The Heart and Soul of Japanese Idol Groups: The Crucial Significance of “Oshi” Members

In Japanese idol groups, fans choose a favorite member called their "oshi". Oshi members are crucial to the group's success and financial stability.

Japanese idol groups have been around for decades and continue to be a prominent part of popular culture in Japan. These groups consist of young, attractive performers who sing, dance, and act in various media. Fans of idol groups are passionate and dedicated, and many have a deep connection with a particular member of the group, called their “oshi”. In this article, we will explore the crucial significance of “oshi” members in Japanese idol groups and how they contribute to the success and longevity of these groups.

What is “oshi” member?

“Oshi” is a Japanese term used to describe a fan’s favorite member of an idol group. It is a personal choice based on the fan’s preference, and oshi members often have solo careers or lead sub-units within the group.

The term “oshi” comes from the Japanese word “oshi-ire”, which means “to push in” or “to insert”. In the context of Japanese idol culture, “oshi” refers to the member that the fan wants to “push in” or support above all others. The term has become a popular and affectionate way for fans to refer to their favorite member of an idol group.

The Role of Oshi Members:

In Japanese idol culture, fans typically choose one member of the group as their “oshi” or favorite. This choice is often based on personal preference, such as the member’s appearance, personality, or talent. Fans will often buy merchandise related to their oshi, attend live events to see them perform, and participate in fan activities dedicated to their oshi.

The “oshi” members play a crucial role in the success of idol groups. They serve as the face of the group and help to create a personal connection between fans and the group as a whole. Oshi members often have solo careers or lead sub-units within the group, and their popularity can help to attract new fans and generate media attention.

Moreover, “oshi” members are also essential for the group’s financial success. Fans of “oshi” members are more likely to purchase merchandise and attend live events, which are primary sources of revenue for idol groups. This popularity can also attract sponsorship deals, endorsements, and other lucrative opportunities for the group.

The Relationship Between Fans and Oshi Members:

The relationship between fans and “oshi” members is a unique aspect of Japanese idol culture. Fans often express their love and support for their oshi in creative ways, such as making handmade gifts or writing fan letters. In return, “oshi” members often make an effort to connect with their fans by responding to fan messages or participating in fan events.

This relationship can be very intense and emotionally charged. Fans invest a significant amount of time and money into supporting their oshi, and the feeling of a personal connection with a member can be very strong. However, this relationship is generally considered to be one-sided, with the fan supporting the oshi without expecting anything in return.


In conclusion, the “oshi” members are the heart and soul of Japanese idol groups. They create a personal connection between fans and the group, contribute to the group’s financial success, and are often the face of the group in media and promotional materials. The relationship between fans and “oshi” members is a unique and emotionally charged aspect of Japanese idol culture, and it is this relationship that has helped to make Japanese idol groups such an enduring part of popular culture in Japan.

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