Popular Japanese boy band Arashi (嵐) has announced yesterday (Sunday, 27th January 2019) that they will be going on hiatus by the end of 2020.
The 20-year-old group consists of members Ohno Satoshi, Sakurai Sho, Aiba Masaki, Ninomiya Kazunari and Matsumoto Jun, posted a video message on their official fan club to announce that they will suspend their group activity on 31st December 2020.
Since announcing the news, words and hashtags related to the group have trended globally on several social media platforms, including Weibo, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It is also one of the trending topics on Malaysia Twitter.
Formed under Japan’s biggest entertainment label Johnny & Associates in 1999, the decision comes after the talent agency’s other popular boy group SMAP, disbanded at the end of 2016.
We are approximately 8 hours from the shocking announcement but Arashi is trending in Malaysia at no. 6 wow I didn’t know they are that popular in Malaysia pic.twitter.com/wYchrjeu3b
— ✩Sarah セラ♡嵐 (@SarahyxSoon) January 27, 2019
— ohno nyan (´･∀･`) (@ArashiOhmiya1) January 27, 2019
Arashi is trending Worldwide ? pic.twitter.com/xEzqtdTV1d
— Vinz Dupit (@vinzreyesdupit) January 27, 2019
“Around the middle of June 2017, I got the 4 members together and told them my feelings of wanting to end my activities as Arashi for now and that I wanted to live freely for once,” group leader Ohno Satoshi said at a press conference in Tokyo, adding that he want to experience living “a normal life”.
“I’ve discussed this many times with the other members and we decided together that the date will be the end of 2020,” he added. The group also confirmed that they’re not disbanding but simply taking a break from the industry, though they stated that they’re not sure when they’ll resume their activities.
— Yana (@nurliyana_m) January 27, 2019
「 深 い 愛 お し さ は " 嵐 " 」
「 " 5人 " で い る ず っ と い る 」
「 ありがとう これからも ありがとう 」
— みぃchan. ? 全力and more勢 (@ars_me0617) January 27, 2019
Arashi is considered to be one of the top boy bands in Japan after their senior SMAP. The group is one of the best-selling boy bands in Asia, selling more 30 million records worldwide. In Japan, Arashi continues to be very successful, being the best-selling music artist in Japan from 2013 through 2017.
The members have been active both as a group and individually, not only in music but also in movies, dramas, variety shows and commercials.
Jweb message from JE pic.twitter.com/xzDb7e2tgi
— Halyma_Haegi (@hallearry) January 27, 2019
“Throughout everything that happened until we arrived at this decision, all members shared one common and unwavering feelings. ‘The only way that Arashi would remain active is with all five members together,’ Johnny & Associates issued a statement, saying that it will respect the group’s mutual decision.
Are y’all sadden by the announcement?