Idol group AKB48's newest member is a 37-year-old housewife
Many eyebrows were raised when pop idol group AKB48 announced that the newest member of their group is a 37-year-old housewife named Tsukamoto Mariko.
The woman was picked as a part of a promotion with the company Glico, and the criteria for the promotion was that the person had to be over the age of 30. There were over 5,000 people that applied to the contest and Tsukamoto Mariko, mother of two, was picked. Mariko will join the group for only a short period of time, appearing at many of the group's promotional functions and events.
Mariko couldn't be happier saying, "Pleased to meet you, everyone...“It’s like I’m in a dream….I’m sorry.” Many netizens were accepting of the news but some questioned whether or not the addition of Tsukamoto Mariko was appropriate. The oldest applicant to apply for the contest was 82.