Risa Niigaki (新垣 里沙 Niigaki Risa?, born October 20, 1988 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) is a fifth generation member of the Japanese pop group Morning Musume as well as the sub-leader. She joined Morning Musume in 2001 along with Ai Takahashi, Asami Konno and Makoto Ogawa. She grew up in Yokohama after moving there at age six. As of 2009, she is the longest serving sub-leader of Morning Musume.


File:Risa Niigaki - Platinum 9 Tour Spring 2009.jpg

Niigaki was the runner-up for the 'Kiss Girl Audition' in becoming Tomy image girl before joining Morning Musume. She also appeared with the winner Hasegawa Ai in Tomy Karaoke Machine commercial.

In 2001, Niigaki joined Morning Musume as the fifth generation along with Ai Takahashi, Asami Konno, and Makoto Ogawa. 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.[1] She debuted on the group's 13th single, "Mr. Moonlight: Ai no Big Band" and first appeared in their 4th 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 (Ai Takahashi and Makoto 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.[2]

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 Sakuragumi, which released two singles before also becoming inactive.[3]

In early 2007, Niigaki was chosen to be a member of Morning Musume Tanjō 10nen Kinentai (モーニング娘。誕生10年記念隊?) along with Kaori Iida, Natsumi Abe, Maki Goto and Koharu Kusumi - 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 Miki Fujimoto's resignation from Morning Musume,[4][5] Ai Takahashi replaced Fujimoto as leader, while Risa Niigaki took Takahashi's place as sub-leader.

Following Nozomi Tsuji'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 Ai Takahashi would play the 70s J-pop duo Pink Lady in the TV Drama Hitmaker Aku Yū Monogatari.[6][7]

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 Kaori Iida, Hitomi Yoshizawa and fellow fifth generation member Ai Takahashi).

On January 17, 2009, Niigaki and Takahashi became the longest serving members in Morning Musume history, breaking the four year old record set by Kaori Iida.

On August 26, 2009, Niigaki and Takahashi became the first members to remain in Morning Musume for eight years.

In 2009, Niigaki was assigned to be apart of the new shuffle group, ZYX-α with Kusumi Koharu, Sudou Maasa , Tsugunaga Momoko, Umeda Erika, Tokunaga Chinami, Ogawa Saki, and Wada Ayaka.



# Title Release date Publisher ISBN Photobook information
5 - Morning Musume 5 Ki Generation Member Shashinshū (5 モーニング娘。5期メンバー写真集?) 2002-08-16 Wani Books ISBN 4-8470-2721-3 Photobook starring all of the 5th generation members
1 Niigaki Risa (1stソロ写真集「新垣里沙」?) 2004-10-07 Wani Books ISBN 4-8470-2827-9 First solo photobook
2 Ama Natsu (2ndソロ写真集「あま夏」?) 2006-06-25 Wani Books ISBN 4-8470-2941-0 Second solo photobook
3 Isshun (3rdソロ写真集「一瞬」?) 2007-05-27 Wani Books ISBN 4-8470-4013-9 Third solo photobook
4 Happy Girl (4thソロ写真集「Happy Girl」?) 2008-04-25 Wani Books ISBN 4-8470-4080-5 Fourth solo photobook


  • 2007-06-13 – Alo Hello! Niigaki Risa DVD (アロハロ!新垣里沙 DVD?)
  • 2009-01-21 – Alo Hello! 2 Niigaki Risa DVD (アロハロ!2 新垣里沙 DVD?)
  • 2010-07-14 – Alo Hello! 3 Niigaki Risa DVD (アロハロ!3 新垣里沙 DVD?)



  • 2002 – Tokkaekko (とっかえっ娘。?)
  • 2003 – Koinu Dan no Monogatari (子犬ダンの物語?)


Television shows

Show Start date End date
Hello! Morning (ハロー!モーニング。?) 2001 April 1, 2007
Tin Tin Town! (ティンティンTown!?) July 5, 2002 March 26, 2004
Sore Yuke! Gorokkies (それゆけ!ゴロッキーズ?) September 29, 2003 December 26, 2003
Futarigoto (二人ゴト?) July 1, 2004 July 2, 2004
July 23, 2004 July 29, 2004
Majokko Rika-chan no Magical v-u-den (魔女っ娘。梨華ちゃんのマジカル美勇伝?) October 21, 2004 November 10, 2004
Musume Dokyu! (娘Dokyu!?) June 13, 2005
Haromoni@ (ハロモニ@?) April 8, 2007 September 28, 2008


Program Start date End date
Tanpopo Henshūbu Oh-So-Ro! (タンポポ編集部 Oh-So-Ro!?) September 24, 2002 September 23, 2003
TBC Fun Fīrudo Mōretsu Mōdasshu (TBC Funふぃーるど・モーレツモーダッシュ?) April 1, 2005 April 15, 2005
July 25, 2005 August 5, 2005
Hello Pro Yanen!! (ハロプロやねん!!?) June 10, 2005 June 24, 2005


  1. Morning Musume 5th generation audition on muSix! (TV Tokyo), broadcasted in 2001.
  2. Script error
  3. Script error
  4. Script error
  5. Script error
  6. Script error
  7. Script error

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Ai Takahashi
Sub-leader of Morning Musume
2007 – present
Preceded by
Kaori Iida
Longest serving member of Morning Musume
2009 – present
(held with Ai Takahashi)

ar:ريسا نيغاكي

ca:Risa Niigakiko:니이가키 리사 id:Risa Niigaki ms:Niigaki Risapl:Risa Niigakiru:Ниигаки, Риса fi:Risa Niigaki sv:Risa Niigaki tl:Risa Niigaki th:ริสะ นีงากิ zh:新垣里沙

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