Nakao Shota (中尾翔太; April 23, 1996 — July 6, 2018) was a Japanese performer. He was a member of the group FANTASTICS. Prior to joining the group he was part of the EXPG trainee team EXILE GENERATIONS.


Early Life

Nakao Shota was born on April 23, 1996 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

When he was 3-years old, he started practicing dance as a recommendation of his mother. In his 4th grade of elementary school he started doing Krumping. Prior to joining LDH, he was an EXPG student in Nagoya.


In 2013, Nakao joined the trainee group EXILE GENERATIONS.

In 2014, Nakao auditioned to EXILE PERFORMER BATTLE AUDITION (to find a new performer for EXILE) but he only passed the first screening.

On December 29, 2016, he joined the group FANTASTICS as a performer, being announced on January 31, 2017.


On March 3, LDH reported on their website and on FANTASTICS' page on EXILE mobile that Nakao would halt his activities due to his poor health. Nakao revealed that since the end of last year his physical condition had worsened and he was very anxious because of it. He then decided to consult a doctor for an examination, which led to Nakao being diagnosed with stomach cancer later on. He had a hard time coping with such sudden and shocking news but gradually accepted the reality and started to receive treatment. At the same time, he consulted LDH and the FANTASTICS members to announce the news and that he would take a break from his activities as a performer of the group in order to focus on treatment for a full recovery.

Message from Nakao Shota[1]
It is FANTASTICS's performer Shota Nakao.

Since the end of last year, my physical condition has been poor and I was very uneasy myself, so I had a meticulous examination at a medical institution. As a result, cancer was found in my stomach. It was so sudden that I did not know what to do at first. But I gradually accepted the reality and decided to fight with the disease!

Then, I consulted with medical institutions, talked to our members, staff of LDH and decided that I will take a break from FANTASTICS's activities for a while in order to focus on treatment for a complete recovery.

I am sorry to have surprised you with such a sudden announcement. However, I will try my best every day to recover as soon as possible so that I can return and carry out activities as a member of FANTASTICS!

In order to show everyone who supports me a healthy me in performances and activities, I will go all out to do my best! I will overcome the disease! Please wait for me!

Please support me as always!

Shota Nakao


On July 8, 2018, it was announced that Nakao had unfortunately passed away on July 6 due to complications of the stomach cancer. He was announced dead at 7:23 am.[2]

Announcement by LDH JAPAN[3]
Shota Nakao, a performer belonging to our company's group FANTASTICS, took a break from group activities in this March and focused on treatment of his disease. Nursed by family, he fought against the disease, but unfortunately passed away on July 6.

We believed in his recovery and had done our best to help Shota by closely working with medical institutions. However, we are mourning the deceased in great sorrow in the end.

Thank you very much again for your warm encouragement to Shota Nakao in the last days of his life.

After obtaining permission from Shota's family and relatives, LDH's artists and related staff will hold a funeral for Shota.

We are planning a memorial meeting for all the fans. Details will be announced once finalized.

We would like to thank all the fans who have supported Shota so far and everyone who has taken care of him.

July 8, 2018

EXILE HIRO's message[4]
I think you have already heard the news.

LDH JAPAN just announced a piece of sad news.

Shota Nakao passed away on July 6 after fighting against the disease.

I am in grief and feel very sad and sorry.

Despite the terrible pain in recent months, Shota did not give up till the end. He fought against the disease with all his might. Shota was a strong boy and I admire his courage from the bottom of my heart.

In the FANTASTICS members' and my LINE group chat which is updated every day, Shota has been bright and cheerful till the end.

"I will conquer the disease and perform with our members. Please wait for me..."

"Thank you for giving me power. I will spare no effort to do my best today..."

He always sent positive messages to us.

He is a kind and good boy. I came to a new understanding of Shota in the past few months.

From his manner of doing things and his blog articles, I can feel his charm. Those articles in Shota's style where he imagined performing with the members on live shows and the emoji he used, all of which have inspired us.

He imagined performing his favorite dance with his beloved members in front his beloved fans every day.

He imagined creating an amazing live show with the fans. He coped with the harsh reality with the pride of an EXILE TRIBE member.

