Taking advantage of one's position to cause injury to the bodies, mental wellbeing, and dignity of others is reprehensible and inexcusable.

In Japan, just as in many countries, cases of sexual harassment and bullying at work continue to beleaguer society.

Unfortunately, since the perpetrators are in a superior position in the company hierarchy, victims may feel they have no choice but to cry themselves to sleep and suffer in silence.

Shoko Nakagawa's warning to young showbiz hopefuls

Today, on March 31st, 2022, TV personality, actress, voice actress, illustrator, and singer Shoko Nakagawa, known by her fans as "Shokotan," posted an important message on her Twitter account.

Speaking from her position as someone with over two decades of experience in the Japanese entertainment industry, she offered serious advice to young people who dream of entering showbiz:

"My thoughts on watching the news
To young people dreaming of a career in the entertainment industry:

Absolutely never accept any offers based on workplace bullying or sexual harassment!
Those people don't have any power to begin with.
If you go along with that kind of thing, not only will it not lead to any work but you'll never become successful either.

That's not the kind of world this is."

Although Nakagawa didn't mention what specific news she was reacting to, there is a likely candidate: Three days earlier on March 28th, actor 木下ほうか Houka Kinoshita announced that he was suspending his showbiz activities. The actor was reported to have sexually assaulted several actresses in quid-pro-quo job offers. He later admitted his wrongdoing on his Twitter account.

Unfortunately, this wasn't an isolated case. The Japanese entertainment industry has seen many such cases of "pillow operations" (枕営業 makura eigyō)—the Japanese term for the "casting couch"—in which people have taken advantage of their position as a pretext for sexual assault.

Based on her long experience in the industry, Nakagawa clearly stated: "You won't succeed that way."

Oftentimes, people only see the positive as they envision their spectacular careers in showbiz. Through her message, Nakagawa surely intended to equip them with a healthy dose of caution.

Her comments went viral, elciting numerous comments such as:

  • "As a 20-year veteran, Shokotan is very persuasive when she says this."
  • "Society as a whole must continue to say NO to sexual harassment and workplace bullying!"
  • "I hear such stories not only in the entertainment industry. I hope that young people starting their careers will be careful."

We can only hope that Nakagawa's influence on her social media platform will be effective in sending the message loud and clear to those who need to hear it the most...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.