SMAP

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This article is about the Japanese band. For other uses, see SMAP (disambiguation).
SMAP
Origin Japan
Genres
Years active 1988 (1988)—present
Labels Victor Entertainment
Website Johnny's net
Members Masahiro Nakai
Takuya Kimura
Goro Inagaki
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi
Shingo Katori
Past members Katsuyuki Mori

SMAP is a Japanese boy band, composed of Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori. The group was created in 1988 by music producer Johnny Kitagawa, founder of Johnny & Associates, originally as a six-piece with Katsuyuki Mori, until his departure from the band in 1996.[1][2] After making their debut in 1991, the group took the Japanese entertainment industry by storm, becoming the most successful boy band in Japanese history and the best selling band in Asia, often referred to as a "national treasure" and a "fortune and property of the country" in Japan.

SMAP is regarded as an iconic figure in Japan, after achieving an unprecedented level of success in numerous genres in the entertainment industry, including music, television, film, radio, and theater, as a group and individually. Being the first boy band to have a career for more than twenty years and to have extended its activities into various fields outside of music, SMAP is credited for changing the Japanese entertainment and music industry, in terms of prolonging longevity of boy bands and broadening careers by creating new opportunities for bands that followed. After starting out as a typical boy band, with a fan base predominantly female teens, they gradually transformed into a band with a wider audience, expanding their fan base to preteens, male adults, and even the elderly, after their success as actors and television personalities.

SMAP has released 55 singles, all have which reached the top 10 in the charts, 22 consecutive number one singles, and 33 number one singles in total. The band has had 24 top 10 albums and 14 number one albums. "The One and Only Flower in the World" , released in 2003, is the best selling single in the 21st century and the fifth best selling single in Japanese history[3] and has become the most recognized song in Japan, as it appears in text books used in school and children are taught to learn the song at a young age. Other best selling singles by the group include, "Beyond the Night Sky", "Lion Heart", "Shake", "Aoi Inazuma", which also have become the most popular songs in Japan. Throughout their career, the band has sold over 35 million records in Japan alone.[4][5]

In April 1996, the group launched their weekly variety show, SMAPxSMAP, which quickly gained high ratings and became one of the most famous television shows in Japan. The distinct and unique format and originality of the program has received widespread critical praise. The show ranked #1 in the annual household share ratings in 1996, 1997, 1999 - 2002, 2006, and 2016 making it the most watched television show in Japan. The episode aired in January 2002 is currently ranked #7 for the most watched Japanese variety show in history, with 34.2 million viewers. It is the eighth longest-running prime-time television program in Japan, as of 2016.

History[edit]

1986–1991: Formation[edit]

In 1986, Masahiro Nakai (age 14), 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. Later, in 1987, Takuya Kimura (age 15), Goro Inagaki (age 14), Katsuyuki Mori (age 13), Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (age 13), and Shingo Katori (age 10) auditioned individually and joined the agency. 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.[1] In April 1988, producer Johnny Kitagawa chose six out of the twenty boys to create a new boy band and named them “SMAP”.[6]

While the group continued to work as backup dancers for Hikaru Genji, they spent their early years as actors and television personalities. In 1988, they starred in a weekly variety program, Watto Atsumare, with Masataka Itsumi and Cha Kato and appeared regularly until the program ended several months later.[7] In 1989, they started to host their own music show, Uta no Big Fight and Pop City X, as well as appearing regularly on a variety program, Idol Kyowakoku, from 1989 to 1991.[8] In 1988, SMAP made their acting debut in a drama television series, Abunai Shonen III, playing themselves as the main role.[9] Their first self-titled variety program, SMAP no Gakuen Kids, aired from 1990 to 1991.[10]

1991–1993: Debut and early years[edit]

On January 1, 1991, the band held their first concert in Nippon Budokan and their first tour from March through April, before releasing any music.[11] On September 9, 1991, they released their first single, "Can’t Stop -Loving-" from Victor Entertainment, which peaked at #2 on the charts.[12] Subsequent singles, "Seigi no Mikata wa Ate ni Naranai", "Kokoro no Kagami", "Makeru na Baby" peaked in the top 10.[13] The band asked the fans to write the lyrics for "Kokoro no Kagami", and the one submitted by a fourteen-year-old girl was chosen. The song was later used in a Panasonic television commercial. They were invited to perform the song at Kohaku Uta Gassen, an annual music show, on December 31, 1991.[11]

At the same time of their debut, the Japanese music industry experienced what is frequently referred to as an "Idol Ice Age", where many of the popular music shows that aired weekly since the 1980s ended, and singers and bands lost a place to perform, resulting in scarce opportunities for TV exposure. Therefore, the agency decided to market the band through variety programs, where members participated in sketch comedies and game shows along with other television personalities. This non-mainstream marketing approach turned out to be a success, as the members' humorous and playful spirits on these shows propelled them to gain new fans, despite not having many musical performances on television since their debut.[14]

In 1991, the band's first self-titled television show, SMAP no Gakuen Kids, got renewed and changed to, I Love SMAP, which aired until 1996. From October 7, 1991, Inagaki launched his radio program, Stop The SMAP, still airing as of 2016.[15] From April 1992 to September 1995, the group appeared regularly on a weekly variety program, Yume ga Mori Mori. Due to the fact that this was the first time in Japanese history, that a band participated in a sketch comedy, this rare act attracted wide attention.[16]

On January 1, 1992, they released their first album, SMAP 001, which peaked at #14 and released another album, SMAP 002, in the same year and peaked at #6. Their singles, "Egao no Genki", "Yuki ga Futtekita", "Zutto Wasurenai", "Hajimete no Natsu", "Kimi wa Kimi dayo", "$10", and "Kimi iro Omoi", released from 1992 through 1994, all peaked at the top 10. They headlined three tours in 1992, from January to August. In 1993, they released their third and fourth album, SMAP 003 and SMAP 004, which peaked at #11 and #3 respectively. In 1992, Inagaki starred in a drama television series, Hatachi no Yakusoku, as the main role.[17] In 1993, Kimura starred in a drama television series, Asunaro Hakusho, which became a massive hit, with an average household share rating of 27% and 31.9% for the season finale. Kimura’s popularity soared and from then on, members of the band started their acting careers individually.

1994–1995: Breakthrough, "Gambarimashou", and SMAP 007 Gold Singer[edit]

In 1994, they released two albums, SMAP 005 and SMAP 006 Sexy Six, which both peaked at #2. On March 12, 1994, they released their 12th single, "Hey Hey Ookini Maidoari", which gave the band their first number one hit.[18] Subsequent singles, "Original Smile", peaked at #2 and "Gambarimashou", and "Tabun Alright", reached number one. The two number-one singles became the band's ninth and tenth best selling single. "Gambarimashou" saw a jump in sales from the previous singles, becoming one of the most popular songs in Japan and helped the band gain a broader fan base. From 2002, "Original Smile" appeared on text books used in music classes in high school.[19] From April 1994, Nakai and Katori started starring on the most famous Japanese daytime live television program, Waratte Iitomo. In October 1995, Kusanagi joined in and the three members appeared regularly for 20 years, Katori on Mondays, Nakai on Tuesdays, and Kusanagi on Fridays, until the program ended in 2014.[20] From July to August, the band held their first large-scale tour, Sexy Six Show, hitting the three major cities in Japan. The tour was released on VHS on November 11, 1994 and later on DVD on December 24, 2003.[21] On March 12, 1994, SMAP starred in their first film, Shoot!. The film aired on television for the first time on January 4, 2010, sixteen years after its release.

