These Dentists Are Secretly One of Japan’s Most Popular Pop Groups
How some very normal people found success by sticking to their own sense fulfillment
A very odd, unexpected search engine result
Whenever I go karaoke with my friends, there is one Japanese song that always makes it to the playlist: “Kiseki” by GReeeeN.
It’s a song that almost the entire population of Japan is familiar with, and many Japanese people would know the lyrics if asked to sing along. Even as someone who had lived and been raised in the United States, it was one of the few Japanese pop songs that I enjoyed.
I didn’t know much about Japanese pop culture, and one day I became curious and decided to look up what this band looked like. Just a simple Google search, to know the faces behind the song, but all that came up in the search images was their logo:
What’s going on?
Who is GReeeeN?
GReeeeN is one of Japan’s most famous pop groups. Their most popular song “Kiseki”, which was released in 2008, topped the Billboard Japan Hot 100 Year-End Chart that year and even today is consistently ranked among Japan’s most popular karaoke songs. When released, their singles are often ranked on Japanese music singles popularity charts, and at one point they held the Guinness World Record for the best selling download single in Japan.
Yet for a group so famous, there are absolutely no known photos of them. Why? Because they all live a double-life as dentists.
When they formed GReeeeN, they were all still students at the dentistry department at Ohu University, and decided they wanted to continue their careers into dentistry even as they became very famous. If you look closely, their logo is actually a smile, with each letter ‘e’ representing a member of the group.
Instead of giving up dentistry to pursue music, they decided to continue to produce songs but kept their identities a secret, performing under the names HIDE, navi, 92, and SOH. None of the members have ever shown their faces on camera, and if they do a rare live performance, their faces are always blocked off and censored. A strict code in privacy, all in effort so they could still professionally practice as dentists.
The world is an odd place
The choice to keep their identities hidden has its drawbacks, as they are unable to do traditional promotions, meet their fans in person, attend exclusive parties, host events, or grow their music career in ways like someone who has chosen to have their name and face be public. In fact, many of us may think it odd to give up a full celebrity lifestyle to save a career in dentistry.
But the world works according to no one’s rules, and the things in life that end up bringing us fulfillment are never so black and white as fame and fortune. And to these individuals, success meant also having a separate life led in privacy.
So establish your own values and don’t be afraid to be a bit unconventional, and also be nice to your dentist, because who knows? They might just be a member of one of Japan’s most famous pop star groups.
If you enjoyed this piece, let me know! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I welcome questions, comments, and would love to hear from you. Warm regards, Kaki 😊