How does the life of RocketNews24’s crack Japanese-language reporter stack up?
On December 26, Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV aired the final episode of SMAP X SMAP. The variety program is remarkable for reasons beyond having a silent X (SMAP X SMAP is officially pronounced “SMAP SMAP”), though. Starring the members of four-member Japanese boy band extraordinaire SMAP, SMAP X SMAP premiered in 1996 and since legal adulthood in Japan begins at 20, many people in the country have literally grown up watching the show.
But even those two decades are outstripped by the amount of time SMAP has been making music together. The group debuted in 1991, but its time as a single unit is also coming to a close. After much confusion, SMAP is, for real this time, going to break up at the end of this year.
That made the December 26 episode of SMAP X SMAP particularly poignant, with the singers and their fans alike looking back on the group’s lengthy time in the spotlight. RocketNews24’s crack Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato also found himself feeling reflective of his own life, though.
See, Mr. Sato is now 43 making him one year younger than SMAP members Takuya Kimura, Masahiro Nakai, the same age as the group’s Goro Inagaki, and one year older than Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. In other words, he’s essentially been alive for as long as, and in the same period of history, as, the members of SMAP, and so he decided to compare his professional legacy to theirs.
▼ Are you sure this is such a good idea, Mr. Sato?
Basically, the members of SMAP have resumes that look like this.
● 1991-2006: Boy band singer
Mr. Sato, though, hasn’t shown nearly that sort of single-minded devotion, as his work experience is:
● 1991: Helped with family’s painting busniness
● 1992. Moved to Tokyo, moved back home to Shimane Prefecture after just six months
● 1993: Worked as security guard, convenience store clerk
● 1994: Hotel worker, pachinko parlor staff member
● 1995-1997: Wrecking crew worker
● 1998: Self-employed music promoter
● 1998-2000: Music club employee (fired)
● 2001-2002: Restaurant worker (fired)
● 2003: Moved to Toyko, hired as restaurant worker
● 2004: Temp worker
● 2005: Moving company employee
● 2007: IT system worker
● 2008: Self-employed
● 2009-present: RocketNews24
As we can clearly see, Mr. Sato has SMAP beat, hands-down, in terms of variety shown on his resume. However, he might not be lauded for that by people aware of some of the reasons for his quick-change employment switches. Aside from getting fired from at least two jobs for, in his own words, “being selfish,” Mr. Sato also used to start feeling antsy or bored after two years in the same position, which caused him to leave even places of employment where he was well-liked, such as the owner of the moving company he spent roughly a year with. “It’s a miracle I’ve stayed around RocketNews24 this long,” he remarked, marveling at his uncharacteristic dedication to a single job.
It goes without saying that Mr. Sato is deeply, deeply envious of the members of SMAP for their fame, bank accounts, and popularity with women, all of which the singers possess in far greater abundance than Mr. Sato does himself. And yet, he can’t help but admire them. Now one goes 25 years in the workforce without running into a lot of challenges and problems, and no one can survive in the same job or industry for all that time without putting a lot of effort into their work, far beyond the amount that Mr. Sato put into many of his previous jobs.
“When I look back, I haven’t accomplished anything,” Mr. Sato sadly stated. “All that I can think of to describe my psyche at those times are the words ‘aimless’ and ‘lazy.’ Oh, and also pathetic.”
Honestly, though, we think he’s being a little too hard on himself. Sure, Mr. Sato may not have any gold records or gold doubloons to his name, but he’s done some pretty great things in his career so far. And while SMAP may have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into creating music and entertainment, Mr. Sato isn’t exactly a slouch when it comes to implementing his bodily fluids in the pursuit of excellence in his chosen profession.
Plus, unlike the members of SMAP, he’s not currently unemployed.
[ Read in Japanese ]
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s not feeling half-bad about the last 25 years.
[ Read in Japanese ]