On January 1, 1995, the band released their first compilation album, Cool, which reached number one. The band gave an opportunity for fans to create the tracklist and the top fourteen of their favorite songs made it into the album. Singles released in 1995, "Kansha shite", "Shiyouyo", "Donna Iikoto", and "Oretachini Asu wa Aru", all reached number one on the charts, giving the band six consecutive number-one singles since "Gambarimasho" released in the previous year. "Oretachini Asu wa Aru" became the band's sixth best selling single. From January 1995, Kimura launched his weekly radio program, What’s Up SMAP, still airing as of 2016.[22] In January 1995, Nakai landed his first drama television series, Ajiichi Monme, which became an instant hit. Two seasons and four special episodes were made through 1995 to 2013.[23] While he started to pursue his acting career, he also started to work individually as a television personality and as a news presenter, carrying many of his own television programs, which lead to expanding the capacity of a boy band.

From April 1995, the group launched a variety show, SMAP no Gambarimashou, derived from the single released the previous year, which aired on weeknights. The content of the show changed daily. On Mondays they performed a theatrical act, Tuesdays were talk show-based with a musical segment, on Wednesdays they aired a short TV movie that they starred in, Thursdays were talk show-based with a guest celebrity, and on Fridays they performed sketch comedy. It is said that this program became a basic framework for SMAPxSMAP which started a year after the program began. From April 1995, Kusanagi and Katori launched their radio program, SMAP Power Splash.

From July 1, 1995, Nakai launched his weekly radio program, Some Girl SMAP still airing as of 2016. On July 7, 1995, they released their seventh album, SMAP 007 Gold Singer, which became their first number-one studio album and was certified double platinum. They launched a tour, Summer Minna Atumare Party. After this tour, the band started to be called one of the hardest bands to get concert tickets for. In August 1995, they hosted the annual telethon, 24 Hour Television, and raised 1.2 billion yen.[24] The band started performing at an annual music show, FNS Kayosai, and has become one of the main performers of the show since. From 2005, Kusanagi became the host of the show until he passed on the position to a comedian in 2014. In December 1995, they hosted a TV special, Sanma&SMAP, with comedian Sanma Akashiya and the program has become an annual event since for NTV, with 21 episodes aired.[25]

1996–1997: SmapxSmap, Lonvaca phenomenon, Mori's departure, and "Shake"[edit]

Main article: SMAPxSMAP

On March 3, 1996, they released their eighth album, SMAP 008 Tacomax, which peaked at #2, with over 500,000 copies sold. Singles "Munasawagi wo Tanomuyo" and "Hadaka no Osama" both peaked at #2 on the charts and was certified double Platinum. "Hadaka no Osama" became Mori's last single before his departure from the group. The band released another album, SMAP 009, on August 12, which reached number one. From March to April, they held their last tour as a six-piece.

Logo of SMAPxSMAP

On April 15, 1996, SMAP launched their self-titled variety show, SMAPxSMAP, commonly known as "SmaSma" (suma-suma), which was their first program on a prime-time slot.[26] Along with the band's ability to entertain and their humorous personalities, the distinct and unique format and originality of the program has received widespread critical praise. The show quickly gained high ratings, as it topped the rankings of annual household share ratings, dominating other existing popular programs. Consisting with an interview/cooking-based segment "Bistro SMAP", sketch comedy series, games, and musical performances by the group and with other musical guests, the program has had countless guests from around the world and is known for being the show with the widest range of guests in Japanese television history.[27] The show ranked #1 in the annual household share ratings in 1996, 1997, 1999 - 2002, 2006, and 2016 making it the most watched television show in Japan. The episode aired in January 2002 is currently ranked #7 for the most watched Japanese variety show in history, with 34.2 million viewers. It is the eighth longest-running prime-time television program in Japan and Fuji Television's second longest-running prime-time television program, as of 2016.[28]

From April to June 1996, Nakai, Kimura, and Katori each landed a role on a drama television series. Nakai played the main role in Shori no Megami, Kimura in Long Vacation, and Katori in Tomei Ningen. All three series were successful and gained high ratings. Among the three, Kimura's Long Vacation, which aired Monday nights, became a major success and a social phenomenon. Magazines and other media stated that, "women disappear from the city on Mondays", pointing out the large viewership and how intoxicating the show was for women in Japan. After Kimura playing a young pianist, there was a rapid increase of young men who started taking piano lessons. The cultural impact and influences of the show is commonly referred to as the "Lonvaca (ron-bake) phenomenon".[29] This was also a breakthrough for Kimura as an actor and helped him gain recognition and a more broad fan base.

In May 1996, Mori's departure from the band was announced.[1] Mori had always wanted to pursue Auto Racing, a Japanese version of motorcycle speedway, since he was a child. Due to the fact that there was an age limit of twenty-three for students who wanted to attend school for Auto Race, Mori left the band at age of twenty-two. On May 27, a special episode on SMAPxSMAP, dedicated to Mori, was created and aired SMAP's last performance as a six-piece. Nakai said that he had an emotional breakdown after Mori's leave, not wanting to continue as a five-piece, fearing that their popularity will plummet and that he wished for a breakup.[30][31]

On July 13 and 14, 1996, they hosted the annual twenty-seven hour long television special, FNS 27 Hour Television. On July 15, 1996, the band released their single, "Aoi Inazuma", the first material released after Mori's departure, which reached number one on the charts. Their subsequent single, "Shake" was released in November, also reaching number one. These two songs were both certified tripple platinum and became the band’s fifth and fourth best selling single, respectively. "Shake" has surpassed one million copies in terms of shipments. From July to August, they held their second stadium tour, Chomugendaisho, which was the first tour after Mori's departure.

On January 3, 1997, SMAP starred in a TV movie, Boku ga Boku de Aru Tame ni. In February 1997, they released their single, "Dynamite", which peaked at #3 in the charts and became the band’s eighth best selling single. In May 1997, they released their twenty-fifth single, "Celery", which was a cover of a song first released by singer-songwriter Masayoshi Yamazaki in 1996. Although Yamazaki's original version did not turn out to be a success, the cover version by SMAP peaked at #2 and was certified double Platinum. The band became a catalyst for the recognition of the song, turning it into one of the most popular songs in Japan.[32] On March 26, 1997, the band released its second compilation album, Wool, which peaked at #2.

From April to June, 1997, Kusanagi landed a role in a drama television series, Ii Hito. The band’s single "Celery" became the theme song for the show. Nakai and Kimura made a cameo appearance on the show. Nakai, Kimura, Inagaki, and Katori had played a main role in a television series and with Kusanagi starring in Ii Hito, all five members had become leading man-class actors.

From July to September, 1997, the band headlined their third stadium tour, SMAP 1997 Su, which was released through VHS and DVD on December 17, 1997. On August 6, 1997, the band released their tenth album, SMAP 011 Su, which peaked at #3 in the charts and was certified Platinum. From this point on, SMAP changed the pace of their releases from two albums per year to one, due to their busy schedules after experiencing individual success, as actors and television personalities. In September 1997, they released a new single, "Peace", which peaked at #2. On December 31, 1997, they performed at the annual music show, Kohaku Uta Gassen, for the seventh consecutive year. While they appeared as the performer for the previous six years, Nakai became the host of the show, which is the most prestigious job for television personalities. Nakai also hosted the program in 1998 and established himself as a highly regarded host on television.

1998–2000: "Beyond the Night Sky", "Lion Heart", and Shingo Mama phenomenon[edit]

On January 14, 1998, the band’s twenty-seventh single, "Beyond the Night Sky", was released. It reached number one on the charts and became the best selling single of that month and the second best selling single of that year.[33] The song became the band's second best selling single, with over 1,620,000 physical copies sold. From April 2002, it has appeared in text books used in music classes in middle school and has become one of the most recognized songs in Japan. Many artists have released a cover since its release. Its subsequent single, "Taisetsu", which was used as the theme song for Nakai's drama television series, Brothers, peaked at #4 and was certified platinum. On June 18, 1998, the band released their eleventh album, SMAP 012 Viva Amigos, which reached number one in the charts and became their tenth best selling album. The band headlined their fourth stadium tour, Viva Amigos. The tour was released through VHS on December 24, 1998 and later through DVD on December 6, 2000.

