je anniversaries

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Okamoto Keito is too good and too precious, and the world doesn’t deserve him, but he blesses us with his presence anyway. The first time I saw Keito, I liked him immediately because the easiest way to charm me is to say, “YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, JUN,” and “SORRY JUN.” 

Today marks the day when NEWS officially became a 4-member group 5 years ago.

And to be completely honest, I never would have dreamed that I’d celebrate the date years later. I was super anxious for months to come, still fearing that NEWS’ activities would go downhill or be separated in the members’ individual work until eventually they existed as a group only on paper but not together on stage or TV.

Boy am I glad I was wrong. 

Now we have TV shows that have them interact with one another. Concerts where everyone is just having so much FUN! Magazine photos that have them all together in one place at the same time (remember those 1-1-2-2 arrangements?). KoyaShige getting solo lines and screen time. All those lovely old songs with wonderful new arrangements. All those lovely new songs that bring out their ever improving voices. And - many - releases! ♥ 2016 has been a blast!

I know that NEWS do not want to have their group’s time separated in 8, 6 and 4 member NEWS so I’m not going to go full-out “Happy Anniversary!” here. But Hoshi wo mezashite had this whole “born again” theme which, in my opinion, is even more fitting for 4-member NEWS. It was a very bumpy ride and I feared the worst for a long time but I could not wish for a more perfect group now. So, although I know how much pain it has caused, I am actually very happy this metamorphosis happened. The current NEWS is more than I could have dreamed of back then.

So thank you, NEWS, for taking the risk, for working hard, for not taking No for an answer, for growing so damn fast in such a short time and for being so effing dedicated to your fans, your jobs and your fellow members that it is truly inspiring.

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September 24th ♥ Hey! Say! JUMP's Debut (2007)
Debut Single: Ultra Music Power
  • 薮宏太 (Yabu Kota) – 1990.01.31
  • 髙木雄也 (Takaki Yuya) - 1990.03.26
  • 伊野尾慧 (Inoo Kei) – 1990.06.22
  • 八乙女光 (Yaotome Hikaru) – 1990.12.02
  • 有岡大貴 (Arioka Daiki) – 1991.04.15
  • 岡本圭人 (Okamoto Keito) – 1993.04.01
  • 山田涼介 (Yamada Ryosuke) – 1993.05.09
  • 中島裕翔 (Nakajima Yuto) – 1993.08.10
  • 知念侑李 (Chinen Yuri) – 1993.11.30

At the beginning of 2007, during a concert of KAT-TUN, it was announced the formation of temporary unit Hey! Say! 7 and the release of the single “Hey! Say!” for the anime “Lovely Complex”, this unit had Takaki, Daiki, Yamada, Yuto and Chinen as members. In September 24th, the debut of the largest group in Johnnys&Associates’ history was announced. Former members of Ya-yah-yah were added, in addition to Inoo, Keito and Ryutaro.

Following the example of Hikaru GENJI and V6, the group was split into two subgroups  based on age, Hey! Say! BEST and Hey! Say! 7. Releasing their first single in November as official supporters of Volleyball World Cup 2007. With their concert “Hey! Say! JUMP Debut & First Concert Ikinari! in Tokyo Dome”, they became the youngest group ever to perform in Tokyo Dome with the average age of 15.7 years old.

In June 2011, Morimoto was suspended indefinitely for smoking underage. So far, in their young career, they’ve already released 9 singles and 2 albums and their activities go further than Japan. On May 3rd they kicked off their first Asian tour and yesterday they held the last concert of “Hey! Say! JUMP TOUR 2012” in Osaka. Next month they will participate in stage-play “Johnny’s World” in Imperial Theater (Tokyo).

