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Yanagihara Hiromi (柳原尋美) was a Japanese pop singer, model and actress. She was an idol under Hello! Project as one of the original members of Country Musume in 1999. She died in a car accident the same year.


Yanagihara Hiromi

Yanagihara Hiromi

Yanagihara Hiromi, July 1999

Yanagihara Hiromi, 1998 (Taiyou Musume to Umi)

Early Life & Career[]

Before signing up for the audition for the Country Musume Audition (カントリー娘。オーディション), Yanagihara had a small role in the movie Morning Cop in 1998. She also starred in three doramas the same year: Taiyou Musume to Umi, Wine Musume Koi Monogatari and Kaze no Musumetachi. According to the producer of "Kaze no Musumetachi", Yanagihara had said she felt lucky being able to act in several dramas, but that it was a singer she wanted to be.[1]

She signed up for the forementioned audition, which was held by Tsunku and Tanaka Yoshitake in 1999. Yoshitake wanted to create a sister group to Morning Musume, but instead of being the next door girls, they would be country girls with rural values. The audition process was aired on a television program called Idol wo Sagase. Nine girls went through voice and dance lessons at Hanabatake Farm in Hokkaido, and three girls ended up being chosen, Yanagihara being one of them.

The group would be named Country Musume, and was made up by Yanagihara, Toda Rinne and Kobayashi Azusa. In the same time period, Country Musume was recording songs for their first single. A few days before the release of their debut single, Yanagihara was on her way from a restaurant owned by Yoshitake, to a sight-seeing farm, in order to attend a dance lesson. She lost control over the car she was driving, and didn’t survive the accident. She passed away on the 16th of July, 1999.


On July 16, 1999, Yanagihara was tragically killed in a car accident one week before the group's first release, "Futari no Hokkaido." Yanagihara was reportedly driving alone to the Hanabatake Farm in Nakasatsunai, Hokkaido at 5:00 pm when her SUV, a second generation Mitsubishi Pajero, began swerving and rolled several times, throwing her from the vehicle which then flipped on top of her.

Yanagihara was rushed to a hospital in Obihiro by ambulance, where she later died at 7:10 pm. The official cause of death was a combination of tension pneumothorax and acute heart failure.


  • Name: Yanagihara Hiromi (柳原尋美)
  • Nickname: Hiromi (ひろみ), Pikachu (ぴかちゅー)[2]
  • Birthdate: October 19, 1979 
  • Birthplace: Chiba, Japan
  • Date of Death: July 16, 1999 (age 19)
  • Place of Death: Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan
  • Blood Type: A
  • Western Zodiac: Libra.svg Libra
  • Eastern Zodiac: Goat.png Goat
  • Hello! Project Groups:

  • Hobbies: Internet
  • Special Skills: Trumpet
  • Favorite sports: Basketball
  • Favorite colors: Pink, purple, black

  • Singles Featured In[]

    Country Musume[]



    TV Programs[]

    • [1999.07.13] Idol wo Sagase
    • [1999.07.27] Idol wo Sagase (in memory of)

    TV Dramas[]


    • She gifted a large king crab to Heike Michiyo and Nakazawa Yuko upon meeting them, hoping the three could share it because she loved crab.
    • On Idol wo Sagase, she said "I want to become stronger so I can survive even though I get crushed. It's a metaphor, but I want to gain more skills and knowledge."
    • She is the first and currently only member of Hello! Project to have died.


    External Links[]