AKB48 is known for idols with fresh young faces with members mostly in their teens or early 20’s, but now, the group has shocked the world with the announcement of their latest member, Mariko Tsukamoto, a 37-year old homemaker who is also a mother of two who will be joining the group for a limited time.



Mariko was just a full-time housewife when she auditioned. She will be temporarily taking part in live concerts, tours and other AKB48 promotional events. At age 37, she is a lot older than the group’s most senior members who are mostly at their mid-20’s like Haruna Kojima who is currently 25 years old.


Mariko Tsukamoto, who has a background in classical ballet, appeared with some of the super idol group’s other members to promote Ezaki Glico‘s Papiko ice pops.

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In a statement, she announced that she wanted to “cheer up all the mothers out there who are also busy raising their kids”. She was chosen from a pool of 5,066 applicants whose ages are 30 years or older, the oldest of which was an 82-year old woman. This was all part of the group’s collaboration project with Ezaki Glico called “Aduld AKB48” which aims to appeal to a much wider audience.

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Sources: Mantan 1, 2


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