Sho Sakurai in Tears After ‘Johnny Kitagawa Sexual Assault Incident | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sho Sakurai in Tears After ‘Johnny Kitagawa Sexual Assault Incident

Akio Nakamori, The Johnny's Theory of Desire Chapter 1: "Battles Without Honor and Humanity" and Johnny's (3)

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The previous article, “It was the same structure as ‘Battles Without Honor and Humanity’… The ‘Sad Similarities’ Between Hitmen and Idols Belonging to Johnny’s.”

The previous article discussed the similarities between hitmen and idols, who use humiliation as a springboard to rise above. Japanese idols have been viewed by the public as having been “sexually assaulted”. There are other serious factors that have pushed them over the edge.

The “real reason” Sho Sakurai was in tears.

Sho Sakurai of Arashi made a comment on the issue of Johnny Kitagawa’s sexual assault on “News Zero,” a news program in which he serves as an anchor, and it caused a sensation. Referring to the difficult position he finds himself in, he said the following.

On “News Zero,” for which he serves as a commentator, he opened his heavy mouth, his voice trembling, about the sexual assault issue.

“One thing I want to tell you is that there are people who are hurt by speculation. There are many of my dear friends who I once spent time with as a member of Johnny’s Junior who have already started a new life in a completely different place from this world. We must avoid, above all, that these people, as well as others, will be the subject of unwanted speculation and the subject of this issue.”


Sho Sakurai is 41 years old, and it has been 28 years since he began his career as a Johnny’s Junior at the age of 13. He has been the anchor of this program for 17 years. He has always been calm, intelligent, and clear in his commentary on the news, but commenting on the issue made him tremble.

This comment was controversial. For the naysayers, it has led to a surge of slander and libel on social networking sites against the accusers of sexual assault (Bunshun Online, June 14). Sakurai must have thought that they were responsible for the “unintended speculation” that he feared.


He and his colleagues had been deeply hurt by the “speculation” long before the sexual assault report. For a long time, they had been mired in guilt and humiliation. It is likely that Sakurai was so upset and emotional because of this that the accumulated guilt and humiliation had come pouring out.

Being “chosen by Johnny Kitagawa” is a liability.

Idols in Johnny’s are different. They were chosen by Johnny Kitagawa. They are glamorous and beautiful on stage, singing and dancing to the songs produced by Johnny. They are the pinnacle of the entertainment world. He is a popular star who is constantly cheered by his female fans and is a brilliant and coveted star.

On the other hand, Johnny Kitagawa is surrounded by horrifying rumors of sexual assault. Speculation abounds. Let’s say Johnny’s idols do an ego search. They will find a lot of foul-mouthed slander, heartless ridicule, and name-calling. They feel guilty and humiliated. Accusers of specific sexual assaults (their former comrades) are speaking out one after another.

They are torn between the most glorious and the most humiliating poles.


The mystery of their strong sense of unity and cohesion may now be solved. They are the chosen stars. But let’s say you go to a TV station. You feel the eyes of the people around you. Is it really only admiration and longing?

When they encounter male idols from another agency they feel hostility. Of course, there may be jealousy. However, Johnny’s idols are special. But because of the scandal, they feel hurt and guilt internalized. Most of all, they feel humiliated.

“The ecstasy and anxiety of being chosen are both in me” (Verlaine, Osamu Dazai)

The ecstasy and humiliation of Johnny’s — they are the only ones who understand these feelings. They unite. They build walls around them. They push forward as one. Yes, just as the men in “Battles Without Honor and Humanity” risked their lives to restore the lost masculinity.

Female Fans Sympathize with the “Harassment” Perspective

Girls and young women are sensitive to this. There are plenty of cool boys, actors, and male idols. But Johnny’s idols are completely different. They are torn between light and shadow, pride and humiliation. One moment they are flying in the light, and the next they are plunged headlong into darkness. Then they reach for the light again and try their best to fly.

Before his death, Mr. Johnny also had the duality of light and shadow

To be young, to be a woman, is to be admired, to be dazzled, and yet, in reality, to continue to be subjected to curious stares, sexual exploitation, and daily harassment. These torn women resonate with Johnny’s idols.

I would like to ask Johnny Kitagawa, knowing that it is no longer possible.

How was your life, Mr. Johnny? As a man oriented to love boys, it may have been a lifetime of dreams. But now it is being harshly denounced as sexual assault.


How on earth would you feel? 

Still, I would like to ask you.

Mr. Johnny, there is no doubt that you loved the idols in your management more than anyone else. But what does “love” mean to you? What is an idol? What is producing?


I know that the answers will never come back to me, but I still want to ask you. I want to listen to your voice as I write.

  • Interview and text Akio Nakamori Photographs Yusuke Kondo, Takao Kawakami

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