Johnny’s Talk: Lauren’s Guide To What To Bring To A Johnny’s Concert

Since many of you all might be coming to a Johnny’s concert here in Japan in the future, I thought I would give you some ideas on what to bring to a Johnny’s concert by telling you what I normally bring to a Johnny’s concert! This is what I bring most of the time when I attend a concert, but it changes sometimes on the show and also the weather as well. Let’s jump right in!

#1: Ticket

This may be obvious, but you can’t enter the concert venue without a ticket. Many a time I have seen on twitter and heard from my friends that they have accidentally forgot their ticket at home or in the hotel. Just double check your bag before you leave to make sure you have your ticket before leaving! This will save lots of trouble so you aren’t rushing to get your ticket at the last minute and risk being late for the show. Also, I personally recommend you buy your ticket before the actual day of the concert as well. This will save lots of hassle and worry if you will be able to attend the actual show. If you are interested on how to ballot for fan club tickets I made a post here about it previously, but if you would like a post about ways to get Johnny’s concert tickets without being in the fan club please let me know in the comments or tweet me!

#2 Money

Another obvious thing, but sometimes I have panicked on wether I had enough money to buy concert goods at the venue because I was rushing. Take that extra few minutes to calculate how much your goods will be and make sure you have enough money for them! It will save you time so you won’t have to get back inside the goods line again for things you couldn’t pay for. Also, when you are having fun at the venue you don’t want to have to worry about money for food and other things as well before or after the show.

#3 Water

Remember to hydrate hydrate hydrate! I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten a bottle or 2 of water and I have regretted it and searched frantically at the venue for a vending machine, only to find that they were all sold out (crazy Johnny’s fans….). Especially outside concerts it is important. Even if its not outside, you will be standing for at least 2 hours and not eating or drinking during that time. Normally during the MC I take out my bottle of water and drink it and have it handy at the top of my bag to drink during the concert as well. Normally the domes allow you to eat and drink inside of them, but there are some instances where you can’t at really small vanes. For this only bring water, not another type of drink. They do having vending machines or convenience stores around or inside the venue, so don’t fret if you forget! I just normally buy before entering inside because its cheaper for the most part and inside the venue might be sold out.

#4 Rain Items: Umbrella/ Poncho

Check the wether forecast if it’s going to rain. If it is going to rain, then I recommend going to a convenience store and buying a fold up umbrella, not a full sized one because it is long and the seats are small in Japan. Keep it inside your purse or concert goods bag! Most of the time the venues aren’t connected to the subway or trains or busses, so you will want to have one with you. The convenience store near the venues might become sold out, so try to buy near your hotel or home or someplace that isn’t near the venue. An umbrella is also handy if you have to stand outside in line for concerts goods, because at most venues the goods line is outside the venue.

Also, for outside concerts you are not allowed to have an umbrella up during the concerts and they are performed rain or shine. So buy a poncho at a convenience store or 100 yen store to keep somewhat dry! Buy an extra one to wrap your concert goods in so that they don’t get wet either.

#5 Recommended Concert Goods

You won’t bring these with you if you haven’t bought them yet, but I will at least say my recommended goods to bring or buy at the concert! This is also up to personal preference as well, so buy the goods that you will want to use! You also don’t have to buy the goods for the actual tour you are attending either ! You can buy them used if you are short on funds or if you prefer a past tour’s goods instead!

a. Penlight

A penlight is a must for a Johnny’s concert! I recommend a penlight because everyone brings them and uses them in the concert and it also in a way makes you part of the actual concert itself. You wave it in time with the music and do the hand motions of the songs with it! My first 2 concerts I went to for Johnnys in summer 2009 (KAT-TUN and Kanjani8) I didn’t buy a penlight and I felt left out because I didn’t realize how important they were until I went to my 3rd concert in 2010-2011 (Kanjani8 8Uppers countdown concert).

b. Towel

This is defiantly optional and up to everyone’s tastes, but recently I have been into buying concert towels because they are useful during the summer in Japan and for rainy days. I normally keep it around my shoulders during the concert. It helps with outside concerts and sweating (even inside concerts too!) and sometimes the guys have you twirl towels in the air to certain songs as well!

c. Uchiwa

Another optional item, but I didn’t know what the point of Uchiwas were when I went to my first Johnny’s concerts, but Uchiwas are the Japanese style fans with the face of your favorite member on them. You buy your favorite member’s (or members’) Uchiwa and it is not only telling the guys themselves who your favorite members are, but also the other fans as well. I always get asked at concerts who my favorite member is and its a great conversation starter with Japanese fans, as well as foreign fans! So hold your uchiwa proud! (but just to chest level… you don’t want to block the view of the fans behind you!)

d. Bag

To keep all of your concert goods in and for putting your newly bought concert goods inside, I recommend bringing a bag! Most of the goods that I buy won’t fit inside my purse so I always bring the tour bag with me.  When I went to Shige’s stageplay a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize how many goods I was going to buy and it didn’t fit inside my purse, so I had to run to a nearby 100 yen store and buy a bag! So make sure for a stage play you bring a previous tour bag or your own bag to put the goods inside because stage plays don’t sell bags normally.

