Celebrities react to SMAP disbandment

Since the disbandment of SMAP was made official on 14th August, many celebrities and actors who worked with the 5 before has shared their words of support and concern in the media or through social accounts. Let’s have a quick look at their reactions.



TOKIO member Taichi Kokubun: “I feel a loss and I’m shocked. I still can’t fully believe they will really disband. I still believe something will happen to prevent this. SMAP debuted in the shadow of amazing HIKARU Genji. It was right after their debut, that real song shows came to an end and they were surely struggling how to attract the audience. They started doing variety, comedy skits and that became the amazing “colour” that SMAP has. Thanks to them, it is possible for me to do newscasting. I would like to thank them and be their support”.  [1]

Fellow TOKIO-ite Tatsuya Yamaguchi commented on SMAP’s situation while being in Rio as an Olympic newscaster for NTVs “ZIP!”: “First news I heard upon arrival to Rio was “SMAP has disbanded”. I was shocked both by the fact itself and that such news spread as far as Rio. Honestly, there was a part of me thinking ‘what a waste’… (…) All groups need to deal with the thought of possible disbandment. You always need to move on focused on how to keep together as a group, how to make your fans happy. Some people can talk this through, some cannot, some need to say everything out and some prefer to keep silent. To be honest, the subject of TOKIO’s disbandment came up many time. There were times we talked this through and times we left it unspoken for the time being. You cannot judge if it is for good or bad (that SMAP will disband). I will support all members in their careers.”  [1]

Actor Toma Ikuta couldn’t hide his sadness during a press conference for his new stage play “Vamp Bamboo Burn”. When asked about the news, he told the press: “It’s true I am their kouhai, but above that I am SMAP fan. I feel sorry and sad. I feel that time fell still after the press release, I spend my days and free moments thinking about SMAP.” Busy with his promotional activities, Ikuta didn’t have a chance to talk to any of the members privately recently. “I know only the news that were shared with the public”. [1]

Yuuichi Nakamaru (KAT-TUN) commented that it is important to filter loads of press speculations and the facts. Still the announcement came as a shock. “I am quite sure that the members talked this through a lot before the decision. It’s hard to accept, but I wish them all the best in the solo pursuits.” Nakamaru was also relived his older colleagues will stay in their agency and still form one “community”. [1, 2]

NEWS member Keiichiro Koyama compared the situation to his own group: “Of course you cannot compare the scale, but NEWS also had hard times with members leaving, a time when we couldn’t continue our activities the way we would like to. I quite understand how hard it is to continue being a group in such moments. (…) Nothing will change the fact that all 5 are my senpai and role models; dream to aim for.” [1]



Keiko Toda who worked with all members on the set of “Furuhata Ninzaburou x SMAP” Special and portrayed the group’s manager, wrote on her blog: “I have so many thoughts and emotions about SMAP. I cannot find right words. But nothing will change the fact that I’m a SMAP fan. My favourite song is “Yozora no Mukou”. I would love to listen to it during their concert…” [1]

Kabuki actor Ainosuke Kataoka updated his blog soon after his appearance on the Bistro corner of “SMAPxSMAP”: “Whenever I see the news of the disbandment, I am at loss with words. Thank you for having me as a guest on SMAP show. I will keep on supporting you.”  [1]

Actress Miki Maya, who works on a NTV morning news show together with TOKIO’s Kokubun, recalls his words: “Taichi-san said to me that members of a group are not family and not friends. This is a completely different type of engagement. With time passing, the members become adults, discover their own societies and keeping together as a group is a difficult, but amazing task.” She also commented on the apologies from the members broadcasted on SMAPxSMAP. “They spoke only with their fans in their mind, putting their own feelings back. They handled it the SMAP way. There are many distressed fans for sure, but SMAP proved to be top of the tops. With their disbandment a social phenomenon, they prove they are on a different level from the rest.  [1]

Ebizo Ichikawa, Kabuki actor who co-starred with Takuya Kimura’s drama “Mr. Brain” updated his blog several times. First, on the 14th at 4 am, he wrote: “What? SMAP disbanding? Am I still dreaming?” then again an hour later: “And it looks like it’s true”.  [1]



