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Fallen idol Nori-P emerges as survivor of 'bullying' culture

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By Alastair Himmer

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Drugs are one thing, screwing around with a married man is something totally different.

-32 ( +2 / -34 )

Wow ! Nori-P is 45 ? I am REALLY getting old !

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nori-P looks happier and healthier now. That boyfriend of her's at the time was the source of all the drug issues.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“I used to play softball at school. It was very tough pulling tires around the schoolyard in winter (for training). If you made a mistake, you would get a slap across the face."

“They will dig up a mixture of fact and fiction. It’s like a kind of group bullying; it’s quite spiteful,”

“It’s contagious, like when a pupil makes a mistake at school—that pupil is made to feel totally alone and they parade them around until they break down completely. I wonder if it’s really necessary to go that far.”

Nori-P's quotes here are telling. Japanese society is often so brutal and sadistically cruel. The celebrity 'geinojin' world is just a microcosm/reflection of Japanese society at large.

[Nori-P] sang songs with lyrics such as “sweet couple, pee-pee! Woo be popple, pee-pee!”

Obviously people in Japan are drawn to songs with infantile lyrics, silly mascots and all the other fluff as a means of offsetting all the unhinged petty tyranny that is so prevalent here.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Sensato hit the bull's-eye on this one.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The other day while waiting for the traffic light, I overheard a Japanese mom telling her son that mistakes are natural, without it how would you learn to get better ? How do they go from that Japanese mom to a society that punish every mistakes like it's the end of the world ?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Funny, no mention of her kid and what that poor child has been out through due to selfish parents. No mention of her yak connections.

Didn't she say she was going in home care to help elderly people? Doesn't pay much, eh?

I have no issues with her doing drugs but she was behaving like a teenager rather than looking after her kid. No amount if fame or forgiveness from the public will undone what that kid suffered.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I KNEW she would be back and seen as a 'hero' and a 'victim' instead of a woman who did drugs, screwed around, breaking the law, and ruining her kid's life.

Yeah, and SHE was bullied. Good old Japan.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

It is also sexist bullying. Remember that member of SMAP, Kusanagi, who was found naked in a park next to his luxury apartment building near Roppongi Hills? Yelling, "What's wrong with being naked?!?!?!?!" He was brought back in a matter of weeks, and no bullying. Because he is a guy?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Japan in many ways is an unforgiving society.You pluck up, and unlike in western countries,there's little chance of redemption or a comeback.I look at it as you can do almost anything you want to here,but if you get caught...you're done. And worse if you're a woman.You're really done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with sensato on this one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Looks good for a 45 year old, but i do remember clearly she was standing in front of cameras promising to dedicate her life to become a carer for the elderly during her trial? How long did that one last?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They will dig up a mixture of fact and fiction. It’s like a kind of group bullying; it’s quite spiteful,” “It’s contagious, like when a pupil makes a mistake at school—that pupil is made to feel totally alone and they parade them around until they break down completely. I wonder if it’s really necessary to go that far.” Nori-P's quotes here are telling. Japanese society is often so brutal and sadistically cruel. The celebrity 'geinojin' world is just a microcosm/reflection of Japanese society at large.

how is this different from any school around the world? people who are bullied are always made to feel isolated and alone. anyone who is different is bullied upon, whether it's something trivial or something more serious like racism. and the only difference between japanese celeb gossip and the US celeb gossip is that something likke an affair might make a woman more famous in the US.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Solution > sell your TV and don't participate in the rubbish that is fastfood for the brain.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Teeny-bopper Minami Minegishi, a former member of Japan’s most popular girl band AKB48, famously shaved her hair off—a traditional act of contrition in Japan—after being photographed leaving her boyfriend’s home in 2013.

Had Minegishi Minami left AKB? The last time I checked, she is still in AKB. Hhhmmm....

Moderator: That has been corrected. Thank you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sang songs with lyrics such as “sweet couple, pee-pee! Woo be popple, pee-pee!”

