Goto Maki’s Profile

History

In 1999, Goto passed the auditions to join Morning Musume when she was just 13 years old as the only 3rd Generation member. She quickly became almost an instant favorite, and helped them reach number one with her debut single with the group and their 7th single, LOVE Machine, which is their highest-selling single to date. She soon established herself as a talented singer and dancer and took the lead on a large number of Morning Musume tracks.

Goto graduated from Morning Musume to purse a solo career in 2002 under Hello Project. She released four albums, as well as a number of singles afterwards. She was also in the Morning Musume’s ten year anniversary group, Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai.

On October 28, 2007, her graduation from Hello! Project and Up-Front was suddenly announced and was to take place on the last day of her then current concert, G-Emotion II ~How to use SEXY~. The reasons for her departure were stated as resulting from being overworked, which was causing her health problems, as well as having conflicting ideas about her career.

Rumors surfaced after her sudden H!P graduation that Max Matsuura, Avex’s CEO, wanted to sign Goto to Avex in late 2007. Because of her brother’s trial and such, she seemed to disappeare from the media-eye for a while.

On March 25, 2008, Maki re-opened her blog during her stay in Los Angeles, where she studied and practiced different types of song and dance, including R&B, jazz and hip-hop. Her blog didn’t include any reference to Up-Front agency (but was still on the same address), and it was assumed that her contract with Up-Front had expired on March 1st and was not renewed as expected. Her last blog entry was on April 22.

It was announced in June 2008 that Goto Maki had signed with the record label Rhythm Zone under avex.

Maki debuted with Avex when she participated in the company’s shareholders’ meeting on June 22nd, 2008, singing a cover of Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love for You.” She also participated in a-nation’08 (Osaka on August 24th and Tokyo on August 31st) alongside with Kumi Koda, Ai Otsuka, EXILE, Ami Suzuki, AAA, TVXQ, Namie Amuro, and Ayumi Hamasaki, among others. On a-nation, she performed the self-written song “Hear me”, a song unreleased to the date, drawing media attention for the first time since her graduation.

SWEET BLACK Project

The SWEET BLACK Project is a cross-media collaboration between J-WAVE, Avex and Mixi. Goto herself chose the logo and the name, which is meant to reflect the “positive and negative” side of the life of today’s women.

On January 5th, 2009, J-WAVE premiered “SWEET BLACK Girls”, a 15 minutes segment hosted by Goto Maki and Ryu as part of the popular radio show “PLATOn”. The show airs Mon-Fri and focuses on the life of women on their twenties. Reception was extremely good, as 30,000 messages were received during the first week only.

To complete the project, Mixi, the most used networking community in Japan, opened a special space for Sweet Black, and Avex launched a web-documentary on YouTube based on Goto’s daily routine as a singer. Immediate success was acquainted, admittedly beyond expectations.

On January 21st, Goto released her first digital single with Avex: Fly away. The lyrics, written by Goto herself, are based on Mambo, a story written by young author Hitomi Kanehara, who won the Akutagawa Prize for her 2003 novel “Hebi ni Piasu” (“Snakes and Earrings”).

Barely a month later, on February 25st, Goto released her second digital single, titled Lady-Rise, also written by herself. This time, Goto collaborated with Sakurazawa Erika, a Japanese manga author whose works are mostly published in josei magazines (comics targeted to a young women audience).

On March 7th, Maki modeled at Japan’s biggest fashion event, TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION.

***

Goto released her second mini album, “One”, on July 28, 2010. From this album on, she started to actual name rather than her “Sweet Black” stage name. As promotion for this release, Goto appeared on several Television shows. One particular show, Kinyoubi no Suma tachi e, aired a 2-hour special on her life and included interviews with Goto as well as a performance of one of her new songs, 華詩-hanauta-, written for her mother. This episode reached 19.3% ratings for the show, making it the most watched program of the day.

On May 5th, 2011, she released her Third Mini album “LOVE”.

On June 22, 2011, Maki announced on her official website that she will take an indefinite hiatus from the beginning of 2012. Her message to her fans goes as follows:

“To my fans and those who will be affected,

Today, I have important news.

