Maki Goto

In this Japanese name, the family name is Goto.
Maki Goto

Maki Goto at her Premium Live on June 3, 2010
Born Maki Goto (後藤 真希)
(1985-09-23) September 23, 1985
Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan
Other names Sweet Black feat. Maki Goto

Musical career

Years active
  • 1999–2007
  • 2008–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments

Maki Goto (後藤 真希 Gotō Maki, born September 23, 1985) is a Japanese singer, lyricist, and former actress. Born and raised in Edogawa, Tokyo, Goto began her musical career in 1999 when she joined Morning Musume as the only third generation member. Her first single with the group, "Love Machine", topped the Oricon singles charts and sold over a million copies. Goto was the lead vocalist of the group up until her graduation from the group in 2002. While still a member of Morning Musume, Goto released her debut solo single, "Ai no Bakayarō", in 2001, which topped the Oricon charts. In 2003 she released her debut album, Makking Gold 1, which debuted at number four on the Oricon album charts.

In 2007, at her G-Emotion II: How to Use Sexy concert, Goto announced that she was graduating from Hello! Project. In 2008, Goto signed with Avex Group sub-label Rhythm Zone and returned to the music scene at A-nation '08. In 2009, under the stage name Sweet Black feat. Maki Goto, she released her debut mini-album Sweet Black. Goto transferred to Avex Trax in 2010 and released her second mini-album, One, which marked her official comeback as a singer.


Success in Hello! Project

In 1999, Maki Goto was selected as the only member of the 3rd generation of Morning Musume. The first single to feature Goto, "Love Machine", sold over a million copies, over nine times the amount of copies they had sold for their previous single. During her time in Morning Musume she was one of the founding members of Petitmoni and she started a solo singing career in 2001 with the single "Ai no Bakayarō". Until her graduation from Morning Musume she was one of the leading vocalists in most of the songs released. Post-graduation she mostly concentrated on her solo career, and occasionally on temporary Hello! Project units such as Gomattō, Nochiura Natsumi, and Def.Diva. As time passed, she increasingly concentrated on acting in addition to singing. She also performed at the Asia Song Festival 2005 in Busan, Korea, representing Japan.

In early 2007, Goto was chosen to be a member of Morning Musume Tanjō 10 Nen Kinentai — a unit created to celebrate Morning Musume's 10th anniversary as a group. Morning Musume Tanjō 10 Nen Kinentai also consisted of Natsumi Abe, Kaori Iida, Risa Niigaki and Koharu Kusumi. Their first single, "Bokura ga Ikiru My Asia", was released on January 24, 2007.

Her seventeenth single, "Secret" (シークレット), was released on April 11, 2007. On September 19, 2007, Goto's fourth original album How to Use Sexy was released.

On October 28, 2007, during the final show of her G-EmotionII: How to Use Sexy tour, Goto suddenly announced to fans that she would be graduating from Hello! Project,[1][2] though she was also leaving UpFront Agency completely. Her graduation was said to be that she was overworked and overly stressed, causing her health problems. She also had different ideas of the direction of her career to what her agency had planned.[3] Because of her graduation, she would not be able to participate in the Hello! Project 2008 Winter concert tour, previously said to be because of "scheduling conflicts".[4]

Goto signs with Avex

Late in 2007, after her sudden Hello! Project graduation, rumors aroused the very next day stating that Avex's CEO, Max Matsuura, had shown interest in signing Goto in for Avex. During Goto's brother trial, she disappeared from the media-eye.

Goto's official blog reopened on March 25, 2008. Over the course of several entries, she revealed that she was in Los Angeles, California, taking singing and dancing lessons. Her blog didn't include any reference to Up-Front agency (but remained at the same address), and it was assumed that her contract with Up-Front had expired on March 1 and was not renewed as expected. Her last blog entry was on April 22. On June 19, 2008, it was released to the press that Goto had signed with the record label Rhythm Zone under Avex.[5]

Maki debuted with Avex when she participated in the company's shareholders' meeting on June 22, 2008, singing a cover of Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love for You." She also participated in A-nation'08 (Osaka on August 24 and Tokyo on August 31) alongside Kumi Koda, Ai Otsuka, Exile, Ami Suzuki, AAA, TVXQ, Namie Amuro, and Ayumi Hamasaki, among others. At A-nation, she performed the self-written song "Hear Me", an unreleased song (although a version of the song "Mine" was featured on her mini-album Sweet Black feat. Maki Goto), drawing media attention for the first time since her graduation. She also sang "Saving All My Love for You", and a cover of Diana King's "Shy Guy".

