[news] Johnny’s Starting to Hold Back Kpop?

There are signs of Johnny’s, Japan’s mecca for male idol groups, starting to hold K-pop in check.

A source said on 18 June, “Johnny’s, a company managing mostly male groups, is feeling uncomfortable about Korean male groups’ venture into Japan. They started putting pressure on TV programs in a special liaison with Johnny’s.”

Johnny’s is Japan’s representative management company. It owns most of male idol groups such as Arashi, Kinki Kids, Kanjani8, and Kat-Tun. They were alert to the Korean girl groups’ venture into Japan and started to show signs of holding back the Kpop boom at the rush of Kpop  male groups.

Korean male groups are actually having difficulty in making appearances on TV compared to girl groups such as KARA and SNSD.

A source related to a male group said, “It’s nothing new. It has been like that from the time DBSK did their activities in Japan. We anticipated it. What’s surprising is that Kpop has grown so much to make them try to hold it in check.”


This is a news article published on 19 June. I don’t know how much of this is true. I’m posting this just to let you know there is a concern expressed by the press.

20 thoughts on “[news] Johnny’s Starting to Hold Back Kpop?

  1. I was a hard Johnny’s fan before and it doesn’t suprise me at all… Johnny’s entertainment are sometimes worst than some huge K-POP label (SM entertainment as well) in their willing of selling the most and being the best. And lately, Many Johnny’s fans turned into K-POP fans ’cause Johnny’s and K-POP boysband are both bands with boys who can dance and sing. The difference is actually that K-POP bands are way more trained than the Johnny’s one. Plus, if you compare them, Johnny’s are not this talented, they won’t sing live, their dance moves aren’t accurate and they aren’t synchronized at all…

    I think it’s a very shameful way of keeping their Japanese fans. if they don’t want K-POP boysband to please at people and “steal” their fans, then they should just go train their idols and make them better than they are.

    • I don’t know much about Japanese music, but in particular I looked into AKB48 because they are so popular there. Their singing isn’t that great, their dancing isn’t very difficult, and they aren’t synchronized. It made me realize why people there are liking K-pop. They do what J-pop singers do, but better. Not to offend anyone who likes J-pop, but this is just my opinion. It made me wonder what kind of training their singers do (if they do any at all) before they are put in a group.

      • performance skills are def the biggest selling point of k-idol vs, j-idols imo. It was the 1st thing i notice when getting into kpop from jpop (referring specifically to japan’s idol scene) Shinee in particular are very strong live performers….

  2. It’s possible; Johnny has serious pull within the broadcasting industry and he doesn’t hesitate to use it. But still, I doubt K-Pop bands could threaten giants like SMAP and Arashi so it’s highly petty of Johnny.

  3. i’m sorry but why would they do a thing like that. guess they can’t handle competition. omg i’m propa fuming!!! they must also feel threatened by SHINee and any other kpop boy group. that has to be the most petty thing i;ve ever heard.

  4. jujugal, sorry for going off topic but I come with great news. I have found the stream site for MTV Aid Japan. We can use this to stream the performances of SHINee & SNSD when they perform in 2 days. I’m just going to leave the link here for you incase you need it:


  5. I remember 2PM only sang Take off on Music Japan once and couldn’t appear on Music Station (although they did perform Heart Beat on MS once back in Feb or Marc). I think the same thing will happen to Shinee despite both group are doing great on the chart and all
    Such a waste …

  6. I don’t know. I’m not familiar with johnny’s but none of these kpop boybands have done as well as the girlgroups (like kara and snsd) so that maybe explain why they aren’t invited on shows. Even big bang is just average in Japan, despite how popular they are in Korea.

    • Actually Big Bang performed on M-station. They had an unusual strong push. At that time Kpop was not a boom like these days. I think there are other reasons why they are not as popular in Japan. Probably their style is not what Japanese people like.

    • I agree with Juju. I don’t think how popular you are in Korea has much to do with it. I mean, not many people were expecting Kara to go to Japan and be as popular as they are. They had a moderate hit with “Mister”, but aside from that they weren’t too popular in Korea.

      They say there is a herbivore trend in Japan right now. Meaning they aren’t too into beastly types of guys. This could be part of how well Shinee is doing at this point.

