Johnny & Associates
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Johnny & Associates (ジャニーズ事務所, janīzu jimusho in Japanese) is a well-known boys entertainment company in Japan. It was established in 1963 by Johnny Kitagawa. It accepts and trains talented boys and promotes their debutes to the entertainment industry. Although Johnny & Associates once accepted female idol candidates in 1980s, it now only takes boys as its candidates.
Starting with group name "Johnnys" in 1962, Johnny & Associates has debuted over 20 groups so far. It has currently more than 10 groups actively participating in the entertainment industry. The most famous groups of today include SMAP (debuted in 1991), TOKIO (1994), V6 (1996), Kinki Kids (1997), Arashi (1999), Tackey and Tsubasa (2001), NewS (2003), Kanjani∞ (2005), KAT-TUN (2006), and Hey! Say! JUMP (2007). Johnny & Associates has been introducing a new idol group almost every other year, and in 2009, Nakayama Yuma with B.I. Shadow made its debut in June.