Photo: YouTube/Dir En Grey

Family cheated out of ¥54 million by man impersonating Japanese rock star for three years

By SoraNews24

In the annals of Japanese music Dir En Grey is often identified as just another visual kei band, but really they’re something of a musical anomaly with a rather amorphic style. Despite being such an avant-garde band they’re also amazingly successful with legions of fans in Japan and around the world.

This is thanks in no small part to their vocalist Kyo, who has a remarkable range both in terms of pitch and sounds. Here’s a pretty good example.

Granted, it’s an acquired taste, but however much you may like the guy, you'd probably not hand him 54 million yen.

Because that’s just what a 61-year-old father in Oji, Nara Prefecture did over the course of nearly three years after Kyo and his daughter started living together. To make matters worse, this “Kyo” wasn’t even the Kyo, but actually Yoshikazu Kasahara, a 39-year-old unemployed man of questionable vocal ability.

Kasahara convinced the woman who was to become his common-law wife and her parents that he was the Dir En Grey frontman using a neck tattoo that was similar the one the real Kyo has. Then, from October of 2017 he began convincing his father-in-law to give him money using made-up stories such as being ripped off of all his money by his band’s manager.

While such a scandal probably would have made the news, the father took the fake Kyo at his word and neck tattoo, and began giving him money. After a while, the dad’s savings were tapped and he cancelled his life insurance policy to keep handing money over to the seemingly hapless rocker.

It’s unclear what finally blew Kasahara’s cover, but in the same span of time Kyo and the rest of the real Dir En Grey wrapped up a national tour, went on two world tours, released a single, a full length album, a greatest hits album, a live Blu-ray, two books, contributed to numerous compilations, made twelve national TV performances, and many more interviews in print and video. One of those things might have tipped someone off.

This was Kasahara’s third arrest (the other two being related to an assault charge and defrauding a former girlfriend’s father). While in custody he reportedly came clean, telling police: “I am not a rock star, so there is no manager. Until now, I’ve been lying to get money any way I could and I cannot repay it. But, I’m really surprised at the amount.”

If all this hasn’t been weird enough, the investigation also revealed that Kasahara began posing as Kyo to his own mother, from whom he lives apart, for the past 10 years. He used some of his ill-gotten money to buy her Dir En Grey concert tickets so she could watch “her son” perform.

“I was embarrassed to tell her I was unemployed and pretended to be a member,” he told the authorities along with how he began tattooing himself on his neck and arms like Kyo to play into the ruse and how he’s “been a big fan of theirs since high school.”

It’s a pretty unbelievable crime in almost every regard, so that confession of “surprise” at how much he’d cheated his latest victim out of was probably the most honest thing Kasahara’s said in a long time. Readers of the news also reveled in the incredulousness of it all.

“This is a joke right? Even the guy’s confession is kind of zany.”

“Kyo-kun would never do such a thing.”

“The clever sleazoid sustained the untruth.”

“That poor woman was telling everyone she was dating Kyo the whole time?”

“He should apologize to Kyo!!!”

“This is so funny I still don’t believe it’s real.”

“Didn’t anyone ask to hear his death metal voice that entire time?”

“Why didn’t they just Google him?”

Considering this is Kasahara’s third strike, he may end up with a lot of time to practice his singing behind bars.

And while the justice system does its thing, we should also acknowledge a truly historic aspect of this whole case. This may very well be the first time in human history that a person’s neck tattoo alone directly resulted in them getting money.

Sources: FNN Prime OnlineAsahi ShimbunHachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Golden Bomber cosplays Japanese glam rock in their new music video【Video】

-- Satirical one-panel comics show how ridiculous idol otaku can sometimes be

-- Fruits Basket anime cafe with limited-edition goods to appear at Princess Cafes in Tokyo, Osaka

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Only in Japan !!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If stupidity were a crime then it’s a life sentence...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Was the daughter arrested too? After all, she was part of the scam

6 ( +8 / -2 )

¥54m is a lot of cash in three years.

I'm Taylor Swift, by the way.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Just goes to show you that a fool and his money are always soon parted.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My neck tattoos have lost me money and opportunities. Didn’t think that one through at all. Still this guy sounds like a moron and the people he scammed even stupider

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is thanks in no small part to their vocalist Kyo, who has a remarkable range both in terms of pitch and sounds.

NOT !!

He can scream pretty good, but so can everybody else.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

...because you always dreamt of your daughter marrying a guy with a neck tattoo...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"If stupidity were a crime then we'd all be locked up..."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

54mil....wish I was that stupid. How the hell? Why are the rich so stupid? Is stupidity a in on being rich? Did I miss a class?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

MickeliciousToday  07:26 am JST

¥54m is a lot of cash in three years.

I'm Taylor Swift, by the way.

You should contact the father in the story and get whatever cash he has left because you are actually related! His name is Not Too Swift

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stupidity is not a crime of course. We’re all stupid to some degree. I feel for the people he swindled, but man, how stupid do you have to get to fall for something like that? Yeah right, a rock star really needs to borrow 54M yen?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That is an "ore ore sagi" on steroids, and victims are not even old!

Of course, he is a creep, but I am sort of awed by the brazennness.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The daughter is obviously in on this scam

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wish I had 54 million yen to be cheated out of.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He can scream pretty good, but so can everybody else.

Skip ahead to the 3-minute mark - he's a good singer with range. Reminds me of Faith No More.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How can you be intelligent enough to amass 54 million yen yet stupid enough to give it to an imposter claiming to be a rock star...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prime example on how to become a master con-artist!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you want to make 54Million just wait until they put the Casino in Kobe or Osaka or maybe in Shinjuku or you might get lucky at the pachinko parlor and cash out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mickelicious, aka Taylor Swift. Money can be tight during these times. Pls let me know if I can send you some. Best, Tom Cruise

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can you be intelligent enough to amass 54 million yen yet stupid enough to give it to an imposter claiming to be a rock star...

At 61 years old, that's a modest retirement fund. Anyone who works and saves diligently their whole life could have accumulated that. Note that he exhausted his savings on this guy and dipped into his insurance. He was clearly tapped out, and can now forget about retirement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites