Masaki Aiba (相葉 雅紀 Aiba Masaki) (born December 24, 1982) is a Japanese idol, singer, actor, television personality and radio host. He is a member of Japanese boy band Arashi.
Aiba began his career in the entertainment industry when he joined the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1996 at the age of 13. Prior to his debut as a singer with Arashi in 1999, Aiba started an acting career when he was cast as the lead role of Gordie for the stage play Stand by Me, which was based on the film of the same name. About five years after his debut as a singer with Arashi in 1999, he became one of the co-hosts of the variety show Tensai Shimura Dōbutsuen (天才！志村どうぶつ園 Genius! Shimura Zoo) in 2004, making him the first member of Arashi to regularly participate in a variety show not primarily hosted by Arashi.
Aiba was born in Chiba as the first child of his family. He has a younger brother who is four years younger. Aiba was raised by his grandparents until he was four years old because his parents were busy running their newly-opened Chinese cuisine restaurant then.
Prior to joining Johnny & Associates, Aiba watched a program called I Love SMAP (愛ラブSMAP Ai Rabu SMAP) and saw SMAP playing basketball on television. Wanting to play basketball with them, he sent in the application to join the talent agency himself, without exactly knowing what the agency specialized in until the day of auditions. Aiba became a Johnny’s Jr. in August 1996 at the age of 13.
For music-related releases and activities with Arashi, please see Arashi.
In collaboration with the other members, he has written the lyrics to “Fight Song” and “5×10”. For his solo song “Hello Goodbye”, Aiba played the harmonica portion of the song throughout Arashi’s Arashi Marks 2008 Dream-A-Live and Arashi Marks Arashi Around Asia 2008 concert tours. Aiba also used to play the saxophone; however, due to the collapse of one of his lungs in 2002, he was forced to stop playing due to the operation he had to undergo.
Aiba began acting in a 1997 stage play based on an American coming of age film called Stand by Me with future bandmates Jun Matsumoto and Kazunari Ninomiya. In 2005, Aiba took up the lead role of Keiji Takashima (高島啓治 Takashima Keiji), a naive but honest station attendant living in a world after a World War III nuclear war, in Tsubame no Iru Eki (燕のいる駅 A Station with Swallows). In 2007, Aiba portrayed Adam, a shy young man with a heart defect, in Wasurerarenai Hito (忘れられない人 Unforgettable Person). It was the first stage adaptation of the 1993 film Untamed Heart. In early 2008, Aiba was given the lead role of Colin Briggs in the stage play called Greenfingers, which was adapted from the movie of the same name.
Aiba reunited with director Keiko Miyata (宮田 慶子 Miyata Keiko), who has been the director for his stage plays since 2005, and took on the lead role for Kimi to Miru Sen no Yume (君と見る千の夢 The Thousand Dreams I Dream With You), which ran from May 5 to May 24, 2010. He portrayed a young man hovering over life and death due to a violent traffic accident.
In 1997, Aiba made his drama debut portraying Akira, one of the many children left to survive in a city under government lockdown after a mysterious disease wipes out all the adults, in the drama Bokura no Yūki: Miman Toshi (ぼくらの勇気 Our Courage: Miman City). After the announcement of the formation of Arashi in September 1999 and their position as supporters for the 1999 Volleyball World Cup competition, all five members starred together for the first time in the volleyball-centered short drama V no Arashi.
Although Aiba was featured in a number of dramas such as Mukodono 2003 (ムコ殿2003 The Son-in-Law 2003) and Yankee Bokō ni Kaeru (ヤンキー母校に帰る Drop-out Teacher Returns to School), he became more known for his appearances in variety shows instead and went on to focus on stage productions after Yankee Bokō ni Kaeru.
On August 2, 2009, it was announced that Aiba would not only act in his first drama series in nearly six years but also star as the lead actor for the first time. In My Girl, Aiba portrayed a young man who discovers that he has a five-year-old daughter after receiving the news that his girlfriend, who he has not seen in six years, was killed in an accident.
