Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Morimoto Ryutaro on indefinite suspension!


A completely unexpected and shocking scandal is rocking the idol world. Hey! Say! JUMP's youngest member, 16 year old Morimoto Ryutaro, has been caught underage smoking. And because of this scandal Ryutaro will cease all of his activities in the entertainment field indefinitely. He will also be edited out of the cover of Hey! Say! JUMP's new single, Over, and will not participate in the Summary concerts.

Here are the larger pictures of him smoking:



Is anyone else having really bad Kago Ai flashbacks? All Ryutaro needs to do is date a 40 year old woman, and he's as good as history. All joking aside, this is a completely serious issue. Not only is underage smoking illegal it's also taken very seriously in Japan. It's easy for fans living in the West to dismiss this scandal as not a big deal at all. When underage celebrities in America are caught doing a lot worse, nothing happens to them. Back in the day Lindsay Lohan drank underage, Taylor Momsen flashed her underage boobs, and Miley Cyrus was caught smoking "salvia." Among many other underage scandals that I'm sure exist, but don't know of off the top of my head. But for some reason in the US they got a slap on the wrist, and people didn't seem to really care. However, just because America seems to be more lenient about these things, doesn't mean Japan should or will be. We're talking about idols here. Idols who get kicked out of their group for being caught with a boyfriend. (Well, that only happens to female idols. I won't get into how unfair and sexist that is.)

People should legit be worried that Ryutaro might never return to Hey! Say! JUMP again. I am sure everyone is familiar with the big NEWS scandals of 2005 and 2006. First NEWS and Kanjani8 member Uchi Hiroki was suspended indefinitely for underage drinking. Then in 2006 NEWS member Kusano Hironori was caught for the same thing. Which of course lead NEWS to go on a year long hiatus. And we can all see how that turned out for them. They never returned to their groups. And are pretty much in obscurity. It took Uchi 3 years before his comeback solo concert. And since then all he's been up to is random appearances on Shounen Club, is part of the Johnny's New Year's Countdown, and he was in a drama. And that's it. In the 3 years since his scandal he's basically done nothing. He's only done the little bit he has done because he was a fairly popular member. But what about Kusano? Kusano, who to this day I am convinced is completely innocent. If you look at the pictures it does not look like beer. In Kusano's parting words he said something along the lines of even though I am compeltely innocent I will dissapear from the public anyway. It was completely sad. And what is Kusano up to? Nothing! He studied dance in New York for a year and was a model for some random brand. But his pictures are still blurred in tabloid papers. All because Kusano wasn't that popular. Uchi, who was drunk in public and was a public nuisance, got to make his comeback. But Kusano, who is seemingly innocent and even claims to be innocent, has done virtually nothing. And to be honest, none of that makes sense to me. The only logical reason for it has to be because Uchi is more popular and can make more money then Kusano can.

And if Kusano isn't doing anything after his scandal because of popularity, where does that leave Ryutaro? Ryutaro is obviously one of the least popular Hey! Say! JUMP members. He's on the bottom tier alongside Inoo Kei and Okamoto Keito.

