嵐 – Arashi

Recently, I wrote a post about Boy Bands in Japan, and how they differ somewhat then the ones you might know in the U.S., with their image being more “cool” and with broader appeal across genders. In that post, I talked about my wife’s and daugther’s interest in the band Arashi (嵐, lit. “storm”) in particular, and how it has rubbed off on me. Here’s a quick video of her playing her Hello Kitty piano along with an Arashi video:

(Note: there is an even funnier video of her singing along to a different Japanese music show here.)

I grew up in Seattle and spent my teenage youth in the “Grunge-era” 90′s when we had so many awesome bands that all managed to implode or self-destruct one after another. Since that time, I’ve had trouble finding any particular music I enjoyed apart from a album or two elsewhere, and so I think listening to Arashi with my family has given me something different to appreciate, and it has rubbed off on me a lot.

Recently, I finished watching the Japanese TV drama Kaibutsu-kun (怪物くん) which featured the “leader” of Arashi as the main actor. I enjoyed the drama for other reasons, but the fusion of the two made me a confirmed Arashi fan after that.

This page is devoted to Arashi and information about them, probably one of the few pages in English. If you’re like me and tired of the typical music scene, you might enjoy their good music, high energy and good showmanship plus the unique personalities of each member. Also, for me, it’s a great thing to share with my loved ones who already have an interest. No joke, sometimes my 4-year old daughter and I do “silly dancing” along with one of the Arashi concert DVDs we have at home, and I do listen to a couple of their more recent albums on my iPhone at work too. Again, I enjoy the high-energy, good music along with the much needed practice listening to Japanese (just as my wife did the same learning English years ago).

So, take a look at this page as I add more content over time. Here’s a couple things to start off with:

Recommended Albums

  • A good sample of their music over the last 10 years can be found in their recent anniversary 2-disc album: All the Best 1999-2009. I like their later stuff in the 2nd disc best. It’s a solid album.
  • Their 9th Album 僕の見ている風景 (lit. “The scenery I am watching”) is another great 2-disc album. Again, I prefer the 2nd disc, which has the highly addicting song Monster (also available as a single), which was the theme song to Kaibutsu-kun above.

Speaking of “Monster” you can see a video of the song online too. Here’s another video of them thanking people for their support of Japan after the earthquake, and encouraging people to visit Japan again.


All members are from the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, except for “Aiba-kun” who’s from nearby Chiba Prefecture. You can read their official profiles (mostly in Japanese) here.

Here’s a photo from a recent uchiwa (内輪) or promotional fan my sister-in-law brought back from a concert:

Arashi Promotional Fan

On the back row, starting from the left, surnames first (per Japanese tradition):

  • Masaki Aiba (born 1982), or just “Aiba-kun” is the most outgoing of the group and you see him a lot on TV. He brings a lot of energy to the group. :)
  • Ono Satoshi (born 1980), or “Leader” has a great singing voice. My wife and I like him a lot. He was the lead character in the Kaibutsu-kun drama mentioned above.
  • Sakurai Sho (born 1982), or just “Shō-kun” is the most talented with hip-hop music, and is very fun to watch in concerts. Great entertainer.

And in the front-row, also starting from the left:

  • Matsumoto Jun (born 1983), or just “Matsujun” is my daughter’s favorite. He often wears his hair in a pompadour-style and is very charming to the ladies. ;) He also starred in a drama my wife likes too (花より男子).
  • Kuzanari Ninomiya (born 1983), or “Nino-kun” is probably the most well-rounded artist as he writes some of the songs, sings great and does a lot of acting too. My wife says he is very intelligent sounding in interviews. I respect him a lot.

I’ll have to dig up some photos one of these days for reference…

5 Responses to 嵐 – Arashi

  1. ロビン says:

    Wow! I came here while doing some research on “yakudoshi” and found an Arashi post instead. Small world! That’s so sweet that both you and your family members enjoy their work. Like you, I grew up in the Grunge era and spent my allowance on alternative groups like Weezer and Cibo Matto. You can imagine my chagrin when at the age of 26 I had to admit I’d fallen for a boy band. Johnny’s jimusho has a way of sneaking up on you I always say. I do hope you and your family have the chance to see an Arashi concert someday. I’ve been to three, and it’s truly a fabulous experience. The Johnny’s concert experience in general is very unique, and I wish it was something we could adopt here in the U.S. (When else am I going to use these penlights and uchiwa?? ^_^)

  2. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Ha ha ha, small world indeed. The only remaining Grunge group I still listen to is Alice N’ Chains, since they’ve done a nice job of evolving with the times (I like their latest album quite a bit), but yet, the overall implosion of the Grunge Era left me with nothing to listen to for a long time. I was glad to find something like Arashi that was 1) new and 2) not so dark, more upbeat. :)

    Yeah, I know what you mean: Johnny’s is a pretty well-run machine, and other bands are good, but there’s enough variety for various types of listeners. We listen to 関ジャニ∞ and they’re good too, but just not quite my style. Other bands are either too old-school (my wife grew up with Kinki Kids), or too young (my daughter loves NYC, but they’re way too young for me). Arashi manages to fit the bill well. :)

    I am envious about the concert experience. I haven’t been to one yet, but I have a post coming up about some schwag my sister-in-law picked up at a recent concert. We do watch them from time to time on DVD and you’re right: it’s quite an experience.

  3. Yuki Eng says:

    I like Arashi as well especially Ohno-kun. We shared the same interests. I’ve been their fan for almost 8 years. But it’s very rare to see their merchandise being sold in my country, Malaysia. So I used to buy their albums in Japan.

    It would be great if they ever hold a concert here. I’ll definitely see it.

    I’ll be taking JLPT N3 this coming December. I would like to know how you can pass the exam. Like you, I’m having problems in listening part although I work in Japanese company.

  4. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Salamat Yuki and welcome to the JLR. Always glad to meet another Arashi fan and Ohno-kun fan. :)

    As for the JLPT, I wrote a big, long page about it here. There is a section for improving listening, and resources like online news, podcasts, etc. For listening, this takes lots of time and exposure. Since you work in a Japanese company, you might hear it sometimes, but maybe it’s not enough. You have to study words and grammar of course, but you also have to just get adjusted to hearing them too. You may have to hear those words or grammar many times before you feel comfortable, but that’s ok. It just takes time.

    Good luck!

  5. miss A says:

    wow! this is so interesting.. i came across your page to dig deeper on arashi but somehow ended up here…*lol*

    i’m glad to know that there are arashi fans all the way to seattle. i’ve pretty much grown up with arashi since my early teens and still my favorite boy band today. though i’m not that fanatic, i follow anythng bout ‘em every now and then when i have the time.

    and oh yeah, arashi member ninomiya has a role in one of hollywood movies (if you don’t know), Clint Eastwood’s Letter’s from Iwo Jima..just letting you noe..

    well, keep supporting arashi! xD

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