Johnny & Associates (株式会社ジャニーズ事務所, Kabushiki-gaisha Janīzu Jimusho) is a Japanese talent agency, formed by Johnny Kitagawa in 1962, which trains and promotes groups of male entertainers known as Johnnies (ジャニーズ, Janīzu)[4][25] In 1999 the company sued Bungeishunjū, publisher of Shukan Bunshun, which published articles alleging that sexual abuse and coercion to use drugs (alcohol and tobacco) had occurred at the agency. A lower court initially ruled in favor of the agency, awarding ¥8.8 million in damages, but the award was reduced on appeal; the higher court ruled that sexual abuse had occurred, although the reports of drinking and smoking were defamatory.[26]

History

1962–1989

In 1962, Kitagawa launched his first group, Johnnys.[25] Six years later, Four Leaves, a boy band created by the agency, became successful.[25] Since then Kitagawa has formed a number of successful acts, such as solo artist Masahiko Kondo, whose song, "Orokamono" (愚か者, Fool), won the 1987 Japan Record Award,[4] and Hikaru Genji, the first Johnny group with three singles on the Japanese Oricon yearly chart in 1988.[14]

1990–2009

During the 1990s Johnny & Associates began declining nominations from the Japan Record Awards and the Japan Academy Awards, partly due to a dispute about the musical genre of one of their groups at the 32nd Japan Record Awards.[8] Another reason cited was that the nominations would engender competition among Johnny groups[8] and with other nominees.[8]

SMAP debuted in 1991, hosting television and radio shows, appearing in commercials and acting on television and film.[6] The group's 2003 single, "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" (世界に一つだけの花, "A Flower Unlike Any Other in the World"), sold over 2.57 million copies and became the ninth-bestselling single in Japan.[2] In 1997 the agency founded a record label, Johnny's Entertainment.[4]

Two years later, the Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun published a series of articles alleging that adolescent male agency clients had been sexually abused and coerced into drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. Johnny & Associates sued the magazine's publisher, Bungeishunjū. In 2002 the Tokyo District Court awarded the agency ¥8.8 million in damages, and Bungeishunjū appealed the ruling to the Tokyo High Court. The court reduced the damages to ¥1.2 million, ruling that the allegations of sexual exploitation were true but the reports of drinking and smoking were defamatory.[26]

In 2006, Oricon sued journalist Hiro Ugaya when he was quoted in a Cyzo magazine article suggesting that the company manipulated its statistics to benefit certain management companies and labels (specifically, Johnny & Associates. Ugaya condemned the action as a strategic lawsuit against public participation,[28] and it was later dropped by Oricon with no charges filed against the journalist.

In 2007, temporary Johnny's Jr. group, Hey! Say! 7, broke a record as the youngest male group to ever top Oricon charts, with an average age of 14.8 years. Later that year, Hey! Say! JUMP broke a record as the largest group to debut in Johnny's history, with ten members.

2010–present

On November 19, 2010, Masahiko Kondo received the Best Vocal Performance award at the 52nd Japan Record Awards; Kondo was the first Johnny recipient since Ninja refused to perform live at the 1990 awards.[12] After the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Johnny & Associates cancelled or postponed 18 concerts, including shows by Tomohisa Yamashita and Tackey & Tsubasa. Generators, trucks and 2,000 litres (530 US gal) of gasoline which would have been used at the concerts were donated to the relief effort.

The agency began a fundraising project, Marching J, for the Tōhoku earthquake victims; its first event was held on April 1–3, 2011. Hey! Say! JUMP, SMAP, Tokio, KinKi Kids, V6, Arashi, Tackey and Tsubasa, NEWS, Kanjani8, KAT-TUN and Johnny’s Juniors participated in the fundraiser, which included talk sessions and a cappella performances.[13] The agency planned to hold one fundraiser per month for a year. The next event, a baseball tournament featuring Johnny’s Juniors, was held on May 29.[14]

On September 18, 2011, Kitagawa received Guinness World Record awards for the most number-one singles (232) and the most concerts (8,419 from 1974 to 2010) produced by an individual. His shows have been attended by an estimated 48,234,550 people.[15]

Current artists

Groups

DebutArtistsMembersLeader
1985Shōnentai3Kazukiyo Nishikiori-
1994TOKIO5Shigeru Joshima-
1995V66Masayuki Sakamoto20th Century and Coming Century are sub-units of the group
1997KinKi Kids2--
1999Arashi5Satoshi Ohno-
2002Tackey & Tsubasa2-Hiatus
2003NEWS9 ® 8 ® 7 ® 6 ® 4Keiichiro KoyamaTegomass is a sub-unit of the group
2004Kanjani88 ® 7-
2006KAT-TUN6 ® 5 ® 4 ® 3Hiatus
2007Hey! Say! JUMP10 ® 9-Hey! Say! BEST and Hey! Say! 7 are sub-units of the group; Largest group to debut; Youngest group ever to perform in Tokyo Dome with the average age of 15.7 years old[29]
2011Kis-My-Ft27Hiromitsu KitayamaBusaiku is a sub-unit of the group
2011Sexy Zone5Kento NakajimaYoungest group to debut (average age of 14.6 at the time).
2012A.B.C-Z5--
2014Johnny's WEST7--

Trainees

Johnny & Associates trainees are known as Johnny's Jr.. Juniors perform their songs and those by established artists on variety shows, such as The Shōnen Club, and are backup dancers for the agency's established groups.[31][32]

