Shunned customer stabs Akihabara ‘ear cleaning’ employee

Shunned customer stabs Akihabara 'ear cleaning' employee
Koji Hayashi

A stabbing incident on Monday has left a female employee at an “ear cleaning” salon in serious condition and her grandmother dead, reports evening tabloid Yukan Fuji (Aug. 4) and the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 5).

Seventy-eight-year-old Yoshie Suzuki was killed and her 21-year-old granddaughter, Miho Ejiri, a worker at Yamamoto Mimi Kaki Ten in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, was rendered unconscious following an attack by 41-year-old company employee Koji Hayashi at the family’s private residence in the Nishi Shimbashi area of Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

The suspect was a regular customer at Ejiri’s shop, where ladies attend to the ears of customers as they lie in their lap. He spent roughly 300,000 yen each month. From April, however, he was banned from the premises after pressing for friendship with Ejiri. Police quoted him as saying that she had refused to see him again last month.

Yukan Fuji notes that these types of shops have increased in number recently and can also function similar to kyabakura (hostess club) establishments in which sexual services are dispensed.

The entertainment site adds that guys in Akihabara are known for their shyness and such an intimate service is attractive. A writer who covers the fuzoku trade tells Zakzak: “There owners of these shops all offer the same services. Because there is light touching and the ability to select a particular girl for the service, contact information is exchanged. Guys who don’t have a lot of money see it as a low-end kyabakura.”

The shop includes a thirty-minute course (2,700 yen) and the option of extending to a full hour (4,800 yen). An additional 500 yen is required to nominate a particular lady. Yamamoto has 15 other shops in the Tokyo area.

Partitions break the dimly lit Akihabara salon into three areas. “The shop has about 20 girls on staff who range in age their late teens or early 20s,” says a person familiar with the matter. “They are all basically part-timers.”

The Asahi reports that on July 19 Hayashi appeared at the Nishi Shimbashi home late one night to ask Ejiri to continue to see him. She refused and took refuge to a nearby convenience store, where she was able to dial for help. Police believe this was the beginning of suspect’s murder plan.

Further, two nights before the incident a suspicious man was seen nearby the family’s home. Ejiri’s mother called her daughter’s place of work and she returned that night with the shop’s private car.

A colleague of the victim says that there was a misunderstanding and the situation never died down. She then adds: “There is no escape from the continual service to customers. At any time, they can request you to attend to them, and this could include sex. In Akihabara, sometimes they’ll even give perverted comics as parting gifts.”

Another co-worker says that such overly persistent clientele are common: “Being stalked by a customer is not unusual. So it is necessary for us to always be on alert.”

Authorities at the Atago police station booked Hayashi on attempted murder and murder charges. (A.T.)

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