I, Goto Maki, will stop all entertainment activities starting January of next year.

13 years ago, during the summer, not knowing the world, as a daughter of a working-class family, I brazenly took the opportunity to audition for Morning Musume. And I became Gomaki; while I experienced many brilliant stages, I ran about in a daze.

I am truly thankful for all my fans who came to support and root for me in both clear weather and rain, for the staff and others who always assisted me, and for my family as well as fellow entertainers I have met.

In winter of last year, I lost my mother, who was a strong source of support; this led me to think about many things.

Looking back on the path that I had walked, I thought about how I wanted to live in the future and found it different from the path that I had chosen up until now.

I feel extremely thankful for everyone’s existence.

However, as it is, I cannot fill up a giant void within myself.

Up until now, I have always been living not for myself, but for someone else.

I have come to the conclusion that this time, that “me” should not be living for someone else, no matter who they are, but for myself.

That “me” is not Gomaki; instead, it is connected to my desire to change into a normal Goto Maki.

While I think about what I can do, I want to challenge myself to do whatever it is I think up.

I have agonized about this for a long time, but I have decided to stop my feet here.

For those who have supported me as singer Goto Maki, I will use all of my energy to run through the remaining half of the year.

In July, a new track will be released for distribution; in the summer, I will go to various places to sing for a-nation; in the fall, Avex, to which I have transferred to, will release my first album.

And in December, just like nearly four years ago, I will hold a solo concert.

While I wish that you will understand my selfish determination, in the period until my hiatus, even though I am just one person, I want my gratitude to reach everyone and I will do my best to open up all of my power.

Doozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

2011 June

Goto Maki”

On March 10, 2012, Maki joined Dream Morning Musume and former band mates Aya Ishiguro and Nozomi Tsuji as special guests. Unlike Ishiguro and Tsuji, her presence was not announced and thus a surprise. She had performed a medley of Petitmoni songs as well as as The Peace.

Profile:

Name: Goto Maki
Nickname: Gottchan, Gottsuan, Gocchin, Gomaki, Goma-chan, Makirin
Birth date: Septemer 23rd 1985 (age 26)
Birthplace: Edogawaku, Tokyo, Japan
Blood type: O
Height: 160cm
Siblings: Goto Yuuki
Hobbies: Cooking, enjoying movies
Favorite colors: Deep blue, gray, yellow, white, pale pink
Favorite flowers: Baby’s breaths
Favorite food: Mont blanc, ice cream, rice
Disliked food: Liver, sea urchin, avocado, papaya
Hello! Project groups:

  • Morning Musume (1999–2002)
  • Gomattou (2002–2003)
  • Nochiura Natsumi (2004–2005)
  • DEF.DIVA (2005–2006)
  • Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai (2007)

Subgroups:

  • Petitmoni (1999–2002)
  • Hello! Project Shirogumi (2005)

Shuffle units:

  • Akagumi 4 (2000)
  • 7nin Matsuri (2001)
  • Sexy 8 (2002)
  • H.P. All Stars (2004)

Trivia:

  •  Goto has a younger brother and two older sisters.
  • In 1996, Maki’s father died from a fall while mountaineering.
  • On October 20, 2007, Yūki Goto (後藤 祐樹), Maki’s younger brother and former member of idol group EE Jump, was arrested on the grounds he and two accomplices, aged 18 and 19, had broken into a construction site in Edogawa, Tokyo on July 15, 2007 and made off with 80 reels of electric cable worth approximately 1 million yen. According to Flash magazine, Goto and one of her brother’s accomplices had been romantically involved for some time, after the two met at Yūki’s wedding in 2005. Due to the circumstances surrounding the robbery scandal, they haven’t been in contact with each other.
  • On January 23, 2010 at 11 pm, Maki’s mother, Tokiko Goto, fell from the 3rd story of her home in Edogawa, Tokyo. She was taken to the hospital, but died from her injuries in the early hours of January 24. Police say she was drunk and have yet to rule out suicide.
  • Mari Yaguchi, her former bandmate, calls her “the Kumi Koda of Hello! Project”.

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