Meet KAT-TUN!

Kamenashi Kazuya – 亀梨和也 (かめなし  かずや)

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Occupation: Singer, actor, songwriter, TV host, producer, radio host and model

Date of birth: February 23, 1986 in Tokyo (Japan)

Height: approx. 171-172 cm

Weight: 54 kg

Blood Type: B

Shoe size: 26.5 cm

Johnny since: November 8, 1998 – present (with the J-One Records label)

Songwriter name: K², Kamenashi Kazuya

Favorite colors: black, blue, white

Favorite Sports: baseball, snooker, bowling, camping, surfing, basketball and swimming

n 1998 Kame joined Johnny & Associates (alongside Nakamaru Yuichi and Akanishi Jin. Kame is one of the most popular members of the group and also the youngest of them all. He represents the “KA” of KAT-TUN (before the “A” used to represent Akanishi Jin who is a former member). He’s one of the few artists to have million-selling certified singles that had gone on to be the best-selling singles of the year for two consecutive years to his name. 

As for his acting career, he’s landed award-winning roles in Nobuta wo Produce, Gokusen 2, Kami no Shizuku, and Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (my personal favorite role of his was the one in Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (: ). (I thought he was great in Nobuta wo Produce and Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge.  I hope to see some of his more serious roles in the future)

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◆ He was originally named after a character of the manga “Touch“. His mother also wanted to have the “wa” kanji of “heiwa” (“peace“) in his name.

◆ Also, because “Kame” means “turtle” in Japanese, he jokingly said his animal analogy is a turtle.

◆ He has 3 brothers (two are older (one of them is married and has a daughter) and one is younger; one niece)

◆ plays an acoustic guitar

◆ The scariest thing in the world for him is betrayal. He’s also scared of vampires and heights

◆ The song ‘Seishun Amigo‘ from his temporary duet with Tomohisa Yamashita “Shuuji to Akira (修二と彰)”  was the number one selling single of 2005 and the third best selling single of 2006. The single debuted at number one and sold more than a million copies in less than four weeks.

◆ Kamenashi also wrote and performed a song entitled “Kizuna” for the second season of Gokusen which was one of the B-sides on the “Seishun Amigo” single

◆ Has won awards in modeling for his fashion sense and was named “Best Jeanist” along with Kumi Koda for five years in a row! After their win in 2O1O, both of them were entered into the “Best Jeanist’s Hall of Fame” and neither of them are eligible for future awards

Tanaka Koki – 田中聖 (たなか  こうき)

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Nickname: Kouki, Kou kun, Kou chan

Birthdate: November 5, 1985

Birthplace: Chiba, Japan

Height : 171 cm

Weight: 55 kg

Position: Main rapper

Blood Type: B

Favorite color: Black, white

Koki is the second “T” in the group’s name. He originally disliked the other members and wanted to leave the group when it was formed, but after their first performance he changed his mind. He’s been influenced by hip-hop and reggae since his childhood and Koki credits Sho Sakurai of Arashi for making a breakthrough for rap in the agency and making his task as a rapper in an idol group easier. He writes his own rap verses in KAT-TUN and his own solo songs under his other pen name, JOKER.

Koki’s acting career has also led to him winning multiple awards for his performance in My Boss, My Hero, and he has also made appearances in Byakkotai, Tatta Hitotsu No Koi (he was adorable!) and took his first lead role in 2OO7 in Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go. He’s also the older brother of Johnny’s Jr member Juri Tanaka.

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◆ He has 4 brothers

◆ Goes by the penname “Joker”

◆ loves to cook and sew

◆ Designs apparel

◆ Even designed a pair of sneakers for Ne-Yo, who later on wore them during his performance at the 2OO7 MTV Video Music Awards in Japan.

◆  Alongside bandmate Nakamaru Yuichi they make up the comedic unit TaNaka and perform skits together during concerts. 

