AKB48 (pronounced English "AKB Forty-eight", abbreviation for "Akihabara48") is a feminine group of J-pop created in 2005, with changing staff, originally composed Twenty young singers and idols divided into five teams: Team A, Team K, Team B, Team 4 and Team 8. Team 4, which was dissolved in 2012, was reformed the following year.
The 48, which can be called "Shi-Ba" in Japanese, comes from "Office48", which before the creation of the group was managed by Kotaro Shiba, the "S" of AKS , the agency AKB48's main one, whose other two heads are Yasushi Akimoto for the "A" and Yasushi Kubota for the "K".
Several similar sister-groups have emerged since 2008: SKE48 (Nagoya, 2008), SDN48 (Tokyo, 2009), NMB48 (Osaka, 2010), HKT48 (Fukuoka, 2011), and more recently NGT48 (in Niigata, 2015) and STU48 (Setouchi, 2017), all created and managed by a single producer Yasushi Akimoto (who had previously created a group of famous 1980s idols, Onyanko Club) . Thanks to the international success of the groups, Akimoto later creates sister groups in cousin countries like JKT48 in Jakarta in Indonesia (in 2011), SNH48 in Shanghai in China (in 2012) and MNL48 in Manila in the Philippines (in 2018). ). It will be an opportunity for Akimoto to transfer members of AKB48 to these groups for them to work temporarily with them.
The group of AKB48 will have understood several idols now popular as some of them: Atsuko Maeda, Minami Takahashi, Mariko Shinoda, Tomomi Itano, Minami Minegishi, Yūko Ōshima, Haruna Kojima, Sayaka Akimoto, Tomomi Kasai, Sae Miyazawa, Rino Sashihara , Jurina Matsui of SKE48, Sayaka Yamamoto of NMB48, Mayu Watanabe and Yui Yokoyama.