to be a Japanese pop idol?
as difficult as it sounds if you have the looks
becoming a celebrity in any other country is next to
impossible, the situation is absolutely different in Japan.
To even get to act in your town's theater or to get featured
in a magazine or an opportunity to sing on the radio - these
opportunities are generally very competitive since you are
compete with people who have real talent.
Interestingly, while the path to becoming a celebrity is
long, frustrating, and painful, once you make it, you are
all set for at least a few years. Actually so long
that you can call it a
career and some people will look at
your face on TV and say that they have known you for a
while. In other words, you can compare to the
situation to becoming an American Idol.
How does it work in Japan?
an idol (or several versions of an idol in form of a model,
talent, AV idol,
movie actress, singer, race
queen, etc.) in Japan has
less to do with real talent but more to do with how marketable
the person is. The companies active in using
idols/talents to market products will take care of the rest.
Once an individual is identified as a potential idol material
and experiences some initial success, hundreds of people who
work behind the screens will take care of everything else that
a typical creative person is expected to. For instance,
someone will compose the lyrics and music and all you are
expected to do is to sing it. Is the song really a
classic? It doesn't matter since it is possible to
coordinate how many times that song is played and how the CD
analyzed how some of the idols have been made. Kazumi
Murata, Mamiko Mise, Miho Kiuchi, Seiko Matsuda, Kyoko Fukada,
Namie Amuro, Senna Matsuda, Gackt,
Kaori Ohara, SMAP, Kinki Kids, and
many others idols show some common features:
Singing skills, at least
for a karaoke party
Dancing skills sufficient
to move the body with the music
Good looks that make the
individual different in some ways in a country that is so
it is interesting to note that some idols became idols simply
based on one attribute - Namie Amuro looked ordinary in a
country where everybody wants to look beautiful, Kyoko Fukada
is just too cute, Kaori Ohara and Senna Matsuda have large
tops, and the SMAP members have an un-Japanese attitude.
The same can be said for the limited success that non-Japanese
have had in becoming 'idols' in Japan. If you are an
attractive Caucasian, you are hired regardless of your
a lot of people outside of Japan are still not aware of these
two women who claim to be sisters - Kyoko and Mika, they are
the hottest idols in Japan at this time. These women
call themselves as lifestyle consultants but are better known
for their looks, especially their attractive bodies.
Kyoko's chest size is 96 cm (38 inches) while Mika is slightly bigger
at 98 cm (39 inches) and both of them have no embarrassment in
showing it all off. In fact they have released a coffee
table book by a simple title "Fabulous Body" that
reportedly shows it all. The question that is very
commonly asked by aspiring foreign models in
it possible to become a star just based on size?"
can be answered by the success of Kano Sisters. These
two ladies have no hesitation in taking their clothes off for
the sake of publicity so that they can then stand up in front
of hundreds of women who pay up to $250 to listen to their
advice to how to sleep
two sisters also maintain some degree of enigma about their
origins and their lives so that the media has plenty to
speculate about them. Surprisingly, despite the
popularity of such female idols mostly among middle-aged
Japanese salarymen, Kano Sisters are more popular among
fashionable Japanese women.
we continue to believe that being an idol in Japan is a
combination of a nice
body, some basic skills, and lots of
luck, the success of Kano Sisters has been rather unusual in
the sense that they have managed their own success and no one
has brought them to their pinnacle by clever marketing.
Does it change the rules of the game to become an idol in
Japan? Is there a trend that can be seen? Probably
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