Sho Sakurai

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Sho Sakurai
Native name 櫻井 翔
Born (1982-01-25) January 25, 1982 (age 32)
Origin Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Genres Pop, hip hop
Occupations Singer, rapper, actor, newscaster, host, radio host
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1995–present
Labels Johnny & Associates, J Storm
Associated acts Arashi

Sho Sakurai (櫻井 翔 Sakurai Shō?) (born January 25, 1982) is a Japanese idol, singer, songwriter, actor, newscaster, host and former radio host. He is a member of Japanese boy band Arashi.

Sakurai began his career in the entertainment industry when he joined the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1995 at the age of 13. About seven years after his debut as a singer with Arashi in 1999, he became a newscaster in 2006, appearing in the news program News Zero every Monday. In 2008, he was appointed the official newscaster for the news coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing on NTV.[1] For his work as an actor, singer and newscaster, Sakurai became one of the recipients of GQ Japan's Men of the Year award in 2009.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Sakurai was born in Minato, Tokyo as the oldest child of his family.[4] He has two younger siblings: a sister who is five years younger and a brother who is thirteen years younger.[5]

Sakurai attended Keio Yochisha Elementary School, an affiliated elementary school to Keio University, after passing the entrance examinations.[4] Despite already having an established career with Arashi by the time he graduated from high school, Sakurai went on to attend Keio University, graduating with a degree in economics in 2004.[citation needed]

Music career[edit]

Sakurai is the designated rapper of Arashi and, although he had written rap lyrics (known to fans as Sakurap) for some of the group's earlier releases under the pen name "Show", his first major contribution was for the A-side song "Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono". While not the first artist from Johnny's to take on rapping, his breakthrough made it easier for his juniors to rap as well despite being idols.[6] According to Taichi Kokubun of Tokio, ex-KAT-TUN member Koki Tanaka (田中 聖 Tanaka Kōki?) began to rap because of him.[7]

He became the first member in Arashi to hold a solo concert called The Show in 2006.[8] Sakurai was also a part of a special group with his Kisarazu Cat's Eye World Series co-stars that same year. Specially formed to promote the movie, they released the movie's theme song "Seaside Bye-Bye" (シーサイドばいばい?, "Shisaido Baibai") as a single on October 25, 2006.[9][10]

Sakurai co-wrote the lyrics of six songs on the August 2010 Arashi album Boku no Miteiru Fūkei. These songs are "Movin' On," "Mada Ue o", "Taboo" (Sho Sakurai solo), "Let Me Down," "Sora Takaku", and "Summer Splash!".[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

Drama[edit]

Unlike the other members of Arashi who made their major acting debut on stage, Sakurai made his debut on television in Arashi's volleyball-centered short drama V no Arashi (Vの嵐?) in 1999. In 2001, he took part in his first drama series called Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Otoko 2 (天国に一番近い男 - 教師編 The Man Closest to Heaven 2?) with Masahiro Matsuoka as his teacher. His role as a student with two conflicting characters won him Best Newcomer in the 5th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Awards.[11][12]

In 2003, Sakurai was given his first lead role in the drama Yoiko no Mikata (よい子の味方 Ally of Good Children?). He portrayed Taiyō Suzuki (鈴木太陽 Suzuki Taiyō?), a man who strives to prove himself capable of being a nursery school teacher. After Yoiko no Mikata, Sakurai took up many drama specials and mini-dramas until 2005. He even acted in a NHK late-night drama series called Tokio, in which each episode lasted for fifteen minutes each.

