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In 1987, at age 13, Kusanagi 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 from 1986 through 1987, 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. In April 1988, producer Johnny Kitagawa chose six out of the twenty boys to create a new boy band and named them "SMAP".
He had the lead role in the movie, Yomigaeri(黄泉がえり?) (January 18, 2003; a Japan public presentation). Moreover, his Korean-language-Japanese-produced movie Hotel Venus(ホテルビーナス,Hoteru Bīnasu?) (March 6, 2004 Japan public presentation) was submitted to the Moscow International Film Festival on June 25, 2004.
On April 23, 2009, at around 3 a.m., Kusanagi was arrested on suspicion of public indecency at Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo. On April 24, 2009, he held a press conference accompanied by his attorney and apologized for his misbehavior. Prosecutors decided not to indict Kusanagi because of his apology. He took a one-month-long hiatus and returned to the taping of SMAPxSMAP on May 28, 2009.