Sweet Black Project

The Sweet Black Project is a cross-media collaboration between J-Wave, Avex and Mixi. Goto herself chose the logo and the name, which is meant to reflect the “positive and negative” side of the life of today’s women.

On January 5, 2009, J-Wave premiered “Sweet Black Girls”, a 15-minute segment hosted by Goto and Ryū as part of the popular radio show "PLATOn". The show airs from Monday to Friday and focuses on the life of women in their twenties. Reception was extremely good, as 30,000 messages were received during the first week alone.[6]

To complete the project, Mixi, the most popular networking community in Japan, opened a special space for Sweet Black,[7] and Avex launched a web-documentary on YouTube based on Goto's daily routine as a singer.[8] Promotions were met with immediate success, admittedly beyond expectations.[9]

On January 21, Goto released her first digital single with Avex, titled "Fly Away". The lyrics, penned by Maki herself, are based on Mambo, a story written by young author Hitomi Kanehara, who won the Akutagawa Prize for her 2003 novel "Hebi ni Piasu" ("Snakes and Earrings").

Barely a month later, on February 25, 2009, Goto released her second digital single, titled Lady-Rise, also penned by herself. This time, Goto collaborated with Erika Sakurazawa, a Japanese Josei manga author.

On March 7, 2009, Goto modelled at Japan’s biggest fashion event, Tokyo Girls Collection.


Goto released her second mini album, "One", on July 28, 2010. This album and on she had begun to use her actual name rather than her "Sweet Black" stage name.

As promotion for this release, Goto appeared on several television shows. One particular show, "Kinyoubi no Suma tachi e", aired a 2-hour special on her life, and included interviews with Goto as well as a performance of one of her new songs, 華詩-hanauta-, written for her mother. This episode reached 19.3% ratings for the show, making it the most watched program of the day.

She released her third Mini album "LOVE" on May 5, 2011.

On June 22, 2011, Goto announced on her official website that she will take an indefinite hiatus from the beginning of 2012.

While she is currently on hiatus, she has appeared in several magazines.

On March 10, 2012, Goto joined Japanese pop group Dream Morning Musume and former band mates Aya Ishiguro and Nozomi Tsuji as special guests for a concert in Budokan. Unlike Ishiguro and Tsuji, her presence was not announced and thus a surprise. She performed a medley of Petitmoni songs, as well as "The Peace".

On April 21, 2014, Goto made her first appearance in almost two years at an event for the game, Monster Hunter. Following said appearance, Goto launched her official Amebla blog on the 28th. She stated in her opening blog that she was not, "resuming activities right now," and that she will, "still [be] on hiatus."

Personal life

Goto has two older sisters and a young brother named Yuki Goto (後藤 祐樹 Gotō Yūki, born July 10, 1986). Yuki debuted with the short-lived idol group EE Jump in 2000, but throughout his career, Goto would hear gossip about his bad behavior. He was suspended for three months after the tabloid magazine Friday published photos of him drinking underage at a cabaret club, and EE Jump shortly disbanded afterwards. On October 20, 2007, Yuki was arrested and pleaded guilty that he and two accomplices, aged 18 and 19, had broken into a construction site in Edogawa, Tokyo on July 15, 2007 and made off with 80 reels of electric cable worth approximately 1 million yen.[10] On the talk show Kinyoubi no Sumatachi he in 2010, Goto expresses guilt over Yuki's declining career and stints with the law and assesses that she should have been more attentive

According to the magazine Flash, Goto and one of Yūki's accomplices in the robbery had been romantically involved for some time, after the two met at Yūki's wedding in 2005. They have not been in contact with each other since his arrest.[11]

In 1996, Goto's father died from a fall while mountaineering.[12] On January 23, 2010 at 11 pm, Goto's mother, Tokiko Goto, fell from the 3rd story of her home in Edogawa, Tokyo. She was taken to the hospital, but died from her injuries in the early hours of January 24.[13]

Goto announced on her blog on July 22, 2014 that she had married.[14] On December 7, 2015, she gave birth to a girl.[15]



