Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Wages of Idolatry

Idol sex scandals are beamed into our living rooms as often as commercials for their new singles, so why doesn’t the disgrace hit closer to home? Every time AKB breaks their “no-boyfriend” vow, or the paparazzi catches a teen celebrity on the arm of a man, news sites and social media hold them up at arm’s length in a savage shaming masked as a civilized reaffirmation of social morals. Let this be your lesson, we say. But in our righteous zeal we overlook the bystanders caught in the flames of this witch hunt--the families themselves.

One such victim finally speaks out. Anonymously, because our “told-you-so” mindset won’t allow him a public platform, and even if it did, the backlash would be worse than suffering in silence.

The following message board thread was translated from Kamesokuhou, an aggregate site that compiles the top posts from 2chan and edits them for readability.

My big sister used to be so cute and innocent.
She was outgoing at school but quiet at home where she spent all her time reading manga. Overall a good kid.
We got along great and always used to read manga together. Until the day everything changed...

Is she Kumamon?

My big sister grew up with people telling her how cute she was.
There was a point where she was bullied and got fat from the stress, but once she transferred to an auxillary junior high she got her life back on track and slimmed down.
Perhaps due to the bullying she developed a sense of self-deprecating humor, but wasn't emo about it.

She made lots of friends and did her best to avoid becoming a target for bullying.
We went to the same junior high and I was shocked at how different she acted at school.
My sis was part of the in-crowd.
With that said, I never saw her with any guys, probably due to her negative streak.

With the bullying a thing of the past, my sis' complaints about school petered out.
Then the year she started high school, the newspaper held an audition for a local idol unit.

She liked idols and was taking dance lessons, so I suggested that she auditioned to give her something to dedicate herself to.

She wanted to do something different than everyone else while also helping out the local economy.

I immediately printed out application form for her, and took the application photo as well.
FYI her room was trashed so we used my room as the backdrop.

We mailed the application out on the way from home.

The results came in one month later.

She made the first cut!

My sister thanked me, but I don't know what for.

Reading with interest.

I ended up going to the shopping mall with my sister for the next round of auditions.

BTW I'm not trolling you guys.
I wasn't allowed into the judging area so I don't know the details, but apparently there was an interview portion.
About 30 girls showed up.

The results would be announced that evening, so we read manga together as we waited.

Guess what? She was picked.

A total of 10 girls made the final cut.

Since they were prefectural idols, their photos were in the morning paper and they did interviews with the local TV stations. She was like a celebrity.
Originally this had all been my idea, but now I wasn't so sure of my decision.

My mom saw the news and got super pissed, that was good for a laugh.
I guess my sis forged mom's signature on the parental consent form.

My sis convinced mom that everything would be OK.
She stopped hanging around the house on the weekend.
Practice was on Friday, and with her cram school I saw her less and less.

We used to spend Sunday marathoning all the anime recorded over the week.
Now the back episodes pile up unwatched.

My sister told me all about her new life as an idol.
“We recorded a new song today,” “Check out our new dance,” “Have some merch,” and so on.
She seemed to be honestly enjoying herself. I started going to her events and buying her merch with my limited allowance—without telling her, of course.

The doubt that was gnawing at me? Poof, gone.

Eventually she started telling me about her fans.

This is the point where my sis starts to lose it.

At first the stories were innocent, like “So-and-so took my picture three times today,” but over time these guys became regulars, lining up again and again to keep talking to her.

So I started talking to my sister's supporters at events, to find out what made them tick. I didn't tell anyone I was her brother, obviously.

That's where I heard them raving about her photo events.
“Lots of full-body contact.”
“Sometimes her boobs press against you.”
“She asks you to come back in a sweet voice.”

I couldn't believe my ears.

What's a photo event?

Usually after the live show, the fan gets to take a Polaroid with the girl.
He decides the pose.
But there's rules, the fan can't get too touchy-feely.
Normally they just shake hands.

So I decided to ask my sister what was up.

I waited up until around 11:00 for her to get back.

Me: “People love your photo events, but don't you think you touch the guys too much?”
Sis: “But they like it... and I want them to be happy.”
I was at a loss for words. I just left it at that and went to sleep.

This is getting good.

