This article is from the 2006 issue of “heisei nippon no tabuu taizen” (Modern Japan’s taboo journalism collection of 2006). Sort of the Japanese equivalent of the “top censored stories of 2006” like they have in America.
It’s a pretty awesome fuck-you to both Johnny and the whole mass-media, but it’s from a tabloid, so the writing wildly veers between hard journalism, ranting, and baroque, poetic metaphors that a) make no sense, and b) aren’t very ‘journalistic’. I have tried to preserve that erratic tone in my translation, to give you a feeling of how Japanese tabloids roll.
Also dude keeps using the word ホモ性虐待 (homo sei gyakutai) – literally, ‘homo sexual-abuse.’ Which is kind of – not to be PC or anything – fucked up. Like it would have been cool if it was hetero sexual abuse? The word ‘homo’ is just as prejudiced in Japanese as it is in English, and it’s a shame the reporter had to go there with it. But that being said, the rest of the report is totally rad and here we go, the first ever English translation of. . . .
JOHNNY KITAGAWA: THE PUPPET-MASTER OF THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD
by RI SAKU
In July 2005, in Sendai city, some teenage "tarento" ('talent': Japanese English for people in show-biz) working for "Johnny's Jimusho" (literally 'Johnny's Office, but basically it means 'Johnny's Management Company') were busted for underage drinking. Looking closely at the way the incident unfolded during the ensuing months, the parent of another ex- Johnny's child tarento was heard to say, "Nothing has changed, has it?"
Because of the scandalous incident, the adult tarento who were drinking with the underage kids were punished. Kikuma Chinou, the announcer, as well as ten Fuji Television employees, received cuts in pay and temporary suspensions from work. Kikuma said that she would “voluntarily” refrain from appearing on television until the first of November
But as soon as this was announced, many fans descended on the Fuji Television offices to protest vehemently that Kikuma's re-instatement was premature, because the 'underage-drinking Johnny's tarento' had not yet been re-instated. Many voices cried, "We won't forgive you if you punish them but not her!"
However, the fans' anger ought to be directed at Johnny's Jimusho, not Fuji Television. That Jimusho has produced countless 'underage drinking and smoking' scandals. And every time, their response is like the skink that cuts off its own tail so that the body can escape unharmed. They insist that the fault lies entirely with the child stars. In contrast with Fuji's lenient treatment of Kikuma, Johnny's Jimusho would only respond, "This is a matter for the lawyers to discuss." So it's easy to see that there will be more drinking scandals in the future, as Johnny's Jimusho habitually neglects its responsibility to raise and educate the minors in its care. As for the tarento involved in the Sendai underage-drinking scandal, all the show-biz journalists agree that they have no chance of ever making a comeback.
Television stations as well as other types of mass media – aside from a few exceptions – they all bear the brunt of fans' anger in these situations; anger that fans ought to aim at Johnny's. The fact is, the media cannot get mad at either the fans or Johnny's; they must grin and bear it. The reason being, they get a large market share and good sales by using Johnny's artists. In exchange, they have to ignore Johnny's irresponsible behavior, and this state of affairs allows Johnny's Jimusho to become more and more arrogant and spoiled.
But the biggest problem is, thanks to this collusion between Johnny's and the mass media, the many – or should I say – the many dozens of children who have been damaged in countless ways by Johnny Kitagawa. The media, by taking Johnny's money while refusing to look directly at the obvious facts of Johnny's behavior, is little better than an accomplice of his crimes. It's no exaggeration to say that both the scale of both the sex crimes and the cover-up has little precedent in modern Japanese history.
THE MONSTER OF SHOW BUSINESS
In July 15th of 2003, the Tokyo high court handed down a verdict that shocked the news media. Or rather, it should have shocked them.
