A new agency, new blog, new twitter account, and new TV show, Yuta Higuchi has come back into showbiz, reports Cyzowoman.
The ex-Johnny’s Jr. member and son of Johnny’s senior talent Katsuhide Uekusa will have a regular spot in NHK’s Eテレ (NHK Educational TV) “俳句さく咲く! (Haiku saku saku!)” where he is one of a few boys to read out haiku poems.
It has been reported Higuchi started off as a member of Johnny’s Jr., he got a role in popular drama series “3年B組金八先生 (3-nen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei)”, and had appeared in many music shows and concerts. Then, in 2009 he disappeared.
“There had been talk it was because of family or because of school, but finally when news came out his parents had divorced, it make sense. By spring [of 2010], he himself had told Johnny’s he wanted to quit,” said one source.
But it seems like showbiz still had a grip on the teenager. Using his mother’s maiden name “Higuchi”, Yuta tried out for the 24th JUNON SUPERBOY CONTEST, and came out with the “Most Photogenic Prize”.
Now, Higuchi is signed to Itoh Company agency. On April 20 he had started his official blog “HIGUCHI YUTAってYUTAやん。” On it, the talent talks about his hobbies and even uploads photos of his clothes. He is also on twitter: @higuchi24yuta
As a second generation idol, it looks like Higuchi has taken a brave new step in his life. No doubt his dad is supporting him through it too.
Tomohisa Yamashita’s road trip through America is doing great on the charts, and it has even prompted a new event involving Yamapi himself, reports Sports Hochi.
It has been reported DVD charts these days indicate sales of more than 10,000 copies is a big hit. Yamashita’s “山下智久・ルート66〜たった一人のアメリカ〜 (Tomohisa Yamashita Route 66 ~Tatta Hitori no America~)” DVD has sold more than 21,000 copies since it was released on April 11.
The documentary was broadcast by Nihon TV between January and March this year, and follows Yamashita as he went driving down Route 66.
“I found a lot of things on this journey. I met a lot of people and I learnt a lot of things. My perspective of life changed significantly,” Yamashita said.
It has been reported the positive sales have prompted a new event for fans. On May 19, 380 fans chosen through a lottery will get to go to a special screening of the documentary where Yamashita himself will take part and share some behind-the-scenes stories. Fans will even get a chance to meet Yamashita because he will be stamping a special Route 66 event notebook for them in person.
“I’m so happy that I get a chance like this to hold an event long after I finished the journey. I hope I can use the event as an opportunity to make people really understand what it was like,” he said.
You can go to the documentary’s website to enter the lottery. Entries close on May 13 23:59 Japan time, and winners will have an invitation sent to them through the mail around May 14. Only those who get invited will get details into where the event will be held.
Kimura had been attending an event to promote men’s beauty salon Dandy House, where he appears in their latest commercial.
It has been reported during the topic of the perfect man, Kimura talked about the qualities he thought the ideal man should have.
“He doesn’t run away or give up easily, he would be a man who achieves his ambitions and goals, and still has a sense of humour,” he said.
When the press had asked whether Kimura himself had those qualities, his response was to the point.
“Not at all.
“I do have ambitions, but unless I’m willing to move forward I’ll never achieve them. I hope I can always think optimistically,” he said.
It has been reported Kimura appears in the 25th anniversary commercials for Dandy House, and the SMAP member himself had said it was a big honour.
“So many incredible people have been in the commercials up to now so the bar had been set quite high when I arrived. I was really happy, and I hope I managed to help people realise their own ideals. I went to Dandy House myself yesterday and I highly recommend them.”
The commercials go on air on April 28, and Kimura said he had been surprised by the size of the set they had used.
The group had been in town last weekend to perform concerts for the Tokyo leg of their national tour. The group had said they first found out about Akanishi on the news on February 9.
“I want to say congratulations. But honestly, we’ve been through a lot so this didn’t surprise me. Out of everyone, I think the five of us were the least surprised,” Kazuya Kamenashi said.
“He didn’t give any warning before he left the group two years ago, or even when he left to go overseas (in 2006). I think that’s just his personality,” Koki Tanaka said.
It has been reported Tanaka also commented on the penalties Akanishi was given by Johnny’s for his unconsulted marriage.
“Now he has someone. His responsibilities will get bigger from now on. That, I think is the thing he finds hardest to cope with. But as a working adult, he needs to at least respect the fundamental rules. It’s not just your own problem anymore,” he said.
But even so, it has been reported Tanaka hoped for the best.
“KAT-TUN is staying positive, and he needs to too,” he said.
The group also touched on how hard it is to cope with getting Akanishi questions thrown at them, but they remain optimistic.
“No matter what we say or don’t say, people say we’re mean. It’s difficult,” Kamenashi said.
“Every time we have a concert, the lead is about ‘Akanishi’,” Tanaka said.
“Our job is to make people smile!” said Junnosuke Taguchi.
KAT-TUN have entertained more than 460,000 fans in 12 locations across the country. Their tour wraps up in Sendai on April 28.
Preparations are being made to bring pandas to northern Japan to cheer up 3/11 disaster victims but on April 21 some locals made it clear they are against the move, reports ANN News.
Johnny’s & Associates will cover the costs to look after the panda for the first five years, in hope the panda can help cheer up locals getting over the devastating earthquake and tsunami and help the local economy. It has been reported about 60 locals in Sendai marched around the city centre in protest over the weekend, saying they were against the idea of bringing in a panda for commercial purposes.
It has been reported the group are also concerned about life after the Johnny’s money runs out, saying money the local council will have to use to look after the panda should be used on local reconstruction projects.
However, it has also been reported other locals are happy with pandas coming to the city.
“I love pandas. They’re so cute and I hope they come,” said one girl.
“(The positive effect on the local economy) is connected to the reconstruction of the community. People don’t need to be opposed to it,” said one local.
It has been reported Nishikido came out wearing a white tuxedo, and his drama co-star Yuka in a white wedding dress. The press conference venue was inside the chapel at Tokyo’s Shinagawa Prince Hotel.
“I’ve seen other people’s weddings before, but my first reaction was that [the aisle] is shorter than I had imagined,” Nishikido said.
In the drama, Nishikido plays a fictional version of himself, pop star “Ryo Nishikido”, who falls in love with a single mother with three children and gets married to her.
“I think pop stars deserve some kind of congratulations when they get married. I’m a coward in real life so I think ‘me’ in this drama is so cool to be able to take that risk,” he said.
When asked whether he was confident he could hide a secret marriage in real life, Nishikido said it was not up to him.
“It depends whether you the press can find out.”
It was difficult not to think of Nishikido’s fellow Johnny’s talent, Jin Akanishi, who had announced his sudden marriage to actress Meisa Kuroki in February, and is now paying the price with a cancelled tour and being dropped by a drama series.
TOKIO leader Shigeru Joshima, who plays a retired pop star, and Naomi Zaizen, who plays Kanjani8’s manager in the drama, both had simple advice for Nishikido.
“Let Johnny-san know,” Joshima said.
“I think you should let your manager know first,” Zaizen said.