On November 21st Yuki Sakura, who is known for being a member of the idol group Kamen Joshi (Masked Girls) and a graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo, received a death threat in the form of a tweet. The tweet read “I will kill you” and was written by a 22-year old male “fan” who had been harassing her via Twitter since last spring. Because of this Sakura’s management company was on alert when the man showed up at one of the idol group’s live events on November 23rd. He was detained by staff at the event and after a struggle the man was eventually handed over to the police. They are now investigating.
Sadly, violence against idols is not all that rare. Stories about obsessed fans trying to commit some act of violence against their favorite idols seems to come about at least once a year. In the past couple years there have been 2 different incidents involving AKB48 members getting stabbed. The first one happened in 2014 during one of AKB48’s “handshake events”, where fans line up to shake hands with their favorite idols and exchange a couple of words. During this event a man wielding a serrated handsaw attacked two of the group members. Thankfully, this attack only resulted in relatively minor cuts and injuries for the two teenage AKB48 members and a male venue staff member. The attacker was eventually sentence to six years in prison. The second incident involving an AKB48 member getting stabbed occurred earlier this year in May. Unfortunately, this incident resulted in far more serious injuries for the victim, Mayu Tomita. The 20-year old AKB48 member was stabbed over 20 times by a 27-yeard old obsessed fan who was angry at her for blocking him on Twitter and refusing a present he had tried to give her. It was reported that he had tweeted at her over 300 times in the 5 months leading up to attack. Despite police having been alerted to this man’s actions prior to the stabbing incident they were still unable to prevent it from happening. Although Tomita was initially reported to be in critical condition following the attack, she eventually regained consciousness and was upgraded to stable condition. The media seems to have stopped reporting on this story since about June and as such I do not know the extent to which Tomita has been able to recover. Sadly, due to the nature of her injuries it seems likely that she is still recovering and may be avoiding public appearances and statements for the time being. Given these incidents it hardly seems surprising that Yuki Sakura’s management company took her attacker’s tweet so seriously. Unfortunately, I sincerely doubt that this is the last time an obsessed fan tries to harass or attack an idol.
Source: Yahoo News Japan