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BBC ニュースより

SMAP解散ニュース、日本語訳(スラッシュリーディング) はこちら

        スラッシュリーディングとは?


日経・Nikkei Asia Review より

J-POPの現状(事務所の力)に焦点を当てたSMAP解散
      日本語訳(一部) はこちら



日本のボーイ・バンドSMAP解散へ

Japan boy band SMAP to break up

From the section Asia
14 August 2016

One of Asia's biggest pop groups, SMAP, is to break up at the end of the year after a 25-year career.

The Japanese boy band, which sold 35m records up to last year, will disband on 31 December, its management agency said on Sunday.

Rumours of a split had been rife since the turn of the year, but had all previously been denied.

Its five members, who are aged between 39 and 43, are now expected to pursue solo careers.

The band, formed in 1988, has built up a huge fanbase in Japan and throughout Asia with members appearing frequently in films, soap operas, and commercials.

Members of SMAP, which stands for "Sports Music Assemble People", have also appeared on cookery shows and Japanese coverage of the Rio Olympics.

Their popularity has even made them ambassadors for diplomatic relations between Japan, China and South Korea.

In 2011, they were the first Japanese pop group to visit China in a decade, amid a row between the countries over disputed territory. Their Beijing concert was attended by 40,000 people.

A statement by the group's managers Johnny and Associates said they were "truly and deeply pained and sorry" to not be able to take part in 25th anniversary celebrations.



スラッシュリーディング 《全文》

One of Asia's biggest pop groups, SMAP,/ is to break up/ at the end of the year/ after a 25-year career.

breakup=《名》解散、離別  break up=disband=解散する
be to=《正式》~することになっている
 career=カァ=経歴、職業、出世、発展、進路
アジアの最も大きいポップグループの1つSMAPは/解散することになっている(→することになった)/今年の最後に(→年末に)/25年の経歴の後。


The Japanese boy band,/ which sold 35m records/ up to last year,/ will disband on 31 December,/ its management agency said on Sunday.

m=million=百万
日本のボーイバンド/(そしてそれは、)3,500万枚のレコードを売り上げた(が)/昨年までで/12
月31日に解散する予定である/その管理事務所(→ジャニーズ事務所)は、日曜日に語った。


Rumours of a split/ had been rife/ since the turn of the year,/ but had all previously been denied.

split=スプットゥ=~を分裂させる、裂く、裂ける、分裂、不和
rife=ライふ=(病気・よくないうわさが)ひろまって run rife=蔓延(まんえん)する

不和の噂は、広まってきていた/年の変わり目から(ずっと)/しかしすべてが以前に否定されていた。


Its five members, /who are aged between 39 and 43,/ are now expected to pursue solo careers.

aged=~歳の、~歳で  a man aged 40=a 40-year-old man=40歳の男
solo=ソウろウ=単独の、単独で

その5人のメンバーは/39と43の間の歳である(が)/今、単独の経歴を追及するだろうと思われている。


The band,/ formed in 1988,/ has built up a huge fanbase/ in Japan and throughout Asia/ with members appearing frequently in films, soap operas, and commercials.

fanbase=ファンクラブ  soap opera=ソウプゥ ペラ=連続ドラマ
with members appearing=分詞構文付帯状況
そのバンドは/1988に結成されたが/巨大なファンクラブを形成してきた/日本で、そしてアジア中で/メンバーが頻繁に現れることで/映画、連続ドラマそしてコマーシャルに。


Members of SMAP, /which stands for "Sports Music Assemble People",/ have also appeared/ on cookery shows and Japanese coverage of the Rio Olympics.


stand for=~を表す、~の略である  cookery=ッカリィ=《英》料理法、《米》調理場
coverage=バリッジィ=放送範囲、報道

SMAPのメンバーは/(そしてSMAPは)「スポーツ・ミュージック・アセンブル・ピープル」の略であるが/また現れている(→出演している)/料理法のショーとリオ・オリンピックの日本の報道に。


Their popularity has even made them ambassadors/ for diplomatic relations between Japan, China and South Korea.

popularity=ポピュリティ=人気、評判、大衆性 ambassador=アムバサダー=大使、使節
diplomatic=ディプろティックゥ=外交の、外交官の

彼らの人気は、彼らを大使にさえした/日本、中国そして韓国の間の外交関係のために。


In 2011,/ they were the first Japanese pop group/ to visit China in a decade,/ amid a row between the countries over disputed territory.

row=不和、騒々しいけんか
the first~in a decade=10年のなかで初めて→10年ぶりに

2011年に/彼らは、日本のポップ・グループであった/10年ぶりに中国を訪問した/議論となっている領土に対する国家間の不和の中で。

Their Beijing concert was attended by 40,000 people.