From October 1998, Nakai and Katori launched their own variety program, SataSma, which was created and aimed towards younger viewers and families. Katori starred in a segment titled, "Shingo Mama's Secret Breakfast", where Katori would cross-dress into a character called, "Shingo Mama", and visit houses to cook breakfast for children instead of their mother, allowing her to sleep in and rest in the morning. Katori started to used the phrase, "Ohha", a pun for "Ohayo", meaning "good morning" during the segment as his trademark phrase, which soon became a popular word used among children. Shingo Mama, the lovable character Katori played, and the phrase "Ohha", became a social phenomenon. As a result, SMAP incidentally brought in kindergartners and preteens to their fan base.

In January 1999, the band released "Asahi wo Mini Ikouyo", which peaked at #3 and its subsequent single, "Fly", peaked at #2 in the charts. On January 3, 1999, SMAP starred in a special episode on the popular Japanese detective-drama television series, Furuhata Ninzaburo, as themselves. The episode became the most watched program among all television series broadcast in 1999, with 32.3 million viewers, and the second most watched television program after an episode of SMAPxSMAP. On July 14, 1999, they released their twelfth album, Birdman SMAP 013, which peaked at #2. From July to September, they headlined their fifth stadium tour, SMAP 1999 Tour Birdman. The tour was released through VHS on December 22, 1999 and through DVD on January 1, 2000.

In August 2000, the band released their thirty-second single, "Lion Heart", which became a massive success with over 1,560,000 copies sold, reaching number one on the charts for two consecutive weeks.[33] The song was used as the theme song for Kusanagi's drama television series, Food Fight, and became the band's third best selling single. It quickly became one of the most recognized songs in Japan. In August 2000, Katori also released a single, "Shingo Mama’s Oha Rock", as Shingo Mama, which reached number one on the charts with over 1,300,000 physical copies sold and became a social phenomenon. James Brown guest starred in the music video, along with other Japanese celebrities who made a cameo appearance. In December 2000, the term "Ohha", used by Katori, won the Ryukougo Taisho, an annual traditional event of announcing words that describes that year.

On October 14, 2000, the band released their thirteenth album, S map SMAP 014. From this point on, SMAP changed the pace of their releases from one album per year to one album every two years, due to their busy individual schedules, as actors and television personalities. They headlined their sixth stadium tour, S map Tour, from October to November. The tour was released through DVD on March 14, 2001. The number of shows performed changed to one per day from this tour on. Kimura announced his marriage to singer Shizuka Kudo and her pregnancy during the tour. He had a press conference after the show at Saitama Super Arena.

2001–2003: Smap Vest, pamS, Drink Smap, "The One and Only Flower in the World", and MIJ[edit]

On March 23, 2001, the band released their third compilation album, Smap Vest, which reached number one in the charts. It sold one million copies during the first week of release and 1,800,000 copies in total, becoming the band’s best selling album.[34] Singles, "Smac" and "freebird", peaked at #3 and #1 on the charts respectively. "Smac" was released as the 10th anniversary single and lyrics from the band’s past singles were put together and made into a new song. On August 8, 2001, another compilation album, pamS (read as "Ura-suma"), was released just four months after Smap Vest. It was a compilation of fan-favorites and songs that the members personally like, that aren’t usually sang on tour or on television, such as B-sides and songs from past albums. From July to September, the band launched their seventh stadium tour, pamS Tour, which was also their first five-dome tour and the first five-dome tour ever headlined in history. SMAP invented the concept of a "five-dome tour", a tour that hits the five dome-shaped stadiums located in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Sapporo). Since the invention of this new touring style, the five-dome tour is now used by many artists in Japan, as a symbol of being a first-rank artist in the music industry. The pamS Tour was released through DVD on December 21, 2001.

Throughout the year 2001, all five members starred in their own drama television series individually. Nakai starred in Shiroi Kage, Kimura in a detective series, Hero, Inagaki in Onmyoji, and Kusanagi in Star no Koi. Katori starred in a special episode of a comedy-drama television series, Ohha wa Sekai wo Sukuu. All programs were that year's high-rated programs. Among all shows, Hero became a massive success, becoming the most highest rated television series in Japanese history, becoming the only television series to have all episodes marking above the 30% sharehold rate.

On July 24, 2002, they released their fourteenth album, SMAP 015/Drink! Smap!, which peaked at #2 in the charts and became the band's fourth best selling album. The title was derived from a superseded soft drink, called SMAP, which was sold in Japan in the 1980s. From July 23, 2002, a canned soft drink, Drink SMAP, was launched from Kirin Beverage Corporation. Six million drinks were shipped on the day of its release. From July to November, they launched their eighth stadium tour, SMAP 02 Drink Smap Tour, which became the largest tour in terms of attendance in Japanese history, with a total attendance of 1.2 million. They decided mainly to use soccer stadiums for their venues, as it was the year the 2002 FIFA World Cup was held. The tour was released through DVD on March 5, 2003. On September 21, 2002, they released their first video album, Clip! Smap!, a collection of ten music videos released since 1996.

On March 5, 2003, the band's thirty-fifth single, "The One and Only Flower in the World", was released. It reached number one in the charts for three consecutive weeks twice and for seven non-consecutive weeks. It became the best selling single in the 21st century and the fifth best selling single in Japanese history.[35] The song appears in text books used in school as children are taught to learn the song at a young age and has become one of the most recognized songs in Japan. It is the band's best selling single, with over 2,700,000 physical copies sold and their first record to sell over two million copies. In 2012, JASRAC, announced the winner of the JASRAC Award, in celebration of the award created in 1982. "The One and Only Flower in the World" received the award, as the copyrighted work in music with the highest paid royalties within the past thirty years.[36] After thirteen years from its release, the single has continued to chart in the Top 200, for a total of two-hundred non-consecutive weeks and is currently ranked second with the highest total weeks in the charts, after "Nada Soso" (232 non-consecutive weeks). The song has been covered and re-arranged by heavy metal guitarist Marty Friedman on his 2006 album Loudspeaker.

On June 25, 2003, they released their fifteenth album, SMAP 016/MIJ, which peaked at number one and became the band's eighth best selling album. From July to September, 2003, the band launched their ninth stadium tour, MIJ Tour. SMAP became the third artist in history to hold a concert at the International Stadium Yokohama, after B’z and Eikichi Yazawa. Due to scheduling conflicts with Katori's NHK Taiga drama, Shinsengumi, the number of shows were reduced compared to previous years, though the number of attendees surpassed one million two years in a row. The tour was released through DVD on December 24, 2003.

On December 31, 2003, SMAP appeared on the annual music show on NHK, Kohaku Uta Gassen, and performed "The One and Only Flower in the World". Out of the fifty-eight artists on the program, SMAP performed last for the first time, serving as the ootori, the most honorable and prestigious title in the Japanese music industry. SMAP became the first pop artist and the first group in history to perform as the ootori since the program started in 1951, as Kohaku is a historical and traditional music program and enka artists dominated the position of the ootori. As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of fifty-eight artists and was the most watched act of that year’s Kohaku, with a household share rating of 57.1%.

