Morning Coffee: Yanagihara Hiromi
Today we are doing another Morning Coffee. It's gonna be a special one, because it's about Yanagihara Hiromi, who sadly died today 17 years ago.
In a time far before most of us became H!P fans, Country Musume was formed. Three members from Hokkaido. The girls auditioned for the group by doing physical labor on a farm in Hokkaido. The group would be a special group and the girls had to have the "Hokkaido" feeling. Hokkaido was know as the countryside of Japan, so the girls whould have to represent that.
Soon after three girls were choosen: Rinne, Kobayashi Azusa and Yanagihara Hiromi. With the help of Moritaka Chisato and Nakazawa Yuko the group recorded their first song and music video.
The girls had already appeared in a movie and made several tv appearances, when on the 16th of July 1999 Hiromi died in a car accident.
Hiromi was driving in Hokkaido alone around 5.00 p.m. Her car crashed into a ditch and left Hiromi trapped beneath her car. The ambulance rushed her to the hospital. However, Hiromi sadly died that same evening. She died because of heart failure due to her injuries. Hiromi was only 19 years old when she died.
Until date, Hiromi is the only Hello!Project member to have ever died. Her tragic dead was not taken well by the other members and Kobayashi Azusa decided to leave the group short after. Their first single: "Futari no Hokkaido" was released as scheduled, a week after Hiromi died. Hiromi's parents gave the premission for this.
In august Rinne took stage alone as Country Girls. She gave a statement about what happend and read a letter by Azusa stating why she left the group.
She and other Hello!Project members then sand Futari no Hokkaido, which would be the last time it was preformed until 2015. Rinne preformed a very lonely and tearful Futari no Hakkaido, that would be remembered by fans years after.
Yanagihara Hiromi will be remembered as one of the original Country Musume members and for how adorable and talented she was. She sadly left us way to soon and left a hole in many fans and members hearts. I hope she rests in peace.
(Yes I might have cried a bunch writing this piece, eventhough I hadn't been a fan in 1999, the story is just so tragic and I feel so sorry for Hiromi, her family and friends).