Graduation

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Graduation (卒業 Sotsugyou) is a term used to refer to a member of AKB48, SKE48, SDN48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, JKT48, Nogizaka46, Keyakizaka46, SNH48, BEJ48, GNZ48 and SHY48, that leaves their respective group. The term is used for other idol groups as well.

Contents

Graduation Process

Members usually announce their graduation from the group as a surprise announcement at the end of theater performances. The date of the member's final performance is usually decided by management at a later date.

Other methods of graduation announcement include (but are not limited to):

Reasons for graduation can vary. Common reasons include:

  • Choosing to focus on studies
  • Poor health
  • Pursuing a career in show-business outside the AKB48 Group
  • Personal reasons

The graduation ceremony of members usually consists of a final theater performance, after which the member takes down her picture from the portrait wall of the theater. Senbatsu members often get segments of concerts dedicated to their graduation in addition to the theater ceremony. In rare cases, a full concert can be dedicated to and named after the graduating member/s if the member is highly significant to the group. This has happened on several occasions:

In some cases, graduated members are still obligated to attend handshake events after their final performance.

Other Terms

Withdraw (「辞退」・「活動辞退」)
This term cam be used for members who chose to leave the group after a scandal involving them surfaces, such as Yonezawa Rumi, Hirajima Natsumi, Masuda Yuka, Harada Mayu and Tsuji Nozomi. It can also be used for kenkyuusei scheduled for promotion who want to leave the group anyway, such as Mitsumune Kaoru and Fujimoto Mitsuki. Lastly, the term is used for members who wish leave the group without having a final graduation ceremony.

Dismiss (「解雇」・「契約解除」)
This term is used for members who are forced to leave the group after breaking a rule. This rare occurrence has happened for twelve cases.

Return

A graduated member can return to the group she graduated or to a sister or rival group. However, this is usually limited due to the age limit of auditions. Currently, a total of 10 members returned to AKB48 Group after their graduation:

Graduated members can also return sporadically to perform on concerts or special theater shows.

Graduated and Graduating Members in 2017

Many members have graduated from the 48 Group since its formation. A full list of members who have graduated can be found here
Below is a list of members who graduated or announced their graduation in 2017 (some cases in 2016) specifically.
Bolded names denote members who have yet to graduate since their announcement.

AKB48

SKE48

NMB48

HKT48

NGT48

JKT48

SNH48

GNZ48

Nogizaka46

Trivia

  • The first member to graduate from the AKB48 group is Team A's Usami Yuki who graduated on March 31, 2006.
  • The biggest mass graduation was by SDN48, where all members from the group graduated together on March 31, 2012.
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