On the morning of November 19, Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested 67-year-old Chisako Kakehi on charges of murder for poisoning her husband late last year.
On December 28, Isao Kakehi, 75, collapsed in his home in Muko City and was transported to a local hospital, where he died. The couple had been married for about one month. A legally ordered autopsy detected cyanide in his system.
Chisako Kakehi, who has been married four times, had relationships with five other men who died under mysterious circumstances over the past 10 years. News outlets have reported that she received up to one billion yen in inheritance following the deaths of the various men.
Weekly tabloid Flash (Dec. 16) now eerily reports that Kakehi had registered with numerous matchmaking sites in seeking prospective partners.
“She came across as a normal, kind person, and someone who has overcome many problems,” says the chief of a marriage agency in Osaka. “Her words are soft and gentle. She is good at creating the proper atmosphere, and since so many men have been duped it is clear what that she is a manipulator.”
Hiromitsu Haraguchi is the chief secretariat of the Japan Life Design Counselors’ Association, which oversees 260 agencies. He is stunned by the development.
“For the industry as a whole, I’d like everyone to use a consultation service, but now we are facing great challenges (due to this incident),” says Haraguchi.
For insight into the industry, the magazine speaks with Shozo Saito, the chair of Taiyo no Kai, which is a consulting service for middle-aged people. (Note: There is no indication that Kakehi was a member of the agency.)
“A female who has the so-called ‘fragrance of a woman’ is popular,” says Saito. “Chisako probably had the ability to create that atmosphere.”
Though Saito does not spell it out exactly, that “atmosphere” was likely created between the sheets: More than half of female members of Taiyo no Kai say they’ve had enough of sex; on the other hand, more than 70 percent of middle-aged men believe that sex is important.
“So sex is a secret, important point,” says Saito.
In a summary profile from an agency published by Flash, Kakehi lists gardening, movies and taking trips as hobbies. “I will make an effort to suit your needs,” she wrote in her personal message.
At Taiyo no Kai, the average member is 60 years old. The typical male has a house, receives 200,000 yen per month as a pension, and holds a savings account with between 20 million to 30 million yen.
“If a partner starts talking about assets or appears to be in a rush to get married after dating, we warn the other party,” says the Taiyo no Kai chairman, who suggests first getting to know a person’s character.
“We recommend waiting at least six months before getting married,” says Saito.
The chairman says it is crucial that a publicly notarized will be used properly. (Kakehi exploited such documents to inherit the assets of her partners.)
“It is important that a person make a notarized will that not only includes your partner but your other relatives,” says Saito. “If that’s the case, all members can agree on how to divide the assets. This will prevent your partner from taking all of the assets.”
Kakehi had been under police investigation since at least earlier this year. As well, news outlets had pursued her a number of times to inquire about the suspicious deaths — in which she maintained her innocence each time.
On the same day of the arrest, police informed news outlets that they had found — without saying when — objects containing cyanide and pills to possibly administer the compound in garbage connected to the suspect.
Haraguchi cautions prospective participants about fly-by-night marriage consultants, saying that services should provide legitimate contract documents, a system for the management of personal information and a legitimate office.
Saito says the process can be an uphill battle.
“For middle-aged people, there are few who can get the happily married through an agency,” says Saito. “It is different from that of young people.” (A.T.)
Source: “Jitsuroku moshimo, anata no chichi ga kekkon sodansho ni toroku shite itara…” Flash (Dec. 16, pages 88-89)
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.