2004–2005: Individual activities and Sample Bang[edit]

Although all five members were able to work actively as a group while pursuing solo careers since their debut, in 2004, their solo projects were on a tight schedule compared to the previous years, as they all carried their own television programs and worked as actors, on both television and film. They were not able to rearrange their schedules to fit in a time to work as a group, besides the taping of their weekly television program, SMAPxSMAP. It was announced that the band did not have a single day that all five members could meet together, other than the taping of SMAPxSMAP, which happened four times a month, commenting on the impossibility of shooting a music video, promoting a record, or going on tour. This led to a musical hiatus in a way, although they continued to perform their songs every week in a musical segment on SMAPxSMAP. This was the first time in thirteen years that the band did not release any new material or go on tour. A song titled "Wonderful Life" was initially scheduled to become the band's new single in 2004. After finding out that the release was unlikely, they first decided to wait until the coming year but later had Inagaki release the song as a solo artist instead. He created a temporary stage name, &G, and made his solo debut in March and the single reached number one in the charts.

From August 2004, Nakai launched his career as a sportscaster and became the host of the Olympic games on TBS. "Susume Gold", a remix of their song form their fifteenth album, SMAP 016/MIJ, was scheduled to be released on September 8, 2004, as the band's thirty-sixth single but was later canceled. The song served as the official song of the 2004 Summer Olympics and used during its television coverage on TBS. In December 2004, SMAP aired a television special as an apology for their musical hiatus and to show the fans their appreciation for their support on the group's solo projects. By the end of 2004, their single, "The One and Only Flower in the World", released in 2003, had become the best selling single in the 21st century and the most recognized song in Japan. Although many assumed that the band would be performing the song again at Kohaku Uta Gassen as the ootori, as they did the previous year, the band declined their invitation from the show due to not releasing any new music in 2004. Kohaku experienced a fall in ratings that year and became the lowest-rated Kohaku in history and the absence of SMAP is thought to be the cause of this.

In January 2005, the band released their new single, "Tomodachi e Say What You Will", a cover of Eric Clapton's "Say What You Will", which reached number one in the charts.[37] Its subsequent singles, "Bang Bang Bakansu" and "Triangle", and their sixteenth album, Sample Bang!, released on July 27, 2005, all reached number one in the charts as well.[38] "Triangle" served as the official song of all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi, such as the 2006 Winter Olympics, the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. It was featured during the television coverage on TV Asahi from November 2005 through March 2006. Later in 2008, it was announced that "Triangle" would be appearing on text books used in music classes in school. From July to September 2005, they launched their tenth stadium tour, SMAP to Iku SMAP Sample Tour. SMAP became the first artist in history to perform at the National Olympic Stadium.[39] The tour was released through DVD on December 14, 2005.[40] In August 2005, Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut, played SMAP's hit single, "The One and Only Flower in the World", while flying in the Space Shuttle Discovery and it became the second Japanese song played in space. Noguchi also took with him, food that Inagaki, Kusanagi, and Katori cooked in Bistro SMAP, a cooking segment aired on SMAPxSMAP, when he made a guest appearance on the show. On August 27 and 28, Kusanagi and Katori hosted NTV’s annual telethon, 24 Hour Television, and raised one billion yen. It also became the highest-rated 24 Hour Television since its launch in 1978. On December 31, SMAP performed "Triangle" at Kohaku Uta Gassen. As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of fifty-four artists, and was the most watched act of that year’s Kohaku, with a household share rating of 48.6%.

2006–2010: Pop Up Smap, super.modern.artistic.performance, and We are SMAP[edit]

In April 2006, the band released their single, "Dear Woman",[41] and its subsequent single, "Arigato" in October, both which reached number one in the charts.[42] "Dear Woman" became one of the most recognized songs in Japan after being used in a shampoo commercial in Japan.[43] Katori designed the cover art for "Arigato". "Arigato" served as the official song of the 2016 Summer Olympics, ten years after its release, and was featured during its television coverage on TBS. On July 26, 2006, the band released their seventeenth album, Pop Up! SMAP, which reached number one and became their ninth best selling album.[44] From July to October, they launched their eleventh stadium tour, Pop Up! SMAP Tobimasu Tobidasu Tobisma Tour, and recorded an attendance of over one million, three years in a row.[45] The tour was released through DVD on December 6, 2006. On December 31, SMAP performed "Arigato" at Kohaku Uta Gassen as the ootori for the second time. As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of fifty-eight artists, and was the most watched act of that year's Kohaku, with a household share rating of 48.8%.

On January 18, 2007, "The One and Only Flower in the World" was chosen as one of Nihon no Uta Hyakusen, a collection of one-hundred songs, widely beloved in Japan and encouraged to be sung in future generations. On September 8, 2007, Kimura starred in Hero, a sequeal to the 2001-2005 detective television series of the same name. The film was a commercial success and became the highest-grossing film that year, as well as becoming the second highest-grossing film among all films starred by a SMAP member, after another one of Kimura's film, Howl's Moving Castle (2004). In December 2007, they released a new single, "Dangan Fighter", which reached number one in the charts.[46] It served as the official song of all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi and was featured during its television coverage. On December 31, SMAP performed "Dear Woman"and "Dangan Fighter" at Kohaku Uta Gassen. As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of fifty-four artists, and was the most watched act of that year’s Kohaku, with a household share rating of 43.9%. Their hit single from 2003, "The One and Only Flower in the World" was performed by all fifty-four artists together as the finale and marked 46.1%.

In March 2008, they released a double-A-side single, "Sonomama / White Message", which reached number one, giving them forty-two consecutive top ten singles.[47] Its subsequent single, "Sono toki, Kitto Yume janai", also topped the chart at number one, giving the band ten consecutive number ones.[48] It also served as the official song of the 2008 Summer Olympics and was featured during the television coverage on TBS. On September 24, 2008, they released their eighteenth album, super.modern.artistic.performance, which reached number one in the charts. Will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas produced the opening track, "Theme of 019", and also wrote and produced Katori's solo on the album, "Here Is Your Hit". SMAP became the second artist in history to have a total album sales of ten million, after Chage and Aska.[49] The band launched their twelveth stadium tour, super.modern.artistic.performance tour, from September to December. The tour was released through DVD on December 17, 2008 and later through Blu-ray on March 26, 2014. On December 31, SMAP performed "Sono toki, Kitto Yume janai" at Kohaku Uta Gassen.

On January 31, 2009, SMAP hosted a three-hour television special, SMAP Gambarimasu, and became an annual television program until 2013, with five episodes aired in total. In August 2009, they released a double-A-side single, "Sotto Kyutto / Super Star", which reached number one.[50] "Sotto Kyutto" served as the theme song for Kusanagi's high-rated drama television series, Ninkyo Helper, aired in 2009. "Super Star" served as the official song of all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi and was featured during its television coverage. The song was first aired through a live broadcast of the 2009 World Aquatics Championships. On December 31, SMAP performed "Sotto Kyutto" and "The One and Only Flower in the World" at Kohaku Uta Gassen.

