telling others about Arashi

“Being famous is really such a huge responsibility.”

That was Colleague P one afternoon while we were having mojitos in a bistro. I had just shown her a video of Arashi’s performance in last year’s Kouhaku. I couldn’t help but agree.

“That’s true. But many of these stars are just in it for the fame, vanity and money. They don’t give back to society, much more, do some charity.”

I showed her a video of Arashi visiting one of the areas vastly affected by the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011 and the free concert that they gave to the residents there to cheer them up. I looked on proudly as she watched the video, at one point asking “what’s this boy doing here?” (referring to Nino) and “is it just me or the Japanese are more good-looking than *dot-dot-dot*?”. Colleague P’s exposure to East Asia’s pop culture has been limited to fleeting glimpses of dramas on Arirang.

Aside from Colleague P, I also had been recently talking about Arashi with one of my friends from another fandom. I tell them about Arashi, not so much as to bait them, but because I just have to share the wonderful world that is full of baka-ness, kakkoi-ness and some popcorn.

But how does one begin to tell someone about Arashi?

One can choose to impress and awe and go right into their amazing concerts.



Or how they cater to… kids.




And just as much as they have fangirls…




They also have fanboys.



Or one can go back to where it all began when they looked like this:


arashi chibi


And how they look like now:




Just kidding… but seriously, Arashi can be anything from bakas doing experiments on TV in their early days when they thought no one was watching them in those late night variety but they had fun anyway (KimuTaku was one of those who watched and enjoyed their old shows by the way)…



… and still be bakas on TV when they are already on primetime, and still have fun.



Are idols even supposed to be like this and wear nipple shirts and stockings on TV?



Someone who’s used to perfect idols, with the hair and every pore intact (mostly thanks to plastic surgery), would surely not get what Arashi is all about. Aside from being untouched by cosmetic surgery–except dental work in Matsujun’s case–and if one has doubts, just look at their bad skin in close-ups during their variety shows as proof, these boys are not afraid to look foolish and laughed at even at their stature now that sometimes I wonder if they are comedians, more than idols.

“That’s so lame!”

Someone told me that when I talked about Arashi’s old shows–I forgot whether it was C, D or G no Arashi, but one of my favorite episodes was when Matsujun and Ohno dressed up in prince costumes to see if they can enter an “exclusive royal club” and were naturally perplexed when they were turned away.

But see, that is why Arashi is special, because they can be bakas and they can be kakkois, or if you may, “normal”, like this:



In short, they’re never boring.



To those new to Arashi, or any idol group for that matter, the usual first comment would be…

They all look the same, how can you tell one from the other?

It’s easy.

Let’s start with Nino, the “little boy” because truthfully, out of the five of them, he’s the one who looks the same from then and now. This little boy is in fact a bonafide Hollywood actor, who appeared in Clint Eastwood’s LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, and continues to make movies and impress audience with his acting.



Then there’s Arashi’s leader, Ohno, who is the oldest among them but can still look like a little boy himself, and play little boy roles like Kaibutsu-kun. And yes, he’s an artist and… a fisherman.



There’s Aiba, who kids love so much they call out to him on the streets without any honorific. He loves animals, has a happy disposition and co-hosts an animal show. The resident Ai-baka, he takes the lead in their classic science experiments.



Then there’s Keio boy himself, the future prime minister of Japan, Sho. Oh, he also used to chase fangirls away with an umbrella. Aside from being the resident rapper, he’s also a newscaster. Not to mention favorite celebrity that girls want to be their teacher or boyfriend in those periodic surveys.



Then of course, there is Domyouji himself, the group’s resident sex symbol, perennial prince charming and occasional action star, Jun. He is also the resident concert director.



They have their own drama work and TV shows outside of Arashi, and no, they don’t look the same nor are they of the same mold. They have different personalities it’s a wonder that they get along and work so well together. Perhaps one of the secrets is how, as mentioned by Aiba, they occupy the same place in any dressing room and do their own thing without bothering one another. In short, they give one another space. Not to say they don’t disagree because as Matsujun said before, they do have differing opinions but they talk–and not argue–their way around it.

