Johnny’s talent Toma Ikuta (26) has been awarded Best New Artist at the 53rd Blue Ribbon Awards, whose winners were announced yesterday, reports Daily Sports
and Sports Hochi
Movie critics and writers belonging to several Japanese sports newspapers award Blue Ribbon Awards
each year to actors, actresses, directors, and the best film of the previous year.
Ikuta had been recognized for his work in “人間失格 (Ningen Shikkaku)” and “ハナミズキ (Hanamizuki)” and is the first Johnny’s talent to have won a Blue Ribbon in the agency’s history. “This award means a lot because it was given to me after spending a long time trying to find something that no one else had done.”
Having joined Johnny’s around the same time as Arashi’s Jun Matsumoto, Kazunari Ninomiya, Masaki Aiba, and NEWS’ Tomohisa Yamashita, it has been reported Ikuta said it had not been easy to establish himself as an actor while everyone around him was working in the music industry. “There were times I’d thought about quitting, but my love for acting and wanting to learn more about it was what kept me here. No one had established themselves as an actor, so around the time I was graduating from high school, I set my heart of going down this path.”
Ikuta had said from then on he went to see stage plays and movies every week, and even traveled to the UK and Germany to study stage acting.
After reporting to “Ningen Shikkaku” movie director Genjiro Arato about his win, it has been reported Mr Arato had told Ikuta, “You got the best prize.”
Now as an actor, the Johnny’s talent said he could laugh about his struggles. “What’s the difference between me and them (Johnny’s pop groups)? The fact that I don’t have a song to call my own at karaoke (laughs).”
The award ceremony for the Blue Ribbon Awards will be held in Ginza, Tokyo on February 15.
Other major Blue Ribbon winners include Satoshi Tsumabuki for ”悪人 (Akunin)”, Shinobu Terajima for “キャタピラー (Caterpillar)”, Yoshino Kimura for “告白 (Kokuhaku)” and “告白 (Kokuhaku)” for Best Film.