On April 26, 2010, it was announced that SMAP would be hosting an event for their fans in China on June 13, 2010, as a part of Expo 2010 Shanghai China, though it was later canceled to avoid complications at the venue. Private companies in Shanghai released proposals stating that SMAP will be holding a concert at Shanghai as a pre-event of the expo, although they were later denied by Johnny & Associates and Victor Entertainment, informing the fans that they were ticket frauds.[51][52] The band was scheduled to have their concert on October 9 and 10, at the Shanghai Stadium but was canceled due to the deteriorating Sino-Japanese relations.[53] After many discussions and negotiations, the concert was indefinitely put on hold for safety reasons.[54]

On July 21, 2010, they released their nineteenth album, We are SMAP!, which reached number one, giving the band five consecutive number one albums.[55] The band launched their thirteenth stadium tour, We are SMAP, from July to September. It was announced that the total number of concert attendees throughout their career surpassed ten million.[56] During a show on September 16, SMAP announced that former band member, Mori, was in the audience. The tour was released through DVD on December 8, 2010 and later through Blu-ray on March 26, 2014 and reached number one on the charts.[57] From July 6, 2010, a bottled sports drink, called We Are SMAP was sold in Japan.[58] In August 2010, they released their new single, "This is love", which reached number one.[59][60][61] On December 19, 2010, they hosted their annual television special, Sanma&SMAP, with comedian Sanma Akashiya, which became the highest-rated program aired that year, with a household share of 23.4%. On December 31, SMAP performed "This is love" and "Triangle" at Kohaku Uta Gassen as the ootori for the third time and for the first time in four years.[62] As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of forty-four artists, and was the most watched act of that year’s Kohaku, with a household share rating of 48.9%

2011–2015: Smap Aid, Gift of Smap, and Mr.S[edit]

From March 2011, SMAP has shown active philanthropic support to the victims and regions affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. On May 4, their first and only digital single, "Not Alone" was released. It was initially scheduled to serve as the band's 46th single but was canceled and released digitally in light of the earthquake and the situation in Japan, considering circumstances in power shortages and distribution. One hundred yen per single downloaded was donated to the victims.[63] On July 23 and 24, 2011, Nakai hosted the annual twenty-seven hour long television special, FNS 27 Hour Television, for the fifth time. A special episode of "Bistro SMAP" was aired during the show, titled "Bistro SMAP On The Go". Four members flew to regions that were affected by the tsunami, Kimura and Inagaki to Iwate prefecture and Kusanagi and Katori to Fukushima. The four members cooked a total of one-thousand meals to the victims evacuated in these areas. Nakai started to host his own music show, Ongaku no Hi, meaning "music day", to show their support to all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The program is aired every summer since 2011.

On August 17, 2011, the band released their fifth compilation album, SMAP Aid, to support the people affect by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.[64] It was released for a limited- time period, until the end of December 2011. Two-hundred yen per album sold were donated to the victims. Fans were given the opportunity to create the track list by voting their favorite songs through the internet. The top fifteen songs made it into the album and the complete track list was announced on SMAPxSMAP on August 8, 2011.[65] The album reached number one and was certified platinum.[66] Although they released an album, concerts were not held in consequence of the earthquake and tsunami but the band decided to host fan meetings in various venues, including the Seibuen Theme Park in Saitama, where they had their first fan meeting on the day of the debut in 1991.[67] On September 16, 2011, their postponed concert in China was held in Peking.[68] The concert was released through DVD on December 7, 2011 and reached number one on the charts.[69][70] After several fan meetings at small venues, on November 12 and 13, they hosted another event, titled FanxFun Party, at Tokyo Dome, for those who couldn't make it to the previous ones held that year.[71] In December 2011, they released their new single, "Boku no Hanbun", which reached number one.[72] Throughout the year, a Chinese version of their hit singles, "The One and Only Flower in the World" and "Beyond the Night Sky" was released in China. On December 31, they performed "Not Alone" and "Original Smile" at Kohaku Uta Gassen, as the ootori, for the fourth time.[73]

In April 2012, they released their new single, "Sakasama no Sora", which reached number one in the charts.[74] The song was used as the theme song for NHK's television drama series, Umechan Sensei, and SMAP became the first artist under Johnny & Associates to contribute a song to an asadora.[75] On August 1, 2012, they released their new single, "Moment", and their twentieth album, Gift of SMAP, on August 8, both which reached number one in the charts.[76][77] "Moment" served as the official song of the 2012 Summer Olympics and was featured during the television coverage on TBS.[78] They launched their fourteenth stadium tour, Gift of SMAP Concert Tour, from August to December.[79] The number of attendees for one tour surpassed one million, for the first time six years. The tour was released through DVD on December 5, 2012 and later through Blu-ray on March 26, 2014 and reached number one in the charts.[80][81] On December 31, 2012, they performed "Moment" and "Sakasama no Sora" on Kohaku Uta Gassen, as the ootori, for the fifth time. They became the first artist in history to serve as the ootori three years in a row.[82] As artists are ranked according to the ratings during their performance, SMAP ranked number one out of forty-four artists, and was the most watched act of that year's Kohaku, with a household share rating of 49.4%.[83]

In February 2013, they released a double-A-side single, "Mistake! / Battery", which reached number one.[84] Subsequent singles, "Joy", which was used as the theme song for Katori's drama television series, Kasukana Kanojyo, and "Shareotsu / Hello", also reached number one.[85][86] From March 2013, SMAP launched a collaborative project with Universal Studios Japan titled, "Universal Studios Japan x SMAP: World Entertainment Project" and their song, "Battery" was used as background music for the attractions at the theme park.[87] On March 15, the day the attraction was launched, it created the longest queue and waiting time in USJ's history.[88] On April 8, 2013, they aired a two-hour long special episode of SMAPxSMAP, titled "SMAP's First Trip", celebrating their 25th anniversary. The program became the third most watched television program that year, with a 20% household share rating and became the twelfth most watched episode of SMAPxSMAP.[89] On September 9, a live episode of SMAPxSMAP titled "SMAP Nonstop Special" was aired. The band performed all the past fifty singles in order of their releases in a medley, live for forty-minutes, without any commercials. On September 30, SMAP hosted a TV special, SMAP Go! Go!, and aired a short sequel to Furuhata vs SMAP, a special episode of the famous detective-drama television series, Furuhata Ninzaburo, aired in 1999. The drama was shot in one take during the broadcast of the TV special and aired live as they shot it.[90] On December 31, they performed "Mistake" and "Joy" at Kohaku Utagassen as the ootori, for the sixth time, four years in a row.[91]

Cover art of Mr.S, their last album released in 2014.

On March 26, 2014, SMAP was invited to the NPB Tigers-Giants Union vs MLB All Star, held in celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the Japan Professional Baseball and sang the national anthem.[92] In April 2014, they released a double-A-side single, "Yes we are / Kokokara", which reached number one.[93] Their subsequent double-A-side single, "Top Of The World / Amazing Discovery", which served as the official song for Universal Studios Japan,[94] also reached number one.[95] On April 18, SMAP became the first ambassador of Universal Studios Japan and attended the ceremony with Prime Minister Abe and Caroline Kennedy.[96] It was announced that "Yes we are" will be used as the theme song for N Suta on TBS, a news program aired on weekdays,[97] and that "Kokokara" will be used as the theme song for the Nihonbashi's revitalizing project.[98] On July 26 and 27, 2014, SMAP hosted the annual twenty-seven hour long television program, FNS 27 Hour Television. Though Nakai had hosted the show several times on his own, it became the band's first time to host as a group.[99] A letter from former band member Katsuyuki Mori, who departed the group in 1996, was read during the show.[100] On September 3, 2014, they released their twenty-first album, Mr.S, which reached number one,[101] and the band launched their fifteenth stadium tour, Mr.S Saikou de Saikou no Concert Tour, from September to January 2015.[102] The tour was released through DVD and Blu-ray on December 10, 2014 and reached number one in the charts.[103][104] On December 31, they performed "Shake", "The One and Only Flower in the World", and "Top of the World" at Kohaku Uta Gassen.[105]

On January 25, 2015, Inagaki and Kusanagi hosted a TV special, Ichii jya nakutte Iijanai, together for the first time.[106] In February, SMAP released a double A-side single, "Kareinaru Gyakushu / Humor Shichauyo", which reached number one, bringing the total number of records sold to 35 million.[107] From April 29 to June 2, Kusanagi and Katori starred in a two-act play, Burst!, written by playwright Koki Mitani, at the Parco Theatre.[108] Their fifty-fifth single, "Otherside / Ai ga Tomarumadewa", was released on September 9, which was the same day the band’s debut single was released in 1991.[109] The single gave them their twenty-second consecutive number one singles.[110] On December 31, they performed "Triangle" and "Otherside" on Kohaku Uta Gassen. Throughout the year, SMAP became the representative for promoting and supporting NHK Nodo Jiman, in celebration of the program’s seventieth anniversary.[111][112] On November 10, it was announced that SMAP will be the representative and the official supporter for the Paralympic games until the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, in partnership with the Nippon Foundation.[113] Katori painted the forty-square feet mural in the building of the Nippon Foundation, which took about ten days to complete.[114]

