Sakurai Sho used to be “full of himself”

Just like the other article about MatsuJun’s, the first part of this article will be a rough translation of the article from Johnny’s Watcher.


Last year, a tell-all book was released by a former staff for Arashi, a second installment “Arashi, Break Zenya” was released. The title was 「”Arashi, Break Zenya” Gaiden, Arashi Seishun Playback」. It seems like in the previous book, they left out a part of the book that talked about Sakurai Sho’s bad personality.

With the previous publication talking about how Nino and Matsujun wouldn’t talk to each other for several years outside of work; in the second publication,they are saying that Sakurai used to look down on Ohno and Aiba. According to them, when they were supposed to take a commemorative picture for a movie, the staff noticed that Aiba and Ohno were missing. Upon learning that, they claimed that Sakurai said, “The 3 who sells are right here, so let’s take it now.” It seems that Sakurai would blame those two for the reason why Arashi wouldn’t blow up.


In the first book, they mentioned Sakurai acting like an elite, keeping his nose held high since his father was a Tokyo University graduate, and himself is a Keio University graduate. In the second book, the former staff continues to talk about Sakurai’s attitude in which he “is somewhere higher” than others.

An example of it would be when KAT-TUN appeared in one of the Arashi concert. While the other members were poking fun at their kouhai, only Sakurai’s attitude was different.

“Your group’s name is weird right? Its “KAT-TUN”, but by spelling its “Katsun” right? ‘Katsun’ is cause you guys are barely [making it], that’s what it means right?”

Sakurai’s words might have hit right on the spot since Akanish Jin, Tanaka Koki and Taguchi Junnosuke ended up leaving the group, the former staff thinks of this episode as a proof as to“Sakurai taking advantage of his intelligence to diss others”

Another memorable episode, was when Aiba finished first a job he was doing with Sakurai. The staff then asked Aiba if he needed a ride home, to which Aiba replied “Its okay, its okay, I’ll walk back home”. Upon hearing that, Sakurai reportedly said: “Its fine, isn’t it? He’s alone so there wouldn’t be much fuss anyways.”



Witnessing the whole conversation, the former staff felt that Sakurai was implying that Aiba wasn’t as popular as he was. The staff also added that “Aiba looked sad, and didn’t reply anything back”. These episodes were probably from ten years ago, when they were all very young, they’re more mature nowadays. It also seems like the author had a soft spot for Aiba too.

Speaking of which, the other day when TOKIO’s Yamaguchi and Ninomiya went out to eat, Yamaguchi revealed that they ended up talking about a lot things, including troubles they had in their own groups, and that Arashi also had their fair share of things to think about.

If we try to guess the problems Arashi and TOKIO were talking about, we can say that people worry a lot about their relationship. Taking out all the things we have heard from them on TV, radio, etc, there are actually a lot of other problems that the group members must have faced.

By the way, the first book sold about 80 000 copies, and even reached 6th place in the ranking for the first half of 2015’s books about talents.

via Johnny’s Watcher


To start off, I really want to get the book so I can get more whatever they were saying. But I’m still pretty bad at reading Japanese so even if I get the book, its not gonna do anything different.

So… I actually think that this might be pretty real. I always got the impression that Sakurai was a bit of a douche. Most elite kids in Asia are like that, I hang out quite often with people like that. They are really nice people, but they tend to keep their standards rather high. And that’s why most people misunderstand them.

But I have to comment on the episode where the staff talked about how Sakurai would speak of Aiba as if he was in a lower class than he is. Since it was back when they were still teenagers, I can understand why Sakurai would be acting like that. He might be really stressed out about his career… At that point, Arashi wasn’t selling as much as they do now, and Sakurai also had to prove himself to his parents. Of course, that’s not an excuse to be a douche to everyone, but let’s just say that we can see where he comes from.

I just hope that they all came to a point where all the members see each other as equal and just respect one another. I hope Aiba-chan forgave Sho, and they talked about it, and worked it out, because Aiba-chan is the type to bottle everything up, and just move on in order to not drag anyone down.

They always say that Arashi members get along really well with each other, so It would be nice if it stays like that.

(c) featured image tumblr

32 thoughts on “Sakurai Sho used to be “full of himself”

  1. Well, i would like to speak from different perspective/angle. My intention is not to make excuses for Arashi especially sho. It’s just that, I’m doubtful of how much this former staff know & understand Arashi. He probably doesn’t know them well enough to actually write about Arashi.
    Just because this person had work experience with Arashi maybe for several years, doesn’t mean he understood & knew Arashi that well enough. From a 3rd person point of view, it’s very easy to misunderstood & misinterprated other people’s actions & words.

