The coming-of-age ceremony for the Japanese girl group AKB48 and its sister groups was held at the Kanda Myojin Shrine in Akihabara on Monday (Jan. 8), and 39 members who turn 20 years old during this fiscal year attended the celebration clad in gorgeous kimonos.

Members representing each group announced their resolutions during the interview session. “I’d like to make an effort to contribute to society as a new adult,” said SKE48’s Haruka Kumazaki. NMB48’s Miru Shiroma said, “I couldn’t wait to turn 20, so I’m very happy. I feel I should work hard and be mindful of how I act regarding my job and private life.” Meanwhile, HKT48’s Sakura Miyawaki gave a shout-out to her family. “I’d like to thank my parents for raising me until today,” she commented.

Miyawaki also represented the entire group of new adult members and answered the customary “What ‘generation’ are you?” question. “We intend to work hard so that people will call us the ‘Golden Generation,’” she declared, while the others nodded in agreement. “We’d like to usher in another golden age of AKB48 ourselves.”

Yumiko Takino of the newest sister group STU48, which will drop its major debut single at the end of this month, commented about the group’s goal. “2018 will be STU48’s debut year, and we hope to create a group that can compete with our predecessors and that many people will discover the good qualities of the Setouchi region through our experiences this year.”

Mion Mukaichi of AKB48 spoke for all members when she admitted to dreaming big. “Our ambitious dream as (the members of) AKB48 is to be honored at the Japan Record Awards and to perform at Tokyo Dome again,” she announced, “so we intend to continue pursuing those dreams in 2018.”

Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: (C)AKS