Hiroko Shimabukuro, who spoke out about the reason for the breakup of SPEED, and a collection of scooped images. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hiroko Shimabukuro, who spoke out about the reason for the breakup of SPEED, and a collection of scooped images.

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Hitoshi Matsumoto and Hiro (Hiroko Shimabukuro) in love scoop (May 6, ’05)

Twenty-three years have passed since the regrettable breakup of the group. The members of “SPEED” have gone their separate ways.

When they made their major label debut in August 1996, leader Hitoe Niigaki (42) was 15 years old. Takako Uehara (40) was 13. Eriko Imai (39) and Hiroko Shimabukuro (39) were only 12 years old and in the sixth grade. In three extremely busy years, “SPEED” sold approximately 21 million singles and albums (as of October 1999), but Shimabukuro said she always felt uneasy.

〈I was the one who made the first move to have a discussion with everyone. Speaking only for myself, I thought, “I can’t go on like this.

In an interview with “CHANTO WEB” distributed on June 17, she talks about the reasons for the breakup of “SPEED” in ’00.

[Joon] I was worried that I was going to grow up without experiencing most of the things that the teenagers around me were going through, and that I was going to grow up without knowing anything about society.


[Joon] should stop for a moment in his own life. I thought, “If I don’t do something, I’ll probably break down.

He also candidly describes what was on his mind at the time.

It was October 5, 1999, when “SPEED” suddenly announced that it would break up at the end of March 2000.

It’s not that we got on bad terms,” Shimabukuro said.

It’s not a bad thing that we’re breaking up.

The main reason for the breakup was said to be the members’ heterosexual relationships.

At the time, Takako Uehara was semi-living with ISSA. The year before that, Eriko Imai was photographed by “Friday” having a love affair with a classmate. Shimabuku’s office found out that she was dating a male talent from the same agency, and the man was fired. Shimabukuro was furious and said, “I’m quitting too! She was furious and said, “I’m quitting, too! In the end, discussions with the office became complicated, and the group disbanded as it was.

SPEED” reunited for a limited time in 2001 and 2003, and resumed their activities in 2008, but in 2001, when Niigaki left their agency, the group was effectively disbanded. The group has not been active in any capacity. Niigaki is known to have written the jacket artwork for SPEED’s tribute album “SPEED SPIRITS” released in November ’21, but his subsequent activities are unknown. Imai became a member of the House of Councilors of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Uehara became a beautician. And Shimabukuro is still active as a solo artist under the name “hiro.

Twenty-three years have passed since their breakup, and the girls continue to be active in their own ways. We will look back on their history with this collection of scoops, and also keep an eye on their future activities.

Members of “SPEED” at the breakup press conference (10/22/99)
Hiroko Shimabukuro back at home on the eve of the breakup announcement (October 22, ’99 issue)
ISSA and Takako Uehara, who were living together half the time (October 22, 1999 issue)
Eriko Imai was a top idol. Scoop on her “pure love” with a classmate, going back and forth to each other’s houses (August 7, 1998 issue).
Hitoe Arakaki lives with a college student one year older than her in Tokyo (January 11.18, 2002 issue).
Hitoshi Matsumoto and Hiroko Shimabukuro getting take-out at a hamburger restaurant (May 6, ’05 issue)
Takako Uehara and Jin Akanishi in a passionate love scene (Nov. 25, ’05 issue)
Takako Uehara with her passionately in love dancer AKIHIRO (April 22, ’11 issue)
Hiroko Shimabukuro shopping at a brand store (November 8, ’13 issue)
Eriko Imai waving to supporters with a big smile on July 11 of last year, with her boyfriend Ken Hashimoto sitting next to her.
This May, Takako Uehara participated in an event as a “beautician.
  • PHOTO Toshihiro Nakaikawa (1st, 7th) Takahiro Kagawa, Takero Yuzuru (3rd, 9th), Sota Shima, Akifumi Yoshida (5th, 6th), Naomi Horikawa, Tetsuko Takemoto, Takeshi Kinugawa, Yuri Adachi

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