Former artists

Groups

DebutArtistsMembersLeader
1962Johnnys4Hiromi MaieDisbanded in 1967
1967Four Leaves5 ® 4-Disbanded in 1976. Reunited in 2002 and disbanded in 2009.
1975Little Gang2-Disbanded in 1976
1982Shibugakitai3-Disbanded in 1988
1983The Good-Bye4-Disbanded in 1990
1985Otokogumi7 ® 5 ® 4-Disbanded in 1993
1987Hikaru Genji8 ® 7Kōji UchiumiHikaru and Genji were sub-units of the group. Disbanded in 1995.
1988SMAP6 ® 5Masahiro NakaiDisbanded in 2016
1990Ninja6 ® 4-Disbanded in 1997

Soloists

Group members

Other releases

Temporary / special units

DebutArtistsMembersMembers listedReason
1975Johnny's Junior Special ?--
1980Tanokin Trio3Toshihiko Tahara, Nomura Yoshio, Masahiko Kondo-
1998J-Friends13Tokio, V6, KinKi Kidscharity group
2000Secret Agent2Noriyuki Higashiyama, Ryo NishikidoTheme song for the drama Heisei Meoto Jawan
2000Shingo MamaSoloShingo Katori-
2001Sakuraba YuichiroSoloTomoya NagaseTheme song for the drama Mukodono!
2001MiMyCen3Go Morita, Ken Miyake, Junichi Okadafor the variety show MiMyCen!
2001Go Tarimo and Mini CurrySoloGo Moritafor the variety show Gakkou e Iko!
2002Ya-Ya-yah5Kota Yabu, Hikaru Yaotome, Naoya Akama, Shoon Yamashita, Taiyo Ayukawa, Masaki HoshinoTheme song for the anime Nintama Rantarō
2004Hattori-kunSoloShingo KatoriTheme song for the movie Nin x Nin: Ninja Hattori-kun
2005Toraji Haiji2Tsuyoshi Domoto, Taichi KokubunTheme song for the movie Fantastipo
2005Shūji to Akira2Kazuya Kamenashi, Tomohisa YamashitaTheme song for the drama Nobuta wo Produce
2006GYM3Golf, Tomohisa Yamashita, MikeWomen Volleyball Supporter
2006Kisarazu Cats Eye feat. MCU6Junichi Okada, Sho Sakurai, Yoshinori Okada, Tsukamoto Takashi, Ryuta SatoTheme song for the drama Kisarazu Cat's Eye: World Series
2007Trio the Shakiiin3Noriyuki Higashiyama, Go Morita, Kenta SugaTheme song for the drama Kuitan
2007Hey! Say! 7 (Temporary group)5Yuya Takaki, Daiki Arioka, Ryosuke Yamada, Yuto Nakajima, Yuri ChinenHey! Say!; Theme song for the anime Lovely Complex
2008Matchy with Question6Masahiko Kondo, Daijiro Yonemura, Yoshihiro Yodogawa, Kazuyori Fujiie, Akun Igo, Daisuke IshigakiTheme song for the anime Naruto
2009The Shigotonin3Noriyuki Higashiyama, Masahiro Matsuoka, Tadayoshi OkuraTheme song for the drama Hissatsu Shigotonin
2009NYC boys7Ryosuke Yamada, Yuri Chinen, Yuma Nakayama, Kento Nakajima, Fuma Kikuchi, Hokuto Matsumura, Yugo KochiWomen Volleyball Supporter
2009Ryo-sanSoloShingo KatoriTheme song for the drama Kochikame
2009Snow Prince Gasshodan11Shintarō Morimoto, Shintarō Kishimoto, Reia Nakamura, Kei Kurita, Yūya Ōtsuka, Tatsuya Horinouchi, Aoi Okada, Yūki Haba, Ryō Hashimoto, Mizuki Inoue, Aoi ChinoTheme song for the movie Snow Prince Kinjirareta Koi no Melody (Snow Prince Melody of Forbidden Love)
2009Lands2Jin Akanishi, Takeshi KobayashiTheme song for the movie Bandage; Acted as a band in same drama
2010Kaibutsu-kunSoloSatoshi OhnoTheme song for the drama Kaibutsu-kun
2011Ryo-sanSoloShingo KatoriTheme song for the movie Kochikame
2011A.N. Jell4Hikaru Yaotome, Taisuke Fujigaya, Yuta Tamamori, Miori TakimotoTheme song for the drama Ikemen desu ne; Acted as a band in same drama
2012The Monsters2Shingo Katori, Tomohisa YamashitaTheme song for the drama Monsters
2014Hottake Band2Kazuya Kamenashi, Tamaki KojiTheme song for the drama Tokyo Bandwagon
2015-2016Sensations9Hey! Say! JUMPTheme song for the movies Assassination Classroom and Assassination Classroom: Graduation
2016Jigoku-zu4Tomoya Nagase, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Kenta Kiritani, Nana SeinoTheme song for the movie Too Young to Die! Wakakushite Shinu
2017Kame to YamaP2Kazuya Kamenashi, Tomohisa YamashitaTheme song for the drama, Boku, Unmei no Hito Desu
2017A.Y.T3Hey! Say! JUMP's Yuya Takaki, Hikaru Yaotome and Daiki AriokaTheme song for the drama, Koshoku Robot

See also

Notes

  1. Akasaka was arrested for drug possession on October 28, 2007. Johnny & Associates announced his dismissal on October 29, 2007.[34]
  2. Tanaka contract with Johnny & Associates was terminated on September 30, 2013 due to several contract violations.[35][17]
  3. On June 27, 2011, Morimoto was suspended indefinitely for underage smoking.[37] His profile was removed from the official Johnny & Associates website in 2012.
  4. A non-Johnny's artist