Being amateurish is what makes SMAP such pros

NHK’s "The Professional" profiles, through interviews and situational coverage, people who are notable for their dedication to some craft or business vision. The series grew out of "Project X," the very popular documentary series about Japan’s industrial breakthroughs of the past, and is meant to spotlight innovators and creative types who are currently operating.

Last week, the series featured SMAP, which may sound like a joke. Though the five-member boy band is the most famous pop act in Japan, their professionalism is not directly linked to their singing and dancing abilities; and the program made it clear that SMAP’s success, both as a group and as individual stars, has nothing to do with capability.

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“Ongaku no Hi” on TBS to set world record for longest single music show

On July 16, TBS will broadcast a live music show called “Ongaku no Hi” (“Music Day”). It will last a total of 7 hours and 40 minutes, setting the all-time record for longest single music show ever televised. SMAP’s Nakai Masahiro (38) and TBS announcer Azumi Shinichiro (37) will serve as hosts.

At a length of 7 hours and 40 minutes, “Ongaku no Hi” will surpass even the big year-end music events like NHK’s Kouhaku Uta Gassen and Fuji TV’s FNS Kayousai. Currently, the longest such show is TBS’s “Countdown TV Special” at the end of every year, which was 5 hours and 15 minutes last year. Nakai also hosted that show, and he has previously hosted Kouhaku Uta Gassen on 6 separate occasions.

Approximately 50 artists will perform on the show. According to the TBS website, the roster currently includes:

  • Ishikawa Sayuri
  • AKB48
  • Every Little Thing
  • Ogura Kei
  • Kayama Yuzo
  • KARA
  • Kuraki Mai
  • Sato Muneyuki
  • SID
  • JUJU
  • Sukima Switch
  • Tokunaga Hideaki
  • Dream Morning Musume
  • Nakagawa Shoko
  • Hikawa Kiyoshi
  • flumpool
  • Becky
  • Makihara Noriyuki
  • Minami Kosetsu
  • Moriyama Ryoko
  • Rake

“Ongaku no Hi” will be aired from 7:00pm to 2:40am.

SMAP’s Shanghai concerts in danger of cancellation

Kyodo News is reporting that SMAP’s concerts at Shanghai Stadium on October 9-10 may get canceled due to an escalating incident between China and Japan. Ticket sales for the shows have reportedly been suspended already due to the high likelihood of cancellation.

Last month, Japanese officers arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain on charges that he deliberately rammed his boat into a Japanese patrol boat. He is currently being detained by a Japanese court despite Chinese opposition, leading to strained relations between the two countries. On Monday, China took moves to suspend much of its political communications with Japan, and there have been reports of other measures being taken on a commercial level.

With the matter currently unresolved, holding the SMAP concerts in Shanghai may prove to be impossible. As a result, organizers are apparently putting the concerts on hold for the time being.

SMAP was originally scheduled to perform their first China concert at the Shanghai World Expo on June 13, but that was canceled by organizers due to safety concerns.

via SMAP’s Shanghai concerts in danger.

SMAP’s Kusanagi Arrested for Indecency


photo by june29

SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (34) has been arrested for public indecency after causing a disturbance and running around naked in Hinokicho Park near Tokyo Midtown late on Wednesday night.

Kusanagi appears in a wide variety of TV and commercial roles and the impact of his arrest is likely to be huge. One casualty will probably be the movie “Ballad Namonaki Koi no Uta,” which is scheduled to open in the autumn.