2016: Breakup[edit]

On January 13, 2016, media reported that Nakai, Inagaki, Kusanagi, and Katori were in talks to leave Johnny & Associates agency, inevitably leading to a disbandment of SMAP.[115] On January 18, such a breakup was denied later by the group through a live broadcast of their weekly variety program, SMAPxSMAP, issuing an apology for worrying the fans and creating chaos in the Japanese entertainment industry.[116] On August 14, at 12:50am, Johnny & Associates announced through a press release that SMAP will disband on December 31, 2016.[117]

Members[edit]

Masahiro Nakai was born on August 18, 1972 (age 43), and raised in Fujisawa, Kanagawa. After auditioning to Johnny & Associates in 1986, he became the leader of SMAP at age fifteen. From the mid 1990s, while working as the member of the band, utilizing his upbeat and talkative personality, he worked extensively as a television presenter, hosting many of his own talk shows, variety shows, music shows, and news programs. His ability to bring out a different side of celebrity guests has been highly acclaimed. His conversational method and technique has been critically praised by comedians and other talk show hosts, establishing himself as one of the most well-respected, iconic hosts in the Japanese entertainment industry. Wearing a hat has become his signature look, as he often wears one on television while he hosts his programs and also during the band’s performances. He currently hosts six weekly television programs and one radio program. In 2004, he launched his career as a sportscaster and has become the host of the Olympic games on TBS. Since his first major role in the drama television series, Aji Ichimonme (1995), he has also 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).

Takuya Kimura was born on November 13, 1972 (age 43), and raised in Chiba. After auditioning to Johnny & Associates in 1987, he became a member of SMAP at age fifteen. Commonly referred to as Kimutaku, his charismatic appeal has established himself as an iconic figure in Japan, influencing Japanese culture and language, and making him one of the most successful celebrities in Japanese history. In the 1990s, Kimura's hairstyle was copied by men in Japan and clothes and fashion items used by him on television and film have become instant hits, as men often copy his wardrobe and style. He created his own slang, "bucchake" (lit. "to be honest"), which is now commonly used in daily conversations in the Japanese language. He rose to prominence after starring in a drama television series, Long Vacation (1996), and took the entertainment industry by storm. He was given the title, "The King of Ratings", as his subsequent television series became the most highest-rated programs in history and each show becoming a social phenomenon as they aired. Five of his most successful television series, Hero (2001), Beautiful Life (2000), Love Generation (1997), Good Luck (2003), and Long Vacation (1996) are ranked in the top ten highest-rated television series in Japanese history. He also starred in several blockbuster films, such as, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Bushi no Ichibun (2006), and Hero (2007). He married singer Shizuka Kudo in December 2000. They have two children, Cocomi, born on May 1, 2001, and Mitsuki, born on February 5, 2003.

Goro Inagaki was born on December 8, 1973 (age 42), and raised in Itabashi, Tokyo. After auditioning to Johnny & Associates in 1987, he became a member of SMAP at age fourteen. His mysterious character, gentlemanlike manner, and calm and courteous nature, has given the band a distinct uniqueness that separates them from other boy bands. After his first major role in the drama television series, Hatachi no Yakusoku (1992), he has starred in many television series, such as, Sommelier (1998), Kindaichi Kosuke series (2004-2009), Tragedy of M (2005), and Busu no Hitomi ni Koi shiteru (2006). Since 1996, he has also pursued his acting career by working in theatre. From 2010, in order to broaden his acting career, he gradually started to appear in television series and films through supporting roles rather than limiting his work as a leading actor. As a television personality, he currently hosts two television programs and two radio programs.

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi was born on July 9, 1974 (age 42), and raised in Kasukabe, Saitama. After auditioning to Johnny & Associates in 1987, he became a member of SMAP at age thirteen. The laid-back, free-spirited member, has worked in various fields in the entertainment industry, contributing his versatility to the band. He currently hosts two television programs and two radio programs. Contrary to his good-natured personality, he has astounded and entertained the audience by his striking performance in acting, frequently playing strong, manly characters, as well as his stage performance. With his excellent reflexes and physical ability developed during his childhood through gymnastics class, he often performers acrobatics, such as backhand springs and backflips, during concerts. Since his first major role in a television series, Ii Hito (1997), his acting has received critical acclaim and quickly established himself as a notable first-rate actor working simultaneously in television, film, and theatre. He has starred in many high-rated television series, such as Team (1999-2003), Boku no Ikiru Michi (2003), Boku to Kanojyo to Kanojyo no Ikiru Michi (2004), Ninkyo Helper (2009), Specialist (2013-2016) and blockbuster films, Yomigaeri (2003), and Nihon Chinbotsu (2006).

Shingo Katori was born on January 31, 1977 (age 39), and raised in Yokohama, Kanagawa. After auditioning to Johnny & Associates in 1987, he became a member of SMAP at age eleven. The lovable "little brother" of the group and the life of the party, has used his sense of humor and playful spirit to become a successful television personality, as he currently hosts three variety shows and two radio programs. He was the catalyst for incidentally bringing young children, from kindergartners to preteens, into the band's fan base after portraying an iconic character, Shingo Mama, in his variety program marketed to children and family, which created a social phenomenon in the year 2000. Often called the "nation’s little brother", he has also gained support from elders, both male and female, as the public have watched him grow up for over a quarter of a century. With his creative and artistic talent, he has taken the role as the director in concert production, responsible for the staging and structuring of all the band’s concert tours, and sometimes designing the cover art for the band’s records. He has also been in charge of the mural at the Nippon Foundation, to support the Paralympics. Since his first major role in a drama television series, Tomei Ningen (1996), he has also had a successful acting career, starring in many high-rated television series, such as Hito ni Yasashiku (2002), Saiyuki (2006), and Bara no nai Hanaya (2008).

Other ventures[edit]

Philanthropy[edit]

SMAP is regarded as the most dedicated, influential philanthropist in the Japanese entertainment industry.[118] They have actively offered philanthropic support especially to the victims and regions affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. On August 26 and 27, 1995, SMAP hosted NTV’s annual telethon, 24 Hour Television, and raised 1.1 billion yen. On August 27 and 28, 2005, Kusanagi and Katori hosted the 24 Hour Television, again, and raised one billion yen.

In 2011, after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, they bought a 30-second television commercial block in their weekly television program, SMAPxSMAP, to air a commercial on the information about the Japanese Red Cross Society and a message from the band members encouraging people to donate. Rather than reusing the ones aired in the past, they have been reshooting the commercial every time they have a taping and have them aired every week at the end of the program. Since March 2011, they have actively worked as the members of Marching J, a charity organization established by their agency, Johnny & Associates. Each band member have kept the amount of donations made individually confidential but the media have reported that the total amount surpasses five-hundred million yen. Nakai has revealed in an interview that he donates money every year in March.

On May 4, 2011, their first and only digital single, "Not Alone" was released. Initially scheduled to serve as the band's 46th single, it was later canceled and released digitally in light of the earthquake and the situation in Japan, considering circumstances in power shortages and distribution. One hundred yen per single downloaded was donated to the victims. On July 23 and 24, 2011, Nakai hosted the annual twenty-seven hour long television special, FNS 27 Hour Television, for the fifth time. A special episode of "Bistro SMAP", a cooking segment on SMAPxSMAP, was aired during the show, titled "Bistro SMAP On The Go". Four members flew to regions that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami, Kimura and Inagaki to Iwate prefecture and Kusanagi and Katori to Fukushima. The four members cooked a total of one-thousand meals to the victims evacuated in these areas. Nakai started to host his own music show, Ongaku no Hi, meaning "music day", to show their support to all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The program is aired every summer since 2011.[119] On August 17, 2011, the band released their fifth compilation album, SMAP Aid, to support the people affect by the earthquake and tsunami. Two-hundred yen per album sold were donated to the victims. Being that it was the band's twentieth anniversary, many predicted a tour after the release of the album but the band canceled it due to power shortage in Japan that year.

