Guilty Pleasures

Another blogger in Japan (Julieinjapan) has been asking people about their guilty pleasures in Japan. I have to admit that one of mine is SMAP... NOT their songs, but their whole franchise.

SMAP is basically Japan`s version of a boy-band. They first appeared on the `music` scene in 1988 and released their first CD in 1991. So now, they are all in their mid-late thirties.

If any of you don`t know them or their songs, one of the most well-known songs is "Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana" 世界に一つだけの花 "A Flower Unlike Any Other in the World" which sold more than 2.57million copies! -- have to admit that Kimutaku does look pretty cute in this video too ;)

Their leader Nakai is the eldest and the one with the least singing talent. He usually stays in the background during the songs, but apparently, he is the best dancer, so he does deserve some camera time.

The most famous and loved member of SMAP is Kimutaku (Kimura Takuya) and has a huge fan following throughout Asia.

Not only do SMAP sing and dance, but all of them appear on countless TV commercials, advertising everything from cell-phones, to hair products, to microwave dinners and cup ramen. In my opinion, one of the best(?) is Kimutaku`s commercial for Gatsby (a mens cosmetics brand made by a company called Mandom)...

Individually, most of them star in TV dramas!

The group also have several of their own TV shows including skits, comedy routines, celebrity interviews, English conversation practice and my favorite - a cooking show, called Bistro Smap. In this particular show, famous Japanese celebrities, athletes and `talent` appear on the show, request their favorite food, and have 4 members of SMAP (in 2 teams, competing for the title of `best chefs`) cook it for them. The other member - Nakai - interviews them in the meantime. International celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Madonna have even appeared on Bistro SMAP.

Who is your favorite (secret) member of SMAP? Mine is probably Shingo-kun ;)


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