Jun Matsumoto as Bito in Smile

This is not totally Filipino-Korea unrelated. 🙂
Jun Matsumoto is a famous member of the Japanese group Arashi. I first saw him in Gokusen years ago and later on Hana Yori Dango (Japanese live version). Not a few fans find Jun unappealing in HYD. IMO, he’s the best lead in all versions I’ve seen. (Yeah, I like Jun but my crazy fanatic days are over.)
Jun is starring in a new Japanese dorama on TBS entitled SMILE. What’s interesting about it is that he’s playing the son of a Japanese mother and a Filipino father. In short, he’s both Japanese and Filipino. (I don’t like using half-and-half) What is life like for someone who has parents of different culture in Japan?
The first episode was shown last Friday, April 17 with an 11% rating. The second episode will be shown today. Isn’t it agonizing waiting for a whole week for the next episode of a drama? I experienced that with Hana Yori Dango before!
I suddenly envy Teacher Tesha 🙂


  1. I also think he did the best portrayal of an arrogant rich guy in the series. Japanese version, for me, is way better than the korean. Plus, he’s super cute! =)

  2. a must watch not just for all filipinos but everyone who has to deal with discrimination in a daily basis. for a japanese to write and produce a drama with this theme (the racial theme affects all of us thought) takes a lot of guts considering Japanese usually don’t want to display their dirty laundry that way. using a popular actor (love matsumoto jun, too, i concur that he is the best F4 leader. what he lacked in height he made up with superb acting skills, shifting from hilarious to tear-jerker with ease…ooops such a fangirl…sorry way off topic) where was i, ah…jun would attract a lot of fans to watch and the first episode was so well written that you would be drawn to watch the whole drama or for some who refused to see realities or are fed up with it would surely be turned off. anyway, i admire my kababayans who has to tolerate this kinds of treatment abroad. to all ofw’s, i salute you for keeping the country afloat so that people like me don’t have to work away from “home” and have to deal with discrimination and disrespect. thank you to you all.

  3. oguri shun also acts in smile but this time as jun’s enemy(?). Jun and oguri both are in gokusen 1, hana yori dango and now SMILE. I believe this drama will be a very good one.

  4. Hello everyone!
    I will be watching the 1st episode of Smile today.
    Anyway, I would just have to add that I agree that Matsumoto Jun is the closest thing to Domyoji Tsukasa. I admit that I was skeptical at first and didn’t at all expect the japanese version to be so good compared to the explosive & phenomenal meteor garden and then when korean boys over flowers was released I thought it could surpass it but it just made the japanese version shine even better! To me the japanese actors of hanadan made me really believe how hurtful it is to break the borders between two people of really different social status and then finally end up together. Truly, the best version is Hana yori dango!
    I wish for Jun all the best and appreciate that he plays a Filipino in his current series, lastly don’t you guys think that he looks like a twin brother of Ryza Cenon (a Filipina actress of gma7)? hehe. That’s all.

    1. Hi Kristal! I agree that Hana Yori Dango is the best… I haven’t watched the entire Boys Over Flowers series though.

  5. the japanese’s sudden interest regarding such situation of our kababayan’s in their native land must have been fueled by that certain international news that deported a Filipino couple from Japan leaving their preteen daughter behind..in all fairness, lots of Japs petitioned to at least let the girl stay. But it’s pretty heartbreaking though..

    1. @justpassedby >> I’ve read about their case and I couldn’t blame the Japanese government for their decision. The husband and wife were there as illegal immigrants.

  6. i love jun matsumoto,,
    hes so cute weh hes acting like a child,
    jun matsumoto sogoi,,,kawai,,,
    HUMINATO,,, love yah muahh,,, CALL ME:)

  7. i’d finish watching the Hana Yori last night and thats been 3 times watching it…2007,2008 and now 2009. gudness…jeje. i like him really i haven’t watch yet the SMILE hope i cud snap a time for it…im not a fun to any one now days i just admire them i may say but the real thing his a cute and really good my sisters like him that much.

  8. Hi! I like Jun Matsumoto’s portrayal in HANADAN. His being aggressive and super cool guy! I hope this series will be aired in the Philippines. I have a half sister who married a japanese engineer and still residing in japan, though i dont know if they encountering and receiving such racism in their country (hope not!). Cant believe Jun act as a japinoy. i love him of course im just half-heart broken because i love him more when he acts with Mao Inoue (Makino Tsukushi Hanadan).

  9. this drama is good to watch :), i’ve heard many people saying this drama is racist but it’s not :p, try to understand the story better mkay? :).

  10. Thats nice…I kinda like him and Im a Filipinno so I’ll appreciate that he plays a role of even a half-Filipino…:)

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