Release Name Chart position* Sales* Notice
February 5, 2003 Makking Gold 1 (マッキングGold①) 4 105,000 1. Studio Album
January 24, 2004 2 Paint It Gold (②ペイント イット ゴールド) 4 52,000 2. Studio Album
February 23, 2005 3rd Station (3rd ステーション) 11 32,000 3. Studio Album
December 15, 2005 Maki Goto Premium Best 1 (後藤真希 プレミアムベスト①) 9 30,000 1. Compilation Album
September 19, 2007 How to Use Sexy 18 15,000 4. Studio Album
September 16, 2009 Sweet Black 16 7,000 1. EP
June 28, 2010 One 10 14,000 2. EP
September 22, 2010 Maki Goto Complete Best Album 2001–2007 (Singles & Rare Tracks) 74 2,000 2. Compilation Album
January 12, 2011 Gloria 12 7,000 3. EP
May 5, 2011 Love 17 5,000 4. EP
November 2, 2011 Ai Kotoba (Voice) (愛言葉 (Voice)) 8 7,000 5. Studio Album /
1. Studio Album by Avex Trax.
*Oricon Charts.
Green marked tacks released under Hello! Project.
Blue marked tacks released under the label Avex Trax.


Release Name Chart position* Sales* Notice
March 28, 2001 "Ai no Bakayarō" (愛のバカやろう Love's Fool) 1¹ 435,000 1. Single, this is her most successful single.
September 19, 2001 "Afurechau... Be in Love" (溢れちゃう...Be in Love Gonna Overflow... Be in Love) 2 210,000 2. Single
May 9, 2002 "Te o Nigitte Arukitai" (手を握って歩きたい I Want to Walk Holding Hands) 3 105,000 3. Single
August 21, 2002 "Yaruki! It's Easy" (やる気! It's Easy Motivation! It's Easy) 2 113,000 4. Single
December 18, 2002 {{nihongo|"Sans toi ma mie/Kimi to Itsumademo"|サントワマミー/君といつまでも|Without You, My Love/Always With You}ps: "ma mie" is old French for "my love") 6 59,000 5. Single
March 19, 2003 "Uwasa no Sexy Guy" (うわさのSexy Guy Rumoured Sexy Guy) 6 61,000 6. Single, this was released in two versions, a regular and limited coming in a special case with a booklet.
June 18, 2003 "Scramble" (スクランブル Sukuramburu) 5 46,000 7. Single
August 27, 2003, this single was released in two versions, a regular and limited coming with a 24-page photo book and a calendar/diary. "Daite yo! Please Go On" (抱いてよ! Please Go On Hold Me! Please Go On) 4 59,000 8. Single, this single was released in a regular edition and limited coming with a poster and a 24-page photo book, plus also comes in a special package.
November 27, 2003 "Genshoku Gal Hade ni Ikube!" (原色Gal派手に行くべ! Primary Color Gal Goes All Out!) 3 45,000 9. Single, this single was released in a regular editlon and a limited coming with a 24-page photo book, picture label and comes in a special package.
March 17, 2004 "Sayonara no Love Song" (サヨナラのLove Song Love Song of Goodbye) 5 35,000 10. Single, this single was released in two versions, a regular and limited coming with a 24-page photo book and a poster, also comes in a special package.
July 7, 2004 "Yokohama Shinkirō" (横浜蜃気楼 Yokohama Mirage) 8 31,000 11. Single, this single was released in two versions, a regular and limited coming in special packaging with five B3-sized posters.
November 17, 2004 "Sayonara 'Tomodachi ni wa Naritakunai no'" (さよなら「友達にはなりたくないの」 Goodbye "I Don't Want to Be Friends") 9 29,000 12. Single, this single was released in two versions, a regular and limited coming in a special box with five photo cards.
July 6, 2005 "Suppin to Namida" (スッピンと涙。 Tears and a Face With No Make-Up) 9 21,000 13. Single
January 25, 2006 "Ima ni Kitto... In My Life" (今にきっと...In My Life Surely Soon... In My Life) 12 21,000 14. Single
June 7, 2006 "Glass no Pumps" (ガラスのパンプス Glass Pumps) 7 28,000 15. Single
October 11, 2006 Some Boys! Touch 5 29,000 16. Single
April 11, 2007 "Secret" (シークレット Shīkuretto) 9 15,000 17. Single
*Oricon Charts.
Green marked tacks released under Hello! Project.
¹: The only Hello! Project solo release to place #1 on the weekly charts.