Are you sure it was only the drugs?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“They will dig up a mixture of fact and fiction. It’s like a kind of group bullying; it’s quite spiteful,” she added.

A culture of bullying, yeah that's Japan all right. And then they expect you to bow down, -not.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese society DESPERATELY needs a female pop star in the vein of a John Lydon.

Like, if they screw up, to totally go the other way and tell the media and management to toss off.

Media are always unable to avert their gaze from a trainwreck, and a pop star who wont play the contrition game would make a KILLING by being rebellious.

Even a male version who takes their violence/drugs seriously would be profitable.

Celebs will take drugs because they want to. Society cannot stop this with laws or group shame. One of these celebs should speak a real truth such as this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

and the only difference between japanese celeb gossip and the US celeb gossip is that something likke an affair might make a woman more famous in the US. and that is because women are treated more like equals in the US, it takes two to tango and the woman wont always be the scapegoat when there is a scandal like in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“What disgusts Japanese people about what Becky did was how she continued to lie about the affair,” said celebrity psychologist Yoko Haruka.

“She carried on pretending to be a sweet girl. But when her lying was exposed, she became persona non grata,” Haruka added.

Can this celebrity psychologist explain why the same feelings of disgust aren't felt towards politicians and leaders of big businesses (TEPCO, Olympus, the air bag maker, various dairy companies etc. etc. etc.) when lies and deceit are exposed?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I hate that this article HAD to bring up a member of AKB. So let me put some FACTS into this article, since it seems, as per usual, information about AKB is incorrect here:

Miichan spent the night with Alan Shirahama, a member of the boyband Generations. They never once mentioned or stated that they were dating. It could be implied that they were, sure, but that was pure speculation. Also, Miichan never explicitly came out and said she had sex with him that night either. For all we know, the two could've watched old reruns of AKBINGO all night. She shaved her head because she was so upset about her photo being published and what she knew would be the inevitable fallout from it. She was afraid of losing her position in AKB, and that makes sense given her attention seeking chara she has within AKB.

The idol world is not for everyone. It's rules aren't understood by most people, and that's okay. It's a sub-culture that thrives and does extremely well, despite the occasional hiccups. What happened to Noriko Sakai shouldn't even have AKB mentioned in the same sentence as her, being that she became a drug addict and got busted for that. NO Member of AKB has ever been busted for drugs, and for that matter, you can't really even begin to say that about ANY idol group in Japan. Personally, I think they are role models in that sense, much more than Norko was and ever will be, due to her tragic fall from grace. On the other hand, I'm happy to see her springing back up. I always did like her.

Another note that is speculative and not fact and should be corrected in this article: Saying Becky's career is over. That's yet to be determined, and kind of ironic to even be mentioned in this article, considering the subject matter, don't you thing?

One final thing... before everyone goes crying about how male dominated the Japanese pop industry is, lets not forget the FACTS: The fact is that the largest pop idol EVER in Japan who has dominated all record sales was and STILL IS a woman. Does the name Ayumi Hamasaki ring a bell? Also, AKB, an ALL FEMALE group, is the most successful idol group in history to date, in every single category, from singles sold to overall concerts sales, and attendance at shows. They employ over 250 FEMALES and give them work. AND who do you see has toured America a few years back and seems to be gearing up to do it again this year? PERFUME? And how is PERFUME? An all female JPOP GROUP. And who has toured the WORLD continuously and is known everywhere for years now? KYARY PAMYU PAMYU? And who is Japan's entry into the metal world and who has seen INCREDIBLE fame and popularity and success? BABYMETAL. And who are they? THREE YOUNG GIRLS FROM JAPAN.

So yeah, for all the horrible "suppression" females have in Japan, it sure seems like they are running things.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

But every family has a STRONG WOMAN running it

Obviously not true in this case...

