KAT-TUN (カテゥーン ,katūn?, sounding similar to "cartoon") is a Japanese boy band formed under Johnny & Associates (JE) in 2001 who releases records under their own label, J-One Records. The group's name is an acronym formed by the members' surname initials. Currently one of the most popular boy bands in Japan, all 9 singles, 3 studio albums and 7 DVDs released by the group since their debut in 2006 have debuted at number one on the Oricon music and DVD charts.
Their debut was marked by a tripartite release, consisting of a single, an album and a DVD: Real Face, Best of KAT-TUN and Real Face Film. All three shattered records in sales.
Kamenashi Kazuya (亀梨和也 ?), (born February 23, 1986)
Akanishi Jin (赤西仁 ?), (born July 4, 1984)
Taguchi Junnosuke (田口淳之介 ?) (born November 29, 1985)
Tanaka Koki (田中聖 ?) (born November 5, 1985)
Ueda Tatsuya (上田竜也 ?) (born October 4, 1983)
Nakamaru Yuichi (中丸雄一 ?) (born September 4, 1983)
Kazuya Kamenashi is the youngest member of KAT-TUN. Often described as the most dependable, he serves as co-lead vocalist with Akanishi. He is noted for his talent in baseball, having once represented Japan in a world tournament as a child though he had to give up dreams of playing professionally after joining JE. Kamenashi debuted before the rest of the group as part of Shūji to Akira whose only song, "Seishun Amigo", became 2005's number one single in Japan with over 1.6 million copies sold to date. An established actor with award-winning performances in television dramas Nobuta wo Produce and Gokusen 2, he has also appeared in Yūki, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, Suppli, 1 Pound no Fukuin and Kami no Shizuku.
Jin Akanishi is the second lead vocalist. He went on hiatus from October 2006 to April 2007 to study English in Los Angeles just as KAT-TUN were six months into their debut. Most of the group's second studio album did not feature him due to his absence. Akanishi plays the guitar and is a budding songwriter having written several songs for the group and himself. Also an actor, he has had roles in Gokusen 2, Anego, Yukan Club and made his debut as a seiyū in 2008 providing the voice for Speed Racer in the Japanese-dubbed version of Speed Racer. He will make his film debut in Bandage which is scheduled for release in 2010.
Junnosuke Taguchi is the tallest member of the group. Recognised by his bandmates for being good at acrobatics, he needed an operation in February 2004 after sustaining a bad knee injury during rehearsals and did not return until August 2004. Taguchi is known as the most light-hearted member with a carefree-like nature. Often picked on by the other members for his frequent use of dajare (Japanese word puns), he also has a tendency to randomly jump between topics during talks and interviews leading the others to label him "KY" (a person who is unable to read an atmosphere properly). Taguchi is an award-winning actor with roles in Mohou-han, Ganbatte Ikimasshoi, Happy!, Happy! 2, Hanayome to Papa and Yukan Club.
Kōki Tanaka performs most of the rap lyrics, which he writes himself. Though he wanted to leave KAT-TUN when it was first formed, he changed his mind after the group held their first concert. Influenced by hip-hop and reggae at an early age, he found the task of rapping in an idol group made easier due to Shō Sakurai's breakthrough for Arashi. Artistically inclined, Tanaka can illustrate well and designs his own apparel. With bandmate Nakamaru, they made up a comedic unit, TaNaka (a portmanteau of their surnames)unit resurrected in their latest concerts. An actor who won multiple awards for his performance in My Boss, My Hero, he has also appeared in Byakkotai, Tatta Hitotsu no Koi and took on his first lead role in 2007 in Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go.
Tatsuya Ueda is the quietest member and rarely speaks unless spoken to. Ironically, he chose to become KAT-TUN's leader at first but later quit because he could not handle being scolded during dance rehearsals, also denoting his sensitive nature. Ueda plays the piano and guitar and is an able composer and lyricist, having written songs for the group and himself. He is the first KAT-TUN member to hold a series of solo concerts entitled "Mouse Peace" in September 2008 performing songs across various genres, such as rock, dance, ballad, and folk, all of which he penned himself. Ueda is an avid boxer and has enough skill in the sport for him to be advised by professionals to get a professional boxing license. He is also the only member to have never acted in a television drama or film to date but will make his debut as a stage actor in the play Romeo and Juliet in March 2009.
Yuichi Nakamaru is the oldest member of the group. The first JE idol to prominently showcase beatboxing and vocal percussion ability, Nakamaru learned by diligently studying hundreds of examples from hip-hop albums after KAT-TUN was formed. His primary motivation was to set himself apart from the rest of the members since he did not want to be seen as dull. He often shares MC duties with Kamenashi but in private, is rather shy and reserved and whose meek nature particularly shows when amongst strangers. He is currently studying at Waseda University reading Environmental Studies. He writes his solo songs. He is also the first member to do a solo stage show -- performing songs, dance, beat boxing and skits for two weeks in August 2008.In January 2009 his first drama lead role will be aired titled RESCUE casting along NEWS Takahisa Masuda.