Having a tour bag is also another fun way to identify you as a fan of the group and Japanese fans might even come up and talk with you!

 

 

Well, these were my recommended items to bring to a Johnny’s concert! I hope you all enjoyed! If there is anything that you think I forgot or want to know if its okay to bring please comment below! Let me know what your concert essentials are if you have been to a Johnny’s concert before. Also, let me know if you like these types of posts!

 

Ask Nihonchique #1: Questions about Johnnys

This Morning when I woke up, I received an email from Florence from Montreal, Canada! She wanted me to answer a bunch of questions for her and I thought that It would be good to share here as well! So I will call this entry “Ask Nihonchique #1!” The theme of this one is Johnnys questions! Now, before I start this I want to say I am no expert  and these answers are based off of my experience being a fan and being in the Johnnys fan clubs and also talking with other fans. So with that, lets just jump right into it!
1- Do Kanjani8 live in Tokyo or Osaka? I can’t imagine that they stay at hotels when they have work in Tokyo. 
 This is a question I had wondered for a while too! I asked many fandom friends about this and from what I know most members of Kanjani8 have homes both in Osaka and Tokyo because they have work in most places. They are Kansai Johnnys, but when they got more popular they officially moved to Tokyo because a lot of work was there, but they still have homes in Osaka too and their families are in Kansai area as well.

2- Where do Janiben is film? Osaka?

Yes! Janiben films 1 or 2 times a month in Osaka on Mondays or Tuesdays! If you are in the fan club, you can ballot to be in the Audience so I know this because I get the Fanclub emails on when the filming of Janiben will be each time. Fanclub members only can go to a Janiben filming. It isn’t a live show, they prerecord it ahead of time. I have never been to a Janiben filming because I have always had class for graduate school on those days unfortunately. One day I would love to go!

3- They have a lot of weekly tv show, especially Murakami S. (maybe 5 + 1 radio show) if I’m right! They have such a busy schedule, hosting, recording songs, practice dances choreo., photo shoots, acting, promotions…. concert tours. I have just thought about Sakurai S. How can they do all that?

Ahh this is another good questions. Johnnys juggles these talents schedules impeccably. From my speculation, some of the Radio shows aren’t live and some TV shows aren’t live, so I believe that Johnny’s has the power to negotiate with the TV shows and radio shows on when they can be filmed/ recorded. Because Murakami and Sho are very popular (as are Kanjan8 and Arashi in general) I am pretty sure that the TV shows and radio shows would cater to their schedules, except it its a live broadcast. I also expect that the talents themselves don’t get much sleep or days off sometimes either.

4- Do you know someone who has already met one of them (any Johnny’s) on the streets, restaurants, clubs… I know the agency is really strict with their idols’ image, no blogs, facebook…… but how can it be possible that there is no pictures of their whereabouts when everybody as a camera on their cell phone today. I came to the conclusion that the Japaneses are really respectful.

I have had a friend who meet Koyama Keiichiro from NEWS when he went to New York for News Every for coverage for the 10 year anniversary of September 11th and I have a Japanese friend (who isn’t a Johnnys fan) who has meet Taguchi Junnousuke from KAT-TUN at a place where you play billiards and Jin Akanishi at a school festival, because her school was an international school that was sister schools with an all boys international school that Jin Akanishi had many friends who went there. Also, there are sightings all the time of Johnnys by Japanese fans. For example, this past summer Tegoshi Yuya from NEWS was seen many times out in public and had his picture taken (not by his own will I believe though). I think it’s rare for Kanjani8 and Arashi though because they are so busy with their insane schedule. They probably don’t have much time to go out and have free time. Japanese fans in general are polite I think and they know the rules of no photos and for the most part they respect it, so thats why there aren’t many fan taken pictures. Even if the Johnnys talent is asked for a picture or a sign most of the time they wouldn’t do it, so a handshake at most is what fans ask for.

5- I think it’s about time that at least one member of Arashi and Kanjani8 get married. Don’t you think? I think their popularity goes beyond Johnny’s rules. It works for Takuya K. Can we consider SMAP and Arashi on the same level? 

