A 14-year-old ex-Johnny’s Jr. talent has been arrested by police for assaulting his school teacher, reports gossip magazine Shukan Josei.
The magazine, which went on sale today, reports on September 14, a 53-year-old junior high school teacher in Kawagoe city, Saitama prefecture, was punched by one of his school’s students. It has been reported the student had frequently received warnings from teachers for bad behaviour and untidy uniforms in the past.
It has been reported a representative at Johnny’s & Associates has said the talent has not been actively working lately.
“He seems to be referred as a Johnny’s Jr. talent, but he has not been working for us since June this year, and we are yet to confirm that he was the one actually involved.”
Cyzowoman has reported the ex-talent had been featured on an episode of variety show SMAP x SMAP and many fans have already narrowed the list of Jrs down to a possible name. It has also been reported the incident began after one teacher gave the student a warning. The student then confronted the teacher, prompting another teacher to jump in and stop the argument, only to be punched twice in the chest. Police were called in and the student was arrested on the spot. It has been reported the student had told police he punched the teacher because they surrounded him, which made him angry.
Rumour has it Johnny’s is not happy about Leo Akanishi uploading a photo of him hanging out with Kanjani8’s Ryo Nishikido and ex-Johnny’s talent Hironori Kusano, reports Johnny’s Watcher.
Gekiura! Geino Japan reports the Twitter photo uploaded on September 4 shows Leo with his friends, two of who look very much like Nishikido and Kusano.
“I’ve heard that the executives at Johnny’s are really mad, and that they’ve asked Akanishi to tell his brother to delete the photo. But Nishikido’s photo is still on the internet because Leo thinks he doesn’t have to delete it if it’s on his own personal account. With his movie in trouble, a shotgun wedding, and this, Jin Akanishi’s Johnny’s career might be over now,” one popstar magazine editor said.
Johnny’s have a strict rule against publishing any unofficial photos of their talents. But it has been reported the photo might have been uploaded deliberately to help ex-NEWS member and former Johnny’s talent Kusano. A few days ago, Kusano had launched his website, and he also belongs to an agency set up by people with connections to Akanishi. It could be possible the photo was a publicity stunt.
But either way, it is very possible Jin Akanishi will get punished in some way. Even if the agency does not fire him, is it too much to say Akanishi might start thinking about leaving the agency himself?
Enough said. Yay! Kusano! – Momo
With roles in stage plays, movies, and now a new blog, former-Johnny’s Jr. and Ya-Ya-yah member Taiyo Ayukawa has made a comeback, reports Cyzowoman on September 4.
Ya-Ya-yah was a Johnny’s Jr. group which released the single “勇気100% / 世界がひとつになるまで (Yuuki 100% / Sekai ga hitotsu ni narumade)” back in 2002. Back then, Hey! Say! JUMP members Kota Yabu and Hikaru Yaotome were Ayukawa’s team mates.
It has been reported Ayukawa’s blog “殿堂入り 鮎川太陽オフィシャルブログ (Dendo-iri Taiyo Ayukawa’s Official Blog)” opened on August 31, and recorded more than 1000 comments on its first day. It even made its debut at No.7 on Ameba Celebrity Blog’s newcomer chart.
The talent had started to fade out after Yabu and Yaotome joined Hey! Say! JUMP in 2007.
“He was cute and had an innocent personality that made him one of president Johnny Kitagawa’s favourites, but after he hit puberty he had a huge growth spurt. By the time he was at high school he was 185cm tall. Being so tall, he was a head taller than all the other talents, which wasn’t a good thing balance-wise and gradually he got less and less jobs. In the end, it seems like he made the decision to leave the agency,” one Johnny’s reporter said.
While there were some rumors Ayukawa had retired from showbiz completely, the ex-Johnny’s talent made a comeback as a newcomer actor in last year’s New Year’s TV special 仲間由紀恵の蒼い地球5 (Nakama Yukie no Aoi Chikyu 5, Yukie Nakama’s Blue Earth 5).
“By that time he seemed to have joined the same agency as actress Yukie Nakama, Ogi Production, but his profile wasn’t made public, probably to avoid any conflict with Johnny’s. It wasn’t until this year when the agency made his profile public, and he’s been getting more jobs in movies and stage shows. It’s like the same thing his other Ya-Ya-yah team mate Shion Yamashita did when he stayed low for a year to cut things off from Johnny’s,” said the same source as above.