  7. I’ve heard about the difficulties that K-male groups like DBSK experienced in Japan before, so at first I didn’t really want SHINee to debut there. However, if the other groups could overcome those barriers and succeed, I believe our boys can, too. SHINee seems to have a smooth beginning, but there’s still a long and hard journey after that. Let’s wish them all the best and stay together ’till the end of time ♥

  8. This will be a long comment so forgive me.

    I’m a J-Pop & K-Pop fan and I must tell everyone something. Johnny’s Entertainment holds the monopoly of the male idol industry of Japan unlike for female idols (not even Hello! Project). As a monopoly, one of their roles is to block potential competitors because their advantage will be lost which is to have price control. Furthermore, JE blocking artists isn’t new – even before the influx of K-Pop artists in Japan, the company does that (e.g. w-inds).

    As for SHINee, I think JE will be a lot lighter on them because JE and SM Entertainment have current business ties w/ each other – SME distributing JE merchandise in Korea and for past promotional purposes such as SHINee promoting Hana Yori Dango movie in Korea last 2008.

    I also noticed K-Pop fans asking why JE idols are popular even though they can’t even sing or dance. The notion of what’s entertaining in the realm of idols in Japan and Korea are different. More often than not, idol groups in Japan are expected to be “jack of all trades, master of nothing.” Furthermore, in JE, their idols are geared to act in dramas/movies compared to singing and dancing. Why? Most of their singles were produced because one member is in that drama, movie or even a CF which kind of implies that producing music is just 2nd in priority to their job as idol. Currently, even the two biggest JE idol groups in Japan had their fame skyrocketed by their members’ dramas and not their music.

    • Thanks for this thorough info. I didn’t know JE has ties with SME. Hope this will work positively for our boys. And I’ve heard about Jp idols and their difference from Kpop idols too. Some say that’s why SNSD are positioned as artists in Japan rather than idols. And the strategy seems to have worked well.

      • I think for the recent years, JE had been a lot lighter with their policies on male K-Pop groups after Tohoshinki hoopla. Also, they even permitted to have SHINee to be in 2 of the magazine titles that they have (Duet and Myojo) and that’s a far cry from what I’ve used to see years ago wherein it’s very rare for a non-JE artist to even grace a page of their magazines.

        About SNSD being positioned as artists, I can say that it’s a smart move but for me, that’s not that necessary to do so as compared to K-Pop male idols. I think EMI Japan is also going to that path with SHINee. I don’t know if I misread but EMI Japan’s CEO once said about SHINee being artists and not just idols. Plus, I don’t feel that SME will put SHINee into a recording company that knows nothing about handling idols if they plan to market them as such.

  9. My friends have been J-pop fans (SMAP) before they become K-pop fans (TVXQ! only) and when SHINee was going to debut in Japan, they told me SHINee should be careful with their voices and styles. If they want to become a big name in Japan, they should go as a Japanese true talent male artists, not as a Hallyu idol. They think SHINee is good at vocal and has much improve (in singing) since their debut in 2008 so it wil be such a pretty waste if SHINee is just one of Hallyu symbols in Japan.

    In their opinion, girl groups in Japan have an easier way than boy groups cause the boys (K-pop b-groups) have to go in talent-way, not like g-groups with just normal voices, joyful songs, cute faces but sexy bodys. That’s the reason why in Japan, Kara is more popular (with high score album and single sales) than any K-pop b-groups were debut same time with or even before them (Big Bang as example). Kpop recently has many many b-group with beastly style but my friends make sure that it can’t help in Japan, as you know, Japanese is a pioneer in weird clothes and make-up called Harajuku, so why do they have to pay attention to many foreigners with just a half style (even less) like them?

    I dont’ think Johnny’s has to hold back Kpop because though many Kpop artists have attacked J-pop, but you can count how many artists can make it successfully. BoA and TVXQ! are the big name but as Hallyu sympols in Japan is what Korean media call them, actually, they are considered as Japanese artists now. Bigeast (TVXQ!’s FC in Japan) don’t know DBSK or TVXQ! cause they only know Tohoshinki. TVXQ! tried their best to be admited as a true J-artist and I hope SHINee will be too.

    When SM and EMI use Taemin as SHINee group-face in Japan, I was a little disappointed. I think they will build SHINee as an idol group with cute faces, but beside using his beauty and cute, they trained Taemin’s voice and give him more singing part too, so I am in a high expectation that they can make it through as TVXQ! could (just as or a little as TVXQ!, I have nothing more to wish for ^^!)

    Sorry for my bad English :”>

  10. johnny makes mediocre music. heysay is a joke. kattun used to be good. news is dead. step up your game johnny and give your boys haircuts. the shoulder length hair is so last decade.

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