Kanon Mori, Yuki Sakura, Hinako Kuroki and Jun Amaki have been following the Nikkei 225 stock average obsessively since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December. The oldest of the foursome is Mori, but she is still only 23. The youngest is Kuroki, 16 and still in high school.
None of them are studying for a degree in economics, let alone playing the stock market. Instead, the four are members of a new idol group, Machikado Keiki Japan, and stocks play an important part in their performances.
“We base our costumes on the price of the Nikkei average of the day. For example, when the index falls below 10,000 points, we go on stage with really long skirts,” Mori explained.
The higher stocks rise, the shorter their dresses get. With the Nikkei index ending above 13,000, the four went without skirts altogether on the day of their interview with The Japan Times, instead wearing only lacy shorts.
While some have raised eyebrows over the group’s daring concept, Mori explained that they are merely letting the economy take charge of how they dress — mimicking economic trends of the past.
…Machikado Keiki Japan (roughly translated as Economic Conditions on the Streets of Japan) released their debut single, “Abeno Mix,” on April 7. It pays homage to Abe’s ultraloose economic policies that have been dubbed “Abenomics” by the media.
“Fix the yen’s appreciation. Quantitative easing. Don’t forget public investment,” a line in the dance-pop tune goes. “Monetary easing. Construction bonds. Let’s just revise the Bank of Japan Law.”
The group’s fans — who not surprisingly are 95 percent male, from high school to their 50s — have special chants that they perform during the song’s interlude.