The case was a lawsuit brought by Johnny Kitagawa (the plaintiff) against Bunshun Weekly Magazine (the defendant). In 1999, Bunshun had published a series of articles titled "The monster of Show Business," which aggressively pursued accounts of Johnny Kitagawa's sexual harassment of the underage boys in his employ. In the articles, Shunbun wrote that, "We have factual evidence to back up these very serious allegations."
For a long time, suspicions of Johnny Kitagawa's sexual predation and mistreatment of boys had been circulating, making this a "public secret" of Japanese entertainment. But thanks to the trial, for the first time, these rumors were investigated by the legal system, the evidence was weighed objectively by judges, and the verdict was: the rumors were true.
As for the case itself, it began when Johnny Kitagawa sued Bunshun for defamation of character on eight counts. The lower court found in favor of Kitagawa on four counts, and ordered Bunshun to pay 88,000,000 yen (about 900,000 dollars).
However, upon appeal, the high court overturned the low court's decision that the "gay sexual abuse" accusation was false, ruling that Bunshun had substantial evidence, and reduced the fine from 88,00,000 yen to a much smaller 1,200,000 yen (about 13,000 dollars). This was a miraculous come-from-behind victory for Bunshun (and on February 24, 2005, the final appeal of Kitagawa was dismissed). However, despite the civil court's ruling that children had been molested, the statute of limitations had passed, so no criminal case could be made. However, finally the facts had come to light: The president of Japan's most influential and largest show-business production company had engaged in repeated, persistent acts of sexual predation on the very minors who he was responsible for protecting and raising.
In this case, Bunshun can be forgiven for going it alone. If news is a foot-race, the rest of Japan's news media was so far behind them, they couldn't even see Bunshun's back. Despite the intense competition for scoops in today's media, no one would touch the story. It's a shame because if one of the mainstream papers had printed such an explosive verdict, they could have gotten a huge boost in readership. However, today's journalists are like greedy children fighting over scraps of Haloween candy while ignoring the huge chocolate cake in their midst. But in this particular instance, the silence was deafening (ed. – yes, the metaphors are that random in the original text).
From the first meeting of the low court, to the exhaustion of the last final appeal, the mainstream newspapers carried reports. But in every case, the report was the size of a postage stamp. The magazines' coverage was also insufficient. The television news didn't touch it at all. In my opinion the only media to cover the trial appropriately were two monthly magazines: "Uasa Shinso" (‘The Truth Behind The Rumors’ magazine) and "Tokyo Sports."
One television executive was approached by a foreign reporter, who asked him about the Johnny's trial. The executive replied, "As a television producer, I have no interest in sex scandals. Our programming has nothing to do with that."
Whether he honestly is interested or not interested is beside the point. The point is, the mass media doesn't want to upset Johnny's Jimusho. That such an arrangement exists, is beyond doubt.
In order to proceed further, we must look more deeply into the so-called "sex scandal" accusations and judge for ourselves if they are true. To that end, I will be quoting at length from the trial transcripts as well as the original Bunshun articles.
THE "SEXUAL ABUSE" WHICH WAS CONFIRMED BY THE HIGH COURT
In the October 28th 1999 issue, Bunshun Weekly began its "Monster of Show Business" campaign, which periodically published a series of articles about Johnny's Jimusho, as well as other, related articles. The article which Johnny's sued over was in the December 16th 1999 issue.
The high court found that, by and large, that the Bunshun Weekly articles contained nine distinct, potentially libellous, claims, which they had to judge on a case-by-case basis.
I reprint the court’s list here below:
Bunshun Weekly printed the following controversial statements:
If the boys refused his advances, Mr. Kitagawa would place them in a ‘bad position’ on stage – in the corner, out of the limelight, or refuse to allow them to appear on television all together. Having created a situation where it was impossible for them to refuse, he could and did sexually harass them.
2) The plaintiff (Mr. Kitagawa) let the minors drink alcohol and smoke on a daily basis in his dormitory.
