Some former members of groups have found their way to shine and succeed…
Okahira Kenji, former member of unit 19 and the punk rock band –3B Lab☆- is now a president of a certain company, where he also built a live house in his company’s building. Then there’s Kawasaki Nozomi, a former AKB member who now runs an apparel company –ANTIMINSS-, whose yearly earnings exceeds 100 million Yen and has been running her company for three years now.
Finally there’s, Mori Katsuyuki, former SMAP member who left the group last 1996 to pursue motorbike racing. Mori is now 39 years old and has one child. Despite suffering an injury and has to undergo rehabilitation months after he started racing, Mori managed to take the 1st place during his debut (1997) by winning the Rookie of the Year Challenge. He also became the champion in G2 race in 2003, won his first G1 race in 2009 for the “57th Anniversary of Grand Prix Race since its Opening”, and as of June 2009, Mori received “Class S”, the highest class in racing. Due to his racing activities, Mori also scored some endorsement deals.
According to the auto race site, the prize money Mori acquired in 2008 is about 45 million Yen where he also entered Top 10 in National ranking. Though the prize money in 2012 have dwindled to merely 26 million Yen, it has been said that the prize money Mori have earned tantamount to 400 million Yen. As of now, Mori earns more than 13 million Yen from racing annually.
If Mori have stayed in SMAP, he would surely earn more than what he earns today. However, leaving an idol group to pursue his love for racing is something that can’t be measured by earnings alone.
Just read this by chance and thought that it was interesting. I think that he made the right decision for leaving SMAP if he’s enjoying what he do now.