Tanpopo, September 2002
promoting "BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee"
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genre Japanese Pop
Years Active 1998-2003
Labels zetima
Associated Acts Morning Musume, Melon Kinenbi
Members Ishiguro Aya (1998-1999)
Iida Kaori (1998-2002)
Yaguchi Mari (1998-2002)
Kago Ai (2000-2002)
Ishikawa Rika (2000-2003)
Konno Asami (2002-2003)
Niigaki Risa (2002-2003)
Shibata Ayumi (2002-2003)

Tanpopo (タンポポ; Dandelion) was a Hello! Project unit and the first official sub-unit of Japanese pop girl group Morning Musume, formed in November 1998. They specialized in singing slow and mature songs, which morphed to an old-fashioned and upbeat style—a genre somewhat similar to the band it originated from.

Tanpopo's highest selling single is "Koi wo Shichaimashita!" with 386,830 copies sold, while their lowest selling single is "BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee" with 60,450 copies sold.



Tanpopo, November 2001


Tanpopo, June 1999

First GenerationEdit

Second GenerationEdit

Third GenerationEdit



On October 18th, 1998, Tsunku announced live on the TV show ASAYAN, to Morning Musume, that he wanted to make a new unit with Iida Kaori and Ishiguro Aya. This caught the whole group by surprise, and Iida, probably baffled by the announcement, asked if this meant that Morning Musume was no more. Tsunku explained further that Morning Musume would still be around, and that the two girls would be a sub-unit, releasing music as members of both groups.

Tsunku wanted a third member, and held an audition between Yasuda Kei, Ichii Sayaka and Yaguchi Mari. They had to go through test recordings, before Yaguchi was chosen as the third member.

Several names was suggested for the group:

  • Lilac (ライラック)
  • 3/8
  • 3HIPS
  • Superman 3 (スーパーマン3)
  • Clay (クレイ)
  • CRAY
  • Suuman (スーマン)
  • Super Mansion Tanki (スーパーマンション単騎)
  • Hostess (ホステス)
  • Charm Baby (チャームベイベー)
  • Triple Ju (トリプルージュ)
  • Nineteen-ninety-nine (ナインティンナインティンナイン)
  • Daichuushou (大中小; Large Medium Small)
  • LMS
  • 6cups
  • Super Three Hips (スーパースリーヒップス)
  • Akubi (あくび; Yawn)

The name eventually chosen was Tanpopo. Written in katakana (instead of hiragana), and meaning Dandelion. Tsunku said in an interview that he chose this name, as "Tanpopo (dandelions) can be blooming anywhere you see, and from a small child to a senior citizen, anyone is familiar with them."

The group's motto was set as a "more matured version of Morning Musume", so the girls would show a more matured attitude and vocal style than when they are performing as Morning Musume.

The following weeks, ASAYAN aired the recording of their first single, "Last Kiss", and the cover-shooting for the CD jacket. They performed their new single on November 8th, in addition to talking about their experiences so far and giving a dance lesson.


In March, their second single, "Motto", was released. Two weeks later, the group released their first album "TANPOPO1″. It featured their first single, two mixes, three solo songs and four new songs.

In June, Tanpopo released the re-cut single "Tanpopo". It was featured on the album, but Tsunku re-recorded the vocals and mixed the song over again, hence the change in the title to Tanpopo -Single Version-, making the song appearing on the single different from the album version. He said in an interview, that one of his staff had listened to the album for nearly hundreds of times, and suggested to select and release “Tanpopo” as a single. In the music industry, they believe that a single that was selected from a previous album won’t do well in the market, compared to a newly produced single. Tsunku’s staff too was well aware of this reality and yet still suggested it, which made Tsunku feel their warm affection towards the artist and the song. The single reached #7 on the oricon charts and charted for six weeks. It sold 112.320 copies total (their second best selling release so far).

When the single was released, there was a rumor of the group’s break-up. Iida said in an interview, she had actually went up to Tsunku and asked him directly. He just laughed at her and said, “I don’t know anything about that.”

Zetima released a string of CD single tied up to the variety show THE GARAGE. Tanpopo was featured on the albums, and in some of the PVs (the show had a new opening song and video each month). In October, a year after their debut, the group released their fourth single, "Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru". This release has three solo versions of the a-side, instead of a b-side and instrumentals (which is uncommon for Japanese singles).

