Miyawaki Sakura‘s (Sakura) time with HKT48 may be ending very soon.
A leaked Japanese magazine cover featuring the former IZ*ONE member has become the talk of the town after they began making their rounds online. Sakura is on the cover for ViVi magazine’s July edition and according to the magazine, the girl group member may be hanging up her Japanese idol lifestyle.
With the title, Born to be Idol, Sakura stunned with her captivating visuals for the cover of the magazine. The girl group member showed off her delicate, feminine side with a mesh pink top and her soft pink makeup.
Amongst one of the magazines subtitles, one portion read “Sakura recently announced her HKT48 graduation.” According to reports, the full text reads, “Miyawaki Sakura returned to HKT48 after her promotions with IZ*ONE came to an end. However, she recently announced her HKT48 graduation.”
Another portion of the magazine subtitle read, “HKT48, AKB48, IZ*ONE and to the world,” further exciting fans about her future promotional activities. With the many rumors circulating about the girl group member, this piqued the interest of not only her Japanese fans, but also her Korean fans.
Previously, Sakura made headlines when rumors began to circulate that she was signing with HYBE Labels (Big Hit Entertainment.) While the speculations were not confirmed nor denied, the timing of HYBE Labels’ alleged upcoming girl group and the Sakura-related rumors seemed too coincidental.
Sakura made her official debut back in 2011 as one of the original members of the popular Japanese girl group, HKT48. She quickly became one of the group’s most prominent members, becoming the first ever HKT48 member to rank in AKB48‘s annual general elections.
In 2018, Sakura participated in the girl group survival program, Produce 48, where she ranked second overall. She put her activities with HKT48 on hold and went on to become a member of the project girl group, IZ*ONE. She promoted as a member of IZ*ONE for 2.5 years before the girl group disbanded in April 2021.
Sakura returned to Japan following the disbandment of IZ*ONE, with fans’ assumption that she would go back to HKT48 and resume her activities with the group. However, with the continuing rumors and these leaked magazine photos, it seems that Sakura may be done with her Japanese idol life.
While the public speculates about Sakura’s future, no official announcements have been made regarding Sakura’s supposed HKT48 graduation.