JO1 is a Japanese boy band formed through the reality competition show called Produce 101 Japan. The group is composed of eleven members, Issei Mamehara, Ren Kawashiri, Takumi Kawanishi, Shosei Ohira, Shion Tsurubo, Ruki Shiroiwa, Keigo Sato, Syoya Kimata, Junki Kono, Sukai Kinjo, and Sho Yonashiro. It is managed by Lapone Entertainment, a joint company between Yoshimoto Kogyo and CJ ENM. Debuting with the single Protostar on March 4, 2020, the group has earned several accolades, including the Best New Asian Artist at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards and the Best 5 New Artists at the 2021 Japan Gold Disc Award. According to the Oricon Charts, JO1 has sold more than 1.5 million physical copies in Japan.
The group’s name, JO1, was chosen by Lapone Entertainment among the suggestions given by the public through Produce 101 Japan’s official website. According to the original suggestion, the “J” in JO1 refers to Japan, the group’s origin country, while the “O1” refers to the first year of the Reiwa, the period the group was first introduced. However, “JO1” officially means that “the trainees who have dreamed together at Produce 101 Japan will become one and aim for the top of the world”. The name was announced during the final episode of the show.
JO1 was formed through the reality competition show Produce 101 Japan from September 25 to December 11, 2019. A total of 6,000 people, who were not tied to any talent agency, auditioned for the show. Out of the initial 101 trainees participating in the show, the final 11 were chosen by viewers through online voting and announced via live television broadcast on TBS. There was no plan to limit the period of the group’s activity after its debut. The first single was released on March 4, 2020, and received an immediate commercial success by peaking at number one on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart with over 300,000 copies sold, making JO1 the seventh artist who has managed to do so with a debut single. On August 26, JO1 released their second single, Stargazer. JO1 released their first Studio album, The Star, on November 25. The album features songs from their two singles and seven new songs. It debuted at second place on the Oricon Albums Chart and the Billboard Japan Hot Albums chart behind BTS’ Be. By the end of the year, JO1 was recognized with the Rising Star Award by the MTV video music awards Japan and the Best New Asian Artist by the Mnet Asian Music Awards. They also ranked in several domestic year-end charts, including third place on the Oricon Annual New Artist Total Sales Ranking 2020 and eighteenth place on the Billboard Japan 2020 Year-End Artist 100. The group was later named as one of Best 5 New Artists by Japan Gold Disc Award along with SixTones, Snow Man, NiziU, and Yoasobi for their net sales in 2020.
In January 2021, JO1 released the digital single “Tsutaerareru Nara” as the theme song for Kit Kat Japan’s commercial. On August 18, 2021, JO1 released their fourth single, Stranger.
On September 15, JO1 released the digital single “Run&Go”. On September 23, the group participated in a joint live concert titled KCON World Premiere: The Triangle. JO1’s fifth single, Wandering, is set to be released on December 15. The single will feature double lead tracks, “Bokura no Kisetsu” and “Prologue”. The latter, used as the ending song for the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, was produced by UTA and released digitally on October 11.
Prior to his break, Kinjo managed to participate in the recording of the single except for the song “Oasis”.
Jo1 is also active on various social media platforms such as YouTube, INstagram, Twitter and TikTok. The YouTube channel is JO1 which was created on December 9, 2019. As for now the channel has over 521K subscribers. The Instagram account is official_jo1 and has more than 438K followers. As for Twitter, JO1 joined this platform in December 2019. Their channel, JO1, has about 444K followers. The TikTok account is called jo1_gotothetop and the audience of this platform exceeds 294K followers.