I normally left before the photo portion of the event started, but this time I decided to stick around and see what happened.

I saw her throwing up a peace sign, clinging on the arm of some middle-aged guy.
I've never wanted to cry more in my whole life.

But I didn't know what to say to her, so I said nothing.

The worst was yet to come: Popularity rankings.
New members had joined and the unit was getting bloated. My sis was desperate to stay on top.

She practiced dancing harder than ever before.
But she put even more effort into the photo shoots.

She started telling her fans, “I want to talk with you more,” “I thought of this special pose for you,” “Don't tell anyone, but I watch your live channel on Niko Niko Douga.”

She sacrificed sleep to check her fan's Twitter and blogs, going so far as to create fake Twitter accounts to find out what they liked.

At this point she was ranked around 10th in the unit.

We were becoming strangers.
When she left for events it would be with designer purses and revealing dresses—all presents from fans.

What a tragedy.

Is this about the scallion idols Negikko?


So I stopped going to her events.

I poked my head into her room on a lark. Imagine my surprise to see it transformed into a clean, girly room.
Then I checked her blog: Pictures of her room, open to the public.

Her world now revolved around being an idol.

She ranked in at 7th place when the popularity contest ended. We started speaking again like we used to. Things calmed down, and I thought that the worst was behind us.


I noticed that she was spending an awful lot of time e-mailing.

Her grades fell, and our parents yelled at her to give the idol thing up.

Understand that my sister never talked back to our parents. Until now.

I can't believe how she reacted, even now.

My sister ran away from home.

This is a bit like being NTR'ed.

My parents blitzkrieged her phone and coaxed her to come back the next day.
Mom slapped her.
She said that she stayed at a friend's house.

Curiosity got the best of my common sense. I checked her phone. She had been mailing that middle-aged fan from before.
That's where she had stayed—with him.

I cried and cursed myself.
What could I do at this point?

What a slut.

After the incident her grades went back up and she became an obedient daughter. But she didn't quit being an idol.

We spoke for the first time in a long while.
Her: “Do you know Mr. So-and-so?”
Me: “Yeah, I talk to him at events.”
It was the old dude from her e-mails.
A fatso with bushy nose hair.
Her: “I've kind of fallen for him.”
Me: “You what?!”
Her: “He tells me how much he loves me! I haven't been able to talk to anyone else about this.”
My guts burned—fuck this guy.

Popular for a reason.

Girls like that are easy to dupe.

She's a lost cause man.

That was the last we talked.

Recently I snuck into one of her shows and the old guy was MIA.

I don't know what happened to him, nor do I want to know.

My sister is getting ready for an event as I type this.
Her designer bag and teddy bear collection grows by the day.
People know her on 2chan as “that slut.”

Your big happy family is about to get bigger!

Thank you guys for reading this.

I guess that's all I have to say.

Any questions?

What's the name of the unit?


Sorry I can't say, there still active.
People on 2chan should know them.

Is she still sleeping around?

I think it was just the one older guy.
No one had treated her that nice before so she fell for him, probably.

Too many slut idols on 2chan. Impossible to confirm.

Can't you talk to your parents?

Already tried. My mom said that there's nothing to worry about so that option's out.

Wonder if the family members of all idols go through this.

Makes me sad to think about it.

Good kids stay good at heart.
My sister used to be bullied so she's a bit of a broken wing.

The trauma of being bullied stays with you your entire life.

All the family can do is give the victim all their love.

It's not like I hate her. I want her to quit the group so we can go on a vacation together.

Would we know her by name?

Maybe if  you were up on your idols.

This thread gives hope to all the gross fat old men out there.

I guess there is a demand for them in certain unique cases www
Maybe you should start hanging around local idol events? www

Let's review the evidence:
-Local idols from west Japan.
-First in the prefecture.
-Do photo events.
-Known as a slut on 2chan.

You sleuths should be able to figure it out.

Does it seem like your sis is dating that older guy?

She’s never at home on her days off, so it's a possibility.

Must be rough having a sister complex.

I'll be honest: Thinking about the way she used to be makes my cry.

Do they have a CD out?

Only available over the counter at events.