I feel so sorry and regrettable. I again express my respect to Shota for his way of living his life, his manner of doing things and his courage.

I hope I can convey Shota's thoughts to his beloved FANTASTICS members, EXILE TRIBE members, and FANTASTICS's fans.

In the future of FANTASTICS, I hope that we can show you the evidence of Shota's existence, his ideas and his image...

I myself will also cherish my encounter with Shota. I want to show you the value of Shota's way of living his life.

Moreover, I would like to pay my respect to Shota's mother who fought against the disease with him till the end. I will treat the evidence of Shota's existence, his dream and hope as his mother's dream. And I will keep on supporting his mother's dream to make Shota happy.

I also want to thank the doctors who treated Shota. Thank you very much!


The evidence of your existence will be preserved forever. And we are going to realize your dream together with you.

I think it was very painful and regretful. Shota, rest in peace! The ideas of Shota who has been working so hard will be conveyed and the strong-willed Shota will be remembered by us forever. You did really really well!

I am so grateful that I could meet Shota.

We will inherit Shota's dream and realize his dream in the future.

Please wait for that day!

Thanks for your hard work.


FANTASTICS members messages[5]
Thank you very much for your continued support.

I am sorry for the sudden news.

I think that many people have already heard of it.

It is really heart-breaking. Our member Shota Nakao passed away at 7:23 a.m. on July 6.

I feel so regretful. I believe it is him who feels most regretful.

It is really regretful that I will not hear him say "I want to dance with everyone again" or that I will never see him dance anymore.

I got acquainted with him when we participated in a tour together as back-up dancers about 6 years ago.

He has been dancing since childhood just like me, and we often talked about dance, music, fashion, and a lot of things.

He had a gentle heart and was loved by people around him. In 2017 when we began our activities as FANTASTICS and during VBA, we talked a lot about choreography and our future dreams and goals.

The time I spent with him as FANTASTICS was very short in terms of years. And in terms of the number of songs, I danced with him only to three songs.

To be honest, the number of times we performed on the same stage together was not enough.

I wanted to dance and rehearse together with him more.

And the 9 of us have never performed together after the two vocalists joined the group. As a group, it will forever be a dream for the 9 of us to stand on the stage together again.

In the past few months, I felt more deeply that we should not take the favorable environment for granted. At the same time, I felt the kindness and warmth from people around Shota. I felt once again that he was loved and grew up wrapped in the warmth of people around him.

Shota had so much on his shoulders, but he always thought about FANTASTICS. I liked him the way he was.

Shota relied on me as a teammate. Yet I could only dance with Shota's wish in my heart under the name of FANTASTICS. I hated myself for that.

Was I a good senior, a good friend and a leader for him? I often think about these things when I am by myself.

"I want to dance together again. I would like to dance with Sekai."

He was cute when shyly saying that with his honest eyes. He was always thinking about it and I also wanted to dance with him. I was always thinking of dancing with him during our Musha Shugyo or when I performed as EXILE.

He has lived for 22 years. His journey of realizing his dream was even longer than mine. I will accept the thoughts of Shota's fans and everyone related to him and realize his dreams as FANTASTICS member, as EXILE member and as an individual.

He will live in our hearts forever. I will inherit his spirit, believe in my friends and let the spirit of the 9 members shine on a large stage as FANTASTICS.

Thank you very much for your support! I felt it once again that it is because of your power that we can be where we are.

EXILE members, EXILE TRIBE members and LDH members always asked "How is Shota?" when they met me. Thank you for your concern and support!

EXILE even released "Turn Back Time feat. FANTASTICS". Thank you very much! After listening to the song and watching the music video, Shota cried out loud. Thank you so much!

To Shota: Thank you very much. As members on the same team, you are truly a great brother.

We have gone through some hard days, but I always thought that it was great to have you on FANTASTICS during the days we spent together.

Now you went to a distant place, but I hope someday we can joke and dance and laugh together again.

I swear that the 9 FANTASTICS members will always be one and whole and keep on working hard.

Thank you very much!



Our FANTASTICS's important member Shota Nakao passed away in the morning on July 6.

