Coronavirus has changed Japanese idol culture?

Coronavirus has changed Japanese idol culture?


Japan is a country that has a weird idol culture.

There are many idol groups, and some people spend a lot of money and time on them.

It’s not uncommon for fans to buy hundreds of CDs with “handshake tickets” or “hug tickets” or “voting tickets“, and some others buy thousands or even tens of thousands of them.

A Japanese idol fan bought 3 million yen (around 28,500 usd) worth of CDs and confessed his love to his idol, but the idle rejected him.

He told her that he would buy more CDs and confess to her again next time.

Some idol fans bought tens of thousands of tickets that allowed them to hug for just two seconds and kept hugging for dozens of minutes.

But the coronavirus destroyed the idols’ business model.

In the midst of all this, some idols are trying to survive the coronavirus in creative ways.

文化ぶんかculturecivilizationcivilisationBunka era (1804.2.11-1818.4.22)
一部いちぶone partone portionone sectionsomeone copy (e.g. of a document)
人々ひとびとpeoplemen and womeneach personeverybody
使うつかうto use (a thing, method, etc.)to make use ofto put to useto use (a person, animal, puppet, etc.)to employto handleto manageto manipulateto use (time, money, etc.)to spendto consumeto use (language)to speak
握手あくしゅhandshakereconciliationjoining handscooperation
付くつくto be attachedto be connected withto adhereto stickto clingto remain imprintedto scarto stainto dyeto bear (fruit, interest, etc.)to be acquired (of a habit, ability, etc.)to increase (of strength, etc.)to take rootto accompanyto attendto followto study withto side withto belong toto possessto hauntto be litto be lightedto be settledto be resolvedto be decidedto be given (of a name, price, etc.)to be sensedto be perceivedto be luckyto become (a state, condition, etc.)
一人ひとりone personbeing alonebeing by oneselfbeing singlebeing unmarriedby oneselfalonejustonlysimply
数百すうひゃくseveral hundreds
まいcounter for flat objects (e.g. sheets of paper)counter for positions or rolescounter for food portions (now only gyōza and soba)counter for ranking level
買うかうto buyto purchaseto valueto have a high opinionto stirto provoketo draw upon oneself
数千すうせんthousandsseveral thousand
数万すうまんtens of thousands
男性だんせいmanmalemasculine gender
告白こくはくconfessionacknowledgementacknowledgmentconfession of loveprofessing one’s feelingsconfession of sins (e.g. the confessional)
振るふるto waveto shaketo swingto sprinkleto throw (dice)to cast (actor)to allocate (work)to turn down (somebody)to rejectto jiltto dumpto abandonto give upto ruinto add kana indicating a reading of a wordto slightly change headingsto change directionsto extract by broilingto prepare an infusion ofto decoctto carry with great vigor (e.g. a portable shrine)to bring up a topicto lead to a topicto replaceto substituteto set up a joke for somebody else
言ういうto sayto utterto declareto nameto callto go (e.g. “the alarm went ping”)to make a noise
出来るできるto be able (in a position) to doto be up to the taskto be readyto be completedto be madeto be builtto be good atto be permitted (to do)to become intimateto take up (with somebody)to growto be raisedto become pregnant
数十すうじゅうdozensscores ofdecades
分間ふんかんminutes (period of)
崩壊ほうかいcollapsecrumblingbreaking downcaving in(radioactive) decaydisintegration
なかinsideinamongwithincenter (centre)middleduringwhile
乗り切るのりきるto weather (a storm, rough seas)to ride acrossto sail acrossto get through (adversity)to weatherto get overto tide overto overcometo surviveto load completely (e.g. books on a shelf, people or luggage in a car)


Every year, big idol groups have what’s called a “general election“, in which the idols are ranked according to the “voting tickets” that come with the CDs released that year.


Fans buy a lot of CDs because they want their favorite idol to be number one, but idol fans aren’t necessarily rich. Most of them just spend the majority of their income on their idols. There are many people who get into debt.

This guy spent $30 million just to get his favorite idol in first place!


There are avid female idol fans, too (The left lady bought 80 CDs and the right lady bought 514 CDs)


There was also a college student crime syndicate that stole other people’s credit card information and purchased large quantities of CDs in order to keep shaking hands with their favorite idols for 80 minutes.


Counterfeit handshake tickets were sold at auction, and some fans bought them without knowing it (The right is the fake ticket)


Where do the massive amounts of CDs go after you finish shaking hands, hugging and voting? Some people sell them on second-hand sites, while others get arrested for throwing them into a mountain or something

This Goku who works for $9 per hour seems to dislike those illegal dumpers, lol


Idols can shake hands with as many as 100,000 people in a single day.


This is a bit old book. There is a manual book to handshake well (and efficiently) with your favorite idols.


This lady is a former top idol and says 80% of her fans who came to her handshake events looked DT. DT is slang for virgin, lol.





After the coronavirus, you can’t touch your idols directly. However, a large number of fans are still buying tickets to shake hands with “Magic Hand”.

Btw, I run an online game slightly similar to VRChat for free, and an idol company asked me to convert it for their online pandemic handshaking event. At that time, I was very busy and couldn’t work for them, but I guess some idols are working online now.
(Some Japanese idols earn huge amount of money using youtube super chat. And their fans give them money hoping for being said “Thanks!” by their idols)

5 comments on “Coronavirus has changed Japanese idol culture?

  1. Loving the site so far, however it seems on this article the toggle for English and furigana don’t seem to work correctly. I can turn both on and off for the first paragraph, but any text after the first picture doesn’t change. Instead it always shows the English and no furigana.

    1. Hi! Thanks a lot for your comment and report! 😀
      Ahh, sorry! For now, the furigana and English buttons support the voice recorded area only! >< In the future version after developed an automated furigana functionality, I think I'll support all other areas, too. But it's a bit difficult to add furigana in other areas for now >< (I type every single furigana in the current version... ^^;)

    2. Hi again! Just now I succeeded to make an auto furigana system!
      I added furigana for all Japanese parts in this article now! Thanks! ^^

  2. 伝統的なアイドルは低下してしまってvtuberのアイドルが盛ったと思いますか?

    1. コメントありがとうございます~!


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