In January 2010, Aiba co-starred with the other members of Arashi in the human suspense drama special Saigo no Yakusoku (最後の約束 Last Promise). He portrayed Akira Tanada (棚田 昭 Tanada Akira), a 28-year-old coffee shop employee who is caught up in a building hijack.
In 2002, he made his motion picture debut in Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy (ピカ☆ンチ Life is HardだけどHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard But Happy), Arashi’s first movie together, as the lead character Shun. He subsequently reprised his role for the 2004 sequel Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakara Happy (ピカ☆☆ンチ Life is HardだからHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard Therefore Happy).
The group once again come together in 2007 to co-star in Kiiroi Namida (黄色い涙 Yellow Tears) with Aiba portraying an aspiring singer in the 1960s.
Since October 5, 2001, Aiba has his own radio show Arashi’s Aiba Masaki no Rekomen! Arashi Remix, which currently broadcasts on JOQR. On May 17, 2009, Aiba hosted a special radio program on Tokyo FM called Muteki no Aiba-kun (ムテキの相葉クン! Invincible Aiba).
Variety show host
In 2004, Aiba became a regular part of Ken Shimura’s variety show Tensai Shimura Dōbutsuen. With co-hosts of the show such as Tomomitsu Yamaguchi, Sayaka Aoki and Becky, Aiba interacts with various wild animals such as tigers, pandas and crocodiles in zoos both in and out of Japan such as Singapore, South Africa, Philippines and Indonesia.
From July 18 to July 19, 2009, Aiba was appointed a Field Navigator for the Gymnastics Japan Cup 2009 (体操Japan Cup 2009 Taisō Japan Cup 2009). He was once again a navigator on October 18, 2009 for the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships 2009: London Rally (世界体操選手権2009 ロンドン大会 Sekai Taisō Senshuken 2009 Rondon Taikai).
|1997||Bokura no Yūki: Miman Toshi||Akira|
|1999||V no Arashi||Masaki Aiba|
|2001||Mukodono 2003||Ryo Takeyama|
|2002||Shōnen Taiya: Second Story – Gypsy||Roku||Mini-drama (4 episodes)|
|Shōnen Taiya: Third Story – Aoki-san Uchi no Oku-san||Masaki||Mini-drama (4 episodes)|
|2003||Kaigo Kazoku: Hana, Sakimakka||Akira Mataki||Television special|
|Gekidan Engimono: Eleventh Story – Kuruu ga Mama||Kazuya||Mini-drama (4 episodes), lead role|
|Yoiko no Mikata||Akira Mataki||Episode 7 guest appearance|
|Yankee Bokō ni Kaeru||Tetsuji Yashiki|
|2006||Triple Kitchen||Eisaku Odajima||Television special|
|Kuitan Special||Extra||Cameo appearance|
|2009||My Girl||Masamune Kazama||Lead role|
|2010||Saigo no Yakusoku||Akira Tanada||Television special|
|1998||Shinjuku Shōnen Tantei-dan||Sōsuke Hashiba|
|2002||Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy||Shun Okano||Lead role|
|2004||Pikanchi Life Is Hard Dakara Happy||Shun Okano|
|2007||Kiiroi Namida||Shōichi Inoue|
|1997||Stand By Me||Gordie||Lead role|
|2005||Tsubame no Iru Eki||Keiji Takashima||Lead role|
|2007||Wasurerarenai Hito||Adam||Lead role|
|2009||Green Fingers||Colin Briggs||Lead role|
|2010||Kimi to Miru Sen no Yume||Haruya Ikebe||Lead role|
|2010||13th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Fall 2009)||Best Actor||My Girl||Won|
|TV Navi Drama Awards (Fall 2009)||Best Newcomer||Won|
Photo : Arashi Facebook Fans Page