After the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, the content of their 30-second long commercial changed, adding a new message by the band members toward the victims in Kumamoto. On April 24, ten days after the earthquake, Nakai made an unannounced surprise visit to an elementary school in Kumamoto, used as a shelter for the evacuees.[120] During the few hours of his stay, he cooked and served meals to the victims and delivered massage chairs for the elderly, after hearing that many were suffering from venous thrombosis. On May 7, Nakai made another unannounced surprise visit to a school in Kumamoto. He delivered portable video games to children and a truck-load of Baskin Robbins ice cream with refrigerator vans, as Japan had experienced a sudden rise in temperature that week and none of the schools had refrigerators or freezers to keep beverages and food in.[121] Although Baskin Robbins does not deliver using refrigerator vans to mountain areas, exceptions were made, after Nakai made a call. On May 15, Nakai and Katori made an unannounced surprise visit together to a school in Kumamoto.[122] They cooked and served meals to the evacuees and spent time with children. On June 12, Kimura made a visit to Kumamoto and cooked and served meals as well.[123]

Endorsements and partnerships[edit]

SMAP is one of the highest paid celebrities for endorsements and commercial appearances in Japan, with an estimated contract of one hundred million yen per commercial. Since 1991, they have had over fifty contracts with Japan's largest firms, both as a group and individually. Among the firms and products they have endorsed in the past, the most recognized are NTT, SoftBank, Dole, Meiji, Ajinomoto, and Suntory Boss Coffee. From 1991 to 1992, they contributed "Seigi no Mikata wa Ate ni Naranai" and "Kokoro no Kagami" to Panasonic's television commercial. From 1992 to 1993, their songs "Egao no Genki", "Hajimete no Natsu", and "Kimi wa Kimi dayo" were used as the theme song for anime series, Hime-chan's Ribbon. From 1994 to 1995, "Original Smile" and "Shiyouyo were used in Kimura's television commercial for Oronamin C Drink. In 1996, "Munasawagi wo Tanomuyo" was used in Kimura's commercial for Kanebo Cosmetics. In 1999, "Fly" was used in the television commercials for NTT. From 2005 to 2006, "Triangle" served as the official song for all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi.

Since 2004, they have contributed their material to serve as the official song for the Olympics. Their song "Susume" was used for the 2004 Summer Olympics, "Kono Toki, Kitto Yume Jyanai" for the 2008 Summer Olympics, "Moment" for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and "Arigato" for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and were featured during the television coverage on TBS.[124] In 2006, "Triangle" served as the official song for the 2006 Winter Olympics. In 2006, the band contributed their song "Dear Woman" to Shiseido's shampoo commercial and led it to become number one in the Top 10 Best Commercials of 2006.[43] In 2007, their debut single, "Can’t Stop Loving" was used in Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s television commercial for Pocari Sweat, after sixteen years since its release. In 2008, "Dangan Fighter" served as the official song for all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi. From 2009, they signed a deal with SoftBank. On August 1, the first commercial aired on 124 commercial broadcast television networks and five digital billboards located in Japan at the same time at 6:59pm. On December 29, 2011, a 330-second long commercial aired, setting a record for the longest television commercial aired in Japan.[125] In 2009, "Super Star" served as the official song for all sports broadcasts on TV Asahi. In 2012, they contributed "Sakasama no Sora" to NHK's television series, Umechan Sensei.[75]

From 2012, SMAP signed a partnership deal with 7-Eleven. While appearing in 7-Eleven's television commercials, the product development department collaborated with Bistro SMAP, a cooking segment in the band’s weekly television program, SMAPxSMAP, where the band members cook food for celebrity guests. After airing Bistro SMAP for over fifteen years, the project was launched in response to requests from viewers and fans who wanted to try the food cooked by SMAP. Each member created their own food, such as sandwiches, snacks, noodle soups, and bentos, to sell at the 7-Eleven stores in Japan. The bentos were collectively called "Bistro Bentos". The first set of menus were sold in 2012 and a new set was sold every year until 2015. In 2013, they signed a deal with Suntory's Boss Coffee, starring in television commercials with Tommy Lee Jones.[126] In 2013, they collaborated with Sanrio and contributed their song "Hello" in celebration of Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary.[127] In 2014, they became the ambassador for Universal Studios Japan and contributed their song "Battery" to play as the back-ground music for the attractions at the theme park. "Amazing Discovery" served as the official song for Universal Studios Japan.[94] The same year, their song "Kokokara" was used as the theme song for Nihonbashi’s Revitalization Project. In December 2014, they contributed "Humor Shichauyo" to be the official song for Shidax's Heart&Smile Project launched to help children in Africa and fifty yen per single sold was donated.[128] From 2015, "Ai ga Tomarumade wa" was used in Katori’s television commercial for JA Group.[129] From November 2015, SMAP became the representative and the official supporter for the Paralympic games until the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, in partnership with the Nippon Foundation.[114]

Discography[edit]

Main article: SMAP discography

Studio albums

Compilation albums

Filmography[edit]

Television (as personality and performer)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Wa tto Atsumare Themselves
1989 Uta no Big Fight Themselves (host)
1989-1991 Idol Kyowakoku Themselves (host)
1990-1991 SMAP no Gakuen Kids Themselves (host)
1990-1999 Shinshun Kakushigei Taikai Themselves (host, guest)
1991-1996 I Love SMAP Themselves (host)
1991–present Music Station Themselves (guest performer) Guest appearance; 124 episodes
Kohaku Uta Gassen Themselves (guest performer) Guest appearance; 23 episodes
1992-1995 Yume ga Mori Mori Themselves
1993-1996 Kiss shita SMAP Themselves (host)
1993-1997 Idol On Stage Themselves (host, performer)
1993–present Music Station Super Live Themselves (guest performer) Guest appearance; 20 episodes
1994-1996 Magical Zunou Power Themselves
1994-2014 Waratte Iitomo Themselves
1995 SMAP no Gambarimashou Themselves (host)
24 Hour Television Themselves (host) Telethon
1995-1997 SMAP Toshikoshi Themselves (host, performer) TV special; 3 episodes
1995-2015 FNS Kayousai Themselves (guest performer) Guest appearance; 27 episodes
1995–present Sanma&SMAP Themselves (host) TV special; 21 episodes
1996 Super TV: SMAP 120 Days Themselves Documentary
FAN SMAP Special Themselves (performer) TV special; 1 episode
Bang! Bang! Bang! Themselves
1996-2014 27 Hour Television Themselves (host) TV special; 10 episodes
1996-2010 Utaban Themselves (host, performer)
1996–present SMAPxSMAP Themselves (host, chef, performer)
1998-2002 SataSma Themselves (host)
2000 SMAP Secret X’mas Party Themselves (host) TV special; 1 episode
2002 DeliSma Themselves (host)
2003 Smao Themselves (host)
2003-2006 Best Artist Themselves (guest performer) TV special; 3 episodes
2005 24 Hour Television Themselves (host) Telethon
2007–present Baby Smap Themselves (host)
2009 Fuji TV 50th Anniversary Themselves (host) TV special; 1 episode
2009-2013 SMAP Gambarimasu Themselves (host) TV special; 5 episodes
2010–present CDTV Special Themselves (host, performer) TV special: 6 episodes
2011 Professional Themselves Documentary
2011–present Ongaku no Hi Themselves (host, performer) TV special; 5 episodes
2012–present FNS Uta no Natsumatsuri Themselves (host, performer) TV special; 4 episodes
Utage Themselves (host, performer)
Ashita e Concert Themselves (host, performer) TV special; 5 episodes
2013 SMAP Go! Go! Themselves (host) TV special; 1 episode
2014 TV Tokyo 50th Anniversary Themselves (host) TV special; 1 episode
2014-2015 SmaShip Themselves (host) TV special; 2 episodes
2015 Bokura no Ongaku Our Music Themselves (host, performer) TV special; 1 episode
NHK Nodojiman Themselves (host)