3) When the underage pop group “Junior 4” were taken into custody for shop-lifting, Johnny’s Jimusho conspired with affiliated TV networks to put a lid on the story and keep it from being reported. This also happened with other, similar incidents.
4) The plaintiff, and in particular the Jimusho office managers, singled out the members of the Four Leaves pop group for abuse and mistreatment.
5) Adult tarento which had previously worked for Johnny’s were treated coldly for long periods of time (ed. – how is this even important, let alone libel?)
6) The underage boys were given such busy show-business schedules that they were unable to attend school.
7) The tarento employed by the Jimusho were routinely not paid money owed them.
8) The Jimusho-affiliated fan clubs were managed in such a way that they ignored the fans.
9) The mass media is scared of Johnny's Jimusho and only prints flattering things about them.
Out of these nine claims, the courts found that 2,3,4, and 5 were defamatory. But they found that 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9 were supported by the evidence. To repeat: the repeated sexual abuse, failure to pay wages, heartless treatment of artists, the dereliction of responsibility to raise minors in his care, the systematic ignoring of fans, and the intimidation of mass media, were found to be true. These reasons alone are enough to call someone a "monster of show business," aren't they?
Next, I will quote from the original Bunshun article, concerning the sexual abuse, which was used as evidence in court. In order to emphasize the severity of the abuse, I'll be using rather long quotes, for which I hope you will forgive me.
Quoting from the December fourth 1999 issue of Bunshun Weekly.
"First, I'd like to present one bit of testimony. The boy who gave this testimony is a former Johnny's Junior (the youngest of the Johnny brand pop bands), who is now in high school. He claims he was sexually harassed many times by Mr. Kitagawa.
'Mr. Johnny liked to yell from the bottom of his lungs, "Youuuu!!" and call someone. Usually it would be like, "Youuu!!! C'mere!" and then you'd have to go to the dormitory restaurant and eat with him. The next time, he'd say to the boy, "Youuu!! Get in bed!" That was the one you really didn’t want to hear.
‘When I was lying in my bed, he suddenly burst in. I was alone, there was no one else in the bed. He slid in beside and behind me. He was holding something strange, I thought. He took it and rubbed it on my butt – it was a sticky lotion. Next he stuck his finger in, and finally his sex organ. I was scared so I didn't turn my head to look. It hurt, it hurt so badly.
‘Afterwards, he asked me, "Do you want something?" "I don't want anything," I said. "You definitely want something, I'm sure," he said again. In the morning when I woke up, there was $500, which had been placed by the bed. Mr. Kitagawa also raped another Junior who lived in the same dorm. I can give you his name as well.'
This is merely one of many first-person testimonies we have collected. And that's not even counting the many other victims of Mr. Kitagawa's penis who are too scared to come forward.
And why do these boys endure this abuse?
‘If you say no to Mr. Johnny, the fact is, you'll never get to appear on stage, you'll never get to be famous. Your group will never get to debut, you'll be letting down your band-mates.’
This is how they are trained to think.”
THE CONFUSING TESTIMONY OF MR. KITAGAWA
The Bunshun articles contained testimony from 12 boys. Out of those 12, two were called to testify at the ensuing trial on July of 2001. These courageous young men agreed to publicly share the details of their abuse, in the hopes that it would stop "Mr. Johnny" from further crimes. Also testifying was Mr. Kitagawa, who came in person to give his side of the story. In order to protect the privacy of both sides, the trial venue was moved from Tokyo to a far-away court-house, and closed to the public. Furthermore, a partition was erected between the boys and Mr. Kitagawa. The boys would testify and then leave the court-room. Then Mr. Kitagawa would respond. In spite of this special format, the trial still had the feel of a direct confrontation: Mr. Kitagawa could hear the boys, and everyone but the boys could see Mr. Kitagawa’s reaction to their testimony.
Johnny's attorney attempted to diminish the credibility of the boys by aggressively questioning their recollection of minute details, and calling attention to tiny discrepancies. The boys had to endure these persistent questions because there was no physical evidence to settle the dispute forensically.
