Masahiro Nakai

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Masahiro Nakai
中居 正広
Nakai Masahiro.jpg
Background information
Born (1972-08-18) August 18, 1972 (age 47)
Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
Occupation(s)Singer, actor, television host, song-writer
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1986 (1986)–present
LabelsVictor Entertainment
Associated actsSMAP

Masahiro Nakai (中居 正広, Nakai Masahiro, born August 18, 1972) is a Japanese television host, actor, news presenter, radio personality. He was the leader of the now defunct boy band SMAP,[1] which had been the best-selling boy band in Asia.[2] While working as a member of a boy band, he worked extensively as a television presenter, hosting many of his own talk shows, variety shows, music shows, news programs, and several Olympic games as a sportscaster. His conversational method and technique has been critically praised, establishing himself as one of the most well-respected, iconic hosts in the Japanese entertainment industry. He is the host of six weekly television programs and one radio program.

Since his first major role in the drama television series, Aji Ichimonme (1995), he has had a successful acting career, both in television and film. He has starred in many high-rated television series such as, Densetsu no Kyoushi (2000), Shiroi Kage (2001), Suna no Utsuwa (2004), and Ataru (2012), and a blockbuster film, Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai (2008).

He is credited for changing the Japanese entertainment industry, becoming the first non-comedian celebrity to have a career as a television host and expanding the capacity of a boy band. He is one of the wealthiest and highest-paid celebrities in Japan, identified as the highest tax payer in the Japanese entertainment industry by the Japanese National Tax Bureau in 2003.[3]

Early life[edit]

Nakai was born in Kugenuma, Fujisawa, Kanagawa as the youngest of three brothers. He is a big fan of baseball.[4]



In 1986, at age 14, Nakai auditioned to enter Johnny & Associates, a Japanese talent agency that recruits and trains young boys, preteens to teens, to become singers and members of boy bands. After five of the other band members auditioning individually the following year, in autumn 1987, twenty boys, from ages ten to seventeen, were put together into a group called The Skate Boys, which was initially created as backup dancers for a famous boy band, Hikaru Genji.[5] In April 1988, producer Johnny Kitagawa chose six out of the twenty boys to create a new boy band and named them "SMAP".[6] Nakai, being the oldest of the group, was chosen to become the leader.


In 1988, he made his acting debut in a television series, Abunai Shonen III, along with his band members. After several supporting roles, in 1995, he landed his first major role in a drama television series, Aji Ichimonme. Following its success, he established himself as a leading man, starring in many high-rated television series such as, Densetsu no Kyoushi (2000), Shiroi Kage (2001), Suna no Utsuwa (2004), and Ataru (2012). In 2008, he starred in a blockbuster film, Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai (2008).[7][8]


At age 16, he decided that he wanted a professional career as a television presenter while working as a member of a boy band and started to actively participate in variety programs with popular comedians. In 1996, he launched his first self-titled television program, Nakai-kun Onsen. In 1997, he became the youngest male presenter to host the Kohaku Uta Gassen, at age 25. He hosts three weekly prime-time television programs three late-night programs and one radio program, as of 2016; SMAPxSMAP since 1996, The Sekai Gyoten News and Kinyoubi no Sma tachi e since 2001, Nakai no Mado since 2012, Mi ni Naru Toshokan since 2013, and Momm since 2015. He occasionally hosts TV specials, such as Kohaku Uta Gassen, 27 Hour Television, and a ten-hour long music program, Ongaku no Hi.


From 1995, he started utilizing his knowledge on sports, serving as a sports commentator on Sunday Jungle, from 1995 to 2000. In 2004, he officially launched his career as a sportscaster, after becoming the host of the 2004 Summer Olympics and has hosted seven Olympic games during their television coverage on TBS.[9] He has also served as the play-by-play commentator for several baseball tournaments, such as the World Baseball Classics.

