The Trials and Tribulations of Japanese Entertainment

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This Japanese site lists trial outcomes for legal cases involving celebrities and the entertainment industry.

For example:

“On February 25th, 2004 (Heisei 16), the Tokyo High Court found the defendant Taira Tatsuo (age 57) — ex-CEO of large-scale entertainment office Rising Production (currently, Freegate Promotion/Vision Factory) — guilty of illegal corporate tax crimes (tax evasion of ¥1,100,000,000 from the corporate taxes of Rising and other firms) at his appeal hearing, throwing out the First Circuit Tokyo Court’s sentence of two year and six months in prison for a two year, four month sentence. Judge Murakami Koushi gave this reason for commuting the sentence: ‘I must say that [the defendant] lacks a consciousness about honest tax liability, but the First Circuit Court dealt with him strictly, and he’s deepened his self-reflection greatly through atonement.’ With regards to the Rising corporation, the Court upheld the First Circuit Court’s fine of ¥240,000,000 and threw out the company’s appeal. The defendant Taira insisted, ‘In order to keep the honor of the entertainment industry, it was necessary to use funding from ura-shakai (underground) measures. This is a special condition of the entertainment world, and you should recognize these as expenses.’ But Judge Murakami answered back, ‘That’s a side that promotes vice enveloping the entertainment world, and I cannot give that approval.'”

I love his plea for leniency.

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

9 Responses

  1. r. Says:

    Swell. This blog is turning into some strange mix of 60 Minutes, Takeshi’s TV Tackle, and The Sun (Englands finest rag). I’m sure David, who seems to recently have found his niche doing this kind of story, might think it a bit cliche, but there ARE other, more VITAL issues that need to be talked about regarding Japan’s not-so-spotless role in the world.

    For example, Japan is the #9 purchacer of arms in the world (and most of these come from rather ‘questionable’ countries involved in human rights abuses! Oh sure, not very sensational, I’ll grant you that, but I’d hate to think that David’s education will be ‘applied’ to tackling such hard-hitting issues like ‘Japanese Entertainment’ and ‘National Cool’.

    Perhaps THAT’LL be the big story of the year…David had a chance to actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE blogging about issues that MATTER to the WORLD, and thus, by extension, to JAPAN…but as it stands now, the vast majority of Japanese are indifferent to these kind of stories (and will probably always be), and the Americans are too self-absorbed to care about these issues to bother to care about what is happening in Tokyo…

    Instead, David went for the sensational story, the story everyone (except Momus) wants to hear. The cheap thrill so to speak. I’m not saying that these stories aren’t valuable on some level, say, as long as they can and ARE traced back to lack of media freedom in Japan on a story-by-story basis. But often this kind of vision seems lacking here…

    And so often I feel that David loses sight of the big picture, getting bogged down in a quagmire of show-biz stories, and forgetting to include at least a repetition of his overarching thesis (what WAS that anyway) with each of these expose-like stories.

    This is a bit of an aside, but my real critique of this blog is a little more subtle: I often feel that intellectually speaking (and David does fashion him self as an intellectual, at least in some regards), a kind of MANDATE for activity might be seen as existing, akin to something like a ‘inverse triage of intelligentsia’ if you will.

    Allow me to explain: Just like an EMT has to ‘sort’ the wounded at the scene of a big accident (dozens or hundreds of injuries) into ‘priority groups’ (i.e. the severely wounded, the lightly wounded, the dying) so that he can maximize his ability to treat the patients who have a chance of living and so he doesn’t spend his time and energy treating ‘superficial wounds and scrapes’ I think we should have our best minds working on the most vital problems.

    The ‘inverse triage’ part is that in well-executed triage, the EMT identifies the ‘dying’ and does not treat them, since they, like the ‘slightly wounded’ don’t really stand to GAIN anything from his treatment or ability. Obviously the ‘non-priority’ cases ARE in need of comfort, a kind of valetudinarian excercise in HUMANITY, but this job is best left to nurses and caretakers….

