On August 30, the infamous tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun reported that Johnny Kitagawa of Johnny’s Entertainment has nominated Takizawa Hideaki to be his successor.
According to a tabloid news reporter, Takizawa appears to not just be his successor to the entertainment network but will also be tasked to carry on his work. The decision to have Tackey & Tsubasa on indefinite break is rumored to be related to this decision. With Iijima Michi out of the company, many would’ve expected Mary Kitagawa’s daughter, Fujishima Julie Keiko, to take over the business, so this surprising announcement is likely to be the biggest shock of Johnny’s Entertainment’s history.
Takizawa, 36, joined Johnny’s in 1995 at the age of 13 and received special care and attention from Johnny personally since. Takizawa also seems already prepared to take up the role and has begun visiting TV stations to promote the talents of Johnny’s Entertainment.
A Johnny’s writer suggests that Yamashita Tomohisa (Yama P) and Kis-My-Ft2, who were previously adored by SMAP’s former manager Iijima might now lose their place in the agency entirely.
The same article also talked about two senior Johnny’s members, Kondo Masahiko and Higashiyama Noriyuki, but it seems that Takizawa is exceptional to Johnny.
Within the agency, there appears to be not much of a shock. The problem hereafter though, would be in regard to SMAP’s former members Nakai Masahiro and Kimura Takuya. Regarding SMAP’s commotion, airing their dirty laundry, a couple of years ago, Takizawa appears to have been annoyed by it and it is anticipated that he would likely give them the cold treatment. He doesn’t trust all 5 former SMAP members anymore and even dislikes them. Thus, Nakai and Kimura’s jobs might drastically reduce from next year.
But this is not all.
There has been rumors going around that Arashi may take the path of SMAP’s original plan to go independent due to their dislike of Takizawa.
According to TV station staff whom Takizawa has paid his visit, the latter is said to be humble and polite. Takizawa has concrete plans and vision on how the stations can leverage Johnny’s talents to increase viewership and proposes celebrities with whom they have chemistry, so it’s hard to turn him down. As such an outstanding salesperson, and that Takizawa is already the first person young Johnny’s members turn to for advice, taking a role behind the scenes might really be what makes him shine.
While Arashi is still at the peak of their popularity, Takizawa has been keeping a distance from Arashi, whom Julie raised. Johnny and Julie has also been on “cold war” now so if anything, the next “dirty laundry” might be Arashi’s move toward independence due to their dislike of Takizawa’s management.
We can only observe how the events would turn out hereafter.