Television (as actors)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988-1989 Abunai Shonen III Themselves Main role
1992 Motto, Tokimeki wo Themselves Guest appearance; TV special
1997 Boku ga Boku de Arutame ni Nakai-Hayato Narise
Kimura-Riki Kurosawa
Inagaki-Masami Kishita
Kusanagi-Etsuro Mizoguchi
Katori-Satoshi Ozu
Main role; TV special
1999 Furuhata Ninzaburo vs SMAP Themselves Main role; special episode of Furuhata Ninzaburo
2001 Yonimo Kimyo na Monogatari Nakai-Yoji Sagara
Kimura-Naoki Yunomoto
Inagaki-Katsuya Tashiro
Kusanagi-Kenichiro Honda
Katori-Ichiro Tadano
Main role; TV special
2004 X’smap Nakai-Jyunsa
Kimura-Ajii
Inagaki-Junior
Kusanagi-Master
Katori-Otto
Main role; TV special
2010 Dokutomato Satsujin Jiken Themselves Main role; TV special
2013 Furuhata vs SMAP The Aftermath Themselves Main role; TV special; sequel to Furuhata Ninzaburo vs SMAP
2014 Oretachi ni Asu wa aru Themselves Main role; TV special
Sazae-san Themselves (voice) Episode 7148: "Recipe for a Smile"

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Shoot! Nakai-Toshihiko Tanaka
Kimura-Yoshiharu Kubo
Inagaki-Keigo Umahori
Mori-Kenji Shiraishi
Kusanagi-Atsushi Kamitani
Katori-Kazuhiro Hiramatsu
Main role

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Saint Seiya Nakai-Pegasus Seiya
Kimura-Kaio Poseidon / Julian Solo
Inagaki-Pheonix Kazuki
Mori-Kignas Hyoga
Kusanagi-Dragon Shiryu
Katori-Andoromeda Shun
Main role
1992 Dragon Quest Main role
1993 Another Main role

Radio[edit]

Year Title Member(s) Role Notes
1991–present Stop the SMAP
Inagaki
Himself
1995–present Some Girl SMAP
Nakai
Himself
1995–present What’s Up SMAP
Kimura
Himself
1995–present SMAP Power Splash
Kusanagi, Katori
Themselves
1996–present Ohayo SMAP
Inagaki, Kusanagi, Katori
Themselves

Commercials[edit]

Year Company Product Featured song(s) Notes
1989 Tombow School uniform
1989 Morinaga Milk Industry Soft drink beverage
1991-1992 Panasonic Fax machine "Seigi no Mikata wa Ate ni Naranai",
"Kokoro no Kagami"
1992 Word processor "Kiss of Fire"; "100-man no Kotoba"
1993 Phone
1992 Lotte Ice cream
1992 Cereal Chocolate
1992 Vacation Chocolate
1993-1994 Snack
1994-1995 Gum
1995 Calbee Potato chips "Donna Iikoto" Contributed a song but the band does not appear in the commercial
1995-1996 Ajinomoto Knorr soup
1995-1999 NTT
1999-2009 NTT East Corporation
2006-2008 NTT Flet's "Sonomama"
1995 Acecook Ex noodle
1996 Super cup noodle
1996 Yakisoba
1996-1997 NTV baseball "Mienai Mono"
2000 Enix / Square Enix Dragon Quest VII
2001-2003 ANA
2004 Enix / Square Enix Dragon Quest VIII
2005 Tokio Marine Nichido Car insurance A 90-second commercial that aired once during a live broadcast of
a soccer game
2005-2006 Mitsui Fudosan Shibaura Island Aired in the Kanto region only
2006 Shiseido Shampoo "Dear Woman" Contributed a song but the band does not appear in the commercial
2006-2007 Recruit Hot Pepper Magazine
2007-2008 Otsuka Pharmaceutical Pocari Sweat "Can't Stop -Loving-"
2009-2015 SoftBank "Love & Peace Inside"
2009 Enix / Square Enix Dragon Quest IX
2009-2013 SoftBank Cell phone
2010 iPhone 3G
2010 Lotte Gum "Glamorous"
2011 AC Japan
2011 Dole Food Company Bananas
2012 Enix / Square Enix Dragon Quest X
2012-2013 Seven & I Holdings Sogo & Seibu retail
2012-2013 Summer and winter gifts
2012-2016 Seven Premium
2013 SoftBank UULA Music streaming service "Tenohira no Sekai"
2013-2014 Suntory Boss canned coffee
2014-2016 Universal Studios Japan Wizarding World of Harry Potter "Amazing Discovery"

Concert tours[edit]

  • Spring SMAP 91 (March – April 1991)
  • SMAP 92 Yattekimashita Oshogatsu (January 1992)
  • Spring SMAP 92 (March – April 1992)
  • SMAP 92 Summer Concert (August 1992)
  • SMAP Live (November 1992)
  • New Year Concert (January 1993)
  • Spring SMAP 93 (March – April 1993)
  • New Year Concert (January 1994)
  • Spring Concert (April – May 1994)
  • Sexy Six Show (July – August 1994)
  • Cool January (January 1995)
  • Cool Spring (March – April 1995)
  • Summer Minna Atumare Party (July – September 1995)
  • Winter Concert (December 1995 – January 1996)
  • Spring Concert (March – April 1996)
  • Chomugendaisho (July – August 1996)
  • SMAP Subarashii Sutekina Sugoizo (July – September 1997)
  • Concert Tour 1998 Viva Amigos (July – September 1998)
  • SMAP 1999 Tour Birdman (July – September 1999)
  • SMAP 00 S map Tour (October – November 2000)
  • SMAP 01 pamS Tour (July – September 2001)
  • SMAP 02 Drink Smap Tour (July – November 2002)
  • SMAP 03 MIJ Tour (July – September 2003)
  • SMAP Sample Tour (July – September 2005)
  • Pop Up SMAP Tour (July – October 2006)
  • super.modern.artistic.performance tour (September – December 2008)
  • We are SMAP Tour (July – September 2010)
  • Gift of SMAP Tour (August – December 2012)
  • Mr.S Saiko de Saikou no Concert Tour (September 2014 – January 2015)

Awards[edit]

Japan Gold Disc Awards[edit]

SMAP won fourteen awards from Recording Industry Association of Japan's annual music awards ceremony, the Japan Gold Disc Awards.[130][131][132]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1992 SMAP Best 5 New Artist Award Won
1995 Cool Album Award Won
Sexy Six Show Music Video Award Won
1996 SMAP 007: Gold Singer Album Award Won
1997 SMAP 008: Taxomax Album Award Won
1999 "Yozora no Mukō" Song of the Year (Special Award) Won
2001 "Lion Heart" Song of the Year Won
2002 SMAP Vest Pop Album of the Year Won
2004 "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" Song of the Year Won
Smap! Tour! 2002! Music Video of the Year Won
Live MIJ Won
2006 SMAP to Icchatta! SMAP Sample Tour2005 Won
2007 Pop Up! SMAP Live Best Music Videos Won
2009 SMAP 2008 Super Modern Artistic Performance Tour Won

Publications[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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