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Rumi Yonezawa the Japanese Idol Singer From Saitama That Resigned Due to an Embarrassing Personal Scandal

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Rumi Yonezawa During the Photo Session for the Song Beginner

This photo of Rumi Yonezawa was taken after the release of the single called Beginner.

This photo of Rumi Yonezawa was taken after the release of the single called Beginner.

Rumi Yonezawa could have had a long and promising career with AKB48

Rumi Yonezawa is a Japanese idol singer and actress who is best known for her time spent in the awesome and famous girl group AKB48. However, she is also known for having resigned from the group in 2012 due to a personal scandal. I have been listening to AKB48’s music since 2011 and I am saddened that Rumi had to resign under such circumstances. Who is Rumi Yonezawa?

Profile of Rumi Yonezawa

  • She is known by the nickname of Yonechan.
  • Date of birth: June 6, 1991
  • Place of birth: Saitama, Japan
  • Her blood type is A.
  • Height is listed at 161 centimeters
  • Bust size is 77 centimeters
  • Waist size is 57 centimeters
  • Her hobbies include shopping, movie appreciation, and being deeply moved.
  • Prior to her scandal, Rumi was signed to the agency Artist House Pyramid.

Rumi Yonezawa in Clothes That Would Make Her Look Like a Cheerleader

Rumi Yonezawa smiles and has a moment of fun outside of AKB48.

Rumi Yonezawa smiles and has a moment of fun outside of AKB48.

Rumi Yonezawa showing that she can be very cute!

Rumi Yonezawa showing that she can be very cute!


Rumi Yonezawa and Her Career in AKB48 (2007-2012)

Rumi started her career with AKB48 in 2007 as a member of its Team B. She was transferred to Team K in 2010 after a team shuffle took place. Rumi’s debut single with AKB48 was the song called Baby, Baby, Baby! She also sang on the B-side singles for Namida Surprise, Iiwake Maybe, RIVER, Ponytail to Shushu, Heavy Rotation, Beginner, Chance no Junban, Sakura no ki ni Narou, Everyday Katyusha, and Kaze wa Fuiteiru. When Rumi took part in the first AKB48 General Election, she was ranked at #22. In the 2010 General Election, she was ranked at #34. The top 16 ranking girls at the end of every year’s election are known as the Senbatsu Girls but Rumi was not nearly as popular as those girls. She was ranked well below such famous names as Minami Takahashi, Yuko Oshima, and Atsuko Maeda. But in spite of this, Rumi spent five successful years in AKB48. However, in early January 2012, events would take a turn for the worse for Yonezawa. What happened to Yonezawa and her career?

A few more great photos of Rumi Yonezawa

Rumi Yonezawa at one of the AKB48 concerts.

Rumi Yonezawa at one of the AKB48 concerts.

Rumi Yonezawa in school uniform looking on

Background of events leading up to the scandal and afterwards

On January 27, 2012, it was revealed by Yonezawa herself that she had decided to withdraw from AKB48. She apologized for the sudden announcement, being filled with feelings of gratitude and apologies for those that had supported her. She thanked the fans for five great years in AKB48. She vowed to continue her activities as an individual. Lastly, Yonezawa apologized to her fans, members of AKB48 and management. She was terribly sorry for what she had done. It was not revealed at the time what the reason was for her departure. However, photos of Yonezawa with other guys were all across the Internet through her Twitter account. On February 5, 2012, Yonezawa’s career with AKB48 officially came to an end. Several months later, Yonezawa revealed that during her time in AKB48, she had a boyfriend.

A Japanese Perspective About the Scandal That Basically Ruined Yonezawa’s Career

The website Japan Zone wrote about the incident saying that this was something that had to happen. There is clearly a difference of perspective between what they said and the perspective that is given here. This incident did not need to happen.

Some Perspective on AKB48’s no dating policy

Why is this admission important? It is because after AKB48 was created in 2005, Producer Yasushi Akimoto and AKB48’s management set up regulations and rules that specifically stated that AKB48 members were not allowed to have boyfriends or date other men. These girls are required to focus on their work and maintain a clean image. They are supposed to hold regular theatrical performances, sing on tours, and meet their fans at handshake events. I am glad that Yonezawa at least admitted her mistakes instead of covering them up and denying them. Yonezawa is not the only AKB48 member to have been involved in a personal scandal. AKB48 fans will remember the famous incident involving Minami Minegishi and her hair shaving as a way expressing remorse. And former member of DIVA Yuka Masuda also resigned as a member of AKB48 when she revealed that she slept over at a friend’s house. Even though Yonezawa made this mistake and her career is on hold, I am confident that she will recover from the embarrassment of the affair and resume a normal life. By writing this biography, I am hopeful that people around the world can recognize that celebrities, though often put on a pedestal by their fans, can also make mistakes that will hurt their career. This is what Yonezawa has done and as an AKB48 fan, I am extremely disappointed that she did not use better judgement. She will more than likely continue her life as Rumi Yonezawa the person. Minami Takahashi who was at the time the leader of AKB48 wrote on her blog that this sort of action may be a normal thing for regular girls but that these girls are part of AKB48. She added that there is no way to change the situation because the incident occurred.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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