Is your sis a minor?
You can nail that old dude for statutory rape.
That sexual predator's gonna be your brother in-law if you don't do something.
Live up to your obligation as family.
It's your fault that your sis is shacking up with stinky old men.
Bet they creampie her.

Just stop.

Ranked #7 (LOL) in a local idol group > Sucks off fat old dudes.
Major nationwide idol > NOT FIT FOR PRINT.

I'm sure the parents were shocked at her sudden 180.
I hope they find a way to cope.


I've narrowed it down to three possible girls.

Don't say it.


Innocent older sister
Joins idol unit
Sluts out

Drops out of high school to become an underground idol; Fast track to porn stardom.

Over my dead body.

If you never suggested she become an idol then she wouldn't have had her virginity ripped to shreds by some gross old guy.

Even idols on childrens’ TV shows can't keep their legs closed these days.

Figured out who she is.

Now that you got the bile out of your system, think about what to do next.
If you're going to force that old dude out of her life then you need to get hard evidence and put him away.
If he's married, send the evidence to his home. Bam, never hear from him again.

Thanks for the advice.
The guy's not married.

But good idea, I'll see what kind of dirt I can dig up.

So which member of HKT 48 is she?
HKT48 in swimsuits.
The pertinent posts end there. It’s not clear if the sister is indeed a member of HKT48, the Kyushu branch of AKB48. Nor is it relevant. But it illustrates the risk of reaching out for help, even on an anonymous net forum. A tabloid writer hungry for a scoop could sniff out the brother’s identity, and the sister’s with it. She may be the next name cluttering up your Twitter feed in a sea of garbage gossip.

What amounts to a scoff of scorn for us equates to a broken home to those involved. The record label and the girl’s career itself are interchangeable pieces of the corporate machine. There are no replacement parts for family.


  1. I'm not sure what point you're making? She's not a slut because she's a human being with a sexuality. All that disgusting stuff they trew at her - I'm appalled. Really sickening. Poor girl, I hope she gets all the help and support she deserves.

  2. those posters calling her a slut are disgusting.
    interestingly, though i'm not totally sure on this, apparently, one of the akb48 members who had been involved in one of these scandals last year was today elected by fans to be the lead member.

    1. Sashihara Rino took the top spot despite being "guilty" of the same crimes as the OPs sister. What gives?

      My best guess is that, following the scandal Sashihara rolled with the punches. She already had a reputation for self-effacing humor, and when talk shows invited her on to "own up" for sleeping with a fan, she threw the first stone--at herself.

      Rather than rely on atonement to the extreme (I'm looking at your shiny scalp, Minegishi) or play the victim card, she made a joke out of it while remaining humble.

      So either her fresh honesty won people over, or fans think that Sashihara's handshake cards come with happy endings.

      Maybe "slut shaming" wouldn't be so prevalent if the girl didn't pretend to be shamed by it.

    2. Or maybe slut shaming wouldn't be so prevalent if we all did something about a society that mercifies, sells, puts a price on a woman's sex life, calculates her worth based on it, then shames her and vilifies her for it. Just, you know, maybe. Just maybe it's not the girls' fault, seeing as girls and women and females benefit NOTHING from this structure. But you know, keep blaming the women, always blame the victims, that works just too well to let it go. Your thinking makes me sick.

  3. lllllllll:

    The problem is the hypocricy in the simultaneous sexualization of women and the rejection of their actual sexuality.

    As a feminist I regularily read once said: Women are expected to be "beddable", but, as a woman, you're not supposed to actually put that "beddability" to any use.

  4. I always come to the comment fields of such stories expecting a bedlam of outrage over the shocking backwardness of Japan peppered with a nice coat of feminist finger waggling and a general getting ones panties in a bunch quicker than you can yell "witch hunt!".

    Never change english language internet, never change.

    These so called scandalous stories out of the sleazy Japanese entertainment industry lose all their potency and turn flaccid when one remembers that sleaze has ever been and will always remain a fundamental pillar of the entertainment industry as whole, world wide.

    Give the veneer wrapped around the one of your country a casual scrape, push that old eyeball up to it and be treated to a peepshow of such filth and outrage as to rot your very soul. But, oh, wait ones own filth is not exotic enough to warrant or notice, one is, after all, already used to it.