In Japan there are many groups or bands made up of artists who dance, sing, act and appear on television in various programs. These artists are called “Idol”, and they are a large part of the Japanese music industry.
Some of the most famous groups are:
1- Arashi (嵐):
It’s a Johnny’s Entertainment group. Its debut was in 1999 under the Pony Canyon label, but it was later changed to the ownership of Johnny J-Storm. The name literally means “storm.” It is considered as the most famous and successful band in all of Japan. The main genre that characterizes them is J pop, having dozens of successful songs that have marked the Japanese collective imagination.
The group is made up of Aiba Masaki, Matsumoto Jun, Ninomiya Kazunari, Ohno Satoshi (Leader) and Sakurai Sho.
Johnny & Associates announced the group’s debut on September 15, 1999, through a press conference, aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii. Then-president Johnny Kitagawa selected five trainees from the Johnny’s Jr. division to become members of Arashi, the Japanese word for Storm, and to represent the agency’s drive to “create a storm around the world.” On November 3, 1999, they made their CD debut by releasing the single “Arashi”, which was the theme song for the 1999 Japan-hosted Volleyball World Cup. With great success, they sold 557,430 copies in their first week. and almost a million copies at the end of its graphic journey.
In November 2018, Arashi began his 20th anniversary tour, “Arashi 5 × 20”. They performed a total of 18 shows in the five main domes of Japan. During the penultimate show on December 23, they announced 32 additional dates, bringing the total scheduled performances to 50. With an expected total of 2.43 million concert goers, it is the group’s largest tour to date. and also the largest in Japanese history. In addition, on June 26, 2019 they released a 20th anniversary album with all their singles from the group’s 20-year history and a new song, “5 × 20”.
Arashi has been so successful that they even sang to His Majesty The Emperor to celebrate his enthronement.
Because it is such an important musical reference for Japanese society, it is recommended to know a little about Arashi before coming to Japan.
2- Sexy Zone:
They are a 4-member band from the Johnny & Associates, Inc. Company. They made their debut in 2011 with the self-titled single, “Sexy Zone.” At the time they were the youngest ensemble in the agency’s history, averaging about 14 years old. It was also Johnny’s first group to include one of the younger and half-Japanese boys. Marius is German on his father’s side.
Sexy Zone is a band that has achieved great fame and success throughout Japan. They have done great national tours every year. Its members are also actors and constantly participate in entertainment programs. Almost every time a new song is released it is number 1 on the Oricon chart (Similar to western billboard).
The musical genre of Sexy Zone is J Pop, upbeat songs with positive messages. They also include pieces ranging from ballads to rock and some with a Latin twist.
Their members are:
Nakajima Kento (March 13, 1994) (Leader): Japanese singer, actor and talent. Nicknamed Kenty. Born in Tokyo. In 2008 he began his artistic career in the group BIShadow. He later debuted as the leader of Sexy Zone in 2011. He is a cheerful and very cultured person. He speaks a little Spanish and a lot in English. He knows how to play the piano perfectly. He has excelled as an actor in several Japanese films and is called “Prince Kento” for his charisma and constant expressions of affection.
He is one of the most representative figures in the Japanese entertainment industry. Within the Sexy Zone albums he has performed songs as a soloist, highlighting his personality more since, generally, he writes the lyrics himself.
Kikuchi Fuma (March 7, 1995)
Sato Shori (October 30, 1996) (Center)
Marius Yo (March 30, 2000)
“Sexy Zone”: It was released on November 16, 2011, as their first single under Pony Canyon. The song was written by Satomi and Kōji Makaino. “Sexy Zone” was released in five editions: Regular Edition, Limited Editions A, B, C and D. It ranks number one on both the Oricon Singles Chart and the Billboard Japan Hot 100. The single was certified platinum by the Association of Recording Industry of Japan (RIAJ), showing sales of 250,000 units.
Sexy Zone is one of the most famous musical groups in all of Japan, therefore if you are interested in Japanese Pop culture it is recommended to know their career.