- side projects -
[ ap bank | Bank Band ]

Name: 桜井和寿 [Kazutoshi Sakurai]
Birthday: 1970.3.8
Birthplace: Tokyo
Blood type: O
Height: 172 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Martial Status: Married to 吉野美佳 [Mika Yoshino]
Position: Vocal, guitar, lyrist, and composer

Favorite things:
radio show (Yaruki-Manman)

  • Hospitalized after bloackage in his cerebellum was detected in 2002. All activities were canceled but after recieving word of a good recovery they returned for a 1 night live in December that same year.
  • Former employee of recording label
  • Had a daughter with first wife [born October 1994]
  • Has a son with second wife [born June 2002] and third son in 2004
  • Nickname is エロオヤジ [erotic father]
  • Kuwata Keisuke from Southern All Stars has given him the nickname 'Mr. Total', while fans address Sakurai as Sakurai-san.
  • Played baseball and studied Karate as a child. Parents were very big on physical education.
  • Parents own a construction company
  • Father is a carpenter and Sakurai had consider following in his foot steps until 'Innocent World' was released.
  • Favorite book is 世界の子供たち [Children in the world] and 'Happy News'
  • His eldest sister was the one who noticed he had a talent for the guitar. Sakurai had borrowed her guitar to play the song 'Forbidden play', to which she said he was a genius on the guitar.
  • Favorite food is cake and crape
  • Favorite cartoon is Takehiko Inoue's 'vagabond' and favorite comic magazine to read is SHOUNEN JUMP
  • Is influenced by the musician Shogo Hamada
  • Brings a box lunch with him when he goes to perform on TV shows
  • Got so drunk after MEET THE WORLD BEAT in 1993 that he was taken to the hospital. Has also gotten so drunk after a performance that he spent the day vomiting.
  • Hates cigarettes. Used to smoke until he realized how overworked he felt and that he was having a hard time breathing while trying to sing
  • His favorite animal is a Squirrel monkey
  • Likes watching comedy on TV and live comedy shows. His favorite comics to see live are Neptune and Honjamaca.
  • There is a villa he goes to in the Yamagata Prefecture when he needs to get away
  • Is said to look like Junichiro Koizumi, which was pointed out when Koizumi was speaking with a high school girl
  • Father suffers from oneiromancy. In 2008 his father passed away. No official report on when or what his father passed away from.
  • Would like to be self-sufficient and live in the country when he gets old

Sakurai news:
Sakurai has written and composed the song "tegami", which is the third track on Atari Kousuke's mini-album "natsukasha no shima". The album was released October 11th, 2006 and was also used as a CM song for the Japan Post. Sakurai also teamed up with GAKU-MC to release 'Te wo Dasuna!' on May 31, 2006 and with Bank Band and Salyu again to release the song 'to U' on July 19, 2006. In 2007, he was a guest vocal on Kai Yoshihiro's '10 Stories' album which did a cover song of 'Kurumi', and he co-wrote the lyrics to the GOLDEN CIRCLE ft. Yumi Matsutoya, Yohito Teraoka, Yuzu single 'MUSIC', which was released on July 11, 2007. In July 2007 Sakurai wrote a new theme song for ap bank fes. '07 titled 'Yoku kita ne', followed a month later on September 1, 2007 when Bank Band released their first iTunes only song titled 'Harumatsu ibuki'. The song was used as the theme song for the Japanese movie 'Midnight eagle', with the lyrics written by Kazutoshi Sakurai and composed by Takeshi Kobyashi. Part of the profits from the song will be donated to people affected by the Nigata earthquake, with the rest of the profits going to fund more projects at ap bank. Sakurai also help co-write AIDS charity single 'RED RIBBON Spiritual Song ~umare kuru kodomo tachi no tameni' available at store on November 28, 2007. Originally sung at RED RIBBON LIVE 2006, the song in addition to being co-written by Sakurai was also partially sung by himm singing part of the song at the live in 2006. However, although he helped write it, Sakurai will not be participating in the studio recording of the single. The single was only in production for 6 months with all net profits donated to the Japan AIDS stop fund.

With Bank Band, Sakurai released 'Soushi Souai 2' and 'ap bank fes '07' DVD in 2008, and ap bank fes '08 in 2009.


Cerebellum blockage
In July 2002 lead singer Kazutoshi Sakurai was hospitalized after a blockage in his cerebellum was detected. The group canceled the remainder of their 'Wonderful World' tour and put all group activities on a temporary hiatus. In late August of that same year, after inspecting his recovery progress, doctors gave the okay for Sakurai to return to group activities. This lead him to write a new song called HERO, which went on to sell over 600,000 copies.

For those who don't know what the cerebellum is:
It is a large portion of the base of the brain which serves to coordinate voluntary movements (like dancing), posture, and balance, located in the back of the skull behind the brainstem.

Extra info:
Takeshi Kobayashi was the one who announced Mr. Children were going on hiatus (surprisingly enough). I suppose the other members didn't want to be drilled with a thousand questions. All the articles I read didn't mention surgery, but one can only guess he did to fix the blockage. There was also a lot of worries that if it was severe, Sakurai wouldn't be able to sing anymore. Blockage of the cerebellum usually happens to people over 45 so it was a BIG shock to everyone when it happened to him since he was in his early 30s [he was 32 at the time]. Anyways he was so happy to learn that he was going to be okay that he started working on the next single titled HERO. A lot of people love the song because of it's heartfelt meaning. During the ap bank fes' last year he started crying while singing this song. So it has a deep meaning. The song is also rumored to be dedicated to his son.