They also held a live event in October, called Tanpopo Event Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru 1999.10.23.

After the release of the group's fourth single, Ishiguro graduated from Morning Musume and left the group. Iida and Yaguchi continued on as a duo, called Tanpopo 1.5 by fans.


In June 2000, Morning Musume fourth generation members, Ishikawa Rika and Kago Ai, joined Tanpopo. The style of their songs changed when the four released "Otome Pasta ni Kandou". The style of this song became analogous to the songs Morning Musume had released. They also used this style on their next singles, which became popular and reached the number one spot on Oricon, and on their second album.


On July 31, 2002, it was announced that Tanpopo was going to be completely reformed. Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari and Kago Ai graduated from the group and were replaced by new Morning Musume fifth generation members, Konno Asami and Niigaki Risa, and Melon Kinenbi's Shibata Ayumi.

A week before the release of what would be their last single, they released a best-of album called "All of Tanpopo". It featured all their single’s a-sides, a few b-sides, and one new song. What is interesting about this release is the remix of their fourth single, called "Tanpopo (Grand Symphonic Version)". Despite it being over two years since Ishiguro Ayagraduated from Hello! Project, she was invited back to re-record her vocals for the making of the song. The album sold over 100.000 copies and is their best selling album.

Shortly after these releases, it was announced that the group would be put on hiatus.

2004 Edit

In 2004, Tanpopo released a DVD called Tanpopo Single V Clips 1. It had the PVs and commercials for all their eight singles, as well as close-up versions for their 3 latest singles.

2008 Edit

In December of 2008, Zetima released several Mega Best album series by several groups long disbanded; like Tanpopo, Petitmoni and Taiyou to Ciscomoon. Tanpopo released their Mega Best album as a joint album with Petitmoni. They were released as a CD+DVD combo, but sold poorly. Total sales registered were just above 1.000 copies.

Six months later, Tanpopo was revived shortly (as Tanpopo#), with all new members peforming new songs at concerts. The idea was probably to revive the sub-units, since a release of an album or singles were announced, then scrapped.

2016 Edit

On December 31, 2016, original Tanpopo member Ishikawa Rika made a guest appearance at the Hello! Project COUNTDOWN PARTY 2016 ~GOOD BYE & HELLO!~. She performed "Koi wo Shichaimashita!" with Okai Chisato, the last remaining member of Tanpopo# in Hello! Project, and Kumai Yurina, another former Tanpopo# member who was there as one of the concert MCs.


Works Edit

Events Edit

Photobooks Edit

  • [2001.07.05] Tanpopo Photobook (タンポポPhoto Book)

Radio Edit

  • [1999-2000] Tanpopo Hatake de Tsukamaete (タンポポ畑でつかまえて)
  • [2000-2001] Tanpopo no Konya mo Mankai (タンポポの今夜も満開)
  • [2000-2003] Tanpopo Henshuubu Oh-So-Ro! (タンポポ編集部 Oh-So-Ro!)


Tanpopo#, January 2011
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genre Japanese Pop
Years Active 2009-2011
Associated Acts Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, ℃-ute
Members Kamei Eri
Mitsui Aika
Kumai Yurina
Okai Chisato

Tanpopo# (タンポポ#; Dandelion Sharp) was a Hello! Project unit, a revival group of Tanpopo. The unit was revived in 2009 alongside the other Chanpuru units. The members chosen for this unit all have the Japanese symbol 井 in their name.




Tanpopo#, January 2010


Tanpopo#, July 2009


In 2009, Tanpopo was revived as Tanpopo# (タンポポ#; pronounced Tanpopo Sharp), with a new line-up consisting of Kamei Eri and Mitsui Aika from Morning Musume, Kumai Yurina from Berryz Koubou, and Okai Chisato from ℃-ute. The sharp symbol was chosen to represent the kanji "井" (read as "i") which is the second character in each of the new members' surnames.

Their first song was a cover of Matsuda Seiko's "Akai Sweet Pea," which was released on the Chanpuru ① ~Happy Marriage Song Cover Shuu~ album. Their next song, "Umbrella," was released on the Petit Best 10 album.


On December 15, 2010, Kamei Eri graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project, effectively leaving the group.


The three remaining members performed W's "Dekoboko Seventeen" during the Hello! Project 2011 WINTER ~Kangei Shinsen Matsuri~ A gana Live, after which the unit became inactive.



External LinksEdit

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