Beijing=ベイ゙ン=北京
北京のコンサートは4万人によって参加された。(→4万人の来客があった。)


A statement by the group's managers Johnny and Associates/ said/ they were "truly and deeply pained and sorry" /to not be able to take part in 25th anniversary celebrations.

pained=(表情が)痛そうな、苦しそうな/悲しい、不愉快な
manager=経営者、支配人 a baseball manager=野球の監督
the team's caretaker=学校の部活のマネージャー

グループのジャニーズ事務所の経営者達による声明は/(次のように)言った/彼らは(←経営者達)「本当に深く悲しく残念」であると/25周年の祝賀会に参加できなくて。




アメリカ・ビルボードより

J-Pop Icons SMAP to Break Up

SMAP photographed in Shanghai, China on Jan. 11, 2012. 
AP

The on-again, off-again breakup of an all-male Japanese pop group with a strong following in much of Asia is back on: The five members of SMAP will go their separate ways at the end of this year, after performing together for more than two decades.

The group's agency, Johnny & Associates, announced Sunday (Aug. 14) that SMAP would disband, according to Japanese media reports. The agency said its members would focus on their solo careers, Kyodo News service reported.

J-Pop Icons SMAP to Stay Together; Japan's Prime Minister Lauds Decision

A possible split was widely rumored in January, until the group's members made an unusual television appearance to say they would stay together and apologized for causing concern among their fans.

Johnny & Associates said that it had recently proposed the band take a hiatus, but that some members wanted to break up for good, according to the media reports.

"We judged it difficult for them to continue activities as a group," Johnny & Associates said, according to Kyodo.

SMAP, which stands for "Sports Music Assemble People," was formed in 1988 as a six-person teenage boy band. Its first CD came out in 1991, and the group surged to stardom with choreographed singing and dancing.

SMAP's members now range in age from 39 to 43, and it remains a popular group that is a staple of entertainment shows and commercials. Each member has also performed individually in variety shows and films.



SMAPの解散報道がアメリカでもニュースに、ファンによる購買運動がセールス数にも大きく影響

 SMAPの解散について、米Billboard.comでも報じられていることが分かった。

 Billboard.comは、SMAPについて「驚異的なファン数を持ち、活動休止、再開が頻繁に繰り返されている男性5人グループ」と紹介。今年1月に生放送されたメンバー全員による謝罪にも触れ、解散の理由等について報じている。

 また、今回の解散報道以降、SMAPのアルバム、シングルともに売上枚数が大きく伸びており、『世界に一つだけの花』においては8月14日のみで4,100枚以上をセールス。販売経路別で見るとイーコマースより店舗での売り上げの方が多く、8月14日の店舗での売り上げが約3,000枚と、ファンの応援の強さを示す結果となっている。2003年3月5日にリリースされた『世界に一つだけの花』は、2003年に243万枚を売り上げた以降も毎年途切れることなくセールスを伸ばし続け、今年の2月には累計売上枚数300万枚を突破。現在も、ファンによる購買運動が続いている。

◎米Billboard.com「J-Pop Icons SMAP to Break Up」





Asia Pacific

An Aging Boy Band Calls It Quits, but Japan Can’t Let Go


The Newyork Timesより引用


TOKYO — For nearly three decades, millions of Japanese have clamored for their every album, lined up with breathless anticipation for their concerts and gathered on Monday nights for their hit television show.

Now, the nation is awash with anguish over word that SMAP — Japan’s longest-running boy band, if it can still be called that with its youngest member pushing 40 — is splitting up.

The news has dominated newspaper headlines and television talk shows since the band’s announcement this month. Even the mayor of Tokyo and two members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet have weighed in. One said he was worried about the effect on the Japanese economy, the world’s third-largest.

“We will not let them stop!” a grieving fan wrote in one of more than a dozen petitions on change.org pleading with the aging heartthrobs to remain together. “If we let them go and disband, it means Japan is finished.”