In other words, Arashi is not your usual factory-issued idol group, which to a certain extent is ironic, coming from a homogeneous society like Japan. But then again, while they have a strong sense of individuality as members, they also have a strong sense of group. It’s not the fans who love Arashi the most. It’s Arashi themselves.

And how many idol groups could claim that they had their faces on airplanes…




Or had one of their country’s famous landmarks lighted in their colors and honor?




They have struggled through the years they deserve every ounce of success they enjoy now. And yet, despite all that fame, they still remain the same bakas.

Having fun together…




Doing their civic duties together, like in the 2011 Great East Japan disaster…


arashi nhk


And just being themselves.




And that’s what Arashi is. One doesn’t have to be a fan, but all you need is just to take a look at their story and one will understand why these boys are special.

Copyright © theasianpopculturist. Blogging since 2001. All rights reserved.


50 thoughts on “telling others about Arashi

  1. I am a fan of them since ’08 and ’09 and I really agreed to what you write in here! 😀 Arashi is not your ordinary idols… watching them having fun makes your day ne? and Arashi as responsible citizens of Japan makes the fans really proud of them, not just being proud because they are idols, but being proud because they are also human beings that help others and do their best to lighten up our days 🙂 I really love those 5-rainbow-dorky-awesome-adorbs boys :”> ❤


  2. Hi, just stumbled across your site while goggling ARASHI. Just out of curiosity, which country are you in? I just moved to Singapore last year and am desperately looking for Arashi fans here!


  3. This is just so true! I’ve been a “short time” time of various Pop/Rock groups but I’ve never been this hooked. I’m an Arashian (or Arashist as Jun-kun would have it) since 2007 and I’m still loving them more and more.

    People have been asking me why am I so hooked with them. I mean, there are groups who can dance, act and sing waaaaaaaaay better than them. My answer: Their friendship is evidently shown on screen. One thing that makes Arashi so loved is the on/off cam friendship. I’ve never seen a group so intact! That’s their “Charm” point 😀

    Great article by the way 😉


    • thank you Kei!
      as Arashi themselves said, they are not the best singers nor dancers around, but they have the most heart. and I do agree. the passion with which they throw themselves into their work is just admirable. and imo, it’s because the foundation of the group is strong. they grew up together and went through a lot of ups and downs that shaped who they are now, including their perspective on their success and fame. they are still the same bakas that they were when they were young and so earnest (they are still so earnest but more mature). and every time I watch their senpais interact with them, I see that fondness and happiness for the success that these boys have finally attained, because everyone knows their road to success was not paved with rose petals.


      • Honestly speaking I used to have this expression (-_-) when my friends kept bugging me to watch JE shows before. No offense but I just can’t get to grasp what they liked about them. I lean more on JRock during those times but there’s this one time my friend lend me her “Kimi wa Petto” DVD (I know Jun-kun through Gokusen and HYD but I’m not aware of Arashi yet) and I got Jun-bait because of Momo XD And the rest’s history 😛

        My hand sign \m/ which originally meant “Rock On!!!” Ended up being “Yeah yeah yeah~” After being an Arashi fan. Looooolz!!!


  4. Even though I’m in the Visual Kei community now but I used to be their fans and no matter how long I didn’t hear them, I’m still agree with this. They’re unique in their own way and until now when I watched their live, etc, I’ll still able to smile, singing and dance along with them. They’re the RAINBOWS in my life.


    • I had to look up “Visual Kei”… the things you learn from fandoms haha!
      yes, they do bring a lot of smiles and happiness, and they make life easier to go through deshou?


  5. I’ve been a fan for little more than a year and a half now and I really regret missing out on so much. They changed my outlook on what idols and boybands are (until now they’re still one of the few that I like). They’re special, indeed.


    • Hi Gaby! don’t regret anything, the fact that you were brought into the wonderful world of Arashi is a good thing in itself! Arashi is the only boyband that I like from then and now. of course I may like the occasional song from this group or that, but it’s never gone beyond that. Arashi makes me smile no matter how shitty the day has been. Sho hoped that they’d be an oasis for their fans and they are indeed that to me. and I’m sure to other fans as well!


