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Hajimemashite minna san....welcome to my site on my fave Japanese Pop Culture likes such as dramas, movies, magazine scans, promo events etc. Mainly concentrate on my faves...Risa Watanabe... Kyoko Saito... Yui Kobayashi....Miyuki Watanabe.... Nene Shida.... if you're a fan at all of any of them then you've come to the right place(!) but many others are featured here besides them. Do mainly quick reviews on things I've watched, try to make the reviews brief, quick to read through with not too many spoilers, just whether they're good or bad and why I thought so plus whether you may find them enjoyable. Many, many screenshots are included from everything I've watched plus any video trailers if they're available. Hope you find something that interests you, don't hesitate to comment, arigato gozaimasu!

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Sakura Miyawaki: Does anyone remember who she is?


 Bit of a change over the years and I think for the better. Here's yet another 'Blast from the Past' post and I should make a label for them as there's been so many of these kinds of posts the last few months. That's both good and bad, bad as it had been so long since a post, six or more months but good as that person is finally doing something to post about. That's not the case for Sakura who has been very busy since August 2018 which was when her last post was done. Sakura was getting to be a big fave of mine and also with so many viewers, don't think it's a stretch to say she was the second or third most popular woman here from 2016-18 as her posts received so many views.

 But then a semi tragedy struck as Sakura joined the IZ*One pop group which featured members from Japan and Korea, the group did most of their activities in Korea. So I only loosely followed her career as I'm not much of a K-Pop fan but they were a very popular group from late 2018 to April of this year. It was a long and tough audition process which I did follow as some other fave '48' members were trying to join the group, three in all did. The original plan was for IZ*One to be together for thirty months and after that they would disband. But they were very popular in Japan and Korea so figured they would remain as a group after thirty months. That wasn't the case and in April disbanded, won't talk too much about the group today but may in future posts.

 So in May Sakura returned to HKT but only for a brief spell which was to graduate. Her final regular concert was on June 19th, eight days later her final show at the HKT Theater took place. I enjoyed the group at one time but then the curse that hits all J-Pop groups happened as there were way too many graduations of the oldest members. They've been around for ten years yet only have released fourteen singles. 

 So the plan is to have 2-3 more of these re-intro posts by the end of the year but will she be pulling another vanishing act? Sakura's contract with her long time agency ended last week and it appears she's going to return to Korea as it seems she will be signing with an agency there. They have a record label named HYBE so it looks like Sakura will be returning to music but as a solo artist or another group? This news has just come out in the last few days so will have more info in her upcoming posts, I'd rather not see her leave Japan again.

 Had been thinking about doing this post for a while but it's still a 'spur of the moment' post as the inspiration didn't hit me until earlier today. From 2016-18 Sakura did her fair share of gravure spreads but none since leaving HKT, Idols in Korea don't do those kinds of pics. This spread from the June 16, 2018 issue of Young Magazine was her last regular Japan spread until July of this year.

 IZ*One released quite a bit of music from October 2018 until December 2020, sales in Japan were just so-so but in Korea their singles/records were all very big sellers. These pics are from the group's first release "Color*Iz" that came out on October 29, 2018. It was an EP that had seven songs, it sold about 50,000 copies in Japan but close to 300,000 in Korea.

 Not many Instagram pics, these are from June and July which were from photo shoots.

 For the past four months Sakura has mainly been doing modeling work but a lot of it. She also had a temp radio show that ended in August, plus she was at a big event in July and will have those pics in her next post. So have six mag spreads from the past four months, will have three of them for today. First off is this huge set from the August issue of Mini, good pics but what a long interview.

 Second of today's three spreads is from the October issue of Maquia, I'm really liking the way she looms these days and here's a video from the magazine: Maquia video

 Final spread is the best of the trio, after not being in a magazine for 37 months Sakura still had the cover for the July issue of Bis. After the pics is a superb video of the photo shoot and will be back next week with yet another post and does Sakura still have many fans here?

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