Matsumoto Hitoshi’s 550 Million Yen Lawsuit Raises Reputation Concerns in Court | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Matsumoto Hitoshi’s 550 Million Yen Lawsuit Raises Reputation Concerns in Court

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Downtown’s Hitoshi Matsumoto has filed a civil lawsuit against Bungeishunju, publisher of the weekly Bunshun.

Downtown’s Hitoshi Matsumoto has finally taken action.

“I’m going to fight it because it has no basis in fact.”


As he had announced, he sued “Shukan Bunshun” and its editor-in-chief. The amount of damages claimed, including defamation, is approximately 550 million yen.

On television, Matsumoto’s junior comedians and celebrities have been sending out comments. Among them, a comment made by TV personality Koji Imada on a TV program the other day is quite on point. It went something like this.

“It’s about whether there was consent or not. The truth about this is still not clear.”

While making excuses, Imada continues,

“With the subsequent follow-ups to the article, rather than whether there was consent or not, it’s turning more into a discussion about the contents of the drinking parties. In the end, it’s just a story about how many drinking parties were held, and the image is extremely negative.”

Indeed, the image is bad.

If the series of reports by the Weekly Bunshun are true, Matsumoto is, to put it plainly, not very cool.

Matsumoto got married in 2009 at the age of 46. He married a former TV personality and they have a daughter.

According to a report in Bunshun, the woman accused him of sexual assault as long ago as eight years ago, around 2015. Matsumoto already had a wife and child.

Despite this, there is a strong possibility that Matsumoto had an affair. It is said that he never approached women himself, but used junior comedians who were obedient to Matsumoto to gather women of his choice. If true, that is not cool.

It is also uncool to think that you can have sexual intercourse with the first person you met that day.

According to Bunshun, he said to a woman he had just met for the first time,

“Have my child.”

to a woman he had just met for the first time. If true, it is too clichéd a phrase for a genius loved by the gods of comedy. It is too uncool.

It is also uncool that he did not give her money for a cab, or if he did, it was only 5,000 yen.

I am not going to preach the morality that married people should not have sexual relations with someone other than their wives or husbands. The problem, however, is the way it is done.

Last year, actor Ryoko Hirosue’s affair with a famous chef caused a stir, and a few years ago Yuki Saito was reported to have had an affair with a man who was her doctor. A female reporter told us this.

“While relationships like those of Hirose and Saito are clear cases of adultery, there have been instances of extramarital affairs involving many female celebrities like Kumada Yoko and Mariko Shinoda which were discussed but did not reach the same level of scandal. Even in marriage, people can fall in love.

However, if Matsumoto’s actions, as reported, are true, it’s said that he sees women not as objects of affection but only as targets for acts. That’s quite unsettling. It’s just too uncool, isn’t it?”

If it goes to court, Matsumoto will likely have to prove his innocence by stating,

“I did not do it forcibly.”

“It was a consensual sexual act.”

“There was no sexual assault.”

He will likely assert and prove that he did not do it forcibly.

If the legal battle further tarnishes Matsumoto’s image, let’s hope that the impression of “Mat-chan being uncool” doesn’t get further emphasized.

  • Interview and text by Watabe Wataru

    After working as a desk clerk in the culture department of an evening newspaper, an editorial staff member at a publishing company, and a copywriter, Watabe became a freelance entertainment writer. He covers all aspects of the entertainment industry, including movies, theater, acting, and music. He also works undercover as a ghostwriter for celebrity books.

  • PHOTO Yasuko Sakaguchi

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