Seeing members of Japanese idol groups like Arashi up close is a dream come true for fans, and many would approach them just for an opportunity to touch or speak with their favorite idol.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for overzealous fans to try almost anything to get close to idol members. It has gotten to the point where Johnny & Associates, Japan’s largest talent agency, recently aired concerns about some truly disturbing behavior on their official website.
▼ The agency hopes to spread the message to all fans. (Truncated translation below).
We have implored fans not to chase our celebrities when they are traveling, but we have witnessed these troubling actions time and again. Not only will such behavior impede them, it will also disrupt traffic and adversely affect other people. We have received repeated warnings to improve the situation from relevant organizations.
The following incidents have been reported:
● Taking plane or shinkansen seats near our members and standing up to peek at them.
● Blocking passage of people into Shinkansen cabins where members are resting.
● Constantly taking pictures or recording movies of our members.
● Impeding movement of our members.
● Intentionally bumping into or hugging our members.
● Chasing members despite warnings from managers, security officers and JFC support staff.
● Shooting staff with airguns.
● Causing trouble to fellow passengers.
● Chasing members in cars.
Such extreme congestion are clearly dangerous and may lead to accidents.
The message continued:
“Should these actions continue, not only will our members feel unsafe while traveling, the severely impacted general public will also view them in a negative light. If no improvements are observed, affected organizations may appeal to cease concerts, and our members may lose access to public transport. The actions from extreme people will shatter all the trust and goodwill established by both idols and fans.
This is an important request. Please stop chasing our members when they are at stations or airports. For those who cannot moderate their actions, please do not enter public transport where our idols are.”
Taking the list of aggressive behavior into account, it sounded as if various public transport authorities are putting their foot down with Johnnys and potentially holding the agency responsible for fans jeopardizing the safety of people.
Although the message was posted on the official website, it has done little to change the behavior of overeager fans, as evidenced by an incident two weeks later where King & Prince, the agency’s newest idol unit, attempted to board the Shinkansen at Sendai Station after their first concert tour. A swarm of fans crowded the platform and delayed the train line, affecting customers and prompting the agency to issue yet another warning.
Whether such warnings will be taken to heart remains yet to be seen, but fans should at least try to maintain order in public places even if it means distancing themselves from the idols they love. Causing public disorder may easily lead to accidents, and besides, there may be some really crazy knife-wielding fans hidden somewhere in the throng of people.
Source: Johnny’s Net via Twitter/@Johnnys_Jr_joho
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So who is to blame.... me I blame the Talent Agencies themselves. Come on.... they are the one's exploiting these kids. They're the one's dressing them and having them dance, sing, and pose in a sexy way. Sure the fan's should contain their excitement but it is the Talent Agency that wants them excited enough to spend money but do not want to deal with the over excited. Either way these are not real "Talent Agents", they're nothing more than pimps.
Umm..you aint royalty get used to it! You made the choice to get into the business, deal with it!
You have the option to quit!
Well said Saikophyco.
The simple answer is to not use public transport. It was built to serve the public, not provide a protective bubble for celebrities. Keanu Reeves manages to ride the subway, there are photos of David Bowie doing it in Japan too, but no-one from Johnny's are them.
This story reminds me of a UK Radio DJ and TV personality from the 1980s called Mike Read. He would complain of being mobbed everywhere he went. Read is about 6'4" and would wear a spangly purple jacket and big sunglasses....
Celebs and sports teams abroad take private planes and buses. I heard private planes are becoming affordable for large companies and I do not believe that Johnny's is a broke company.
Fox Sora Winters
It's hard for me to feel sympathetic given the nature of Japan's idol groups and how they're run. Sometimes it seems almost as if talent agencies are encouraging this kind of behaviour to try and build publicity for the groups, but end up getting bad publicity instead. There are affordable options for private travel. Pretty much every other country in the world does this, but not Japan, because then they can't display these idol groups like objects.
At the same time though, I can't lump all the blame on talent agencies. The obsessions of idol fans is deeply disturbing, and some particularly bad examples take to stalking and even to attempting kidnapping. These fans need serious psychiatric help, but they don't even seem to be seeking it.
Johnny and Associates.
what do they expect - frustrated and slightly odd young (and older I guess) men.
Celebrities (if that's what these young women are) worldwide get hounded by media and fans.
Do the hustle
This is is a common thing? It seems these Japanese idols are going to need a fleet of Pope-mobiles.
This crazy fan thing is not unique to Japan nor is anything new. Women were throwing their underwear at Tom Jones back in the 60’s.
This is nothing but exploiting children. This is grody and sick. What do these pimps really expect from such a perv audience? We have something similar to it in America with those Jon Bon Ramsey style 'pageants' and daddy-daughter dances and other sicknesses. It's a social disease - all of it.
Wakarimasen, “Celebrities (if that's what these young women are) worldwide get hounded by media and fans.“
Note that Johnny & Associates, the agency that is the subject of this article, represents only males.
He would kill for that level of attention now. His UKIP membership put a lot of people off.
WOW! Posting a message on their website? They really are taking this issue seriously, messages on official websites are second only to putting signs everywhere as effective policies to discourage unwanted beheavior.
Problem is as good as solved.