It seems that this STRONG WOMAN was RUINING her family!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bullying continues because nobody stands up and punches the bully in the face. She should have told everybody to shut up, she can do anything she wants with her life, take drugs if she wants to. It's her choice. And of course Japan is such a misogynistic society, women are regularly discriminated against by the old, disgusting farts running the country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The idol world is not for everyone. It's rules aren't understood by most people, and that's okay. It's a sub-culture that thrives and does extremely well, despite the occasional hiccups. What happened to Noriko Sakai shouldn't even have AKB mentioned in the same sentence as her

Thats what this article is exactly all about. Its about how women are treated so badly in the entertainment business in Japan. Sakai got arrested, lost her career, was handed an 18 month suspended sentence, and a complete overkill in the national media for 0.008 grams of stimulants in her home and 0.097 of amphetemines in her holiday home. AKB members get paid f-all whilst their svengali manager is a multi-millionaire. They have a no dating clause in their contracts which is against civil liberties. Thriving you say.

Another note that is speculative and not fact and should be corrected in this article: Saying Becky's career is over. That's yet to be determined, and kind of ironic to even be mentioned in this article, considering the subject matter, don't you thing?

I guess the fact that Becky has dissapeared from the face of the earth despite previously haunting our TV sets 7 days a week, had billions of yens worth of contracts ripped up, and being fined billions of yen by her management, means that its only a question of time before she makes it really big..?!

AKB, an ALL FEMALE group, is the most successful idol group in history to date, in every single category, from singles sold to overall concerts sales, and attendance at shows. They employ over 250 FEMALES and give them work

As previously mentioned, AKB get paid f-all whilst their manager is one of the richest men in the Japanese entertainment business. So use your vivid imagination and work out what their staff are paid..

So yeah, for all the horrible "suppression" females have in Japan, it sure seems like they are running things.

With a statement so horribly wide of the mark I doubt that you live in Japan..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I know many Idols and Cosplayers that earn a decent buck, most of them make their own costumes and refuse to work for an Agency.

There are many conventions where they get much Attention from their Fans.

Granted they are not well known outside the Otaku community but they are busy and attend many events most people never hear about.

Said most of them are in their 20's and 30's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TigersTokyoDome: Oh, here we go...

First, to say that Becky's career is over because of the things you mentioned is really pretending you have some kind of see into the future looking glass ball, when in reality, all you mentioned was the immediate backlash. Becky was LOVED by Japan, and still is, I imagine, and it's only a matter of time before she springs back. You watch. Everybody loves a good comeback story, and the Japanese perhaps more than anyone else (I mean, look at this article, for example).

Second, where I live has no real effect on my ability to look at a situation and understand it, though it would be helpful, sure, to live in Japan. For the record, I live in BOTH Japan and the US, but I guess the half I spend in the US disqualifies me from making any kind of statement as to what I see and know in Japan, which is completely the opposite of what this article is implying? Opinions are subjective, and I can give you my personal experience and state that in the world of idols and cosplayers and those that basically call Akihabara their home address, girls are employed by men who know how to organize stuff, and they get paid, and they become superstars. Some do, I should say, while others don't, but guess what? That's called CAPITALISM.

Speaking of Capitalism, you really don't know your facts, do you? AKB is headed by a management AGENCY, and sure AKI-P is rich beyond words, but he SHOULD BE, considering what he's built with AKB. You make it out like it's a bad thing that he's profited off giving females major careers in music, movies, CM's, and the whole nine. Again, capitalism my friend. You can argue all the garbage you want about how it's not fair to the girls and this and that, but MANY of the girls in AKB would highly disagree with you. I say this speculatively, of course, but look at the major movie award Yuko Oshima just won. Look at how well Maeda Atsuko has done since being part of AKB. And my God, Rena Matsui has been cast in everything these days! All of these girls wouldn't have potentially done any of this were it not for their time seemingly getting "exploited" in AKB. Yeah, right.