Sakurai and bandmate Kazunari Ninomiya co-starred together in the manga-based comedy drama Yamada Tarō Monogatari in 2007.[13] Although there was no release of dramas, movies or stageplays from Sakurai in 2008 due to his involvement with the Olympic Games in Beijing and Arashi's concert tours,[1] 2009 saw his first lead role in a drama series since Yoiko no Mikata in 2003. In the drama The Quiz Show 2 with You Yokoyama, he portrayed an amnesic host of a live TV quiz program.[14] Sakurai rounded off 2009 with a small guest appearance on the final episode of the drama My Girl, which was bandmate Masaki Aiba's first starring role in a serial drama.[15]

On January 9, 2010, Sakurai co-starred with the other members of Arashi in the human suspense drama special Saigo no Yakusoku. He portrayed Yukio Tomizawa (富澤友紀夫 Tomizawa Yukio?), a 28-year-old life insurance salesman who is caught up in a building hijack.[16][17] Sakurai appeared in the docudrama special Kobe Shimbun no Nanokakan (神戸新聞の7日間 7 Days of the Kobe Newspaper?) on January 16, 2010. He portrayed Tomohiko Mitsuyama (三津山朋彦 Mitsuyama Tomohiko?), a real photo reporter who worked for the Kobe Shimbun and helped keep the newspaper running without interruption despite the damage inflicted from the Kobe earthquake.[18]

On January 17, 2010, TBS aired the first episode of Sakurai and Maki Horikita's comedy drama Tokujo Kabachi!! (特上カバチ!! lit. Extraordinary Quibbling?).[19]

On August 18, 2011, it was announced that Sakurai will be starring in a Fuji TV drama in the Fall season. The drama Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (謎解きはディナーのあとで lit. Mystery Solving After Dinner?) is based on a bestselling novel published in 2010 by author Higashigawa Tokuya. Sakurai will be co-starred by actress Kitagawa Keiko. The drama will air starting in October.

On January 25, 2012, TBS announced a three-nights drama special Blackboard - Teachers Waging The Battles of Their Times will be aired in early April. Sakurai will be starring on the first night. He will play the role of a junior high school teacher who lost his right arm by war and struggled the change of moral after the war. His co-star will be Yuko Ohshima of AKB48.

On January 26, 2012, it was announced that Fuji TV will produce a drama special for Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (謎解きはディナーのあとで lit. Mystery Solving After Dinner?) to be aired on March 27. Sakurai will continue to play the lead role of Kageyama, together with Kitagawa Keiko. The drama special was filmed at Okinawa.

Film[edit]

In 2002, Sakurai made his motion picture debut in Arashi's first movie together, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy (ピカ☆ンチ Life is HardだけどHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard But Happy?). He portrayed Chu, a yankee who dropped out of high school after an incident involving his teacher and the girl he had a crush on. That same year, he took on the role of Bambi, a college student who becomes part of a burglar ring at the beckoning of his cancer-stricken friend Bussan in order to make Bussan's final days worthwhile. In the drama Kisarazu Cat's Eye with Junichi Okada playing the character Bussan, the drama would eventually span into two movie sequels entitled Kisarazu Cat's Eye: Nihon Series and Kisarazu Cat's Eye: World Series in 2003 and 2006 respectively.[20]

In 2004, he reprised his role for the sequel of Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy, Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy (ピカ☆☆ンチ Life is HardだからHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard Therefore Happy?).

While training for a rowing competition with the rest of Arashi on their variety show Mago Mago Arashi in 2005, Sakurai filmed for his first starring movie role in the manga-based live-action film Honey and Clover.[21] He portrayed the mellow Yūta Takemoto (竹本 祐太 Takemoto Yūta?).

