Japanese show business is fond of people who excel in more than one area of entertainment, and Yusuke (full name Yusuke Kamiji) is a good example, being an actor and TV personality who proceeded to top the music charts without quitting his day job. Born in 1979 in Yokosuka in a well-off family (his father was a local congressman), Yusuke aspired to be a baseball player in high school -- one of his teammates was Daisuke Matsuzaka, later a Red Sox pitcher. An elbow injury cut short his promising career, but he came out none the worse for it, becoming a target for showbiz scouts. He made his acting debut in 1999 in the TV drama LxIxVxE, and continued to appear in small roles in "doramas," or Japanese television series, in the following years, until finally getting his big break in 2007 on the game show Quiz! Hexagon II, on which he became a regular. He had his musical debut on the same show, performing with Tsuruno Takeshi and Nokubo Naoki in the trio Shuchishin in 2008. The same year, Yusuke also made The Guinness Book of World Records as the blogger with the largest amount of unique hits on his page in 24 hours (230,000). Capitalizing on his success, he had his solo debut in 2009 with the single "Himawari," which charted at number two and sold 360,000 copies. Two more singles made the Top 40, and his first full-length, Ano...Konnan Dekimashita Kedo, followed the same year, scoring another number two and bringing him an invitation to Kouhaku Uta Gassen, a yearly top-tier musical show. In 2010, Yusuke went on his first nationwide tour. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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