Kikuchi Momoko’s 40-Year Showbiz: Reflecting on Her Idol Era Image Collection Since 1988 | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kikuchi Momoko’s 40-Year Showbiz: Reflecting on Her Idol Era Image Collection Since 1988

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Kikuchi Momoko’s (April 1, 1988 issue) live performance at the first live house of the rock band RA MU (La Mu)

Kikuchi Momoko (56) celebrated her 40th anniversary since her debut.


On April 17th, she released the fully self-produced EP “Eternal Harmony.” All three songs included are new, and “Starry Sky” features lyrics and composition by Kikuchi herself.


“In 1983, at the age of 15, I passed the audition for the movie ‘Hole in the Panties’ and made my debut in the entertainment industry in 1984. The movie was not only titled provocatively but also had stimulating content. When it was released the following year, the contrast between Kikuchi’s gentle atmosphere and the provocative nature of the film resonated well and became a big hit. That same year, she also debuted as a singer, releasing three hit singles and ranking first in the bromide (photographic card) annual sales. As the next Matsuda Seiko, she appeared in movies and commercials, skyrocketing to the top idol status.


Suddenly in 1988, she announced the formation of the rock band ‘RA MU.’ Fans were perplexed by her completely different activities, showcasing provocative lyrics and flashy shoulder-pad costumes, unlike her innocent idol singer days. The band disbanded a year and a half later, but she continued to thrive as a popular actress. From 1990, her line ‘Those eyes, a bit naughty!’ from Japan Victor’s video camera commercial became a topic of conversation, and she gained popularity as an enchanting adult woman.” (TV magazine writer)


Why the “180-degree” makeover just before turning 20?

In 1985, “FRIDAY” magazine turned its attention to Kikuchi, who was immensely popular as an idol singer. They featured her singing passionately in eccentric stage costumes as the vocalist of “RA MU,” the seven-member rock band, the chaos of a handshake event where each handshake cost 700 yen, and an exclusive interview right after winning a tour, which was her ex-husband’s first tour victory in two years. We would like to introduce Kikuchi’s appearance during her super idol days through these precious photos.

“When I debuted four years ago, I was always the youngest on any music program, but recently there are times when I’m the oldest. It feels weird, like, ‘Is it okay for me to be here?'”

From the peak of her popularity as an idol to suddenly becoming the vocalist of the seven-member rock band RA MU just before turning 20, Kikuchi explained the reason for this transition at a solo press conference held at the Akasaka Prince Hotel. And on March 9, 1988, she held her first live performance at a live house at the Yokohama Bayside Club.

Kikuchi wore a vibrant blue jacket with large shoulder pads, silver tights, and an ultra-mini skirt. It was a transformation that made her look like a completely different person from her days as an innocent idol with a clean-cut flare skirt.

“Unlike idol songs, with the unique rhythm of black music, she sang while dancing intensely and swinging on stage, even showcasing unfamiliar shouts, which got the audience very excited.” (At that time’s audience)

However, RA MU disbanded after just a year and a half. Afterwards, Kikuchi focused on her acting career. Reflecting on those days in an interview with ‘Sports Hochi’ (distributed on May 5th), she said,

“I was happy with the positive challenge of aiming for a higher level.”

“Maybe some people who preferred the image of an idol didn’t like it, but I became more creatively ambitious, and for me, it was a positive time.”

Since 2012, she has been serving as a visiting professor at Toita Women’s Junior College, her alma mater, where she teaches career education lectures. Additionally, she has been appointed as an inspector for the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, demonstrating her dedication to educational activities. However, it is said that she plans to focus on her music activities for this year.

We look forward to the future activities of the musician Kikuchi Momoko.

Momoko Kikuchi as an idol (Courtesy of Kodansha Archives)
In front of 15,000 fans who gathered for a handshake session at 700 yen per handshake. Momoko Kikuchi is bottom right (April 19, 1985 issue)
Momoko Kikuchi attending high school (August 1, 1986 issue)
Momoko Kikuchi, star of the movie “Find the Idol,” with manga artist Mayumi Yoshida (left); the movie “Let’s Gotokuji! with Hiroko Mita (right), star of the movie “Let’s Gotokuji!” at a joint press conference (February 13, 1987 issue).
This expression on her then-husband, professional golfer Satoshi Nishikawa, in a direct interview after his first tour victory in two years (August 4, 1995 issue)
Momoko Kikuchi in 2008, when she refrained from performing as a mother and housewife (February 17, ’12 issue)
  • PHOTO. Kenji Ikeda, Kodansha Reference Library, Katsumi Sunamori, Hiroaki Fujiuchi, Sota Shima, Naoki Shimizu

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