Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ikuta Toma- Life time story


Ikuta Toma was born in Sapporo, 07 October 1984. His father almost named him Ikuta Tamegorou, luckily his mother rejected it and named him Ikuta Toma. Since he was little, he was very energetic and cheerful. He has one little brother but never mentions him to protect his privacy. His family is a happy family and quite close to each other. Toma even mentions his mother sometimes in Ikuta Toma no Ikita Kotoba (his corner at Wink Up magazine).

In 11 February 1996, he entered Johnny Jimusho as his mother sent him the application. Johnny Jimusho is a famous male idol agency in Japan. He entered as Tokyo Jr. From a long time ago, Tokyo Jr. always got more opportunities than Kansai Jr. which made a cold war between them. But Toma can get along well with Kansai Jr., such as Nishikido Ryo, even though he was Tokyo Jr. Not everyone can do that. And he gets along with his seniors such as Domoto Koichi, Takizawa Hideaki and Imai Tsubasa, his other Tokyo Jr. friends like Matsumoto Jun, Aiba Masaki, Yamashita Tomohisa, Tanaka Koki, Kohara Yuki and even his juniors like Akanishi Jin.

Right after he entered Johnny Jimusho, he entered a group called MAIN which stands for its members' names, Matsumoto Jun, Aiba Masaki, Ikuta Toma and Ninomiya Kazunari. Then 6 months later Yamashita Tomohisa, known as Yamapi, entered Johnny Jimusho. Yamapi gets along very well with Toma. They became close in a short time, even closer than their previous friends. Soon after that, new groups formed and Toma was placed in a group called BIG with Yamashita Tomohisa, Kazama Shunsuke, Hasegawa Jun, Shunta Miyagi, Yuta Fukuda, Tanaka Kouki, Goseki Koichi, Masaya Hattori and Ito Tatsuya. However, Toma soon became the ace of the group and become a very popular Tokyo Jr. Then at the end of 2002, his seniors and best friends, Tackey and Tsubasa debuted and Tackey created a group as the new leader of Johnny Jr. called Four Tops with Toma, Yamashita, Kazama and Jun as the members. Everyone was optimistic that this group would be successful and debut too. Toma didn't even enter college to concentrate on his career so he could debut with his best friends.

Johnny Jr. could be called "tools." If you want to succeed you have to be obediant to the management. Johnny Jrs. and their debut seniors don't even get royalty from their CD's selling or something like that. They simply get their monthly salary. Toma is no exception, but he still has his own style and will, maybe that's why on September 2003, Four Tops tore apart. Yamashita has a CD debut with a new group called NEWS, which stands for North East West South with a lot of Toma's Juniors while Toma himself, Kazapon and HaseJun remain as ordinary Johnny Jr. without any group. But even so, Toma said nothing to Yamapi, no hatred at all. He even supported Yamapi at the Volleyball event that become NEWS debut and kept his sadness to himself. As time goes by, Toma's popularity decreased a lot because the management didn't give him a lot of jobs. His jobs after he quit from Shounen Club were hosted by Four Tops before only as side cast of some Stageplays. He didn't even play dramas anymore like he used to, maybe he was but only as a side character who only appeared once or twice. Even some new fans don't know anything about him. Many harmful rumours came around, like he only pretended to be close to Yamashita to gain popularity which is not true at all. And don't think that Johnny Jimusho is in a safe place for your children, even though there's a lot of small Juniors, because there's a lot of rumours that some sexual molestation happens there. Even some former idols who have quit from JE published their experiences like Kita Koji who published 12 volumes of his diary about the abuse at the agency. Quiting Johnny Jimusho as well is hard to do because the agency's power is big. The agency can make the ex-member of their agency nonexistent in the entertainment business anymore. Kohara Yuhi who quit Johnny Jimusho at year 2000, went to college and works as a salaryman.

Nowadays Toma is only an ordinary Johnny Jr. with a lack of jobs who did not enter college and even lost his popularity with his smaller Juniors. His friends, like the ex-members of MAIN, have debuted as Arashi and become popular singers. But, he still has his own faith and confidence to continue work in the entertaiment business as a Johnny Jr. He doesn't know the word surrender and faces the cruel reality by himself. He doesn't blame anyone, which many people do, for his current life and he continues on with his life.

cdt: Tarina from Jakarta

1 comment:

Chi Nguyen said...

Can I rephrase some of the ideas in this article, please? I am searching for some information about Toma's juniors days and I stumble on this very good one. I will credit the author properly. Thank you for your attention.