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Tokyo court orders fortuneteller to compensate woman coerced into prostitution

A female fortuneteller has been ordered to pay a woman 100 million yen for forcing her to work as a prostitute in the Shimbashi area of Tokyo
A female fortuneteller has been ordered to pay a woman 100 million yen for forcing her to work as a prostitute in the Shimbashi area of Tokyo (

TOKYO (TR) – A female fortuneteller was ordered by a judge on Wednesday to pay nearly 100 million yen in damages to a woman for controlling her mind and coercing her to work as a prostitute.

Judge Sotaro Tomuro ruled at the Tokyo District Court that the woman was mind-controlled by the fortuneteller, forced into the sex industry and robbed of over 100 million yen, the Sankei Shimbun reports (Jan. 18).

The judge rejected arguments by the defense that the “woman was bad with money, doing things like taking 14 persons’ worth of food in one sitting. She didn’t control the mind [the woman], and there were unpaid fortunetelling fees of over 100 million yen.”

“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,” Judge Tomuro said. “Ruled by the defendant, the woman had fallen into a state where her personality was essentially lost.”

“You must do as I say”

The woman consulted with the fortuneteller over the phone when she was troubled by a divorce in 2008, according to the ruling.

She eventually called her frequently before moving into an apartment run by the fortuneteller in 2011 in the Hiroo area of Tokyo’s Minato Ward, and then started working at a brothel in nearby Shimbashi the same year.

The victim said ever since she “moved into the apartment in Hiroo, the fortuneteller would mind-control me by saying things like, ‘You’ll have a lot of compensation to pay because of a bad odor problem at the apartment,’ ‘You can’t make sound judgments because of marijuana you smoked in the past. You must do as I say,’ and ‘If you do as I say, things will go well with the man you like.’”

“I was ordered to work at a brothel, and was also told to provide back-room services, such as ‘honban,’” the victim said, referring to full sex. “I handed over all my money. I gave over 100 million yen.”

Lies, threats and money

The judge arrived at the ruling based on five main points:

First, the woman started living at the apartment in Hiroo in March 2011 because of the fortuneteller’s instructions.

Second, the fortuneteller threatened the victim by saying such things as, “The pipes broke down because you overate and vomited over and over, causing a bad odor problem. Billions of yen will be needed for repairs.”  However, there was no actual odor problem.

Third, the fortuneteller ordered the woman to work at brothels for the purpose of acquiring a large amount of money.

Fourth, the fortuneteller ordered her to carry out acts of prostitution through back-room services and at brothels by threatening her, saying such things as, “Your debt is swelling.” The fortuneteller had also told the woman such things as “You’re a thief” and “I’ll make you deal with the cops” in emails for the purpose of installing fear.

Finally, the woman handed most of the some 90 million yen she earned through back-room services and brothels to the fortuneteller.