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Beauty queen tells of harassment by talent agency

45 Comments
By YURIKO NAGANO

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45 Comments
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You go, girl. Having spent long enough in the entertainment business to know the truth of 99% of such claims against lowlifes in the business, I'll put my reputation on saying she's spot on about the creep, regardless of what he says. More power to you, Ikumi.

49 ( +49 / -1 )

Not all of the Japanese talent agencies are scum but at the end of the day, Japanese law favors the owners of these talent agencies and who has ever heard of an actors union in Japan?? No such animal here so I do hope this woman gets her day in court and that she sues the hell out of this scum bag Taniguchi!!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Even if what she is saying is true, she's going to have a very hard time proving her charges, and she'll have a harder time getting work in the entertainment industry after this.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Most Japanese talent agencies are morally collapsed institutions run by ugly sukebe oyajis. These women are treated like a peace of meat on the shelf. Unless women are willing to fulfill their sex desires first, most women go nowhere.

I am glad someone is finally taking this very seriously. These Ugly Oyagis are no different from criminals. She is courageous.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Eiichi Masunaga, official at the International Culture Association, the beauty contest’s operator, confirmed they won’t allow her to appear because they don’t want media coverage of the controversy to overshadow the event.

Spineless.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

hereforeverDec. 17, 2013 - 08:28AM JST @Elbuda, two wrongs don't make a right. Why must people mention another country when japanese do something >wrong?

Probably because in many cases something is depicted as "unique to Japan" when it's not.. A situation like this exists in the entertainment field in many other countries not just Japan and it's wrong everywhere. I don't doubt her story for a moment.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

“We’ve asked her to voluntarily refrain from the event,” said Masunaga.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sorry about her. She wanted more money and will end with nothing. Trying to fight a system. Nowhere in this world.

-27 ( +1 / -28 )

Hopefully she has been smart and collected enough evidence to prove her claims. A death threat recorded on her smartphone would certainly help....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I got so tired of the Agency I used to work for always telling me "the accountant is not here right now" every time I called to remind them I still hadn't been paid that I finally had to give up... Apparently I was far from being the "only one"... Checking up on that Agency's homepage was very informative...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"Hopefully she has been smart and collected enough evidence to prove her claims."

Let's hopes there are witnesses and also hope he was dumb enough to send texts or emails. And that's possible because people like this guy probably think they can get away with anything.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'd like to have a face-to-face sit-down with Genichi Taniguchi and discuss the intricacies of Japanese labor law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

LFRAgainDec. 17, 2013 - 10:03AM JST

I'd like to have a face-to-face sit-down with Genichi Taniguchi and discuss the intricacies of Japanese labor law.

The executive, Genichi Taniguchi, denied doing anything to Yoshimatsu and said he holds no grudges against her.

He said in a phone interview that he was not aware of the charges against him.

I would like to do the same as you have listed, but this guy is just hopeless. He has not recognized a wrong doing or he is lying. Well the news are now being circulated in all over the world. Japanese Oyajis are getting thumb downs. They deserve that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry guys, there's no way that the top of the co would personally be threatening her, so I doubt she can prove that, it will be some underling if she has managed to keep any proof at all.

This talent world thing is terrible, and not just because of the women (usually but not always tho! Don't forget the Johnny's boys) it uses and throws away, but because all creative people are kept on a tight leash, or simply not allowed to sell their wares in the tightly controlled music-store/ tv station/ movie theater etc market. All the young creators are on this starvation salary of 10 or 15 mahn a month, even when getting famous. When they are semi-big they get a livable 20 or 30 mahn a month, and are so grateful they keep kowtowing. Then they are thrown out, or a very few get very big, and rich, but by then have no real edgy creative juices left.

Which results in a real creative wasteland in mass culture of Japan. (Yeah search the alleyways and you'll find cool musicians/ theater groups, but they rarely make it to the big leagues). This is why US acting and music is (often, not always) on such a high level- give the creative people more power, and they create cool stuff.

