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The Japanese talent agency Central Group announced on Monday that Ponyo theme song performer Nozomi Ōhashi is ending her entertainment career at the end of the month. According to the public statement that was dated on March 1 but posted on March 5, Ōhashi and her family decided that she would enroll into middle school in April and concentrate on her studies. (April is the traditional start of the school year in Japan.) Central Group added that Daisuki na Kutsu o Haitara, a film in which Ōhashi was slated to star, has been cancelled due to "circumstances on the production side."
Ōhashi became famous for singing the title song to Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli's 2008 film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea with the Fujimaki Fujioka duo. (Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas performed the English version of the song for the film's North American release.) Ōhashi and Fujimaki Fujioka performed the song live for what was to be the final time during the Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle) singing contest program on New Year's Eve in 2008.
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