TW Pop Culture Update: Tomohisa Yamashita Runs Into Minor Trouble

The latest in entertainment and pop culture news from Japan

by

Once the Japanese public gives you a nickname, you know you’ve made it as an entertainer. But it’s not like Tomohisa “Yamapi” Yamashita needed any reminders of that. For some years now, the singer and actor has been a top talent at Johnny & Associates, one of Japan’s biggest talent agencies, with credits that include bestselling albums and appearances on popular shows like Nobuta wo Produce or the Code Blue series. The point is, the man should have no trouble finding people of legal age who want to hang out with him. And yet here we are.

Yamapi Faces a Mountain of Problems

According to the tabloid Shunkan Bunshun, on July 30, Yamapi and KAT-TUN’s Kazuya Kamenashi attended a party at a Tokyo bar/restaurant where they drank with two female models, ages 17 and 18. In Japan, the legal drinking age is 20, and anyone younger than that is considered a minor. Yamashita (35) claims that the staff told him that the girls were of legal age, but there are conflicting reports on that. This in itself might not have been enough to damage the singer-actor’s reputation because you can’t exactly ask for ID of everyone who joins you for a drink at a bar. But then Yamashita allegedly took one of the girls, the 17-year-old, to a hotel, at 5 in the morning. Maybe they spent the night playing cards…?

Following the report, Johnny & Associates suspended Yamashita, supposedly just for the time being but there are already rumors that he may be let go permanently. If it does come to that, he should consult Keisuke Koide about ways of getting back into the spotlight, seeing as in 2017, the once-popular actor (and star of Cyborg She, an important Japanese comedy) was also suspended by his agency for drinking and having sex with a 17-year-old. Now, though, he is ready for a comeback with a new agency and website where he’s posted about being sorry for the scandal and how he’s spent the last three years reflecting on his behavior and just wants to act again. Either that or he’s being blackmailed again (like when his 17-year-old paramour tried to extort him for 5 million yen), and needs money fast.

Tetsuya Watari Passes Away

Known widely for his action movie roles, the real-life Tetsuya Watari wasn’t nearly as tough as the characters he has portrayed on, say, TV Asahi’s Seibu Keisatsu. Plagued by health problems for decades, he battled cancer and even underwent heart surgery. But, in the end, it was pneumonia that took him, and he passed away in a Tokyo hospital on August 10. He was 78.

Watari was also a singer with a big hit on his hands, “Kuchinashi no Hana,” and even appeared on NHK’s Uta Gassen twice. He also liked to help people after major disasters like when he volunteered at soup kitchens following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Everyone who’s ever interacted with Watari described him as a warm, caring person, and his death as a huge loss to humanity.

Gackt Releases… Instructional Video

The new YouTube video by singer, actor, possibly-alien Gakuto Oshiro, known popularly as Gackt, is… very busy. In starts out with a “Gackzap” logo parodying the popular RIZAP fitness course, before revealing that it’s a 10-minute training montage for your fingers that will teach you fingering techniques guaranteed to bring any woman to orgasm. It was apparently also certified by Taka “Goldfinger” Kato, the popular ex-porn star known for his… techniques. The video itself is also shot like a Guitar Hero rhythm game because reality is just following the Mad Libs model anyway so why not embrace that? The video, shockingly, is mostly SFW.

Noriyuki Makihara Guilty of Drug Possession

Back in February, bestselling singer-songwriter Noriyuki Makihara, who’s so far released nearly 40 albums, was arrested after the police found 0.083 grams of a “stimulant” drug in his apartment. It was Makihara’s second run-in with the law after he was arrested on same charges back in 1999. In early August, a Tokyo court found him guilty and sentence him to two years, suspended for three. But seeing as the news of his earlier arrest resulted in massive sales of his albums, maybe he should just take the two years and emerge from prison richer than ever. Something to think about, maybe?

by

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

View Comments