He was diagnosed with stomach cancer at the beginning of the year and had been focusing on medical treatment.

The 8 members except Shota held Musha Shugyo FANTASTIC 9 in the hope of "giving power to Shota who could not participate". And "to make a place for Shota to return", we toured around Japan with these thoughts.

While we were holding the Musha Shugyo, he continued to fight against the disease on his own. He must have gone through a lot of pain every day which is hard for us to imagine.

Shota never wanted us to see him like that. He always laughed happily when he saw our members and said: "I will recover for sure. Please wait for my return."

He was in touch with our members every day.

Our members believed that "Shota surely will be saved. He will fully recover."

But regretfully this happened when no one was expecting. We can never see our important member Shota again.

In fact, the 9 of us have never performed together. We did not perform in front of everyone who have been waiting for us. We could do nothing. We regret it so much and feel so sorry.

As a performer, I saw Shota's dynamic dance and how he danced with a great enthusiasm in front of the audience on last year's Musha Shugyo from a close proximity. I feel so regretful. Shota's dance is an indispensable weapon to FANTASTICS. He loved dancing so much that he even wanted to keep on dancing till he becomes an old man.

Both vocalists never danced with Shota. Shota and the vocalists were disappointed about that.

Shota did not give in but continued to fight against the disease till the last minute. And he still wanted to perform as FANTASTICS.

I think it is Shota who felt most regretful.

Shota's wish of returning as a performer of FANTASTICS

and his fight till the end which is the evidence of his existence are preserved. The 8 of us will preserve the evidence of his existence.

It is our mission. We can only keep going.

I hope that one day we can perform on a grand stage like the dome and take Shota with us. Because the 9 of us make FANTASTICS complete. We will unite as one and keep on working hard with Shota's wishes and ideas in our hearts.

Shota kept fighting against the disease without surrendering.

You can rest in peace now. Please keep on dancing in heaven.

To let Shota see the best view, the 8 of us will do our best!

Lastly, I would like to thank all the fans, EXILE TRIBE and LDH artists who kept sending messages to Shota.

Moreover, I express my sincere condolences to Shota's family members and relatives.

I pray that his soul may rest in peace.

Taiki Sato

Everybody, our FANTASTICS's member Shota Nakao passed away and went to heaven on July 6, 2018 (Fri.).

Shota was loved by many people and he was happy. Thank you very much!

However, I think a lot of people feel regretful. When I was meeting with Shota, talking and communicating with him, he has been telling me a lot of things he wanted to do, from trivial things to big dreams. He also said, when he gets better, he will do all the things he wants to do and make his dreams come true.

It is really regretful. An important friend was standing in front of me, yet all I could do was give him power and cheer for him. But Shota was really strong! When we were not there, he fought the disease on his own. He did not want people around him to worry, so he never showed weakness. We should be the one giving him power, however, we got power from Shota instead. He fought against the disease till the end like a strong man.

I cannot believe that I can no longer say "Shota, good morning" or do fist bumps with him every time we meet. But Shota will watch over us from somewhere. Shota will live in our hearts forever. I will keep that in mind and continue dancing in the future!

Shota used to say that I am a great big brother. I want to tell Shota that

he is the strongest and the best little brother! We were dancers that respect each other and trust each other a lot. We encouraged and praised each other. I felt shy, but I was happy. When I first met him, I thought he was shy and silent. As we danced together a lot, he opened up and told us his thoughts. Shota had outstanding dance sense which Natchan longs for and he cared for our opinions. He was a great friend. We will definitely dance together again! Shota will stay in our hearts forever. Please rest in peace after the long fight and smile like you always did! His ideas will be delivered to many people! Thank you so much for what you have done!

To those who supported and gave power to FANTASTICS and Shota Nakao, FANTASTICS has nine members. We will not forget the messages left by Shota and the power received from you. We will present them to you as the thoughts of FANTASTICS!

Please support FANTASTICS in the future!

Natsuki Sawamoto

Our FANTASTICS's member Shota Nakao passed away.

Shota always worked very hard.

I met Shota when we danced together as EXPG STUDIO's EXILE GENERATIONS. Together with Natsuki Sawamoto, Natsuki Hori and Keito Kimura who are currently our members, the 5 of us often carried out activities together.