Fans could also argue that Ryutaro will be fine because smoking isn't as a big a deal as drinking is. Which seems a little weird to me. I don't really think you can judge the 2 in that way. Underage is underage. Whether it's drinking or smoking. That's just my opinion though. Obviously JE thinks it's a huge deal. It's such a big deal that he is being treated to the same punishment that Uchi and Kusano were put under for a quote unquote less severe scandal. Also, note that Ryutaro was put on an indefinite suspension. Indefinite! Which means this suspension can last for however long Johnny's sees fit. 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, or never if he feels like it! Don't just assume that everything will be ok for Ryutaro because you feel it should be. Or that you feel it's not a big enough scandal to warrent an indefinite suspension. The bottom line is Johnny's makes the decisions. He decides what's fair and what's unfair. What's a scandal and what isn't. And the other bottom line is, Ryutaro broke the law. Which in turn makes the entire agency he works for look bad. I've said this before, I will bet you a million dollars that all idols, yes ALL idols male and female, have to sign a morals clause. And if they break that at any time the agency has every right to fire them, or punish them however they see fit.
On the other hand, maybe fans are right and smoking scandals aren't that big of a deal. And Ryutaro will eventually return to Hey! Say! JUMP. So, let's look at the only other idol smoking scandal I know of, Aibon's. In 2006 Hello!Project member, and member of idol group W, Kago Ai was caught smoking underage. In a very grainy and unclear tabloid picture I might add. Aibon was immediately suspended for one year and W's next single was put on hold. She then was later fired after being caught in another scandal. When Aibon eventually made her comeback she talked to teenagers and encouraged them to not smoke underage. She said that one foolish and careless act ruined her life. In responce the people she talked to said how they were shocked and disgusted by her scandal. They couldn't believe she would do something like that. Not only because she seemed to be a good girl, but because she was a role model. However, Kago Ai was extremely popular, and therefore lucrative for H!P. I firmly believe she was only given such a small hiatus because of her popularity. And we all know that if a member of H!P is popular enough their scandals get swept under the rug or are more lenient. Nothing came of Tanaka Reina's, Kamei Eri's, or Natsuyaki Miyabi's boyfriend scandals. But less popular members like Arihara Kanna and Murakami Megumi were given the boot. Or excuse me, they left to "continue their studies." And even popular members Yaguchi Mari and Fujimoto Miki were forced to resign as leader of Morning Musume after their boyfriend scandals. H!P scandals also come down to popularity, and their position within the group. Obvious a leader in a scandal was setting a horrible example for the rest of the group.

All Morimoto's future really comes down to is luck and popularity. Ryutaro obviously doesn't have popularity on his side. So, fans just have to hope that Johnny realizes that smoking underage isn't really that big of a deal. I mean, apparently Johnny knew Ryutaro was smoking from time to time. I think that will play a big role in how long he is under suspension.

But for me personally, I actually don't care that much about this scandal. Yes, it is sad that he's under suspension and he may never come back. And that HSJ might never be 10 members again. Or that fans are left hanging about his fate like they were with Uchi and Kusano. All of that is incredibly sad. But Ryutaro isn't really my favorite member. And as selfish as it sounds, I'm just happy it's not a member I actually care about. That and the fact that I don't really feel any sympathy for him. It was his fault. He was the one that not only broke the law, but was stupid enought to let people take pictures of it. The one picture he was legit caught off guard. But the picture where he's wearing the black shirt, he's trying too hard to look cool, and it looks almost like he's modeling for the person who's taking the picture. If Ryutaro can't do the time, he shouldn't have done the crime.

18 comments:

Natalie said...

I first thought it´s a joke when my friend tell me that. But no he doing it. I just can say this was really stupid. I mean he know what happen with Uchi and Kusano and you´r right in Japan is it other then in west. But on the other site I will hate Johnny when he kick Ryutaro for this. He his 16, their make mistakes ok this was stupid that their have pictures from it. But he is 16 and yeah it´s right he isn´t really popular and maybe he wanna be more popular and in a group with 10 Members sometimes scandal are the way, their think.

I really will be sad when their kick him. Because when it´s sure and he see that this was a mistake and he don´t smoke longer, I think it´s ok not so much 16 years old people stop smoking. I pray for him and will still support him. I mean nobody is perfect and the most of the fans doing it, too. I want hear from anyone of this girls or boys who say NO I DON`T SMOKE OR DRINK. This guys I wanna meet, because I don´t know anyone who don´t drink or smoke in this age.

AimxAim said...

I was equally surprised when I heard about it. I didn't take it as a joke, because I found outaboiu it myself. It was extremely stupif and pretty reckless.

As of right now no one knows what will happen. I honestly have no idea if he will ultimately get kicked out. He is really young. He was only 12 when he joined HSJ. That's a lot of stress right there. I don't think a scandal will make him more popular. I can only see it hurting him. :/