◆ When KAT-TUN first formed as a back-dancing group for Kinki Kids he was against the idea and wanted to quit (I’m so glad he didn’t quit 😀)

◆ He was voted by members of Johhny’s Junior as the most father-like figure on a Shonen Club segment. ( “He looks like he’ll protect me from the bad guys“, He probably won’t get mad at me even if I get 0 marks for a test)

◆ He won Best Supporting Actor for My Boss, My Hero during the 50th Annual Television Drama Academy Awards and he won Best Newcomer for My Boss, My Hero during the TVNavi 2007 Drama Awards

Ueda Tatsuya   – 上田竜也 (うえだ  たつや)

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Nicknames: Tat-chan, Uebo, Uebo-hime (Princess Uebo)

Birthday: October 4, 1983

Birthplace: Kanagawa, Japan

Height: 171cm

Weight: 52kg

Blood Type: B

Joined Johnny’s Entertainment: June 1998 at the age of 14

Hobbies: basketball, shopping, playing the guitar, boxing

Favorite colors: black and red

Favourite season: Winter

Favorite flower: rose

Favorite body part: hands

Favorite animal: dolphin

Favorite food: spaghetti, steak, sashimi, Caesar’s salad

Ueda was part of several Johnny Jr groups before becoming a part of KAT-TUN. In the earlier days he had become the group’s leader but quit later on and rendering the group leaderless. The members are all comfortable with this decision. 

 He’s one of the few members who composes music and lyrics on a regular basis for the group (often under several pen names). He’s even stated in the earlier years that he prefers songwriting to acting. Ueda actually did take up acting in 2OO9 during a performance where he acted as “Romeo” in the stageplay “Romeo & Juliet” and starred in his first television drama, Fuju TV’s “Konkatsu!” alongside Masahiro Nakai. Before this he had performed with his group embers as a supporting cast member in the musicals “Millennium Shock” , “Shock Geki Shock” , “Shock is Real Shock” , “Hey! Say! Dream Boy” and “Dream Boys“.

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◆ He says he was very good at playing basketball in school

 ◆When he was a child he learned how to play the piano but he prefers playing the guitar nowadays 

◆ He learned to speak English and French because he was a huge fan of Gackt, who also learned to speak English and French

◆ He has 2 labrador dogs named Earo and Tia

◆ Domoto Tsuyhoshi (KinKi Kids) and Tsubasa Imai (Tackey & Tsubasa) are his favorite sempai from Johnny’s

◆ His ideal type of girl is one who is older, joyful, knows how to cook and clean, is outgoing and has a pretty smile 

◆ When he was little, he witnessed a man being killed (Wow, that must have been so scary, I don’t know how I would have handled the situation 😦)

◆ He attended an all-boys’ school

◆ He joined Johnny’s Entertainment because of his admiration for Tsubasa Imai

◆ He’s a sensitive person, and therefore is easily hurt by what others say about him

◆ He was once talent-scouted by another talent agency

◆ He wants to name his future daughter “Elizabeth”, but because Japanese people will have difficulties pronouncing the name, he’d shorten it to “Eri/Eli”

◆ He used to wear blue contact lenses (just like Gackt)

◆ First member of the group to hold a series of solo concerts of his own in September of 2OO8. It was entitled “Mouse Peace”

◆ He won Best Supporting Actor for My Boss, My Hero during the 50th Annual Television Drama Academy Awards and he won Best Newcomer for My Boss, My Hero during the TVNavi 2007 Drama Awards

Taguchi Junnosuke – 田口淳之介 (たぐち  じゅんおすけ)

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Profession: Actor, singer and dancer

Height: 182cm

Weight: 64kg

Star sign: Sagittarius

Blood Type: AB

Family: Three older sisters, and one brother

Taguchi is known for his skill in acrobatics. In February 2OO4 he sustained a serious knee injury and was sidelined from the group for six months! During the performance for the theater production of “Dream Boy” Junnosuke sustained a serious back injury during their rehearsals. He spent months in the hospital! After managing to overcome his injury, he returned to doing dancing and acrobatics. (That had to be hard going through both of those injuries!)

