In the world of Hello Project, some shocking and sad news was released earlier today. Morning Musume ‘15’s ace, Sayashi Riho will be graduating from the group on December 31st. She will be graduating during the annual Hello Project! Countdown Live Party.
Riho gave the following statement concerning her graduation:
“Thank you for your continued support towards Morning Musume。’15.
I have to make an announcement to all of you.
I, Riho Sayashi,
Will graduate from Morning Musume。 on December 31st of this year.
Since kindergarten, I wanted to take part at the group Morning Musume。 and I became a member when I was 12 years. During 5 years, I started with Tsunku♂-san and continued until now with the support of many staff, with all the Morning Musume。 and Hello! Project members, and more than anything, with the fans.
However, I thought during this year many times about continuing like this in my future life.
As a human alone, I started to think if there were things that I have to experience in order to live strongly?
I have discussed many times with the people of the company, and I decided to graduate after I checked the growth of the 12th generation kohai (“kohai” means “juniors” here) this year.
Concerning the day of my graduation, I had the privilege on deciding the graduation on the last day of the “Morning Musume。’15” on December 31st during the Countdown Live.
Concerning the Morning Musume。’s tour, the last performances will be on December 7th and 8th at the Budokan.
I am really sorry for the abrupt news.
I think this is quite a surprise.
But until now, inside of me, it has worried me.
And it has led me to this decision.
From now, I think I want to study abroad and learn more English and dance.
Then with those experiences I will mature much more, and I will try my best to come back as soon as possible.
There are 2 months left until then, but until this moment with all the members I will do everything we have to do for “Morning Musume。’15”.
Until December 31st, I want to run through everything with all my power so please continue to support me!”
Source: Up-Front Link
This came as a huge shock to me and many other fans. She was not very high on my favourites list, but she is still a valued member of the group. I did not expect her graduation for a long time, especially since she reached the peak of her career within the group. I really hoped that this would be the year that Morning Musume would have no changes.
I am curious to see what will happen after her graduation. Who would be the new “ace” of Morning Musume? What will the choreography and music look and sound like in the future? Will there be an audition for a 13th generation?
It is disappointing that the group’s ace is not getting a big send-off. There won’t be a large Budokan graduation, but rather a small one during the New Years live celebration. I understand that was her choice, though.
I am deeply saddened by this news, but it is clear that Riho has big dreams she wants to accomplish. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors and I hope to see her active in Hello Project once again.