02 January 2014
Oshima Yuko Announces Graduation
Team K captain Oshima Yuko has announced that she will graduate from AKB48. The announcement was made during the 64th Kouhaku Utagassen on December 31st. In between two songs of AKB48's performance, Yuko stepped forward and announced her graduation with the words: "Thank you for your support in 2013 as well. Using this occasion, there is something I want to say to you. I, Oshima Yuko, will graduate from AKB48. This is also the last time I get to perform like this at the Kouhaku Utagassen. I will sing full of gratitude. And please continue to support the 48group in the coming year 2014." The other members had not been told about Yuko's decision beforehand. Further details about the graduation have not been revealed yet.
Yuko joined AKB48 in the early, not so succesful days, as a 2nd Generation member in 2006. She always has been one of the top members of the group winning the Senbatsu Election twice (2010 and 2012) and ranking 2nd in the other elections. She will remain in the entertainment industry after her graduation from AKB48.
In 2013 the AKB48 fans bid farewell to top AKB48 members like Shinoda Mariko, Itano Tomomi or Akimoto Sayaka. Now 2014 will bring the departure of Oshima Yuko, one of AKB48's faces. People have speculated about this for some time and soon it will happen. Whether you like her or not, she has been one of AKB48's most important members and her leave will mean another turning point for the group.