Kazuya Kamenashi: Wikis

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Kazuya Kamenashi
亀梨和也
Also known as Kame, K², 亀梨P (Kamenashi-Producer)
Born February 23, 1986 (1986-02-23) (age 24)
Origin Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan
Genres J-pop
Occupations Singer–songwriter, actor, TV host, producer, radio host and model
Instruments Vocals and acoustic guitar
Years active 1998 - present
Labels J-One Records
Associated acts KAT-TUN, Shūji to Akira, Tomohisa Yamashita, Kōichi Dōmoto
Website Johnny's Net
J-One Records

Kazuya Kamenashi (亀梨 和也 Kamenashi Kazuya?), often called Kame, is a Japanese idol, singer–songwriter, actor, television personality, producer[1], radio host and occasional model. Born and raised in Edogawa, Tokyo, he joined the Japanese talent agency, Johnny & Associates, at the age of 12 and was drafted as a member and co-lead vocalist of the popular J-pop group KAT-TUN in 2001. The group officially debuted in 2006, and has since achieved a string of chart successes with all four albums and ten singles reaching number 1 on the Oricon charts.[2][3] He is also one half of the temporary group, Shūji to Akira, whose only single, "Seishun Amigo", became the best-selling single of 2005 in Japan.[4]

Kamenashi has also established himself as an actor with award-winning roles in Nobuta wo Produce, the second season of Gokusen and Kami no Shizuku and has regularly appeared in various television dramas since 2005.[5] He is also a co-host of KAT-TUN's late-night NTV variety/talk show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, and a radio host with his own program aired by Nippon Cultural Broadcasting.

Contents

Early life

Born in Edogawa, Tokyo on February 23, 1986, Kamenashi is the third child of his parents. He has two older brothers, Yūichirō and Kōji, and one younger brother, Yūya. He also has one niece from his second brother's marriage. His given name comes from a character from the manga, Touch, written by a famous mangaka, Mitsuru Adachi.[6] Coincidentally, bandmate Tatsuya Ueda was also named after the twin brother of Kamenashi's namesake.[6] An avid baseball fan and player like the character he was named after, Kamenashi once represented his country in the junior world league as shortstop though he had to give up the sport professionally due to lack of spare time after he was accepted into Johnny's Entertainment despite having the support of Johnny Kitagawa, the agency's president, to pursue both careers.[7]

Kamenashi had no interest in the entertainment world prior to entering it and only attended his audition on November 8, 1998 after being shepherded to it by his relatives who had sent in an application in his name.[7]

Recording career

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Pre-debut

During the audition stages for the agency, he was in the same interview group as current KAT-TUN bandmates, Jin Akanishi and Yuichi Nakamaru.[7] Made up of five other members (Akanishi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda and Nakamaru), Kamenashi is the "K" of KAT-TUN and one of the more popular members of the group. Although he is the youngest of the six, he is often considered their unofficial frontman because of his skill in public speaking. He often acts as MC for KAT-TUN on television programs and concerts.

Though the group was originally chosen and formed as backup dancers for Kōichi Dōmoto of KinKi Kids in 2001, their unexpected popularity led the talent agency to allow them to expand into a separate group. However, they were not allowed to make their official debut in the Japanese music industry until 5 years after their formation. Nakamaru later indicated that over time, the group had become increasingly worried that they would never be an established act and he, along with Kamenashi and Akanishi, went to their agency's president to air their grievances. However, they received assurances that the agency had big plans for the group and were told to keep the faith.[8]

Solo ventures

In 2005, Kamenashi co-starred in the television school drama, Nobuta wo Produce, with Tomohisa Yamashita of NEWS. The opening theme for the show, "Seishun Amigo (青春アミーゴ?)", was released as a single under the name Shūji to Akira ("Shūji and Akira"), after the names of their respective characters. "Seishun Amigo" was a massive hit debuting at number 1 upon its release on November 2, 2005 and sold more than 1 million copies in less than 4 weeks. It went on to spend 34 weeks in the Oricon weekly singles chart and became the best-selling single of 2005 in Japan. The song also continued its lengthy chart run into early 2006 and became the third best-selling song of 2006.[4]

Though not a consistent lyricist, Kamenashi has written several songs often under the pen name .[5] He wrote and performed a song entitled "Kizuna" for the second season of Gokusen which was one of the B-sides on the "Seishun Amigo" single and penned a song called "Special Happiness" and recorded it as a duet with bandmate, Junnosuke Taguchi.[5] During KAT-TUN's 2009 summer arena tour, he debuted a song which he co-wrote with Satomi and Yuka Kawamura entitled "Aishiteiru Kara (愛しているから?)" in Ginowan, Okinawa on July 22, 2009 and performed it live with guitar accompaniment throughout the tour.

