~「TGIF!」Idol♥’s unzipped on way back Fridays (Volume 40)

Idols unzipped...

For tonight’s Idols♥ Unzipped we’ll take a little peek back into the origins of Morning Musume all those years ago…

..and while we have talent search programs like American Idol and X~Factor,

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" event group photo (scan)


And this is how it all began

…during the Fall of 1997 the finale of a talent audition contest collaborated between Tsunku (Sharan Q) and the Asayan television program in Japan winded down to the final eleven idol/singer hopefuls which concluded with Heike Michiyo winning. However a second chance effort was created for five of the remaining talents which included Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori, Fukuda Asuka, Ishiguro Aya and Nakazawa Yuko and their challenge was a formidable one in that they would only be allowed to debut as an official group if they could sell 50,000 copies of a specially recorded single of theirs within just five days total of sales events all on their own. I remember shortly after their final sales event day in Nagoya a mini documentary was released showing all of the challenges and various hardships and tears that the girls had to go through in bringing about the amazing feat to fruition, and really talk about spent blood, sweat and tears all going into their sales blitz and just the feelings of uncertainty if they would actually reach their 50,000 sales goal over such a short period of time was captured most intimately and candidly as each of the five girls fought so hard in keeping up their spirits~*~~* as the allotted sales event days were quickly winding down with much needed sales still needed. Sadly the clip I had documenting the events as well as their in between time together between events was lost when my old pc from then expired suddenly one day leaving a lot of pics and clips forever gone…mind you it was before the days of the external back up hard drives or at least I was unaware of them at the time =/. Although 1998’s single “Morning Coffee” is officially Momusu’s debut single release I still think of “Ai no tane” as being their debut single and song and with that a great attachment and sentiment for me personally will always remain with this single as you can always look back at its creation and the five original girls’ incredible feat accomplished as being the very reason and statement moment which lends to the very existence of Morning Musume of today. For without it, there would never have been a Morning Musume and likewise the long running and illustrious career its created for aspiring idol/singers over the many years since.

The symbolic statement of “Ai no tane” made it a must have single and while I would have loved to have been able to be one of the very first fans to have attended one of their four sales events, luckily through the help of a second hand music shop in Japan I was able to request through a ‘wants list’ Morning Musume’s “Ai no tane” single complete with signed post card and photo which were given out at each of the sales events for those attending who purchased a single in helping the girls’ sales challenge. Given the multiple fluctuations in Momusu’s popularity, members and sales over the years it’s difficult to imagine just what the market value would be today for this single but back then when I longed for it the asking price of various auctions were in the neighborhood of anywhere from $180.00 going as high as up to $300.00 depending on the singles condition an whether or not the signed post card and/or photo were also included in their original state. The complete set I received was in pristine condition with both the signed post card and group photo included in great shape as well and after years of it hanging upon my bedroom wall today I took it down for the first time since it was hung there and also scanned it for the very first time. So here with great sentiment is the origin of Morning Musume in original merchandise, its very first official live concert performance as well as its music video~.

For all successes,

there is always

a first

  brave step


a beginning….

~Morning Musume Asayan Project “Ai no tane”~

The song’s lyrics are most personalized too as the theme of ‘setting out’…’a new season’…’tears drying up’ and ‘aiming for the sky’ all are in perfect harmony with the girls’ outlook and efforts put forth for this very debut and how moving on and fighting for your dream no matter the pain and challenges defines the original five members of Morning Musume who had originally lost the audition contest but through a second chance~*~~* all found that shining rainbow out of the darkened clouds and in that they’d planted the ‘seeds of love’ all those years ago which continue to grow and persevere in the Morning Musume of years past and into today and beyond~.

Asayan Project Morning Musume Ai no tane (1 of 50,000) cd single with group photo and signed post card (back, signed side)

Asayan Project Morning Musume Ai no tane CD single (1 of 50,000) (back of single case) with signed post card (back)

Asayan Project Morning Musume Ai no tane CD single (1 of 50,000) with group photo and signed post card (front)

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" CD single (inner jacket scan)

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" CD single (inner jacket scan)

Morning Musume Hello! First Live at Shibuya Koukaido DVD

~Morning Musume “Ai no tane” (Hello! First Live at Shibuya Koukaido)~

How adorable is Nacchi~♥!! and note Yuko’s already shorter hair style as she cut it shortly after the single’s cover shoot was done, prior to the music video production.

Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (2)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (7)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (8)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (9)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (10)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (11)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (12)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (13)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (14)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (15)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (16)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (17)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (18)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (19)Morning Musume in Ai no tane first live... (20)

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" CD single (back cover scan)

Morning Musume Eizo The Morning Musume Best 10 DVD

~Morning Musume “Ai no tane” (music video)~

Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (1)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (2)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (3)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (4)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (5)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (6)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (7)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (8)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (9)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (13)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (10)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (11)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (12)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (14)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (15)Morning Musume in Ai no tane (pv) (16)

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" signed post card (front)

Morning Musume "Ai no tane" signed post card (back)

About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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10 Responses to ~「TGIF!」Idol♥’s unzipped on way back Fridays (Volume 40)

  1. Pingback: Recommended Reading: April 6th, 2013 | Idolminded

  2. Pingback: Idol Thought For The Day: Origins and Mythologies | Idolminded

  3. NyNy says:

    A really nice post! Will you do another post about the rest of the Morning Musume history?


    • Thank you for the comment!…and that would be a very ambitious taking on no doubt, over the years here I’ve covered quite a bit of H!P’s history albeit I didn’t begin blogging here (on Vox originally) until years after experiencing their debut first hand. Would be fun to encompass it all though as aforementioned that would be a very large project indeed!


      • NyNy says:

        It would be very long but still, great post! People can refer to this if they want to know more about the start of Morning Musume’s history.


        • I tend to want to be thorough and i really think a project like that would take upwards of 6 months…just to give you an idea and keep in mind that this following linked post was written way back in 2007 and hasn’t been updated properly since so everything else acquired since (H!P related) then isn’t even in this post:


          Again even just considering the creation of such a post is way daunting with the time it would take to do properly from a first hand perspective as i experienced it all in real time plus just how many GBs of memory it would take…(i’m paying for memory due to the size of this blog already). And by going through the archives here I’ve covered already in past posts a vast amount of H!P’s history from 2007 till recently including group history, changes in the groups, units, their concerts, tv shows, the personalities, books, etc etc…^^.


  4. philipleslie says:

    Hi! I was looking for a relevant post to ask a question about Ai no tane… I’ve been filling in some of the gaps in my MoMusu singles collection and have just bought Ai no tane from Otokichi. I know it’s not one of the 50,000 because it was just 350円, so I assume it was from a second press made prior to the song’s re-release on Memory. My question is, what’s the difference between a first press of this indie single and a reprint? The originals seem to go for lots of £s/$s…
    Which leads me to a related question: used and new Momoiro Clover Z CDs are really expensive. Otokichi is offering one for the equivalent of $160 (new/sealed). Any thoughts on why they’re so precious? They’re a popular group, so I would have thought there would be a lot pressed each time. Or are they expensive because fans buy them and never part with them!


    • That’s really curious and I actually wasn’t aware that the single was printed a second time….huh I at first was thinking that the singles he’s selling for much more are only more expensive as they include the original signed post card and group photo and also he consigns many of the items in his shop so it could also be directly dependent depending on the pricing set by the customer maybe. You could compare yours to the scans above but I’d imagine they’d be identical with the Asayan Project labeling. Wow that’s really pricey!! Awhile back C-ute’s indies singles were selling for comparable prices as they also included event exclusive photos and I ended up caving and paying probably too much for them xD….still with Momoclo that is amazing!! I know that some of their earlier releases were really like grass roots events so perhaps there are exclusive extras being offered with those singles maybe? I’m really not sure but Wow! that is a lot for a single!! OH wait no I’m really thinking that it’s due to those singles being from their indies days?….much like how C-ute’s indies singles were super high priced on auctions back then..I’m thinking that must be it or then again I could be way wrong, just my hunch =P. One of their earlier singles even had a member version set where each girl had her very own cover for a single release and so I remember having to pick my favorite at the time. When they debuted I was so taken in with their look and sound and how they coupled traditional with modern I thought was so cool and with the kimonos and everything it was so perfect! A bit later they seemed to have left that image behind though and then I lost a bit of interest in them =/……the audio was lost there but my babbling still remains =D:



      • philipleslie says:

        I’ve left a comment on your Momoiro Clover post….So it looks as though my Ai no tane is an original, then. Wonderful. I don’t have many singles beyond the 40th as I prefer the earlier period. In fact, I still don’t have albums 12 and 13, although there are some excellent tracks on them and I will buy them one day. The earlier albums, especially First Time and Second Morning, I play and play and play…What a beautiful sound world.


        • I think it is an original =D!..truly a most coveted single to own for any Momusu fan! I couldn’t agree more as the song writing and performances too on their earlier albums are by far much better in both regards and yes in particular First Time is most excellent with advanced harmonies and just the most catchy songs on it I so agree!


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