After that, we were chosen to be the members of FANTASTICS. We were supposed to be friends who will go through life together for years and even decades.

However, Shota announced that he would take a break from group activities in this March to focus on the treatment of his disease. At that time, I could not accept that Shota was ill.

Shota fought against the disease with all his might. He experienced pain which we cannot even imagine every day, but he never complained to us and fought without surrendering.

I think he was a strong and great human being.

When we danced together, Shota was the one that solved my problems. Most importantly, it was Shota who could make me laugh.

For me, Shota was a unique and special person.

And when watching Shota, I realize he is loved by a lot of people.

He was able to fight till the end not only because of his own strength, but also because of the support from his family members, HIRO, LDH artists, LDH staff members, medical professionals and all of you who supported him. That is why he could fight till the end.

From now on, as FANTASTICS carry out activities, we will keep Shota's ideas, his strength and spirit in mind. The 9-member FANTASTICS will march forward towards our dream.

I hope that we can realize Shota's dream.

Shota, I love you!

And everyone who supports us, please keep on supporting FANTASTICS in the future!

Leiya Seguchi

To everyone who always supports FANTASTICS

It's FANTASTICS's performer Natsuki Hori. Thank you very much for your warm support all along!

Today, there was an announcement about FANTASTICS's performer Shota Nakao.

I think a lot of people were shocked when they heard the news. To be honest, I still cannot accept it. I feel sorry and regretful.

I have been looking up to Shota and chasing after him since I met him.

I was in elementary school when I started dancing. Though a child, I felt that Shota's dance was different from other people. I thought, if I took him as my goal, I could get better as well.

From that day, I have been chasing after him and kept on dancing. However, I could never overtake him even if I tried very hard. He was a person who always walked one step or two steps ahead of me. He will always be a person I admire.

Just like that, I have been following Shota's lead. It has been 14 years since I met him. Although we had known each other for a long time, we were not always together.

We seldom went out together, but we had a lot of frank talks. When something important happened, it was good to have someone to talk with. When things happened, he was my most trusted buddy. Such a feeling of distance was just right.

I trusted him more than anyone else. There was no such person except him.

From now on, I will still chase after Shota whom I admire!

He was a friend I had spent 14 years together in my 20-year life since I was born. I feel that I can imagine what Shota wants to do! I want to realize his dream together with our members!

FANTASTICS is a group of nine members. Shota will be a member of FANTASTICS forever. All for one, one for all. All our members will work hard to forge ahead!

And of course, we need you who always support us! Please keep on supporting FANTASTICS in the future!

Lastly, I remember that Shota referred to me as "the best and strongest buddy" in the blog the other day. I was delighted!

I will remember what he said and continue to do my best in the future!! The best and strongest buddy!!

Natsuki Hori

FANTASTICS's important member Shota Nakao passed away.

He left us so suddenly that my mind went blank and I could not think of anything.

It was really nice meeting Shota.

Shota was always smiling and he was popular. There were always people around him. I hanged out with him sometimes. We joked and talked about silly things.

When he got sick, he said he will conquer the disease and fought hard till the end without surrendering. I am so proud of him from the bottom of my heart.

While carrying out activities as FANTASTICS, we promised to do a lot of things.

I want to be an actor like our seniors in the future. He said his goal is to return to FANTASTICS. I still remember vividly that I said I will appear in a lot of works and let him watch them. I can not let him watch them anymore, which makes me feel sad. Because I made a promise, I will do my best to keep it. Many years later, I could stick out my chest and tell Shota that I kept my promise.

Shota would smile and say to me: "Keito, stop crying and please work hard with a smile on your face!" So I will not cry and keep on working hard while looking ahead. The FANTASTICS members will work closely together and take Shota to a grand stage like a dome. It is our mission. In order to become artists who can stand on a grand stage, the 9 FANTASTICS members will continue to work hard. FANTASTICS will always have 9 members in the future. Please never forget that we have 9 members. We are the FANTASTICS!

Lastly, I would like to thank LDH seniors, LDH related personnel and fans who gave power to Shota. I think Shota felt it.

