Johnny’s senior talent Masahiko Kondo sent his congratulations to Jin Akanishi on September 24, reports Chunichi Sports.
Akanishi and his wife, actress Meisa Kuroki, had a baby girl on September 23. It has been reported during an interview in Tokyo, Kondo, who also has a 4-year-old son, said he had some advice for Akanishi about being a father.
“Kids are really cute. Just seeing them makes your worries go away. I don’t think you need to put more pressure on yourself, it’s okay to do things at your own pace.”
Kondo also said he would like to encourage Akanishi to keep doing what he wants to do, even after all the drama so far with leaving KAT-TUN, going to the USA, a cancelled concert tour, and a blank work schedule.
“I chose to start a racing career, and I’m still involved in it. You can get through it if you concentrate on your work and have faith in your fans and your supporters. Your wife and children are on your side, you’ll be alright.”
New tour announcements and new songs were some of the surprises Matchy, Tegomass, and Tackey brought out at the 2011 Jingu Gaen Fireworks festival in Tokyo on August 6, reports Asahi Shimbun and Nikkan Sports.
The fireworks festival was transformed into a Tohoku Disaster charity event this year. With the likes of Johnny’s senior talent Masahiko Kondo (also known as Matchy), Hideaki Takizawa (Tackey & Tsubasa), and Tegomass in the performing lineup, more than 110,000 packed the four venues, and more than 200,000 people packed the area on Saturday as 10,000 fireworks were set off into the night air.
It has been reported Matchy kicked off his performance with his classic hit song “ギンギラギンにさりげなく (Gingiragin ni Sarigenaku)”.
“Because fireworks festivals are summer festivals, right. I thought it would be best to start with something everyone knew and could sing together,” he said.
Matchy had said even though it was his second year performing at the fireworks festival with Tegomass, the addition of Tackey had changed things.
“Something’s different about this year. Takizawa shows us his costumes. Tegomass lets us listen to their songs. I guess it’s my responsibility to get everyone going.”
In his first Jingu Gaen fireworks festival performance, Tackey could not hide his smile.
“This is my first outdoor performance, but it’s really fun. It’s a good chance to show what I am in front of Matchy-san and Tegomass fans.”
Tegomass surprised fans by performing a new song, “花火 (Hanabi, Fireworks)”.
“We’d been looking forward to this [event] since we got told about it,” Yuya Tegoshi said.
“This is a song we made especially for the Jingu Gaen fireworks festival,” Takahisa Masuda said.
Tackey and Tegomass even got to sing “-MOTTO-” with Matchy, giving fans to see a stage full of senior and junior Johnny’s talents.
As a surprise, Matchy announced he would perform his first Hong Kong concert in 25 years on December 11. It will be the first time in 21 years the singer has performed overseas, his last being in Singapore in 1990.
“I’d been criticised as being a bad-ass in Hong Kong, but I think I can show them I’ve grown up.”
Matchy was not the only one to announce a new concert tour. Tegomass also revealed they would embark on their third national tour starting on October 22. The duo will go around 11 cities, and are expected to attract more than 210,000 fans in total.
Johnny’s & Associates will launch a new relief project involving every one of their talents to support the victims of the Japan earthquake, it was revealed on March 19, reports Sponichi Annex and Sports Hochi.
It has been reported the project will include a charity CD sale and events.
On March 18, a truck originally intended to transport concert equipment, instead transported everyday needs like disposable baby diapers and disinfectant to affected areas in Iwate prefecture. Johnny’s talents Hideaki Takizawa (28), Tsubasa Imai (29), and Yuma Nakayama (17) helped to load the goods onto the truck.
“Our fans have supported us, now we want to give something back to them,” Imai said.
“If we can help motivate people to do something by doing it ourselves, I think there’s a need for all of us (at Johnny’s) to get together and ask our fans to help out as well,” Takizawa said.
Following the 1995 Kobe earthquake, 13 Johnny’s talents from the Kansai region, or with connections to Kansai had formed “J-FRIENDS” (TOKIO, KinKi Kids, and V6). The special group released CDs and held performances to raise money for earthquake victims.
It has been reported that other talents had said they wanted to help out if another charity group were to be formed, and it is expected that this project will be bigger than ever. The group will even include Johnny’s senior Masahiko Kondo, Shonentai, SMAP, and Arashi.