So Narimiya’s retirement announcement hit me a little harder than I expected. I’d never thought of myself as a big fan, but as I said, I’ve been watching a number of his interviews this year. And of course, the year I start to really be interested is the year he decides to leave. For me, I feel that it’s wise of him to take care of himself first, but there’s also a part of me that is sad about it.
But anyway, I digress. There’s been a lot of information and probably misinformation floating around about Narimiya. He is a generally private person and does fewer appearances, and very few of these appearances are subbed, the English speaking fandom may not know that much about him.
So for people who are interested, I’m going to pull out facts from interviews and appearances that I’ve watched. Please note that these are not exhaustive and also most of these facts are from recent appearances. He really is an interesting person.
1. Narimiya’s parents divorced when he was very young. He has a brother who is 7 years younger than him. He was raised by his mother till middle school, when his mum passed away. His grandmother than became his legal guardian, but he dropped out of school at age 14 to take care of family expenses. This information, and most of the best information about him can be found on this interview on A Station, which aired last year. Subs here.
2. He was a self-confessed cry baby as a child. And this picture below is of him crying because he lost a competition or something. But he has never shed a tear over his mum’s death because he feels that as an older sibling he should be strong.
3. Narimiya is very shy. He doesn’t like TV appearances because they make him nervous. I think about half of the shows I’ve watched he’s said this out loud. Also you can see how painfully shy he is when he goes on shows where you have to ask for permission to shoot. I’ve subbed Kayou Surprise here, so you can see how hard it is for him. This was also the case in Ojamap with Katori Shingo. When Yamazaki Hironari told him to go with 4 people from the street to search for a pair of grandmas, he literally held on to Yamazaki.
4. He loves scarves. Since a long time ago. Scarves are an easy fashion accessory to him, and in cooler weather he loves fluffy scarves which would keep him warm on set. [I decided to put this detail in because netizens would not shut up about how ‘gay’ it is for him to have been wearing a scarf when he was stopped by the paparazzi after the scandal broke out. First of all…do they even know gay people? And secondly the same thing that he was praised for being fashionable over is now something he’s crucified for. That’s public opinion for ya.]
5. He generally likes fluffy things, like bathrobes, towels etc. They have a calming effect on him. It’s hilarious when he went on Sakurai Sho’s talkshow and they both tried on bathrobes. Sakurai was told he looked like a patient while Narimiya looked luxurious ahahaha!
6. He’s a huge fan of baths. He’d take long baths at home and would also go to onsens when he has time. He also has a whole collection of scents for his bath. He mentions baths on many shows so he’s obviously really into them.
7. He likes to be naked at home.
8. Narimiya is a very good cook and this is mentioned on multiple BTSes and shows. He also won Kamenashi Kazuya in Shabekuri’s cook off (though Kamenashi put up a good fight I have to admit). He also cooks for staff from time to time.
9. In older interviews I found this out – Narimiya likes whining to his manager who says he’s like a child. He’s known for being touchy with women. On a (kinda) related note, once when an Anan staff member was asked whether she’d date him and what his good points were and she said, “He notices changes. Like he would ask ‘You cut your hair right?’ or ‘Your breasts have gotten bigger right?’” Speaking of attention to detail, there’s also this infamous moment where he removes some dirt or something from Kame’s face.
10. Celebrity friends of his over the years include his besties Oguri Shun and Kamiji Yusuke, Nakashima Mika, AI (whom he has known since before his debut), Nanao (whom he often goes out for dinner with and with whom he went to Disneyland with this year), and Saito Takumi (another dinner buddy).
11. He’s good with kids. This is not so much something he said, but if you look at 37.5°C no Namida promos, the kids are very free and open with him. Having worked extensively with kids, I know they won’t do that with people they don’t trust. He’s also very calm when he speaks to them and knows how to engage them on their level. Also not forgetting he basically raised his brother.
12. He loves alcohol, or at least consumes it a lot. His line and instagram pics are often ones where his face is red because of alcohol. He once drunk dialled Shofukutei Tsurube. And on another occasion he turned up to Oguri Shun’s All Night Nippon radio show drunk.
13. Narimiya took piano, swimming, shaolin martial arts, taiko, art, calligraphy abacus as a child. He says that if he wanted to learn something he’d pick it up pretty fast. Thanks to his latest travel show, he can also scuba dive.
14. He has a taste for luxury. He likes reading and some of his books are on luxury toys/items. And not just talking about fashion here, but he has quite a big collection of butterflies – which don’t come cheap.
15. He once wanted to own a serval cat and even went so far as to get a 3m tall cage made. But in order not to cause trouble to neighbours he decided not to get it in the end.
16. He loves his plants. He would praise them because it’s his way of loving them. (AHAHAHA I CAN’T). He loves the smell of Christmas trees, and loves nice-smelling plants in general.
17. According to fans, Narimiya is a great celebrity to meet on the streets. He’s willing to shake hands, is kind, and one pub worker once said they had a great time playing games together. On his end he doesn’t bother to hide himself with hats/sunglasses when he goes out.
18. He’s unexpectedly mature. In the Oguri-Kamiji-Nari trio, the other two regard Nari as the big brother. Fans who were able to talk about love with him on a promotion mentioned that he gave unexpectedly mature advice on love.
19. He doesn’t think of himself as sexy, but has admitted that he practices posing in front of the mirror (for *ahem* work of course).
20. He’s scared of ghosts but he thinks that being scared of things is not manly, so from time to time he’d watch horror movies alone at home. Once he brought his ipad (or device) with him to watch horror films while he took a bath but got so scared that he dropped the device in his bath. (Yikes, pretty dangerous).
Last thing, a cute Nari shot: