SMAP (Sports Music Assemble People) grabbed headlines when several Japanese newspapers reported that the historic and legendary idol group might be breaking up. During a live TV broadcast, the five members of the group, Masahiro Nakai, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Goro Inagaki, and Shingo Katori , and Takuya Kimura all appeared together and acknowledged the newspaper reports about their possible break-up.
The five members all apologized to the fans and everyone else for all the trouble and worries they have caused, yet they did not directly answer the question on everybody’s minds – will they really disband or not?
The group has also added a new segment for their weekly show, SMAP x SMAP, where the five members will be giving out their messages to the fans. Another new segment will also feature messages from fans around the world.
According to the newspaper reports, four of the idol group’s five members will be leaving their talent agency, Johnny & Associates. Masahiro Nakai (43), Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (41), Goro Inagaki (42), and Shingo Katori (38) will be leaving the talent agency, while only 43-year old Takuya Kimura will be remaining with them. However, the report did not state when exactly they will eventually break up, as the group still has various commitments together, including their own TV show, SMAP x SMAP.
SMAP was formed in 1988, and made their debut single in 1991. The group originally had six members, with Katsuyuki Mori leaving the group back in 1996. They have performed AniSongs as well, performing theme songs for classic anime, such as Hime-chan’s Ribbon and Akazukin Cha Cha.
The group has had quite the history, as not only did they release chart-topping singles and albums, but individually, the members have done a lot. Takuya Kimura, who is the only one staying in their talent agency, has voiced Howl in the original Japanese version of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle. He also starred in the lead role for the Space Battle Ship Yamato live-action film. Other members have had a few voice acting and live-action roles as well.