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Top 10: The Most Popular Japanese Boy Bands

Updated on September 4, 2015
Xhyniie profile image

Xhyniie is a Jpop lover and a fan of Arashi! She also watch anime like Code Breaker, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, Attack on Titan and Psycho-Pass.

Japanese idols are not only focus on singing but also engaged in acting. Some of these idols have been doing J-drama’s for many years and became successful as actors. Though it is very hard to say who is the most famous Japanese boy bands but I rank them through how familiar I am with the members and how popular they are on social media’s. For example, I am a fan of Jun Matsumoto (he is a member of Arashi) and yes, I am familiar with ARASHI. In addition, I also love the group Hey! Say! JUMP especially Yuri Chinen and the group SMAP.

So, if you aren’t familiar with any of Japanese boy bands then let me take you in a tour on my 10 Most Popular Japanese Boy Bands. Let’s start our tour now!

1. Arashi


Creating a storm throughout the world

Arashi is one of the most popular idol groups in Japan. It is consists of five members namely Satoshi Ohno, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya and Jun Matsumoto.

It was on September 15, 1999 that the group was officially formed in Honolulu, Hawaii. They made their debut CD on November 3, 1999. Arashi was initially signed to Pony Canyon and released one studio album and six singles—beginning with their 1999 eponymous debut single before moving to the Johnny's subsidiary label J Storm in 2001, which was initially set up for their succeeding releases.

They became more popular in the entertainment industry when they became the first artist to place the top two rankings on the Oricon singles yearly chart for two consecutive years with their singles "Truth/Kaze no Mukō e" and "One Love" in 2008 and "Believe/Kumorinochi, Kaisei" and "Ashita no Kioku/Crazy Moon (Kimi wa Muteki)" in 2009.

Aside from singing, Arashi members are also engage in acting. In fact, last October 2014, they released their latest album "The Digitalian". It contains 16 tracks, including "Bittersweet" from Jun Matsumoto's drama "Shitsuren Chocolatier", "GUTS!" from Kazunari Ninomiya's drama "Yowakutemo Katemasu", and "Daremo Shiranai" from Satoshi Ohno's drama "Shinigami-kun"

Watch it now!

2. Hey! Say! JUMP

Hey! Say! JUMP
Hey! Say! JUMP

Johnny's Ultra Music Power

Hey! Say! JUMP is another idol group from Japan. It is consists of nine members namely Ryosuke Yamada, Yuto Nakajima, Yuri Chinen, Keito Okamoto, Daiki Arioka, Kei Inoo, Yuya Takaki, Hikaru Yaotome, Kota Yabu.

The group release their first single “Hey! Say! on August 1, 2007.. While the A-side "Hey! Say!" was used as the second opening song for the anime Lovely Complex, the single's B-side "Bon Bon" was used as the second ending song for the same anime. The single went on to sell 120,520 copies in its first week, making the group the youngest male group to top the Oricon singles chart.

They held their first Asian tour from March to June (2012), with a series of concerts in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.The group has continued releasing singles in 2014 and their third album smart went number one the week it was released. The members have also continued to be active in variety, and Yaotome and Arioka are now regulars on the show Hirunandesu!.

Watch it now! hey! Say! JUMP Music Video!



Sports Music Assemble People

SMAP is another Japanese idol group and is consists of five members namely Masahiro Nakai,Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori. The group's name is an acronym standing for Sports Music Assemble People.

The group released their first CD in 1991 and has since released over fifty singles and twenty albums. Approximately more than half of the singles and a half of the albums have reached the top of the Japanese Oricon music charts. In recent years, the interval between the band's single CD releases has become longer, and they are now released approximately once a year.

The members of the group are also engaged in television variety shows, dramas, commercials, and movies, making them one of the most popular Johnny's groups. Largely due to their popularity, Johnny & Associates became the most successful agency in Japan, with earnings of almost three billion Japanese yen in 1995.

Watch it now! SMAP - Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana !



KAT-TUN Members

KAT-TUN is another Japanese idol group originally consists of six members. The groups name is based on the first letter of each members family name: KazuyaKamenashi, Jin Akanishi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda, and Yuichi Nakamaru.

They made their debut on March 22, 2006 was marked by a tripartite release of a CD single, album and music DVD on their exclusive record label J-One Records. Since then, all of their single, album and music DVD releases have debuted at number one on the Oricon music and DVD charts.

In 2010 Akanishi left the group to start a solo career, making the group's acronym then come from KAmenashi, Taguchi, Tanaka, Ueda, and Nakamaru, and the group toured with five members. In 2013, Tanaka's contract was terminated for several violations, leaving KAT-TUN as a four-man ensemble, and Tatsuya Ueda took the T to keep the acronym .

