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Morning Musume.: The Light of Youth with This Memory

💕 Happy Monday! 💕

Today was my first day with my new preschool class. I knew the kids in this year’s class. It’s because the preschool I work at is small and I knew the kids from last year. So there was no crying. Relief! I also have a better schedule this year, and Mondays are not so busy. I get to come home and take a nap (or just close my eyes for about twenty minutes) before Tae Kwon Do!

Today. I am going to talk about one of my favorite groups of all time: Morning Musume.! I have talked about this group in the past, but I am going to pick something from their beginning years. The song I picked is “Memory ~Seishun no Hikari~”.

Who is Morning Musume.?

I recently have been watching a lot of a late 90s Japanese show called ASAYAN. This show was a mix of American TV shows TRL, Big Brother, and American Idol. On ASAYAN, there were countless auditions that helped launch the careers of various singers like CHEMISTRY, Ami Suzuki, and J Soul Brothers. There would be also behind the scenes segments with artists doing various tasks like recording music or shooting a music video. Finally, there would be a live performance or two each week with a small talk beforehand.

Morning Musume in 1999
Morning Musume in 1999

Morning Musume., which is translated as Morning Daughters, came from an audition held by a Japanese rock band called SharamQ. The whole audition process was televised on ASAYAN in 1997 and it was super popular with viewers. The five runner-ups, or as fans would call them losers, came together to form the idol group Morning Musume. One of the many ideas that producer Tsunku had for the group was to have a revolving door of members. So, members will leave the group or “graduate” and new ones would be added almost every year.

The group is still going strong after 22 years since their formation. However, the members are much younger. Some were born AFTER the group formed!

(By the way, Morning Musume. is still one of the top-selling girl groups in Japan.)

Morning Musume. '19
Morning Musume. ’19

Memory: The Light of Youth

“Memory Seishun no Hikari” was released twenty years ago. It was the group’s fourth single and the last one to feature first-generation member Asuka Fukuda. The original reason why Fukuda left was that she was graduating to focus on studies. But, she later reviewed that she actually quit school afterward to hang around Tokyo.


The song is an R&B tune that was inspired by the popularity of the genre. One such artist that helped make R&B popular in Japan was Hikaru Utada. When Utada’s “Automatic” rocked the music world in 1998, Tsunku decided to try his luck at making an R&B hit. Well, it didn’t go so well. “Memory Seishun no Hikari” only sold over 400,000 copies, compared to the million copies that “Automatic/time will tell” sold.

Tsunku does mention in the linear notes on his official website that he wanted “Memory Seishun no Hikari” to have a worldwide beat and feature session musicians. The group actually recorded the song in New York with legendary musicians Will Lee, Chris Parker, and Hiram Bullock. The CD jacket was shot in Shanghai.

Kaori Iida once explained about the meaning of lyrics on the music TV show CDTV. The song is about a girl who is reminiscing past memories (with an ex-lover). She is continuing those memories in a letter. The song is pretty sad as the girl is painfully recollecting those memories. The guy in the relationship moved on, but it is taking the girl a bit longer as she is still haunted about being in love with the guy.

This kind of painful, sad memories from experiencing a breakup is what a lot of girls and women have experienced in their lifetime. I have experienced it. It took me a long time to get over it, but I finally did.

How about you? Do you have similar experiences with painful breakup memories?


One more thing to add, I didn’t pick this song because of the sad lyrics. I chose it because I love the harmonies featured in the tune. Japan during the 90s was all about the harmonies. When I was in an online cover group for Morning Musume. songs back in high school, I would try to memorize the harmonies so I could sing them. I am trying to practice the harmonies for “Memory Seishun no Hikari” so I can drag a friend to the karaoke booth and let me sing harmonies.

The harmonies are pretty, right?

The Lyrics to “Seishun no Hikari” by Morning Musume.

Here are the lyrics translated:

The memo’s a bit long
But please read it all the way to the end
I didn’t realize how lonesome
It is to be alone

That night when everything broke apart
I cried with all my heart… Good bye
Exhausted by love,
I’ll lock up this room and return the key to you

Goodbye (Just breaking my heart)
I don’t want to see that face ever again
Goodbye (Just breaking my heart)
The one I loved

You can crumple the memo and throw it away
But please read it all the way to the end
I’ve never been held
that affectionately before

I’m leaving my memories behind, but
Don’t love your new girlfriend
In the same way you loved me
Goodbye… goodbye… goodbye…

With a little bit of chance
We really did last a long time, didn’t we?
Just in the time we spent fooling around
I found myself falling in love with you

Goodbye (Just breaking my heart)
We won’t meet ever again
Goodbye (Just breaking my heart)
To our room

The memo’s a bit long
But please read all the way to the end
I didn’t realize how lonesome
It is to be alone

Memories, my memories
It’s hard to part with them
I learned that from loving you
Goodbye… goodbye… goodbye…

You can crumple the memo and throw it away
But please read it all the way to the end
I’ve never been held
that affectionately before

I’m leaving my memories behind, but
Don’t love your new girlfriend
In the same way you loved me
Goodbye… goodbye… goodbye…

Goodbye… goodbye…
Goodbye… goodbye…


Here is a bonus performance of Maki Goto, who was in Morning Musume from 1999-2002, and Aya Matsuura, who was a soloist alongside Morning Musume. I am a big fan of Maki Goto.