It has been reported his latest job has been attending a press conference on August 29 for his latest movie ひとりかくれんぼ 劇場版−真・都市伝説− (Hitori Kakurenbo Gekijoban – Shin.Toshi-densetsu -), where he has a supporting role. In September, Ayukawa will also be starring in a new stage play.
But even though he has jobs now, on his blog the talent had said he is far from comfortable.
“It’s not like I have an event to take part in every year, or a concert tour to go on every season. I don’t have any regular magazine spots, or regular TV shows. I don’t have a work place I can go to every day either.
“My mother once told me this. She said, ‘celebrities need to be seen or they’ll be forgotten. There are always new kids or groups to replace you’. New kids are scary! Scarier than horror movies!”
But Ayukawa said it has been his fans who have and will help him through it.
“I’ve gotten comments like, ‘I’ve been a fan for 10 years’, ‘I’m from Hong Kong and love you’, ‘thanks for coming back’. It’s things like that that make me so happy. So let me say ‘thank you’ to you. To every single person, thank you. At the moment I’ve read comments 1 to 420. I haven’t read all of them. But I will. And I’ll reply to the ones I can.”
Finally, Ayukawa had said he was glad to be able to interact with his fans more.
“Being able to do this blog, I think I can interact in a new way. Even if I’m dead tired from work, I can find the strength to keep going tomorrow. Even if I feel like giving up, I think I can find a way to stay in this world from now on.”
To see Ayukawa’s profile at his new agency, click here. He’s 188cm tall now! Wow!
Good luck Taiyo! I’m off to write a comment on his blog now – Momo
A former Johnny’s talent and now dance school chair has been helping Japanese junior high school teachers learn how to dance so they can help their own students, reports Mainichi Shimbun on August 21.
As dance becomes a compulsory part of the junior high school curriculum in Japan, a special dance workshop was held in Shunan city, Yamaguchi prefecture, for 23 teachers who wanted to be prepared for the new change.
Yamaguchi prefecture local Toshio Itano is a former Johnny’s talent who worked during the early years of the agency’s history. After leaving Johnny’s he had returned to his hometown and opened up a dance school, which he now chairs.
It has been reported he workshop was divided into three classes where Itano taught the basics to dance styles like hip hop. While some teachers struggled to move as smoothly as Itano had shown them, they started to get the hang of it after some practice.
“My only dance experience in life has been bon-odori. I can teach the students how to dance using DVDs, but I also want to become an example for them,” one 44-year-old teacher said.
“It’s not going to be easy for teachers at their age to learn how to dance. But by experiencing the difficulties themselves, they’ll be able to understand what it feels like for their students who find it hard too,” Itano said.
It’s been over a year since Ryutaro Morimoto was suspended indefinitely from Hey! Say! JUMP after photos of him doing underage smoking were splashed in gossip magazine Josei Seven, but could the Johnny’s talent make a come back, reports Cyzowoman.
The then 16-year-old Johnny’s talent was suspended on June 27, 2011. Since then, Morimoto’s name has been removed from the talent agency’s official website, and the media had reported Hey! Say! JUMP to be a nine-member group during their concerts in Hong Kong.
“I feel sad every time I see things like that, but I can’t help but feel hopeful that he’s just being suspended, not expelled. I do believe he’ll come back,” said one fan.
It has been reported at the time, Morimoto was a first year in his Horikoshi High School’s TRAIT course. Many teenage celebrities and athletes take this course which allows them to continue with their showbiz or training work without worrying about class times. Students can catch up with school work either in weekends or school holidays. The course comes with a steep price tag, but it has been reported Morimoto is currently still enrolled in the TRAIT course.
“There were sightings of him hanging out with his friends, including Johnny’s Jr. talent Jyuri Tanaka during the school’s autumn festival. He was happy to shake hands with fans, so I think he does want to come back.
He’s still a student so maybe the time to watch is when he graduates. Like, if he gets into university, there might be a double announcement about his university and his comeback,” said one Johnny’s news reporter.
Past examples suggest the idea is possible, with ex-NEWS/Kanjani8 member Hiroki Uchi coming back into showbiz after a two year suspension for underage drinking. Although Uchi was unable to rejoin his groups, the talent is now working as a solo artist and has had won roles in movies, TV dramas, stage plays and concerts.
However, there are some talents who have never made a full come back, like ex-NEWS member Hironori Kusano who was suspended for underage drinking. Although Kusano did make a come back as a talent, he gradually faded out and has since left the agency. According to his Japanese wikipedia page, Kusano is now a design student at Hosei University in Tokyo.
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.