As a consequence of this latest incident, Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 13) believes that one retired hostess who worked in Tokyo might find her name tarnished.
On November 19, police arrested Kenji Matsushita, 28, the leader of a ring suspected of selling over three billion yen in fictitious bonds to 370 unsuspecting people, many of whom were elderly. In May, the ring collected 20 million yen from an 83-year-old woman living in Saitama. All told, officers took 28 suspects into custody on fraud charges.
“Matsushita orchestrated the phone calls made to the victims, who were asked to purchase fictional corporate debt under a supposed buyback scheme that would net the buyer a premium of 270 percent,” an individual close to the investigation is quoted.
What lead to Matsushita’a arrest was his amazingly extravagant behavior. “An investigating officer located a bulletin board message saying that there was a patron from Tokyo bragging about living it up at a kyabakura (hostess club) in Sapporo through money he had gained by fraudulent means,” continues the same source. “This lead to the arrest of Matsushita, who at the time was hiding in an apartment in Sapporo with a hostess.”
Around the time that the incident involving the woman in Saitama surfaced, investigators discovered 200 million in cash at a former residence of Matsshita in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, says the Mainichi Shimbun (Nov. 19).More importantly, says Shukan Jitsuwa, this incident is reverberating through the entertainment industry, particularly in the circles traveled by Kurumi Tachibana, a 31-year-old former top hostess at a very high-end club in the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku.
Tachibana is now more well-known for her work as a writer and television personality. She has appeared on various variety programs and penned, in 2009, a two-part book titled after her nickname Judas, “Ue” and “Shita,” which provides an autobiographical look at the ups and downs of the hostess world.
Through the magazine’s research, one member of the fraud ring were discovered to have been one of the top customers of Tachibana.
“Six years ago, there was a major arrest of another group of fraud experts,” says a national newspaper reporter. “Some of the individuals cited in this recent bust also belonged to that group. The group’s leader was just like Matsushita in that he used the money he made to enjoy a nice lifestyle. He and his buddies made regular visits to Tachibana’s club.”
Such tales do not appear unusual. A former fraudster told weekly tabloid Spa! two years ago about his carousing at clubs. ““We were playing such foolish games,” he said. “There was a time when we went to 20 of these places in one night, using around six million yen. One time we reserved the entire place and hid one million yen in cash for a treasure hunt.”
Just prior to the arrest of Tachibana’s customer, he was seen being served by her at the club.“It was Tachibana’s birthday,” remembers a regular at the club. “Many bouquets of flowers arrived to celebrate, and she sat with a group of men in their 20s. The leader of the fraud ring was in the middle. He ordered 10 bottles of Dom Pérignon Rosé to create an aura that he had money.”
A former employee at Tachibana’s club tells that tabloid that those committing fraud or illegal money lending are usually high spenders and popular among hostesses. “But Tachibana didn’t seem to know that her customer was a conman,” the source says.
A film version of “Judas,” starring Misaki Ayame, is scheduled to open at the Shinjuku Milano theater, which appropriated located in the center of Kabukicho, on January 26 of next year. Shukan Jitsuwa wonders how this incident will impact Tachibana’s career from this point onward. (K.N.)
Source: “30oku en furikomesagi to moto kyabajo komentaataa Tachibana Kurumi no ‘igai na setten,’” Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 13, page 50)
Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.