Fights or Amicable Exit
Including Goro Inagaki (49), Shingo Katori (46), and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (48), who left the Johnny’s office in September of ’17, a total of 17 talents have left the office in the past decade. This year, three more, including Shiyoh Hirano of King & Prince, are scheduled to leave the office.
Most of the “quitting Janis” have continued their entertainment activities in some form or another after leaving the office. One of the most notable recent success stories is Genki Iwahashi (26), formerly of King & Prince, who left the group at the end of March 2009.
He has now made over 100 million yen in sales, has toured seven cities as a solo performer, drawing over 10,000 people, and has appeared in a commercial for Yves Saint Laurent Beaute. He will become a junior member of actors Will Smith (54) and Jason Statham (55), and will probably focus on activities overseas.
Although his time as a member of Kinpuri was short-lived, he still has the support of Johnny’s fans.
Even before his debut, he was quite popular. However, he stopped his activities for treatment for a panic disorder a little more than five months after his CD debut. He has always been quite serious at heart, and I think he went beyond the scope of work he could do with his illness.
Since quitting, he has continued his music activities to the extent that his condition is not too much of a strain, and I think this suits him better. Even after leaving, he is still amicable with the members of Kimpuri. When they visited Suzuka Circuit on separate occasions, they even took pictures of each other, and the fans of Kimpuri are also supportive of Iwahashi.
Also more active than Iwahashi is Tomohisa Yamashita (38).
He starred in an overseas drama and appeared in the Netflix production “Alice in Imaginary Country,” while also starring in the NHK drama “Honest Fudosan.” In addition to domestic productions, I have received offers from abroad. During his time at the office, Yamashita’s annual income was over 50 million yen at his peak, but we have heard that his income has increased since leaving the office.
A close junior colleague, Jin Akanishi (38), is a pioneer in establishing an independent label and fan club business style after leaving the office, reportedly earning 200 to 300 million yen annually. Yamashita is hoping to make ends meet with just acting and fan club membership fees, but Akanishi is pushing him to be more active in music and holding events for his fans,” said a TV station official.
Akanishi, Yamashita, Ryo Nishikido (38), and other “quit-janis” of the same generation communicate actively with each other, sometimes collaborating with each other via YouTube. Takizawa Hideaki (41) is the only one who has set up an entertainment management office behind the scenes.
He rose to the position of vice president at Johnny’s s. However, he left the office after a falling out with the agency due to conflicts over how to market and nurture young talents. On March 16 of this year, he launched the entertainment agency TOBE and began recruiting talent.
He has since gone behind the scenes and does not appear in any place where he can be caught on camera. One would think that he would continue to follow this policy, but he has been showing his face on TikTok Live, where viewers can pay for his work, and receiving “throwaway” money from viewers, which is a very shrewd move.
The recruitment guidelines for the new agency indicate that the audition process will be open to the public. He has always been a charismatic idol, and I think he will appear on audition programs as a producer like J.Y. Park (51). He has personal connections with businessmen who are strong in overseas business, and I think he intends to sell the talent he has nurtured to Asia and the United States in droves.
In contrast, Masahiro Nakai (50), a former member of “SMAP,” has left the company amicably. A source at a major entertainment agency revealed Nakai’s intentions at the time of the group’s dissolution.
When Inagaki, Katori, Kusanagi, and the other members of ‘New Map’ decided to leave the office, I think Nakai wanted to quit, too. However, he timed it right. While the three mentioned above are mainly actors, Nakai’s main field of work is as a TV show MC, and he left after building an amicable relationship with the TV station staff with whom he was familiar so that he could continue to work with them after leaving the office. His manager from his days at Johnny’s was also with him, and they are still working together today.
Only the stage and music I like.
I want to work less and live at my own pace” or “I don’t want to work as an idol.” …… Talent leave Johnny’s’s on their own for one of these two reasons. The former is represented by Go Morita, 44, formerly of V6, and Tomoya Nagase, 44, formerly of TOKIO.
Morita quit V6, which had been in existence for 26 years, and has since been active mainly on the stage. However, it does not mean that he has decided not to appear in TV or movies. He accepts the productions he wants to do, and as a result, he has been performing more on the stage.
In 2009, he and his wife Rie Miyazawa (50) established a new agency together. Since the beginning of their marriage, Miyazawa has earned more money than Morita, and they have more savings. There is no problem in the family’s life even if Morita does only the work he likes.
Although Nagase has disappeared from the public eye, he is still posting on social networking sites about how he spends his days riding his motorcycle and playing in his band.
Nagase has no intention of continuing his entertainment career. He wanted to do music activities with the members of “TOKIO” as his life work, not for money. However, this is no longer possible with the departure of Yamaguchi Tatsuya (51). The other members left the music to Nagase, and he didn’t mind if they brought in a young Johnny’s kid who could play bass and make it sound like “TOKIO + XX”. But Nagase insisted on the five members, including Yamaguchi. As long as Yamaguchi is not coming back, I think he has no more regrets about the group. He is not a self-promoter, so he does not feel the need to be an entertainer. He seems to be thinking now that he would like to do music with his friends whom he knows well.
Some heretics have had it tough
Idols who have been active in Johnny’s since their childhood are shocked at the size of the backing they have lost after leaving the agency. In particular, they realize that it is the outliers who are not typical of Johnny’s idols who were valued because they were in the Johnny’s office.
Former “Kanjani Eight” member Shibuya Subaru (41), on the eve of his 40th birthday, dared to abandon his brand and take the plunge. A source at a record company reveals Shibuya’s current situation.
He has been talking about how he wants to live by singing since he was with Johnny’s. He has released a solo cover album. Since quitting the agency, he has concentrated on music and has not done any promotion. He is following the way of Hiroto Komoto (60), whom he has admired for a long time.
However, he is not learning languages and expanding overseas, and his activities stop at domestic markets. He also extremely refused to talk about his time with Johnny’s and blocked followers who commented on the topic of “Kanjani Eight.
The number of fan club members is about one-tenth of the original number. The album released in 2009 sold only about 10,000 copies, and the record company terminated the contract with Shibuya.
Now he is an independent artist and only distributes his music. The lineup of goods is completely geared toward female fans, including hairpins and life-size bath towels with photos printed on them, and they are returning to idol activities.
Former “NEWS” member Yuya Tegoshi (35) is also in a difficult situation.
The number of subscribers to his YouTube channel, which used to have 1.7 million, has dropped by more than 300,000 in three and a half years. The album he released at the beginning of April sold only 4,600 copies in the first week. The total sales did not even reach 10,000 copies. In fact, in April, he started his own TV program on TV Saitama, but it did not even become a topic of conversation.
Below is a summary of the current status of the 17 “quitting Janis. The secret to success as a “quitting jani” may be to maintain a moderate distance from the past of being a Johnny’s idol.
From the May 12 and 19, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
PHOTO： Takero Shigumi, Hiroyuki Komatsu, Yusuke Kondo, Keisuke Nishi, Shu Nishihara, Ippei Hara, Kojiro Yamada