To understand the bedlam unfolding here, think of the Beatles’ breaking up, the airing of the final episode of “Seinfeld” and the “conscious uncoupling” of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin all rolled into one — the end of an era on the Japanese cultural landscape.




Japanese newspapers reporting this week on SMAP’s breakup. The group’s members started out as teenagers performing on skateboards and now range in age from 39 to 44.
Credit Toru Yamanaka/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


SMAP’s most famous saccharine single, “The Only Flower in the World,” is regularly taught in Japan’s schools. But SMAP is not just a wildly popular band whose albums have sold more than 35 million copies, making it one of the most successful musical acts in Japanese history.


For two decades, its five members — Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura, Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Shingo Katori — have also hosted one of Japan’s top-rated television programs, “SMAP X SMAP,” a family-friendly variety show in which they cook for celebrity guests, compete in games, perform comedic skits and, of course, sing. Each has starred on his own in numerous television series, movies and commercials. The frontman, Mr. Nakai, has been a newscaster for several Olympic Games.

The group, whose members started out as teenagers performing on skateboards and now range in age from 39 to 44, managed to both broaden its audience beyond adolescent girls and hold on to them over the years. Many of their most ardent fans are women who grew up with them.

SMAP, an acronym for Sports Music Assemble People, also has legions of fans in China, South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia. In 2011, it performed in Tokyo for Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier at the time, and then gave a rare concert in Beijing — which may have helped ease tensions after a Chinese trawler collided with Japanese coast guard ships in disputed waters of the East China Sea.

Much of the drama and commentary surrounding SMAP’s breakup has been tied to suspicions among fans and industry analysts of skulduggery by the talent agency that manages the group, Johnny & Associates, which has dominated the Japanese boy-band scene for nearly four decades.



Founded by Johnny Kitagawa, now one of the most powerful figures in the Japanese entertainment industry, the agency recruits boys and puts them through a rigorous training program of singing and dancing. They start out as backup performers before the agency assembles them into new bands that it promotes and tightly controls, leveraging the success of its other acts.

That business model, pioneered in Asia to dizzying success by Mr. Kitagawa with SMAP and other groups, has since been replicated by talent agencies in China and South Korea, many of which have been accused of signing children to “slave contracts” that require them to surrender half or more of all profits for as long as a decade.

According to Japanese news reports, SMAP decided to call it quits after four of its members tried to leave the Johnny agency, which is said to control their appearances on television and in movies, as well as merchandising rights to their images.

In announcing the band’s dissolution, the agency said it would continue to represent each of the group’s members as solo acts. The agency said it had initially proposed a temporary break but that “some members” wanted a permanent split.

SMAP seemed on the verge of disbanding in January as rumors swirled of infighting. But in a rare live appearance on their television show, the singers, wearing somber black suits, announced that they were staying together and apologized for having caused their fans distress.


The public apology was viewed in nearly seven million households, and even the prime minister, Mr. Abe, was moved to comment, telling a parliamentary committee that “the group will remain intact in response to many fans’ wishes, which is good.”


Mr. Abe has yet to address the breakup.

Each of the band’s members has issued a written statement, but so far only two have spoken in public about the split, apologizing on their weekly radio shows for surprising fans with the announcement.

Writing in Josei Seven, a weekly magazine, the cultural critic and columnist Akio Nakamori asked if the performers were being muzzled.

“Just recently the emperor talked about the abdication,” Mr. Nakamori wrote, referring to the televised address in which Emperor Akihito expressed his desire to retire. “It was such an unusual thing. He decided to talk to the people. I wonder if SMAP is more untouchable than the imperial family? They should at least have a press conference or even a recorded video, and directly talk to fans.”

Given SMAP’s popularity in Asia, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, Hiroshige Seko, said he was concerned that the breakup might undermine the country’s “Cool Japan” campaign, aimed at exporting Japanese culture to foreign countries.

But there are signs that SMAP is already being replaced by its successors.

On a visit this week to a store run by Johnny & Associates in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo, I watched fans buy professional photo cards of their favorite singers, but there were no SMAP cards on sale. And when I checked out an official fan club in the Shibuya district, also operated by the agency, I saw videos only of other Japanese boy bands playing on a screen.

A wall was covered with current promotional posters for multiple boy bands. There was just one for SMAP, from 2012.

Correction: August 19, 2016

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified the sports equipment that members of SMAP performed on as teenagers. They used skateboards, not roller skates. The same error appeared in a picture caption.





August 25, 2016 12:00 pm JST
Nikkei Asia Review より

Breakup of beloved band SMAP highlights the state of J-pop

TOMOMI KIKUCHI and JUSTINA LEE, Nikkei staff writers

SMAP performs at Beijing Concert Hall on Sept. 16, 2011, in Beijing. It was the band's first performance outside Japan. © Getty Images

SINGAPORE The recent announcement of the breakup of SMAP, Japan's most enduring boy band and a beloved cultural icon, is highlighting the declining state of J-pop. The industry has been hurt by the rise of K-pop from South Korea, as well as by the failure of the Japanese entertainment companies to adapt to changing times.

On Aug. 14, the news that SMAP was breaking up after nearly three decades sent fans in Japan and the rest of Asia into a tizzy. SMAP's management company, Johnny & Associates, said the five-member group -- whose hits include the 2.7-million seller "The One and Only Flower in the World," and the million-seller "Yozora no Mukou" -- will call it quits at the end of the year.

Nur'ain Abdullah, a Singaporean engineer in her mid-20s, said she started checking Twitter every few minutes on the evening of Aug. 13, when rumors about the demise of the band were already trending. "I am completely devastated," she said, noting how she became an avid student of the Japanese language after discovering SMAP.

On China's Weibo social network, one post reporting the news was shared over 5,000 times within a few days. Hong Kong superstar Kelly Chen told the Sing Tao Daily that SMAP's TV shows and songs ought "to be treated as classics."

For many J-pop fans in Asia who grew up in the 1990s, SMAP was their first taste of Japanese entertainment. The group rose to fame in the late 1990s, thanks to overseas broadcasts of popular TV dramas featuring its members. "Part of the collective memory of our generation is gone," said 41-year-old Taiwan resident Janet Hsieh.

With sales of their singles and albums exceeding 35 million units in Japan alone and their TV programs attracting high viewership, SMAP's breakup comes at a high cost. Kansai University Professor Emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto estimates the economic loss from SMAP's disbandment to be 63.6 billion yen ($634 million) per year.

POWER STRUGGLE (権力争い)
Not only are fans disappointed, they are also disillusioned over the way the breakup was handled.

disillusion=~を幻滅させる
ファンたちはがっかりさせられただけでなく、解散過程(←解散が扱われた方法の上)でも、幻滅させられました。

It seems to have started with a power struggle inside J&A, one of Japan's most influential talent agencies.
それは、日本で一番影響力のあるタレント事務所であるジャニーズ事務所内部の権力争いから始まったように見えます。

In January, SMAP was reportedly on the verge of disbanding after the group's manager, Michi Iijima -- who was embroiled in a lengthy conflict with J&A's founding family -- attempted to leave J&A with the band members in tow.
embroil=エンブイる=~を巻きこむ  lengthy=大変長い
with O in tow=~ウ=Oを引き連れて
1月、伝えられるところによると、SMAPは、《ジャニーズの創業家との大変長い闘争に巻き込まれていた》グループのマネージャーの飯島美智が、グループのメンバーを引き連れてジャニーズ事務所を去る計画を企てた後、解散寸前にありました。


The group later went on TV to apologize for the mess and assure the world that they were not in fact breaking up.
後にグループは、混乱を詫び、彼らが本当には解散しないつもりだということを世間に保証するために、テレビに出演しました

But
the appearance had a staged feel to it, with the members' black suits and glum expressions leading some viewers to question whether they were acting of their own volition.
stage=~を上演する、設定する  feel=印象  glum=グム=憂鬱な
volition=ぼウッションヌ= 意思決定
しかし
彼らの様子は、黒いスーツを着て、一部の視聴者に、彼らは彼ら自身の意思決定で行動しているのかどうか疑わせるような(←疑うように導く)憂鬱な表情で、演出されたような印象がありました。(?)