Oh, and Miichan? She's doing JUUUST fine. She just got cast in an A-Movie thriller mystery called Joshiko. So for all the horrible blah blah blah about what happened with her teenage outburst to having a photographer invade her privacy, she seems to have bounced back THIRTY TIMES OVER. She's also the CAPTAIN of TEAM K, by the way, in AKB. SO yeah, it's just soooooo horrible what happens to these girls!

Also, the top senbatsu girls in AKB are VERY VERY WELL OFF financially. And the girls that have graduated and used AKB as a springboard for their careers are now making MILLIONS. Just ask Mariko Shinoda. Or Yuko, or Acchan. Again, all of this would not have been possible without AKB.

One last point because this is getting off topic of the article, AKI-P has donated MILLIONS to the Tsunami Relief efforts, and every single MONTH since the disaster happened, AKB has gone up to the Sendai regions and played in every city affected by the tsunami, for FREE. They go there to spread their idol cheerfulness. I'm so sick and tired of hearing people make out AKB and idols like AKB to be bad guys dominated by male sukebes who sit in a back office and act as evil masterminds manipulating young girls. Look at the FACTS, and you'll see that AKB and idols like them should just be left out of the media when mentioning DRUG ADDICTS like Noriko Sakai (how do you think she only ended up getting caught with a minimal amount of drugs? It's because she had just got done USING THE REST OF HER STASH!). AKB is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and articles like this serve to only splash more negativity at them undeservedly.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

You need to get out more ^^^

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Clearly I am in no way an expert on Becky and AKB and despite my misinformation they are all thriving.

I also seem to have got it completely wrong on Noriko Sakai who clearly is a big DRUG ADDICT..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gokai wo maneku: "He was brought back in a matter of weeks, and no bullying. Because he is a guy?"

Although there is definitely sexism involved when it comes to persecuting women who 'do things wrong', especially when it comes to moral choices (Becky being a prime example), in the case you contrast Nori-P with I'd say the reasons are the severity of the crimes, and their presence on the stage; not because of sex. If it were only sex, why is Nori-P getting the hook so easily, and yes she is (including having gotten a book out of the whole thing and had countless fans supporting her since the initial charges!), why wasn't her ex-husband out long ago?

No, Kusanagi was doing what EVERY Japanese, or at least what some consider normal, does: gets wasted and does something stupid. He apologized, "shouga nai", and it's over. Nori-P committed a much more serious crime, which was possession of and use of drugs. SMAP, as I said, also has a much larger presence. Nori-P, as a washed out 'tarento' or sorts, can be held responsible and the entertainment world doesn't lose much. If a member of SMAP were to go away... well... just look what happened when they tried to 'retire' in January.

Anyway, I have no sympathy for this woman, who claims to be the victim here. I have no sympathy for a man who does the same, in case you were wondering.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The agencies run things; the idols are just workers who work for the agencies - they're not the boss.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@lostrune2: I was being facetious with that comment, though at the same time, the agencies can't exist without the idols, and the idols are very well aware of this fact. Many of them are in control of their own destinies. Agencies exist to cultivate talent, foster and care for them while they become superstars or whatever it is they want to become. Do they fail at this sometimes? Yes, of course. It's not a perfect business. But to say it's all exploitation is just plain wrong. And for that reason, you COULD argue very well that the girls are in control after they've reached a certain level of fame and success. Then again, who knows? None of us are really privvy to how the idols are guided behind the scenes. Maybe someday we'll get a tell all from an ex member of an idol group as big as AKB, or even from AKB, but until then, it's all speculation.