Commercial success with KAT-TUN

KAT-TUN's vast fanbase made it one of Japan's most prominent J-pop idol groups by 2006 and the group officially debuted on March 22, 2006 with their single "Real Face", which debuted at number 1 on the Oricon weekly singles charts selling over more than 700,000 copies before going on to sell more than a million units by the end of the year.[9] Their debut album, Best of KAT-TUN, featuring songs made popular during their live performances and some which were written for the album, sold more than 500,000 copies in its first week and also topped the Oricon album chart.[10] Two singles from KAT-TUN's second album, "Signal" and "Bokura no Machi de", debuted at number 1 upon their releases selling more than 400,000 units in July and December 2006 respectively in the first week.

Two weeks before the release of the album, the group's late-night talk show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, began airing on April 4, 2007 and is still broadcast weekly on Wednesday nights on NTV. Their sophomore record, Cartoon KAT-TUN II You, was released on April 18, 2007 and continued their chart-topping act when it debuted at number 1 with more than 270,000 copies sold. KAT-TUN's extraordinary run on the charts continued when singles from KAT-TUN's third album, "Yorokobi no Uta", "Keep the Faith" and "Lips" all debuted at number 1 in June 2007, November 2007 and February 2008 respectively selling more than 1 million units altogether before the group's third album, KAT-TUN III -Queen of Pirates-, was released in June 2008. Their third original album again peaked at number 1 upon its release moving more than 240,000 copies in its first week.

The group's seventh and eighth singles, "Don't U Ever Stop" and "White X'mas" continued their success on the music charts when it both debuted at number 1 selling 381,672 and 250,106 copies respectively. Their next two singles, "One Drop" and "Rescue" also debuted at number 1 in February 2009 and March 2009, respectively, as did their fourth studio album, Break the Records -by you & for you-. As of May 2009, KAT-TUN has sold over 6 million records in just over three years.[11]

Acting career

Kamenashi made his acting debut in October 1999 in the fifth season of 3 nen B gumi Kinpachi Sensei as Akihiko Fugakawa. Unlike most Japanese television dramas, the series ran for 23 episodes and ended in March 2000. He later reprised his role in the epilogue special episode which aired in 2001. Kamenashi also began appearing on stage in supporting roles of musicals, Show Geki Shock, Shock is Real Shock, Dream Boy and Dream Boys from 2001 to 2004. In late 2004, he took over the lead role in Dream Boys from Hideaki Takizawa and played the lead character in later seasons of the musical in January 2006, September 2007, March 2008, September 2009 and October 2009.

Kamenashi as Shūji Kiritani in Nobuta wo Produce

Kamenashi only returned to the small screen as an actor four years later in 2005 starring opposite Yukie Nakama and bandmate Jin Akanishi in the second season of Gokusen as Ryū Odagiri, a troubled high school student. The show remained popular with viewers finishing its run with an average viewership rating of 27.8% and was awarded "Best Drama" while Kamenashi was awarded "Best Supporting Actor" at the 44th Television Drama Academy Awards. Additionally, he also won "Best Supporting Actor" for his performance at the 8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix.[5] He also co-starred with Juri Ueno the same year in the special television movie of Kinda'ichi Shōnen no Jikenbo taking over the role of Hajime Kinda'ichi from Jun Matsumoto who last portrayed it in 2001. Kamenashi capped the year with his lead role of Shūji Kiritani in Nobuta wo Produce which won him further acting accolades when he was named "Best Lead Actor" at the 47th Television Drama Academy Awards.[5] The show also won "Best Drama" at the 9th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix.[12]

In 2006, Kamenashi starred in Fuji TV's romance drama, Suppli, with Misaki Ito and was the lead character in NTV's two-part tv movie, Yuuki, based on a true story of a man who died at 23 years old after being diagnosed with an illness which began with the partial collapse of his cranial bone resulting in a subsequent battle with seven types of incurable diseases. This tanpatsu was highly rated with an average viewership rating of 22.7%.[13] Kamenashi also starred opposite Haruka Ayase and bandmate Koki Tanaka in romance drama, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, the same year. He only made one guest appearance in 2007 in the ninth episode of Tanaka's comedy series, Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go, before taking on the lead role of Kōsaku Hatanaka in the live-action adaptation of manga, 1 Pound no Fukuin, in 2008.

