Former KAT-TUN Member Taguchi : “At the Time of My Arrest, I Thought It’s Over” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former KAT-TUN Member Taguchi : “At the Time of My Arrest, I Thought It’s Over”

Special Interview Three years after his arrest for marijuana possession, the charismatic idol, now a singer and professional mahjong player, talks about the incident and what happened afterward

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His mahjong style is aggressive. As a young player who has only been a pro for six months, I need to learn more.

When I was arrested, I frankly thought, ‘It’s over.’ But since then, I have had the support of many people, and I am here now. I have nothing but gratitude.

Junnosuke Taguchi, 36, formerly of KAT-TUN, reflected on his feelings at the time of “the incident” three years ago.

Taguchi left Johnny’s in the spring of 2016 and started his solo career as an independent singer. Three years later, in May 2019, he was arrested on suspicion of violating the Marijuana Control Law. In October of the same year, he was convicted with a two-year suspended sentence. Taguchi was well known as a “prince character” during his days with Johnny’s, but now his “down-on-his-earth apology” when he was released on bail leaves a strong impression.

Taguchi is now strongly impressed by the “down-on-his-earth apology” he made when he was bailed out. “Even after I became independent, I realized that as an artist Junnosuke Taguchi was still not as well known to the public as I had been. I cannot justify my use of marijuana, but one of the reasons I used marijuana was because I was feeling lonely and was about to be crushed by the pressure. At that time, marijuana helped me escape, or rather, it helped me escape.
When I was arrested, I was about to embark on a national tour. When I left the Wangan Police Station, where I was detained, and saw the large press corps, I felt a strong sense of remorse for having betrayed the expectations of my fans more than anything else. I impulsively got down on my knees, saying that this was the only way I could show my attitude.”

Taguchi, who vowed to start over from scratch, resumed his music career after the verdict. This year, he also returned to his talent business, appearing on a variety show on Abema.

In fact, Taguchi has another face as a professional mahjong player. In 2021, he appeared on a mahjong distribution program where he beat a number of professional mahjong players and became the talk of the town. In March 2020, he announced his membership in the Japan Professional Mahjong Association and pursue a doble career as a singer and a professional mahjong player.

I learned to play mahjong at the age of 16 using PC software, and when I was a member of Johnny’s, I used to play mahjong with Yuichi Nakamaru (38) and his staff backstage. I was told by a professional mahjong player that I could play professionally, so I made up my mind. I have lived in the entertainment industry ever since I joined Johnny’s, but mahjong professionals have one thing in common, namely that it is a world of competition. You have to keep a poker face in the game, but you can’t play too much. I believe there is an element of charm in the world of mahjong as well. As a professional, I also actively participate in mahjong classes and other activities to let as many people as possible know the fun of mahjong.

He is now ready to move on to the next step in his main profession,  entertainment.

I want to continue to challenge myself so that people who don’t know me from my days in KAT-TUN can also enjoy my performances. In the past, my acting work was done by the agency. Now I feel the greatness of Johnny’s. From now on, I would like to join the young people and start by auditioning.

Junnosuke Taguchi, a man who once saw rock bottom, gave a shout-out to his former colleague Sei Tanaka, 36, who was arrested for violating the Methamphetamine Control Law.

He said, “Because of the incident, I caused a lot of trouble for the members of KAT-TUN, who are still active. I thought, ‘It’s over,’ but I have recovered so far. I hope that he will continue to look forward to the future and do his best.”

Recently, he has been improving his poker skills. He says he is still just playing for fun, but is it possible that he could play poker with a professional poker player?
Ex-KAT-TUN member Junnosuke Taguchi: “When I got caught, I thought it was over” Special interview
Unpublished material: Junnosuke Taguchi, ex-KAT-TUN: “When I got caught, I thought it was over” Special interview
Former KAT-TUN member Junnosuke Taguchi: “When I got caught, I thought it was over” Special interview

From the August 19 and 26, 2022 issues of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki

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