Kobushi Factory (こぶしファクトリー; Magnolia Factory) was a Japanese pop group under Hello! Project, originally formed with eight members from Hello Pro Kenshuusei in early January 2015. Their sister group is Tsubaki Factory.
Kobushi Factory's highest selling single is "Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta / Nen ni wa Nen (Nen'iri Ver.)" with 47,866 copies sold while their lowest selling major label single is "Seishun no Hana / Start Line" with 21,835 copies sold.
After becoming a 5-member group, Kobushi Factory has performed a capella versions of their songs with Hamaura Ayano as the lead vocalist, Hirose Ayaka as the top chorus, Wada Sakurako as the second chorus, Nomura Minami as the bass vocalist, and Inoue Rei as voice percussion.
On March 30, 2020, Kobushi Factory disbanded with a concert at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
- Main article: Kobushi Factory/Members
2015: Formation and Major Debut
On January 2, during the Hello! Project 2015 WINTER concert, a new Hello! Project unit consisting of Hello Pro Kenshuusei members Fujii Rio, Hirose Ayaka, Nomura Minami, Ogawa Rena, Hamaura Ayano, Taguchi Natsumi, Wada Sakurako and Inoue Rei was announced. The group name was originally supposed to be announced in January, however it was postponed until February 25.
On March 8, during Hello Pro Kenshuusei Happyoukai 2015 ~3gatsu no Nama Tamago Show!~, Hirose Ayaka was announced leader of Kobushi Factory, while Fujii Rio was announced sub-leader of the group.
From March 26 to April 5, Kobushi Factory starred in the Engeki Joshibu musical Week End Survivor alongside Sudo Maasa. Kobushi Factory released their first DVD single, "Nen ni wa Nen / Survivor," on March 26, 2015 at the musical venue. "Survivor" is the tie-in song to the musical.
On May 16, Kobushi Factory performed a joint live with Country Girls and Tsubaki Factory called Hello! Project New Fes! 2015. The second joint live with Tsubaki Factory, Hello! Project New Fes! II was held on September 23 and September 26 later in the year.
On June 14, it was announced that Kobushi Factory would release their major debut single "Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta / Nen ni wa Nen (Nen'iri Ver.)" on September 2.
On September 28, Kobushi Factory performed at the Honkaku Ongaku Joshi-sai -Sono Kyuu-.
From November 6 to January 30, 2015, Kobushi Factory's first concert tour Kobushi Factory Live Tour 2015 ~ The First Ring! ~ took place. The day before the first concert, they officially left Hello Pro Kenshuusei.
On November 16, Kobushi Factory performed at the Honkaku Ongaku Joshi-sai -Sono Juuichi-, making their second appearance at the live idol event.
On November 20, it was announced Kobushi Factory won a Newcomer Award at the 57th Japan Record Awards and were nominated for the Best Newcomer Award, which they successfully won during the December 30 broadcast.
On February 17, Kobushi Factory released their 2nd single "Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii."
On February 29, Kobushi Factory performed at the Honkaku Ongaku Joshi-sai -Sono Juushi-, making their third appearance at the live idol event. On March 12, they performed at the PINK!SS & Kopinks! Last Live 2016 MOMENT memories/memorize, along with Juice=Juice, and were guests at the TSURI×BIT Presents Ore Toku Dayo! Zennin Shugo! ~Spring Special~ live on March 14.
On July 27, they released their third single "Samba! Kobushi Janeiro / Bacchikoi Seishun! / Ora wa Ninkimono". The third A-side "Ora wa Ninkimono" is a cover of Crayon Shin-chan's third opening theme and was the requirement song for the Aidorisai 2016 ~Idol Matsuri~ contest, which Kobushi Factory were the official supporters of.
On September 26, it was announced that Kobushi Factory would host a regular corner on the multi-network music info program Uta-navi! titled "Kobushi Factory no Dosukoi! Teikiben." The corner began in October, with members taking turns as hosts.
From February 23 to March 4, Kobushi Factory starred in the musical JK Ninja Girls. It was also announced that the group would also be starring in their first movie, an adaptation of the musical, which was theatrically released on July 17.
On June 14, they released their 4th single "Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa / Ee ja nai ka Ninja nai ka". "Ee ja nai ka Ninja nai ka" was the theme song for the JK Ninja Girls movie.
On July 6, an update on the Hello! Project website stated that Fujii Rio's contract with UP-FRONT PROMOTION had been terminated due to her lack of compliance in the rules. On July 13, it was announced that Ogawa Rena would be taking a break from the group due to anxiety neurosis.