Hikari Ota, TV personality and one half of the comedy duo Bakusho Mondai: “They were always on very good terms, that’s why the problems with understanding within the group must have been pretty difficult and to hard to solve (within limited time). There will be a lot of speculations about it, but all the members are delicate and I’m sure they will be quite damaged by that. They are all dudes in their 40ties, but they still have childlike spirit, that’s why I’m worried.” The comedian voiced his worry in an unusual mature tone. [1]

Celebrity impersonator and make-up artist Zawachin posted a long and tearful entry on her blog entitled “Sad”. She calls SMAP “a special existence for Zawachin”. “I was invited to SMAPxSMAP were I did monomane make-up of all members. They let me do their make-up and shuffle the members too. On Bistro SMAP I took my mask of publicly for the first time. (…) It is because of SMAP that I am here today. I have nothing than respect. Thank you very, very, very much. SMAP will be in me forever.” [1]

Yukina Kinoshita posted excerpts of SMAP songs on her Instagram account and commented how sad she is that “something” that was always with her since childhood is ending. She also mentioned how she was collaborating with SMAP on Pussuma, Iitomo and visited Bistro twice. “I’m going to tell about this proudly to my kids. Need to accept the truth now.” [1]

Have your fave expressed their feelings on SMAP’s disbandment, ARAMA? If so, share with us in the comments!

EDIT: Thanks to Facebook follower Chel for pointing out that ZIP! is actually a NTV production – corrected now. :)

  • Comments

    • I’ve gotten sad reading these. >_<

    • kuku

      still sad reading this

    • Ran

      Hypocrite celebrities being sorry for SMAP when they all know that the truth is they have to disband due to power harassment. Nobody has the guts to blame Johnny’s mafia of course…

      • harri

        OMG, I see the ‘conspiracy theorists’ are going full tinfoil. If the members are no longer happy working together, why would anyone try to force them to stay as a group? It was apparent from their statements there is a huge rift within the group. They were given the option to go on hiatus, SMAP themselves chose to disband. You’re only thinking about yourself. Would you rather they ‘faked it’ and struggled along until they completely imploded? This way they can end their time as SMAP with dignity and with the proper accolades. If you were a true fan you would support what they want and enjoy the time left instead of working yourself up into hysterics over imagined wrongs.

        • Lauren

          The reason people are so suspicious is because Johnny’s, in particular Mary, have pulled stuff like this for years. In the 1980s, Mary told Nakamori Akina to show up to a press conference where they would announce her marriage to Kondo Masahiko. Akina turned up and it was nothing of the sort but rather a press conference where she was forced to apologise to the media for making a suicide attempt and “causing trouble to Johnny’s and Matchy”. They’ve also tried to blacklist ex-Johnny’s from having any sort of media career. They cut a press conference with Toshihiko Tahara down to make him look egotistical and try to ruin his career because he left Johnny’s, when years later the non-cut version made it clear the wording he used was supposed to be a friendly joke with the media. Her company is so powerful hardly any boybands outwith it even get a look in and it’s rumoured she banned other boybands from Music Station. She blackmails the media by threatening to not give her talents to them and therefore bring their viewing figures down.

          I understand your point of view but please believe me when I say SMAP fans WANT to believe this is SMAP’s decision. If it really is then we will accept it. But at the moment it feels suspicious. We feel like if SMAP really wanted to disband it wouldn’t have been done through an announcement via fax at midnight, but rather than the 5 of them would directly tell the fans via a live broadcast. Celebrities who have worked with SMAP also seem genuinely confused by the “they don’t get along” excuse.

          Of course, maybe we’re wrong and SMAP actually do want to disband. But considering what Mary’s done before in the past it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that she’s pushed them into this by saying “if you don’t disband I’ll fire you and make sure your fans never see you again because I’ll blacklist you from the media”. Mary has always hated SMAP and SMAP’s ex-manager, the reason SMAP’s ex-manager left was because of the way the company treated her. Therefore it honestly does seem as though Mary got pissed off at SMAP for trying to leave and used it as an excuse to push them into disbanding.

          I’m sorry it probably comes across as being delusional and I understand it must be annoying but at the moment please try to understand that fans are highly upset and are of course trying to deal with it in their own way.

          • harri

            Fair enough. I understand that fans must be upset; I know I would be if my favourite group were to going to disband. I also get that Mary has allegedly done some rancid stuff in the past. It’s quite possible she has had some hand in the current situation.

