Hagiwara guilty

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow
Tue Jun 28 21:56:30 EDT 2005

The popular actor and former singer Hagiwara Kenichi, famous for such 
films as Yakusoku, Matatabi, Kapone oi ni naku, Jutai and Itsuka 
giragirasuru hi, was convicted yesterday of attempted extortion. As I 
had reported in an earlier mail, he was accused of trying to extort 
money from the producers of the film Toko no ki after he was dropped 
from the film. He was contracted to make the film for 15 million yen 
(with an extra 3 million to come from DVD sales), and was paid 7.5 
million in advance. But after his behavior on the set led to his being 
dropped from the film, he reportedly called the producer and threatened 
to send mobsters after him if he was not paid the remaining amount 
contracted for. Hagiwara was given a sentence of one year and six 
months, with the sentence suspended for three years. Hagiwara has 
declared he will not appeal the verdict.

Newspaper articles articles are already appearing saying that 
Hagiwara's chance of making a quick comeback are slim, especially in 
the film industry, having earned the label of a troublemaker. He, 
however, was set to make his directorial debut with the film Sankotsu 
before the incident happened, so if he appears on screen anytime soon, 
it will probably be in his own film.

Hagiwara, known to fans as Shoken, has always had a rebellious image, 
but one wonders if he can overcome this.

Aaron Gerow
KineJapan owner

Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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