V.WEST ("Five WEST") was a Kansai Johnny's Jr. band.
V.WEST was created in 1999 as the Kansai version of the Johnny's Jr. band FiVe. So the Jimusho asked the Kansai Junior members if some of them can play some instruments and what they can play. But all of those who answered said that they can play guitar.
In the end 5 of them were choosen: Hiroki Uchi as the vocalist, Mizuno Kiyohito as the main guitarist, Yasuda Shota as the second guitarist, Maruyama Ryuhei as bassist and Imayama Toru as drummer. Of course each of them had to learn the instruments, that were forced to them, first. The truth is that actually Ohkura Tadayoshi was also choosen to be part of this group. But because his interest being in dancing and thinking that an instrument would tie him down, the offer was declined.
Together they had a TV-Show, Shuukan V.WEST (Weekly V.WEST), on Kansai TV. But then Mizuno Kiyohito and Imayama Toru decided to left the agency, so that V.WEST was not realy a band anymore. During that time the Kansai Jrs suffered a period of neglect. Their activities had dwindled to a trickle. Lots of the Kansai Jrs. had the thougt about quitting.
Than in summer 2002 the Kansai Jrs. would get to peform a stage play/ musiacal called Another. The left members of V.WEST and some other Kansai Jrs, who used to have lots of activities in Tokyo, would have great roles in this stage play. The play was a success and brought back the Kansai Jrs.
Soon after Another the top Kansai Jrs, those with great roles in Another got to host their own TV show, J³Kansai ("J cube Kansai"), wich was a reborn of Shuukan V.WEST. The members at that time were Shibutani Subaru, Yokoyama You, Murakami Shingo, Nishikido Ryo and the 3 of V.WEST.
It was announced that in December 2002 the Kansai Jrs. would have their own concert. So V.WEST was offered to once again perform as a band. Therefor they needed a new drummer. So Yasuda Shota asked Ohkura Tadayoshi to fill in this position. He thought since Ohkura is good at dancing, maybe he will also be able to learn to play the drumm. Regretted that he declined the offer when V.WEST was created, Ohkura quickly started to learn playing drumms. And so he became the drummer of V.WEST.
J³Kansai was aired on Kansai TV's Channel 8, so the producers, thinking that having an eight member group on the show would be an interesting gimmick, relayed the idea to Johnny Kitagawa. Because of that, on the airing time at 18th Dec 2002, 2 announcment were made. First, that Ohkura Tadayoshi will be joining them hosting the show and second, that their unit will be called Kanjani8. Since than V.WEST became a sub-unit of it.