In 2007, all the members of Arashi co-starred in their third movie together, Kiiroi Namida (黄色い涙 Yellow Tears?), with Sakurai playing the role of an aspiring writer. By the end of the year, it was announced that he would star as Gan-chan in the Takashi Miike movie Yatterman, which was not released in theaters until the beginning of 2009.[22]

It was announced on June 8, 2010 that Sakurai will co-star with Aoi Miyazaki in the novel-based movie Kamisama no Karute (神様のカルテ God's Medical Records?), which is scheduled to be released in theaters in 2011.[23][24]

On June 4, 2012 the movie version of the popular drama Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (謎解きはディナーのあとで lit. Mystery Solving After Dinner?) was announced. Sakurai once again portrayed the sharp-tongued butler Kageyama in solving mysteries, co-starring with Kitagawa Keiko. The plot of the movie is a murder case that happens on a luxurious cruise ship. Besides set filming, the production team also filmed overseas in Singapore where they boarded the luxurious cruise ship SuperStar Virgo for onsite filming. The movie completed filming by end of July 2012 and is scheduled for release on August 3 2013 in Japan. The International Gala Premiere was held in Singapore on July 27 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, where about 2,000 fans from Singapore, Thailand and other countries in the region were treated to face-to-face interactions with the main cast of Sakurai and his fellow cast members, Keiko Kitagawa and Shinai Kippei. Director Masato Hijikata also graced the occasion. Selected fans got to watch the movie premiere with the cast and director in the Sands Theatre, and were treated to a 20-minute Q&A session with the actors and director after the movie screening. The Singapore premiere of the movie is scheduled for August 22 2013, with a special Fans' Screening by Golden Village cinemas on August 14 2013.

Other ventures[edit]

Radio[edit]

From October 5, 2002 to March 30, 2008, Sakurai hosted his own radio show called Sho Beat on FM Fuji.[25]

Newscaster[edit]

In 2006, he became a newscaster for the NTV news program News Zero with newscaster Nobutaka Murao (村尾 信尚 Nobutaka Murao?) and actress Mao Kobayashi. In 2007, he was chosen to help host Zero x Senkyo 2007 (Zero×選挙2007 Zero x Election 2007?), a special program which focused the 2007 House of Councillors elections. Sakurai became the first pop idol to host such a program.[26] Following that same year, he was chosen as the main caster for Fuji TV's broadcast of the 2007 Volleyball World Cup, marking it the first time in eight years that he has been involved with the Volleyball World Cup.[27]

In 2008, Sakurai was a newscaster for the 2008 FIVB Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament and the main newscaster for the news coverage of the Olympic Games in Beijing on NTV.[1][28] On June 7, 2009, Sakurai was one of the main newscasters for a special program titled Touch! Eco 2009, which focused on environmental issues.[29] On August 30, 2009, he was appointed the official caster for the second part of Zero x Senkyo 2009 (Zero×選挙2009 Zero x Election 2009?), which covered Japan's 2009 general elections.[30]

Sakurai was the special newscaster for the 2010 Winter Olympics news coverage on NTV with Shizuka Arakawa as the main newscaster.[31] On July 11, 2010, he took on the role of a navigator for the second half of Zero x Senkyo 2010 (Zero×選挙2010 Zero x Election 2010?), which focused on the 2010 House of Councillors elections.[32]

On July 2010, Sakurai traveled to Romania, Germany, and Russia to do a special report on world poverty for 24-Hour Television, which was broadcast on August 29, 2010. He interviewed former Soviet Union General Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev about nuclear disarmament and poverty.[33]

Sakurai was chosen by Nippon Television Network (NTV) of Japan as the main MC of their royal wedding special, “British Royal Family Prince William and Princess Kate“. The special was aired on April 29, 2011, featuring video footage from the British Broadcasting Channel that covered the joyous occasion for the British royal family.

Sakurai co-hosted the special program 復興テレビ_みんなのチカラ aired on March 11, 2012, a special program to remember the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit North-eastern Japan in 2011.

On May 13, 2012, NTV of Japan announced the appointment of Sakurai as the main caster for their 2012 London Summer Olympics coverages. It is Sakurai's third consecutive Olympic main caster appointment for NTV after 2008 Beijing and 2010 Vancouver. 2012 London Olympics runs from July 27 to August 12, 2012.

