Toshio Ishikawa, entertainment reporter, tells us what’s behind the events in the entertainment industry: ……
It has been a while since I heard the term “Unification Church” (now “Family Association for the Unification of World Peace”). It was about 30 years ago when I became a reporter.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down in front of Yamato Nishioji Station in Nara Prefecture while campaigning for the House of Councillors. Tetsuya Yamagami, an unemployed man who was caught red-handed, told the Nara Prefectural Police in an interrogation that he had been involved in a religious group.
His mother became involved in a religious organization and donated a large amount of money to it, and his family collapsed. He had a grudge against the group. I targeted Mr. Abe because I thought he was connected to the group. At first, he tried to shoot the group’s executives.
He also stated that the religious group was the Unification Church. It was revealed that the religious group was the Unification Church, and the reality of the group has been reported in the news every day.
The Unification Church reminds us of the turmoil in which national idol singer Junko Sakurada, former gymnast Hiroko Yamazaki, and the daughter of a well-known author have all joined the church.
The group’s methods of selling seals, pots, and prayer beads at high prices were brought to light, and at the time, celebrities felt they were being used as billboards.
The daughter of a very famous writer succeeded in getting out through her father’s efforts, but Ms. Yamazaki once refused to participate in a joint wedding ceremony, but the following August ’92, she was invited to attend a joint wedding ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Korea.
However, it was Mr. Yamazaki who first distrusted the cult.
He said, “They were mind-controlling me.”
and divorced within a year. She has not seen her ex-husband at all since then.
It was Ms. Sakurada who became involved in the group, even quitting her job as a singer. She attended a joint wedding ceremony attended by about 30,000 couples. I went to Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, where she was living at the time, many times to cover her newlywed life.
I tried to get an interview somehow, but was never able to meet her. Although no civil lawsuit was ever filed against Ms. Sakurada for her involvement in the psychic business
But the question of whether or not he was involved in the psychic business
However, the question of whether Mr. Sakurada had been involved in the psychic sales was still hanging around. There was also a story that he sold a jar to the president of his office.
The president admitted that he had bought the vase for 2 million yen through a relative of Ms. Sakurada.
I know how pure Junko’s heart is. I bought it for her.”
I bought it for her,” he said.
The president of her former agency had once discussed Ms. Sakurada’s desire to return to the entertainment industry with the president of her former agency. This was also 15 to 16 years ago.
The president had high expectations for her since her debut and wanted to consult with her about something, but it was impossible. This was because Ms. Sakurada had not severed ties with the cult and there were reports that her husband had become a senior member of the cult.
It was also around this time that she published a collection of essays and gave an interview to a monthly magazine. Then the death of the president of her former agency led to Ms. Sakurada’s appearance in public.
These included the release of her best album to commemorate the 40th anniversary of her debut and a “Fan Appreciation Day” held at the Ginza Hakuhinkan. Four years later, in April ’17, she again released and performed her 33rd single “Makeup” at the Ginza Hakuhinkan.
There are many fans of Ms. Sakurada, who suddenly disappeared from the entertainment world. Tickets for the Hakuhinkan were so popular that they sold out within minutes.
The following year, she announced the “Junko Sakurada Project” and began steadily preparing to return to the entertainment world, but it has not been a success. The reason is that her former agency did not help her in any way.
The deceased president of the former agency said, “Unless Mr. Sakurada leaves the association, he will never belong to it.
“Unless you leave the association, don’t ever let her back into it.
The office is still following his will. The TV and other media know this, so they do not actively cover her.
No matter how many fans she has, it will continue to be difficult for her to be active in the entertainment industry under the circumstances that she remains in the cult…
Literature： Toshio Ishikawa (Entertainment Reporter)
Born in Tokyo in 1946. He has a unique career path from Shochiku's Advertising Department to a reporter for a women's magazine to an entertainment reporter. He has appeared on "The Wide" and "Information Live Miyaneya" (both on Nippon Television Network Corporation), and currently appears regularly on "Mentai Wide" (Fukuoka Broadcasting System), "Su Matan" (Yomiuri TV), and Rainbow Town FM.
Photo： Kyodo News