Japan for the Uninvited

Japanese culture from a bemused foreign perspective

Takuya Kimura

Actor/singer/TV star Takuya Kimura, popularly known as “Kimutaku”, is a member of pop-group SMAP and Japan’s biggest male star. He is regularly voted Asia’s best-looking man and is a major sex-symbol in Asian gay culture.

However, he is an atypical heart-throb. In his frequent acting roles, he performs his own stunts, which hospitalised him after he fell onto some rocks in 1998.

The hysteria surrounding him might be dangerous, especially given his talent for “bad-boy” roles. His use of a butterfly knife in 1997 TV drama ‘The Gift’ allegedly prompted a spate of copycat attacks by teenage fans on teachers and other students.

Despite a macho image (by idol standards), he seems to have a curious fascination with cosmetics, which frequently feature in his TV commercials. He’s also rumoured to carrying a bag of make-up at all times, and wear platform shoes to compensate for his teeny (167cm) stature.

In 2000, he married singer Shizuka Kudo, to the dismay of millions of Japanese girls (and a slightly smaller number of Japanese men). They have 2 children.

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