In 2009, Kamenashi took on a role in a live-action adaptation of a wine-themed manga, Kami no Shizuku, as the leading actor.[14] Voters awarded him, his co-stars (Riisa Naka and Seiichi Tanabe) and the drama a near clean sweep of the winter edition of the Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Awards in March 2009.[15] Kamenashi also made a guest appearance as a doctor on the third episode of TBS drama series, Mr. Brain, opposite senpai Takuya Kimura.[16] Kamenashi also made his film debut on July 11, 2009, reprising his role of Ryū Odagiri, now a trainee teacher in Gokusen The Movie.[17][18] The movie earned half a billion yen in its opening weekend and is expected to gross over 4 billion yen at the box office by the end of its run.[19]

Other endeavors

Radio

Kamenashi joined the rest of his bandmates as a radio host on April 4, 2008 when he launched a twenty-minute radio segment, Kamenashi Kazuya Kase by Kase, which airs every Friday night in two parts. He also appeared on Masaharu Fukuyama's radio show, Tamashii no Radio, as a guest on April 29, 2009.

Modeling & Fashion

- Kamenashi walked the runway in 2008 for Hermès' men's autumn/winter 2008 collection in Tokyo.[20]

Baseball

- Kamenashi was as a junior captain for four consecutive years of the J2000 Team for Johnny's Baseball Tournament from 1999 to 2004.

- Kamenashi won three consecutive years the title "The World's No1 Artist Baseball Player" organized by the WBC (2005-2006-2007) and was finalist two times (2004 & 2008).

- Kamenashi threw the first pitch at the Pacific League opening ceremony for the 2009 baseball season at a match in Chiba City featuring the Chiba Lotte Marines against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on July 19, 2009.[21][22]

- Kamenashi participated in the Central League's Yomiuri Giants 23rd FanFiesta 2009 on November 23, 2009 and led his team to victory. He participated during the 1st innning as short stop and for the 2nd & 3rd innings as pitcher. He belonged to the Black Rose Variety Team led by SMAP's Nakai Masahiro against the Giants Select Members Team.[23] [24]

Discography

Filmography

Movies

Year Title Role
2009 Gokusen The Movie Ryū Odagiri

Television dramas

Year Broadcast Title Role
1999 TBS 3 nen B gumi Kinpachi sensei 5 Akihiko Fukagawa
2005 NTV Gokusen 2 Ryū Odagiri
NTV Kindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo Hajime Kindaichi
NTV Nobuta wo Produce Shūji Kiritani
2006 Fuji TV Sapuri Yūya Ishida
NTV Yuuki Yūki
NTV Kuitan SP Cameo appearance
NTV Tatta Hitotsu no Koi Hiroto Kanzaki
2007 TBS Tokkyu Tanaka San Go Toru Shibahara (Guest; Episode 9)
2008 NTV 1 Pound no Fukuin Kōsaku Hatanaka
2009 NTV Kami no Shizuku Kanzaki Shizuku
TBS MR. BRAIN Dr. Masakazu Wakui (Guest; Episode 3)
2010 TBS Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge Takano Kyohei

Musicals

Year Title Dates Role Type
2001 SHOCK December 1, 2001 - January 27, 2002 Supporting Role
2002 SHOCK June 4, 2002 - June 28 Supporting Role
2003 SHOCK is Real Shock January 8 - February 25 Supporting Role
2004 DREAM BOY January 8 - January 31 Supporting Role
2004 DREAM BOY May 8 - May 23 Lead role
2005 Hey! Say! Dream Boy April 27 - May 15 Lead role
2006 Dream Boys January 3 - January 29 Lead role
2007 Dream Boys September 5 - September 30 Lead role
2008 Dream Boys March 4 - March 30 Lead role
2009 Dream Boys September 4 - October 25 Lead role

Commercials

Company Year Product
Lotte 2002-present Crunky Chocolate
2003-present Plus X (Gum)
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. 2005 Oroninim C
Nintendo 2005 Dance Dance Revolution
Kadokawa Shoten 2005 The Television
Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. 2005 Rohto Zi:
2005 V Rohto Cool
SKY Perfect 2006 SKY PerfecTV!
NTT DoCoMo 2005-2006 FOMA902i
2006 FOMA new9
2006 FOMA903i
2007 FOMA903iTV
KFC 2007-2008 Black Pepper Chicken
Panasonic Corporation 2010 LAMDASH Electric Shaver

