Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sympathy For Busted Japan Pop Star

Japan has very conservative standards compared to the US in what it demands of its entertainers. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi is a Japanese megastar, a member of the Japanese boy band "SMAP". Recently, Japan was rocked by the news of his arrest for being caught naked, running and screaming in a Tokyo park in the wee hours of the morning last week. When police stuffed him into a patrol car he was screaming "What's wrong with being naked!?" Immediately, advertising gigs evaporated. His record company rushed into damage control mode, issuing apologies and reevaluating his contracts. He became as commercially toxic as O.J. Simpson. Eventually, he gave a tearful press conference in which he abjectly apologised for his drunken behavior.

Now, it appears that the tide is starting to turn. The public seems to view his brush with the law as a lapse of sanity rather than a lapse of moral judgement. His fans are more upset that he is being raked over the coals than at his alleged inability to handle his sake. According to Reuters News, one indignant fan even attacked the police station in which he was being held.

His misfortunes have generated brisk sales of a T shirt with his most famous recent words emblazoned on them, "What's wrong with being naked?" In further good news, the police have decided not to press charges against him. The only remaining problem is placating his advertisers and his record company.

I have found mainstream Japanese pop music to be rather bland. There is, however a lot going on in Japan if you know where to look. When I heard about Tsuyangi's latest misfortune, I immediately checked out his band on You Tube. They are very tame, like many Japanese bands. I imagine that they would be the sort of band that very strict parents might permit their children to listen to. I found one song that was fairly catchy. I am presenting it with this article.

Hopefully, Kusangi will recover from the embarrassment this incident caused him and the possible stress that might have led to such an odd outburst. He did not beat his girlfriend or streak through a Sunday School picnic at high noon. His sartorial lapse did occur after midnight.

I would never have heard of Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and SMAP had it not been for his indecent exposure arrest. There has to be an easier way to get new fans. I hope he finds it. I wish him luck.

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