Sunday, September 29, 2019

TOKIO's leader Joshima Shigeru holds a press conference to announce his marriage to Kikuchi Risa

Following news of TOKIO's leader Joshima Shigeru's marriage to Kikuchi Risa yesterday, he held a press conference in Tokyo on 28 September where he revealed all the details about his relationship with his wife and touched on topics such as whether and when TOKIO will resume its band activities.

Here are the highlights from the press conference today:

- Before the press conference started, TOKIO's songs were played in the background until Joshima appeared on stage. The songs were also played when Joshima left the venue after the press conference.

- He began by thanking the media for coming to the press conference at such short notice and apologised that despite his marriage being a private matter, he wanted to make the announcement to everyone through this event.

- Kikuchi is currently 4 months pregnant and due to give birth in March 2020. The couple are already living together.

- The couple filed their marriage application today with the help of a representative.

- Joshima admitted with a smile that having been in Johnny's Jimusho for more than 30 years, this press conference was the most nerve-wracking for him to date.

- The marriage proposal to Kikuchi was made at her family home early this year when he visited her family during the New Year holidays. While out on a walk with her, he said "幸せにするので結婚してください" (I will make you happy so please marry me) to which she said yes.

- The couple met through mutual friends in autumn 2015 when they were dining at a restaurant. They started off as friends before going into a relationship later that year. However, he was conscious of how young she was and decided that they should take things slow. Nonetheless, there was a period of time when they decided to go their separate ways but reconciled later because they still had feelings for each other.

- As for plans to hold a wedding and banquet, Joshima said that they didn't have any firm dates in mind. Since he felt that the star of the wedding should be the bride, he will respect her wishes as to when they would do this. He revealed that they would probably just have an intimate gathering with their families for the wedding.

- As for the wedding ring, he admitted that he hasn't prepared that yet and even flashed his left hand to the media to show that he wasn't wearing a ring, much to their amusement.

- When asked about how he felt about his child going to be born next spring, Joshima said that it was an indescribable feeling because he is an only child and had wanted siblings. He never expected that he would become a father one day so he is just very happy about the impending arrival of his child.

- When asked if he would allow his child (assuming it's a boy) to join Johnny's Jimusho in future, Joshima said that he didn't even know whether the baby is going to be a boy or girl so he will think about that after the baby is born. However, he joked that if it's a boy, he would most likely recommend his son to be in a band rather than be in a dance group because "bands would last longer in showbiz compared to idols".

- As for his 24-year age difference with Kikuchi being the talk of town (Joshima is turning 49 in November so the actual age difference should be 25 years old), he said that she is mature beyond her age and he hardly felt their age gap during their daily interactions. He praised his wife for being a great cook especially when cooking dishes with a Kansai style (Joshima was raised in Nara). In fact, Joshima joked that the only time when he felt their age difference was how his body would ache after work.

- When asked about the ages of his in-laws, Joshima said that he didn't want to touch on that but still revealed that his mother-in-law is younger than him while his father-in-law was about the same age as him.

- Joshima revealed that he announced his marriage to his TOKIO members at the same time when they were together and was greeted by cheers of "Wa!" because they were so surprised. The members even joked to him that they are relieved because they would no longer have to take care of Joshima in his old age now that he's married.

- In the congratulatory comments released by the members, Kokubun Taichi said that he never imagined that there would be a day when they could congratulate Leader for getting married while Matsuoka Masahiro joked that his marriage is a huge relief for them. Nagase Tomoya reminded Leader not to push himself too hard since he has a family now and that he should take good care of his health.

- When asked about TOKIO's activities as a band, Joshima said that when something starts, there will come a day when it ends but it is not easy to end things. The challenge is how to continue when faced with difficulties. The band do feel that they want to continue their music activities even in the 30th or 40th year of their career. He revealed that they have been talking about this especially with Nagase who has been their music producer for a while on how they want to make a comeback, in what format and when. However, rather than rush into things, they would like to let nature run its course because this is not something as simple as just writing a new song. In the meantime, it's best that they try to improve themselves and make a great comeback when it's the right time.

- When asked to comment on his still-single band members Matsuoka & Nagase, he began by saying that meeting the right person is sometimes dictated by destiny and hoped that they would find someone in future.

- Joshima had declared in the past that he would be the last in the band to marry after everyone else got hitched. When asked by the media that he had gotten married ahead of the two youngest members in TOKIO and "went back on that promise", he commented that he was young then and felt that work was more important than marriage at that time. As for being told by the media that he is the first and only leader of a still-active Johnny's group to get married, Joshima said that he didn't realise this though but joked that he will leave it to Kishi Yuuta of King & Prince (the newest group in Johnny's to have made their major debut) to break this jinx in future.

- Joshima had also informed his seniors such as Kondo Masahiko, Higashiyama Noriyuki, Kimura Takuya & Nakai Masahiro and juniors in the agency about his marriage. However, he hasn't had the chance to tell V6's Sakamoto Masayuki who is about the same age as him because he feels a bit sorry for "leaving him behind in bachelorhood" and will contact him after the press conference. Joshima joked that he will probably "poke fun" at Sakamoto since he will be experiencing marriage life and fatherhood ahead of the latter.

- At the end of the 1-hour-long press conference, Joshima went to the venue's exit and greeted every single member of the media while passing them a souvenir which contained a message card about his marriage announcement and Japanese sweets from Nagaokake in Namie-machi, Fukushima Prefecture which had the words "kansha" (gratitude) and "J" printed on them. Fukushima Prefecture is the place where the DASH Village from NTV variety show "The Tetsuwan Dash" was located at.

Sources: Natalie / Oricon 1 / Oricon 2

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