File:Niigaki Risa January 2009 01.jpg
File:Niigaki Risa 2008.jpg
File:Niigaki Risa Resonant Blue.jpg
File:Niigaki Risa November 2007.jpg
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File:Niigaki Risa kanashima.jpg

Risa Niigaki (新垣 里沙, born October 20, 1988 in Kanagawa, Japan) is a fifth generation member of the Japanese pop group Morning Musume. She joined Morning Musume in 2001 along with Takahashi Ai, Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto. Niigaki is the current sub-leader of Morning Musume, inheriting the title from the current leader, Takahashi Ai.


In 2001, Niigaki joined Morning Musume as the fifth generation along with Takahashi Ai, Konno Asami, and Ogawa Makoto. Morning Musume producer Tsunku said he chose Niigaki because she "shined during the final studio recording" for the audition song that all the finalists had to sing. She debuted on the group's 13th single, "Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~" alongside her fellow generation members. Her first appearance on a full-length Morning Musume recording was on the album, 4th Ikimasshoi!. In the summer of that year, she also debuted in a shuffle unit, as part of Happy 7, coincidentally with two other members of her generation (Takahashi and Ogawa).

Later in September, all fifth generation members were placed into subgroups. Niigaki was placed into Tanpopo as a member of the third generation, along with Asami Konno. The new grouping only managed to release one single before becoming inactive. Niigaki, along with many other members of Morning Musume at that time, starred in a drama entitled Angel Hearts which was released in 2002. In 2003, she was placed into Morning Musume Sakura Gumi, which released two singles before also becoming inactive.

In early 2007, Niigaki was chosen to be a member of Morning Musume Tanjō 10-nen Kinentai (モーニング娘。誕生10年記念隊) along with Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Goto Maki and Kusumi Koharu - a unit created to celebrate Morning Musume's 10th anniversary. Their first single, Bokura ga Ikiru My Asia (僕らが生きるMy Asia), was released on January 24, 2007. On June 1, 2007, following then-leader Fujimoto Miki's resignation from Morning Musume, Takahashi Ai replaced Fujimoto as leader, while Niigaki took Takahashi's place as sub-leader.

Following Tsuji Nozomi's pregnancy announcement, Niigaki took over the role of Athena in the animation series Robby & Kerobby. In October 2007, Niigaki was placed in the unit Athena & Robikerottsu along with fellow Morning Musume member Aika Mitsui, as well as Saki Nakajima and Chisato Okai of °C-ute.

It was announced in July 2008, that Niigaki and fellow Morning Musume member Takahashi Ai would play the 80s J-pop duo Pink Lady in the TV Drama Hitmaker Aku Yū Monogatari. From August 6, 2008 through August 25, Morning Musume along with members of the Takarazuka Revue performed a version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella with Niigaki as the Prince.

On August 26, 2008, Niigaki became one of four members to remain in Morning Musume for seven years or more (the others being Iida Kaori, Yoshizawa Hitomi and fellow fifth generation member Takahashi Ai). On January 17, 2009, Niigaki and Takahashi became the longest serving members in Morning Musume history, breaking the four year old record set by Iida Kaori.



For musical releases as part of Morning Musume, see Morning Musume discography.


# Title Release date Publisher Photobook information
5 - Morning Musume 5 Ki Generation Member
(5 モーニング娘。5期メンバー写真集)
2002-08-16 Wani Books Photobook starring all of the 5th generation members.
1 Niigaki Risa
2004-10-07 Wani Books First solo photobook
2 Ama Natsu
2006-06-25 Wani Books Second solo photobook
3 Isshun
2007-05-27 Wani Books Third solo photobook
4 Happy Girl
4thソロ写真集「Happy Girl」)
2008-04-25 Wani Books Fourth solo photobook


Title Release Date
Alo Hello! Niigaki Risa DVD
(アロハロ!新垣里沙 DVD)
Alo Hello! 2 Niigaki Risa DVD
(アロハロ!2 新垣里沙 DVD)



Title Release Date
Koinu Dan no Monogatari

Television Dramas

Title Release Date
Angel Hearts 2002
Ore ga Aitsu de Aitsu ga Ore de
Hitmaker Aku Yū Monogatari as Kei from Pink Lady 2008

Televisions Shows

Show Start date End date
Hello! Morning
2001 2007-04-01
Tin Tin Town!
2002-07-05 2004-03-26
Sore Yuke! Gorokkies
2003-09-29 2003-12-26
2004-07-01 2004-07-02
2004-07-23 2004-07-29
Majokko Rika-chan no Magical v-u-den
2004-10-21 2004-11-10
Musume Dokyu!
2005-06-13 Still running
2007-04-08 2008-09-28


Program Start date End date
Tanpopo Henshūbu Oh-So-Ro!
(タンポポ編集部 Oh-So-Ro!)
2002-09-24 2003-09-23
TBC Fun Fīrudo Mōretsu Mōdasshu
(TBC Funふぃーるど・モーレツモーダッシュ)
2005-04-01 2005-04-15
2005-07-25 2005-08-05
Hello Pro Yanen!!
2005-06-10 2005-06-24

Honorary Titles

Niigaki Risa has held three titles in Morning Musume so far, those being;

Preceeded by Sub-leader of Morning Musume Suceeded by
Takahashi Ai 2007 - present Incumbant
Preceeded by Youngest member of Morning Musume Suceeded by
Kago Ai 2001 - 2003 Tanaka Reina
Preceeded by Longest serving member of Morning Musume Suceeded by
Iida Kaori 2009 - present
(held with Takahashi Ai)

External Links

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