Contributions[edit]

Rap lyrics[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Drama
Year Title Role Notes
1999 V no Arashi Sho Sakurai Lead role with other members of Arashi
2000 Otōsan Akira Ohmura Television special
2001 Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Otoko 2 Ayumi Tōdō
2002 Shōnen Taiya: Third Story - Aoki-san Uchi no Oku-san Sho Four-episode drama
2002 Kisarazu Cat's Eye Futoshi Nakagomi (Bambi)
2003 Yoiko no Mikata Taiyō Suzuki Lead role
2003 Ikebukuro West Gate Park Special Bambi Cameo appearance
2003 Gekidan Engimono: Fourteenth Story - Haetori Kami Yōhei Yamada Lead role, four-episode drama
2004 Nurseman Special Masaya Iwata Television special
2004 Gekidan Engimono: First Story - Unlucky Days: Natsume no Mōsō Kantaku Lead role, four-episode drama
2004 Tokio Tokio Miyamoto
2005 Gekidan Engimono: Eleventh Story - Ishikawa-ken Gosan-shi Jun Kawase Lead role, four-episode drama
2005 Yankee Bokou ni Kaeru Special Masaya Yoshimori Lead role, television special
2007 Yamada Tarō Monogatari Takuya Mimura Lead role with Ninomiya Kazunari
2009 Uta no Onii-san Himself Episode 6 guest appearance
2009 The Quiz Show 2 Satoru Kamiyama Lead role
2009 My Girl Sato Episode 10 guest appearance
2010 Saigo no Yakusoku Yukio Tomizawa Lead role with other members of Arashi, television special
2010 Kobe Shimbun no Nanokakan Tomohiko Mitsuyama Lead role, docudrama special
2010 Tokujo Kabachi!! Katsuhiro Tamura Lead role
2011 Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de Kageyama Lead role
2012 Mou Yuukai Nante Shinai Kageyama Cameo appearance
2012 Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de Kageyama Lead role, television special
2012 Blackboard, Teachers Who Fought Against Era Shirahama Lead role (first night), 3-nights television special
2012 Papadol! Sho Sakurai Episode 1 guest appearance
2013 Kazoku Game Kouya Yoshimoto Lead role
2012 Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de - Kazamatsuri Keibu no Jikenbo Kageyama Special appearance, television special
Film
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy Tadashi Kamogawa (Chu) Lead role with other members of Arashi
2003 Kisarazu Cat's Eye: Nihon Series Futoshi Nakagomi (Bambi)
2004 Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakara Happy Tadashi Kamogawa (Chu) Lead role with other members of Arashi
2006 Honey and Clover Yūta Takemoto Lead role
2006 Kisarazu Cat's Eye: World Series Futoshi Nakagomi (Bambi)
2007 Kiiroi Namida Ryūsan Mukai Lead role with other members of Arashi
2009 Yatterman Gan-chan Lead role
2011 Kamisama no Karute Ichito Kurihara Lead role with Aoi Miyazaki
2013 Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (movie) Kageyama Lead role with Keiko Kitagawa
2014 Kamisama no Karute 2 Ichito Kurihara Lead role with Aoi Miyazaki