Digital singles

Release Name Notice
January 21, 2009 Fly Away 1. Digital Single
February 25, 2009 Lady Rise 2. Digital Single
April 21, 2009 With... 3. Digital Single
October 10, 2010 Koi Hitoyo (恋一夜 One Night of Love) 4. Digital Single
July 20, 2011 What Is Love? / Scandalous 5. Digital Single
Blue marked tacks released under the label Avex Trax.


Release Name Notice
March 5, 2003 Ken & Mary no Merikenko On Stage! Original Cast Ban
July 24, 2003 Maki Goto First Concert Tour 2003 Haru: Go! Makking Gold 1. Concert DVD
December 12, 2003 Maki Goto Single V Clips 1 (後藤真希 シングルVクリップス①) 1. Clip Collection
February 25, 2004 Maki Goto Concert Tour 2003 Aki: Sexy! Makking Gold 2. Concert DVD
September 15, 2004 Maki Goto Concert Tour 2004 Haru: Makkin-iro ni Nucchae! 3. Concert DVD
January 26, 2005 Maki Goto Concert Tour 2004 Aki: Aa Maki no Shirabe 4. Concert DVD
January 18, 2006 Maki Goto Concert Tour 2005 Aki: Hatachi 5. Concert DVD
July 5, 2006 Hello Pro Party! 2006: Maki Goto Captain Kōen 6. Concert DVD
October 11, 2006 Maki Goto Secret Live at Studio Coast: 2 7. Concert DVD
February 21, 2007 Maki Goto Live Tour 2006: G Emotion: 3 8. Concert DVD
April 25, 2007 Hello☆Pro On Stage! 2007 "Rock Desu yo!" 9. Concert DVD
November 28, 2007 Maki Goto Live Tour 2007 G-Emotion II: How to Use Sexy 10. Concert DVD
March 7, 2012 G-Emotion Final: For You 11. Concert DVD
Green marked tacks released under Hello! Project.
Blue marked tacks released under the label Avex Trax.


# Artist Title Release date
1 Ravex Golden Luv feat. Maki Goto February 18, 2009
2 House Nation Fly Away House Nation Mix April 8, 2009
3 DJ Mayumi Crazy in Love feat. Maki Goto July 29, 2009
4 Ayanokouji Shou Non stop love Yoroshiku!! (夜露死苦!!)) October 19, 2011

Unreleased songs

# Title Premiere Additional Info
1 Hear Me A-nation'08, Osaka, August 24, 2008 A version with different lyrics titled "Mine" was featured on her mini album Sweet Black
2 Shy Guy A cover version from Diana Kings song Shy Guy.

Guest appearance on DVD

# Title Release date
1 A-Nation'08: Avex All Cast Special Live (20th Anniversary Special Edition) November 26, 2008
2 A-Nation for Life December 14, 2011


Essay books



Television dramas





  1. 後藤真希がハロプロ卒業 弟逮捕で「メンバーに迷惑」 (in Japanese). The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 2007-10-28.
  2. "Maki Goto: Hello! Project information concerning graduation" (in Japanese). 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  3. "Goto Maki: What's really going on?". Hello!Online. 2007-11-12.
  4. "Hello! Project 2008 Winter: Information on member absences" (in Japanese). 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  5. "Maki Goto Official Website" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  6. mixi発の20代女性向けプロジェクト「SWEET BLACK」に参加! SWEET BLACK feat. MAKI GOTOとして1/21よりオリジナル楽曲の着うた(R)を配信!! さらに、再始動する後藤真希に密着したWEB番組「Unrecorded」も1/21よ スタート!! at the Wayback Machine (archived December 1, 2009) (2009-1-14).
  7. Archived March 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. avex Channel. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-11-11.
  9. 後藤真希 : 後藤真希を擁したSWEET BLACK楽曲、着うたが2作連続チャートイン / BARKS ニュース. Retrieved on 2012-11-11.
  10. "Ex-"EE Jump" singer arrested for theft of electric cabling". The Mainichi Newspapers. 2007-10-20.
  11. "Goto Maki graduates from Hello! Project". Hello!Online. 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  12. Entertainment News from Japan: Mother of Gomaki in Apparent Suicide. Japan Zone (2006-10-29). Retrieved on 2012-11-11.
  13. "Goto Maki's mother passed away: Goto Tokiko (55)". Hello!Online. 2010-01-23.
  14. "Former Morning Musume singer Maki Goto announces marriage". Japan Today. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
  15. "ご報告☆゛" (in Japanese). Ameba Blogs. 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
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