Mr. Kitagawa's testimony – in which he denied the boys' claims – was very ambiguous, inarticulate, and slippery. In the paper issued by the presiding judges following the verdict, they
The argument put forth by Mr. Kitagawa's attorneys was predicated on the assumption that the boys' testimony was nothing but lies. When asked to explain the reason that the boys might lie, Mr. Kitagawa replied:
“Boy A and boy B, well, let’s see, we can discuss their cases together, how they’re taking care of me. . . I chose them myself. I trained them. They’re my friends. But I’m the one in a sad position here. I say we are all family, and other people feel that way too. As I testified yesterday, there’s nothing so unfortunate as not to share blood ties with one’s family. So for me, a man in this sad, lonely situation, I’m the one who’s unfortunate.
The circumstances in question, I don’t think they’re homosexual circumstances. But whatever kind of circumstances they may be, the boys certainly have managed to distance themselves from the feeling that they have betrayed me. It would be strange to say that they’re purposely creating a false impression. But, to repeat myself, I don’t hate them, or bear any ill will towards them. Some people would say, “Sensei! (meaning, Johnny) You’re lying! You’re a liar!” but it would be rather difficult for me to categorically say that their testimony is entirely false.”
This kind of confusing, vague testimony is almost impossible to untangle. But if I had to try to translate it into regular Japanese (ha! – ed.) it might go something like this:
"I never meant to sexually harass anyone. But the boys were so adorable, and the bond we had was so strong, that I felt it was terrible that we were not blood-relatives. I was merely trying to bridge this gap, when suddenly the boys cried harassment! The reason they claim harassment is not because they dislike gay activity. They just wanted to betray me. I'm sure they feel guilty about it now. But I can't definitely say their testimony is entirely made up."
In any case, someone in court for child-molesting, who claims he is the victim, is definitely a hard-to-deal-with person!
INAGAKI GOROU (FROM SMAP) WAS A MEMBER?!?!?
"We have to stop looking for new scapegoats and victims all the time. The reason is, if we're sued, we're bound to lose. We have to thoroughly pursue a new course."
— Fujiwara Kazushi, advertising director for Bungei Shunjuu magazine).
Bunshun's exposure of the truth about Johnny's Jimusho, as well as Mr. Johnny himself, and the fact that many of their claims were upheld by a court of law, should be hailed as a brilliant military victory.
But, as a result, can we say that Johnny's has changed its ways? Clearly, judging by the ensuing "underaged-drinking-in-Sendai" scandal, the answer is no. As for the private behavior of Mr. Kitagawa, I can't say, but clearly the way the company treats the artists is no different than before: they continue to exploit them and neglect their responsibility to raise the children correctly. In order to stop this, it is necessary for the mass media, and the entertainment corporations who do business with Johnny's, to scrutinize the Jimusho relentlessly and strictly. It's not just the job of small, radical weekly magazines!
As far as Mr. Kitagawa's sexual abuse goes, former Johnny's tarento Kita Kouji (from pop group ‘the Four Leaves’) wrote a book, called "To Hikari Genji: the Forbidden Diaries of Ex-Four Leaves Member Kita Kouji." (1988, Data House). The contents of this book are already well known to our readers (ed: including an allegation that Johnny raped him).
But, the mass media did not stop doing business with Johnny’s Jimusho on account of the public outcry that Kita Kouji's book generated, and Mr. Kitagawa continued to sexually abuse boys. Alarm bells had rung, the SOS had been transmitted to everyone, but nothing changed.
Bunshun's amazing come-from-behind victory was absolutely not reported by the mainstream media, which tells us clearly that the media is scared of Johnny's. Of all the media, it is the television stations which adopt the most fawning, craven posture. This can be most easily seen by looking at how they handled the arrest of SMAP's Inagaki Goro.
