Details emerge about single mother pushed into sex trade by fortuneteller

Shukan Shincho Feb. 2
Shukan Shincho Feb. 2

On January 18, a female fortuneteller was ordered by a judge at the Tokyo District Court to pay 98 million yen in damages to a woman from Saitama Prefecture for controlling her mind and coercing her to work as a prostitute.

Judge Sotaro Tomuro ruled that the woman was mind-controlled by the fortuneteller and forced into the sex industry. “The fortuneteller had instilled fear into the heart of the woman by making her believe she was carrying tremendous debt, controlled her as she wished and forced her to hand over significant amounts of money,” the judge said. “Ruled by the defendant, the woman had fallen into a state where her personality was essentially lost.”

According to Shukan Shincho (Feb. 2), the background to the story is a sad tale of a troubled woman who had sought help.

The woman began consulting with the fortuneteller over the phone when she was troubled by divorce in 2008. “She is a single mother with two children,” a reporter at a local news desk says. “In addition, she was abused as a child. She had experienced problems with binge-eating, which caused vomiting, and was worried about parenting. After seeing an advertisement in a woman’s magazine, she called up the fortuneteller.”

The consultations were done on a daily basis. At some point thereafter, the fortuneteller took a more aggressive approach regarding money. In 2011, the woman moved into an apartment run by the fortuneteller, located in the Hiroo area of Tokyo’s Minato Ward, at a monthly rent of 270,000 yen.

The mind control tactics began in earnest thereafter. “‘There have been complaints about a bad odor problem emanating from the apartment’s plumbing due to your vomiting,’ the fortuneteller lied to the woman,” continues the reporter. “She also fibbed, ‘Billions of yen will be required to buy a new place.'”

The vilification continued, and later that year the fortuneteller then pushed the woman into a brothel in nearby Shimbashi. “She worked for two and a half years, taking half-days off on only four occasions,” her lawyer is quoted by the magazine. “In addition, she was told to provide honban [full sex, which is illegal].”

Her accumulated earnings exceeded one hundred million yen — all of which went to the fortuneteller.

“She was hardly getting by, and walked to the [Shimbashi] parlor on foot,” the lawyer adds. “She was also shoplifting food from stores.”

The woman’s miserable existence came to an end one day in 2013 via the National Tax Agency. “A tax official initiated an investigation into the fortuneteller,” continues the lawyer. “[The woman] was then advised to stop working and file a lawsuit.”

Source: “Kasegi sugita ‘fuzoku jo’ to ‘uranaishi’ ga i-okuen sosho,” Shukan Shincho (Feb. 2)

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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