Masahiro Nakai

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Masahiro Nakai
Native name 中居 正広
Born (1972-08-18) August 18, 1972 (age 43)
Origin Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan
Genres Pop
Occupation(s) Singer, actor, host
Years active 1987 (1987)–present
Labels Victor Entertainment
Associated acts SMAP

Masahiro Nakai (中居 正広 Nakai Masahiro?, born August 18, 1972) is a Japanese singer, actor and host for music events and variety shows such as the long-running music show Utaban. He is the leader of the Japanese idol group SMAP.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nakai was born in Kugenuma, Fujisawa, Kanagawa as the youngest of three brothers. He is a big fan of baseball.[2]



In 1987, Nakai entered the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates at the age of 14. He is the second person after Noriyuki Higashiyama that was allowed to skip auditions and directly enter the agency as a trainee, thus becoming known as one of the elite in Johnny's.[3]

Fans have expressed that "Nakai's inability to sing is somewhat of a national joke today in Japan".[4] Regardless of his lack of ability, Nakai has found eventual major success with SMAP as the group went on to become one of the most successful boy bands in J-pop history.[5]


In 2007, Nakai was given his first movie role in nearly five years, portraying a humble barber wrongfully sentenced to death as a war criminal in the movie Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai (私は貝になりたい I Want to Be a Shellfish?).[6][7]

In 2009, Nakai was given his first lead role in a drama that aired on Fuji TV's Monday 9:00 p.m. (JST) time slot in nearly eleven years.[8]

In 2015 for the new year of 2016, He made a big cameo in Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende's annual 24 Hours No Laughing game, The theme this year was 'No laughing detectives'.


Variety shows[edit]

In addition to co-hosting Utaban with Tunnels member Takaaki Ishibashi, he serves as a co-host on The! Sekai Gyōten News (ザ・世界仰天ニュース The World's Surprising News?), in which he shows a display of black comedy. As the leader of SMAP, Nakai has the greatest TV exposure of the SMAP members insofar as variety shows go.[citation needed]

In 2003, partly due to his involvement in very popular variety shows, Nakai was identified as the highest tax payer of any entertainer in Japan by the Japanese National Tax Bureau.[9]

Music events[edit]

As of 2009, Nakai has co-hosted NHK's annual Kōhaku Uta Gassen six times.

Since 2010, he hosted, [TBS]'s annual "CDTV Special! New Year's Eve Premier Live", 4 times in row.

Since 2011, co-hosted [TBS]'s annual [Ongaku no Hi] (“Music Day”). In 2001, it lasted a total of 7 hours and 40 minutes. In 2014, it was 13 hours long.

Other ventures[edit]


Between 1995-2000 Sport Caster on Sunday Jungel

Since 2006, Nakai has been the main newscaster for the Olympics coverage on TBS.[10]


In 2007, Senichi Hoshino chose Nakai as the official "support captain" for Japan's Olympic baseball team.[2]


TV dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Abunai Shōnen III Masahiro Nakai
1991 Gakkō e Ikō!
1992 Ude ni oboe ari3 Yunosuke Shibuya TV series
1995 Aji Ichimonme Satoru Ihashi
Kagayaku Toki no Naka de TV series
Kagayake! Rintaro
1996 Aji Ichimonme 2 Satoru Ihashi
Naniwa Kinyudo Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
Dareka ga Dareka ni Koishiteru Television special
Shōri no Megami Lead role
Naniwa Kinyudo 2 Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
1997 Aji Ichimonme SP Satoru Ihashi Lead role, television special
Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni Hayato Naruse Television special
Ii Hito Guest appearance
Saigo no Koi Toru Natsume Lead role
1998 Aji Ichimonme SP Satoru Ihashi Lead role, television special
Naniwa Kinyudo 3 Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
Brothers Shinjin Fujiwara Lead role
1999 Furuhata vs SMAP Nakai Masahiro Lead role, television special
Good News Lead role
Naniwa Kinyudo 4 Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
2000 Densetsu no Kyoshi Kazami Lead role
Naniwa Kinyudo 5 Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
2001 Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari: Otona Juken Lead role, part of the SMAP Special Edition
Shiroi Kage Yosuke Naoe Lead role
2003 Shiroi Kage Special Yosuke Naoe Lead role, television special
2004 Suna no Utsuwa Eiryo Waga Lead role
Tora to Lion to Gonin no Otoko Nakai Masahiro Co-star
2005 Naniwa Kinyudo 6 Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role
2009 Konkatsu! Kuniyuki Amamiya Lead role
2010 SMAP Ganbarimasu!! 2010 - 10 Hours Super Nakai Masahiro Lead role, part of the SMAP Special Edition
2011 Aji Ichimonme SP Satoru Ihashi Lead role, television special
2012 Ataru Ataru/Chokozai Lead role
2013 Aji Ichimonme SP Satoru Ihashi Lead role, television special
Ataru Special - New York kara no Chosenjo Ataru Lead role, TBS
2015 zeni no sensou Tatsuyuki Haibara Guest appearance, FujiTV
shin naniwa kinyudo Tatsuyuki Haibara Lead role, FujiTV


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Private Lessons 2
1994 Shoot Toshihiko Tanaka
2nd cinema Jack Chan Kin , "something strange? Part2" Corporate son Co-star
2002 Mohō Han Itikawa Hiroshi Lead role
2008 Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai Toyomatsu Shimizu Lead role
2010 Ototo Guest appearance
2013 ATARU The First Love & The Last Kill Ataru/Chokozai Lead role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Work Result
1995 4th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Aji Ichimonme Won[11]
Best Newcomer Won[11]
1997 14th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Saigo no Koi Won[11]
2003 7th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actor Suna no Utsuwa Won[12]
2004 40th Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actor Won[11]
2008 21st Nikkan Sports Film Awards Best Actor Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai Won[13]
2009 TV Navi Spring 2009 Drama Awards Best Actor Konkatsu! Won[11]


  1. ^ "SMAP". Japan-Zone. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Nakai designated 'support captain' for Olympic baseball team". Tokyograph. 2007-03-21. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  3. ^ "POP! Goes the MatsuJun (or Lessons Learned from a Japanese Idol)". Asia Pacific Arts; University of California in Los Angeles. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  4. ^ Darling-Wolf, Fabienne (2004). "SMAP, sex and masculinity: Constructing the perfect female fantasy in Japanese popular music". Popular Music and Society 27 (3): 358. doi:10.1080/03007760410001733189. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Leo (2009-04-23). "Naked romp shames SMAP boy band star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and puts media in spin". London: The Times. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  6. ^ "Masahiro Nakai chosen for 'Shellfish' remake". Tokyograph. 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  7. ^ Schilling, Mark (2008-11-21). "Making a case for a 'war criminal'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  8. ^ "Nakai, Ueto co-star in Fuji TV's next Monday night drama". Tokyograph. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  9. ^ "The Boy Bachelor". The Japan Times. 2003-05-25. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Nakai chosen as Olympics caster, SMAP sings theme". Tokyograph. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Drama Academy Awards". Tokyograph. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  12. ^ "Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix". Tokyograph. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  13. ^ "21st Nikkan Sports Film Awards". Tokyograph. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 

External links[edit]