Hello! Project Wiki
Hello! Project Wiki

Hello! Project is a production, not a product.

–Tsunku, 2013

Tsunku (つんく, often stylized as つんく♂), real name Terada Mitsuo (寺田光男), is an extremely prolific Japanese record producer, songwriter, and vocalist. He is best known for having two major roles in the Japanese music landscape: first as the lead singer of the popular rock group Sharam Q, and as the producer, primary songwriter, and main studio backing vocalist for idol supergroup Morning Musume, in addition to Matsuura Aya and other associated artists under the Hello! Project banner, for whom he has written and produced a number of chart-topping hits. He has also produced music for other Japanese artists, including Hamasaki Ayumi when she debuted. His musical influences include The Beatles, Queen, and Onyanko Club.


Tsunku, September 2012

Tsunku, 2011

Tsunku, 2010

Tsunku, 2008

Tsunku, circa 1999

Tsunku, circa 1970

Examples of Tsunku's voice in Hello! Project songs

Tsunku was born as Terada Mitsuo on October 29, 1968 in Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan.

Tsunku is the original producer of and mastermind behind Hello! Project, TNX, and NICE GIRL Project!, as well as producer of some non-Hello! Project acts such as Deka Moni and EE JUMP.

Tsunku later worked with Nintendo under the UP-FRONT GROUP subsidiary J.P ROOM to create the music video game Rhythm Tengoku. It was released for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance on August 3, 2006, and later for arcades on September 20, 2007. He also worked on Rhythm Tengoku Gold (Rhythm Heaven in North America) for the DS, Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (Rhythm Heaven Fever in North America) on the Wii and Rhythm Tengoku: The Best Plus+ (Rhythm Heaven Megamix in North America) on the 3DS family consoles.

On October 1, 2006, it was announced that Tsunku had created a new company under UP-FRONT GROUP named TNX consisting of singers such as Tokito Ami and other people including Naka Tatsuya, a magician who appeared on Hello! Morning. The company launched on October 6.[1]

On September 26, 2007, Tsunku released a compilation album with the temporary title of "Sharam Q ~ Morning Musume" ~Tsunku 15 Years in Entertainment Commemoration Album~, containing songs by both Sharam Q and Morning Musume, and another one on December 5, 2007 titled Tsunku Best Work Collection, containing songs sung by Tsunku himself.

On July 1, 2011, Tsunku started a new entertainment show titled TsunTube, airing on TOKYO MXTV every Friday and focusing on music, games, anime, idols, software, and manga.[2]

On September 10, 2015, Tsunku released a memoir titled Dakara, Ikiru. discussing his life up until the removal of his vocal cords in October 2014. In the memoir, he revealed that he "graduated" as the general producer of Hello! Project after the Morning Musume '14 Live Concert in New York on October 5, 2014.[3] However, he remains as one of the company's songwriters and Morning Musume's sound producer.[4][5]

On November 20, 2015, it was announced that Tsunku won the Composer Award from the 57th Japan Record Awards for the song "Umaretekite Kurete Arigatou" by Kumiko.[6] Tsunku accepted the award at the live TBS broadcast on December 30, and he accompanied Kumiko's performance on the acoustic guitar.

On September 29, 2016, it was reported that Tsunku had immigrated with his family to Hawaii, United States at the end of July.[7] They bought a home in Waikiki on O'ahu Island, where his children began attending a local school. Tsunku moved to expand his career abroad, but also considered his children's education, wishing for them to grow up as global citizens. Currently, he travels back and forth between Japan and Hawaii.

On June 1, 2020, Tsunku is holding an idol audition as part of his “Twitter Discovery Project” called “Idol Produce Project”.[8]

On June 19, Iida Kaori, Yasuda Kei and Tsuji Nozomi, attended an online event called "Mou Sugu Papa no Hi ~Papa to Mama no Iiwake!! Dousoukai Special~" (もうすぐパパの日!~パパとママのいいわけ!!同窓会スペシャル!~). It was streamed live on YouTube[9]. It is tied up to the release of Tsunku's new childrens' book "Nee, Mama? Boku no Onegai!".[10]

Personal Life[]

In June 2006, Tsunku married Idemitsu Kanako, a 25 year-old former model from Fukuoka.

On March 24, 2008, Tsunku announced that his wife was expecting their first child in May, after being already eight months pregnant at the time. The next day, Tsunku revealed on his blog that his wife was actually expecting twins.

Tsunku then announced on April 30, 2008 that his wife had given birth to twins, a boy and a girl through natural childbirth.[11] An article stated, "The boy is healthy while the girl is expected to spend a few days in the incubator before rejoining the family."

