Johnny’s Entertainment’s Old Rules

This is another article based on the same tell-all book that a former Arashi staff published last year. The previous article was also about it, you can find it here.

Other than the information (liable or not) about Arashi as teenagers, we also got more insider info about the agency as well. The rules seems rather strict, but if we think about it we can understand why the agency impose these rules on them. The former staff talks about the rules and how it changed in the past years. 

We all know that its prohibited for a fan to upload their images of the Johnny’s or whatever on the internet, I remember my tumblr dash having a fit when it was said that the agency is scouring tumblr for pictures or whatever. Anyways, a former Arashi staff member reveals some other rules that were enforced within the agency. Some examples:

  • A talent cannot bring out family in public places/reveal them to the public
  • A talent cannot talk about political subjects
  • A talent cannot talk about religious subjects
  • A talent cannot talk pets in details
  • A talent cannot bring up their own creativity openly (stuff that the agency cannot manage)
  • A talent cannot be photographed in basic or plain clothes
  • A talent cannot be photographed in glasses
  • A talent cannot reveal where or how they usually eat like in magazines or on TV

The reason why they wouldn’t let them talk about their pets is because they want to keep their privates lives as private as possible. However, who do you think is starting to break off the rules one by one? It’s none other than SMAP.

In 1997 segment of “Telephone Shocking” of the TV show, “Waratte Iitomo”, Kimura Takuya revealed the existence of his pet Labrador Retriever, Bonita, and in his 2003’s photo essay, “Kaihoku”, she was with Kimura on the cover of the book. Also, the restaurant that Kimura’s mother owns is named Bonita.

Nakai Masahiro also broke the rules by asking for another serving after finishing his food in the first episode of “Bistro no SMAP” of “SMAPXSMAP”. Everyone knows that Nakai is famous for his “lame” clothes, and even made an image for himself. He went on and published 4 books about his personal clothes. Other rules breaking acts includes: Nakai’s father appearing on TV, Shingo Katori’s illustration book, and Nakai being the first one to talk actively about political topics.

SMAP has pretty much, broken most of the rules that the agency has placed upon them. Julie Kitagawa, seeing the progress and success that SMAP has accumulated, decided to lift the ban on Arashi as well. We now see Arashi doing food reports, Ohno Satoshi‘s arts being pushed and exhibited, and talking about their pets (Matsumoto Jun and his turtles from Ninomiya Kazunari). Even Hey! Say! Jump‘s Yamada Ryosuke talks about his dog once in a while.

If put in this way, we can clearly see the ways that SMAP has paved the way for the next generation of idols with their hard work and Iijima‘s guidance.

From now on, the agency have to figure out a way to keep things trendy, and rumor says that Mary Kitagawa has been talking about internet strategies. Right now, there’s a lot of people who doesn’t watch TV, but almost everyone surfs the internet, so it wouldn’t be a bad move to try to figure out something for it.

via Johnny’s Watcher


Maybe it was just me, but I always had this impression that Iijima always had this underdog kind of image…? Whenever I would read about the Iijima and Mary/Julie factions, I just get the image where the Mary/Julie party is just huge and menacing, and Iijima is just trying to make herself as small as possible to not create more drama. And seeing that a few news outlet and professional has stated that they are curious as to how the agency will function now… kinda worries me. Iijima obviously can do her job properly, and she did with SMAP, and seeing her being pushed away is somewhat… worrying.

In another angle, the agency won’t really have the whole Iijima VS Julie factions anymore. Some fans have been complaining about the factions, so either they are relieved, or worried because Iijima leaving might not have been something that they expected. I’m pretty sure everyone wanted them to makeup and work together.

On the other hand, Julie has been doing well with her groups. And in terms of public recognition, I have to say that Julie really knows how to get the boys out there. So if her acts keeps selling, we might not have to worry so much.

I don’t know, maybe I just think too much…?

But I’m really surprised at how much SMAP has done for every other groups from Johnny’s Entertainment. I’m not the kind to dig deep to know everything about something, but I’ve always heard about how SMAP paved a way for idols out there, but now that I know more details, my everlasting respect for SMAP has multiplied by 50. And that’s probably why I decided to put this out there.

(c) featured image


9 thoughts on “Johnny’s Entertainment’s Old Rules

  1. About autographs, don’t they give them? I saw a few images circulating on Twitter where Tsubasa (and one from Tackey) gave away autographs O_O He’s also posted his private clothes and.. posted his dog. XD Thanks, SMAP!


    • I think unless the agency allows it for like, DVDs or stage plays or something, they aren’t really allowed to. Its kind of a bummer cause some fans would have it and some others wont. And sometimes people just sell them online or something. I think I read somewhere that an fan asked Nino to sign something, but he said he couldn’t so he just shook their hands.


  2. Hi,
    I think the agency should also allow the idols to give autographs and selfies taken. A bit free interaction with fans will boost their popularity.

    Also the agency’s rules that the idols cannot step out in plain clothes will work fine If they are paid well to wear all designer and high brands. Looking at their hectic work schedules and insane working hours imposed on them,they deserve good pay.

    Lastly,their rule that the idols cannot be publicly spotted with family members looks bad. Why can’t they move around with parents,siblings and other people whenever they want.


    • I think the agency is trying to make their artists like, exclusive? And by limiting the interactions between fans and artists, they also lower the chances of incidents like the one where Nino got his hand cut and stuff. I don’t really understand why they wouldn’t let them give autographs tho. And about their families, I think its actually a good thing that they don’t really allow pictures or so when they go out because I’m sure the boys wouldn’t want their families to get recognized or harassed.


  3. The agency is decades behind being trendy. Look at the hideous clothes it puts on its idol! It’s so Elton John from the Yellow Brick Road era and EJ doesn’t like girls.


  4. Yeah, often read that Iijima took care the “problematic kids” in the agency. Like SMAP and Yamapi.
    And the “unfavorite”, i heard Mary/Julie didnt intent to debut kisumai and abc-z and j-west, that why they debut under iijima at first. But then Julie got interest on J-west and asked them moved to her faction. same with how HSJ moved to Julie before.

    I think iijima did her job properly too,looking at how far her talents can achieved now.

    Honestly I’m a bit worry about her former talents after iijima leaving too, because they are still not as powerfull as SMAP. Especialy about Yamapi. As soloist is not easy. I also read that not only SMAP, Iijima also wanted to take Yamapi out with them but he refused. Its must be some bond with Iijima/yamapi too. And though it said before that he’ll have his music comeback this year, still nothing come after his best album which still produced by iijima.
    I wonder how Mary/Julie plan with him. And not mention the sensitive issue still going on with him & NEWS/Kanjani8.

    I’m glad too that the factions war finally over. I hope Julie can show us her wise and I also believe her skill of management the boys. Good luck.


    • There’s so much we don’t know, and as fans everyone is a bit worried. And there’s a lot of articles about what might happen to some of the acts, and it’s hard to filter out what’s probable or what’s not.
      If I could just ask Julie to do one thing, that’s probably just gonna be to take care of the performers and not just leave them to care for themselves.


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