Skip to main content

Who Is Minami Minegishi of Japanese Pop Music Group Akb48?

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

Who is Minami Minegishi?

Minami Minegishi is one of the original members of Japanese pop music group AKB48 having made her debut in 2005 with Team A. She has been with AKB48 since the group's early days joining Atsuko Maeda who debuted with the group on December 8, 2005. She is one of at least four AKB48 members that have been caught due to a scandal and that’s not a good list that anyone wants to be on or should be on. Minegishi is also a member of the unit called No Sleeves.

Note: as of July 2019, this biography of Minegishi will no longer have the information about her illness because of a kidney cyst. Mainly we will focus on her scandal and her importance as a Japanese idol singer.

A First Look at Minami Minegishi As She Is Seen About to Cry


Interesting Facts About Minami Minegishi

  • Her favorite flower is the lavender.
  • Her favorite drama is Kids’ War.
  • She has the habit of clicking her fingers.
  • She says that she wants to get married at the age of 30.
  • She learned from a manga how to keep warm in winter. She keeps warm during winter by pretending that it is summer and feeling thankful that it is breezy.
  • She is jealous of Haruna Kojima because Kojima is able to write kanji.
  • Minami’s parents run a restaurant called “Tea Room Tane” that is in Tokyo.
  • Minami has been taking dance lessons since the first grade and says that this is her favorite sport.
  • She is the only member in AKB48 history to have been a training member and a member on all the teams.
  • She ranks 2nd with the most number of appearances at the AKB48 Theater (821 as of March 2016). Kana Kobayashi is #1.
  • Her ranking however has slipped down to #32 as of the 10th General Election.

The Scandal That Almost Ruined Minami Minegishi

But in 2013, there would be a scandal that would almost destroy Minegishi's reputation and career. In January 2013 according to tabloid reports, Minegishi had spent the night at the apartment of Alan Shirahama of the boy band called Generations. In doing so, Minegishi had violated the group's policy regarding relationships and romance. AKB48 members are required to focus exclusively on their work to maintain a clean image. A few hours later via the official AKB48 blog, it was reported that Minegishi was demoted down to the status of trainee as punishment for her actions. Minegishi then shaved her head, saying that she did so because she was shocked at reading the reports about the incident. However, in Japan, when someone shaves their head, that is a sign of showing remorse and contrition. Minegishi then apologized for what she called her “thoughtless actions.” The story was reported by news agencies such as CNN and the BBC! It would not be until August 24, 2013 that Minegishi would return as a member of the newly created Team 4 with the rest of the members having been chosen from the 13th and 14th generation training members. The fans however came to Minegishi’s defense saying that the pop star is entitled to have her own life. I get that, but a rule is a rule and Minegishi did not follow the rule which states that no AKB48 member can be dating someone romantically. After her apology, Minegishi also said that she does not believe she will be totally forgiven for issuing this apology but that she did not want to leave AKB48. The Young Turks political news channel even weighed in on this controversial story my goodness! Even they covered this story which shows us the magnitude of Minegishi's mistake.

The Young Turks Discuss Minami Minegishi's Scandal & Apology

Scroll to Continue

A List of Other AKB48 Members That Have Been Caught In a Scandal

Yuka Masuda  

Rumi Yonezawa



Natsumi Hirajima






Minami Minegishi With Her No Sleeves Band Mates Minami Takahashi & Haruna Kojima


Other Reasons Why Minegishi Is an Interesting Celebrity

Minegishi was born on November 15, 1992 in the capital city of Tokyo. Since 1992 is her birth year, she joins bikini model Ai Shinozaki as another celebrity that was born in 1992. Minami Minegishi may be best known for being a singer but she has also worked as an actress. She has starred in the Majisuka Gakuen series, featuring members of AKB48 including Atsuko Maeda. For the second season of the show, also starring is former AKB48 member Tomomi Kasai. In addition, Yui Yokoyama, Rena Matsui, and Sae Miyazawa are also in this show. With the graduation of Minami Takahashi, Minegishi is now the only original AKB48 member left.

Minami Minegishi intends to graduate from AKB48

It is now official that Minegishi, 28, has announced that she will be graduating from AKB48. The announcement was made on December 8, 2019 during a concert at the AKB48 Theater which was commemorating the 14thanniversary of this group. Her graduation concert is scheduled to be on April 2, 2020 at the Yokohama Arena. With her coming graduation, Minegishi will be the last first generation member that has been with the group from the very start of this group’s history. Credit must be given to Minegishi for her longevity in the most famous girl group in Japan because she has been through illness and a major scandal, survived and still managed to be in AKB48 well past the amount of time that these girls usually stay with the group. Congratulations Minami!

Note: as of May 2021, the graduation date for Minegishi has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Minegishi will now graduate from the group on May 28, 2021 at the AKB48 Theater. However, before this, she held a graduation concert on May 22, 2021.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

Related Articles