On March 16, 2011, Tsunku's wife gave birth to their third child, Tsunku commented that both mother and child are "very, very healthy."[12]

Tsunku's solo career was put on hold as he dealt with an unspecified throat condition. He planned on getting surgery for his throat condition sometime in 2014.

On March 6, 2014 Tsunku revealed on his blog that he had been diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and would be undergoing medical treatment.[13]

On September 25, 2014 he announced that his cancer went into "complete remission".[14] However, he announced shortly after on October 17 that his laryngeal cancer returned and he would "come back healthy" after going through medical treatment again.[15]

On April 4, 2015 Tsunku appeared in public for the first time in months at his alma mater's entrance ceremony, and confirmed rumors that he had his vocal cords removed in order to beat his cancer.[16][17]

Tsunku attended Kinki University along with fellow SharanQ member Taisei, and graduated in 1991.


  • Birth Name: Terada Mitsuo (寺田光男)
  • Stage Name: Tsunku (つんく)
  • Birthdate: October 28, 1968 (1968-10-28) (age 53)
  • Birthplace: Higashiosaka, Osaka, Japan
  • Blood Type: B
  • Height: 170 cm (5 ft 6.9 in)?
  • Western Zodiac: Scorpio.svg Scorpio
  • Eastern Zodiac: Monkey.png Monkey
  • Band: Sharam Q (vocalist)


Studio Albums
Collaboration Albums
Compilation Albums

Major Singles
  • [1999.04.24] LOVE ~Dakiatte~ (LOVE~抱き合って~; with 7HOUSE and Hamasaki Ayumi)
  • [2002.02.27] Suggoine! (すっごいね!) <small<(as The Tsunku Beat (THEつんくビ♂ト))


  • [2015.11.20] 57th Japan Record Awards (第57回 輝く!日本レコード大賞) - Composer Award (for "Umaretekite Kurete Arigatou" by Kumiko)[18]


  • Shares the same birthday as former Morning Musume member, Ogawa Makoto, and former ALMA KAMINIITO member, Munehiko.
  • He is apparently good friends with AKB48 mastermind, Akimoto Yasushi (also known as Aki-P).
  • In the anime Gintama, idol singer Terakado Tsuu's producer, who goes under the name of Tsunpo, was meant to parody Tsunku.
  • Tsunku appears in the Regular Edition cover and the Single V cover of "Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!"
  • He has said he would like to create ENK48.
  • He considers Hello! Project an expansion of himself, and says Hello! Project is a production not a product.
  • He says because the Hello! Project members' parents trust him, he thinks of the Hello! Project members like his own daughters.
  • He went by the stage name "Nijuukyuu-sensei" (二十九先生) while writing and composing the songs for MM Gakuen Gasshoubu.

Terada Family Tree[]



  1. "TNX株式会社" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2006-10-05.
  2. "つんく♂レギュラー開始!" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2011-06-30.
  3. "つんく♂衝撃の初告白!ハロプロのプロデューサー“卒業していた”" (in Japanese). Sankei Sports. 2015-09-09.
  4. Tsunku, "Tsunku♂ “Dakara, Ikiru” Final Chapter: The Door to the Future (2015.4~)." Dakara, Ikiru. Published: 2015-09-10. Translated: 2016-02-23.
  5. "NHKさんで!鞘師里保" (in Japanese). Morning Musume Qki Official Blog. 2015-09-12.
  6. "第57回「日本レコード大賞」各賞発表" (in Japanese). modelpress. 2015-11-20.
  7. "つんく♂ ハワイに自宅を購入、7月末に一家で移住" (in Japanese). livedoor NEWS. 2016-09-29.
  8. Official Twitter
  9. [1]YouTube
  10. Tsunku Official Blog
  11. "妻の出産に関しまして、ファンの皆様並びに関係各位の皆様へ" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2008-04-30.
  12. "ご報告です。" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2011-03-18.
  13. "つんく♂より皆様へご報告" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2014-03-06.
  14. "つんく♂、喉頭声帯がん「完全寛解」を報告" (in Japanese). ORICON STYLE. 2014-09-25.
  15. "つんく♂、がんが再発。「しばらく療養させて頂きますが、また元気になって戻って来ます」" (in Japanese). BARKS. 2014-10-17.
  16. "つんく♂、声帯摘出で声失う 近畿大学『入学式』で手紙の祝辞" (in Japanese). ORICON STYLE. 2015-04-04.
  17. "祝、近畿大学入学式!" (in Japanese). Tsunku Official Blog. 2015-04-04.
  18. 第57回 輝く!日本レコード大賞

External Links[]