I hope they don't kick him out it would be really sad. And it would effect the member of HSJ a lot.
I also hope this works out for him. It's true, no one is perfect.
Um..I'm 19 and have never smoke or drank before. I'm just not into it. And I consider myself to be straight edge, and have for years. XD
But I know what you mean, usually every teenager does it.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt have said it any better myself. All of this is his own fault, doing illegal things is completely wrong and he decided to do it and was stupid enough to let there be photographic evidence. He should have known better, he is an idol for young people to look up to, so what kind of message is he portraying to those kids now? that what he did was okay? of course it isnt. i feel bad for his brother, his sister, his parents, JUMP, but strangely not him. how can i feel sorry for him when he decided to break the law. i want JUMP to remain 10 but ryutaro really should be punished for what he did. I would have cried harder than i did if it was Yuto <3 or Keito-kun <3 but Ryutaro...hm...anyways i am disappointed in him as im sure many people have already said to him but he cant undo the past, what happenend has happenend and he cant undo it. i just hope things dont go to badly for the kid, after all he is still a kid. but i cant believe he risked his career for a cancer stick ¬_¬ i wish that this never happenend and the fate of JUMP and Ryu is now up to Mr Kitagawa san and if all goes wrong it is Ryu's own fault. he shoudl ahve considered the effects his actions had on the people around him...and i liked him. i still do like him. i see loads of kids smoking where i live, but thats not an excuse as they arent idols on TV representing a company and being seen as role models for kids globally. Ryutaro needs to learn to think...not to give in to peer pressure to try smoking from curiosity (or stupidity)and most of all i hope he has apologized for what he has done to EVERYONE he has disappointed. I dont hate Ryutaro in the least bit but to say he isnt on my top 20 of most liked people at the moment sounds more accurate.

AimxAim said...

@Anonymous: Exactly. It's completely his fault. I refuse to feel sorry for him, when all of this could have been avoided in the first place if he wasn't so careless.
He's completely a role model, and should have known better. He let everyone who looks up to him down.
I want HSJ to remain 10 as well. I wasn't even a NEWS fan when they were 8, and I STILL wish they had their 8 members again. I can't imagine how painful it will be to see HSJ carry on as 9.
I didn't cry at all. I was more of shocked. I seriosuly could not believe it happened. Oh man, if this was Yuto's scandal I would have bawled my eyes out. XD
He is still a kid. And he's been in JUMP since he was 12. Which is extremely young to be that in the public eye. The stess had to have caused him to smoke. Ironicly, the other idol, Kago Ai, who was in a smoking scandal was 12 when she joined Morning Musume. XD
I don't think the fate of HSJ is at stake. NEWS was continuing with 7 members after Uchi's scandal. They only went one hiatus when Kusano was also caught in a scandal.
He should have considered the consequences. But at 14 I don't think he was really at the maturity level to really understand exactly what would happen.
That's completely true. He should have never smoked ever, peer presure or not. Not only is he a role model, he's also a singer. And nothing ruins your voice like smoking. Especially, when he was 14and 15, and his lungs hadn't 100% grown yet.
I don't think Ryutaro has appologized. Does Johnny even have them adress the public? I know Kusano did, but I have no idea if Uchi did.
I don't hate Ryutaro either. I'm more of dissapointed in him. And a little sad that it had to come to this.

Anonymous said...

Very good article.
Most did not bring the original photos of him smoking.
Keep on.

Yunna Koizumi Koike said...

The thing is that HSJ need a really big support ... it wont be the same group if Ryuuchan leaves . I am not in agreement with "it was his fault " ... what can we do if it already happened? ... we cant do nothing. I dont like people who lets the fire growns ...
Ryuutaro made a mistake, and ... I dont think that "smoking" is a crime ... everyone does it ... I am sure that every member of HSJ has their own secrets, it was just that Ryuutaro had bad luck and was caught. I am really , really , really sad and I cant stop crying because of this ... not just for being a HSJ member, it is because he is one of my favorite and I apreciate him from my bottom of my heart in a special way. I understand that maybe is not your problem because he is not one of your favorites, but I really beg you to all of you to support him and stop blaming him ... all of this is of the past ... and I really beg you to support him , if you dont do that because you love Ryuutaro , please support him because of the entire group that need all the members each other.
I hope everything is going to be in the best way and that maybe this "trouble" could be result in the pacific way.

AimxAim said...

@Anonymous: Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. :]
Yeah, a lot of people don't want to post the actual pictures because they don't want them to spread or something. As if they aren't spread already. But I always post scandal photos.
Thanks, I will.

AimxAim said...