The group's current members are: Kazuya Kamenashi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Tatsuya Ueda and Yuichi Nakamura.

Watch it now! KAT-TUN Don't You Ever Stop!



NEWS members

NEWS is a Japanese idol group consists of four members namely Keiichiro Koyama, Takahisa Masuda, Shigeaki Kato and Yuya Tegoshi. The groups name is an acronym based on the cardinal directions (North, East,West, South) and the members locations. NEWS released a promotional single "NEWS Nippon" which was used for the World Cup of Volleyball Championships.

Ryo Nishikido and Tomohisa Yamashita were formely part of the group. They left the group on 2011. The two idols are both engage in acting and a well known actors in Japan.

6. Generation from Exile Tribe

Generations from Exile Tribe
Generations from Exile Tribe

Generations from Exile Tribe Members

Generations from Exile Tribe (stylized as GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE), also known as simply Generations, is a 7-member Japanese boy band signed to the Avex Group label Rhythm Zone. The group belongs to the talent agency LDH, and is part of the collective "Exile Tribe", related to Exile.Generations debuted in November 2012.

The group's current members are: Alan Shirahama, Ryota Katayose, Ryuto Kazuhara, Hayato Komori, Reo Sano, Mandy Sekiguchi and Yuta Nakatsuka.

7. Johnny's West

Johnny's West
Johnny's West

Johnny's West is another Japanese idol group that is consists of seven-member. The group's name comes from the fact that it originated within the Johnny's Entertainment talent agency, and that the members are from Kansai, the west region of Japan. They are the first group from Kansai Johnny's Jr that has debuted in ten years, the last being Kanjani Eight. Debuting in 2014 with the single "Eejanaika", they sing mainly in the Kansai dialect.

The group's current members are: Daiki Shigeoka, Junta Nakama, Takahiro Hamada, Akito Kiriyama, Tomohiro Kamiyama, Ryusei Fujii and Nozomu Kotaki.

8. NYC


NYC is a Japanese boy band formed by Ryosuke Yamada and Yuri Chinen of Hey! Say! JUMP and Johnny's Jr. Yuma Nakayama in 2010. Before that, seven-members unit NYC Boys (stylized NYC boys) was formed on June 7, 2009, to promote the FIVB World Grand Prix 2009, an event that began on July 31 and ended on August 23, 2009. They performed the theme song "NYC" in Tokyo and Osaka before each game.

9. Kanjani Eight

Kanjani Eight
Kanjani Eight

Kanjani Eight is a Japanese idol group that is consists seven-member from Japan's Kansai region. They are managed by the multimedia talent agency, Johnny & Associates, and signed to Imperial Records. The group was formed in 2002 and made their CD debut in 2004 as "Johnny's modern enka group", though after the year 2006, their sound and style has become a mix of pop and rock.

Kanjani Eight current members are You Yokoyama, Ryuhei Maruyama, Tadayoshi Okura, Subaru Shibutani, Ryo Nishikido, Shota Yasuda, Shingo Murakami (citationKanjani Eight website & Johnny Entertainment website)

10. W-inds


W-inds is another Japanese pop boy band that is managed by Vision Factory and has been signed to the Pony Canyon label since 2000. The group consists of the three members namely Ryohei Chiba, Keita Tachibana, and Ryuichi Ogata. They made their formal debut in 2001 and, to date, have released 30 singles. In addition to their popularity in Japan, they have a relatively large fan base around other Asian countries (such as Taiwan and Hong Kong) and regularly make television appearances there.

The group's members are: Keita Tachibana, Ryohei Chiba and Ryuichi Ogata.

Let us hear your opinions!

What Japanese idol group is the best for you?

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      zxc 23 months ago

      you should put sandaime JSB instead generation,,

      sandaime has sold more than them

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      mikikko 18 months ago

      The recent SMAP break-up drama proves how popular and influential they are that even bbc, the washington post, the guardian and other intl media cover this news and even the japanese prime minister feels relieves after announcing they won't disband..

    • profile image

      seddie 13 months ago

      i didn't even know one band out of all these;D

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      lolywouldisaymynamexd 6 months ago

      I want NYC back ;-;

      they had the most ikemen out of all of the groups on the list XD

      the level of jpop dropped so much its almost sad...

      I want to do something....

      but I can't which is worse...

      is there anything to my asian pop otaku life other than watching kpop slowly take over j pop territory!?!?!?

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