Inohara Yoshihiko and Higashiyama Noriyuki Navigate Tokuso 9 as They Embody the Supervisory Image Demanded by the Times in New Series | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Inohara Yoshihiko and Higashiyama Noriyuki Navigate Tokuso 9 as They Embody the Supervisory Image Demanded by the Times in New Series

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Inohara Yoshihiko is in his seventh year playing the role of a lead investigator on “Tokuso 9,” tasked with coordinating strong-willed team members.

The new season of TV Asahi drama “Tokuso 9,” starring former V6 actor and TV personality Inohara Yoshihiko (47), will begin airing on April 3.

The drama originally started in 2006 as the popular series “Keishichô sôsa ikka kyû gakari” starring Tsunehiko Watase. After Watase’s sudden death in 2017, Inohara took over the lead role as the successor series in 2018, bringing the total number of seasons to 19. The series will continue with Naoki Asawa, played by Inohara, as well as Umejaku Nakamura (68), Michiko Haneda (55), Mitsuru Fukikoshi (59), Hiromasa Taguchi (56), Yuki Yamada (33), Koji Mukai (29) and Mai Fukagawa (32) from “Snow Man,” and the total episode count will surpass the 200 episode mark this season.

“Inohara’s agency’s junior being added as a regular cast member caused a fierce backlash from regulars from the ‘9-kei’ era, particularly from Kanji Tsuda (58). Tsuda clashed with the production team and effectively left the show.


Currently, our flagship detective drama series is ‘Aibou,’ but with the lead actor, Yutaka Mizutani (71), facing age-related issues, it’s uncertain how long sequels can be produced. Therefore, ‘Tokuso 9’ seems poised to take over afterward. There might even be a movie adaptation in the future.” (TV Asahi insider)


In this season, one of the highlights is Asawa, who has entered his 7th year as the lead investigator, embodying the ideal boss that the times demand. With his strong empathy and care for his teammates above all else, Asawa doesn’t lead the team with charisma or strong initiative, but rather, he respects the overwhelming individuality and values of the investigative team members, watching over their active roles as a ‘new era leader.’


“At the age of 12, Inohara joined the former Johnny’s office. After joining, although there were seniors as talents affiliated with the office, there were no superiors. Perhaps due to such an environment, in the comments he made upon the announcement of this work, he mentioned his ideal boss as, ‘Simply, I think it would be great if both the seniors and the juniors could work together towards our goals.’ It seems like a statement that naturally emerged from his current position.” (Entertainment reporter)

On November 1, 2022, following the announcement of the resignation of Takizawa Hideaki (41), who currently leads the entertainment agency TOBE, from his position as president of Johnny’s Island (now Annex), Inohara assumed the presidency of the same company.

The former Johnny’s office, to which he has been affiliated since his debut, changed its name to SMILE-UP. on October 17 of last year, due to the impact of the sexual harassment issues involving its founder, the late Johnny Kitagawa. Inohara’s senior from the former agency, Noriyuki Higashiyama (57) of Shonentai, assumed the presidency of the new company. Inohara, on the other hand, became the vice president and attended two press conferences held before the name change. With his calm demeanor and ability to pacify the turbulent press, he raised the company’s profile through numerous fine plays.

Then, on December 8 of last year, with the establishment of STARTO ENTERTAINMENT, which took over the management business from the former Johnny’s, Inohara resigned as vice president of SMILE and was announced to assume the position of COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the same company.

“While temporarily under Higashiyama’s supervision, Inohara was expected to adhere to strict hierarchical norms, where voicing opinions might have been challenging. In contrast, in the new company, he can engage in frank exchanges of opinions with Fukuda Jun, the CEO, without any considerations for seniority. This environment might be beneficial for Inohara, who holds a role akin to a playing manager.” (Same source)

Inohara, in addition to starring in “Tokuso 9,” continues to host the information variety show “Demachi! Adomakkuk Tengoku” on TV Tokyo, where he has refrained from recruiting former Johnny’s talents. As a talent, he appears to have suffered minimal damage from Johnny’s sexual harassment scandal. However, the situation has drastically changed for Higashiyama, who was temporarily Inohara’s superior.

“SMILE announced that it would close down after completing compensation for victims of sexual harassment. This might take at least another two years. Until then, Higashiyama will focus on his role as president and likely refrain from public appearances in the entertainment industry.

During this period, TV Asahi’s popular detective drama series ‘Keiji 7-nin’ starring Higashiyama and the annual period drama special ‘Hissatsu Shigotonin’ will face production delays as it’s not feasible to find replacements. Production teams are currently grappling with this issue.

Recently, the activity of Higashiyama’s wife, actress Kimura Yoshino (47), has been noticeable. It seems she’s compensating for his absence from the public eye.” (TV station insider)

From Higashiyama’s perspective, he might envy Inohara’s ability to actively participate in the entertainment scene as a talent.

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In October 2023, during his second Johnny’s press conference, his calm reprimand of the agitated reporters earned praise.
On location for the NHK drama “Company” in the cold wind (Jan. 29, ’21 issue).
Inohara leaving NHK after recording “Asaichi. In March of the same year, he and Yumiko Arido graduated from the program, where he had served as MC for 8 years (April 20, ’18 issue).
Inohara riding her bicycle near her home. She was also seen working hard on DIY projects with power tools in her hands (April 1, 2004 issue).
  • PHOTO. Saki Hotta (1st and 3rd), Kazuhiko Nakamura (2nd), Hiroyuki Sato (5th)

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