Shochiku Calls for Investigation by Third-Party Committee into Ennosuke Ichikawa’s Harassment Allegations | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shochiku Calls for Investigation by Third-Party Committee into Ennosuke Ichikawa’s Harassment Allegations

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Ennosuke Ichikawa was given a suspended sentence in the first trial. Shochiku, the promoter of the show, is determined to bring him back.

On November 17, the Tokyo District Court sentenced kabuki actor Ennosuke Ichikawa, accused of helping his parents commit suicide by giving them psychotropic drugs, to three years in prison and a five-year suspended sentence (with a three-year prison term sought). The judge stated

“He contemplated suicide after reading an article about himself in a weekly magazine. Although his parents initially told him not to do so, Sarunosuke’s will remained firm and they decided to commit suicide together.”


The judge also pointed out, “It can’t be said that there are many circumstances that should be taken into consideration. Criminal responsibility cannot be underestimated.”

The court also found that the defendant had shown remorse and remorse and had no prior convictions. The maximum term of probation is five years, so one can’t help but feel that he barely escaped a prison sentence.

Upon receiving the sentence, Ennosuke said, “I will think about what I can do now that I have been allowed to live,” 

At his first trial on October 20, he said, “I have no other choice but Kabuki. If I am allowed to do so, I would like to stand on the stage. I want to make amends through Kabuki.”

The possibility that he will return as a Kabuki actor after a certain period of house arrest seems high.


Shochiku also commented in a statement released on March 17

The future of Ennosuke Ichikawa is completely blank at this point.

“However, we will take time to discuss with Ennosuke how he will accept today’s verdict, and we will not turn our eyes away from the impact and responsibility this case has had on society as a whole, and we will listen to your opinions as we move forward. We will continue to listen to everyone’s opinions as we work together to find the right path forward.”

In this way, he expressed his hope for the return of Ennosuke, who was one of the top-ranked kabuki actors in terms of audience attendance.

Many fans must be hoping for Ennosuke’s future return as a kabuki actor, and there is no doubt that kabuki is the way of life for Ennosuke as well. It will no doubt be interesting to see what kind of acting Ennosuke, who has been through the shuraba, will be able to show.


But first, there is a problem that must be cleared up. This is the allegation of sexual harassment and power harassment against the Ichimon reported in a weekly magazine that triggered the current incident.

In the aforementioned comment, Ennosuke said of the article

“When my article was published, I chose suicide because of the magnitude of the reality that I, as the successor to Ennosuke IV, would be inflicting a deep wound not only on the name “Ennosuke” but also on the great tradition and culture of the Kabuki world, and would be throwing everyone in the Ennosuke clan, which is continuing to grow, into darkness. I chose suicide.”

However, he does not clearly state whether this is true or not.

As was done in the case of Johnny Kitagawa’s sexual assault issue, etc., an investigation and report by a third-party committee and an announcement of measures to prevent recurrence. Then, following that, an explanation by the person himself should be provided.

In a comment, Shochiku said,

“At this time, we are not aware of any facts regarding the article reported in the press, but we will continue to confirm the facts as appropriate and take necessary action according to the results of the investigation.”


Unless the investigation team is independent of the company, the possibility cannot be denied that the truth may be covered up in favor of protecting the company and its interests. If we still feel that some aspects of Ennosuke’s series of incidents do not add up, it is probably because the sexual harassment and power harassment issues have not been verified due to the investigation and trial of the assisted suicide case.

Ennosuke commented,

“From now on, I will think about what I can do from now on, as I have been kept alive. From now on, I will try my best to live one day at a time, not keeping things to myself, being aware of my own weakness, consulting those around me, and receiving help.”

His comments give the impression that he has regained his composure after the series of investigations, trials, and verdicts. In such a situation, it is hoped that he will go back and face the issue of sexual harassment and power harassment before attempting to kill his family, and furthermore, have a third-party committee investigate the issue, and if there is a need for relief and compensation for the victims, take appropriate action and resolve the issue before returning to the world of Kabuki.

As not only the entertainment industry but also society as a whole is becoming more proactive in addressing human rights issues in the wake of the sexual assault issue involving Mr. Johnny and the allegations of power harassment and overwork by senior members of the Takarazuka Revue Company regarding the death of a female member who fell to her death, the kabuki world of culture and tradition is also expected to take a proactive approach to these issues. I believe that the kabuki world, which is steeped in culture and tradition, needs to take a proactive approach.

  • Writer Ryo Sakamoto (Writer, former head of the Culture and Society Department of "Tokyo Sports Newspaper Co.)

    Writes articles on entertainment, movies, Hollywood information, etc. for the web magazine "PlusαToday" and other publications. Member of the Japan Film Pen Club.

  • PHOTO Shinji Hasuo

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