    Now obviously, MANKIND itself should never be ‘written off’ in this way (despite the gravity of the situation as of late), and we should (here’s the ‘inverse’ part) put our best minds on the most challenging, critical problems…problems that have a devistating impact on the world. Otherwise, why bother to send someone to/go to an ivy-league university in the first place?

    David, if you think that you TRUELY have found your niche in this kind of sensational story, by all means, blog your ass off.

    But if you character is (as I trust it is) truly consistent with some of the ideals that you seem to espouse on this blog (freedom of speech, etc), then perhaps your intelectual integrity might best applied by taking on more ‘mature’ stories like ‘abuses of freedom of speech in the japanese government’ or ‘the japanese unwillingness to accept ANY and ALL refugees (most recently Kurdish ones)’ or other things like that. Sure, not very glitzy, but remember, as far as hard-hitting journalism directed towards j-pop culture issues, swing as you may, you can only hit a cheesepuff so hard…

    If not, if I’m wrong, then forget everything that I just wrote, and I will too. In the meantime, I look forward to your follow up on Suzuki Ami.

    Keep on blogging in the free world!

  2. marxy Says:

    Thanks, Dad.

    Call me crazy here, but: why don’t you blog about these “vital” issues seeing that you 1) know about them 2) have your own blog and 3) my site is called – last time i remember – “the pop sociology of pop.”

    My current thesis research is centered around the structure of the music industry, and in doing that research, I come across this kind of story. My aim is not to be sensational, but to start creating a picture of how the money flows and the power is distributed within the Japanese pop culture world.

    And as we’ve both agreed, the only politics here is culture, and in a certain sense, my only real training is to attack the political issues from this marketing angle.

  3. r. Says:

    has your dad said the same kind of thing before?

  4. marxy Says:

    No, but your comments certainly were patronizing.

  5. djc Says:

    r., all’s I gotta say is, “damn.”

  6. r. Says:

    david,

    whoops! hold on there.

    (patronizing: talking to someone or treating someone as if you think they are stupid, unimportant, or unable to do things.)

    i think you are smarter than the average bear,
    and i respect you very much.
    that:s why i keep inviting you back for single malt with the boys every time.

    david, i NEVER patronize anyone.
    if i thought you were a pud,
    i wouldn:t take the time to be this honest with you…(which in my book would be even worse than if i were patronizing you)

    i:m just saying that even the JAPANESE THEMSELVES don:t care about these things. why should the rest of the world?

    if you can succeed in making the west care about these things, then japan will listen to it. that:s how the game works here. but i don:t think that you:ll ever, despite your lucid prose, get westerners energized about these kind of topics. again, think cheesepuff.

    and if you say that this is a question of defending freedom of speech or the “transparency of media” or something like that, fine. i can:t disagree with you, and furthermore, i also hold these values dear. i:m simply saying that there may be more…crucial issues to take up in order to illustrate the lack of these values in japan, namely human rights, the japanese constitution and the government. but as you say, you are keeping with your namesake, and the ‘theme’ of this page, so i suppose i can:t fault you for not being consistent…

    i think a well-written marxy article (like the one today on “A No-Tenkou Japanese Youth”
    ) on non-entertainment issues will have a lot more gravity.

    dic,

    is that a good ‘damn’ or a bad one?
    i never can tell in a typed format…

    word,
    r.

  7. DJC Says:

    r.,

    Your shotgun-blast ALL CAPS, talk of “inverse triage” and references to Kurdish refugees had me wondering whether you were jokingly taking the piss or trying to make a serious point. Concluding that you were probably being quite serious, I employed the word “damn” as one might use “whoa,” “dang,” or “dude” to express disbelief. So to answer your question, it was a bad damn, but in a playful way, yo.

    Call me shallow, but I like the “cheap thrills” Marxy provides.

  8. Chris_B Says:

    r: take a sip and cool out. I enjoy this site because its not yet another crock of serious world doom issues. marxy is good at writing this stuff and I would never bother to make the effort to find it on my own.

  9. r. Says:

    i didn’t say david’s expose-style writing was incorrect, i was offering that he might find targets that were more fitting someone of his intellectual disposition. that’s all. taking sip, but not chilling out.