7 MEN 侍: From meme to fresh superstar

Hello, my name is Sabina and I am your in-house expert on Johnny’s idols and artists at SJPA. I am passionate about sharing this knowledge in order to get as many people as possible introduced to the wonderful world of Japanese boy idols. This time, my focus is on the group 7 MEN Samurai.

© Johnny & Associates. All rights reserved.

Have you ever scrolled past a video in your Twitter feed and wondered

Where is that from?’

It happens more often than not, especially in today’s digital network jungle, and it’s exactly what happened to the Japanese pop idol group 7 MEN Samurai (7 MEN 侍).

7 MEN Samurai is a six-member group under the Tokyo-based talent agency Johnny & Associates. With a focus on Japanese pop and rock, their weapon on stage is being a band.

On drums, we have their youngest member, Taiko Sasaki (19), on lead guitar Taiki Konno (22), on guitar/saxophone Rinne Sugeta (23), on bass and miscellaneous instruments, Rei Yabana (21), on keyboard Katsuki Motodaka (23), and lastly, main vocalist and guitar, Reia Nakamura (24).

WHERE do we begin? Somewhere in the jungle of tweets and TikToks, somebody uploaded a segment of Taiko walking into a glass door, falling over, proceeded by Rei tripping over the other.

This video went uncredited (as per usual on the web), and fans of various groups started to caption it with their idols instead. This turned into a state of confusion as to “which group is this?“. While many claimed it to be BTS, Stray Kids, NCT, or ATEEZ, they were far from right. It wasn’t even a Korean group causing this viral moment of fame and laughter.

It was 7 MEN Samurai – a Johnnys’ Jr. group – trainees that have not yet made a CD debut.

This is where we are now, and I am here to highlight some of the great aspects of this young, rising, unique band.

“Even though our dreams might be beyond what fate allows” –


7 MEN Samurai are active weekly, on the web, on the Johnnys’ Jr. Channel, and on the platform ISLAND TV.

This is where you get the official content of the boys, and aside from their activities on YouTube, they also star in various music shows, stage plays, and TV dramas. They appear both individually and as a group.

Being a Johnnys’ Jr. group means that you don’t have a lot of original content but 7 MEN Samurai do not let that hinder them from delivering top-notch performances whenever they get the chance.

Their first original song, SAMU-DAMA, is a rocking song showcasing their skills as a band. This version from Summer Station ★ LIVE THE FUTURE, July 18, 2021, is quite the upgrade from their first studio live on Sep 11, 2020.

We will keep on until we achieve the dream we’ve made”


Continuing on, the second original song they got is called “SIREN”, and they surprised us with this song at the Johnnys’ Jr. Island FES on November 28, 2020. Unlike SAMU-DAMA, SIREN is a dance-focused performance, showing us that they possess the expected skills as idols of Johnny’s. With the duality of a band and idol group, 7 MEN Samurai walks the path toward a bigger stage than just Japan’s borders.

Looking at the members in more detail, they’re surely an interesting bunch of boys! Not only are they top-notch idols but each of them got their own set of unique skills.

The oldest, Reia, recently appeared on a show called “NEO COLOSSEUM“, where he got to compete against an Olympic medalist in skateboarding. His skateboarding skills successfully brought him to victory. He also appears in various dramas and movies, and he has been active as a junior ever since 2009 and loves Star Wars! With his unique sense of art, he’s also their resident artist and has made their logos you can see on stage and on Taiko’s drum set.

Katsuki is their academically smartest member, as he was a ranked top student in maths nationwide during his junior high years and is a graduate of the prestigious Waseda University. He even went against the other five members in a quiz battle! How did that go? Well, take a look for yourself and find out! A very charming point about Katsuki is his love for fish. He’s self-taught in the art of cleaning and preparing fish, and he even caught the eyes of the Japanese Fisheries Ministry.

Next in line is their fitness guru, Rinne, who charmingly refers to himself in the third person. Rinne is considered the “genius acrobat” as his skills with acrobatics and similar is highly regarded! Not only that, he has participated in the show SASUKE (Japan’s Ninja Warrior) twice and passed the first stage both times. Rinne’s amazing physical ability is well-known through the agency as well, and he even ran 12 flights of stairs in just 45 seconds! To top it off, he absolutely loves cats and has 8 of them at home.

Taiki is their lead vocalist and is usually in charge of higher harmonies and adlibs to compliment Reia’s main vocals. With his soothing voice and highly regarded vocal skills, he’s been in the reading musical ROCK READING “ROBIN!“, 2021 and “the Happiest Prince“, 2020, alongside fellow member Katsuki. He occasionally posts his acapella singing on ISLAND TV, showing off his raw vocals!

7 MEN Samurai’s second-youngest, Rei, takes his passion for music to the next level and is majoring in music at university alongside his activities as an idol. He’s not your typical idol, as he tends to let his inner rock beast loose on stage when they rock ‘n roll. On ISLAND TV, he occasionally uploads sessions of himself jamming or showing off his music equipment. In 2021, he also got the chance to star in his first-ever stage play “The Fiend with 20 Faces“.

Last, but not least, Taiko. The youngest made his international debut when it came to light he resembles the Indonesian actor Iqbaal Ramadhan. This information went viral, just like the famous glass door video. He a whole series of “Taiko’s Challenge” on ISLAND TV, where he inserted Mentos into Coca-Cola if to name one thing he’s done. That also, got the official Mentos Twitter to pick up on his crazy antics! Later on, an all-member Taiko’s Challenge video was uploaded for their weekly YouTube. Not only is he living on the edge, but he’s also a great dancer.

There is a lot more to discover when it comes to 7 MEN Samurai because while they are on their way to becoming superstars, they are also a group of normal, chaotic boys. Every Friday you can watch the six of them entertain the viewers with crazy stunts like cooking huge versions of food, getting pranked by zombies, babysitting a foreign kid, and another round of Taiko and his Taiko Challenge… the list is endless of things they have done!

The title might be a bit misleading as 7 MEN Samurai did not start their career from one single meme circulating on the Internet. Although, it definitely helped them spread their name across the whole world and make them a little bit more conscious of the world outside Japan. The world is big and I think that in time, 7 MEN Samurai will be ready to expand globally too, as long as they wish for it.

They possess the charm and adaptability as a classical idol of Johnny’s – whether it be dancing on stage in shining sequins and layers of fur, or causing storms of laughter on a variety show. As a band, they have the necessary skills they can polish and develop into a powerful weapon that they can use in the future. Combining these two, you get 7 MEN Samurai and they will create their own path toward the dreams they want to achieve.

In conclusion, I would like to wish for 7 MEN Samurai’s future success. When the time comes for their international career, I will be there to support them from the bottom of my heart. As long as there aren’t any transparent doors in the way, I believe they are a group to keep an eye on and support, especially with the current digital era. Maybe Taiko will go viral again, who knows? Let’s find out together!

“Who cares if we’re still unpolished?”

Check the official channels out below.


Can we guess who is playing just by the sound!?
Can we say I LOVE YOU with marshmallows stuffed in our mouth??
How long does it take to escape our duct tape bonds!?
“SIREN” Choreography Video
A detective joins the Werewolf Game!