The “Melancholy” and “Will” in the Image of Walking His Dog
What is the path of life for the top of the talent pecking order at Johnny’s?
What does his wife, Shizuka Kudo, think?
Takuya Kimura (50) was still following his daily routine even at the critical time when the signboard of “Johnny’s” (now “SMILE-UP.”), which had been in existence for 61 years, was finally going to come down. He walked his dogs, Australian Labradoodles, which have appeared many times in this magazine and have become well-known on social networking sites.
Why are you changing the name of the company? The Weekly Bunshun reported (and Johnny’s denied) that Kimutaku was planning to become independent, while Josei Seven reported the opposite, saying that Kimutaku had quickly decided to remain with the company. While the media battle over his departure was heating up, the man himself was fiddling with his phone on a Tokyo main street with a lead in one hand and no disguise on his face.
He was wearing a “Supreme” cap, a flannel shirt, and embroidered jeans in an American casual fashion that suited him, but as expected, he was in low spirits. There was a sense of melancholy in the air. ……” (a passing resident)
As the symbol of “Johnny’s,” he sang and had a string of million-seller hits. As an actor, he has been at the forefront of trendy dramas such as Fuji’s “Geki 9.
He married Shizuka Kudo (53), whom FRIDAY scooped in 1999 for living together, in 2000, taking the lead among the “SMAP” members. He paved the way for idols at the height of their popularity to become husbands and fathers. When the “SMAP” breakup furore broke out, he was the one who bowed his head in the middle of the members.
With Noriyuki Higashiyama (57) now in management, Kimutaku is now at the top of the talent pecking order. Whether to remain or go independent – the charismatic figure who has been with Johnny’s for more than 30 years is now facing an agonizing fall. Is it any wonder that he is not in good spirits?
As long as Johnny’s has announced on its official website that it plans to sign an agency contract with a new company it will establish, Kimura will probably stay on. He has a bitter history of being accused of being a traitor during the “SMAP” breakup fiasco, and he would like to show his sincerity here.
It is believed that either Kimutaku or Shizuka’s personal office will be the point of contact.
The article that caught my attention this time was that Shizuka was consulting with Ikuo Suo, the “Don” of the entertainment world, about her future. Mr. Suo, who rarely shows his face at the Akasaka office these days, was very easily confronted by the reporter and denied it, but I cannot take this at face value. He left the impression that he had been kicked out, but once there, he stayed on. I see it as a move to a major firm after successfully paving the way. The Kimuras are well aware of what happens to celebrities who lose their backing.
The fact that there are articles strongly defending Kimura is “proof that the powerful people in the entertainment industry are making moves,” according to a senior entertainment industry executive.
The fact that inside stories, such as information on the filming of a drama starring Kimutaku scheduled to air next spring on TV Asahi, are leaking out so easily is evidence of the weakening of their grip on the TV station. His wise wife, Shizuka, is aware of this.”
What kind of path will this charismatic man show to his junior colleagues?
From the November 3, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kojiro Yamada