Other ventures[edit]


Product endorsement[edit]


Television (as personality)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994–2014 Waratte Iitomo! Himself
1995–2000 Sunday Jungle Himself (sports commentator)
1996–1998 Nakai kun Onsen Himself (host)
1996–2010 Utaban Himself (host)
1996–2016 SMAPxSMAP Himself (host, performer)
27 Hour Television Himself (host) TV special; 10 episodes
1996–2018 Mecha-Mecha Iketeru! Himself (host) TV special
1997–1998 D-1 Grand Prix Himself (host) TV special; 3 episodes
1997–2009 Kouhaku Uta Gassen Himself (host) TV special; 6 episodes
1998–2002 SataSma Himself (host)
2000–present Konya mo Nemurenai Himself (host) TV special; 17 episodes
2001–present The Sekai Gyoten News Himself (host)
Kinyoubi no Sma tachi e Himself (host)
2002 DeliSma Himself (host)
2002–2003 VS Nihon TV Himself (host) TV special; 2 episodes
2002–2004 Wakachuki Himself (host)
2003 Smao Himself (host)
2004–2013 Black Variety Himself (host)
2004–present Olympic Games Himself (host, newscaster)
2006–2009 Super Drama Festival Himself (host) TV special; 7 episodes
2007–present Baby Smap Himself (host)
World Baseball Entertainment Tamacchi Himself (host) TV special
2008–2012 The Dainenpyou Himself (host) TV special; 7 episodes
2008–present Nanaban Shoubu Himself (host) TV special; 8 episodes
2010 The Music Hour Himself (host)
2010–2013 Sekai wa Sugee Koko made Shirabemashita Himself (host) TV special; 5 episodes
2010–present CDTV Special Himself (host, performer) TV special: 6 episodes
Draft Kinkyu Namatokuban Okasan Arigato Himself (host) TV special; 6 episodes
Baseball Chin-play Ko-play Taisho Himself (host) TV special: 6 episodes
2011–2012 Coming Soon Himself (host)
Dramatic Living Room Himself (host) TV special; 3 episodes
2011–2013 Ayashii Uwasa no Atsumaru Toshokan Himself (host)
2011–present Ongaku no Hi Himself (host, performer) TV special; 5 episodes
Nakai no Kakezan Himself (host) TV special; 6 episodes
2012–2013 Kayoukyoku Himself (host)
2012–present Ashita e Concert Himself (host, performer) TV special; 5 episodes
Nakai no Mado Himself (host)
Nodojiman The World Himself (host) TV special; 13 episodes
2013–2014 Sound Room Himself (host)
2013–present Mi ni Naru Toshokan Himself (host)
Wide Na Show Himself (commentator)
2014–2015 Utage Himself (host, performer)
SmaShip Himself (host) TV special; 2 episodes
2015 NHK Nodojiman Himself (host)
2015–present Momm Himself (host)
Kami Sense Shio Sense Himself (host) TV special; 3 episodes
Utage Special Himself (host) TV special; 3 episodes
Sports Gogai Scoop Neraimasu Himself (host) TV special; 3 episodes

Television (as actor)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 Abunai Shonen III Himself Main role
1989 Jikan Desuyo Heisei Gannen Hiroshi Takarada
1991 Gakkou e Ikou Katsumi Matsuda
1992 Motto, Tokimeki wo Himself Guest appearance
1993 Aiyo Nemuranaide Mamoru Koga
Ude ni Oboeari 3 Yunosuke Shibutani
1995 Yonimo Kimyou na Monogatari Kazuyuki Oida Main role
1995–2013 Aji Ichimonme Satoru Ibashi Main role
1995 Kagayaku Kisetsu no Naka de Shinichi Higuchi
Kagayake Rintaro Himself Cameo; 2 episodes
1996 Dareka ga Dareka ni Koishiteru Kentaro Ishida Main role
Yonimo Kimyou na Monogatari Okada Main role
Shori no Megami Kohei Yoshimoto Main role
1996–2015 Naniwa Kinyudo Tatsuyuki Haibara Main role
1997 Boku ga Boku de Arutame ni Hayato Narise Main role
Ii Hito Himself Cameo appearance
Saigo no Koi Toru Natsume Main role
1998 Brothers Shinjin Fujiwara Main role
1999 Furuhata Ninzaburo vs SMAP Himself Main role
Good News Bunichi Kurosawa Main role
2000 Densetsu no Kyoushi Daisuke Kazama Main role
Sazae-san Man (voice) Cameo appearance; episode 4550
2001 Yonimo Kimyo na Monogatari Yoji Sagara Main role
2001–2003 Shiroi Kage Yosuke Naoe Main role
2004 Suna no Utsuwa Hideyoshi Waga Main role
X’smap Jyunsa Main role
Sazae-san Man at hospital (voice) Cameo appearance; episode 5456
2009 Konkatsu Kuniyuki Amamiya Main role
2010 Dokutomato Satsujin Jiken Himself Main role
2011 Sazae-san Himself (voice) Cameo appearance
2012–2013 Ataru Ataru "Chokozai" Inoguchi Main role
2013 Furuhata vs SMAP The Aftermath Himself Main role
2014 Oretachi ni Asu wa aru Himself Main role
Sazae-san Himself (voice) Cameo appearance; episode 7148
2015 Zeni no Sensou Tatsuyuki Haibara Guest appearance; 1 episode
Sazae-san Himself (voice) Cameo appearance; episode 7323


