Jin Akanishi

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Jin Akanishi
赤西 仁
Jin Akanishi TGC 2013.jpg
Akanishi at the Tokyo Girls Collection in 2013
Background information
Birth name 赤西 仁 (Akanishi Jin)
Born (1984-07-04) July 4, 1984 (age 31)
Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Pop, dance, R&B, hip hop, electronic
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, arranger, actor, radio and television personality
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1998–present
Labels J-One Records
Warner Music Group
Go Good Records (current)
Associated acts KAT-TUN, LANDS
Website jinakanishi.com

Jin Akanishi (赤西 仁 Akanishi Jin?, born July 4, 1984) is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He has been active since 1998, first as one of the two lead vocalists of the popular J-pop boy-band KAT-TUN. Since the group's official debut in 2006, they have achieved 14 consecutive number ones (including studio albums) on the Oricon charts.[1][2] In 2009, Akanishi started his solo career, and since then has released two studio albums (Japonicana, #JustJin), and two mini albums (Test Drive, Mi Amor).

In addition to his music career Akanishi has acted in a few films. He had the main role in the movie Bandage, and his Hollywood international debut was 47 Ronin. He has also appeared in several Japanese dramas, such as the popular NTV school dramas Gokusen 2 and Yukan Club.


Early life[edit]

Akanishi was born in Chiba Prefecture, Greater Tokyo Area, Japan on July 4, 1984,[3] as the eldest of two sons. He has a younger brother Reio, who also works in the entertainment industry as an actor under the stage name Fuuta.[4] Akanishi moved to Tokyo in the first grade.[5]

In 1997, when he was still in grade school, a classmate sent in a photo of him to idol magazine Myojo, and he was featured in the "Cool Classmates" corner of the issue.[6] Akanishi expressed interest in the entertainment industry and his mother thus sent in an application to Johnny's Entertainment on his behalf in 1998. Though he technically failed his audition on November 8, 1998, he was told to stay when he tried to return his number plate to a man who happened to be Johnny Kitagawa himself.[6]

2001–2009: Early career and debut of KAT-TUN[edit]

After he was made a Johnny's Jr. member in 2000, Akanishi was part of a number of groups like Musical Academy Dancing, J2000 and B.A.D.,[3] before being drafted into a six-member unit in 2001 with other juniors Kazuya Kamenashi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda and Yuichi Nakamaru.[3] Though the group was originally meant to only be backup dancers for Koichi Domoto of KinKi Kids, the sextet's unexpected popularity led their agency to allow them to expand into a separate group called KAT-TUN, an acronym formed by the first letter of the members' surnames. Despite the group's popularity (they even released DVDs of their live concerts in 2003 and 2005—a first for Johnny's groups that hadn't debuted), they were not allowed to make their bow until five years later in 2006, to immense success.[3]

Much to the Japanese public's surprise, Akanishi announced in a press conference on October 13, 2006 that he was leaving the country to study English abroad for an indefinite amount of time.[3][7] Despite his absence, KAT-TUN were obliged to continue its activities[8] Akanishi finally returned from Los Angeles in the United States after six months on April 19, 2007.[9] He quickly resumed work by joining his bandmates on their nationwide tour on April 21.[10]

Akanishi was also a songwriter for the group, having written songs for KAT-TUN and for himself, including "Hesitate", "Love or Like" (from Cartoon KAT-TUN II You), "Lovejuice" (B-side of the limited edition 2 of "Don't U Ever Stop"), "Care" (from Break the Records: By You & For You), and "Wonder". The song "Wonder" is a collaboration with R&B artist, Crystal Kay in 2009, and Akanishi also featured in her song "Helpless Night". He can play the guitar and has composed both music and lyrics for "Murasaki (ムラサキ?)", "ha-ha" and "Pinky". He also collaborated with bandmate Ueda to create the song, "Butterfly" (from Best of KAT-TUN).