  6. I found your post throuh an arashi fan page in facebook and I’m so very glad to read it! I had always been a fan of Matsujun but after listening to Arashi, and watching their variety shows I have grown to love ALL of them. They are absolutely adorable and wonderful people who care for their fans and the things they do for their fans LOL I’m glad I decided to make an effort to listen to their songs! I don’t have friends who love JPOP and don’t understand my love for Arashi, but I have my sister, and we don’t care. Arashians forever!


    • Hi Bee! you were MJ-baited? so was I! lol
      I have met many friends in Jpop and the Arashi fandom over the years and what I love about this fandom is how we can laugh at everything, even at the uasas over the boys. I guess it also reflects how Arashi handles things. they give their all to everything they are given and do not take things for granted, and yet, they also know to laugh at themselves. Arashians… or as MJ would have it, Arashists… for life!


      • Yes! Yes! lol Found him from Gokusen, Had to watch him in Hana Yori Dango and then fell in love with Arashi! Arashist Forever, as MJ would have it ^_^


  7. It’s never too late to be an Arashi fan!! I found out about them through Matsujun too but many thanks to my mama because she was the one who got me to watch Kindaichi back in the Tsuyoshi days and very naturally, I leapt onto the second season, loved Jidai and started watching them. Trying to find out news about them was tough back then. I really only started watching their shows religiously from ’06 onwards when a lot of the fansubbers started coming out.

    Now and again, I would reminisce about watching live streams of Mago/Shukudai on the internet. Very lovely memories and I’m glad to be able to share them with other fans as well. Watching them from being the relatively unknowns who could prance around on their location shootings, pranking people, to the big stars they are now, really makes me very proud. I knew they were really gonna make it big when Love So Sweet hit and they pretty much exploded in 2008. Will never forget those times. Sorry for this sudden gush of emotions!! Just felt really nostalgic when I stumbled upon this post. Can’t believe it’s been a decade.

    I hope you guys will stick with them for a really long time too!!! It’s really lovely to see how people adore them as much as I do:)


  8. I’m a fan since last year, but thanks to Internet I’ve been able to catch up (not as much as I would like to although)… I have never liked a boyband before, specially if it was from Japan… I mean I love J-Rock but japanese entertainment factory is (was) not my thing until I met Arashi… It was MatsuJun’s fault that I became an Arashist, looking for videos, buying singles, fighting for DVD’s first edition, watching again and again their old variety shows… I’m proud of being an arashist… They are not just idols, they are not just pretty faces… they are five friends who enjoy time together, respect each other, give the best of them in every show… sure they are not the most talented, but I guess they are the most honest and we (fans) can feel it in every act they have… They are family


    • Hi Bell, welcome to the wonderful world of Arashi! have you watched their old shows when they were not this famous yet and can get away with all the baka things they did onscreen? haha those years really gave them the strong work ethics they have, never to scoff at any kind of work and just do it with all their hearts whether it’s looking stupid on TV or looking kakkoi. they’re one of the few idols who can get away with both.


      • I’m always looking forward the old shows. I love AMNOS in D- G and etc no Arashi… I love Arashi no Shukudai-kun, actually I love all their shows, specially when they are dorks or when the don`t have money xDD… (Bell here)


  9. Love your blog story about Arashi especially at how you wrote it, anyone can easily understand. One doesn’t have to be a fan for years to love them extremely! Kudos to your work! 🙂


    • thank you diarRIA! I know what you mean, it’s not a measure of the years, we all love them dearly whether old or new fans! and I’m proud how these boys always top themselves. the POPCORN concert is just proof on how they get even better!


  10. You spoke my mind:D Sometimes even I wondered WHY did these simple 5 guys stole my heart like that, when there´s a lot of other bands out there with maybe, prettier boys or more talented people. But Arashi are special, they´re inspiring and couragous, they´re idols to look up to and also friends to take advice from. They´re just awsome, no matter what they do, because they put all their heart into it.


