SMAP : Disbandment and Intrigues

Unless you’re living under a rock or if you’re like me who managed to read her twitter feed past noon, most of you are aware of the news that SMAP is going to disband. Why a hugely successful group like SMAP disband? Well, according to what I’ve read so far, here’s a summary:

  • Iijima, aka SMAP’s manager and so-called foster mother of the group, resigned from Johnny’s & Associates because of a long-running internal conflict. That source of internal conflict involves Mary Kitagawa, sister of Johnny Kitagawa, as well as Mary’s daughter, Julie Fujishima.
  • Following Iijima’s resignation, SMAP members from Nakai Masahiro, Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, and Katori Shingo reportedly follow suit. However, Kimura Takuya chose to stay with Johnny’s.
  • Johnny’s & Associates released a formal statement where they acknowledge the news of Iijima’s resignation and disbandment of SMAP. However, they didn’t exactly say which one is true and said that they are still in discussion –with whom, it was not mentioned.



The last bullet gives me hope that the agency is doing something to make them stay. SMAP is undeniably one of Johnny’s best produce, letting them go would be a huge lost to the agency as well to fans. As BBC reported, SMAP is like Take That and New Kids on the Block of Japan but way bigger. Even though SMAP has lost one member, you can’t really divide the group after all these years because not only they have their own variety show, SMAP also has CM deals- as a group- that a breach of contract is likely if SMAP disbanded.

(c) nakaiii0818masahirooo

While I’m sure that unlike younger Johnny’s who left the agency and have gone to hibernation, you can’t erase SMAP from Japanese entertainment. If it’s true that Nakai, Goro, Shingo, Tsuyoshi left, then I’m pretty sure that these guys can still be successful without a huge agency backing them up. Still, Johnny’s won’t be complete without these guys, they contributed so much for the agency that I hope Johnny’s will work on making them stay.

via jnews1 and 2


3 thoughts on “SMAP : Disbandment and Intrigues

  1. I have mixed emotions on this one. It’s sad to hear that the infighting reached this point. I do hope the agency manages to convince them to stay on. Loyalty is a rare quality after all and it’s not necessarily bound in black and white – four leaves while 1 remains each with their own reasons based on loyalty. But I also think that JE is better off without them should the aforementioned 4 leave the agency with finality. Nip the elements at the source that will soon sow discord among their peers and kouhai if it ever was the case. It’s just that the 4 would willingly choose to be collateral – and I hope they’re the only ones leaving. Because it’s already a wake-up call for JE and any more than that is a rude awakening – especially if all the talents managed by Iijima will be swayed into leaving the agency en masse. I’m sure they will still thrive as individuals (especially Nakai, Kusanagi and Katori) but they will never be able to stand in the same room and call themselves SMAP again. Ever. I also think that it’s a relief for the members that they won’t be ever made to sing as it never was their forte to begin with. They were always good at what they’re more known in doing these past 2 decades, i.e. acting and hosting variety shows. That’s star power rivaled only by Arashi.

    Plus, we could look at it this way: there’s room for younger talents in the agency to bloom now. JE has so much to manage in terms of groups that they’re bound to stagnate on debuting younger talents from their Juniors pool at some point with most of them leaving because they’ve become either too old to stay on or have simply realized that they will never debut, e.g. some members of Question and those Juniors who got left behind by their debuted peers.

    I shudder to think how bad this year will go for JE should KAT-TUN and NEWS also make the jump for disbandment.


    • Don’t say KAT-TUN, you’ll jinx us! I’m already scared about that even though they’ve officially said they will remain as KAT-TUN.
      Not worried about NEWS thankfully, they’ve already gone to hell and survived.


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