It looks like all is not well with the AKB48-affiliated idol group, Keyakizaka46. During a broadcast of Tokyo FM’s SCHOOL OF LOCK! radio show, the group’s Center and Leader, Yurina Hirate, says that she is quitting the group. But that’s not all, because the group’s official website has revealed that she’s not the only one leaving…
In a statement, the official website also stated that fan-favorite Nana Oda, as well as Miyu Suzumoto, have both graduated, effective immediately. They also stated that Shirori Sato is going on a temporary hiatus from the group as well. The hiatus was requested by Sato personally.
In a report by Nikkan Sports, the newspaper mentioned that Hirate is expected to go onto having a solo career. However, details on that aren’t known yet. And her quitting is big news in Japan, as the 18-year old idol is the center of such a popular group. Furthermore, Hirate did not say that she’s “Graduating”, but outright said that she’s “Quitting” the group. The usage of the word, which is considered much harsher in the idol industry, has got many in Japan talking. That and the sudden graduation of two of the group’s most popular members seem to imply to fans that not all is well.
Hirate has been the face of Keyakizaka46 since its inception, leading the group to the top of various charts in Japan. Her sudden departure from the group certainly brings uncertainty to a group which was popular enough to perform at the Kohaku Uta Gassen.