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Oct 09 2008

Popular enka singers banned by NHK

Written by Nippon Sekai   
Thursday, 09 October 2008

National broadcaster NHK has banned five well known enka singers from appearing on its radio and television programming after an article in a weekly magazine said they took part in a golf competition to celebrate the birthday of a Yamaguchi-gumi gang boss back in mid-September.

The five singers are Takashi Hosokawa, Akira Kobayashi, Nobue Matsubara, Hiroshi Kadokawa and Kiyoshi Nakajo were confirmed by their management agencies as having participated in the competition.  According to the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho, all but Nakajo attended a party after the golf event.

The fallout has been swift and quick.  NHK has decided to pull programming containing footage of the five and is still deciding whether or not to allow the singers to perform at the Kohaku Uta Gassen on New Year's Eve.  TV Tokyo will be removing scenes of Hosokawa from a music show which is scheduled to be aired on October 13.

As alluded to before, the geinoukai has always had a yakuza angle to it and unsurprisingly, it is normally not spoken of.  According to the Japan Zone article:

The kumi-cho (gang boss) in question is Goto Tadamasa, head of the Goto-gumi, a Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group with over nine hundred and fifty members. Goto is considered to be the wealthiest and second most powerful boss in the Yamaguchi-gumi, which with 40,000 members (National Police Agency [NPA] figures) is the largest organized crime group in Japan. He also obtained a liver transplant at UCLA in 2001, after making a deal with the FBI to share information in exchange for a visa.

Goto's connections to the entertainment industry are well-known. In 2007, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department accidentally leaked onto a file sharing network a list of Goto-gumi's front companies. Included in the list was Burning Productions, one of Japan's biggest talent agencies and production companies.

Source: Japan Zone


3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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