    First, nino & jun. They might not talk outside job, but it’s probably long time ago when they just debuted for couple of years. They met almost everyday, since they have lots if group work activities, so they didn’t need to contact each other outside works. They can always wait till next day. Knowing nino he probably just trying to save money on handphone bill (it’s neen after all!). Remember technology used to be different. Phone call & messaging costed lots of money. Unlike now you can use wifi to chat or call people easily with line, whatsapp, etc

    About sho, I’m aware of his bad side. Such as he used to have poor control with his angry outburst. However I doubt sho would talk badly to aiba & ohno. He probaby was just joking when he said 3 of them sold better that ohno & aiba and about KAT-TUN’s name. The staff might misunderstand thinking sho really meant it. Unlike now teenage Arashi not good at speaking, creating fun atsmosphere, & making joke. It’s possible that Sho failed to build the proper atsmosphere to make a joke. I remember watching very old tv show of when they were still teenagers & appeared as guests. Gosh! So boring! They barely spoke back then! They didn’t leave any impression. Aiba mentioned in magazine before they often scolded by the agency about that back then.
    Sho also said before when they just debuted he didn’t know how to speak & befriend with aiba & ohno. They are very quiet people in private time. Aiba is especially shy & introverted. Sho was friends with nino & jun since their junior years, but he didn’t know aiba & ohno. So this former staff probably misunderstood thinking sho didn’t talk aiba & ohno because he dislike them or look down on them.

    This former staff probably doesn’t know & understand arashi well enough to publish a book. he probably misunderstood & misinterpreted lots of things about Arashi members as well.


  2. SMAP is a role model for many Johnny’s Idol group which came after them. Though SMAP members tasted successfully individually,they never thought or spoke of breaking or going solo kind of thing.Somewhere they realise being together as a group is necessary for a long fruitful career.
    Even ARASHI members are very much aware of this. They know that they have to stay together and have good work relationship if their careers have to reach new heights.
    I have a feeling they don’t meet too often outside work and are not exactly friends(and neither foes). This is still better,because they may feel saturated by seeing each others face too often than necessary.


  3. Thank you very much for sharing this.

    Although we are not sure of the veracity of this information, I think that Arashi members do not get along ALL THE TIME, especially, I guess when they were younger. I think that it is just normal. However, as time passed by, I think that they have learned to understand and appreciate each other. No matter how professional someone is, it is impossible for that person to stay in a group he hated so much for more than 15 years. Just look at KATTUN and other groups. I think that they may not be the best of friends, but they are definitely close to each other. Fan will definitely notice no matter what.

    I don’t really mind reading negative information about Arashi. It may be wrong or right. We do not know the whole truth. However, I will keep on supporting them. They are humans, too, and they make mistakes. What I like about them, however, is that they keep on improving and learning from their mistakes.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know you like it! I’m not really sure if I can find it, but I’m also very curious about it, I want to see how they say that Nino and Jun don’t get along, so I’m actually scouring the Internet for it actually


  4. From what i know, maybe Sho and Jun are not like lovey dovey each other but Jun admire and respect Sho a lot, and Sho appreciatte Jun too, they are together since childhood, Aiba and Sho in 24hrs tv in 2004 shows another thing, maybe they don’t hang out a lot outside camera, but c’mon they’re together a lot of the time so i think that’s why they hang out with other friends too outside work, but i’m always wondering why they say that they don’t fight xD i think is a normal thing even some families to do that xD but well, now they are a real family and i believe this because they say that from their lips and with their actions so love and peace xD


  5. From what i know, maybe Sho and Jun are not like lovey dovey each other but Jun admire and respect Sho a lot, and Sho appreciatte Jun too, they are together since childhood, Aiba and Sho in 24hrs tv in 2004 shows another thing, maybe they don’t hang out a lot outside camera, but c’mon they’re together a lot of the time so i think that’s why they hang out with other friends too outside work, but i’m always wondering why they say that they don’t fight xD i think is a normal thing even some families to do that xD but well, now they are a real family and i believe this because they say that from their lips and with their actions so love and peace xD ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • The relationship between Sho and Jun is quite complex, at least how I see it xD
      And the more I think about it, the more they look like the group of friends who get along really well, but also have their private lives that they want to keep for themselves. I think it’s such a good balance and like you said, there’s like a real family, and I think that everyone believes them, otherwise they wouldn’t be Japan’s favourite right now x)))


  6. Well even if it’s true.. They were kids then, it’s natural to make mistakes, say unthoughtful things; but it’s obvious that this is not the case now. It’s different when u learn ur mistakes and correct them, or keep being a big head all ur life.
    I think arashi made them to better ppl, all of them, they influenced each other in a good way!!