2009–2010: Solo debut and working with Lands[edit]

At the event of Tokyo Girls Collection on September 5, 2009, Jin appeared as a special guest to promote his new movie, Bandage,[11] and he performed the movie's theme song which marked this as the solo debut under the temporary band unit Lands with Takeshi Kobayashi, the producer of Mr. Children.[12] Kobayashi wrote the lyrics and music of their debut single "Bandage". It was released on November 25, and debuted at number one on the Oricon charts. In 2010, on January 13, was released the studio album Olympos, which also topped the Oricon charts.[13] On January 19, the band held their only live concert, titled Lands Last Live.[14]

Akanishi had a series of solo concerts, titled "You & Jin", comprising a total of 32 shows from February 7 to February 28, 2010. The song "A Page", he co-wrote, composed and arranged, featured at his concerts, was released as part of KAT-TUN's 11th single, "Love Yourself (Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki)", on the 2nd limited edition. On June 19 and 20, Akanishi's solo tour "You & Jin" had a 3 sold-out show tour in Los Angeles, California.

In the last show of his "You & Jin" concert Akanishi announced a tour in the United States.[15] In July, Akanishi announced that he would permanently leave the band KAT-TUN, becoming a solo artist of Johnny & Associates.[16] On September 16, were released dates for Akanishi's November tour "Yellow Gold Tour 3010", named after the tour's title song "Yellow Gold", and the cities included were Chicago, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.[17] The tour featured songs entirely in English, mostly written and produced by the Akanishi himself.[18]

On December 9, 2010, it was announced that Jin will be joining the Warner Music Group and Warner Music Japan on a global basis and became responsible for his recording career in both English and Japanese language.[3] After the "Yellow Gold Tour 3010" ended with success, Jin returned to Japan to held "Yellow Gold Tour 3011" with total 12 concerts in Osaka-jō Hall, World Memorial Hall, Nippon Budokan and Saitama Super Arena.

2011–2013: The U.S. debut, Japonicana and #JustJin[edit]

Jin's first solo single titled "Eternal" was released on March 2, 2011 in Japan,[3] and topped both Oricon and Japan Hot 100 charts.[19] His debut single in the United States was the digitally released extended play Test Drive released on November 8, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Jason Derulo and producer J. R. Rotem.[20] It reached the number one spot on the iTunes Dance Charts, and tenth spont on the overall Albums chart.[21] The Japanese release was on December 7, and it peaked at number fourteen on the Japan Hot 100, and topped both Oricon and Billboard album charts in Japan.[19] On December 28, was released his second physical single in Japan, Seasons, which also topped the charts.[19]

In 2012, on January 26 his second US digital single "Sun Burns Down" was released,[3] and reached the number one spot on the iTunes Dance Charts again. On March 6, was released his debut studio album Japonicana, on which collaborated with The Stereotypes and Static Revenger.[22][23] It reached number two on the Oricon charts.[19] From March 9 to 17 was held a promotional concert tour, which started at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.[24] In Japan from April to May was scheduled to hold 7 concerts in 5 cities including Tokyo and Osaka for a total of 70,000 people, but his further plans were abruptly cancelled due to a penalty by his own agency Johnny's Entertainment because didn't contacted his agency beforehand and reported his marriage at time.[25][26]

In 2013, on August 7 was released his third single in Japan, "Hey What's Up?", which was chosen as the first official theme song for the Tokyo Girls Collection fashion show, which was held on the 31st of that same month at the Saitama Super Arena.[27] It reached number two on the Oricon charts.[19] On October 2 was released the fourth single "Ai Naru Hō e" (To Where Love Rings),[28] which reached number three on the charts.[19]

On November 6 Akanishi released his second studio album #JustJin. The self-produced album included all the singles released in Japan since his solo debut in 2011, and a second bonus disc featured songs written in English during his Japonicana era.[29] It reached number three on the charts. [19]

2014–present: Indies debut and Mi Amor[edit]

In 2014, on March 2 was made known to the public that Akanishi had decided not to renew his contract with Johnny & Associates, and had left the agency as of February 28.[30] On July 4, was announced that he had set up his own independent label, Go Good Records, and that opened his new fan club, "JIP's" (Jin's Important People).[31]

On August 6, under Go Good Records Akanishi re-debuted with his fifth physical single "Good Time".[32][33] It reached number two on the charts.[19] The single was also made available on the iTunes Store across the globe.[34]

On November 12 Akanishi released his second extended play, Mi Amor, and the second release from his own record label.[35][36][37] It reached number three on the charts.[19] The entire album was written, composed, and produced by Akanishi himself.[35] The previous day of the release, on November 11 Akanishi went on a nationwide "Jindependence" tour from Zepp Sapporo, which ended on December 2 at Zepp Tokyo, with a total of 11 shows in 5 cities.[35]