Happy 5th Anniversary! 幸せな5周年記念!
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September 24th ♥ Hey! Say! JUMP's Debut (2007)

Debut Single: Ultra Music Power

Happy 6th Anniversary! 幸せな6周年記念!
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July 21st ♥ KinKi Kids's Debut (1997)
  • 堂本光一 (Domoto Koichi) - 1979.01.01
  • 堂本剛 (Domoto Tsuyoshi) - 1979.04.10

The duo first met each other in Hikaru Genji concert at Yokohama Arena on May 5, 1991. From there on, the two began to appear together in magazine photoshoots though they did not have a formal name, going through several temporary names such as Johnny’s Kansai Group and Domoto Brothers, before being introduced as Kanzai Boya by the end of 1992 when they were backup dancers for SMAP

On the first episode of SMAP’s variety show “Kiss Shita? SMAP”, which began on April 4, 1993, Nakai Masahiro decided that the name was to be “KinKi Kids”. Making their big debut in 1997 with a double release of single “"硝子の少年” and album “A Album”. They went on to sell over one million copies, making the duo the second artist from the agency to have a debut single sell over one million and the first to have a debut album sell over one million.

Every single released since their debut had been number one, giving them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Kinki Kids started year 2012 with a new single “Kawatta Katachi no Ishi”. They’ve just released the DVD of their latest tour “King・KinKi Kids 2011-2012”.

Happy 15th Anniversary! 幸せな15周年記念!~
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September 29th ♥ Sexy Zone's Debut (2011)
Debut Single: Sexy Zone
  • 中島健人 (Nakajima Kento) – 1994.03.13
  • 菊池風磨 (Kikuchi Fuma) - 1995.03.07
  • 佐藤勝利 (Sato Shori) – 1996.10.30
  • 松島聡 (Matsushima Sou) – 1997.11.27
  • マリウス葉 (Marius Yo) – 2000.03.30

During a press conference in Imperial Theatre (Tokyo), it was announced the debut of the youngest group in agency history, with an average age of 14.2 years old. Johnny-san explained their name was to honor Michael Jackson’ sexiness. Using a rose as their signature they performed that day and later it was announced they would be the special supporters for Japan’s “World Cup Volleyball 2011”. Over this year, they’ve released 2 singles and are currently promoting their 3rd single “Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu”. They are also in rehearsals for all-stars stage-play “Johnny’s World” to start in November.

Happy 1st Anniversary! 幸せな1周年記念!
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Apr 1st ♥ Debut of フォーリーブス (Four Leaves)

北公次 -Kita Koji- (1949-2012)

青山孝 -Aoyama Takashi- (1951-2009)

江木俊夫 -Egi Toshio- (1952- )

おりも政夫 -Orimo Masao- (1953- )

Leaves, was the second JE group, picked from the back-dancers of Johnny’s, and the first one to include acrobatics in their performances. You could say they were the first Johnny’s Juniors.

A few weeks ago, FL’s leader passed away. May his soul rest in peace.

Happy 45th Anniversary! 幸せな45周年記念!

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October 6th ♥ 少年隊's Debut (1981)
Debut Single: 仮面舞踏会 (Kamen Butoukai)
  • 錦織一清 (Nishikiori Kazukiyo) – 1965.05.22 <leader>
  • 植草克秀 (Uekusa Katsuhide) – 1966.07.24
  • 東山紀之 (Higashiyama Noriyuki) – 1966.09.30
Happy 31st Anniversary! 幸せな31周年記念!
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Feb 21st ♥ JOHNNY'Sジュニア・スペシャル (JOHNNY’S JUNIOR SPECIAL)

Back in 1974 there was a junior unit called “Johnny’s Junior First Class”, they had 9 members divided into two sub-groups; “Junior Ace” (6 members) who were Hiromi Go-san's back-dancers, and “Junior Special” (3 members) who were Four Leaves-san's back-dancers.

Out of this 2 groups, 5 people were picked to release a single… but in the end, only 3 remained in the group. They released their debut single in Feb 21st, 1975 with the song “ベルサイユのばら” (Versailles no Bara) and made their stage debut two days after that.

Those members were:

  • 板野俊雄 -Itano Toshio- (April 26th, 1957 - )… Leader, Toshichan
  • 林正明 -Masaki Hayashi- (August 30th, 1958 - )… Macchan, Dracula
  • 畠山昌久 -Hatakeyama Masahisa- (February 9th, 1958 - May 31st, 2003)… Charlie

They were disbanded 4 years after, to become part of a group called “VIP”, which included female members. Macchan left the group one year later.

Happy 37th Anniversary!