Now dubbed “The Incident,” the nude romp and subsequent arrest on April 23 of SMAP’s Tsuyoshi Kusanagi continues to be replayed at a Tokyo park by fans of the J-pop group, reports Shukan Post (May 22).
Hinokicho Park, located within the Tokyo Midtown complex where the pop-star lives, has become a hot tourist spot. A housewife in her 40s, who resides in a building facing the park, says, “This is the first time I have seen so many people in the park in the five years I have lived here. There have been a few young people with their tops off and screaming “Shingo! Shingo!” or “What’s wrong with being naked?” to imitate Tsuyoshi on the night of the incident.”
In spite of the charges for public indecency having been dropped and his return to showbiz scheduled for May 28 his fans seemingly can’t get enough.
Shukan Post’s reporter went to the scene and found people sitting on the grass just as he was at the time of the arrest. A couple were found taking a photo of the location, and a group of college students actually acted out the arrest sequence — a “police officer” handcuffed a man playing Tsuyoshi (using toy restraints) while the whole skit was captured on videotape.
With the timing being the middle of the Golden Week, it seemed as though there were quite a few people from outside Tokyo visiting the area. One person at the park explains, “I just came over here from the izakaya restaurant where Tsuyoshi was drinking that night. I am now off to the Akasaka Police Station, the Harajuku Police Station (where he was transferred), and to the office of his management company (Johnny’s Jimusho) to take some pictures.”
Shukan Post concludes that a virtual tour of Tsuyoshi Kusanagi now exists near Tokyo Midtown.
A person from the Minato Ward office, in charge of overseeing the park, says, “It is no problem to take pictures, but taking off one’s clothes causes discomfort for other park users. We hope they will not engage in such activities”
Masaru Nashimoto, a reporter within the entertainment industry, believes this extreme interest reflects SMAP’s huge popularity. He says: “In the past, we saw couples using the same love hotel as Mona Yamamoto during her affair. However, SMAP is the only one who has enough influence to have people create a ‘virtual tour.’ This shows their impact.” All hail to SMAP. (K.N.)
Source: “Tokyo shinmesho: ‘izakaya’ ‘koen’ ‘Akasaka Keisatsusho’…Kusanagi-kun taiho ‘taiken tsuaa koosu,'” Shukan Post (May 22, page 128)