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 West Side Story Tony Lead role
2006 The Beautiful Game John Carey Lead role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Work Result
2002 5th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Newcomer Tengoku ni Ichiban Chikai Otoko 2 Won[12]
2009 61st Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor The Quiz Show 2 Nominated[37]
GQ Japan Men of the Year 2009 Awards GQ Man Of The Year 2009[fn 1] Won[2][3]
2010 64th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Tokujo Kabachi!! Nominated[39]
2012 21st Annual TV Life Awards Best Actor Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De Won[40]
71st Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated[41]
2013 17th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Spring) Best Actor Kazoku Game Won
77th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won
2014 23rd Annual TV Life Awards Best Actor Won[42]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Sakurai was one of the five honorees for GQ Men of the Year 2009.[3][38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sho Sakurai to cover Olympics for NTV". Tokyograph. 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ a b "今年最も輝いた男性に嵐・櫻井翔、笑福亭鶴瓶ら 『GQ Men of the Year2009』" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  3. ^ a b c "GQ Men of the Year 2009: Sakurai, Shofukutei". Tokyograph. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  4. ^ a b "そして僕らは嵐になった Arashi Story 1980-2009". Pia: 10–22. August 27, 2009. 
  5. ^ Sakurai, Sho (2008-04-10). Interview with Hirohide Yakumaru. Hanamaru Market.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Shōnen Club Premium". 2008-06-15. NHK.
  7. ^ "Shōnen Club Premium". January 18, 2009. NHK.
  8. ^ "Arashi Biography 2006" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ "桜井翔、岡田准一ら6人がスペシャル木更津ユニットを結成!!" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  10. ^ "シーサイドばいばい (木更津キャッツアイ feat. MCU)" (in Japanese). Johnny's net. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  11. ^ "Official Ayumi Tōdō Profile" (in Japanese). TBS. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  12. ^ a b "Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix List". Tokyograph. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  13. ^ "Nino, Sho-kun co-star in comedy series". Tokyograph. May 15, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Sho Sakurai stars in "The Quiz Show"". Tokyograph. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  15. ^ "最終回! 嵐のアノ方が登場!!" (in Japanese). Official My Girl staff blog. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  16. ^ "嵐が10年ぶりにメンバー5人全員でドラマ出演! フジ新春ドラマ『最後の約束』" (in Japanese). Oricon. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  17. ^ "新春スペシャルドラマ『最後の約束』" (in Japanese). Fuji Television News. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  18. ^ "震災ドラマ「神戸新聞の7日間」 放送時間決まる" (in Japanese). Kobe Shimbun. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  19. ^ "Sakurai, Horikita star in "Tokujo Kabachi" drama series". Tokyograph. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  20. ^ "Kisarazu Cat's Eye World Series (Normal Edition) (Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Mago Mago Arashi". December 3, 2005. Fuji TV.
  22. ^ "Sho Sakurai to star in "Yatterman" movie". Tokyograph. November 25, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  23. ^ "櫻井翔、初の医師役!宮崎あおいと夫婦愛 (1/2ページ)" (in Japanese). Sansopo. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  24. ^ "Sho Sakurai, Aoi Miyazaki star in "Kamisama no Karute"". Tokyograph. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  25. ^ "Arashi's 2002 Timeline" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  26. ^ "Sho Sakurai helps bring politics to youths". Tokyograph. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  27. ^ "Sho Sakurai appointed as Volleyball World Cup caster". Tokyograph. October 3, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2009. 
  28. ^ "2008北京オリンピックバレーボール世界最終予選". Fuji Television. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  29. ^ "Official Touch Eco Website". Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Sho Sakurai to be Election Navigator" (in Japanese). Zoom in Super. 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  31. ^ "櫻井&荒川、日テレバンクーバー五輪の顔!" (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-01-11. [dead link]
  32. ^ "選挙特番 日テレは紳助、TBSはたけし" (in Japanese). Sanspo. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  33. ^ "櫻井翔、ゴルバチョフ氏と「貧困」「核軍縮」激論30分". Sports Hochi (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  34. ^ "Lotus" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  35. ^ "Meikyuu Love Song" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  36. ^ "Wild At Heart" (in Japanese). Johnny & Associates. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  37. ^ "主演男優賞" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  38. ^ "GQ Men of the Year 2009" (in Japanese). GQ. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  39. ^ "主演男優賞" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  40. ^ "「第21回年間ドラマ大賞2011」主演男優賞!" (in Japanese). Tvlife.jp. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  41. ^ "主演男優賞" (in Japanese). Television Drama Academy Awards. 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  42. ^ "2013年「年間ドラマ大賞」は櫻井翔主演『家族ゲーム』に決定!". TV Life. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 

External links[edit]