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Media continues to smirk over SMAP member's Roppongi impropriety

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Following the arrest of popular entertainer Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, 34, on charges of public indecency -- after he stripped to the buff and drunkenly cavorted in a Roppongi park in the early morning hours of April 23 -- the mass media continues to cover the incident with mostly malicious glee.

One exception would be Nikkan Gendai, which last week sprang to Kusanagi's defense, proclaiming any country that would detain a person for a full day over such a trivial matter was a "police state."

In its April 28 edition, the evening tabloid carries three stories related to the incident.

Behind the media overreaction to this affair, Nikkan Gendai reveals, is an explosion of "smoldering discontent" over the domineering attitude of Kusanagi's agency, Johnny and Associates, that's been building up for years. The agency has insisted on getting its way in the casting and scheduling of the dramas and variety shows in which its wards appear. It was also fiercely protective of rights, wielding veto power over sales of DVDs of the shows unless its terms were met.

"There's just a feeling that now's the only chance people will get to let off steam and show their true feelings toward Johnny's," sighs a staff member at one of the commercial networks' gossipy "wide shows." "But once this thing blows over, it'll be back to the status quo."

In a second piece, Nikkan Gendai warns readers that they, too, may be among certain types who are particularly vulnerable to such booze-induced indiscretions.

"Introspective, otherwise serious persons, such as those with an important position at the company or entertainers in the public eye, might not know any other diversions except drinking," remarks Meiji University psychology lecturer Osamu Seki.

Almost everyone has some aspect to their personality that they would prefer not to let others see. And, as is well known, alcohol has a tendency to break down inhibitions that make it easier to flaunt those traits.

The types who are particularly vulnerable to such peccadilloes might include the "ace worker" in a company, who is constantly under the gaze of management; those with high susceptibility to stress; and the person who continues drinking alone after saying good night to companions.

If you're one of these, Seki advises, you should look for other ways to enjoy yourself aside from drinking.

"It's important to recognize your own weaknesses and ugly side," he says.

The third item in Nikkan Gendai notes that within hours after reports of the arrest, T-shirts bearing the words the inebriated Kusanagi reportedly muttered to the cops when they hauled him in -- "Hadaka ni natte, nani ga warui?" (what's wrong with going naked?) -- were already on sale via the web.

The shirts, starting from 2,100 yen for a short-sleeved man's T, are offered in a variety of sizes and colors by ClubT (http://clubt.jp/).

The article notes with irony that while the designer typically receives a 100-yen royalty from the sale of each shirt, poor Kusanagi will receive no remuneration for his contribution.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.


29 Comments
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yeah, like entertainment tonight doesn't beat dead horses with regularity

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Yes Oskadaz, Johhny is probably to blame.

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Hats off to Nikkan Gendai on this story. A country that gets preoccupied by such meaninglessness really needs to lay down on the sofa and get its head examined. Rather than laying the boot into Kusanagi, the media would be better off calling Hatoyama to book for his comments on this whole sorry episode.

While the police probably had grounds on which to take this chap into custody, they went completely overboard in charging him. He should have just been given a bunk and a stern talking to the next morning. However, it seems that some high-minded copper saw fit to leak this who charade to the media. Now there should be an inquiry about that. Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, this chap should have been left to the ridicule of his fellow entertainers (can you imagine Takeshi dropping a few one liners about this) rather than been dragged through the court of public opinion.

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Got the shirt v(..)

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This particular Smap boy always seemed gay to me...I think he did it to butch up his street cred....where can I get that shirt!

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When you sling mud, you only lose ground.

The J-media are insulting themselves more than Kusanagi now.

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This incident made its way into the Guardian newspaper in UK. I checked it out, and next to it was an earlier article, written in February, detailing the darker side of 'music' moguls like Johnny's:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/feb/11/turning-japanese-music-moguls

Here's an extract:

Rokusaisha released a book entitled In the Middle of Johnny's Scandal. It carefully reprinted the salient details of a lawsuit Kitagawa made against the magazine Shukan Bunshun in 1999 for making accusations about him that he never fully denied. Republishing quotes from the abused, it left little to the imagination, despite its typically Japanese deployment of ellipses to suggest otherwise: "He would spread a bath towel, then the butt was smeared with something slimy. Then you had to turn over on your back and spread your legs, first he would enter a finger, then ..."

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I'm surprised that nobody's taken the "Hadaka no O-sama" angle. Perhaps the media isn't sufficiently familiar with SMAP's oeuvre....

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Hey AlffromWapping, what would an "innocent women" be doing in a park in the middle of the night? Are you really that lame?!?!?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

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Must be some slow news times for the media to repeadly harp on this lame story. There are homeless going naked in the parks all the time, but you don't read those stories.

I would like one of those T-shirts though.

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i am definetly geting a few of thoese...do they come in womens tank tops? i hope so that would be hot

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The media and politicians love to make a big deal out of something like this until they are the ones caught with their trousers around their ankles. Maybe it's jealousy? In any case it's getting boring.

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just ordered a couple..

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Japanese media should grow up making a fuzz about nothing. He made a mistake get over it!

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Kusanagi's story was on Yahoo news....err, in the "Odd News" category that is. Really though, this whole thing showed me exactly how scary and influential the media can be... so many more important headlines than this, and even this comment from me, downplaying the story is adding fuel to the fire so it ticks me off!

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My wife has been away and so the television hasn't been on once in two weeks. For me, that incident only exists on JT. Imagine that.

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leave him alone!! i will but that t-shirt ..what'S wrong w/ being naked really??

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I think he did it on purpose and I am glad he did.

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In order to understand this reaction, people should study Social Psychology and Cultural Psychology. Why is he expected to play the role of a nice tarento even if it requires him to change who he is.... In Japan, you play by the rules, or you are out! Out of business, out of contracts, out ...!

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Getting that tattooed across your chest and walking around with your shirt off would be hardcore.

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Ironic to make a shirt supporting nudity.

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with the proliferation of keitai cameras, i'm surprised that nobody got him on video! but police did go overboard with searching his home when all he was was drunk. the arrest could have gone either way. i believe that if it was just an ordinary person, they would have just thrown them in the drunk tank and let them sleep it off. being famous, he got the special treatment.

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I seriously need one of those “Hadaka ni natte, nani ga warui?” shirts with a pic of that guy who jumped naked into palace moat and climbed to wall.

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Being naked could have terrified an innocent woman. He should be locked up and do a bit of time. That will sober the half wit up innit!!!

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I forecast that in the long run, this will do Kusanagi's career no harm at all. He is a very popular fellow and his supporters will steadfastly defend him.

Fear of nakedness is a peculiar human perversion. Do the police arrest the birds in the parks that go there to sing naked every morning? ... or give citations to the owners of dogs that do not wear pants?

As the T-shirt says: "What's wrong with going naked?"

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What is the problem? They are on TV 100 times a day anyway why are people complaining now about this? I fact who is complaining? Sounds like his agency is trying to make people feel sorry for him.

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I am getting an extra large, but it would be nice to add the face of this guy in it, holding a mug of beer and a glass of sochu, while dancing on the park benches. Or maybe with him wearing bra and a T-bag. That will be a funny one.

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Dude, I am soooo getting one of those shirts!

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