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Private Lesson Koji Kaneko Guest appearance
1994 Shoot Toshihiko Tanaka Main role
2002 Mohō Han Koichi Amikawa Main role
2008 Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai Toyomatsu Shimizu Main role
2010 Ototo Himself Cameo
2013 Ataru The First Love & The Last Kill Zai Inoguchi Main role
2016 Te wo Tsunaide Kaerouyo Koji Soga Guest appearance


Year Title Role Notes
1992–2009 Ohayo SMAP Himself
1993–1994 All Night Nippon Himself
1995–present Some Girl' SMAP Himself


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Saint Seiya Pegasus Seiya Main role
1992 Dragon Quest Main role
1993 Another Main role


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Work Result
1995 4th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Aji Ichimonme Won[10]
Best Newcomer Won[10]
1997 14th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Saigo no Koi Won[10]
2003 7th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actor Suna no Utsuwa Won[11]
2004 40th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won[10]
2008 21st Nikkan Sports Film Awards Best Actor Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai Won[12]
2009 TV Navi Spring 2009 Drama Awards Best Actor Konkatsu! Won[10]


  • Music Clamp: SMAP MIND Vol.1 (1997) ISBN 978-4-87728-151-9
  • Music Clamp: SMAP MIND Vol.2 (1997) ISBN 978-4-87728-160-1
  • Music Clamp: SMAP MIND Vol.3 (1997) ISBN 978-4-87728-176-2
  • Music Clamp: SMAP MIND Vol.4 (1997) ISBN 978-4-87728-177-9
  • Shifuku Darake no Nakai Masahiro Zokango Kagayaite (August 18, 2009) ISBN 978-4594060183
  • Shifuku Darake no Nakai Masahiro Zokango Kagayaite Part2 (December 11, 2012) ISBN 978-4594067335
  • Shifuku Darake no Nakai Masahiro Zokango Kagayaite Part3 (January 15, 2013) ISBN 978-4594067403
  • Shifuku Darake no Nakai Masahiro Zokango Kagayaite Part4 (April 18, 2014) ISBN 978-4594070342


  1. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (December 25, 2016). "Love 'em or hate 'em, the end of SMAP marks the end of an era". Japan Times. The Japan Times Ltd. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "SMAP". Japan-Zone. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  3. ^ "The Boy Bachelor". Japan Times. May 25, 2003. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "Nakai designated 'support captain' for Olympic baseball team". Tokyograph. March 21, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "SMAP". Japan-Zone. Retrieved December 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "SMAPの前身「スケートボーイズ」に所属していた豪華メンバーたち". Excite News. Nikkan Taishu. Archived from the original on January 27, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  7. ^ "Masahiro Nakai chosen for 'Shellfish' remake". Tokyograph. May 22, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Schilling, Mark (November 21, 2008). "Making a case for a 'war criminal'". Japan Times. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  9. ^ "中居正広、7大会連続五輪キャスター就任 テーマソングはSMAP名曲「ありがとう」". Oricon Style. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Drama Academy Awards". Tokyograph. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  11. ^ "Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix". Tokyograph. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  12. ^ "21st Nikkan Sports Film Awards". Tokyograph. December 4, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2010.

External links[edit]