New “Girl” Band’s Japanese Grandmas: Average Age? 84!


Knocking on Heaven’s Door? Not Just Yet!

Photo via YouTube

These 33 amazing singing and dancing ladies from the beautiful island of Kohama in Okinawa have just signed a record deal. Their wildly successful group is a pop idol sensation! KBG84 (their name is a play on sugar-pop teeny-bopper band AKB48) has just completed a sold out tour of Japan. All old enough to be grandmas or great-grandmas, they’re also talented and brave enough to take on the world! Now that’s what I call troupers.

Tiny powerhouse Tomi Menaka, 92, says, “When I first heard someone call us ‘idols’ I thought an idol meant someone who had lived a long life and was at the gates of heaven.” Her team members giggle madly as she explains, “But in Tokyo they told me it was an entertainer – which was a relief because I thought it meant I was on my way to heaven.”

“I hadn’t even been to Tokyo or Osaka. I wanted to go there before I went to heaven!”

Their songs are happy and upbeat, and like these tough and joyful women, they’re more about life experiences and the important things, rather than the glory of money and fame. Themes in their music that show up frequently: nature, and all its beauty. Their songs include lyrics about whales spouting and dolphins somersaulting. Sounds blissful.

KBG84’s single, “Come On and Dance, Kohama Island,” has its music video shot on the tiny island, known as a honeymooner’s paradise. With a population of only 600, these islanders have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Their average daily diet has more vegetables and less sugar than mainland Japan, and a main staple is the local purple-fleshed sweet potato. But don’t think these fabulous performers are too worried about what they eat.

Menaka laughs loudly, in spite of the group’s oldest member’s disapproving shake of her head. “I like meat and sweet things,” she confides, “I look after my health by cleaning my home, wiping the floors, steaming rice. I stay in the shade when it’s too hot. I don’t want to tan. I have to take care of my skin – I’m still young at heart!”

They do have to take care of their health, of course, and backstage, walkers and blood pressure monitors are scattered around. But these retirees clearly have energy to spare.

86-year old Hideko Kedamori shylyadds, “We felt like stars in Tokyo. Everyone in the audience had a big smile, which gave us the energy to sing our hearts out.”

“We still sit around gossiping about life,” Kedamori explains. “If we fight, we quickly make up again, just like when we were kids. We are all together with the same heart. All for one and one for all.”

Who could argue with that?

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