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Why the Career of Pop Singer Hitomi Yoshizawa May Never Be the Same

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Hitomi Yoshizawa is seen here in better times as she attends an event for the video game called "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius".

Hitomi Yoshizawa is seen here in better times as she attends an event for the video game called "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius".

Hitomi Yoshizawa of Morning Musume is Caught Up in a Scandal

If you are seeing this article for the first time, you may be in a state of shock or bewilderment at its title. There is one event that occurred recently in the life of former Morning Musume singer Hitomi Yoshizawa that suggests her career may never be the same again. What was this event and why is the occurrence of it so detrimental to her career going forward?

First, let us summarize what happened that has me thinking that this is going to be very damaging for her career. But, before we go forward, there are two main reasons why her career may never be the same.

Hitomi Yoshizawa Is Involved in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

On September 6, 2018, Yoshizawa was arrested by police in Tokyo due to a hit-and-run accident that she caused. Yoshizawa was driving on her way to attend a promotional event at McDonald’s at around 9:00 AM with former member Kei Yasuda.

Yoshizawa ran a red light and hit a cyclist. The bicycle was said to have been in the air for several meters before it injured two people. Yoshizawa was reported to have fled the scene of the accident (another big mistake) for 15 minutes and only then did she call the police to report the incident. Yoshizawa was reported to have been drunk or intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Why Hitomi Yoshizawa's Career May Never Be the Same

This drunk driving incident alone is enough to bring shame upon her, her family, and ruin her reputation. In a country such as Japan, committing a crime brings immense shame upon the family and the person that commits the crime will lose face and become ostracized. In fact, she already has been called out and severely criticized by several former Morning Musume members but we will get to that in just a moment.

Yoshizawa Failed a Breathalyzer Test and Lied About the Amount That She Consumed

Yoshizawa was subjected to a breathalyzer test which she failed. Test results showed that Yoshizawa had been at 0.58 MG which is almost four times the legal limit of 0.15 milligrams. Those two numbers have to do with what shows up because it measures the person’s blood-alcohol level.

To make things worse for Yoshizawa, new reports are coming out that during the initial questioning phase that she had with police, she lied about the amount of alcohol that she drank. This is another big mistake for Yoshizawa who already is in hot water. Yoshizawa initially said that she had drunk three cans of Chuhai. Only after she was further questioned by the police did she admit that she drank other types of alcohol in addition to Chuhai. Chuhai is an alcoholic drink that is in a can and typically has shochu and carbonated water with a lemon flavor.

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Former Morning Musume Members Condemn Hitomi Yoshizawa for Her Actions

The first person to make a statement about the incident was Makoto Ogawa who was said to be shocked and angry about the whole incident. She elaborated further that it felt like time had just completely stopped while reading the news. However, the harshest criticism came from Kei Yasuda who was said to be shocked, angry, and in sorrow for what Yoshizawa has done. In fact, Yasuda now 37, said: “I was cheering for you, I trusted you, a lot of other people feel betrayed in the same way. It’s a truly embarrassing feeling,” (ARAMA! JAPAN, 2018).

The first band leader for Morning Musume Yuko Nakazawa also issued a remark saying that there was nothing that could be done to defend what Yoshizawa has done, calling the incident sad and mortifying. Other former members of Morning Musume including Asami Konno and Mari Yaguchi have taken a break from using their social media accounts, possibly out of protest against Yoshizawa’s actions. In doing what she has done, Yoshizawa may have possibly alienated herself from many former members of Morning Musume, one of the most popular musical groups in the world.

Hitomi Yoshizawa (center) is seen with Reina Tanaka (left) and Risa Niigaki (right) in this large group gathering of Morning Musume members.

Hitomi Yoshizawa (center) is seen with Reina Tanaka (left) and Risa Niigaki (right) in this large group gathering of Morning Musume members.

Facing Ostracism and Backlash

This is the second reason why Yoshizawa's career may never be the same again. She will have to live with the ostracism and backlash that her actions have caused. What is she going to say to her son when her son grows up? What kind of role model is she ever going to be? I chose to write about this story to bring awareness to the world of what people should not do in life.

As a huge fan of Morning Musume, this incident will be a part of the group’s memory as the scandalous nature of it will be hovering around them. Yoshizawa should have known better than to engage in such selfish and risky behavior. She could have ended her own life with her actions. Yoshizawa who is only in her early 30s has a lot to think about in the coming weeks and days as the details will emerge about what her punishment will be. I have no crystal ball that says that Yoshizawa’s career will be over for sure but one thing is pretty much certain: she will have to live with the consequences of her actions and she will have to issue a public apology to her fans and her family members.

Even though this incident is terrible for Yoshizawa, I suggest that fans around the world pray for her and be hopeful that she can learn from this tragic mistake and be able to bounce back from this. She has now let down many former members of Morning Musume. I will always admire what Yoshizawa has done for the group but this incident is nothing short of a huge scandal.

Bibliography

ARAMA! JAPAN. (2018, September 12). Retrieved from ARAMA! JAPAN: https://aramajapan.com/news/former-morning-musume-members-have-no-sympathy-for-hitomi-yoshizawa/91138/

© 2018 Ara Vahanian

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