TOKYO (TR) – Within the commercial sex trade of Tokyo’s Kabukicho red-light district, he is regarded as the “King.”
Yet for Keiichi Morishita, the 69-year-old chairman of Morishita Group, the title “Fuhrer” could have been more appropriate on a day three years ago.
On October 2, 2017, Morishita, whose empire includes the popular Robot Restaurant and the Manboo chain of internet cafes, presided over a large event that featured a Nazi theme, according to weekly magazine Flash (Sept. 1).
In a photograph published by the magazine that shows the proceedings on that day, dancing girls in high boots and red and black uniforms perform in front of an elaborate stage surrounded by Nazi flags emblazoned with swastikas.
One participant tells the magazine that they were not sure whether Morishita understood the real meaning behind the flag. Instead, the whole thing seemed to be more about his ego. “The chairman is so cool,” one employee said in an attempt to elevate the mood.
The aforementioned participant tells the magazine. “I thought I was there for work. So, after seeing the Nazi flags, I thought, ‘I’ve had enough.'”
そんな森下氏は、毎年秋になると、グループの社員を集めて “歌謡ショー” を開くのだというが…… https://t.co/alJzhHqmO7
町山智浩 (@TomoMachi) August
“Doesn’t budge an inch”
A member of a criminal syndicate tells Flash that Morishita is a reclusive figure who began his empire with the dating service Rinrin House — a terekura (or “telephone club” operation — in the 1980s. Morishita Group has since expanded to include around 300 companies. The female dancers who performed in the show came from the various shops run by the companies.
“He’s one of those guys who doesn’t budge an inch, even when it comes to paying ‘protection money,'” the gang member says of Morishita.
Each year, the Morishita Group holds an event that includes some kind of show in the fall. In 2017, it was held at Kujukuri Beach in Chiba Prefecture. According to the aforementioned participant, the staff members gathered in Tokyo at around 4:00 a.m. on October 2. They later boarded a train bound for Chiba.
The photograph published by Flash was taken during a rehearsal held at 9:00 a.m. Shown guarding the venue are two large vehicles made to resemble Panzer tanks and a papier-mache mock-up of a Stuka dive bomber.
“From the time of the rehearsal, [Morishita] was excited,” the aforementioned participant said. During the show, which ran until evening, the chairman performed an
enka number. (In a second photograph, Morishita rides a horse while wearing a costume resembling Son Gokuu, the “Monkey King” from the Chinese classic “Journey to the West.”)
The magazine notes that even if admiration of the Nazis was not intentional, the display of swastikas without scrutiny is not easily
done nowadays. For example, members of idol group Keyakizaka46 received international criticism after they wore uniforms resembling Nazi SS during a Halloween event in 2016.
“Unlike any other in human history”
When reached for comment by the magazine about the show, the Morishita Group failed to respond.
Ukeru Magosaki, the former Director-General of the Intelligence and Analysis for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the matter should be taken seriously.
“If somebody does such a thing in Germany, they will be criminally punished,” said Magosaki. “The Holocaust caused by the Nazis was a war crime unlike any other in human history. Nazis are still being pursued around the world. If such a thing spreads, Japan’s national interests could be damaged.”