@Yunna Koizumi Koike: Yes, HSJ need support right now. The same way that NEWS needed support. And they will never be the same as 9. But saying that it's not his fault is just ridiculous. It was his fault and his mistake. And now he has to pay the consequences. I refuse to feel sympathy for him when he BROKE THE LAW. Which is a completely serious issue. And smoking isn't a crime. However, underage smoking is a CRIME. Therefore, it's his fault for doing it in the first place and gettig caught. Idols are role models, and are treated differently for doing "normal" teenage things like underage smoking. Ryutaro knew that when he joind Johnny's.
Of course every HSJ member and every JE member has their own secrets, and it's there business. However, when he is caught doing something illegal it becomes everyone's business.
I am still very upset that JUMP will have to be changed now. Yes, I am a little less upset because he's my least favorite member. But I'm sure you'd feel the same if it happened to your least favorite member.
I do support him, but bottom line it IS HIS FAULT. When my favorite H!P idols Kago Ai and Arihara Kanna had to leave because of their scandals I was too sad for words. But you know what? I still blamed them. Because when it came down to it, it as their fault too.
I do support HSJ as an entire group. But I'm also realistic, and know that this scandal means Ryutaro will probably never come back.

Anonymous said...

it's true that this scandal was his fault
but then if you try to open your mind, it's not his ENTIRE fault
just like my lecturer said
"it's not whose fault but what make him/her do that thing"
and he already apologize for what he have done.
many fans didn't support ryutaro or just said "go with the flow lah~" because he is not their favourite one.
well, there's nothing wrong with it
but can't they think if it's happen to their no 1 idol, for example yamada (sorry if i use yamada as the example, i love him too but i need to use the most favourite member).
surely they will be support him to the fullest, say that it's not his fault, blablabla.. yadda yadda yadda... *sigh*
i wanna say, let's support them (HSJ), support ryutaro means a lot to them.
i just hope johnny won't fire him, at least give him a chance, maybe get him in rehabilitation and time to think about it.
if we remember about kusano and uchi, maybe rytaro will be fired too but let's pray for him ^^
but i'm not force you to pray for him or support them or agree to my opinion~
and sorry for my bad eglish, t's not my mother language (_ _)

AimxAim said...

Anonymous: I read what you said, but I don't understad what you mean. Or rather, what you're getting at. Of course it is his fault, and basically his fault alone. You can blame peer pressure or the stress of being an idol all you want. But I don't buy it. He didn't have to give into peer pressure, I never have. And as for being an idol, he knew what he was getting into when he became a Junior.
My support has nothing to do with him being my favorite or not. Like I said before I still balme some of my favorite Hello!Project idols of all time Kago Ai and Arihara Kanna for their scandals. So, it has nothing to do with favorites and everything to do with it being ILLEGAL.
I am supporting him and JUMP. And I always will. But realistically, the chances of him getting back into HSJ are incredibly slim. It seems that as a fan you don't want to think that way. But you have to. Ever heard the phrase, "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst?" That's seriously what us fans have to do in this situation. And that's honestly what I'm doing. I'm sorry if it makes me seem like a bad fan for doing do, but I'm not.
I will support him, but I don't pray for anyone. Being an atheist and all. XD
And you're English was fine. I couldn't even tell it was your second language.

Yunna Koizumi Koike said...

The point is ... "Who are we for blaming him?" ... The thing have been already done , and we dont have the place to blame him ... it is really sad to see that some people who is "fan" of hsj as a group just blame him and give him his back just saying "was his fault" . It makes me feel sad that the situation have turned into a big problem and let Ryuutaro seem like and alcoholic or drogadict or the worst person in the word!!! How could he feel if he see that people who said that is fan of his group blame him and let him see as a criminal ... please , let us stop this!!. It is true that he made a mistake and he is paying the consecuences ... but ... Is he a criminal? . I dont know how to say it in English , but it is sad to see just only information "amarillista", that let just see the worst part or role of the person. If someone who is not my favorite (for example, Chinen ) I will support him no matter what , as Ryuutaro , or Yuto or Yabu who are my ichiban in HSJ. Who we are to blame people for the things they do?, the scandal is already made , the only thing we can do is to support him if we deserve to call our selves "fans of Morimoto Ryuutaro" ... if we deserve to call our selves "fans of Hey!Say!JUMP"

AimxAim said...

