Twenty years of SMAP! SMAP celebrated their 20th anniversary on September 9th at Seibuen Amusement Park in Saitama along with 10,000 fans.

20 years ago on that day they debuted the single, “Can’t Stop!! -LOVING-“, at their first event at this same amusement park. Member Kimura Takuya (38) expressed, “We’ve returned to the beginning. I am excited for our next step.” [more after jump]

SMAP members were dressed in outfits that matched what they wore at the original debut event.  Nakai Masahiro (39) said, “It’s so nostalgic~“, Katori Shingo (34) responded, “I was a junior high school student at the time. I’ve grown up so much.”smap_debut (see debut photo right)

When leader Nakai started off the event shouting, “It’s been 20 years since we held an event here. Once again, we are SMAP~!,” the crowd gave their enthusiastic response! He added, “It’s been 20 years, I never thought we would accomplish so much.”

During the Q&A segment of the event they were asked, “During these 20 years, what was the number one incident?” Nakai answered, “Wasn’t it Mori-kun?“, mentioning former member Mori Katsuyuki (37), who left SMAP in 1996 to become an auto racer. Then, Katori revealed an unknown story, saying, “On the day of the meeting before we started ‘SMAP×SMAP’, he said ‘I’m going to quit’.” Kimura also added, “There were rumors of disbandment at least once every two years.”

The event featured SMAP playing an ‘idol game’ with their fans, where two people pressed against each other to pop a balloon, next they performed a set of 4 songs, including “Can’t Stop!! -LOVING-” and “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana“, and at the end they spent 3 hours shaking hands with each and every fan.