AKB48 (read “A.K.B. Forty-eight”) is a Japanese idol girl group, initially named after the Akihabara (Akiba for short) area of Tokyo where the group’s theater is located, and their original roster of 48 members. As of May 2014, the group has expanded to include 140 members whose ages range from early teens to mid-20s. The idea of AKB48’s producer Yasushi Akimoto was to create a girl group that, unlike a regular pop group that gives occasional concerts and that is mostly seen on television, would have its own theater and perform there on a daily basis; the fans would always be able to go and see the girls live. This “idols you can meet” concept includes the formation of different teams that are able to rotate performances and to perform simultaneously in events at various locations, as well as the organisation of “handshake” events, where fans can briefly interact with band members. Akimoto has also expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups throughout Japan, and also in China and Indonesia.
(Wikipedia contributors. “AKB48.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.)