Kato Shigeaki (加藤シゲアキ)
Birthdate: 11 July 1987
Junior History: He joined Johnny’s & Associates in 1999 and was shuffled through several Junior groups, such as B.B.B., B.B.A., B.B.D. & B.A.D., until he was one of the selected Juniors in J-Support which was later renamed K.K.Kity, the K in his last name, Kato, being one of the three Ks. As one of the three Ks he got more of the screen time with the other two Ks, Koyama Keiichiro and Kusano Hironori, when they performed. Then in 2003 he was selected with those other two to be a part of NEWS.
Group History: With a large group unless you can find something to stand out with you tend to get shuffled into the back, which was where Shige was stuck for much of the early years with NEWS. He once confessed in an interview that as the least popular member of the group (they know how much of their concert sell so it’s one of the basis for figuring out popularity) he had thought of quitting during those years. But then the scandals happened, and while he got very little work during that time it did make him want to be a part of the group even more.
Around the time the group reunited he began getting drama roles a bit more frequently and as the years have gone on he’s been one of the members that have had the most acting roles and was the first member of the group, outside of Yamashita Tomohisa, to star in a drama series. And next year he will be the first Johnny’s to publish a novel when his debut novel, Pink to Grey, comes out.
He is known for being the weakest singer and dancer, so he tends to do the “raps” or have the solo lines that have auto-tune distortion. He does know how to play the guitar and has composed his own songs.
Random Facts: He is left handed.
His dog, Nana, was given to him by his ex-K.K.Kity group mate Yokoo Wataru (current Kis-My-Ft2 member).
He is originally from Osaka and even went to the same pre-school as Kansai Junior Hamanaka Bunichi.
He is allergic to cats but has an imaginary one, Wagahai, that he uses to write his J-Web blog posts from the view point of. Wagahai has also had play dates with Koyama’s cat, Nyanta. (Don’t ask.)
Personal Opinion: What can I say, Shige is my favorite member of this group, has been for years really. I will admit he was probably the last member that I was able to remember the face of but the moment I started reading J-Webs of the members Shige quickly became my favorite. Even though he wrote about everyday matters the way he wrote about them made them sound like anything but everyday.
Another thing that appeals to me about him is that he is rather un-idol-like. He is not good a dancing or singing, which he is willing to admit, nor does he have the typical Japanese idol look to him. But I think his willingness to admit his weaknesses and still work hard at overcoming them is endearing. Not to mention inspirational, because it is so easy to just give up on the things you are not good at. And who ever heard of an idol for being popular from his writing?
And yet all of that is Shige and I really admire him for it.
I also love that as much as he complains about them he really loves the other members of the group, especially his long term best friend Koyama. Koyashige needs to official exist and hopefully with NEWS down to four they can get it to go along with Tegomass.