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This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Cathy Kennedy

    I remember my first serious boyfriend. The breakup was very hurtful and it took me a while to get over but am thankful that I did. I allowed my heart to mend and grow with a new love – DH my one true soulmate! Thanks for sharing and for dancing with the 4M crew today, my dear!

  2. John Holton

    I was usually the one who ended up with a broken heart, so I could certainly relate to this…

  3. XmasDolly

    Love these gals and the way they put the song together with some English rap! Very pretty! As Cathy, I remember my first break-up too, but I was very young, but not that long ago I heard about him & he turned out with having 7 or 8 children & he weighs close to 300 lbs. DANG! THANK YOU JESUS! hehehehehe I have a wonderful husband now. I guess God was saving me for him. Thank you for posting such a pretty song. Have a wonderful day & yes the harmonies are adorable! Right!

  4. Danielle Jones

    I’ve never heard of these songs either. Every post I learn about a new song 🙂

  5. Ashley Varela

    What a sweet and melancholy song! I only went through one truly brutal break-up as a teenager, but I remember wallowing in my fair share of sad songs at the time (which, in hindsight, only prolonged my pain until I was finally able to move past the relationship).

  6. Marlene

    I haven’t heard of any of these, thanks for sharing and introducing me to something new!

  7. jdorleus

    This is awesome and I can’t wait to sit down and listen to their music. It’s so nice to learn about new music

  8. Jess

    My vote this week is for Memory Seishun no Hikari. I listened to their song and read their lyrics and they are raw and honest.

  9. Ritu Sharma

    I must say, when ever i read your post, I got the new song to listen.

  10. moondreams

    What a beautiful group of girls! They have beautiful voices too!

  11. Henrietta

    Breakups are nasty, and it feels the older one gets the tougher it is to go through it,. A sob playlist is handy lol! This song looks like one to add, hope I don’t need it soon. haha.

  12. Happy Monday! I have never heard of the song, love listening in a different language too – Very cool

  13. genaadventure

    I like the way I listen to new songs every time I visit your website! I have never heard of these 2 either haha

  14. A Nation of Moms

    I have never heard of these artists or their music. It’s fun to learn about different music that is out there.

  15. amayszingblogs

    Japanese songs are amazing I enjoy listening to this song it so nice.

  16. laura dove

    Oh this is just lovely and the words and so beautiful. What a gorgeous group of girls you have here, so lovely!

  17. LuciWest

    Very cool to be introduced to music that I wasn’t familiar with at all. Thank you!

  18. HilLesha

    I have never heard of any of these songs, but thank you for sharing them! I love learning about new music.

  19. I love learning about new-to-me music. Thanks for sharing this band. It’s so interesting that the band has been around for so long and some of the current members weren’t born yet when the band was formed.

  20. Gladys Nava

    What a great read! I am really glad to know about these. Such beautiful kinds of music!

  21. Elizabeth O

    My kids are familiar with this music so I am aware of these groups. That said, melancholic music can inspire us to make changes in our lives.

  22. Cassandra Rose

    I’m a huge fan of J-Pop and loved listening to the selection you chose! I think the concept behind Morning Musume is so interesting.

  23. Kelsie Corbett

    I love finding new music to listen to! I have to look into these!

  24. Stacy Uncorked

    So glad your new preschool class went well (with no crying)! 🙂 Thanks for the introduction to great new (to me) music! You’re right, the harmonies are beautiful! Thanks so much for the dance!

  25. made adayasa

    I’ve never heard about these groups before, but I was enjoyed when listen their songs, they have good voice ..

  26. Travel with Karla

    Thanks for translating the lyrics! They are really talented and they deserve to be featured in your blog. ^^

  27. Kate Murray

    Beautiful group! It’s so nice that it’s been in existence for so long, a testament to what a great experience it is for the girls.

  28. Jessica Collazo

    All this music and artists are new to me didn’t know about them thank God you can learn about their Origins

  29. Chad

    I’ve never heard of this group to be honest, I loooove the song and the lyrics are amazing wow…Great share.

  30. I absolutely love the historic and cultural immersion into music. I do not know much about the Japanese music, and your posts are truly educational. Thank you.

  31. Chelsea Sauve - Wandure

    Really lovely tribute to the group – and so glad you had a nice first day with your class :).

  32. Michael

    They look like a local J-pop group here in PH!

  33. Maartje van Sandwijk

    What a sweet song! My sister would love this!

  34. Joanna

    I will have to check out this band as I didn’t hear about them before. I am not so familiar with Asian bands.

  35. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I love discovering new music and your posts always gives me fresh recommendations.

  36. Olga

    I never heard about these girls. I`ll google them when I have free time.

  37. Renata Feyen

    I love everything about music – watching programs on television but also playing in my own band 🙂

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