Hmmm, Marriage and Johnnys is complicated. Kimura Takuya still had to go through fans committing suicide over the fact he got married initially, but he had been with his girlfriend for a long time and I believe that Kimura Takuya went through the right channels with the agency so that the agency could prepare for the announcement way ahead of time.  On the other hand, Jin Akanishi broke all the rules when he got married and was punished by the agency for it for a while for a shotgun wedding. Only one member of SMAP is married in the end now. Marriage is a hard topic for Johnnys and its a sad truth. Everyone thinks that Yokoyama will be the first to get Married in Kanjani8 because its rumored that he has an older girlfriend who lives with him, but I don’t want my blog to be about gossip, but to discuss things happening in Johnnys , so I will leave it at that. I am not in the Arashi fandom really, so I don’t know much rumors about dating for them except from the bit from friends who do know. All in all, I am sure that if they love someone and they want to get married to that person, that it will have to be a long process before they can get married. If you want more thoughts about Johnnys and dating, I have a blog post here about Johnnys and Marriage and Dating that I did a while back!
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this first edition of “Ask Nihonchique”! If you have questions that you would like answered about Johnnys, life in Japan, me, or anything, please feel free to email me at nihonchique@gmail.com or tweet me at @nihonchique with your questions!

Vlog – Johnnys Concert Tips and Manners

Hello everyone!

There are a lot of Johnnys tours going on right now or about to start, like NEWS, Kanjani8, TOKIO and Arashi. I decided to make this video in order to help some of you foreign fans that might not have been to Johnnys concerts before understand some of the manners that I thought were different from what I was used to. I also threw in a few tips that I have learned from going to Johnnys concerts over the past few years!

I hope you guys enjoy! Leave a comment below or on Youtube and tell me if these were helpful or even if you are going to any of these concerts! I hope this video was helpful and that the foreign fans coming to Japan for the concerts have an awesome time!

Johnnys Talk: What exactly is Johnnys??

Johnnys. Whenever I hear that word, the three things that come to mind are: Sparkly, pretty boys, and talent.

Well, lets start from the beginning. Johnny and Associates, or “Johnnys” for short, is an all male talent agency in Japan created by the all famous Johnny Kitagawa. It started out in the 1960’s when Johnny saw the musical West Side Story in Japan. He had the idea to create talent that was even better than that. So, he took boys from the baseball team that he was coaching at the time and made them into a singing group and it is history from there. Well …. not quite. It has taken Johnnys decades to become the idol powerhouse that it is today.

With that being said, I will not get into the history of Johnny and Associates because there are places that have already written an in depth history floating around the internet. Instead, I will explain the concept of Johnnys at present time.

The Concept of a “Johnnys”

Johnnys boys are classified as clean cut (in physical form and public image), handsome guys that train from a young age to sing, act, and dance, along with much more to become an all around entertainer, or “idol” as the Japanese call it. This is unlike the west where people only train to be one denomination, such as an actor or singer. They join the agency at a young age and become a “Johnnys Jr’s”, which is basically Johnny’s term for a trainee. The job as a Jr. is basically to back dance for and gain experience from the already debuted groups in the agency in the hopes that one day they will debut in a singing group (or solo) one day. Not all Johnny’s Jr.’s debut, unfortunately, and there are even some Jr’s that are as old as some of the debuted Johnnys.

The Entertainer or “Idol”

Once they debut ,the singing group is their primary activity.Since they are trained as all around entertainers though, they do solo work on the side. The most common example of these solo activities are stage plays, Japanese dramas, and commercials. Some other rarer examples are Kato Shigeaki from the group NEWS has written a book recently, which is a first for a Johnnys, and Arashi’s Ohno Satoshi has done an art exhibition a while back. Idols are all around entertainers and have many talents other than just singing or just acting.

Even while classified as a Jr., though rare, they do some of these solo activities and  also in plays produced by Johnnys specifically for Jr.’s to appear in. Its not just Johnnys that produces idols though, there are many other agencies in Japan, and all around Asia.

What is an Talent Agency?

I won’t say much about this right now because it is a topic for another post, but an agency is a company that manages idols or talent. Its not just Japan that has talent agencies, but many other asian countries have them as well, like Korea and China. Talent agencies are more known in Asia than in the west though, because the western way of managing talent and raising talent is a bit different than in Asia for the most part.

Also, don’t confuse a record label with a talent agency. This is a common mistake for western fans of Asian music. Though Johnnys has a few in house record labels, they also have talent under different labels in Japan. A talent agency is just a managing company for the most part, though they might own in house record labels. What I mean by  an “in house” record label is a record label that is owned by a talent agency, but operates as a separate company.

This was brief overview of Johnny and Associates. This is almost like a introduction post to more detailed posts that will be coming soon about Johnnys. I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any questions about Johnnys for the next “Johnnys Talk”, please email me at nihonchique@gmail.com.

*Everything that I talk about in this post is what I have read or know to be true. If there is any inconsistencies, please let me know with some sort of source that I may look up for my own reference to correct any errors*