Before participating in the show, she was part of Team 8 in the Japanese famous idol girl group AKB48. In the show, she represented Tochigi Prefecture and successfully stole the viewers’ attention with her cute and adorable charm with a sweet smile and kawaii chubby cheeks. Thus, she managed to get 9th place in the program and made her debut in Korea with IZ*ONE. So, are you curious to dig up more information about her? Scroll down this article below to find out more!  

Full Profile of IZ*ONE’s Hitomi Honda

Stage Name: Hitomi (히토미) Birth Name: Honda Hitomi (本田仁美) (ほんだ ひとみ) Position: Dancer, Vocalist Birthday: October 6th, 2001 Zodiac: Libra Height: 158 cm (5’2”) Weight: 44.4 kg (98 lbs) Blood Type: A Instagram: @10_hitomi_06 Twitter: @hnd_htm__1006 7Gogo: @honda-hitomi

IZ*ONE’s Hitomi Honda’s Fun Facts

She was born in Tochigi, Japan. She is the lead dancer and vocals in IZ*ONE. She entered the Japanese idol group AKB48 through an audition in collaboration with AKB48 and Toyota on April 3, 2014. Hiichan, Princess Strawberry, and Pang Hitomi are her nicknames. Her hometown Tochigi is Japan’s No. 1 region for strawberry production. At the end of Produce 48, Honda Hitomi was ranked 9th with a total of 240,418 votes. She is good at playing basketball. Among Korean Produce 48 trainees, Kim Nayoung is her best friend. Korean fans gave her the Korean name Hong Da-hee. She underwent training for 4 years and 2 months. In 2014, she made her debut in AKB48 Team 8. In AKB48, she often stands in the center for outdoor performances and theater performances and has a lot of center experience. Similar to Yabuki Nako, she also greatly admires Sashihara Rino for her positive thinking. Peach is her favorite color. Strawberries and gyoza are her favorite foods. She has two siblings, an older sister named Erii and an older brother named Mitsu. When she can drive, she wants to go to Nasu. She can do backflips and make songs. She has a high drive to compete. Stirred fried chicken is her favorite Korean food. Her individual fans refer to themselves as Strawberry Team. Her hobbies are dancing and collecting earrings. She did cheerleading for four years. In her spare time, she watches cooking videos. She said that she would date Yena if she were a boy. She has a cute charm through her rabbit teeth. On August 31, 2018, she participated in the Japan-South Korea reality show, Mnet’s Produce 48. In the final round of Mnet’s Produce 48, she was ranked 9th with 240,418 votes. To start, she seemed to know a few simple words in Korean such as “I’m hungry” and “I can’t read Korean” on shows but she has learned more words.

IZ*ONE’s Hitomi Honda’s Pre-Debut and Debut with AKB48

Before her debut, she attended a cheerleading school for 6 years while attending elementary school and learned various dances. In the 12th episode of Produce 48, there was a brief video of Hitomi Honda cheering at a basketball stadium as a child. In 2014, Hitomi passed the AKB48 Team 8 National Audition as a representative of her hometown Tochigi. She debuted in AKB48 Team 8 on April 3, 2014, and made a theater debut on August 6, 2014.

She began to be quite active in the group following her appointment as the “Tochigi Future Ambassador” commissioned by the Governor of Tochigi Prefecture on December 5, 2014. In 2017, she was in charge as the main reporter who introduced information in Tochigi at Toyota’s event that aired in Tochigi Television’s local wide program Evening 6Plus. On April 5, 2018, she also hosted another Toyota event broadcasted on FM Tochigi. She participated in two of AKB48 Team 8’s albums, ここがロドスだ、ここで跳べ! and 0と1の間. She also has close friendships with other members, particularly close relationships with Riya Miyazato, the representative of Okinawa, and Nagisa Sakaguchi, representative of Hokkaido. On August 31, 2018, she was ranked 9th among the 20 finalists of the Japan-Korea joint audition program Produce 48 and was selected as one of the 12 members of IZONE. She decided to make a world debut with a contract for 2 years and 6 months. She’s taking a hiatus from AKB48’s activities for 2 years and 6 months until April 2021 in order to concentrate on IZONE’s activities.

IZ*ONE’s Hitomi Honda on Produce 48

In 2018, Hitomi participated in Mnet’s survival show Produce 48 which was attended by 96 trainees (57 from Korea and 39 from Japan) from various agencies from Korea and idols from Japan’s AKB48. The program started broadcasting from June 15 to August 31, 2018. This show was a Korean-Japan joint show that aimed to debut 12 members under the name IZ*ONE. Hitomi’s appearance during Produce 48 caught the attention of the audience because of her visual that resembles Wanna One’s Kim Jae-hwan.

In the first episode, she covered KARA‘s (a Korean idol group that is also famous in Japan) song titled “Mister.” In the video evaluation three days later, she memorized both Korean and Japanese lyrics and showed a stable performance, leaving a very good impression on the trainers. Her effort to memorize the Korean lyrics was highly appreciated. She was also selected as a person who is likely to improve in the evaluation. Although she wasn’t in sync with the sloppy dance and wasn’t really good at singing, she showed vocal stability without gasping while dancing. In episode 3, Hitomi rose from C class to A class due to her vocal improvement. Afterward, she participated in the center selection as a member of the A-class but eventually was eliminated from the center candidates.

In episode 3, she was a part of the group that performed “Very Very” by I.O.I. Her individual introduction before the performance, “Strawberry Hitomi!,” became an iconic catchphrase of hers. Thanks to her cute introduction and round cheeks, she climbed 10 places from ranking 22 to 12 and entered the debut zone!

From there, she stayed in the 11th to 12th ranks until her rank rose 3 places to 9th. Although she was briefly down to rank 11th, she was finally announced to be one of three Japanese members to debut in IZ*ONE along with Sakura and Nako with a total of 240,418 votes and ending in 9th place. It is said that the reason she made her debut is because of her unique personality. She picks up choreography faster than Korean trainees and speaks with great pronunciation. Not to mention, her cheeks are full and cute. Even her singing ability, which was considered weak at first, also showed remarkable growth throughout the airing period. As a result of her hard work, Hitomi built and maintained a powerful fandom comparable to Sakura and Nako. Since Sakura and Nako’s Japanese schedules were mostly canceled after their debut was confirmed, Hitomi also focused on preparing for her Korean debut and took a hiatus from her Japanese activities.

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