I'm not sure I follow you. What do you mean who are we to blame him? As fans, or as a unbiased person looking at the scandal, you can clearly see that it was Ryutaro's fault. No matter for what reason he may have smoked, the bottom line is he did. And he is making himself, HSJ, and the fans suffer because of his carelessness. So, of course I'm going to blame him? Who else would I blame? No, one else did it but Ryutaro.
I'm still not sure why people are saying I can't blame him. Or I'm a bad fan for doing so.
I am a fan of HSJ and I have been for years. I'm sorry that I'm putting blame on him breaking the law. I know smoking isn't really a big deal. But Ryutaro knew better. and he most likely broke a clause in his contract. I didn't say he was the worst person in the world. Because he's not. However, he made his bed and now he has to lay in it. Not only himself, but the fans too.
Obviously he made a mistake. He's human. We all make mistakes. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend he didn't do anything wrong just because I love HSJ. I'm also so upset because the scandal is new. It took me months to get over Arihara Kanna's and Kago Ai's scandals. Right now I'm at the 3rd satge of grief. Which is anger.
See, but no matter who the member is, if it's my ichiban (Yuto), or Inoo, or Takaki, or Yabu, o Ryosuke. I would treat them 100% the same. Meaning if it's their fault, it's their fault.
Yes, we can support Ryutaro and HSJ. And that's exactly what I'm doing. However, it's going to take some time for this to sink in before I 100% accept everything that has happened.

Saskae Morimoto said...

This is a really good text you wrote :DDDD But I am confused with the middle section where you say that Ryu-chan is at the bottom of popularity....I have about 100 friends who like Ryutaro and we keep on fighting over him XDDDD Anyway really loved this :D THANK YOU :)

Saskae Morimoto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AimxAim said...

Thanks, I'm glad you liked the post. :]
I mean that Ryutaro is one of the least popular members. It's a fact. Ryutaro, Keito, and Inoo are the least popular members. They get the least amount of lines, PV focus, focus on TV shows, and are hardly ever on Shounen Club or Yan Yan Jump.
Of course even the least popular members still have fans, and people who consider them their favorite members. But anyway you slice it they are still the least popular members.
Thanks again. And you're welcome.<3

Anonymous said...

I do think it is selfish of you not to care about Ryutaro's incident. Though Ryutaro is one of my favorite members in HSJ and I was completely sick after I found out about his suspension, I would feel just as bad as if, say, Takaki Yuya were suspended from the group as well.
But that's just me.

I like everything Kamichan said about this matter.

AimxAim said...

I do care about Ryutaro's incident. I think it's incredibly sad. However, I don't care about it as much as I would if it was my favorite member. Fine, maybe it is selfish. But at least I'm being honest. And I'm not going to pretend I care more then I do, to not upset Ryutaro fans. That's just ridiculous. My level of caring is my personal opinion. And my opinion isn't going to change because your opinion differs from mine. I'm sure a lot of HSJ fans feel the same way. It is impossible to love every single member absolutely evenly. And I don't really believe anyone who says they do. Case and point, NEWS is my favorite JE group. Do I love every member evenly? Absolutely not. I don't hate any members. But of course I like one member more than then another.
And I also won't feel any sympathy for Ryutaro when all of this was his fault.

I read Kamichan's blog on a daily basis, and I liked the sentiment in his Ryutaro posts. But that's how he felt about the situation. He's a different person then me. Of course he'll respond to it differently. If you value Kamichan's opinions more then mine, that's fine, more power to you. But you can't look down on me because my opinion and interpretation is different than his.
Also, I was still pretty angry at Ryutaro when I wrote this post. I have cooled down a bit since then. And am a lot more sad then I was then. But I still can't feel sympathy for him when he brought it upon himself. And I'm not going to pretend that I had this great love or fondness for him just because he's in the middle of a scandal. That would make me a hypocrite. Takaki, Keito, and Ryutaro are my least favorite HSJ members. And until I find something super incredible about them they won't move above that. That's not to say I don't like them, I just like other members more. I'm sure you have your least favorite to most favorite members too.

298673976 said...

@AimxAim can you stop you're so annoying i know you don't like Ryutaro but it's done already he's been suspended so what's your problem? are you happy? on what happened to him, we know it's his fault but stop blaming and besides Johnny Kitagawa let Ryutotaro be back in Jump again but for moment Ryutaro can't because he choose his studies first. You're so annoying it's like you have so much hate on Ryutaro i wonder if you're a Hey Say jump fan or maybe you're a Kpop fan!!!