22 Elder Club members of Hello! Project graduate at ceremony in Yokohama
Tuesday 03rd February, 04:00 AM JST
Yuko Nakazawa, 35, Aya Matsuura, 22, and the other 20 members of Hello! Project’s Elder Club performed at their graduation ceremony held at Yokohama Arena this week. A total of 72 artists performed on stage, the most ever in Hello! Project’s history. Among them was former Morning Musume member Nozomi Tsuji, 21, who had been out of action for a year and a half after her shotgun marriage to actor Taiyo Sugiura, 27, in June 2007.
Tsuji said: “I hadn’t danced for nearly two years, but when the song came on, my body knew what to do, which I thought was great!”
At the end of the show, current leader of Morning Musume and parent group Hello!Project, Ai Takahashi, 22, delivered the farewell address, and Nakazawa and others thanked the crowd for their support and said they would take what they had learned over the years and apply it in their future careers.
With the graduation of the Elder Club members, the average age of Hello! Project members dropped from 18 to 15 years old.