            Regardless, the damage is done. The fact four wanted to leave and one wanted to stay is something they may not be able to get past, no matter how professional they are. This sort of split doesn’t happen overnight. It would be the result of a build-up of grievances between the members themselves and between the members and Johnnys. SMAP’s statements to the press show there is a split in the group. Whether this is being aggravated from within Johnnys we’ll probably never know, but if they can’t work together, forcing them to do so would be cruel.

            While I’m not a SMAP fan I am aware of the awesome legacy they leave. They blazed the trail for the groups that came after, particularly in the area of variety shows. The time up until 31 December should be spent remembering and celebrating this legacy and I hope Johnnys will see fit to give them the send off they deserve.Blaming Johnnys is like shouting at clouds – pointless and a waste of energy. Energy which could be better spent making sure the next four and bit months is a celebration of what has been an epic 25 years.

            • potter

              The thing is, we aren’t even sure if “four wanted to leave and one wanted to stay” is the fact. It was all reported by the media, and all members never make any comment on this. Wait, Nakai did make comment about it a few weeks ago during his corner with Sanma in this year FNS27. He clearly said “there is no faction within SMAP” and “We are fine.”

              The published stories were also conflicting. The agency claimed the members had a talk and decided to quit on Aug 10, but Kimura was in Hawaii since Aug 9 so he wasn’t present at said meeting. The agency also said Katori refused to hold a concert tour and stubbornly refused to work together with Kimura for months until the rest eventually gave in and agreed to disband. But during his recent radio show which was recorded on Aug 3, he was excitedly talking about wanting to use Augmented Reality Technology in their concert. How can fans believe the statements from the agency after this?

              • Leyla

                Part of me actually hopes you are right, because it would mean my five guys still get along, but I have a bad feeling. Especially after reading the statements and a few reports. I get the feeling that they really don’t want to work with each other anymore. And that the rift between them isn’t a small one. It would mean this situation now is actually their fault… which is pretty hard to take as a fan. I just hope that they will part as friends at the end of the year :-(

            • Awe

              On the other hand, some SMAP fans are organising a 25-anniversary event on their own to be held at Seibuen Amusement Park on 9 September which was where the group had held their debut event. Up to 11pm on 17 August, more than 3,800 people had signed the petition on Change.org. However, negotiations with Seibuen are still in progress so it is not known yet if the event can proceed as planned. Fans are also snapping up the CDs of SMAP as seen from the sales ranking of major retailers like Amazon. The single “Sekai ni hitotsu dake no Hana” is currently No.1 on Amazon Japan with the best hits album “Smap Vest” placed at No.2.

            • Awe

              Looking at recent updates, the company, Mary in particular is hellbent to diminish SMAP’s/members influence in the industry. They will bent their words and make it as if the members don’t want to have a final send off for fans. Mary has done this before and she has said clearly that “i’ll use those four like used rags” after the disbandment decision was finalized.

          • GratefulToSMAP

            I get your point of view mostly but SMAP members has sent out their personal statements right? From the words itself, it is clear that Kimura wants to stay and his statement was emotional. His words clearly shows his exasperation about splitting. But the other 4 members’ statements are so impersonal like “We’re out. Sayonara everyone!” I really feel that the 4 of them want out so badly. Moreover, if you watch the past year’s SMAP videos, they are clearly listless with each other and interactions are kept at a bare minimum. 2016 SMAP is so different from past 24 years of SMAP. Are their statements and actions not enough to understand their intentions?

            I feel like SMAP fans are not gonna believe anything until we see an actual VIDEO of words coming out of the 5 members’ mouths. No one is going to believe anything until we see a live broadcast but come on, how much proof do we need before it’s enough to convince fans that it’s SMAP who wants to leave and not JE forcing them? Even in the January apology live broadcast, the 5 members were already apologising LIVE and fans still went “That’s unlike them. They look unnatural. They are being forced to say all this. JE has a gun to their head to say this etc etc.” There is NOTHING they can do that can convince fans because fans will always spin the story to their own liking.