August 24th, 2001, Inagaki was arrested in Tokyo's Shibuya district, for driving violations and resisting arrest. A female officer approached Inagaki's Maserati near Tokyuu Bunkamura hall, and attempted to write a routine parking ticket.
He refused and protested the ticketing. When she attempted to enforce the ticket, he started to accelerate his car, injuring the police-woman. Then he stopped his car, rolled up his windows, and locked his doors.
He hunkered down, ignoring her orders to "Come out!" and stayed in his car for another thirty minutes.
That a "top idoru" was caught in the act by a police officer, and arrested, was huge news, and that’s as it should be. And of course, Inagaki's rash and impulsive behavior was abnormal and wrong. Incidentally, this incident took place during another defamation suit Johnny launched against Bunshun – this time about Bunshun's allegations of Inagaki's drug use.
That particular trial ended when Bunshun took out advertisements apologizing to Johnny's. But the wording of these advertisements was so passive-aggressive ("We are apologizing" rather than "We are sorry"), it's fair to wonder if Bunshun was really sincere.
Next, I'll be quoting an un-named Bunshun associate:
"Bunshun's source for their article was a guy who was in the same jail cell as Inagaki. They taped an interview with this guy. So when the lawsuit came to trial, they based their defence on these tapes, but it backfired on them! When Johnny's lawyers cross-examined (the ex-con), it was easy to show that he had incentive to make stuff up, so that's why they (Bunshun) lost the suit!"
Even if there were no drugs involved, injuring a police-woman in the course of her duties, is still pretty bad just by itself. So one would naturally expect Inagaki to receive severely negative treatment in the media. However (and I can remember this as clearly as if it was yesterday), the way the television news treated the story was so weird, it makes Inagaki's behavior seem very normal in comparison. The newspapers referred to him as "Inagaki the suspect." But the television news quickly stopped calling him a "suspect" and instead referred to him – this guy who was currently under house-arrest and being investigated – they referred to him as "Inagaki the member" or "Mr. Inagaki."
As the owners of SMAP, and many other famous pop groups, and someone who (in the words of one television executive) "Can make the ratings jump like trout," Johnny and his Jimusho have a huge influence on what television does and doesn't say. And it would be difficult to imagine a more clear example of this than the Inagaki incident.
Two days after his arrest, (Sunday), Inagaki was released on bail, and that evening he gave an "apology press conference." The following day, the top story on all the networks was some version of "The Tearful Press Conference." Although the full police report had not been completed, let alone the trial, the television media treated the whole issue as closed – as if the press conference was some sort of Shinto ritual purification ceremony.
Furthermore, on the Asahi TV network's "Yajuuma Wide Show", the regular commentator (and showbiz journalist – ed.) Nashimoto Masaru was fired for commenting about Mr. Inagaki's arrest! Mr. Nashimoto talked with us about that incident:
"Prior to going on air, the Wide Show director had ordered us commentators to refrain from discussing the arrest. The Wide Show's is very 'soft' journalism. Showbiz puff-pieces and so on. So we often get these kinds of instructions. But Mr. Inagaki's case was criminal, not just some typical 'celebrity affair' thing. He resisted arrest and hurt an officer. Any other celebrity who ever did something like that, got criticized really harshly (in the media). I didn't see any reason to make an exception for (Mr. Inagaki)."
The reason Asahi TV was so protective of Inagaki was, they were producing a special Japan-Korean drama series set to air on September of that year, and had already spent a million dollars on it. And the main star was who? Mr. Inagaki. In the end, there was such a public outcry over Mr. Nashimoto's firing that Asahi TV had to take him back. "The weekly magazines wrote a lot of articles about my firing, and it started becoming a big scandal in the public mind. That's why Asahi had to relent. But I was really worried there for a while. I had just taken out a huge loan to buy a house."
THE TRACES OF THE "PRESSURE" THAT JOHNNY'S WEILDS AS A SPONSOR OF ADVERTISING.
