According to an announcement from the S/mileage site, Ogawa Saki will graduate from Hello! Project and S/mileage.
Here’s a translation of the post by Takamaruyo:
This is an important announcement concerning S/mileage.
Thanks for always supporting S/mileage.
We have an important announcement about S/mileage’s Ogawa Saki.
Following the Uchouten LOVE Live Event on August 27th at Higashi Betsuin Hall in Nagoya, Ogawa Saki will be graduating from S/mileage and Hello! Project.
Comment from Tsunku
Thank you gratefully for your continual support of Hello! Project and myself.
Let’s get right to the announcement I want to tell you.
From S/mileage, who has recently gain 5 sub-members, Ogawa Saki will be graduating from S/mileage and subsequently from Hello! Project.
Early in May this year
“Earlier, I have been contemplated and consolidated with staffs, about returning to being a normal middle school student. I feel very strongly about this, please let me quit.”
She has made this request.
Even being the youngest in the group, I have entrusted her with her singing skills.
However, now, from here on and out, as a group and each member individually, their strong desires to improve persist.
Even as a producer, it’s not in the best interest of the group and members to continue to force a member in doubt to endure more group activities, therefore Ogawa’s request has been accepted.
It was officially announced at first that this unit’s member might increase or decrease, it was due this is reason that an urgent S/mileage member audition was held in June this year.
Due to various conditions of the group, herself and other parties involved, as well as terms and conditions on contract, it was not until today that this information and her will can be reported, please accept my apologizes.
Also, she is still an immature student.
A working adult would understand that abandoning work half way is an inexcusable act, but please consider her straight and strong feelings, and watch over her with your warm and love.
Therefore, all fans, please take care of S/mileage which is still in its infant stage.
For this hasty written letter as a report, please excuse me
Comment from Ogawa Saki
Thank you for always supporting me.
As of August 27th 2011 I, Ogawa Saki, will graduate from S/mileage as well as Hello! Project.
Since our major debut last year in May, I have enjoyed every single day as part of S/mileage.
However, somewhere down in my heart, I felt there was a gap between myself and the S/mileage me. I have talked it over with the staff many times and have been constantly worrying about it, and with everyone working their hardest to move forward and myself still uncertain of things, I decided that it was not in the best interest of S/mileage and I will return to being just a normal girl.
I apologize for the last minute announcement.
While there may be feelings of sadness, S/mileage will always be a group with it’s trademark smile!
I’ll be working my hardest to end with a smile until my last event on 8/27, I know there isn’t a lot of time left but I hope you can support me!
The new members will power up S/mileage after I graduate so I hope you’ll continue to support them.
Thank you very much for all your support up til now.
S/mileage Ogawa Saki
This came out of nowhere so I’m really shocked to hear about a graduation, especially from a S/mileage member since they seemed to be among the most stable groups due to their strong bonds, and since Saki is currently the youngest member it seems like she still had quite a bright future as part of the group.
According to the translation it seems that this has been talked about for many months, so much so that it appears that her graduation is also the reason why the audition for new members was announced, although it’s not confirmed since Tsunku only mentions that he said the number of members in the group would go up or down, but one thing is for sure, Tsunku appears to be really disappointed in her decision.
The explanation for the sudden announcement is also mentioned and it seems that it’s due to her contract so hopefully that answers a few questions since some fans might be wondering why they waited until now, but from what I can tell it has been talked about for quite a while.
Her graduation date, like this announcement, will be sudden as well since it takes place at this weekend’s performance, which doesn’t leave much time for her as member and will most likely be a really fast and unexpected event since the audition for the 2nd generation just occurred a few weeks ago.
Like I mentioned before I’m really shocked since she was a really talented performer but it seems that this is based on her decision so hopefully everyone can support her until her graduation.
Ogawa Saki will graduate on 8/27.
Hello! Project Site
Ogawa Saki Blog Entry
EDIT: Comments from Yuuka, Wada and Kanon from their blogs were translated by Takamaruyo, check them out after the break.
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