Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩), legal name Yamada Aya (山田亜弥), 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, which she also became the second-ever leader of. She was also a member of the Morning Musume sub-group Tanpopo.

Later, she was also a part of the reunion group Morning Musume 20th



Ishiguro Aya, 2014

Tumblr mbykdpeBeG1rrshrdo1 500

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. In 1996, she pariticpated in the ASAYAN audition Komu-ro Garçons (ASAYAN Idol Group Audition 96) , but didn't pass.


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.

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. However, in late 1998 Tsunku decided to create Tanpopo, a sub-group of Morning Musume that included Ishiguro, Iida Kaori and 2nd generation member Yaguchi Mari. Tanpopo's songs were slower and more mature than the majority of Morning Musume's, which allowed Ishiguro's voice to shine through.

In late 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 she is featured as "laugh track", as well as the background chorus.[3]

After seven singles and three albums with Morning Musume (and four singles and one album with Tanpopo), On the December 5th episode of ASAYAN, it was announced Ishiguro had left both groups and Hello! Project. 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]


In 2001, she actually returned to Hello! Project, but only to record a re-make of Tanpopo’s song Tanpopo. The group was to release their second album, and Tsunku had made a rearrangement to the song and needed to record new vocals. The song ended up with the title "Tanpopo -Grand Symphonic version-".

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 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]

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.


  • Birth 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 42)
  • Birthplace: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
  • Blood Type: A
  • Height: 165cm
  • Western Zodiac: Taurus
  • Eastern Zodiac: 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
  • Assets: E.T. mimicry, nose piercing
  • Vices: Smoking
  • Hello! Project Groups:
  • Subgroups:


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)

TV Shows

  • [2000] Morning Musume no Heso (モーニング娘。のへそ)
  • [2000] Friday Night wa Onegai! Morning (フライデーナイトはお願い!モーニング)
  • [2000-2007] Hello! Morning (ハロー!モーニング)
  • [2004] Hapihiru! (はぴひる!)
  • [2008-2013] Gohan no Gakkou (ごはんの学校)
  • [2011-] Arigato! (ありがとッ!)


  • [2011-2012] 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.??] Musume. Kara Mama he 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 3 Biki no Kobuta Shokudou (石黒彩の3びきのこぶた食堂)


  • 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

See Also

Honorary Titles

Honorary Titles

Preceded by

Oldest Member of Tanpopo

Succeeded by
Iida Kaori

Yamada Family Tree



  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)

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