The popular idol group SMAP broke up on December 31 after performing music together for more than a quarter century.

Although the pop stars are continuing with their solo careers, they issued SMAP farewell messages to fans on January 5.

Here is their joint message as a group:

“Everyone’s support, all of it, is reaching us.
We’re taking in everyone’s feelings, all of them. 
Gratitude from the heart. 
Truly, thank you.”

Here are their individual messages:

Masahiro Nakai (seen top right in above image)

“You took care of me… right?
It’s “goodbye” then…. 
Well then, see you again! Right…?”

Takuya Kimura (seen bottom left in above image)

“I feel like we were able to get where we are
because everyone was there for us, 
wishing and waiting for us. 
From here on too, please treat us well.”

Goro Inagaki (seen top center in above image)

“Thank you so very much for supporting SMAP
and giving us your careful consideration until now. 
The most important thing to me, until now and after now, is all of you. 
With gratitude.”

Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (seen bottom right in image above)

“Thank you very much for supporting us until now.
In boring times, in fun times,
I’m together with everyone.
From now on also, please treat me well.”

Shingo Katori (seen top left in above image)

“I love
everyone who supported SMAP
and SMAP [as well]
Thank you.”

In addition to posting the farewell messages, the official Johnny’s Net website opened solo pages for each of the former SMAP members. The paid Johnny’s Web smartphone website also posted the singers’ personal messages on January 3.

Johnny & Associates’ facsimile message explained last August that part of the group held the opinion of “wanting to break up rather than go on hiatus,” so they decided to end their activities as a group. The five members will remain with Johnny & Associates going forward, but will focus on their solo careers starting this year.

Newspapers reported last January that Nakai (now 44), Kusanagi (42), Inagaki (43), and Katori (39) had been in talks to leave Johnny & Associates, with only Kimura (44) staying with the agency. The reports added that the four would leave following the imminent resignation of SMAP’s long-time manager Michi Ijima.

SMAP (Sports Music Assemble People) formed in 1988 with six members, although Katsuyuki Mori left the group in 1996. The band debuted with their first single in September 1991, and went on to put out a number of hit songs, such as “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana,” “Yozora no Mukō,” and “Lion Heart.” “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana” sold 2.5 million single CDs.

Together the group performed theme songs for Hime-chan’s Ribbon and Lil’ Red Riding Hood Cha-Cha. They have also had separate acting careers. Kimura has voiced Howl in Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli‘s Howl’s Moving Castle film and JP in Takeshi Koike and Madhouse‘s Redline film, and starred in the live-action film of the space opera anime classic Space Battleship Yamato (adapted as Star Blazers in English). Kusanagi played Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank anime movie and Kouichi in Hime-chan’s Ribbon. Inagaki played the Kamen Rider G lead in the live-action special of the same name and Dr. Ratchet in the One Piece: Karakuri Shiro no Mecha Kyohei film. Katori has played Riiya the kid werewolf in Lil’ Red Riding Hood Cha-Cha, Hattori-kun in the live-action Ninja Hattori Kun The Movie, and Kankichi in the 2009 live-action drama adaptation of Osamu Akimoto‘s Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo (“Kochikame“) police comedy manga.

Source: Kai-You
Featured image: 稲葉翔子

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