Japanese title: Memory 青春の光
Romaji title: Memory seishun no hikari
English title: Memory: Light of Youth

Members: Nakazawa, Iida, Abe, Ishiguro, Fukuda, Yaguchi, Ichii, Yasuda

Release date: 1998.02.10 / 2005.03.02 (Re-release)

Catalog nr: EPDE-1020 / EPDA-5316 (Re-release)
Label: zetima

First press: yes, a limited edition with a different cover.

«Memory Seishun no Hikari» is Morning Musume‘s 4th single. An application form for the 1st Heike Michiyo & Morning Musume Protegee Audition was also included in this single (which would spawn solo artist Miyoshi Chinatsu).

It was released on February 10th, 1999. The single contains the title track and it’s instrumental, as well as a two B-sides (Happy Night and Never Forget). The single sold 195.720 copies in it’s first week, and a total of 410.850 copies charting for 12 weeks, earning them #2 on the Oricon charts.

In 2004, a special «Early Single Box» was released, a limited edition box set containing their first eight singles reissued on 12cm CDs. The box set also contained a bonus 12cm karaoke CD with instrumentals of 15 popular songs from their first 3 albums and a 36 page color booklet. In 2005 the singles were released individually,, and first press editions of these singles came with a photo card. All the 12 cm CDs contain an extra track for each single.

Tsunku’s comments about this release:

"During the year of 1998, the girls of Morning Musume had a very busy year. They had done a variety of things, so much so that it was hard to believe for me to think their next single was only the 4th one. I think everyday event had made them grow stronger, more beautifully matured, sharper and cooler. I’m sure they were strongly encouraged by the support from the fans.

The 4th single has incorporated the mixture of the latest digital sound equipment as well as the best musicians’ live session. Combined with beautiful harmony created by the 8 girls, I think we’ve created the most powerful sound in the world. I am very proud of this work.

P.S. I am very happy by the girls’ improved skills and how much soul they are able to put into a song nowadays!"

Promo poster

Promo poster

Prior to this single’s release, on January 17, 1999, Fukuda shocked fans and viewers of the television show ASAYAN with her decision to graduate from Morning Musume to continue her studies. Her last appearance with Morning Musume was at her farewell concert in April. Her last song performed was Never Forget, the B-side to this single. She was the only one not crying, and later stated that she thought they were alle fake for crying and the only one being honest was Nakazawa. She also said in later interviews that she was treated poorly by management and fellow band mates, being their scape goat, which was the real reason for her leaving the group.

Tsunku said in an interview, regarding Fukuda’s departure (2000):

Tsunku: When Fukuda told me she wanted to quit, I thought it was a very gutsy move. “Daite Hold on Me” landed 1st place, and Tanpopo was on 2nd place, so to general public, everything was going smoothly. So I couldn’t believe why she wanted to quit right in the middle of a great phase. I actually thought her decision was immature too.

Interviewer: Even though it was her own intention, I’m sure you tried to convince her to stay.

Tsunku: Yes, we all sat down with her and had a talk, partly because she was way too calm about the situation. I felt strange to convince her to stay but knew it was necessary. Regrets like “I should’ve left that time” and “I should’ve told her to stay” might’ve come up later on, so I wanted to talk till both parties came to the mutual understanding. 

Interviewer: This might sounds strange, but did you think it would ruin the unit’s image? I apologize if I sound too vulgar, but the unit is ultimately, your creation, your product. She was one of the main girls, and you were going to lose her.

Tsunku: I thought about it too. But my first thought was, it’s unhealthy to let her stay in the same unit and make her feel trapped and miserable.


Memory Seishun no Hikari has been covered by Natsumi Abe (on her first solo album Hitoribocchi, released in 2004) and Tsunku (on his album Type2).

Kei Yasuda sang a rock version of Never Forget at her graduation concert in 2003 (she was even presented with a CD single of the song). It was released as the B-side to Morning Musume’s 18th single As For One Day.


Original release
01. Memory 青春の光 (Memory Seishun no Hikari; Memory: Light of Youth)
02. Happy Night
03. Never Forget
04. Memory 青春の光 (Instrumental)

01. Memory 青春の光 (Memory Seishun no Hikari; Memory: Light of Youth)
02. Happy Night
03. Never Forget
04. Memory 青春の光 (Instrumental) 05. Memory 青春の光(99.4.18 Live Version)

The 5th track on the re-release is a live version, recorded at “Asuka Fukuda’s Graduation Concert” held at Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Kaikan Hall on April 18th, 1999. The song starts off with an extended and emotional intro, which symbolizes Asuka’s final live. Abe and Fukuda are main vocalists, and the members create complex mixture of groove. It’s quite impressive.

The sound from the same concert DVD/Video was used as a main source. The mixing was later applied before the release of this version.


Memory 青春の光 (Memory Seishun no Hikari)

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Yasuaki Maejima


Happy Night

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Takao Konishi

Male Backup Vocals by 7HOUSE. (Another music project by Tsunku; Iida would marry the band’s vocalist in 2008).


Never Forget

Lyrics & Music: Tsunku | Arrangement: Takao Konishi

A remix, called Never Forget (Large Vocal Mix), can be found on Morning Musume’s second album.