    • like the five boys who were meant to be in Arashi… the fans were also fated to be their fans. “inspiring and courageous” ITA and I love how they spread that inspiration among people… that you work hard and while it’s okay to fail sometimes, it’s not the end of the world and if you keep on working hard, you will eventually be rewarded. that’s the precious lesson that Arashi has taught me. thanks for dropping by!


  11. Thanks for writing that up. It really came from your heart and it reflected my heart as well. I’ve been around since 2005, and the most wonderful day of my life was finally seeing them in concert. I’m not a young chick anymore but in Tokyo it was amazing to see fans my age and much older, cheering and singing along. It’s thrilling how Arashi brings together people of all ages, and nations.


    • I am so envious that you watched their concert live! the only time I watched them live was when they represented Japan at the Asia Song Festival in Gwangju, S. Korea in 2006. it remains my dream to watch their concert and how true, it’s touching and thrilling indeed to see how these five dorks bring together people in all shapes, sizes and nationalities! thanks for dropping by!


  12. I love your post here. I came across it via the FB ruckus thingy. (I don’t have FB – it’s far, too scary a place for me, but I’m from lj)

    It’s a perfect way to try to explain to someone else why someone might be an Arashi fan. When hubby complains about my love for Ohno, I just turn around and tell him to shush because, if he hadn’t taken me to see Letters from Iwo Jima … we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re happily in. ^_~

    It’s a family thing in our home to be fans of Arashi. Girl is Jun-bait, since she was six. Boy swings between Nino and Aiba phases, and hubby is secretly a Nino Fan. I just love them all although Ohno and Aiba occupy special spaces in my heart.

    I love that they’re not your regular manufactured idols, but have managed to supersede their own management and say that ‘we are going to be who we are and we will make this work’. Their work ethic and dedication to the work they do, not just as idols but because they ARE idols. They do know they have a responsibility. Their dedication and the obvious love they have for each other as a whole and as individuals, is also what draws many to them. Certainly for me this is true.

    As role models too they have a huge responsibility. My daughter takes pride in the work that she does and works hard at school because she knows this is how Jun is. My son has a great love for animals and (unfortunately for me sometimes) science experiments and looks up to Aiba for inspiration and (unfortunately for my kitchen too) ideas. ^_^ But we’re good.

    Egads … long comment is long … I apologise. Just that I love your post. Thank you so much for sharing. After the craziness of the FB furore this is like a breath of fresh and badly need air – Zan

    If I could I’d pour you a cuppa and chat all day about Arashi … ^_^


    • your comment just warmed my heart especially with all the ruckus happening on FB! and I love stories like yours on how fans love the dorks that they’ve spread the love to their loved ones, and how Arashi’s work has inspired others to do better. I especially love the part about your daughter and your son turning your kitchen into one giant laboratory; you can’t blame Aiba for that, can you? lol

      for me, that’s the essence of what rolemodels are, but not every idol understands that or takes that to heart. some have this self-entitlement on being an idol, but with Arashi, you see how they give their all to what they do, their strong work ethic and how they remain humble and grateful to the fans and people who support them.

      ahh yes, we can chat all day about Arashi, I’m sure we’ll never run out of things to stay and I’m even more sure that they won’t be about how they look or the clothes they wear but about the inspiring people that they are ;P


  13. So much love in this post! Telling others about Arashi, it seems easy but it’s not easy, ne? You want to share with them the rainbows without necessarily asking them to be fans. It’s just that, Arashi if not shared seems, so, selfish. We’re receiving a lot of love and happiness from the boys! 😉


  14. the exact reasons why i love arashi. they’re not ur ordinary idols, they are…..well “special” would still be an understatement.


  15. Love this post, just had to drop in to say this! I’m a casual Arashi fan – I’d my phases way back when, but in general I think I’m just really keeping tabs on Matsujun (whom I continue to deny liking hahaha) – but regardless, great post! Really captured why they’re still going strong until today and why their non-cookie-cut quirks are exactly the same reasons that they’re relevant today.