Akanishi made his debut as an actor in 1999 in a cameo appearance in the second episode of NTV's romance comedy, P.P.O.I., and also had small roles in TV Asahi's Best Friend, Omae no yukichi ga naiteiru and in NHK series, Haregi, Koko Ichiban. He also started appearing in musicals from 2000 taking on supporting roles in Millennium Shock (2000), Show Geki Shock (2001–2002), Dream Boy (2004) and Dream Boys (2006). Akanishi returned to the small screen in 2005 in the second season of the award-winning and popular NTV school drama, Gokusen, starring opposite Yukie Nakama and former bandmate Kazuya Kamenashi. The show won "Best Drama" at the 44th Television Drama Academy Awards and ended its run with an average viewership rating of 27.8%. He also had a supporting role in NTV's romance series, Anego, the same year.

In 2007, Akanishi starred in his first lead role in Yukan Club, a school comedy series, with ex-bandmate Junnosuke Taguchi and was voted "Best Actor" at the 11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix.[38] He made his debut as a voice actor in 2008 for the Japanese dub of Speed Racer, providing the voice for protagonist Speed played by Emile Hirsch.[39]

In 2009, Akanishi was cast as the lead actor in the movie Bandage directed by Takeshi Kobayashi and released on January 16, 2010. This marked his debut on the big screen.[40]

In 2013, he made his Hollywood debut with the film 47 Ronin which also had Keanu Reeves in the lead role.[41] Akanishi played the role of Chikara Oishi, the samurai leader's son, played by Hiroyuki Sanada and a close friend to Reeves' character, Kai.[41] The film's director, Carl Erik Rinsch, said he was "impressed by Akanishi's English abilities and motivation".[41] Thus, he turned out to be the second Johnny & Associates artist within the agency after Ninomiya Kazunari in Letters From Iwo Jima to star in a Hollywood movie and the third overall to work with an American director.

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Speed Racer Speed Racer (voice) Dubbed the Japanese version of the movie.[42]
2010 Bandage Natsu Takasugi Main role and singing voice
2013 47 Ronin Chikara Oishi Supporting role
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Nekketsu Ren-ai Dou 1999 TV series, NTV. Minor role
1999 P.P.O.I. Hisashi Kimura 1999 TV series, NTV. Supporting role.
1999 Kowai Nichiyōbi 1999 TV series, NTV
1999 Best Friend Ryota Shibuya 1999 TV series, TV Asahi. Supporting role
2000 Taiyō wa Shizumanai 2000 TV series, Episode 6, Fuji TV. Minor role
2000 Haregi, Koko Ichiban 2000 TV series, NHK. Supporting role
2001 Omae no Yukichi ga Naiteiru Naoto Inoue 2001 TV series, TV Asahi
2005 Xmas Nante Daikirai Sho Kitagawa 2004 TV series, NTV
2005 Gokusen 2 (ごくせん 2005) Hayato Yabuki 2005 TV series, NTV. Ensemble cast
2005 Anego (アネゴ) Akihiko Kurosawa 2005 TV series, NTV
2007 Yukan Club (有閑倶楽部) Miroku Shochikubai 2007 TV series, NTV. Ensemble cast


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Shock Ensemble cast
2004 Dream Boy Ensemble cast
2004 Summary Ensemble cast
2006 Dream Boys Ensemble cast

Personal life[edit]

On February 2, 2012, Akanishi married actress Meisa Kuroki in a private ceremony.[43] Their first daughter, Theia (ティア),[44] was born on September 23, 2012.[45]

Jin Akanishi possesses a tenor vocal range.[46]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Nominated work Category Result
17th TV LIFE Drama award 2007 Yukan Club Best Actor Won
11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix 2008 Yukan Club Best Actor[38] Won
Anan Magazine 2008 Ranking 2008 Jin Akanishi Most Wanted Lover, Most Sexy, Most Wanted To Be Hugged By Won
TBS TV Station Program Countdown 2009 Jin Akanishi Most Trendy Male Artist Won
35th Hochi Film Awards 2010 Bandage Best Actor Nominated
Best Newcomer Nominated
World Music Awards 2013 Jin Akanishi World's Best Entertainer of the Year [47] Nominated
World Music Awards 2013 Jin Akanishi Worlds Best Male Artist [48] Nominated
World Music Awards 2013 Jin Akanishi Worlds Best Live Act [49] Nominated