    • Totally agree! They were put in the industry really young, and everyone did things they aren’t proud of when they were young.

      They spent so much time together, there’s no way they don’t care about each other after all these years. I think this is really about their awkward stage, and obviously they overcame that and became a lot stronger now. I look up to Arashi a lot because of how they grew and mature. Makes me believe and want to work harder to become a better version of myself!


  7. Thanks for translating!

    Hmm the thing with these types of articles is that it’s impossible to know what’s really true or not. I mean, their based on a single person’s perspective, which frankly, can be faulty, especially if one doesn’t have the whole picture.
    But what I do get from this is that Aiba-chan must be a really good guy! He not only has work ethics, but personality-wise, he must be really kind. Because I have never heard anything said about him being a douche or a hot-head, or a irritable person. I even remember that prank on him at Arashi ni Shiyagare in which he didn’t complain when he had to do a CM line over and over.
    But the thing about Nino not talking to Jun seems highly unlikely to me (I can imagine Sho and Jun like that tho lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aiba-chan is just the sun for me. He’s always so bright and positive, sometimes its hard to believe. But after Toma saying that Aiba used to be really scary, and seeing him on Abunai Yakai makes me trust him. He’s always smiling because he’s surrounded with people he wants to see smile, and they also know when to give him a break when they think he needs one, (when he was sleeping while Kazama was singing karaoke alone in Abunai Yakai). He’s found a balance that works for him, and thats not too tiring too. Just makes me look up to him more honestly.


  8. I don’t think this was 10 years ago… Did they wrote it in the article or did you simply assume it was a decade ago? If this is real, it would be around 2000-2002 during NamaArashi period or when Sho hasn’t yet graduated from Keio. He was pretty high strung back then and he was still in his ‘umbrella’ mode (you know about the umbrella story right?). Sho might be a bit jealous of Ohno during Musical Academy days (Johnny’s jr. Best dancing group). Their relationship vastly improved after their second album. Those were the days they had their infamous nightly meetings at Ohno’s hotel room after concert day.

    They were pretty supportive of each other in 2006 which you can see from their variety shows back then. Sho and Ohno had solo concerts back then and they were pretty tight and made Super Soul duet together. 2006 was also during Sho, Jun, Ohno stage play… Can’t remember the name but it was pretty famous. Anywho the past is past. We all know how Aiba and Ohno relationship is with Sho now and a lot of it weren’t scripted. Their genuine adoration for each other is mutual.

    The book is highly suspect tho.. Sho is kinda douchey but i can’t imagine him being that cruel to Aiba & Ohno. I would’ve believed it if it touched on Sakumoto conflict. The tension between Sho and Jun was pretty obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had the same impressions as you. They were put together quite suddenly, and there’s always a bit of rivalry and jealousy in the Johnny’s. As for Arashi, they definitely became closer and closer as they spend more time with each other. Over the years, for sure, they discovered more sides to each other and I’m sure if there were mishaps in the past, they solved it over time. The genuine smiles that we see on them today are the proofs for that. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be the Arashi everyone loves today.

      I think Ohno is very hard to figure out, and even understanding a small part of him takes time, so it wouldn’t be surprising if anyone around him tries to get a reaction out of him, just to make sure that he’s another human being.

      And Sho and Jun definitely was a bit obvious. I might get bashed for saying this, but in a very neutral opinion, in Arashi, they are the top two in terms of visuals, and when a group debuts, most fans gravitate towards the handsome ones. But, yeah like you said, its all in the past, they learned from each other, and proved to have grown more mature. And I think thats probably why I love them so much. They kind of tell me that as humans, we’re still growing. I find their progress and their success so inspiring.


  9. I remember Nino said if he go out he will not go with Arashi members and many rumor said Arashi not close friends, they just close front of camera
    but whatever, who care about this? they’re pro and fan just leave their own life alone


    • For me, rumors saying that they are only close in front of the camera are exaggerating. I don’t think Arashi get along well at a 100%, but they definitely care about each other and knows how to work with one another. The image they are selling me is an embellished truth for me. I don’t believe that they are not close.


  10. Please don’t listen to that crazy person. Journalism is not all rainbows and glitter. And neither is Johnny’s. You can’t expect anything or anyone to be perfect. Honestly, I think if you’re a true fan of Arashi (or any group) , you’d want to know the good and the ugly about them. They’re human like us. Knowing they’re not perfect adds to their personality and makes them REAL. They aren’t robots, just here for our amusement. We all have flaws, and if you don’t want to know about them, then you’re only interested in a image, not that person. You’re not a fan, and you don’t care about or even want to know your “perfect idol”.

