Early life[ edit ] Sakurai was born in Maebashi , Gunma Prefecture , and grew up in Minato , Tokyo , the oldest of three children. League boom in He wanted to play for a professional team and at one point considered studying abroad in Brazil to become a professional footballer. Sakurai is the designated rapper of Arashi and, although he had written rap lyrics known to fans as Sakurap for some of the group's earlier releases under the pen name "Show", his first major contribution was for the A-side song " Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono ".
While not the first artist from Johnny's to take on rapping, his breakthrough made it easier for his juniors to rap as well, despite being idols.
After Yoiko no Mikata, Sakurai took up many drama specials and mini-dramas until He even acted in a NHK late-night drama series called Tokio, in which each episode lasted for fifteen minutes each. Mystery Solving After Dinner is based on a bestselling novel published in by author Higashigawa Tokuya.
Sakurai will be co-starred by actress Kitagawa Keiko. The drama will air starting in October. Sakurai will be starring on the first night. He will play the role of a junior high school teacher who lost his right arm by war and struggled the change of moral after the war. Mystery Solving After Dinner to be aired on March Sakurai will continue to play the lead role of Kageyama, together with Kitagawa Keiko. The drama special was filmed at Okinawa. He portrayed Chu, a yankee who dropped out of high school after an incident involving his teacher and the girl he had a crush on.
That same year, he took on the role of Bambi, a college student who becomes part of a burglar ring at the beckoning of his cancer-stricken friend Bussan in order to make Bussan's final days worthwhile. Nihon Series and Kisarazu Cat's Eye: World Series in and respectively. While training for a rowing competition with the rest of Arashi on their variety show Mago Mago Arashi in , Sakurai filmed for his first starring movie role in the manga-based live-action film Honey and Clover.
By the end of the year, it was announced that he would star as Gan-chan in the Takashi Miike movie Yatterman , which was not released in theaters until the beginning of Mystery Solving After Dinner was announced. Sakurai once again portrayed the sharp-tongued butler Kageyama in solving mysteries, co-starring with Kitagawa Keiko.
The plot of the movie is a murder case that happens on a luxurious cruise ship. Besides set filming, the production team also filmed overseas in Singapore where they boarded the luxurious cruise ship SuperStar Virgo for onsite filming. The movie completed filming by end of July and is scheduled for release on August 3, in Japan. The International Gala Premiere was held in Singapore on July 27, at Marina Bay Sands, where about 2, fans from Singapore, Thailand and other countries in the region were treated to face-to-face interactions with the main cast of Sakurai and his fellow cast members, Keiko Kitagawa and Shinai Kippei.
Director Masato Hijikata also graced the occasion. The Singapore premiere of the movie is scheduled for August 22, , with a special Fans' Screening by Golden Village cinemas on August 14, Sakurai became the first pop idol to host such a program. Eco , which focused on environmental issues. The special was aired on April 29, , featuring video footage from the British Broadcasting Channel that covered the joyous occasion for the British royal family.