Minatozaki Sana, born on December 29, 1996, is a Japanese singer who is based in South Korea as part of JYP Entertainment’s popular girl group, TWICE. Formed in 2015, she is one of the three Japanese members of the group alongside Momo and Mina. She holds the position of vocalist in TWICE. She was recruited by JYP Entertainment’s scouts at 14 years old and moved to South Korea to begin her training in 2012. Minatozaki is the first member of TWICE to release a solo single by releasing her cover of ‘Sotsugyou’ in 2020, a song by the Japanese band, Kobukuro. Today, we invite you to take a look at her inspiring journey to become the superstar that she is now.
December 29, 1996
Minatozaki Sana was born in Tennoji-ku, Osaka, Japan on December 29, 1996. She is an only child to her parents. Minatozaki first gained an interest in K-pop due to the rising popularity of Girls’ Generation and KARA in Japan. From 2009 to early 2012, she attended the Osaka branch of EXILE Professional Gym, a vocal and dance studio where many Japanese idols are known to train. Her former dance instructor was Generations’ Nakatsuka Yuta, a part of the EXILE tribe. Minatozaki was scouted by JYP Entertainment in 2011 at 14 years old when she was shopping at the Osaka Namba Walk with her friends. The scouts invited her to join the 2011 JYP Japan Audition. Minatozaki performed Girls’ Generation’s iconic ‘Mr. Taxi’ during the audition. Once she graduated from middle school in March 2012, Minatozaki moved to South Korea and began her trainee years at JYP on April 13, 2012.
Minatozaki began to draw the public’s attention when she appeared in the 2014 music videos of GOT7’s “A” and Lee Jun-ho’s “Feel.” In 2015, she was one of the 16 JYP Entertainment female trainees who joined the T.V. show “Sixteen.” At the end of the program, Minatozaki was announced as one of the nine members of JYP’s new girl group, TWICE. The other eight members who were chosen alongside her are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted in October 2015 with their EP “The Story Begins” and its title song ‘Like Ooh-Ahh.’ Minatozaki briefly returned to Japan in 2016 to take the University Entrance Qualification Examination. In 2018, she ranked 17th on Gallup Korea’s annual music poll as the most popular idol in South Korea, the highest position a Japanese individual has ever reached in similar polls in the past. In February 2021, Minatozaki released a solo single with a cover of ‘Sotsugyou,’ a 2020 song by Japanese band Kobukuro. She is the first TWICE member to have a solo single. In the following month, Minatozaki released another version of ‘Sotsugyou,’ this time together with Kobukuro themselves. Her photobook “Yes, I am Sana,” was published in April 2021.
After debuting with TWICE, Minatozaki has appeared in several music videos in collaborations with other artists. She was featured in Park Jin-young’s “Fire” in 2016 alongside Conan O’Brien, Steven Yeun, and Park Jimin. She also worked with Lee Jun-ho once more in his 2017 music video, “Instant Love.” Minatozaki was the co-host of the “Idol Star Athletics Championships” in 2016 and 2019, as well as the 2017 KBS Song Festival. She hosted JYP Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s reality competition show, the “Nizi Project: Part 2,” in 2020. Minatozaki’s popularity has risen to sky-high as she continued to partake in TWICE’s activities.
JYP Entertainment’s scouts discover Minatozaki and invite her to join their Japan audition, in which she performs Girls’ Generation’s ‘Mr. Taxi.’
Minatozaki moves to South Korea after graduating from middle school to become JYP Entertainment’s trainee.
Minatozaki appears in GOT7 and Lee Jun-ho’s music videos, attracting attention from K-pop fans.
Minatozaki debuts as a member of the new girl group TWICE with their EP “The Story Begins” and its title song ‘Like Ooh-Ahh.’
Gallup Korea names her the 17th most popular idol in South Korea, the highest position a Japanese individual has ever reached in similar polls in the past.
Minatozaki releases her solo single ‘Sotsugyou,’ becoming the first TWICE member to do so.
Why We Love Minatozaki Sana
She has a charming personality
Minatozaki is well-known and loved by fans due to her cheerful and energetic personality. Her popularity has been credited with contributing to the improvement of the South Korea-Japan relationship.
She is multilingual
Learning one foreign language is already quite difficult. Minatozaki is capable of speaking Korean and basic English, in addition to her native Japanese.
She is an aspiring songwriter
Not only is she a great singer and dancer, but Minatozaki also has a knack for writing songs. She has been credited with being the lyricist behind some of TWICE’s songs. They are ‘Shot Thru the Heart!’ in 2018, ‘Turn It Up’ and ‘21:29’ in 2019, ‘Do What We Like’ in 2020, and ‘Conversation’ in 2021.
5 Surprising Facts
Her contrasting traits
Although Minatozaki is dubbed the clumsiest among all TWICE members, she is surprisingly good at running on uneven or slippery surfaces.
She likes horror movies
Minatozaki is a fan of horror movies and she will scream while watching until the end.
“I choose you!”
She said her favorite Pokemons are Pikachu and Pachirisu.
She is good at calligraphy
During her “Secret Friend” vlog, Minatozaki successfully tricked Momo into believing that Jihyo was her secret friend by perfectly impersonating Jihyo’s handwriting.
She is a sleepwalker
Minatozaki is known to have sleepwalking habits that once when she was sleeping with Mina, she told her with her eyes open to prepare for a photo shoot while still being asleep.
Minatozaki Sana FAQs
Which idol is closest to TWICE’s Sana?
Minatozaki is known to be very close with Eunha from GFriend, once joking that she is Eunha’s girlfriend.
What phone brand is Sana using?
For three years as of 2022, Minatozaki has been using her iPhone XS.
What is Sana’s nickname?
Fans have dubbed Minatozaki the “Osaka Honey Punch” because when she gets angry, she will put up her fist.
Minatozaki Sana’s birthday dates