He’s also an award-winning actor. Some of his roles include those in Mohouhan, Ganbatte Ikimasshoi, Happy!, Happy! 2, Hanayome to Papa, Yukan Club, and a guest appearance on the show Kochikame. Alongside bandmate Koki Tanaka he hosts a radio show titled “KAT-TUN Style.” He used to host a variety show with the rest of his groupmates called “Cartoon KAT-TUN” until its end in March 2O1O. Some of his more popular solo songs are “GIRLS” (with Koki Tanaka and Yuichi Nakamaru), “Wind” (co-writer for the music and lyrics of the songs), “Special Happiness” (with Kamenashi Kazuya), “Seishin“, “Samurai Love Attack” , “Natsu no Basho“, “Kuruikaketa Haguruma“, “Jounetsu no Ichiya” and “Akai Kutsu“.

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◆ Tallest member of KAT-TUN

◆ He is the first “T” in KAT-TUN

◆ Known as the most light-hearted member with a carefree-like nature.

◆ Frequently uses “dajare” (Japanese word puns) and is picked on by his group members (His puns are pretty bad, but it funny because they are so bad lol)

◆ Has a tendency to randomly jump between topics during meetings and interviews which lead to others labeling him “KY” (which is an acronym for “Kuki Yomenai” (空気よめない): a person who is unable to read an atmosphere properly)

◆ Is a very talented tap-dancer and incorporates it into his concert performances

Nakamaru Yuichi –  中丸雄一 (なかある  ゆいち)

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Nicknames: Yuu-chan, Maru 

Profession: Actor / Singer 

Birthday: 04 September 1983 

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan 

Height: 176cm 

Weight: 55kg 

Star Sign: Virgo 

Blood Type: O 

Family: Parents, 2 younger sisters 

Talent: Beat-boxing 

Nakamaru is the oldest member of KAT-TUN. He diligently practiced and began learning beatboxing on his own not long after the group was formed. He studied hundreds of examples from different hip-hop albums. The main motivation he had for doing this was to set himself apart from the rest of the members to avoid looking dull. To this day he’s the first and only Japanese “idol” to possess, showcase and improve such skills year after year. He’s also hosted NHK’s “Shonen Club” with Keiichiro Koyama of NEWS until April of 2O11 where both hosts passed the position to Hey! Say! JUMP. Before it’s end in March of 2O1O he also was a host on KAT-TUN’s “Cartoon KAT-TUN”. He’s also starred in a few dramas, such as Sushi Oji!, Rescue, and Haha no Okurimono.

 Working alongside Ueda the two of them host a radio show show called R-One KAT-TUN. Nakamaru is the other half of the comedic unit TaNaka. He’s also a songwriter and is most recognized solo songs are “Understandable“, “Shooting Star“, “My Weather“, “Key of Life“, “Smack“, “White World“, “Answer“, and “Film

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◆ Apart of the TaNaka comedy unit with Koki

◆ Has been learning beat-boxing for years and spends a lot of free-time practicing

◆ He has written some songs for KAT-TUN (including “Understandable“)

◆ There’s a rumor that he replies to fan-mail (That’s sweet of him 🙂 )

◆ He’s currently attending Waseda University where he’s majoring in Environmental Studies

Former Member: 

Akanishi Jin – 赤西仁  (あかにし  じん)

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Nicknames: Bakanishi, Jinjin, Akuma

Profession: Singer & Actor

Birthdate: July 4, 1984

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Education: Horikoshi High School

Height: 176cm

Blood Type: O

Family Members: Futa (brother)

Before KAT-TUN, Jin had moved to Tokyo when he was in first grade. Because of his interests in the entertainment industry, his parents sent in an application for him to Johnny & Associates on his behalf in 1998. He technically failed the audition, but Johnny Kitagawa himself had told him to say. He was in a number of Johnny Jr groups before finally becoming a part of KAT-TUN in 2OO1.