Radio programs

Awards

Years Awards
2004
  • 8th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix: Best Supporting Actor - "Gokusen 2""
2005
  • 44th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor - "Gokusen 2"
  • TV Navi's Drama Of The Year 2005 Awards: The Best Rookie Of The Year - "Nobuta wo Produce"
2006
  • The 47th Television Academy Awards: Best Actor - "Nobuta wo Produce"
  • Japan Gold Disc Awards: Song Of The Year - "Seishun Amigo"
  • 15th TV LIFE Drama Awards: Best Theme Song - "Seishun Amigo"
  • 1st Annual 2006 NTV Commercial Award
  • 23rd Best Jeans Award: Best Male Jeanist
2007
  • 24th Best Jeans Award: Best Male Jeanist
  • 1st Astar TV Drama Awards: Best New Asian Star of 2007 for Japan
2008
  • 25th Best Jeans Award: Best Male Jeanist
2009
  • 12th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix: Best Actor - "Kami no Shizuku"
  • 26th Best Jeans Award: Best Male Jeanist
2010
  • 13th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix: Best Actor - "Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge Live Action"

References

  1. ^ Regularly a producer for special editions of Nippon Television Network's program, Zoom In!![1], since 2006 and since January 10th of 2009, his name officially appears in the final credits of the program.
  2. ^ He's the unofficial leader of KAT-TUN.Charts: KAT-TUN, GReeeeN still hot, Tokyograph
  3. ^ Charts: Johnny's all around, Tokyograph; retrieved on May 31, 2009
  4. ^ a b Seishun Amigo, Jpop Stop; retrieved on August 11, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kamenashi Kazuya, Jpop Stop; retrieved on August 11, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Cartoon KAT-TUN Episode 43; aired on NTV on 2008-01-30.
  7. ^ a b c Shōnen Club interview: Kazuya Kamenashi
  8. ^ "Episode 55 - Cartoon KAT-TUN, NTV"; aired April 23, 2008
  9. ^ Real Face, Jpop Stop; retrieved on August 18, 2009.
  10. ^ Best of KAT-TUN, Jpop Stop; retrieved on August 11, 2009
  11. ^ KAT-TUN music profile, Jpop Stop; retrieved on August 11, 2009.
  12. ^ Nobuta wo Produce, Wiki.d-addicts; retrieved on August 1, 2008.
  13. ^ Yuuki, Wiki.d-addicts; retrieved on August 1, 2008.
  14. ^ Kamenashi leads "Kami no Shizuku" drama adaptation, Tokyograph, Sports Hochi; retrieved on November 13, 2008.
  15. ^ Drama Grand Prix: "Kami no Shizuku" wins winter, Tokyograph; retrieved on May 31, 2009.
  16. ^ Kamenashi given guest role on "Mr. Brain", Tokyograph; retrieved on June 10, 2009.
  17. ^ Kamenashi comes back for "Gokusen", Tokyograph; retrieved on June 10, 2009.
  18. ^ More "Gokusen" cast details, Tokyograph; retrieved on June 10, 2009.
  19. ^ "Gokusen" movie earns half a billion in opening weekend, Tokyograph; retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  20. ^ Men's Non-No magazine, published by Shueisha, December 2008 issue, page 83.
  21. ^ (JAPANESE) KAT-TUN・亀梨、始球式で西岡と対決, Sankei Sports; retrieved on July 20, 2009.
  22. ^ (JAPANESE) [2], Tsuyoshi Nishioka's official blog; entry dated 2009-07-19; retrieved on July 22, 2009.
  23. ^ (JAPANESE) 巨人が亀梨打てず、SMAP中居軍に黒星, Nikkan Sports; retrieved on November 23, 2009.
  24. ^
    Translation of part of the article from Nikkan Sports [2009年11月23日14時20分]
    "Giants unable to hit Kamenashi's pitches loses against SMAP's Nakai's team."

    The Giants FanFesta was held on the 23rd in Tokyo Dome and the Giants Select Members Team lost against SMAP's Nakai Masahiro's(37 years old) Black Rose Team. The game had 3 innings. KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya (23 years old) sealed the powerful line up with his good strong batting & pitching . In the last inning, the Giants sent in player Shinozuka, Coach Yoshimura, and lastly their #1 draft rookie outfield player Hisayoshi Chono(25 years old, could not hit any of Kamenashi's pitches) agaisnt player Kamenashi but they could not reach a 2-3 and lost. One of his recent dramas he appeared in was a live-action based on a manga and anime called Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. He plays one of the main protagonist; Kyohei along with actress Hoshino Aki, playing Nakahara Sunako.


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