Tanpopo (タンポポ; Dandelion) was the first official subgroup of Japanese pop girl group Morning Musume, formed on November 1998. They specialized in singing slow and mature songs, which morphed to an old-fashioned and upbeat style—a genre somewhat similar to the band it originated from. The Revived Unit, Tanpopo#, has members that have the Japanese symbol 井 in their name.
The group was founded in November 1998, consisting of three Morning Musume members: Ishiguro Aya, Iida Kaori and Yaguchi Mari. After the formation, the group immediately released their first single, "Last Kiss," which was used on the anime Sorcerous Stabber Orphen. The single has a "sexy" vibe that they used on their second single and first album. However, they created a fresh image when they released "Tanpopo". This new image did not become as popular the first image they had created.
After the release of the group's fourth single, Ishiguro Aya graduated from Morning Musume and left the group. The remaining members continued performing their songs in concerts as Generation 1.5 Tanpopo.
On June 2000, Morning Musume fourth generation members, Ishikawa Rika and Kago Ai, joined Tanpopo, making the two-member group a four-member group. The style of their songs changed also when the four released "Otome Pasta ni Kandō." The style of this song became analogous to the songs Morning Musume had released. They also used this style on their next singles, which became popular and reached the number one spot on Oricon, and their second (and last) album.
On July 31, 2002, it was announced that Tanpopo was going to be completely reformed. Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari and Kago Ai graduated from the group and were replaced by new Morning Musume fifth generation members, Konno Asami and Niigaki Risa and Melon Kinenbi's Shibata Ayumi. This newly formed group only released one single before they went on indefinite hiatus.
In 2009, Tanpopo was revived as Tanpopo# (Tanpopo Sharp), with the new group consisting of Kamei Eri and Mitsui Aika from Morning Musume, Kumai Yurina from Berryz Koubou, and Okai Chisato from ℃-ute. The sharp symbol was chosen to represent the kanji "井" (read "i") which is the second character in each of the new members' surnames. Their first song was a cover which was released on the Chanpuru 1 ~Happy Marriage Song Cover Shuu~. Their next song, "Umbrella", was released on the Petit Best 10 album.
On December 15, 2010, Kamei Eri graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project, effectively leaving the group.
Ishiguro Aya (石黒彩) (Graduated in late 1999)
Iida Kaori (飯田圭織) (Graduated in summer 2002)
Yaguchi Mari (矢口真里) (Graduated in summer 2002)
Ishikawa Rika (石川梨華) (Graduated in 2009)
Kago Ai (加護亜依) (Graduated in summer 2002)
Konno Asami (紺野あさ美) (Graduated in 2009)
Niigaki Risa (新垣里沙) (Graduated in 2009)
Shibata Ayumi (柴田あゆみ) (Graduated in 2009)
Kamei Eri (亀井絵里) (Graduated in December 15 2010)
Mitsui Aika (光井愛佳)
Kumai Yurina (熊井友理奈)
Okai Chisato (岡井千聖)