Theatrical World & Shochiku Seems Hands-off with Ichikawa Ennosuke’s Sexual Harassment Scandal and Viewed it as a “Personal Affair” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Theatrical World & Shochiku Seems Hands-off with Ichikawa Ennosuke’s Sexual Harassment Scandal and Viewed it as a “Personal Affair”

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Ennosuke was rushed to the emergency room.

When the Ichikawa Chuguruma scandal broke, he must have thought, ‘Maybe I’m one of them,'” said a longtime Kabuki actor.

A person who has been involved in the Kabuki world for many years said with dismay, “When Ichikawa Chuguruma’s scandal broke, I must have thought that I might have been involved. The man who is believed to have attempted suicide at his home, Ennosuke Ichikawa, 47, is said to have been triggered by an article in “Josei Seven” on the morning of the day of the alleged sexual assault.

The article is titled “Ennosuke Ichikawa: Intense Sexual Harassment,” but I don’t think anyone involved in the  was surprised . The article claims that Mr. Ennosuke routinely engaged in intense sexual harassment and power harassment, taking advantage of his absolute position as a master and apprentice, and as the leader of a troupe and an actor/backstage performer. Such so-called “skinship” by Mr. Ennosuke was really an everyday occurrence. It is possible that he did not mean any harm at all. That is why he would do it even in public. Even the people in the theatrical world who were aware of this act did not blame him.

Teruyuki Kagawa (57), a.k.a. Chuguruma Ichikawa, was forced to quit his TV program in 2022 due to reports of sexual assault against a hostess in Ginza, but the incident took place in 2019. Since a settlement had already been reached at the time of the report, Kagawa had been performing for three years with a nonchalant face. In other words, Kagawa had no guilty conscience, and it is likely that the same was true for those involved in the theatrical world who knew about the incident.

In fact, when Kagawa was forced to leave the show after the news broke, there were more than a few voices of support for him from the nashien. We interviewed several people involved in the theatrical world, and some of them took the following stance.

“Even if what is reported is true, I assure you, there are other actors who have done the same thing as Mr. Ennosuke. But no one has ever condemned them. Of course, there is no doubt that it is a bad taboo in the Kabuki world, and if it is reported, you have to take responsibility accordingly. Naturally, it would be difficult to be active on television. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a living in kabuki. That’s the world we live in.”

It should not be forgotten that the allegations of sexual harassment and power harassment against Ennosuke were reported before the suicide fiasco, and those allegations have not been resolved. Shochiku, the promoter of kabuki performances, released its opinion on the evening of August 18.

We sincerely apologize for the concern this incident has caused to many people, including Kabuki fans.

Regarding the reports of sexual harassment, he clarified the company’s position, saying, “We, as a company, believe that power harassment and sexual harassment should not exist, and we will take firm action to deal with the situation.

After clarifying the company’s position, he added,

“However, there are some uncertainties in the article, such as hearsay, and we would like to confirm the facts first.”

“Although there are limits to what we can do in the private life of a Kabuki actor who is not employed under us, we will make every effort to understand the information and respond appropriately.”

The last sentence was “We will try to understand the information and take appropriate action. What does the last phrase mean?”

In short, Shochiku is implicitly evading the issue by saying that it has no way to deal with a problem caused by an individual actor who is not employed under Shochiku. If that is the case, then the proper response to Mr. Nakaguruma was to allow him to return to the stage, don’t you think so? There are many cases of sexual harassment and moral harassment that have not been publicized, and Shochiku is aware of them. What about the big-name actors and actresses? In the end, they will do nothing, wait for time to pass, and let them return to the stage. The kabuki world and Shochiku have been repeating the same thing for a long time.

What should Shochiku’s appropriate response be? They must fulfill their accountability.

  • PHOTO. Pasya/Afro

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