Musicians & Bands

Who The Hell Is ARASHI?!

This week, for “Who the Hell is” we are looking at a group very dear to my heart~! ARASHI! This is Who the Hell is ARASHI!

Let’s dive on in!

The Members

ARASHI debuted on September 15th, 1999, on a cruise ship in Hawaii and is part of Johnny & Associate Music Label. The members were chosen like any normal Johnny’s group. They were chosen from Johnny’s Jr. division. 

And the members are:

For most non-Japanese speaking people, ARASHI is just the name of the band, but the actual name does have a special if not cheesy meaning behind it. 

ARASHI means Storm (嵐). And the reason for choosing the name ARASHI was meant to symbolize, “Creating a storm throughout the world”.

The Beginning Years

On November 3rd, 1999, ARASHI released their debut single, “ARASHI”, selling over 550,000 copies in its first week. At this time they were working under music publisher Pony Canyon and released two more singles and an album. 

After leaving Pony Canyon at the end of 2001, ARASHI joined J Storm, which is a subsidiary company of Johnny’s & Associates with their first single released under the company being “A Day in Our Life”, and was used in the drama Kisarazu Cat’s Eye.

2004 marked the 5th anniversary since ARASHI’s debut, and was celebrated by releasing their twelfth single, “Pikanchi Double”, which was used as the theme song for Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakara Happy. Unfortunately, this single only sold 80,000 copies and is their lowest-selling single to date. Of course, ARASHI released their greatest hits album, “5×5 The Best Selection of 2002-2004”.

The Fall and Rise of ARASHI

In November, 2005, ARASHI released the theme song “WISH” for the drama “Hana Yori Dango”, which had Matsumoto Jun acting is the stubborn Tsukasa Domyouji.

To fight against low sales, ARASHI began releasing their music overseas across Asia. The sales for the albums were met with fair sales, however, sales in Korea were very good, selling out all 10,000 copies on its first day, and reaching 3rd in Korean sales charts. 

Aafter promoting around Asia, on February 21st, 2007 ARASHI released their new song “Love So Sweet” and was theme song for Hana Yori Dango 2, and the song was a hit. It ranked #1 on the Oricon charts and sold over 200,000 copies in its first week, being the first time in 5 years. 

In 2008, ARASHI released “Happiness”, which was used for Japanese drama, “Yamada Tarou Monogatari(山田太郎ものがたり)”, staring ARASHI members Ninomiya Kazunari and Sakurai Sho.

ARASHI Recongnized As A Major Artist

Thanks to the success of these songs, ARASHI’s popularity began to grow, which meant more concerts. For their 10th anniversary, the had another around Asia Tour, this time traveling to even more countries.

Jumping forward to 2016, ARASHI’s single fukkatsu love, is a funk-inspired mixed with Japanese pop. It’s a fun song, but the reason why this song stood out so much to me was that it was composed by the famous Yamashita Tatsuo, while the lyrics were written by his wife, Takeuchi Mariya.

Going On Hiatus

Moving forward to 2018, this was the year that ARASHI had became extremely busy with concerts and in November 2018, ARASHI started their 20th Anniversary tour, appropriately called “5×20”. Initially, they were supposed to perform 18 shows across Japan, however near the end of their tour, it was announced they would perform 32 more shows, having a total of 50 shows! Not only is it the largest tour for ARASHI, but it’s also the largest tour ever held in Japan.

This is only speculation, but I believe these series of concerts is probably what burned the group out, because on January 23rd, 2019, ARASHI announced that ARASHI would go on hiatus on at the end of the December 2020.

But let’s face it, ARASHI has been in the music business for 20 years, and as they stated in their announcement, they want to live their lives.

Ono Satoshi, is 39, the oldest member of the band, and he’s completely dedicated his life to ARASHI. For the first time in 20 years, he can finally enjoy life. Granted retiring at age 39 is a pretty good deal, but the entertainment industry in Japan is ruthless, so I’m sure he went through hell and back.

The Future of ARASHI

Even if ARASHI never performs again, I can guarantee that they will still show up on variety shows and dramas.

The member that we will probably see the least of is the leader, Ono Satoshi. Not that he doesn’t have other skills, but it’s the fact that he’s the oldest and he probably wants to be free from anything entertainment related.

Ninomiya’s Wife – Ito Ayako

I think Nonimiya will continue to appear in a few dramas and continue hosting TV shows, of course to a lesser degree. With him recently getting married to Ito Ayako, it’s fair to say he’s gonna want to spend more time with her. Plus, popping out ‘dim babies in inevitable. If you’re married you gotta have them, babies!

Matsumoto Jun, it’s easy to determine what’s going to happen with him. He will probably go back and focus on acting. Although I would love to see him do more stage acting. 

Sho Sakurai’s future is obviously in new-casting and documentary.

As for Aiba Masaki, he will most likely pursue acting. However, I feel like that won’t happen though. Out of all the members, I always forget about him.

ARASHI has brought joy to Japan and international fans for 20 years and even if they never perform again, we will always have the memories of their music. I remember listening to one of ARASHI’s songs called “Happiness”. I don’t think there is any song that expresses my feelings for them.

Congratulations ARASHI, I hope you can finally “live your life”.

Questions & Comments

Who’s your favorite ARASHI member and what do you think the members will do after their haitus? Be sure to discuss in the comment section, and if you live the article be sure to check out the video version on YouTube.

As Always Enjoy Life, Enjoy Music!

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