I wish this lady good luck in starting her own agency. What they need is new blood. She can always try her luck overseas.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

A situation like this exists in the entertainment field in many other countries not just Japan and it's wrong everywhere.

But Ossan, in other countries it's easier to go indie. The Japanese media-entertainment complex has more of a stranglehold.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

He would show up on her sets and harass her. check it out here... http://japandailypress.com/japans-miss-international-gives-up-crown-files-stalking-charges-against-talent-agent-1641012/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is why US acting and music is (often, not always) on such a high level- give the creative people more power, and they create cool stuff.

What are you talking about? There is plenty of crap in the US as well.Yes there is talent but the entertainment industry there is the most shallow and vacuous in the world and they have managed to export almost everywhere else. For every Martin Scorsese or Bob Dylan there are at least a hundred bimbos or himbos miming along to comuper generated music and doing a bit of air f%%%ing.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yes, Nessie, that is the biggest point.

In, fact, I think in foreign countries they can actually be called "agents", but here, they are not agents they are 100% owners, or stable masters, trotting out their wares at their convenience, and using them for personal fun when they want. They are not agents working for the artist.

flamhead- I guess I stand corrected. I thought he wouldn't be personally involved. Still hard to imagine that he will be prosecuted or even reported on honestly in the obedient j media... I hope her international stature can bring some sort of pressure for her.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nothing has been proven yet, but I after spending 20 years in this country and having my own experiences here, I believe her. I am truly glad someone is finally doing something.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A bold move, seeing as there's basically no way now she'll ever be allowed back into the entertainment industry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Another story you won't be seeing on NHK.

Apparently she has documented this sleaze's harassment, including physical assualt and intimidation, threats to relatives and demands for money.

Of course, this being Japan, she will be punished through the loss of her career, even though she is the innocent party. The sleaze will get a telling off and a suspended sentence and carry on as before.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Although very bad, this is just a drop in the sea. The agency model they like to rock in Japan is the absolute enemy of good taste and creativity. As usual, this whole damn place is just about cold, hard cash. A group like AKB would not enjoy the success in any other country it has here. Why? Because it's all about back-patting and immoral agreements. I find the whole corrupted scene disgusting. I have no doubt what she says is true and that this Taniguchi joker probably is guilty of every accusation (and more) but as long as this system stands, it won't help her. Damn, I wish more people would act liek her and take action over their own lives.

Rock on, Ikumi

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Entertainment biz in Japan is more link pimp & prostitute than agent/artist.

Artists in Japan typically have very little control over there careers & get paid a shi$$y wage to boot!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

John Becker Even if what she is saying is true, she's going to have a very hard time proving her charges, and she'll have a harder time getting work in the entertainment industry after this.

She has recordings of intimidating phone calls and there is footage of Taniguchi harassing her backstage at a studio.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Eiichi Masunaga, official at the International Culture Association, the beauty contest’s operator, confirmed they won’t allow her to appear because they don’t want media coverage of the controversy to overshadow the event.

They should want her to be there. I have never heard of this pagent and I am sure many people have not. Now they can get some free publicity at least for this event. Yet they are afraid to do so. It will look a lot worse when the last year's winner is not there to present the crown this year. They are going to get a more publicity than they had expected. So may as well let her be there to present.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She has recordings of intimidating phone calls and there is footage of Taniguchi harassing her backstage at a studio.

Good for her, but as this is Japan, it's not going to do her any good. The entertainment culture here is as crooked as the business culture. The geriatric old farts are always right, even when they are dead wrong. Taniguchi will not be punished, and Ikumi will never find work.

The result of this crappy system is an industry full of singers who can't sing, actors who can't act, comedians who aren't funny, talentos who have no talent, and entertainment which is not entertaining. Entertainment in Japan is all about appearance, and has nothing to do with substance. Is it any wonder that foreign movies and songs are so popular in Japan?

