Trademark problems next hurdle for ex-Morning Musume member Ai Kago

Shukan Jitsuwa Sept. 12
Shukan Jitsuwa Sept. 12
A conflict over the usage of the name “Ai Kago” may force the former member of the all-girl idol group Morning Musume into the porn industry, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 12).

In an entry on her blog dated August 15, the 25-year-old Kago said that she would be joining agency Ifuhyohyo in an effort to resurrect her career. “For all my fans looking forward to my return, I hope to do my best,” she wrote.

One person not looking forward to her return is Kazuyuki Ito, the president of Mainstream, her former agency. The president says that a stipulation in the termination of her contract in March of this year was an inability to continue using Ai Kago, which is in fact her real name but also one that the agency claims to have registered as a trademark December 11, 2009.

According to Nikkan Sports (Aug. 21), Kago is her mother’s maiden name. “At the time the trademark papers were filed, her mother was calling herself Ikeda (the name of her father). So the trademark registration is not her real name,” a person from Mainstream is quoted.

The conflict is yet another twist in the troubled life of star.

Kago “graduated” from Morning Musume in 2004. Three years later, she dropped out of the entertainment world after being reprimanded by her agency at the time for a scandal in which was photographed smoking a cigarette. With Kago effectively blackballed in the industry, she joined Mainstream a year later.

In 2009, Kago engaged in an affair with actor Hidejiro Mizumoto. Mainstream, according to Shukan Jitsuwa, paid two million yen in consolation money to the actor’s wife, who had filed for divorce due to the relationship.

On September 7, 2011, Kago’s then boyfriend, Haruhiko Ando, a known affiliate of members of the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate, was arrested for attempted extortion. Kago was interviewed by police at the time of the arrest.

Four days later, she attempted suicide by slashing her wrists inside her apartment in Tokyo. In December, she married Ando.

That same year, according to Nikkan Sports, Kago’s father changed his name from Ikeda to Kago.

Mainstream’s Ito says that he will take action if Kago continues with her plans to make a comeback. “If she goes on television using that stage name as it is, I’ll file a usage fee claim.” (The agency’s Web site still includes images of Kago.)

“Because television stations dislike trouble, they won’t use her unless she changes her name,” says an industry insider.

Speculation is that she is resuming her career due to financial trouble. With yet another door closing, the world of adult video may be her only option. “If she debuts in AV, it’ll be tough for her to get 50 million yen,” says the aforementioned source.

The price for injustice is heavy, laments Shukan Jitsuwa. (A.T.)

Source: “Ippon 5000manen AV debyuu,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 12, page 48)

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.

Facebook Comments
Paradise Inn

1 Comment

  1. Wait, how would this dispute “force” Kago into the porn industry? Because your article doesn’t really explain how one necessarily leads to the other. Or is this just hit-whoring by including “Ai Kago” in the same article as “forced into the porn industry?” Yeah, that’s what it is.

Comments are closed.