returned to the stage for the 1st time in 12 years.
    • She is the second former Morning Musume member to graduate from both Morning Musume and Hello! Project. The first being Fukuda Asuka

    Honorary Titles[]

    Honorary Titles
    Preceded by
    Oldest Member of Tanpopo
    1998 – 1999
    Succeeded by
    Iida Kaori


    1. "モーニング娘。" (in Japanese). ASAYAN. 1997-09-14.
    2. "モーニング娘。'14『結成17年目★再評価のワケとは? 2014年はさらなる“勝負”へ』" (in Japanese). ORICON NEWS. 2014-01-29.
    3. From fan club magazine Hello! Vol.3
    4. [1]今日 OAの ASAYANで発表があって、石黒彩脱退とのこと。 「LOVEマシーン」がミリオンヒットとなり、これで歌手としての夢は達成できたということで、次は服飾デザイナーの夢を追いたいんだそうだ。 TVの前で、ふざけるな~っ!! てムカついてるやつはいっぱいいるんだろうなぁ(苦笑)
    5. 元モー娘。石黒彩、番組での発言に謝罪「低収入ではありませんでした」 (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2016-05-31.
    6. ご報告 (in Japanese). ameblo. 2020-12-26.
    7. https://www.instagram.com/p/CQx3RbgHKY2/

    External Links[]