Japanese idol

Momoiro Clover Z, ranked as number one among female idol groups according to 2013–2017 surveys[1][2][3][4][5][6]
AKB48, a Guinness World Record holder for being the "largest pop group", with 2011 record sales of over $200 million in Japan alone
Morning Musume, the longest running female idol group, also holding the record for the most consecutive top 10 singles for any Japanese artist
Babymetal performing in Los Angeles in 2014. Their two studio albums are among the few albums by Japanese artists to make the US Billboard 200 chart.

In Japanese pop culture "idol" (アイドル, aidoru, a Japanese rendering of the English word "idol") is a term typically used to refer to young manufactured stars/starlets marketed to be admired for their cuteness. Idols are intended to be role models. They are supposed to maintain a good public image and be good examples for young people. Idols aim to play a wide range of roles as media personalities (tarento): e.g. pop singers, panelists of variety programs, bit-part actors, models for magazines and advertisements.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

The term is commercialized by Japanese talent agencies,[14] that hold auditions for boys and girls with little or no prior experience in the entertainment industry, often as aspiring stars/starlets to be adored for their sweetness and innocence[14] with the intent of creating a passionate following. Most idol singers work across genres of Japanese pop music, usually in the genre that is most popular at the moment,[15] but since many idols sing cute sentimental songs,[14] one can say that those kind of idols form a sort of music genre of their own.[12][14] Their songs typically do not require great singing skills; their popular appeal comes largely from the attractiveness of their public image.[15] Idols are often not considered "serious" musicians[7] or "serious" actors. Consequently, many young stars now reject the idol label in their desire to be seen as professionals rather than as objects of fanatical devotion.[16]

Many Japanese people who are fans of female idols see them as akin to sisters or girl next door types;[12][17] they empathise with the idols and love the way in which they are presented as ordinary kids who happened to become popular, enthusiastically following their growth from inexperienced amateurs to famous experienced artists.[14]

The biggest annual idol concert festival is the Tokyo Idol Festival (TIF) held since 2010. More than 200 idol groups and about 1500 idols performed, attracting more than 80,000 spectators in 2017.

Ambiguity of the term

There is some debate about what an idol is, in part because they are so ubiquitous in Japanese media. They are seen everywhere, and with such a broad range of abilities such as singing, acting, and dance, that they overlap with other forms of celebrity. They are similar to tarento in that they perform in various roles in various forms of media. But tarento are more well known simply for being famous rather than any sort of ability.[18]Tarento serve as a view of the ordinary Japanese person and often provide commentary such as celebrity panels that help viewers interpret and absorb information. Idols, on the other hand, are the focus of the entertainment. Details about their personal lives are revealed in interviews, and they are the celebrity that fan bases and thus market bases are built upon.[19]

Although idols are often defined as something like "young manufactured stars/starlets", there are idols who transgress the boundaries of such a definition, like members of the group Arashi, who are in their mid thirties (34 ~ 37), or idols who use the Internet to produce themselves.[20]

The term is commercialized by Japanese talent agencies,[14] that hold auditions for boys and girls with little or no prior experience in the entertainment industry and market them as idols, often as a sort of aspiring stars/starlets to be adored for their sweetness and innocence[14] and to have a frenzied following. Whether a person is categorized as an idol depends on how he or she got into the entertainment business and whether he or she is promoted as being an idol. Some entertainment (mostly music production) companies and music projects specialize in idols, and they automatically market everyone they sign as an idol. Such idol music projects have their own steady following, i.e., idol fans who prefer the style of one particular project they support. But bigger companies can choose, for example, not to refer to a new pop group they create as an idol group. As a result, there are some girl groups and boy bands with practically the same kind of fan following that are not idols according to their official profiles.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ідал (японская поп-культура)
български: Японски идол
čeština: Japonský idol
español: Idol japonés
Esperanto: Japana idolo
euskara: Japoniar idol
français: Idole japonaise
Bahasa Indonesia: Idola Jepang
italiano: Idol
magyar: Japán idol
македонски: Јапонски идол
Bahasa Melayu: Idola Jepun
Nederlands: Japans idool
日本語: アイドル
português: Ídolo japonês
română: Idol japonez
Simple English: Japanese idol
slovenčina: Idol (Japonsko)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Idol (japanska pop kultura)
svenska: Japansk idol
Türkçe: Japon idolü
українська: Японський ідол