            As I said in a comment in a previous post, all 5 members have a strong personality and are not afraid to speak their mind. I’m sure they have exchanged endless harsh words with each other debating over their existence as a band and these are words they cannot take back and the damage is done. It has furthered soured their relationship to a point where they’re like let’s just end this shit. They have enough wealth, enough fame and enough talent to live without SMAP anymore, there’s no reason for them to continue to go about their daily lives bickering with each other and the agency. I’m sure they just want peace now after months of this turmoil and peace can only be attained if they split. And they have dedicated so many years of their lives to SMAP, I think they also finally want to take some time to enjoy their personal lives.

            • Awe

              I think its only natural for fans to react that way. It’s a classic stages of grief so some is still in denial+anger stages. It is after all only less then a week the announcement was made. SMAP fans are mature enough to accept it eventually.

            • Lauren

              Thanks for your polite reply! I understand it seems a bit delusional to keep thinking of why this has happened when if SMAP actually do want to disband it seems unfair for fans to push them to be together as a group. For that I apologise. As sad as it would be, I would like to believe the official statement. But because of how much J&A have manipulated the media in the past it’s now gotten to the point where I don’t know what to believe anymore. Is it really because of group troubles they’re splitting? Or did Mary put that idea out there because she’s never liked SMAP and is trying to convince everyone this situation has nothing to do with her? I just don’t know what to think.

              • Sunny

                I have been reading articles in media from Jan on wards after SMAP apologized publicly,where they were mentioning how Johnny Kitagawa was trying to accommodate everyone’s demands and trying to keep SMAP together. Whatever he did for one offended the other. Like he allowed Nakai to setup his own office under Johnny’s which upset Kimura. Shingo was very close to Michi out of the five and was feeling suicidal after she left. He didn’t wanted to continue. I know Mary hates SMAP,but Johnny Kitagawa was personally getting involved to sort out the issues. In some matters the Kitagawa siblings dont get along. I 100% believe this time its purely SMAP’s decision to disband.

                Being SMAP fan I am heartbroken. But,I dont think they should stretch any longer if they have bitter feelings towards each other. I will continue to support SMAP members in their solo careers.

                • GratefulToSMAP

                  I think Johnny-san has a soft spot for SMAP. After all, this is the group that propelled his company from just a music agency to the entertainment powerhouse that it is today. From my years of following SMAP, I know that the individual members have a meaningful and respectful relationship with him too. Nakai and Johnny-san have their love for baseball so this is a common bantering topic between them. If you watched Utaban, you would see that Nakai was often cracking personal jokes about Johnny-san. Kimura once said in his radio show that Johnny-san was one of the 3 men he knew privately which he respected. Also, their personal friends like Sanma-san and Takaaki Ishibashi have talked about going for meals with SMAP senior management (Mary, Julie, etc). I think more or less, they run in the same circles in the entertainment industry.

                  My personal opinion, albeit an unpopular one, is that I think Mary and Johnny have full rights to decide what to do with their company. Ultimately, it is their private Kitagawa family business, not a public-listed company that they have to be accountable for to the public. I’ve read opinions that Iijima should take over the company instead of Mary/Julie but why should she? Is she blood-related to Johnny-san and more important to Johnny-san than his own sister and niece are? Although a lot of things may seem unfair from our fans perspective, but this company belongs to Johnny-san. I put myself in his shoes and I would have allowed my sister to do the same. Family comes first, especially when you’re already 84 and have so much wealth that money isn’t even an issue anymore. You don’t want to leave this earth with a successful company but in broken ties with your family.

                  • Sunny

                    A agree completely regarding Johnny Kitagawa and Mary Kitagawa having complete right to run the company the way they want. It is a family run private company and none of us are stakeholders in it.Sometimes I feel afraid to state the way to did out of fear of being bashed. Yes,If I were to handover my company after my term,then it will be one of closest family member. Family ties are important.

                    Your logic and reasoning are spot on!

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      Thanks Sunny for always being so supportive haha! Finally got an account so that I can comment properly on Arama :)

                      • Awe

                        The Kitagawa family has every right to assure control of their company but they have been mistreating their employees (and ex employees) with threats/blackmail and forced segregation/isolation ( http://girlschannel.net/topics/859462/ ), bullying (ie: the ijiima interview), sexual abuse allegations and yakuza like control of the industry is beyond disgusting. There’s no doubt they won’t survive the industry once they are blackballed as an ex jyani. I do think Iijima’s coup plans was idiotic and there’s no question she has no rights to sit on Johnny’s throne once he’s gone – that’s why i think Kimura was against SMAP’s disbandment. Even if the others can’t stand him, they still hold a semblance of independence and power with their brand intact.

