SMAP (1855-2016): A Special Tribute
SMAP released its first album “SMAP 001” during the reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate towards the end of the Edo period.
SMAP’s first hit single “My Ninja Baby Don’t Go Silently In The Night” shot to the top of the charts just days after the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which was signed on August 26, 1858.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the boys however with most members of the group being forced to harvest rice, pears, and extremely large apples for supplementary income to pay for feudal lord taxes.
And the worst was still yet to come. SMAP originally started with six members but disaster struck just as they began their meteoric rise – Mori Katsuyuki was diagnosed with Cholera and penicillin was still yet to be invented.
In the 1860s there was some fierce backlash against foreigners with the arrival of Matthew Perry and his black ships, which forced Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, who is of Korean descendent, into hiding for around ten months.
But the group turned things around after signing major contracts with the talent managing agency Johnny’s & Associates who provided Kusanagi with his very own personal samurai warrior for protection.
Their luck seemed to have turned the corner after the release of “My Ninja Baby Don’t Go Silently In The Night” which ushered in the beginning of the Meiji Restoration period followed by a new hit single “Why Do Our Houses Keep Burning (Like Our Love For Each Other)” that become an overnight sensation selling over 50 million albums both in the motherland and outer Manchuria.
— SMAPは日本の宝ですが… (@LAST_INN) January 13, 2016
This was followed by the success of “My Samurai Is Just A Poor Man’s Warrior”, which sold over 25 million albums and was especially popular with the bourgeoisie.
The band faced some controversy in the 21st century with Tsuyoshi Kusanagi being discovered naked dancing in a Tokyo park but SMAP has come to symbolize what it means to be an idol in Japan, which is reflected in their name SMAP (Simply Making A Profit).
Japan now marks August 15 as the day SMAP surrendered and gave up producing quality music.
Lest We Forget, SMAP (1855-2016)