On September 20th, Morning Musume ’14 began their latest tour, “Morning Musume ’14 Concert Tour Aki GIVE ME MORE LOVE ~Michishige Sayumi Sotsugyou Kinen Special~”. On the last day of this tour, leader, Sayumi Michishige will be graduating from the group. She stated, “After I graduate I am thinking about a total shutdown of all of my activities immediately, because up until now I’ve been going full speed and I haven’t had a break.” The abrupt comment caused the audience to gasp and get riled up.
Michishige gave her reasoning, “I think by saying ‘shutdown’, I’ve made you guys a little more shocked than I meant to, but I just mean that I will be taking a little break from work. I want to refresh my mind and body, so after I graduate I will be thinking about myself a lot. I only have a little more time in Morning Musume. On September 30th the 12th generation members will join us and be introduced to everyone at the Nippon Budokan. Then we will be speeding ahead to November 26th. The time is rapidly approaching.”
On the 20th, the curtains raised for the group’s new song “TIKI BUN” and Michishige went out to greet the audience, “I want each and every performance to be packed with feeling!” She did as was promised and gave her all during each performance. After one song during the encore, Michishige told her fans directly what her plans were after graduation.
“I’ve been in Morning Musume since 2003 and I’ve only thought about Morning Musume. I didn’t really have an interest in entertainment industry; I just loved Morning Musume so much that I went to audition. I then became a member and eventually a leader. Morning Musume became my entire life. I think that I have done everything I can in Morning Musume over these past 12 years.” After her touching speech, the fans burst into applause and cheers for Michishige’s love for the group.
Michishige’s final performance will be on November 26th and Yokohama Arena.