The Me Too Movement has thus far not only been generally ignored in Japan, but has also been actively suppressed. No surprise then that it hasn’t made its way into Japanese entertainment the way it has elsewhere in the world.
That said, a sexual harassment lawsuit was recently brought by a former member of Niji No Conquistador against Nagata Hiroyuki, the president of social media site Pixiv.
According to the Buzzfeed report, the former Niji No Conquistador member (referred to as “A” throughout the story) alleges that the current president of Pixiv, Hiroyuki Nagata, sexually harassed her multiple times during her career in the group. Niji No Conquistador formed in 2014 as part of a music project spearheaded by Pixiv, meaning the company had heavy involvement in all of their activities. A says that, on a work trip to Kyoto, Nagata accompanied her because she was originally planning to go alone. The two shared a room, and A says she had to sleep right next Nagata, who was extremely close to her. This made her feel uneasy, but she says she didn’t say anything because she worried it would impact her career. Later, A says Nagata offered her part time work to supplement her monthly idol pay (about $361 AUS) by giving him full body massages, after she originally asked to get an outside part-time job (Nagata reportedly shot down this request). Although A says she didn’t want to do it, she believed she needed to earn more money. A also says that, earlier this year, Nagata invited her to stay at his condominium with his wife and children in Tokyo rather than at a hotel or member dorm ahead of a special live event. A says she noticed what appeared to be a hidden camera in a changing room in his home. She says the camera changed location over the duration of her stay. Nagata has admitted to the Kyoto trip and the massage job, but denies the hidden cameras.
Notably, Nagata has already admitted to most of the allegations and only denies installing hidden cameras in his residence to watch her change. Also, when Nagata was contacted with an interview request, it was declined.
A says these experiences — especially her time at Nagata’s home — left her shaken. When she returned home to take a college admissions test, she couldn’t focus, and her weight dropped significantly. She says when Nagata messaged her on the application LINE wishing her luck on the test, she vomited due to the memory of what she experienced. She did not go to the testing center as a result.
A says the #metoo movement, which is fledgling but slowly gaining in attention in Japan, inspired her to say something about her experiences.
Very interested to see how this lawsuit shakes out. While I doubt it’s the thing that opens the floodgates in Japanese entertainment, god knows there’s a ton of shit being held back at the moment, so it could be anything that starts it.