 Jin is also another KAT-TUN member who also joined the acting field. He starred in such dramas as Gokusen 2, Anego and Yukan Club – where he was voted Best Actor in the 11th Nikkan Sports Grand Prix. He also used to host a radio program called “KAT-TUN Style” with Taguchi from October 2OO7 to March 2OO8.

 In 2O1O Jin left KAT-TUN to pursue a solo career. In the same year he debuted as the lead vocalist of LANDS – a temporary band that was assembled to promote his film, Bandage (directed by Mr. Children and produced by Takeshi Kobayashi). It was also his silver screen debut. The single “BANDAGE” and the album that followed, OLYMPOS, both reached number 1 on the Oricon charts.

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◆ Debuted as the vocalist of the rock band LANDS, along with Takeshi Kobayashi, for the movie Bandage (2O1O)

◆ He had represented the “A” in KAT-TUN

◆ Close friends with Yamashita Tomohisa (“Yamapi”) and Yuu Shirota

◆ When he was a member of KAT-TUN he had written his own songs for the group (Care, Hesitate, Murasaki, Love or Like). He had also often taken the hardest parts of the song because of his impressive vocal range

◆ Because of the multiple pronunciations of his name’s kanji character, some people think his first name is “Hitoshi.” Jin is the real pronunciation (said to be based on one of the Confucian virtues (benevolence). Once his name had even been published in a magazine as “Akanishi Hitoshi.” ( Hahaha Aww That must have been really frustrating for him, but it’s pretty funny too.)

To read more about KAT-TUN as a whole group check out JADEYES’ blog post: KAT-TUN Highlighted

crazy4you
sleepninja 

(We both worked on this page!)

I started listening to KAT-TUN earlier this year and the more I hear of their music the more I like it. They’ve got to be my favorite Jpop group! I started off being familiar with only Kame and Jin, but slowly I’m feeling like I know them a little bit better. Especially after doing this profile! Wow Taguchi went through two difficult injuries! I remember hearing that Jin had left but I didn’t know much about what he did afterwards, but now I know. Nakamaru makes all the beat-boxing noises, before I was wondering who did all of those, haha. Koki likes to design – and even designed a pair of shoes for Ne-Yo! Ueda is a big fan of Gackt! So much to know about one group, glad I got the chance to find out more about each member (and learn all of their names :p). KAT-TUN keep on rocking! 😀

I first learned about KAT-TUN in 2008, and it wasn’t through their music that I learned about them.  A few of my college friends that were members of our anime club had invited me over to hang out at their apartment.  Their apartment was a fan-girl paradise! 😀  At the time, I wasn’t familiar with Japanese boy-groups, I had mainly been listening to J-Rock or girl-groups.  So I asked them to tell me about their favorite groups.  Cut to them teaching me the different Johnny’s members and showing me a NEWS concert DVD (which is how I fell in love with Yamapi and watched my first drama ever with him in it).  I went home to look up YouTube vids of NEWS and in the suggested videos section, a bunch of videos for this variety show called Cartoon KAT-TUN appeared.  I fell in love with their hilarious antics and wanted to see more, branching out to their music as well.  I love their songs and think they are incredibly talented.  Not only are they great musicians, they are great variety show hosts and even actors!  I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.

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Posted on January 1, 2012, in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post girls. I love KAT-TUN more and more too, they are amazing. I also read somewhere that Kame had his fare share of hateful fans giving him a hard time, and his band mates supported him. WOW, so many things to know about them. Im glad they became our highlight this soon 😀

  1. Pingback: The Characters from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (: « The Dramatards

  2. Pingback: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kamenashi Kazuya!! :) « The Dramatards

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