|Tanpopo, September 2002|
promoting "BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee".
(L-R) Niigaki Risa, Ishikawa Rika, Shibata Ayumi, Konno Asami.
|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 (2000-2009)
Konno Asami (2002-2006, 2007-2009)
Niigaki Risa (2002-2009)
Shibata Ayumi (2002-2009)
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.
The 2009 revived unit, Tanpopo#, has members that have the Japanese symbol 井 in their name.
- Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩) (Graduated in late 1999)
- Iida Kaori (飯田圭織) (Graduated in summer 2002)
- Yaguchi Mari (矢口真里) (Graduated in summer 2002)
- Konno Asami (紺野あさ美) (Graduated in 2009)
- Niigaki Risa (新垣里沙) (Graduated in 2009)
- Shibata Ayumi (柴田あゆみ) (Graduated in 2009)
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. But Tsunku explained 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 Kei Yasuda, Sayaka Ichii and Mari Yaguchi. They had to go trough test recordings, before Tsunku chose Mari Yaguchi as the third member. The new group needed a name, and Tsunku suggested several: ライラック (Lilac), 3/8, 3HIPS, スーパーマン3 (Superman 3), クレイ (Clay), CRAY, スーマン (Suuman), スーパーマンション単騎 (Super Mansion Tanki), ホステス (Hostess), チャームベイベー (Charm Baby), トリプルージュ (Triple Ju), ナインティンナインティンナイン (Nineteen-ninety-nine), 大中小 (Daichuushou), LMS, 6cups, スーパースリーヒップス (Super Three Hips), あくび (Akubi).
The name he eventually chose 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. There is no strict season for dandelions, (and they can bloom and survive even in between the small cracks of buildings in a big harsh city environment) . For those reasons, I think they are really awesome. For some people, dandelions are just another weeds with a height of about 20cm, but under the surface, they have much longer roots than the small heights. When they crave for water, they make efforts to grow their roots longer and deeper. The efforts they make in unseen areas are what are so wonderful about dandelions.» The group’s motto was set as a “more matured version of Morning Musume”, so the girls show a more matured attitude and vocal style than when they are performing as Morning Musume.» On the show the following weeks we got to see the girls recording their first single, «Last Kiss» and shooting the cover 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
Their second single, «Motto», was released on March 10th, 1999. It ranked 7th on the Oricon charts, and sold 85.520 copies total. An interesting fact about this song is that the girls never sung it live.
Two weeks later, the group released their first album «TANPOPO1″. It featured their first single, two mixes, three solo songs and four new songs. It sold 64.430 copies in its first week and 88.680 copies total.
In June, Tanpopo released the re-cut single «Tanpopo» (Dandelion). It was featured on the album, but Tsunku re-recorded the vocals and mixed the song over again. 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 than a newly produced single. Tsunku’s staff to 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.”
In October, a year after their debut, the group released their fourth single, «Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru» (The Night When The Sound Of The Holy Bell Echoes). This release has three solo versions of the a-side, instead of a b-side and instrumentals (which is uncommon for Japanese singles). It sold 86.090 copies in its first week, and 209.200 copies total. Interestingly, this song was never performed live (like «Motto»).
After the release of the group's fourth single, Ishiguro Aya 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 Kandō." 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 their second (and last) 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 Aya Ishiguro graduated 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.
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.
In December of 2008, Zetima released several mega best albums by several groups long disbanded; like Tanpopo, Pucchimoni and Taiyou to Ciscomoon. Tanpopo released their mega best as a joint album with Pucchimoni. They were released as a CD+DVD combo, but sol 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.
- [1999.03.31] TANPOPO 1
- [2002.09.04] All of Tanpopo (All of タンポポ)
- [2008.12.10] Tanpopo / Petitmoni Mega Best (タンポポ / プッチモニ メガベスト) (Tanpopo / Petitmoni)
- [1998.11.18] Last Kiss (ラストキッス)
- [1999.03.10] Motto
- [1999.06.16] Tanpopo (Single Version) (たんぽぽ (Single Version))
- [1999.10.20] Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru (聖なる鐘がひびく夜)
- [2000.07.05] Otome Pasta ni Kandou (乙女 パスタに感動)
- [2001.02.21] Koi wo Shichaimashita! (恋をしちゃいました!)