    Delusional “fans” are the absolute worst! They’re the same type that doesn’t want idols to have a personal life. That’s unrelated, but it’s true. It’s selfish and pathetic.


    • It really depends on the person and their point of view. Some people just like to keep the fantasy alive, and others prefers to get a little more into the behind the scenes. We’re all different after all ^^


  11. I believe this. There is a lot of oppression in Asian cultures and it comes out in all different forms. There are a lot of hierarchy and elitism, and people thinking they are better than others just because of their places in life, wealth, or whatnot. It’s a form of insecurity by grabbing onto whatever that would set them apart and become oppressors themselves. Isn’t this what makes K-drama or J-drama stories popular??

    My hubby and I would make fun of the fact that it always looked like Arashi members would have their photos taken separately for posters in those Johnny’s only magazines. It looked like they didn’t really get along in real life. Not to excuse this kind of behaviors, but isn’t this what entertainment is all about? Projecting something that’s not real and making you believe it is?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Living in a very Asian country and going to an international school really helped me make the difference between the western and eastern cultures. And I totally agree with you, a lot of the K-dramas and J-dramas based their stories on these social classes. I know some people who thinks that those kind of stories are just made for the drama that everyone loves, but truth is just that people don’t really talk about who’s an elite and who’s not all the time. Well, at least around me.

      As for Arashi, I think I heard one of them mentioning that they don’t really even meet up that often with each other. For me, Arashi get along very well, their personalities makes a very fun dynamic group, and thats why I love watching them. I don’t think they are the super-close best friends who shares everything in common and spend all their times together. I think they found a good balance between sharing their lives with the group and living their own private lives. They might not be completely real about everything, but its just embellished truth for me, cause just exactly like you said, entertainment is all about projecting something thats not real, and making us believe that it is.


  12. I think this is pretty interesting. I mean, for someone who can’t read Japanese, most of the info I can get in English are translation done by fans. By fans, I’m meaning hard-core fans, so we don’t actually ever get to see anything less than perfection (which can’t be true since we’re all humans here). Sure, some fans probably doesn’t want to know about the less perfect side, but for me I think it shows an interesting viewpoint to our idols which made them more real in my eyes.


    • Thanks for the comment! Im glad I’m able to answer to those who don’t mind reading these kind of things. Jnewseng is where you find info or news that other English news outlet don’t translate so, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to help and continue this blog. Thanks again for the comment, really appreciate it x)))


  13. Thank you for translating this. I think it’s important to know a lot of things of the group even the bad things. I like to see beyond the Idol pose that they do on TV because they’re human beings as us and like simple human beings they have faults and argue with each other. I like to see the other facets os idols. And I think you’re doing a good job with the blog. So please don’t mind what other people said, you simply posted an information, it’s not your point of view anyway.


    • Thanks for the comment! Im really glad I can bring you stuff that you want to read ^^ and I’ll do my best to filter out what’s post-worthy and what would be interesting to see as a fan. Thanks again for the comment, I really appreciate it x))


  14. Thank you. This information does not give me a negative view of Sakurai-san. I have been a fan for a long time, and I am aware that he has a difficult personality. I know that the history of Arashi has not been all sunshine and roses. However, to be perfectly frank, I seriously question that it is necessary to publish ugly gossip. The book in question as written by a former employee who was interested only in getting money by making a whole lot of mud out of a little dirt. That’s foul. And someone who shares that foul information is guilty by association. So my unhappiness with this is not with the information itself but with the fact that you chose to share it. This sort of garage just drags Arashi down and gives the haters an excuse to hate. I was really hoping for good things from you on this site, and I am disappointed.


    • And I’m really sorry for making you feel that way. I still stand by what I think, but I’ll definitely be more careful about it later on cause if I disappointed you, I must have did the same to others whether they voiced it out or not. Again, I’m very sorry for disappointing you. I’ll do my best to keep the blog as neutral as I can.


  15. I wish I had not read this. I understand that Arashi is not perfect. I know that there have been problems. But I would rather hear about the good things they are doing now and not the awful stuff from the past and especially NOT the comments from former employee who is trying to make money from publishing every unkind thing they can think of.


    • I agree with you. I much prefer reading about their achievements and how much they can inspire people. But I also think that there’s the other side of them that we fans should be aware of even if it’s not pretty. And of course I can understand your standing point, and I want you to know I never intended to give a bad image of Sakurai. I just want to share a side that’s more real side of them. If I made you feel negative about it, I’m really sorry.


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