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Chiba, Tokyo, Japan (2006 – present)

Yamashita Tomohisa (山下智久) was born in Chiba, Japan on April 9, 1985. He is an idol of Johnny’s Entertainment, which he joined at the age of 11. He became part of Johnny’s juniors because he greatly respected Takizawa Hideaki of the same agency. He graduated from Meiji University in Tokyo in the spring of 2008. Nicknames for Yamashita include Yamapi (coined by Takizawa Hideaki) or simply “Pi”.

During his junior time, Yamashita was in two different groups. The first of these groups was B.I.G., and then in a more well known group 4Tops, who also were the elite of the juniors. After leading juniors Takizawa Hideaki and Tsubasa Imai debuted together, Yamashita became the unofficial leader of juniors. Yamashita debuted in 2003 with 8 other juniors in the group NEWS as the leader of the group.

Yamashita has also appeared in many dorama roles to critical acclaim. He had his first drama role in 1998, but the first role to get him widespread attention was the role of Mizuno Shun in Ikebukuro West Gate Park in 2000. He won the award “Best Supporting Actor” for this role in the Japanese Television Academy Awards, which is awarded for every drama season.

In 2005, Yamashita appeared in two dramas, Dragon Zakura and Nobuta wo Produce, both to high ratings and critical acclaim. A temporary unit with KAT-TUN’s Kamenashi Kazuya (also a Johnny’s group member) was formed to promote Nobuta wo Produce. The unit was named “Shuji to Akira,” after the characters that the two actors portrayed in the drama.


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