- [2001.11.21] Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru (王子様と雪の夜)
- [2002.09.26] BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee (BE HAPPY 恋のやじろべえ)
- [2000.01.26] Garage Opening Theme Song Shuu Vol. 3 (ガレージ・オープニングソング集 Vol. 3)
- [2000.04.26] Hello! Project - Petit Best ~Ki Ao Aka~ (プッチベスト～黄青あか～) (#6 Tanpopo (Single Version))
- [2001.04.18] Various - Together! -Tanpopo, Petit, Mini, Yuko- (Together! -タンポポ・プッチ・ミニ・ゆうこ-) (#2 Koi wo Shichaimashita!, #5 Otome Pasta ni Kandou, #11 Tanpopo (2001 Version))
- [2001.12.19] Hello! Project - Petit Best 2 ~3, 7, 10~ (プッチベスト2～三・7・10～) (#5 Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru)
- [2002.10.30] Hello! Project - CLUB Hello! TRANCE REMIX (#3 Last Kiss (TRANCE REMIX), #9 Koi wo Shichaimashita! (TRANCE REMIX))
- [2002.12.18] Hello! Project - Petit Best 3 (プッチベスト3) (#11 BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee)
- [2014.01.01] Hello! Project - Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 1 (ハロー!プロジェクトの全曲から集めちゃいました! Vol.1 アイドル三十六房編（南波一海×嶺脇育夫）) (#3 Sentimental Minamimuki) (Limited Release)
- [2014.01.01] Hello! Project - Hello! Project no Zenkyoku kara Atsumechaimashita! Vol. 2 (ハロー!プロジェクトの全曲から集めちゃいました! Vol.2 吉田豪編) (#5 I & YOU & I & YOU & I) (Limited Release)
- [2004.06.16] Tanpopo Single V Clips ① (タンポポ シングルVクリップス①)
- [2001.07.05] Tanpopo Photobook (タンポポPhoto Book)
- [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|
|Associated Acts||Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, ℃-ute|
- Kamei Eri (亀井絵里) (Graduated in December 2010)
- Mitsui Aika (光井愛佳) (Graduated in May 2012)
- Kumai Yurina (熊井友理奈) (Graduated in March 2015)
- Okai Chisato (岡井千聖) (Graduated in June 2017)
In 2009, Tanpopo was revived as Tanpopo# (タンポポ＃; pronounced Tanpopo Sharp), with the new group 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.
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.
- [2009.07.15] Hello! Project - Chanpuru 1 ~Happy Marriage Song Cover Shuu~ (チャンプル1 ~ハッピーマリッジソングカバー集~) (#11 Akai Sweet Pea)
- [2009.12.02] Hello! Project - Petit Best 10 (プッチベスト10) (#5 Umbrella)
|1st Generation||Ishiguro Aya | Iida Kaori | Yaguchi Mari|
|2nd Generation||Ishikawa Rika | Kago Ai|
|3rd Generation||Konno Asami | Niigaki Risa | Shibata Ayumi|
|Tanpopo#||Kamei Eri | Mitsui Aika | Kumai Yurina | Okai Chisato|
|Singles||1. Last Kiss | 2. Motto | 3. Tanpopo (Single Version) | 4. Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru | 5. Otome Pasta ni Kandou | 6. Koi wo Shichaimashita! | 7. Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru | 8. BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee|
|Albums||Original: TANPOPO 1|
Best: All of Tanpopo | Tanpopo / Petitmoni Mega Best
|Other||Tanpopo Single V Clips ①|
|Units & Other Acts|
|Associated Acts||Morning Musume | Minimoni | Melon Kinenbi | Berryz Koubou | ℃-ute|