On July 15, Kobushi Factory appeared without Ogawa Rena on TBS's Ongaku no Hi 2017 in a pre-recorded performance. They were part of a special Hello! Project unit with Morning Musume '17 and a selection of members from ANGERME and Tsubaki Factory.
On September 6, after being on hiatus since July, it was announced that Ogawa Rena had decided to graduate from Kobushi Factory and Hello! Project without a ceremony.
On December 6, an update on the Hello! Project website stated that Taguchi Natsumi's contract with UP-FRONT PROMOTION had been terminated due to her lack of self-consciousness and responsibility as a member of Kobushi Factory.
On March 28, Kobushi Factory released their 5th single "Kore Kara da! / Ashita Tenki ni Naare".
On April 19, their first radio show, titled Kobushi Factory no Yozora de Aimashou, began airing on FM-FUJI.
On July 17, Kobushi Factory and Tsubaki Factory digitally released the cover single "Hyokkori Hyoutanjima", which was used as the official compulsory song for the Aidorusai 2018 ~Idol Matsuri~ contest.
On August 3, Kobushi Factory performed at TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2018 on the SMILE GARDEN stage in the day and the HOT STAGE in the evening.
On August 8, Kobushi Factory released their 6th single "Kitto Watashi wa / Naseba Naru".
On April 24, Kobushi Factory released their 7th single "Oh No Ounou / Haru Urara".
During the fourth episode of FC Machida Zelvia's AbemaTV program FC Machida Zelvia wo Tsukurou ~Zel Tsuku~ on June 20, it was announced that Kobushi Factory would record a 30th anniversary cheer song for the team. Prior to the announcement, Nomura Minami and Inoue Rei had been regulars on the show since it began in March and part of the song had already been played at the start of their first hall concerts. In order for the lyrics to be written, Kobushi Factory asked fans to reply to a Twitter post with keywords that could be used.
Kobushi Factory was invited to perform as guests at Meiji Yasuda Life J2 League Section 38 "TERADA 80th Anniversary Match Day" during FC Machida Zelvia vs. FC Gifu match on October 27.
On January 8, it was announced that Kobushi Factory would disband on March 30, 2020 with a concert at Tokyo Dome City Hall. Group leader Hirose Ayaka had been in discussions with the agency about her graduation since early 2019, and after discussions with the group, the other members except Inoue Rei also expressed their desire to pursue a new path. It was eventually decided that the group would disband. Afterwards, Inoue would continue to be a member of Hello! Project, while Wada Sakurako would retire from the entertainment industry. The remaining members would continue to be active after graduating from Hello! Project, with Hirose attending university to study music and songwriting, Nomura Minami becoming a theater actress, and Hamaura Ayano starting activities as a model and actress.
On February 9, the group performed at MX IDOL FESTIVAL Vol.15 at Toyosu PIT.
On February 22 and 23, they held their last fanclub bus tour, titled Kobushi Factory Fanclub Tour "Smile For You !!!!!" in Shizuoka.
On March 25, they released their first and only video collection, the Kobushi Ongaku Eizou Shuu.
On March 29, BS SKY PerfecTV! aired a two-hour television special about the group titled Kobushi Factory Tokuban ~Minna de Sakaseta Seishun no Hana~.
On March 30, the members graduated from the group and, except for Inoue Rei, also from Hello! Project at the end of the Kobushi Factory Live 2020 ~The Final Ring!~, and the group has officially disbanded.
Group Name Origin
The word kobushi has multiple meanings. In this case it is supposed to represent both the coming of spring and grace of the kobushi magnolia (辛夷), as well as the strength of a fist (拳). Factory follows a similar naming pattern as earlier 8-member group Berryz Koubou, koubou (工房) meaning workshop.
A Capella and Voice Percussion
Kobushi Factory, in addition to being an idol group, have performed as an a capella group. In the midst of Kobushi Factory's line-up changes in 2017, member Inoue Rei began learning voice percussion, and her first lesson was included on the September 27, 2017 episode of Hello! Project Station in the "Documentary of Hello! Project (DOHP)" corner. From there, the other five members of Kobushi Factory had a capella lessons that were also featured on the web show, and the whole group began learning to cover "Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsumoushin" a capella in preparation for the Kobushi Factory Live Tour 2017 Aki ~Songs For You~.
After Taguchi Natsumi's resignation from the group, they continued learning voice percussion and a capella, and performing a capella versions of their songs at concerts and events. Kobushi Factory released a video of the a capella version of "Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsumoushin" for OMAKE CHANNEL on September 10, 2018. Additional a capella covers were later released on the channel, and studio versions were recorded for their second album Kobushi Dai Ni Maku.