  16. I’m wondering how you found out that Kimura Takuya watched their late night shows. I’d love to know! Their late night shows were the best, the stockings on their heads had me instantly hooked.


  17. Thanks for answering my question :). I see, glad to see that other johnny’s were able to see the magic of Arashi’s late night shows.


  18. Hi…

    I, by chance stumble upon your article and took time to read it til the end. Why? I was intrigued with what you’ve written here. I rarely read blogs, i certainly did post any comments either! However, i can’t help but feel that i need to express my satisfaction upon reading an article about Arashi.

    I’ve been a fan since 2003 and while reading, i thought, this person took the word out of my mouth. I was thinking, i agree with every single thing you’ve pointed out in this article!

    To be honest, if i’m being asked why i love Arashi, i can’t give an answer. All i knew is, i love them. They are just an amazing group of people who brighten up so many people’s life including mine. Growing up with them, just made me love them even more and i hope will continue.

    Thanks so much for a well written article, i enjoyed reading every single bit of it.


    • Thank YOU for reading! I’m always touched when fellow Arashi fans leave messages. It’s really hard to describe why we love Arashi and maybe many who are used to factory idols won’t be able to get us. Arashi means so much to us in so many ways deshou?

      And wow, a fan since 2003! That’s awesome!


  19. That’s just how fortunate I was to view ur blog~ A simple but true stories about the rainbow fandom. 🙂
    I am actually just got to know ARASHI very recently (It’s like may until now?) through a friend of mine who actually started to love them quite a long time until now..I counted her years for being arashist,if not mistaken,it is 10++ years already..By that time,I was totally in “WOW!” mode.. but,after getting know them a little by little,indeed,they are really worthful for being loved by that much people.^^
    Although I read some of their old old scandals, I believe they are not really as bad as being described
    For me,ARASHI has became a way of communication. and recently ARASHI has even upgraded to become my spiritual support~ I truly LOVE their attitudes and spirit..For sure,I am gonna live in this rainbow fandom forever! \^0^/


    • Thanks for reading!

      For sure, Arashi are not perfect and they never claimed to be. That’s why fans love them. They’re down-to-earth guys who work hard at what they’re given, stumble occasionally but always stand up and brush themselves off and start over again. That attitude is not just in their songs but in the way they are.


      • total agree. 🙂 they are so real that give me a feeling they are more like my nii-san than being my idols.haha..
        The “stand up from your own feet after falling down” is totally a thing that I saw from them since the first until now.Hope their humble personalities will stay with them ever. 🙂


  20. I know them since my junior school, forgot them, changing music taste, and here I am. 7 years have passed, I love them once more. I watch their variety show, surfing here and there, cz my love for them is too much. This love is even bigger than before. I read your article, and I super agree with you. While another boybands/idols are trying to look perfect, they just happy with their imperfection. That’s what makes ’em lovable. I watch another idols like A,B, and C but I never love them like I love arashi. 7 years, and they have their own place in my heart.
    I’m tired hearing ppl talk about their idol perfection, while I am still loving their imperfection. People may ask ‘why do you love them?’ I just cant answer that, So much things I love about arashi.


    • thank you for the heartwarming comment. I shared it on my Twitter. I guess many can relate to you…I know of others too who have “wandered” to other fandoms and yet still find themselves going back to Arashi. maybe what Sho said is true after all, that they want to be an oasis to their fans, and they are to you, to me and to many others.

      it amuses me when fans spazz over the perfection of their idols…I’m sure everyone is awesome in their own way but we all know no one is perfect. of course as an idol, you have to preserve a public image but in the case of Arashi, they have always been about their heart and not their looks or their talents. sure, those are factors why they are in the business anyway, but they look good-looking to us and they are talented to us because we see them as people whose hearts are in the right place. and I hope they never change…well, 16 years and counting, with more than half of that being at the top of their game, and yet the fame hasn’t gone to their heads. they will always be the bakas that we know and love.

      thanks for the comment!


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