My Dear Readers,

When it comes to baseball, the extent of my knowledge is contained within the four-minute song “I Don’t Dance” from the Disney Channel original movie masterpiece “High School Musical 2.” 

But, for my next Man Crush Monday, I’d watch every game, read every book, and learn every play just so we’d always have things to talk about. Besides music, baseball is one of his biggest passions, and any time someone brings it up, he flashes one of the biggest smiles of any of the guys signed to Johnny & Associates.  

Of course, I’m talking about the one and only Joichiro Fujiwara.

Joichiro Fujiwara: Bright eyes. Big Smile.

Born on 8 February 1996, Jo entered Johnny & Associates on 21 February 2004 as a rambunctious eight-year-old who I am certain wasted no time befriending everyone around him because that’s precisely who Jo appears to be. He’s got that good boy look with a secret impish streak, meaning he’s probably a little prankster – which only adds points to his adorability meter.

Cute, cool and incredibly sexy

When Naniwa Danshi was formed on 6 October 2018, Joichiro, as the group’s eldest member, basically took on the role of the big brother. As seen in the hit docu-series “Ride On Time,” he’s always there to give praise and support, but as a straight hitter, he isn’t afraid to wrangle the guys in (should they need it). 

On 28 July 2021, Fujiwara and the rest of the group were surprised during the MC segment of their arena tour concert at the Yokohama Arena when the power was suddenly cut. Captured as part of the official Blu-ray release of the concert, the guys, clearly confused, watched with wonder as their images flashed across the screen, followed by the words every Johnnys’ Jr. Unit hopes to hear – they would officially debut.  

Signed to J Storm records, the group’s first single 初心LOVE (eng: Beginner’s LOVE) was released to commercial and critical success, paying the way for what has (in just two short years) become an incredibly cool – and colorful – career! 

Naniwa Danshi’s Debut look:

Even now, rewatching their reactions as I write this piece fills me with such a sense of joy for the guys. They were the group that introduced me to Johnnys and, as such, will always have a special place in my heart. They’re incredibly talented, charismatic and charming, as well as being some of the most genuine artists I’ve ever followed, especially Jo. Whenever he talks about his career, the group, or baseball, he beams nothing but pure, unfiltered love. 

It’s wonderful.

Some of Jo’s film and television work

In 2022 Fujiwara had a starring role in the one-cut live broadcast mini-series “Nama Dora! Tokyo wa 24 Ji” (English title: “Live Drama! 24 Hours in Tokyo”) as well as a supporting role in “Keshigomu wo Kureta Joshi wo Suki ni Natta” (English title “I Fell in Love With the Girl Who Gave Me the Eraser”) which starred Naniwa Danshi’s leader Ohashi Kazuya. Even as a supporting character, Jo lights up the screen whenever he appears and rumor has it he’s up for another big part, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

A fun piece of trivia about Jo is that he holds the current record for time spent as a junior. 17 years, 8 months, and 22 days to be precise. 

Recently Jo did an interview with CNN Indonesia. I will definitely post more on him soon so…

Stay tuned!