So asked SMAP star Kusanagi Tsuyoshi as police arrested him for drunkenly appearing in the all-together in a Tokyo park. What's wrong with being naked, indeed? I've lost count of how many times I've been naked in Japan. Mostly taking showers, but there was that trip to the on-sen (hot spring) near Kakegawa. That was an interesting experience, just four old guys and me, naked in the hot water under the blue sky, a few cloud puffs blowing overhead and green mountains rising around us. From below, the sound of a river and families splashing together, high-pitched squeals from happy kids; the on-sen was in a campground.
And isn't that what we're all really asking? What's wrong with being naked? So get in touch with your more natural self, head to the park and strip off your clothes and ask the world, "What's wrong with being naked?"
Actually, I don't know too much about this guy. Strange way for him to introduce himself. According to the article, he's known as the "quietest" and "gentlest" member (those are always the ones who snap first) of SMAP, an extremely popular pop group whose members are all multi-talented. And they do all kinds of TV specials, practically non-stop. Especially popular with some of my school's students is their New Year's show.
Katori Shingo is the only member whose name I actually know. I saw him do a one-man comedy show (in English, no less) on TV my first year living in Japan and was very impressed. In the segment I watched, he portrayed a somewhat fey entertainment "journalist" who asked the audience their opinions about several rude rumors relating to Katori Shingo-- mostly about whether or not they thought he was too fat or had gained too much weight recently.
Katori is also famous for his cross-dressing antics as "Shingo Mama" on Sata Suma (Saturday SMAP), in a segment where he dons a wig and a frilly dress to surprise various families by filling in as their mother at breakfast. Hilarious Candid Camera-type stuff like this is hugely popular on Japanese TV, and Katori Shingo wouldn't be out of place on Saturday Night Live in the US. In fact, I wish he'd make an American film so Lorne Michaels would invite him to host.
Well, Japan is lucky if their celebrities are merely taking off all their clothes in public parks, and I think Kusanagi's sponsors are overreacting by pulling all his ads from TV (not that I've ever seen any of them, come to think of it). In America, we've got celebrities punching people in the face, killing their wives or being killed by them, or else driving haphazardly around looking for Starbucks and neglecting to strap their children into safety seats. And you can't even turn on the computer to check your email without spending hour after hour trying to track down their sex videos, checking site after site and growing ever more frustrated until finally you end up playing thirty consecutive games of "Scramble" on Facebook.