Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates used to ban its artists from having social media accounts.However, it relented in May last year and actor-singer Tomohisa Yamashita was its first artist to set up an Instagram account. It attracted more than one million followers in one day.
Last Saturday, the 35-year-old heart-throb became the first Japanese male artist to attract more than five million followers on Instagram. After Yamashita, other artists under Johnny & Associates also set up their Instagram accounts, including singer-actor Takuya Kimura and boy band Arashi.
Kimura has 2.4 million followers on Instagram so far, while Arashi have 4.2 million followers. Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe is the top female artist in Japan, with more than 9.4 million followers on her account.
Yamashita, who is in the international thriller series The Head (2020), recently posted a few photos of himself visiting the United States last year. He wrote: “I took these photos a year ago. I hope that a bright future will come, just like this time.”
Yamashita, who was a former member of idol group News, came to prominence after acting in the television series Kurosagi (2006), an adaptation of a best-selling manga of the same title.
He has also acted in the popular television series Code Blue and its movie, which was Japan’s top-grossing domestic film of 2018.
This article originally appeared on The Straits Times.