"These incidents made overseas fans understand how much control agencies have over their pop stars," said Rob Schwartz, Asia bureau chief of Billboard Magazine.
「これらの出来事は、どれだけの統制を事務所は所属のポップ・スターに対してかけられるかを、海外のファンにわからせました。」と、ビルボードのアジア局長のロブ・シュワルツは述べました。

Since Japan's biggest talent companies hold sway over TV casting decisions, any conflict with agency bosses can hurt a performer's career. "In the past, when big stars have tried to leave their agency, the industry would band together and blacklist them," Schwartz said.
sway=スゥイ=揺れ、《文》支配、影響力   band together=団結する
blacklist=ブックりストゥ=~を(要注意人物として)ブラックリストに載せる
日本の最大規模のタレント会社は、テレビのキャスティングの決定に影響力を持っているので、事務所のボスとのどんな争いも、タレント(←役者、歌手)の経歴に傷をつける可能性があります。「過去に、大スター達が彼らの事務所を出ようとした時、業界は、団結し、彼らをブラックリストに載せたものです。」とシュワルツは述べました。


If SMAP had successfully left J&A in January, "it would have been earthshaking for the Japanese music industry," he added. "If SMAP can leave J&A, then it's easier for anyone to leave J&A."

earthshaking=アースシェイキングゥ=全世界を揺るがす、非常に重大な
もし、SMAPが、1月に、うまくジャニーズ事務所を出ることができていたら、「それは、日本の音楽業界にとって、業界を揺るがすことになっていたでしょう。」(仮定法過去完了)と、彼は付け加えました。「もし、SMAPがジャニーズ事務所を去ることができれば、それならば、誰でもジャニーズ事務所を去ることが、より簡単になってしまうのです。」

DRIVING FANS AWAY (ファンを追い払うことに)
Although J-pop groups have loyal followings across Asia, Japan's agencies have not been very adept at cultivating those fans. Now, the SMAP mess could drive some international fans away.
loyal=忠実な、誠実な  following=信奉者、支持者  
be adept at=アデプトゥ=~に精通している
Jポップ・グループは、アジアに誠実な支持者を持っていますが、日本の事務所は、これらのファンを開拓することに、あまり精通してきませんでした。今、SMAPの騒動(←どさくさ)は、国際的なファンの一部を引き離すかもしれません。

J&A, in particular, has stuck to its own way of doing business, much to the chagrin of overseas devotees. Generally, fans outside Japan cannot book tickets to its concerts online, and its fan clubs only allow people with valid Japanese addresses to register. Artists' use of social media is prohibited, giving overseas fans little opportunity to interact with their favorites online. J&A artists seldom perform abroad -- in stark contrast to South Korean groups like Big Bang, which perform frequently in East and Southeast Asian countries.

K-pop moved fast to attract global audiences to compensate for South Korea's small domestic market. A music video of the K-pop song "Gangnam Style" released in 2012 recorded more than 2.6 billion views on YouTube. Thanks to the K-pop boom in Asia, South Korean record label S.M. Entertainment -- whose artists include Super Junior and EXO -- posted revenue of 325.4 billion won ($291 million) in 2015, up 13% year on year and 35% higher than in 2012.

Facing a declining domestic birthrate and sluggish CD sales, some J-pop entertainers have begun to look abroad. Artists such as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Perfume have gone on world tours. This past June, female idol group Team Syachihoko performed in Taiwan for the first time, with members greeting fans in Mandarin. For good measure, Syachihoko returned to the island in August to keep new fans hooked. "I like Japan and I love Japanese idols," said Stanley Shu, a 33-year-old fan. "They are more kawaii (cute) than Korean idols."

Still, in Southeast Asian cities, K-pop is far more prevalent. Walk around any mall in Bangkok and you are bound to see a South Korean cosmetics store plastered with faces of K-pop stars, and K-pop playing in the background. By contrast, J-pop CDs can be hard to find in stores.
prevalent=《形》流行している be bound to do=きっと~する 
plaster=~をべたべた貼る、塗る

Yet J-pop does have its charms. "Fans of J-pop tend to value the narrative surrounding their favorite idols over their performance skills," said Kazumi Nagaike, a professor at Oita University and an expert on Japanese pop culture
narrative=ナラティぶ=物語、地の文(←文章の会話部分に対し、作者が説明する)、《形》物語の、物語形式の.

Narratives that include failure and perseverance can inspire fans to stick by their idols -- if all goes according to plan. "Perhaps J&A was writing out a narrative that SMAP members' ties would be stronger than ever, after their crisis" earlier in the year, Nagaike suggested.

Of course, some fans may still be hoping for an epilogue to the tale of SMAP -- one in which their idols make a surprise comeback.

Kenji Kawase in Hong Kong, Debby Wu and Kensaku Ihara in Taipei, Ken Moriyasu in Tokyo, and Mariko Tai in Beijing contributed to this story.