2 ( +4 / -3 )

It's so down-right unfair to her on defending the right in exercising her choice to affiliate with whom she deems fit !!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do hope this young gets justice for all of us here in Japan who have been abused by many of these crummy talent agencies, that never even bother to PAY US!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lowly,

"there's no way that the top of the co would personally be threatening her, so I doubt she can prove that, it will be some underling if she has managed to keep any proof at all."

It would appear that video evidence of Genichi Taniguchi phsically assaulting Yoshimatsu on a set where she was doing a photo shoot. That would suggest to me that Taniguchi is indeed the asshat Yoshimatsu claims him to be in both civil and criminal complaints against him.

The courts need to hang Taniguchi out to dry.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

LFR

I guess you didn't see my stand corrected response to flamhead above.

Anyway, I still doubt anything significant will happen to this guy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lowly,

No, I'm sorry. I didn't. My apologies. But I agree with you; Sadly, I doubt anything will happen to this guy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope she reveals the dirty little secrets of the entertainment industry which are run by dirty old bas**** and take them down.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sorry guys, there's no way that the top of the co would personally be threatening her

Yeah it's not so hard to believe.

Whatever happened to that Thane Camus dude ?

Oh yeah ...he broke with a major agency and started up his own.

http://www.japanprobe.com/2006/08/24/thane-camus-talent-agencies/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably because in many cases something is depicted as "unique to Japan" when it's not.. A situation like this exists in the entertainment field in many other countries not just Japan and it's wrong everywhere. I don't doubt her story for a moment.

You don't get it both ways. If you're unique for everything else... I wish this woman luck. The entertainment world here seems like it is nothing but sleaze, bribes, egos and old pervy men bullying everyone under them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It seems that these old executives lost what little honour they had and want to do to save their faces. Isn't it already a common knowledge everywhere Japanese entertainment industry is crooked?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wish they all would stand up with integrity. Not solely a Japanese problem though. It's likely since the dawn of time and will never end either. Many men use their power and some women will use their assets. I don't like it and sadly it is true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry guys, there's no way that the top of the co would personally be threatening her, so I doubt she can prove that, it will be some underling if she has managed to keep any proof at all.

The article says it was a "top agency executive", not a CEO, COO, or CFO. As written that could mean simply an executive in a upper-echelon talent agency, not the TOP executive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

...just keep sharing this on SNS, take the photos, Tweet and Instagram them with the essential hashtags...things never seem to change, but things have come a long way in Japan...though they'll try every tactic there's strongholds that aren't letting go. There's a lot of one-off people who weren't fostered domestically--and are outspoken (not just Murakami, both writer and artist, but even Koizumi) because times are desperate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Elbuda Mexicano You wrote "I do hope this young gets justice for all of us here in Japan who have been abused by many of these crummy talent agencies, that never even bother to PAY US!!"

Why be in a country taking such abuse" why wait for this young lady to do all of the fighting for your justice why not join her cause instead of being lip service on a blog!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry guys, there's no way that the top of the co would personally be threatening her,....

I don't know, the egos at the top of most companies are so huge that they think they can get away with just about anything.

I believe her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is the greatest consensus I've ever seen from this site's commenters. The talent agencies seem to have found a way to bring folks together!

Nail 'em to the wall, Ms. Yoshimatsu.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

seems like this Genichi Taniguchi likes to harrass beautiful women according to this blog http://www.biginjapan.co/biginjapan/exclusive-insight-into-ako-kawada-suicide/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why do these 'talent agencies' even exist? Serve no useful purpose whatsoever and conversely stifle any/all creativity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seems to me like Taniguchi has enough pull so that this story has not hit the major Japanese newspapers at all. Hope the dam collapses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really admire this lady. These talent agencies are backed by the mob and they have their tentacles all over the place. Ikumi realized this, and being morally upright refused to have anything to do with them. What a courageous woman. Here's the story which you won't read in the major J-newspapers.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/18/japan-s-miss-international-takes-on-mob-backed-entertainment-complex.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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