Three of the nine men bestowed with the Men of the Year title for 2017 by GQ Japan.
December 31, 2016, SMAP disbandment.
September 8, 2017, three former SMAP members, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori, leave their former company.
The same year, on September 22nd, the three restart activities with their fan site “Atarashii Chizu.”
Furthermore, they wasted no time with a non-stop 72 hour live broadcast on an internet TV channel.
2017 is the year former SMAP member’s course of action garnered the attention of the nation.
The 12th annual GQ MEN OF THE YEAR honors these three men who set out anew with “Inspiration Of the Year.”
– GQ Japan January/February 2017 Edition
Seeing the guys grace the cover of GQ Japan and then a live stream of the award ceremony… it was a whirlwind of excitement! The award ceremony itself was a bit awkward, and the live stream needed work and the guys were all nervous, but I’m very proud of them.
They’ve been through a lot the last two years, and they are stepping up when so many people doubted them. Maybe doubting them isn’t the best way to put it, but more like people overestimated the power of their former company to erase them from the entertainment world.
There’s still a battle ahead, as continues to be evidenced by the lack of media coverage of their accomplishments in some outlets, but Goro, Tsuyoshi, and Shingo are fighting against the odds, carving out a place for themselves and their fans. They are upsetting the status quo, attempting and succeeding at something that isn’t easily done in Japan – leave your company and still find success.
I wish them the best. Not just because I’m a fan, but because others in the entertainment industry deserve better and hopefully, others will be able to easily follow in their footsteps and demand better for themselves, their careers, and their fans.
Yeah, if you can’t tell, I still have hope for a reunion.