about Ya-Ya-yah



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Ya-Ya-yah (late 2001- September 2007) was one of the many junior groups under the management of the Japanese entertainment and record company Johnny’s Entertainment also known as JE.

In the winter of 2001, Yabu Kôta, Akama Naoya, Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyô were grouped together under a unit called YA-YA, because of the first letter of their surnames. [remember that in Japanese the surname goes before the name] Then, 3 other members were added: Yoshida Yûki, Andô Yasuhiro, and Hoshino Masaki, so the group name turned to YA-YA-YAH, which later on would be changed to YA-YA-yah, and finally Ya-Ya-yah

The 7 member Ya-Ya-yah didn't last long, as Yoshida and Andô were soon removed from the group. The now 5 member Ya-Ya-yah kept the group name even though they were missing a Y and an A. In 2003, another junior, Yaotome Hikaru, became a member of the group too and they turned into what is poplularly known as the 6 member Ya-Ya-yah. Then in mid 2004, Akama and Hoshino were removed from the group, which became the 4 member Ya-Ya-yah, made up of Yabu, Hikaru, Shoon and Taiyô. The 'official' explanation for the name now they were missing two As and the H was that the name had stemmed from a song by the Beatles.


Since it's more than a bit confusing, have a little summary:

[2002] YA-YA: Yabu Kôta, Akama Naoya, Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyô
[2002] YA-YA-YAH (aka 7 member Ya-Ya-yah): Yabu Kôta, Akama Naoya, Yamashita Shoon, Ayukawa Taiyô, Yoshida Yûki, Andô Yasuhiro and Hoshino Masaki
[2002] YA-YA-yah / Ya-Ya-yah (aka 5 member Ya-Ya-yah): Yabu Kôta, Akama Naoya, Yamashita Shoon, Ayukawa Taiyô and Hoshino Masaki 
[2003]  Ya-Ya-yah (aka 6 member Ya-Ya-yah): Yabu Kôta, Yaotome Hikaru, Yamashita Shoon, Ayukawa Taiyô, Akama Naoya and Hoshino Masaki
[mid 2004-September of 2007] Ya-Ya-yah (aka 4 member Ya-Ya-yah): Yabu Kôta, Yaotome Hikaru, Yamashita Shoon and Ayukawa Taiyô

In 2002 Yabu and Akama were introduced in the Johnny's Jr. TV music show The Shônen Club (The Boys Club) of the NHK channel as genius child singers, and in that same year, they, together with Shoon and Taiyô recorded a single under the group name YA-YA. In that same year, as Ya-Ya-yah, Yabu, Akama, Shoon, Taiyô and Hoshino also became regulars in the The Shônen Club.

In January of 2003 the five started appearing in a children TV show that bore the group name, the Ya-Ya-yah show, together with other juniors, like the members of K.K.Kitty, ABC, and some groupless juniors, like Yaotome Hikaru. From the start, though, it was evident that Hikaru’s inclusion in the show was done with the intention of making the audience accept him gradually to finally have him join the group later that year.

Akama had already shot up, while Yabu hadn’t, and his voice had broken, unlike Yabu’s, so probably the company thought the group needed a new co-leader with a child voice to keep Ya-Ya-yah being a child group. To do this, Akama appeared less and less on the show while Hikaru increasingly took part in the group performances. Akama was finally left out of Ya-Ya-yah in the summer of 2004, as was Hoshino Masaki.

Akama is rumoured to continue working for JE, or at least he was reported to have been seen doing backdancing for the debuted group Arashi. Hoshino, on the other hand, reappeared briefly in 2007 as part of a promotional campaign of a sports brand in which he announced his intentions of becoming an actor, but there have been no follow-up news.

The 4 member Ya-Ya-yah (Yabu, Hikaru, Taiyô and Shoon) remained active until September of 2007, when Johnny's Entertainment announced the creation and debut of a new group, Hey!Say!JUMP. Two of the members of this new group were Yabu and Hikaru, which meant the disbandment of Ya-Ya-yah. Taiyô quit shortly after, while Shoon decided to stay, working solo. 

During 2008 Shoon continued appearing in The Shounen Club and in the educational show Hyakushiki Ou. In February of 2009 he stopped appearing in Shounen Club but continued being part of the Hyakushiki Ou cast. In March of 2010 he stopped appearing in Hyakushiki and working for JE altogether. On 17th June of 2010 Shoon re-appeared with the opening of an official website and blog with his younger brother Reon as "the Yamashita Bros.". It seemed they intended to go back to the entertainment business, but just a few weeks later they closed down both their site and blog unexpectedly, after 2 blog entries that received more than 3000 comments each, with the unlikely excuse that they needed to focus on their studies. This is mere speculation, of course, but it's possible Johnny's Entertainment was behind it and they were forced to do it.

Taiyô, on the other hand, re-appeared in 2011.01.01, as a co-presenter in a documentary called Blue Earth 5 on TV Tokyo. He was introduced as a "new actor", so there's hope among the fans that we might hear from him again.

Yabu and Hikaru both continue to work for Johnny's Entertainment and have very successful careers as members of their new group, Hey!Say!JUMP.

The original 7 member Ya-Ya-yah 

name
name in Japanese
birthdate
Yabu Kôta
薮宏太
1990 Jan. 31st
Akama Naoya
赤間直哉
1991 April 5th
Yamashita Shoon
山下翔央
1988 Dec. 20th
Ayukawa Taiyô
鮎川太陽
1991 Jan. 18th
Yoshida Yûki
吉田雄基
1987 Oct. 10th
Andô Yasuhiro
安藤靖浩
1987 Jan. 21st
Hoshino Masaki
星野正樹
1987 Nov. 16th










The 5 member Ya-Ya-yah 



(from left to right: Hoshino, Akama, Yabu, Shoon, Taiyô - cover of the CD with 2 singles [Yuuki 100%, and Sekai ga hitotsu ni naru made] released in 2002) 

The 6 member Ya-Ya-yah 



(from left to right: Akama, Taiyô, Yabu, Hikaru, Shoon and Hoshino) 

The 4 member Ya-Ya-yah 



(from top to bottom and left to right: Shoon, Taiyô, Hikaru, Yabu) 

name
name in Japanese
birthdate
Yabu Kôta
薮宏太
1990 Jan. 31st
Yaotome Hikaru
八乙女光
1990 Dec. 2nd
Yamashita Shoon
山下翔央
1988 Dec. 20th
Ayukawa Taiyô
鮎川太陽
1991 Jan. 18th

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