                    • Awe

                      GTS had written a great comment and I agree with to most of it. Iijima shouldn’t be running the company imo. However the Kitagawas shouldn’t get a free pass to abuse their power (blackmailing talents, bullying their employees and people in the industry, etc) just because FAMILY stakehold. Sure SMAP members owes them a lot but they’ve been giving back bankfull of moneys and made sacrifices for the sake of the company policy for almost 30years and now they are treating them like shit. There’s rumors other Johnny’s is NGEd from working with the 4 and they’ve started a smear campaign against Shingo in particular. This is what Kimura has expected and wanted to avoid imo.

                      • Sunny

                        I dont support abuse of power in any form. Neither am I denying SMAP’s and Michi’s contribution. It was our opinion when many were suggesting Michi should be the company president. Please dont read our opinion in wrong context.

                        As far my knowledge goes,all the top managers in Johnny’s including the president had requested SMAP to stay together and also perform 25th anniversary concert.

                        Regarding smear campaign,I haven’t heard anything as such. SMAP members have created their own identity so much so that no one is strong enough to destroy and that includes Johnny’s. Please remember they are still in Johnny’s and it would hurt Johnny’s business if any thing as such is done to them.

                      • Awe

                        It was my opinion also that Ijiima shouldn’t be president. Its an idiotic notion. I also never said you guys were denying their contribution. Please don’t take my word in a wrong context.

                        I was just trying to remind you guys that they are mistreating the smap members due to their decision to disband.
                        The smear campaign was included in the gchan thread if you happen to scroll down a bit. You can even google to check.
                        Please remember that they’ve have had history of not caring about profit/business but upholding control first. Its nothing new for them to freeze and isolate Johnny’s who misbehave and blackballing those who quit the company. Shingo has the highest probability of quiting come early next year. This is only just the beginning.

                      • Sunny

                        I am aware of Johnny’s bullying tactics. As far as Shingo is concern,even I have a feeling that he will be the first one to quit if their solo careers doesnt take off as expected. He was the closest to Michi and was feeling suicidal after she resigned. He is most emotionally hurt as of now.

                      • Awe

                        You were aware but i’m just giving the latest updates. I hope Shingo stays strong. At least now I’m a bit relieved that those who blamed Kimura for turning his back on the coup is now a bit rational to understand his decision was for the better. His effort was wasted imo..at least he tried.

                      • Sunny

                        yup.. Kimutaku indeed tried his best

                      • Awe

                        So I noticed you’ve edited your comment above with a new paragraph. About the management, i’m never going to trust their words wholly. If its up to Mary (remember the used rags statement) she doesn’t care about SMAP’s future. The one who was steadfast at making SMAP stayed together was Kimura (and Nakai) but we all know Kimura can be too harsh. Nakai also tried and i can see it from his talk with Sanma. Both were just outvoted. What’s highly suspicious was the meeting that took place while Kimura was vacationing. Kimura would have fought tooth and nail for SMAP. I’m not going to rule out Mary’s influence since Johnny’s himself was also angry that they dare to plan a coup with iijima.
                        I think it’s to late for them to be one again. The decision has been made. I’m just worried fans wishes for a proper send off will be ignored by the evil management out of spite while also blaming the uncooperative members for it.

            • Sunny

              Agree with you.

        • Ran

          Lol dude, I’m certainly not a fan and I couldn’t care less about SMAP future. Just educate yourself about why the members aren’t happy to work together anymore and why their former manager had to leave the company. Or you can just believe Johnny’s story telling. I don’t really care, I’m just amazed how those celebrities are being hypocrite with their reaction and aren’t willing to blame, even just a little bit, people responsible for this mess.

      • Mayura

        Well, if those celebrities still want to stay in the entertainment field, they can’t really say the truth, can they? They know pretty well what happens if they offend the most influential company in the industry. Also, principles and ethics don’t put food on the table so can’t blame them for being “hypocrites”.

        Even in normal working life, how many people actually will speak the truth?

