To: Fahey
From: Bashcraft
RE: How To Gift New Neighbors In My Neighborhood

I've already Twittered and Facebooked this, so apologies to those who've already seen it there!

Last night at 3am in Tokyo Midtown, SMAP's Tsuyoshi Kusanagi was drunk and making a racket, screaming and whatnot...totally naked. (Read more here.) Like, the guy wasn't even wearing socks. He was naked naked.

SMAP is one of the biggest pop groups in Japan. It's hard to name a Western equivalent as the five members all appear in countless television programs (dramas, variety shows), numerous TV ads, movies and so on. They're a huge brand in Japan — maybe imagine early 60s Beatlemania if the Beatles didn't write they're own music, played only fluffy bubblegum tunes and danced.

This right here is probably one of SMAP's most famous songs. Kusanagi is the clean shaven guy with long hair in the pink suit. (There are two guys in pink suits — Kusanagi is in the darker pink suit.)

So for one of its members to get arrested for something like this, it's a pretty big deal! Granted, this isn't the first SMAP member to have a run in with the law. Goro Inagaki was charged with hit-and-run after hitting a police officer with his car after trying to escape when the cop was giving him a ticket. Inagaki was suspended from appearing TV for like a year or so, but continued to perform in the band's live concerts. He's since re-joined SMAP in full capacity and appears regularly on TV.

According to the Japanese press, the sticky issue is this: The cops probably would not have arrested him for simply being naked and screaming — not because he's famous, but because cops usually don't arrest people in Japan for that. (This is according to the press!) What's more, he wasn't showing his ding dong to anyone in particular, but, you know, just being naked. (Once again, according to the press!)

So, the police probably told him to put on his clothes, go home and sober up — but Kusanagi refused apparently and asked, "What's wrong with being naked?" The police then had to take him in. There's speculation that something else might have happened, but we don't know yet.

A drug test was given, but Kusanagi was clean, it seems. He was, however, very, very drunk.

The fall out for Kusanagi has already started — no idea if it will continue to snowball or not. It can go either one of two ways: He'll take time off, then appear on TV again, apologize and life will go on with comedians making the occasional wise-crack at his expense. Or two, he'll disappear from Japanese show business. (Check this hilarious Japanese Photoshop.) That kind of thing only tends to happen is something tries to kill him or herself or is caught having sex with a minor. And when you leave Japanese show business for reasons like this, you really leave it — meaning, they erase you from re-runs of TV shows and whatnot. (Seriously! This happened to Keiichi Yamamoto, who has been edited out of old episodes of Mecha-Mecha Iketeru!.) Though, when TV personality Shinsuke Shimada was accused of slamming a woman's head into a wall in a fit of anger, he only took a few months off from being on television and has since returned as if nothing happened!

Anyway, this SMAP story is huge news in Japan — and according to Luke, it's even made the news in Australia. Kooky!

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