Hinatazaka46 Idol Memi Kakizaki Announces Retirement from Entertainment
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Hinatazaka46 idol Memi Kakizaki is graduating from the Nogizaka46 sister group following her final event on August 11 at at Fukiage Hall in Nagoya, Aichi. The handshake event hosted a number of the group's idols although Kakizaki did not participate in the handshake portion prior to her announcement that the event would be her last one with the group. Kakizaki had announced she would leave the group June 21. She was with Hinatazaka46 for approximately three years but plans to leave the entertainment world behind. Her blog closed on July 31.
Sponichi Annex and social media posts have alleged that Kakizaki was the victim of a stalker for several months and she stated that's why she would no longer participate in handshake events. The sources allege Kakizaki made the statement on stage on Sunday. Model Press reported her farewell as a happy one with no mention of statements regarding a stalker.
The official website for Hinatazaka46 issued a statement in May regarding poor fan behavior at events. The statement mentions a "serious situation" including stalking of idol members near their homes. The group's management warned that if such behavior continued they would notify police and ban offenders from all future events.
Idol members have dealt with stalkers in the past with alarming confrontations. Mayu Tomita was stabbed multiple times in 2016. The perpetrator was sentenced to 14 years in prison. AKB48 idol group members Anna Iriyama and Rina Kawaei were attacked at a handshake event in 2014 by a man wielding a saw.
The NGT48 idol group was the center of controversy after two men were arrested and released following the alleged assault of group member Maho Yamaguchi. Yet another man was arrested in May for threatening to murder NGT48 idol group member Yuka Ogino.
Source: Model Press, Sponichi Annex,