One of the points of the Bunshun articles that the High Court confirmed, was the charge that "The mass media is scared of Johnny's Jimusho and only prints flattering things about them."
I will quote from the Bunshun article here:
"Mary Kitagawa (real name Mary Fujishima, 71 years old) is generally in charge of dealing with the mass media. So if the television company puts a Johnny's tarento in a tv show alongside a co-star that Mary doesn't like, she will telephone the president of that TV company directly and demand that they fire the co-star."
"And it's not just television. We have information about Johnny's influence on sports newspapers also. Says our source, ‘The showbiz world can be broken up into several categories: movies, tv, music, and so on. But Johnny's definitely has the most clout with reporters who cover television. If a reporter makes Johnny's mad, he can't get access to the stars for interviews, he doesn't get information about upcoming TV shows, and he isn't allowed to use copyrighted images of the tarento. So that's why the reporters can't refuse to play by Johnny's rules.’"
But it's unfair to single out the show-biz media for their relationship with Johnny's. Publishers and newspapers also are grasped by his influence. Currently, we can see him trying to exert his pressure on Bunshun. Explains a Bunshun associate:
"At the time we were doing the "showbiz monster campaign," we'd be trying to advertise (our magazine) in xxx-company's magazines, and we were told, ‘Johnny’s objected to us taking your ads.’
“Apparently xxx-company was using Johnny's talent as their new spokesperson, and Johnny's said, ‘If you don't pull the Bunshun ads, we'll never let you work with our tarento again!’ Luckily, xxx-company wasn't too picky about who their spokespersons were! They just listened to Johnny's threats without agreeing or disagreeing, and then went on to print our ads."
One would hope that all advertisers would be as independent (literally, “be not particularly choosy which talent management agency they used for advertising” – ed.) as xxx-company, but in fact that is not the case. Especially for women's and fashion magazines, Johnny's tarento are indispensable contents. There are certain publishers where severing their relationship with Johnny's could throw the whole company into trouble. However, in some cases the opposite is true: Bunshun is not the only magazine to report about Mr. Kitagawa's pedophilia and sex abuse. Other magazines report it, but in fact their reporting is half-hearted and does not get to the bottom of things. The large-scale publishers, who own small magazines like Bunshun, think like this, according to one nameless show-biz journalist:
"If the weeklies we publish go easy on Johnny's, then we will be rewarded with lucrative contracts for Johnny's-related idol photobooks."
And it seems that both local and national newspapers are content to publish petty show-biz news and omit coverage of criminal trials as a matter of course.
In January of 2000, as part of the campaign, Bunshun published the following quote from a New York Times article:
"The Japanese mass media is absolutely refusing to cover the accusations Bunshun made, and also refusing to cover the ensuing lawsuit."
. . .
"(in the Japanese reporting system) The majority of reporters rely on official news sources, such as government offices and official spokes-people for corporations. In other words, they print nothing but P.R. from professional spin-doctors. There's absolutely no one doing investigative journalism, digging up dirt or trying to solve unsolved matters."
Surely it's the case that we Japanese reporters rely on official announcements. They say that it's a side-effect of our entrenched "press club" system. But, that's not the whole reason: the Japanese press even ignores official announcements! It's not that the mass-media buried the story about the High Court upholding Bunshun's claims. It's worse! In April 2000, the Lower House of the Diet convened a "Special Commission Hearing On The Problems Of Young Men," specifically to look into pedophilia, including Johnny Kitagawa, and the television didn't even cover THAT. Even the newspapers wouldn't touch this official event.
We asked Mr. Sakagami Yoshihide, the LDP delegate at the Special Commission about the incident, and he said that there were many reporters and television cameramen all shoving for position (at the hearing). And in spite of this, nothing was printed or broadcast! The reason is, perhaps there is not an awareness of what constitutes important news. Even if a concerned reporter were to rush to his editor's desk and insist the story was important, it's doubtful that the newspaper company would treat the matter forthrightly.
