Big in Japan

By Kate Hassett

Big in Japan
These ladies are proving it's never too late to live your dreams

Japan’s newest pop group is made up entirely of amazing grandma’s.

Kohama Island in Okinawa is an 8-square-km slice of paradise, that sits just off the south of Japan, with a population of just 600.

33 members of the population are now pop stars, geriatric pop stars.

The group, called KBG84, is the newest girl band to hit our screens and has an average age of 84, with the oldest being just shy of 100.

Some of these gorgeous women are finding their sudden fame hard to comprehend.

“When I first heard someone call us ‘idols,’ I thought an idol meant someone who had lived a long life and was at the gates of heaven,” Tomi Menaka told AFP“But in Tokyo they told me it was an entertainer – which was a relief because I thought it meant I was on my way to heaven. I hadn’t even been to Tokyo or Osaka. I wanted to go there before I went to heaven.”

Their instant popularity has catapulted them into stardom, with the band recording an album and taking it on the road to perform for sold-out-crowds across Japan.

“We felt like stars in Tokyo,” 86-year-old Hideko Kedamori said. “Everyone in the audience had a big smile, which gave us the energy to sing our hearts out. We’re blessed to have been born in Kohama. Our lyrics are about the island and nature – whales in the sea spouting or dolphins doing somersaults.”

The group’s formation has given these incredible women a new lease on life, proving that music really can bring people together.

Menaka, who is thought of as KBG84’s leader, said that she is at her happiest when she is on stage performing. “Going to Tokyo for the first time, I thought I was so lucky to be born… I got to meet my grandchildren. I’ll never forget it. I was moved to tears.”

Watch their heartwarming video below.



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