- Hirose Ayaka – Top Chorus
- Nomura Minami – Bass Vocalist
- Hamaura Ayano – Lead Vocalist
- Wada Sakurako – Second Chorus
- Inoue Rei – Voice Percussion
- Taguchi Natsumi – Chorus
- Main article: Kobushi Factory/Discography
- Studio Albums
- Soundtrack Albums
- Indies Singles
- [2015.03.26] Nen ni wa Nen / Survivor (DVD Single)
- Major Singles
- [2015.09.02] Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta / Nen ni wa Nen (Nen'iri Ver.)
- [2016.02.17] Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsumoushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
- [2016.07.27] Samba! Kobushi Janeiro / Bacchikoi Seishun! / Ora wa Ninkimono
- [2017.06.14] Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa / Ee ja nai ka Ninja nai ka
- [2018.03.28] Kore Kara da! / Ashita Tenki ni Naare
- [2018.08.08] Kitto Watashi wa / Naseba Naru
- [2019.04.24] Oh No Ounou / Haru Urara
- [2020.03.04] Seishun no Hana / Start Line
- Collaboration Singles
- [2018.07.17] Hyokkori Hyoutanjima (Kobushi Factory & Tsubaki Factory) (Digital Single)
- [2018.09.26] YEAH YEAH YEAH / Akogare no Stress-free / Hana, Takenawa no Toki (Hello Pro All Stars)
- Compilation Albums
- [2015.12.16] Petit Best 16 (#13 Nen ni wa Nen, #14 Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan, #15 Survivor)
- [2016.12.14] Petit Best 17 (#6 Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsumoushin)
- [2017.12.13] Petit Best 18 (#7 Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa)
- [2018.12.12] Petit Best 19 (#11 Ashita Tenki ni Naare, #12 Kitto Watashi wa, #15 Hyokkori Hyoutanjima - with Tsubaki Factory)
- [2020.01.08] Petit Best 20 2020 (Disc 1 #9 Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa; Disc 3 #2 Keseyashinai Kimochi)
- Video Collections
- [2020.03.25] Kobushi Ongaku Eizou Shuu
- [2018.03.07] Eiga "JK Ninja Girls"
- Concert & Event Video Releases
- Main article: Kobushi Factory/Concerts & Events
- Musical Video Releases
- Main article: Kobushi Factory#Theater
- DVD Magazines
- Main article: :Category:Kobushi Factory DVD Magazines
- Main article: Kobushi Factory/Publications
- [2017.07.17] Eiga "JK Ninja Girls" Official Photobook
-  Week End Survivor
-  JK Ninja Girls
-  Reborn ~13nin no Tamashii wa Kami-sama no Yume wo Miru~
- Prior to the official announcement, Miyoshi Erika had leaked the unit in a blog post on December 27, 2014 by saying she had interviewed the "Hello Pro New Unit" members. She edited the blog post later that day to remove mention of the unit.
- The group is considered the successor of Berryz Koubou, due to their name deriving from Berryz Koubou (Berryz Workshop).
- Berryz Koubou member Shimizu Saki helped in deciding the group's name, and she also noted how alike this group is to Berryz Koubou when they were first formed.
- All the members are born between 1999 and 2001, making this the first group to have all members born after Hello! Project's formation.
- Hirose Ayaka and Inoue Rei were both previously members of NICE GIRL Project! Kenshuusei, and had only been members of Hello Pro Kenshuusei for a month before debuting in this unit.
- Hamaura Ayano and Taguchi Natsumi were members of Hello Pro Kenshuusei the longest out of any of the members, having joined the program in February 2011.
- After the groups formation, Hamaura Ayano expressed her hopes that the group would become the most famous within Hello! Project, while Wada Sakurako hoped to follow their senior group, Berryz Koubou, by lasting for more than 10 years.
- [2015.11.20] 57th Japan Record Awards - Newcomer Award
- [2015.12.18] Namba Kazumi no Idol Sanjuuroku Bou: Toshiwasure! 2015 R Grand Prix - Best Performance Award (selected by Tower Records president Minewaki Ikuo)
- [2015.12.30] 57th Japan Record Awards - Best Newcomer Award
Total Sales Count
|Year||Year Sales||Total Sales|
- Kobushi Factory Official Profile (archived)
- Kobushi Factory YouTube Channel (inactive)
- Kobushi Factory Official Blog (inactive)
- Social Media Pages: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram
- Wikipedia: English, Japanese