@TigersTokyoDome: Your sarcasm is not lost on me, but maybe you should put things in the past tense... Norko Sakai may or may not be still into drugs. I doubt she is now, but I don't know her so I can't say. However, she clearly had a problem when she got caught. Her behavior leading up to her capture was definitely the actions of a drug user. I know because I used to counsel drug users like her every day. And AKB is very much thriving, thanks for making my point. Becky still is a millionaire, thanks for making my point. And both will continue to make way more money than any of us will long after we're all done trolling JT's forum lol.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smith, we all know that in Japan you need to keep a wide berth from drugs, even the weakest stimulants or pills. Its a no-no. But look at the facts. The coverage was enough for a Mexican drug lord and the sentence (18 months) enough for a dealer. Sakai was a user not a dealer so the fallout was way over the top, especially considering the amounts. They even "stepped on" her drug test. As for sympathy I have none considering you know whats coming in Japan but I have sympathy for the ridiculous national coverage.

Getting back onto this JT subject here women are treated much worse and Becky is good example. Try and consider for a moment just how much income Becky made for her management agency over the years. My goodness she made her management agency rich. And for getting busted for having an affair? They sue her claiming billions in yen?! At least Tetsuya Komuro's management had the decency to defend him in court as to just how much income he made for them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

she is so hot I can't stand it!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's quite odd to often hear this 'bullying culture' crap! How do you stop the bullying? Kick him in the balls! Stand up for yourselves sheeple!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

TigersTokyoDome: "he coverage was enough for a Mexican drug lord and the sentence (18 months) enough for a dealer. Sakai was a user not a dealer so the fallout was way over the top, especially considering the amounts. "

BS. You can get up to ten years for only HAVING marijuana, so none of this "she's a victim" crap. I don't see anyone feeling sorry for her ex-husband, whom she tried to lay all this on in the first place (if she wants to be honest about bullying and all).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The BS is that you can get up to ten years just for having marjuana. And private matters should have consequences in the private circle. I understand it's impossible for public persons like this, but this is not fair to say the least. In my country (France) there is not as much criticism about adultary and other private matters as there is in Japan and the US. Of course there will be a few comments but most French think that it is private and there is no reason it should influence the work of this person. Same for Italy (see Berlusconi...).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was being facetious with that comment, though at the same time, the agencies can't exist without the idols, and the idols are very well aware of this fact. Many of them are in control of their own destinies. Agencies exist to cultivate talent, foster and care for them while they become superstars or whatever it is they want to become.

Typical idols are dime a dozen, replaceable workers (like salarymen) - the agencies know they have more ready to take their place waiting in the wings; the idols know the agencies hold most of the power. If the idols are in control, for example if they want to date, they would date with no consequences from their bosses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am sure a lot of dating, etc is going on behind the scenes but it is all hush-hush. Maybe some even with their managers and their friends.

Nah, can't all Japanese are gentleman who would never strsy or do drugs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Interesting that folks here see drugs just a bad a screwing around with a married person, or neither. Drugs abuse is a disease and needs to be treated as such and not as a criminal offense. (Nori-P)

Screwing around with a married man, and not knowing he is married when you are 31 years old, is just plain stupid. Particularly for a person in her position, she should know better. (Becky)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you Quasar.

BS. You can get up to ten years for only HAVING marijuana, so none of this "she's a victim" crap. I don't see anyone feeling sorry for her ex-husband, whom she tried to lay all this on in the first place (if she wants to be honest about bullying and all).

Read my post all the way through correctly if you want any credibility. I clearly said that I had no sympathy for her drug use knowing how strict it is in Japan. But then you go and shoot yourself in your big size 9's but underlining my point re sympathy for Sakai for the ridiculous overkill from the media and the law. You want sympathy for her husband? Apart from the first day I didnt see his image plastered all over the press. And the husband was the one caught with it in the street like an idiot in the first place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru - Drugs are an addiction. Love is an addiction. Sex is an addiction. Nori-P and Becky are both addicts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Drugs are an addiction. Love is an addiction. Sex is an addiction. Nori-P and Becky are both addicts.

Drug addiction yes it is an illness, and instead of treating the abusers as criminals they should be seen as patients needing treatment.

I disagree with "sex" as an addiction, however and unless you have information to prove otherwise, Becky was in a relationship with a married man, and in her position and experience she should have known better.