    • What

      Im not even a fan of SMAP, but damn this is sad to see..

    • Maria Do Carmo Branco

      I just believe that SMAP and their fans deserve better from now. Since we don´t know what is happening. The agency must open the mind and understand that if SMAP is so big is because their hard work, their devoted fans and people around the world helped for that. It feels like they are throwing away 5 people and that´s so sad.

    • REMISU

      This is how I perceived everything:

      After the whole issue with the two managers at JE, with SMAP’s manager being asked to leave, all of SMAP decided that they’d leave together. Then Kimutaku decided no, they should stay in JE. They were able to delay their leave a bit more, but tension rose between them ( whenever I’d see SMAP members together, it seemed like Kimutaku was the odd one out. Idk i might have been over-analyzing). Kimutaku’s pretty much favored within JE (I think by the other manager too/ I heard somewhere that he gets paid a bit more– idk if this is true though so correct me if i’m wrong.) Then kimutaku tells them that he can’t work with them if they’re not getting along– even though he was the one who convinced them to stay. The other members weren’t seeing eye-to-eye with Kimutaku. Thus, they’re disbanding.

      I really hope that the members are all about to do what is best for them/ what they want.

      • Anonymous

        You read too many gossip rags I guess. This year he doesn’t have any acting work at all. How is it that he’s favored by the Jimusho?

        • REMISU

          I guess so/ really hope that’s true. Though, He already has one for next year. Hope the rest are able to find jobs.

    • Akkun

      Sincerely from the deep of my heart,
      At least before they disband for good,
      Please make my wish for SMAP and Arashi interact, even just a little. Even if it’s Arashi members’ comments about the news, it’s fine. Or maybe this is impossible but as a last guest in SMAPxSMAP?
      Aren’t you satisfied enough, Mary?

      For real, please put an end to not allowing some talents to appear together just because of some women’s pathetic faction battle

      • gggg

        For real, please put an end to not allowing some talents to appear together just because of some women’s pathetic faction battle

        We’ll most likely see more interactions after SMAP dies next year. We already had Kisumai x HSJ this year, which is big, since Kisumai was usually interacting only with SMAP for the past few years. They’re all Mary’s puppets now, there’s no factions anymore (not counting the 4 of SMAP).

        I always wanted to see SMAP x A.B.C-Z :(

        • Seiran

          Same, I always wanted to see SMAP x A.B.C-Z. Especially on Smap x Smap, but I guess that won’t be happening.

      • ;)

        Sincerely from the deep of my heart,
        At least before they disband for good,
        Please make my wish for at least one ARASHI fan to NOT make this about ARASHI.

      • Awe

        I’ve wanted to see them together but the desperation in your comment for arashi made it quite annoying. I have to be honest, sorry.
        This is a difficult time for SMAP and smappies so there should be more sensitivity with comments on public places like arama. It reflected poorly on our fandom.

      • GratefulToSMAP

        Let’s wish for SMAP interact with each other first, before wishing for them to interact with others.

    • eplizo

      Makes me so sad….

    • Dahliah Ghaniah

      All I could say is this, it’s a cruel world out there, somehow SMAP endured long and hard battle. They have proven that they can aim high and be at the top even with all the obstacle and hatred. I am proud of them. Call me a delusional and upset fans, but I believe, this is somehow not what they have wanted but was force too. Just like back in January where they were ambush by the Jimusho.

    • bec2224

      Sad to hear this news, I’ve always been a fan of Nakia and Kimura, never could endear myself to the other three nor their music. But I have always loved Nakia as a host and both of them as actors, The characters from Ataru and Mr Brain will always be favorites of mine and I will watch them again and again. Good Luck to them all.

      • Leyla

        I hope they’ll really have their individual work from now on. I need my annual dose of KimuTaku dramas. (Shingo also had some interesting ones :D)

      • woops

        who is nakia? lol

    • GratefulToSMAP

      My favourite song is also Yozora No Mukou :(
      The deep lyrics and the melody… what an enchanting song.

    • Sorai

      I don’t know what is wrong or right, but in the articles i read Kimura is the one blamed and his wifey.

    • disqus_fnwCMQDX7u

      what are they trying to accomplish with the ” members of a group are not family and not friends. This is a completely different type of engagement” line? Ohno in Arashi says that too.