Again, we'll quote the anonymous show-biz journalist:
"Newspaper companies give first priority to the television stations that they are business partners with. One has to be very careful not to embarrass them. Also, newspapers every year sponsor cultural programs, and usually Johnny’s co-sponsors the same programs, so they are connected directly through that."
MR. NASHIMOTO MASARU'S "INVITATION TO TESTIFY BEFORE THE DIET"
You can certainly say that Johnny's jimusho has a frightening and broad influence in the market. But you can't use that to excuse doing business with them, because they are just one of many show-biz management companies. In fact, show-biz journalist Mr. Nashimoto Masaru has never been afraid to make strict criticisms of Johnny's – for instance during the Bunshun trial, or the Inagaki case. And he is still in good health.
An associate of Mr. Nashimoto gives the following analysis of why Nashimoto could still succeed:
" When the Diet met to discuss the "Johnny's problem," they called Mr. Nashimoto as a witness. But just before Mr. Nashimoto could testify, (then prime-minister) Mori's cabinet voted to dissolve the Lower House of the Diet, and Nashimoto's invitation was called off. It was tough luck, because even Johnny's was scared of the Diet.”
The important point is, the most effective counter-measure to Johnny's "back-room pressure" is to simply never let up. If one discovers a problem that merits criticism, one should develop a logical argument and then stick to it, to the bitter end. In fact, this is the exact strategy the mass media has used – to great financial profit – when dealing with innumerable celebrity scandals. It's simply lazy not to apply the same standard to Johnny's. His power is in proportion to the popularity and glamour of his tarento. The mass media neglected to nurture their independence and nurture their own internal planning capability. This puts them at the mercy of powerful tarento managers. The whole thing is smeared with "I'll-do-whatever's-convenient-for-me-ism."
The taboo on exposing bad things about Johnny's is also a taboo on exposing how the media's own vested interests are influencing what they report.
Reporting on the tarento, for example: stories about whether (smap’s) Kimura Takuya and Kudo Shizuka are dating or breaking up are acceptable to the jimusho. The reporters can contact the jimusho’s staff directly and haggle over juicy tidbits such as that, and both parties benefit from the publicity. But that doesn’t excuse the media from reporting on real stories about the private lives of tarento, and even more so, the abuse of underage tarento. Especially in light of the disturbing trend towards younger and younger tarento – Morning Musume and that sort of thing. There's no insurance that the mistakes of the past will be corrected tomorrow. We have to be aware of our big responsibility to stop the flow of blood and tears from the next victims before it starts.
Also I got to admit that I got scooped by NEOJAPONISME on this one – they did an article on the whole jimusho system like 10 days ago, so check it out.
Also I just googled "johnny kitagawa rape" and it looks like someone translated a different, equally grotesque article which looks at the Bunshu trial as well as other financially shady practices of Johnny's, and posted it to a j-pop site. And guess what? Fangirls on that site react just like they did to my visual interview: "Well all the REAL fans knew that already, darling, so what?"
So what? Um, let me give it a go: The difference between rumor and established fact?
The fact that someone had the courage to actually go to court and report his rape?
And how that is a lot harder than leaving an anonymous snarky comment on a website?
Um, if you are a fan of a band why would you financially support their sexual abuser?
And, can you take your head out long enough to see there's more at stake here than your position in the fan heirarchy?
So before anyone leaves their two cents on THIS site, make sure you clear those conceptual hurdles. Or not, since I like housing posers anyway.
Also, as before, all comments not including a) the name of the politician who governs your region, state, province, etc. and b) your opinion of at least one of their policies will – ouch! – not be posted.
This is, again, to weed out people who are so lost in their pop music fantasy world that they have lost touch with reality. If that doesn't apply to you, you got nothing to worry about.
, taboo journalism