Downfall of Tokyo’s doctor to the stars

Josei Seven July 3
Josei Seven July 3

Over the years, a number of athletes in Japan have utilized a “garlic injection” treatment — technically, a cocktail of vitamins — as a means of rejuvenating their bodies.

Past proponents of the technique, named after the aroma it produces, include ex-pro baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara, hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and former sumo yokozuna Asashoryu.

However, the man who made a name for himself with the procedure, Dr. Takahisa Hiraishi, 62, has recently endured challenging times, the culmination of which came, according to Josei Seven (July 3), on June 6, when he initiated bankruptcy proceedings for his medical company Kiseikai at the Tokyo District Court.

According to credit research company Teikoku Databank, Kiseikai’s accumulated debt, including three affiliated firms, totals more than one billion yen.

The medical company’s Hiraishi Clinic, which opened in July of 1993, offered services related to internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology and other areas. From remedies for hay fever to prescriptions for Viagra, Hiraishi was a very reliable friend to entertainers, says a person in the medical industry.

“He’d get you what you wanted fast,” says the source. “For example, something like a sleeping pill would typically require an interview consultation. But for Hiraishi, he was associating with celebrities; it would just take a phone call.”

Hiraishi made numerous appearances on television and radio, becoming known as the doctor to the stars, including singer Noriko Sakai and Toshi from the band X-Japan. Baseball players and professional golfers came to the clinic particularly for the garlic treatment, which, according to Tokyo Sports (June 12), was priced at a few thousand yen. By April of 2005 sales had peaked at 348 million yen.

He prescribed singer Aska, who has been arrested three times over the past month on stimulant drug charges, a mixture of caffeine and sodium benzoate.

Until September 30 of last year, Hiraishi Clinic was located inside one room of a dental clinic in the Tokyo Midtown complex in Roppongi. The office was outfitted with lavish interiors befitting an operation with celebrity clientele. Such extravagance was a sign of trouble, says the tabloid.

Takahisa Hiraishi
Takahisa Hiraishi

“He would waive the fees to his big-name patients,” says a person with knowledge of the clinic.

By 2009, revenue had fallen to 261 million yen. Many of the business activities of Kiseikai were halted the following year. In 2012, the company ran into difficulties with regards to its license with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

An article appearing last fall in Shukan Shincho (Nov. 14) indicated that the Kiseikai’s accumulated debt exceeded one billion yen at the start of the year.

Hiraishi confirmed that he prescribed the caffeine and sodium benzoate for Aska during an appearance on the program “Nonstop!” on May 22. “As the attending physician, I did not suspect the use of stimulant drugs,” said the doctor, who has maintained that the arrest of Aska had nothing to do with the bankruptcy filing.

That same month, his clinic in Ginza shut its doors, according to Sports Hochi (June 12). Hiraishi now works at the Tokyo Health Clinic in the Azabu Juban area of Minato Ward.

Josei Seven recently confronted Hiraishi as he exited the clinic. “There is nothing to say,” he said just before entering a car and speeding off. (K.N.)

Source: “Aska yogisha shuji yumeijin ni ha denwa ippon de kusuri wo shoho suru koto mo,” Josei Seven (July 3)

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.

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