I want to realize our dreams together with you and show it to Shota.

Please continue to support FANTASTICS in the future!

Keito Kimura

It is vocalist Yusei Yagi.

Here is a notice about our FANTASTICS's performer Shota Nakao.

It is a piece of sad news. Shota who has been taking medical treatment passed away on July 6.

I have been prepared myself for this day for a long time. However, I believed that Shota would definitely return. My mind went blank at that moment and I could not accept it.

I still cannot accept the fact.

But when I saw Shota's peaceful face which looked as if he could wake up the next minute, I thought that Shota surely was happy. It was because of the support from LDH seniors and related people and all the fans who came to the Musha Shugyo to give power to Shota.

We have not made our debut yet, but Shota let me experience a lot of things that I could not before. Shota was a leader who guided FANTASTICS till the very end.

In the training camp of VBA5, he taught me how to dance when I had no dance experience. He was friendly to me when I joined FANTASTICS as a vocalist and was not familiar with everybody. Shota was truly a loving person. He was loved by everyone and there were always people around him.

Shota's dance was really ingenious and exciting to watch! He was stylish, unique and had his own style. I believe that he is dancing happily in heaven now.

We will inherit the strength of Shota and keep the evidence of his existence with respect in our hearts. The 9 of us will unite as one and continue to progress in the future.

I hope Shota may sleep peacefully. I pray that his soul may rest in peace.

Yusei Yagi

FANTASTICS's important member Shota Nakao passed away the other day.

Shota, thank you very much!

I was really happy to meet Shota. It is great that I could become a member of FANTASTICS.

Shota was full of amazing power till the very end. He was so cool.

I was chosen as a vocalist of FANTASTICS in VOCAL BATTLE AUDITION 5. I have only spent half a year with our members, but we already have a precious bond. I am really happy to become a member of a group where all members work hard together to realize their dreams.

When I was alone with Shota, he said: "I love your songs. Please keep on working hard." "FANTASTICS is the best group, so don't worry and let's work hard together." I just joined the group and I did not know anything. For me, Shota's words became my power.

Shota has been fighting against the disease. He endured a lot of pain. For FANTASTICS and everyone who supports us, he did his best. Looking at him, it seemed that there was nothing we can do to help. Why are we choosing the easier way in life when Shota is fighting so hard? I learned a lot from him again.

Shota made a lot of opportunities for FANTASTICS and he had been leading us. FANTASTICS will unite as one and repay Shota by grasping every opportunity.

LDH artists, staff members, our fans and those who saw FANTASTICS's news sent a lot of support messages to Shota.

A lot of people sent their thoughts to Shota during Musha Shugyo FANTASTIC 9. Thank you very much!

To become a person like Shota who is loved by a lot of people, I will do my best. Shota was surrounded by nature and people. Let's continue to perform together! Shota! I love you!

Please keep on supporting FANTASTICS in the future!

Sota Nakajima


Following the announcement of Nakao's death, LDH also announced that a memorial meeting for his fans and FANTASTICS' fans would be held and announced as soon as the details of it were finished.[3]

On July 17, 2018, the TV show Shuukan EXILE aired a special in tribute episode of Nakao, showing his trajectory from 2017 to early 2018.

On August 3, 2018, it was announced that the memorial event, titled In Loving Memory ~FANTASTICS Nakao Shota~, would be held on August 25 and 26 in Tokyo (Shinagawa The Grand Hall) and in Nagoya (Nagoya Convention Hall). The memorial displayed photos and a space where fans could leave messages for Nakao was arranged.[6]

On July 6, 2019, during the encore of the BATTLE OF TOKYO ~ENTER THE Jr.EXILE~ concert, a performance of "Turn Back Time", performed by all the acts featured on the concert, was dedicated to Nakao.



Live Tours/Concerts (as a support dancer)
Music Video Appearances


External Links

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Members Sekai (L) | Sato Taiki (L) | Sawamoto Natsuki | Seguchi Leiya | Hori Natsuki | Kimura Keito | Yagi Yusei | Nakajima Sota
Honorary Members Nakao Shota
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Concerts Featured In EXILE: STAR OF WISH
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