Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Exposé on Johnny's Jimusho in The Guardian

This is the most interesting exposé on a Japanese business practice I've read in a while, and I don't typically like articles that make Japanese business practices sound unique in any way.

Everyone Japanese or Japan-associated knows Johnny's Jimusho. It's a management company responsible for every Japanese boy bands of note. Johnny's is to bands like SMAP what Lou Pearleman was to N Sync.

Anyway, I did not know half of this stuff about the founder/owner of the management company:

To understand Johnny's (for short), the all-powerful "pretty boy factory" that's been dealing exclusively with boy bands since the Beatles' heyday, you have to understand the man who holds its throne. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the 77-year-old Don of Dubiousness, Johnny Kitagawa.Never photographed, never interviewed, the elusive Kitagawa was originally born in Los Angeles (hence the western first name), but came to Japan as a US marine remained there after his discharge.

More at The Guardian.


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