Male Idols of Japan
In Japan, there are many groups or bands made up of artists who dance, sing, perform, and appear on television in various programs. These artists are called ‘Idols’ and they are a large part of the Japanese music industry. Individually they are not necessarily the most talented musicians, however, some of them are great entertainers and know how to build a loyal fan base which is how they get lucrative commercial contracts with big companies.
They are usually divided into boy groups or girl groups, and we would like to introduce you to the two most famous boy groups of the moment.
Arashi is a group of Johnny’s Entertainment which is famous for making boy groups big. Arashi is the most popular group of their generation. The band debut was in 1999 under the label of Pony Canyon but then changed to the ownership of Johnny J-Storm. The name literally means ‘storm’ and was invented because they were supposed to represent the agency’s impulse to ‘create a world storm’. The main musical genre that characterizes them is J pop, having dozens of successful songs that have caught the collective Japanese ladies’ fancy.
The group is composed of Aiba Masaki, Matsumoto Jun, Ninomiya Kazunari, Ohno Satoshi (Leader), and Sakurai Sho. On November 3, 1999, they made their CD debut by releasing the single ‘Arashi’, which was the main theme of the Volleyball World Cup organized by Japan in 1999. With the great success obtained, they sold 557,430 copies in their first week and almost a million copies at the end of its graphic journey.
In November 2018, Arashi began their 20th-anniversary tour, ‘Arashi 5×20’. They performed a total of 18 shows in the five main domes of Japan. During the penultimate show on December 23, they announced 32 additional dates, bringing the total number of scheduled performances to 50. With a total of 2.43 million attendees at the concert, it is the group’s largest tour to date, and also the largest in Japanese history. Arashi has been so successful that they even sang to His Majesty the Emperor to celebrate his enthronement.
Because it is such an important musical reference for Japanese society, it is recommended to know a little about Arashi before coming to Japan.
For the younger generation, it is Sexy Zone that is the most popular. Sexy Zone is a band of 4 members and also comes from the stables of Johnny & Associates, Inc. They made their debut in 2011 with the single namesake, ‘Sexy Zone’. At that time it was the youngest group in the history of the agency, with an average age of 14 years. It was also Johnny’s first group to include a half-Japanese member, Marius is half-German by his father.
It is a band that has achieved great fame and success throughout Japan. They have made great national tours every year. Its members are also actors and constantly participate in entertainment programs. Almost every time they release a new song, it is number 1 on the Oricon chart (similar to the western billboard).
The musical genre of Sexy Zone is J Pop, happy songs with positive messages. They also include pieces ranging from ballads to rock and some a Latin touch.