The stories you didn’t see during Arashi’s 24Hr TV special
Weekly magazine Josei Seven has reported two stories about Arashi members Satoshi Ohno and Sho Sakurai which TV audiences never got to see.
It has been reported Satoshi Ohno’s visit to 11-year-old Saki Wada meant more to her than what was shown on TV.
The karate girl living in Kamaishi made a promise to her mother she would make it past the first round at karate nationals, but sadly Saki had lost her mother and home to last year’s devastating tsunami. When the 24Hr TV team wanted to do a piece about her, Saki said she was told a comedian would come visit her.
“They told me Sugi-chan was coming. So I was shocked when Ohno-kun turned up.
“We played badminton in front of the house. He’s so good that I lost though. Then we planted radish seeds and did some wood chopping. Ohno-kun was having trouble with chopping wood.”
But it has been reported something else made Saki even happier.
“The best part was hearing him cheer me on, telling me, ‘you can do it, you can get past the first round!’,” she said.
Saki’s coach said Ohno had also made sure he did not miss Saki’s training sessions.
“Ohno-san came around to the dojo we use to practice at around 9pm. He was meant to come around 7pm, but everyone in the neighbourhood had heard a celebrity was coming so I guess they kept him from coming in,” he said.
There is no doubt Ohno’s cheers gave Saki a lot of motivation, even more since Ohno is Saki’s favourite Arashi member.
“He stayed for dinner and ate curry with me at my house! He said it tasted really good.”
It has been reported Sho Sakurai did as much practice as he could to prepare for his special soccer match.
Sakurai had visited high school girls’ soccer team Mizusawa UFC Princess, whose top player Shiori Koyama was lost to last year’s tsunami. In memory of their team mate, the team and Sakurai played a special match against their lost member’s favourite soccer player, Homare Sawa, and her INAC Kobe Leonessa soccer league team.
It has been reported Sakurai had practiced with the girls in their hometown before the match day.
“I think the last thing he (Sakurai) wanted was to meet the girls on the match day and say ‘let’s do this’. He probably wanted to see where Shiori-san had trained with his own eyes,” said one TV staff member.
One team member confirms this.
“Sakurai-kun came to our training ground a few days before our game with INAC. It was during the day, but no one hanging around the field noticed who he was. He was good with the ball, but got tired easily (laughs),” said one team member.
It has been reported the same team member said Sakurai did not lose his focus during the game itself too.
“He’d sigh and shout when he made a mistake, he was taking it seriously. When I’d ask him to run out front for a long pass, he’d say ‘leave it to me’.”
Another team member found it funny watching Sakurai.
“Some of us were saying that Sakurai-kun’s shorts were short. They’re made for girls, so they were a little small for him and really tight. He said it was embarrassing so would try and push the shorts down, but after running around on the field the shorts would ride up again. It was like watching a soccer player from the old days,” said the team member.