If you’re a fan of AKB48 then you probably know the idol who’s currently in the number 1 position. Her name is Rino Sashihara (指原莉乃). She has managed to cling onto the top position for the third year straight. Her popularity is based on a poll that is conducted periodically. The recent poll conducted on June 17, 2017 found that Sashihara has the highest number of votes among all the idols in AKB, the Japanese all-female pop group, as well as its sister group, HKT48. So, why is the star so popular? Let’s get to know her and work out why!
Sashihara was born on November 21, 1992. She started her career in October 2007 when she auditioned for AKB48. She was accepted and started working as a trainee but later on became a regular in 2008. Her first title track single was “Ogoe Diamond (大声ダイヤモンド)”, which is the 10th major single by AKB48. It was the first time the group featured a member of its sister’s group. In 2009, she ranked 27th in a popularity election. She was then grouped with the “Under Girls (アンダーガールズ),” a group in charge of the main B-side of AKB48.
On January 2011, she starred in a television program titled “Although You are Sashiko (さしこのくせに)”. She became a lead character in Muse no Kagami (ミューズの鏡) an NTV (Nippon TV – 日本テレビ) drama.
Her solo single debuted in May 2, 2012 where she sings a song titled “Soredemo Suki Da Yo (それでも好きだよ),” which is translated in English as “Nevertheless, I Love You.” This was released in four versions, Type-A, Type-B, Type-C and Type-D.
There came a time when Sashihara was demoted from AKB48 due to her involvement in a love affair scandal. She was transferred to HKT48, a Japanese idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康). She released her second single titled “Ikujinashi Masquerade (意気地なしマスカレード),” which charted number one in the Japanese Oricon weekly singles. She was so skillful with her production skills that she even assumed the position of HKT48 co-manager and theater manager in 2013. Her talents were noticed by the management that she was given several opportunities to demonstrate her full potential.
In 2013, she received the highest number of votes in AKB48’s Annual General Election. She then qualified to be the center of the latest single. Due to her popularity, her first autobiography was produced and circulated. It sold 1.33 million copies in its first-week release. She received the most votes again in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Considered to be the first member who’s won for three consecutive years. The latest poll was held in Okinawa (沖縄). Sashihara together with the other top 15 vote winners will appear in a new single this coming August 2017.
The Japanese idol groups hold great importance in modern popular Japanese culture. If you’re a new fan, you can enjoy watching one of their shows. Catch Rino Sashihara on Japan’s popular and entertaining shows. Top winners are placed at the center so you’re sure to see her in an instant. Who do you think will win the top position in the next general election?