What's the origin of the agency?
Kitagawa, now 77, set up the agency in 1962. According to the book "Johnny Kitagawa no Senryaku to Senjutsu" ("Strategy and Tactics of Johnny Kitagawa") by journalist Hiroshi Kosuga, Kitagawa was born in Los Angeles to Japanese parents who went to the United States to spread Buddhism. After serving in the U.S. military in the Korean War in 1952, Kitagawa came to Japan, where he worked as an administrative staffer for the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
According to the book, at one point Kitagawa took four boys from a baseball team he had set up to see the film "West Side Story." Kitagawa has claimed it was this film that gave him the idea of starting a business to produce and promote singing and dancing boy groups.
The first group launched by the agency in 1962 was four teens known as The Johnnies. One of the four, Osami Iino, is currently an actor in the Shiki Theatre Company.
To read more about the article go to: