In 1995, Johnny Kitagawa (*the man behind the boy band conglomerate in Japan, Johnny Entertainment Inc.) brought 6 boys together to form a volleyball team, calling them V6.

Sakamoto Masayuki, who was with the Johnny Juniors for a couple of years, left the agency at the age of 23 when he thought he was never going to make a debut. He worked at his parents' fruits store and as a tour guide for a couple of months but realised that he still like the entertainment line best. At the same time, Kitagawa called Sakamoto back and asked if he was interested to join V6. Sakamoto was obviously thrilled to be the leader of this new group. Nagano Hiroshi too, left the agency to pursue an IT-related diploma when he thought his lifespan at the agency was up. He returned to the agency after he got bored with the mundane life of a white-collared worker and was put into V6 by Kitagawa. Inohara Yoshihiko, (affectionately known by the moniker, Inocchi ) took up the last place in 20th Century as the last senior member in the group. Simultaneously, Morita Go and Miyake Ken who were very popular Johnny Juniors back then were immediately roped into the group. Now there was one vacancy left in Coming Century and people speculated that it was going to be Hara Tomohiro who was also a very popular Junior, often appearing in magazines and TV performances with Go and Ken. However, with a twist of fate, Junichi Okada, a newly recruited Junior from Osaka landed up in Tokyo accidentally. Kitagawa liked this new boy so much that he placed him in V6 even though Okada was barely trained in his singing and dancing. That drew much jealousy from the other Juniors who spent half their youth hood practising back breaking dance steps over and over again but never made it.

V6 was formed on 4th September, 1995 and officially released their debut single, a covered version of a Super Eurobeat oldie, "Music for the People", on 1st November, 1995. This song became the theme song for the World Volleyball Championship 1995 held in Japan. They became so popular that Kitagawa decided to keep them as a group to make these 6 boys the successors to their senpai, SMAP. The group is divided into 20th Century (Tonicen in Japanese) and Coming Century (Kamisen in Japanese), and these 2 subsidiary groups have their own projects and releases.

Not only is V6 extremely talented in singing and dancing, they score as entertainers because of their versatility. They have 2 variety shows, 2 radio programmes and several CMs under their belt. The boys have also tried acting in their debut drama, "V no Honoo", a comedy revolving around the volleyball theme. Apart from that, Hiroshi has played Daigo, the male lead in the popular drama serial, "Ultraman Tiga" in 1997 and Coming Century also has 2 dramas tailor-made for them, "Pu Pu Pu" and "Shin! Ore Tachi No Tabi" till date. The boys also had individual works in other popular dramas and stage plays. Their popularity soared and their fan base grew steadily, and soon V6 found fame in other parts of Asia such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. With the release of their first greatest hits album, aptly named, "Very Best”, this album became the first No. 1 album on the Oricon Charts in Japan on 01/01/01. They began their first overseas album promotion in Taiwan and Hong Kong and the media in South Asia all focused their attention on these 6 boys. V6 even made it to the Taiwanese evening news when their arrival at the Tao Yuan International Airport in Taiwan stirred up such a storm with over 500 fans (mostly girls, I presume) banging down the barricades and fighting their way through the police just to catch a glimpse of them. They went on to stage concerts in Taiwan during February (2001) in Taiwan after the overly-warm reception of the fans during their first promo trip in January. Coming Century also held their first overseas concerts in Hong Kong and Taiwan in November (2001) following the success of V6's concerts. Will their next stop be Singapore? Let's keep our fingers crossed and find out! ^_^

*Contributed by Karen*