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  2. ^ "Charts: Johnny's all around". Tokyograph. Retrieved May 31, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jin Akanishi Biography". Starpulse.com. 
  4. ^ "赤西仁の弟が映画デビュー!「礼保」から「颯太」に改名!" [Akanishi Reio to debut in movie!]. entameblog.seesaa.net (in Japanese). March 20, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Duet" (in Japanese). April 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Akanishi interview. (Interview). October 14, 2007. Oshareism on NTV. 
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  9. ^ "KAT-TUN赤西6月にも復帰か". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). Oricon. April 20, 2007. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
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  11. ^ "削除された「KAT-TUN・赤西仁、主演映画決定」の怪情報". Cyzo Woman (in Japanese). Livedoor. October 29, 2008. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
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  13. ^ "赤西"LANDS"、最初で最後のアルバムが初日首位". Oricon (in Japanese). January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  14. ^ "赤西仁、LANDS"当選倍率50倍"ラストライブに感慨深げ" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
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  18. ^ Claudia Xie (November 25, 2010). "3010 in the Future: Akanishi Jin concert review". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. 
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  21. ^ Liuyi (Luisa) Chen (November 11, 2011). "Jin Akanishi's "Test Drive" debuts successfully on US iTunes Charts". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. 
  22. ^ Eugenia Fung (January 24, 2012). "Jin Akanishi's Japonicana invades the US this Spring". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  23. ^ May Nguyen (February 24, 2012). "Here Comes Japonicana: an Interview with Jin Akanishi". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
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  25. ^ "Akanishi Jin's Japan tour canceled as penalty for recent marriage". Tokyograph. March 25, 2012. 
  26. ^ Jennifer Sherman (April 16, 2012). "Jin Akanishi Forced to Leave GTO Show Remake". Anime News Networks. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Akanishi Jin's comeback single chosen as first official song for 'Tokyo Girls Collection'". Tokyohive. 6Theory Media. August 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Akanishi Jin to release a new single in October". Tokyohive. 6Theory Media. August 31, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Akanishi Jin announces new album '#JUST JIN'". Tokyohive. 6Theory Media. October 2, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Akanishi Jin Leaves Johnny's Entertainment". Tokyohive. 6Theory Media. March 2, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  31. ^ Aysohmay (July 4, 2014). "Jin Akanishi Establishes Independent Label & Official Fan Club". JpopAsia. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ Arashiis1 (July 12, 2014). "Akanishi Jin to Release "Good Time" in August". JpopAsia. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  33. ^ "赤西 仁、ニューシングル「Good Time」リリース決定。自身のレーベルから". Barks (in Japanese). Global Plus. July 11, 2014. 
  34. ^ "ジャニーズ独立で遂に!赤西仁の「再デビュー」新曲がiTunesにて先行販売開始でファン喜び" (in Japanese). Gadget Tsushin. July 30, 2014. 
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  37. ^ "赤西仁、EDMとPOPと矛盾したギター". Barks (in Japanese). Global Plus. November 5, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
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  39. ^ "Jin Akanishi becomes Speed Racer". Tokyograph. May 12, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Akanishi to star in movie "Bandage"". Tokyograph. October 28, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2009. 
  41. ^ a b c "Akanishi Jin officially announced in "47 Ronin" cast". Tokyograph. April 14, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  42. ^ http://www.tokyograph.com/news/jin-akanishi-becomes-speed-racer/
  43. ^ Egan Loo (February 9, 2012). "Jin Akanishi and Meisa Kuroki Confirm February 2nd Marriage". Anime News Networks. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Jin Akanishi & Meisa Kuroki Reveal Photos With Their Baby For The First Time". JpopAsia. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Kuroki Meisa & Akanishi Jin's baby is born". Tokyohive. 6Theory Media. September 23, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  46. ^ Steven Mark (March 9, 2012). "Japanese singer Jin Akanishi launches his career in the U.S.". Honolulu Pulse. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 
  47. ^ World Music Awards 2013, retrieved on December 09, 2013
  48. ^ World Music Awards 2013, retrieved on December 09, 2013
  49. ^ World Music Awards 2013, retrieved on December 25, 2013

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