If it was only "sex" she was after there are plenty of single guys out there that she could have used to fulfill her needs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Remember Mari Yaguchi of Morning Musume a few years ago was caught by her husband in bed with another. She was basically a newlywed at that time. She is back on TV again like nothing happened.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lets not forget. Becky has been ostracised from society. Yet the married man continues with his day job of being a pop star. I doubt very much that Becky bullied Kawatani into the act. Do you think he was dragged into the bedroom? As the married person in this relationship he had the responsibility.

Mothers getting custody of their children has no connection with this story. I know from actual fact that Japan has a good rate of fathers getting custody. At least two families that I know where the father has custody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese entertainment industry is run as a horrible racket populated by insiders, some with big mob connections. It takes an archaic view of women that plays off peoples' worst prejudices, prejudices that drive the judgmental bullying thoughout society mentioned in the article.

The only bright spot is "terebi-banare", the trend that fewer and fewer young people are bothering with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The most articulate post yet that clearly understands the issues, courtesy of kohaku.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Drugs are one thing, screwing around with a married man is something totally different.

Yes. Drugs involve supporting organised and often very violent crime syndicates. The other involves consensual acts between two adults.

Totally different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She looks very good for 45 !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She looks very good for 45 !

Yeah. Plus she's smarter and more mature & sophisticated than the mid 20-ish drama queens, most guys like to target.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

...and the only difference between japanese celeb gossip and the US celeb gossip is that something likke an affair might make a woman more famous in the US. and that is because women are treated more like equals in the US, it takes two to tango and the woman wont always be the scapegoat when there is a scandal like in Japan.

I don't think it is a good thing when US celeb's, male or female, have affaires or get busted for drugs and actually become more popular. It is a good thing that there are consequences for bad behavior among celebrities and other role models. Of course it should go both ways. Nori-P and her guy as well as Becky and her married man deserve the social damage they have earned. The women in this case are more popular and have received the greater ramifications. Yes there is a different standard for men and women in just about all cultures. There are obviously anthropological reasons why so many different cultures developed similar cultural norms for women over human history.

The old fashioned elitist view of women in the West was that women held a special role in society and for that reason they were held to a higher standard. Of course not all women are treated well because like men, most women were not privileged and not a small number of men are apt to use their general physical advantage for selfish purposes. As a result, women were asked to not put themselves in dangerous situations- they lived in separate living quarters in communal living situations, asked to dress modestly and act the same. Well, those days are over and men have taken advantage of that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@djv124

I think the point of the article is that if a scandal occurs, the people focuses on the women and not the men. Just like Minegishi when her scandal was released, all eyes where on her and not with the Generations member. Yeah you will hear news about the guy, but almost 90% is about Minegishi. Same as Becky, you will see that Becky lost everything, but the guy is still active. The point is not bashing AKB or anything, it is the sexual inequality that is present in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this psychologist has an overinflated view of Becky's impact on anything. No one but the media, and, perhaps her domestic fans cared about that incident. Most were probably happy one tedium would be off their screen. But fact is, except from perhaps two members of smap, no single "artist" in Japan carries enough power to really stand up against a managing firm. They are employees like any other salary man and are easily sacrificed. Most of them don't even have their own names on their property leases.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When the charges were issued, she fled for a week so that the drugs wouldn't be found in her "Nori-pee."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AKB is headed by a management AGENCY, and sure AKI-P is rich beyond words, but he SHOULD BE, considering what he's built with AKB. You make it out like it's a bad thing that he's profited off giving females major careers in music, movies, CM's, and the whole nine.

Major careers, eh? I would say a major career in entertainment involved several years of international fame, i.e. the same kind of career that an American or even a British or European star can have. These... people you seem to venerate. It just doesn't appear as if they'll have anything more than a few years of fame in Japan - I wouldn't call that a major career, and I think this AKI-P individual has just limited the options of a lot of young people who could actually do a lot better for themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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