|Back 5 (l to r): Yabu Kota, Inoo Kei, Arioka Daiki, Takaki Yuya & Yaotome Hikaru|
Front 5 (l to r): Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke, Nakajima Yuto, Okamoto Keito & Morimoto Ryutaro
2007 marked a year for a new FIVB group debut and for it came the formation of Johnny’s largest group to debut at then ten members, Hey! Say! JUMP. The group was formed of many popular Juniors of the time who were all born during the current Heisei era. The JUMP in the name is meant to stand for Johnny’s Ultra Music Power and the group has two sub-units, based off of age, Hey! Say! 7 (originally the 5 youngest members, currently 4 with Okamoto, Nakajima, Yamada & Chinen) and Hey! Say! BEST (the five oldest members, Yabu, Takaki, Inoo, Yaotome & Arioka). Hey! Say! 7’s name came from the Junior group of the same name, but a five group line-up with only Nakajima, Yamada, Chinen, Takaki and Arioka as members, that released a single a few months before HSJ was announced and the 7 comes from the year it was formed, 2001. The BEST in Hey! Say! BEST is meant to stand for Boys Excellent Select Team.
HSJ pretty much did the basic things for any FIVB debut group, supported volleyball tournaments and released cute sounding songs. They did have their debut concert at the Tokyo Dome, a first for any Japanese group or soloist.
For reasons unknown to the fans in 2009 the group released only a concert DVD for the whole year and only did concert tours. It then caused fans to worry then when in the second half of the year NYC boys was announced as the group was to have Yamada and Chinen as members of it. But in 2010 HSJ released a new single and have had releases more regularly since then. Though their releases are still sporadic as while NYC boys did not last after the one single it was reformed to become NYC with the three members, Nakayama Yuma (a Kansai Junior), Yamada and Chinen, and still release singles from time to time.
A couple of years of being together they created their own kind of sub-unit, unofficially called JUMP Band. As they had many members that could play instruments they began to perform at concerts with Yuto on the drums, Keito and Yabu on guitar, Hikaru on bass, Inoo on keyboard, and usually Takaki on vocals. They have switched things up from time to time with the vocals to get the other members involved and in 2011 they were able to play as a band for their single Magic Power, with all the non-instrument playing members just dancing and singing.
In June of 2011 member Morimoto Ryutaro was caught in an underage smoking scandal which lead to his immediate indefinite suspension of activities. It was later announced that he would be starting from the beginning again but what that meant was not made clear. If the fate of Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori have shown us anything it most likely means that he will no longer be a part of the group, especially when in November of 2011 he was taken off the profile pages for Hey! Say! JUMP on the official web pages.
Since then the group has gone on to release a single and look to be continuing on as they would otherwise. Next year, 2012, will mark their 5th anniversary as a group.
Yabu Kota is the oldest member of the group and has been in Johnny’s the longest of all the members. He was a member of the popular Junior group Ya-Ya-Yah where he was the leader of the group and he is the unofficial leader of Hey! Say! JUMP as well. He loves soccer and plays as a hobby. He plays the guitar in JUMP Band and has composed lyrics to some of the group’s songs.
Takaki Yuya may look the most mature but in heart he is still a kid. It is often joked that he fits in better with the members of HS7 than HSB because he is more on their level mentally. He loves to go wake boarding. He is close to his family and is really happy about the fact he is now an uncle. He tends to be the vocalist of JUMP Band if he isn’t sharing the position with other non-instrument playing members of the group.
Inoo Kei is the only member so far to go to university and is a currently enrolled at Meiji University. He is known for saying random things just for the hell of it, much to the annoyance of the other group members. He is the group’s biggest scaredy-cat, which even the younger members of the group have teased him about. He can play the piano so he plays the keyboard for JUMP Band.
Yaotome Hikaru tends to act like the group’s clown and goofs off a lot which has earned him the title of the group’s mood maker. His jokes tend to be bad but that does not stop him from making them. He also can juggle, which he tends to do mostly for concerts. He can play the guitar but for JUMP Band plays the bass.
Arioka Daiki is the youngest member of Hey! Say! BEST as well as the shortest. He has tried many things to get himself to grow taller over the years but seems like he has to settle with the fact that at least he is not the shortest member of HSJ. He was with another agency originally but was recruited by Johnny’s. He gets placed with Yamada and Chinen often, probably because they are all about the same height.
Okamoto Keito is one of the quieter members of the group. He is known for living in England for several years, and being able to speak English well, as well as being the son of Otokogumi’s Okamoto Kenichi. He and his father make the first father-son pair to have debuted as Johnny’s. Keito can play the guitar and is one of the usual members of JUMP Band.
Nakajima Yuto used to be a small and cute Junior but now is easily the tallest member of HSJ. When he was a Junior he was promoted a lot by the agency and had supporting roles in a couple of popular dramas. He is a doting older brother to his younger brother. He has been good friends with Yamada since their Junior days. He plays the drums for JUMP Band.
Yamada Ryosuke is the most popular member and the one that gets the most drama roles. Even though he has the “cool” look down he likes to try to do impersonations and other goofy things. He admires Domoto Koichi greatly, who was the inspiration for him to join Johnny’s as his mother is a big Koichi fan. He likes eating and the other members tend to tease him about it.
Chinen Yuri is the acrobat of the group and probably the member best at physical activities. Before his voice broke he used to sing all the high parts of HSJ songs, so they sound quite different now that his voice has changed. While he looks cute he is rather snarky. He is well known for his admiration of Ohno Satoshi, which he is quite vocal about.
|top row (l to r): Yabu Kota, Nakajima Yuto, Yaotome Hikaru & Takaki Yuya|
bottom row (l to r): Inoo Kei, Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke, Arioka Daiki & Okamoto Keito
TRIVIA: Chinen’s father is a bronze medal Olympic gymnast.
Takaki is the only member to have a solo released on a CD, as he sung the insert song, Oretachi no Seishun, for the Gokusen 3 drama which he was in.
Hey! Say! 7 is the only sub-unit of the group to have had a concert tour of their own.
Next Entry > Johnny's Black Sheep, Akanishi Jin
Johnny’s Juniors, full of rising stars and heartbreak
The Early and Rocky Path to Fame
Kondo Masahiko: Singer, Dancer, Actor, Professional Race Car Driver
Giving a New Meaning to Playzone, Shounentai
Hikaru Genji, Shining the Brightest and Crashing the Hardest
The Living Legend of SMAP
TOKIO, From Spaceships to the Over 30s World
Victory, Volleyball, Vegetable, Vicylce? V6
KinKi Kids, It's Not What You Think
Arashi, Storming to the Top
The Inseparable Duo, Tackey & Tsubasa
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Jumping to Their Dreams, Hey! Say! JUMP
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How to Debut Without Even Trying, Ikuta Toma
Kis-My-Ft2, Everybody Go (Roller Skating)!
Yamashita Tomohisa, Johnny’s Golden Boy
Entering the Sexy Zone
The 5Stars A.B.C-Z
Johnny's and Charity
Odds & Ends