Sorry for the long wait, it is finally here. This chapter, towards the end, has a lot of judicial and law terms, I’m not familiar with them in english, I hope it is still easy to understand.
Please be aware of violence and grotesque description in this chapter.
Masaya and Moritani’s total control
It was October 10, 1998. On the day of my 33th birthday, under Masaya’s order, my office, “Yes Music Company” went through a name change, becoming “Toshi Office Company”. The new structure was under Masaya and Moritani’s total control. I was representative of the company, but that was only a name. Essentially, I had no authority, the influx of money was entirely managed by Masaya and Moritani’s power. In the end, I only worked to get money for them. That was the “good deed” I could do as an ‘egomaniac’.
The company’s accounting, at first, was done by Masaya’s old acquaintance, M. However, the accounting was actually under Moritani’s and Home of Heart manager Suzuta’s control. An ex Home of Heart staff member, Ueda(name has been changed to protect identity), was called back by Masaya. He assumed the position to be my manager and their supervisor. As office staff, another ex Home of Heart staff, Shioda(name has been changed to protect identity), a woman in her fifties, was also called back. The office building moved as well, under Masaya’s order, because “it is a waste of rent”. It moved to my own house. Under the pretense of being “employees”, Ueda and Shioda began living in my house. They didn’t get paid a salary either, but instead, they could attend the seminars.
The contract for the record company which also worked together with the office was canceled, and for violation of contract, I promised to pay ten million Yen in divided payments. Once this contract was canceled, it was transferred to Home of Heart. With the end of all relationship I had with my family, I was now anxious about my new life, but at the same time, I felt a glimmer of hope, thinking that this was one step forward to being independent. For that, I must study what Masaya teaches, and for all troubles I caused to him and Moritani, I should repay with “good deeds”, I thought.
But, not even in a dream I thought that this was the beginning of the road to destruction.
One freezing night, in the end of November, I went to the seminar in my usual black training wear. I took out from my closet a knee length black coat and worn it over my outfit. Like that, I went to Home of Heart. That night, after the seminar, the abuse and violence happened again, but this time, even my coat became a topic of problem.
“Those visual rock egomaniacs, always wearing black because their heart is black. You look like Dracula, that’s just disgusting! Only people who are afraid and egomaniacs like wearing black! ” They said many other things.
When the seminar ended, as I was leaving, Masaya wore my coat, and imitated me, singing. The female staff members gathered in the basement room all laughed. Masaya lived with about 30 women in the Home of Heart headquarters. There also lived minors and infants.
The main factor that I could talk about my feelings to Masaya, was that sometimes he would show me a very innocent side.
As Masaya returned my coat, I left Home of Heart. Outside was very cold, but I did not wear the coat. Holding it in my hands, I walked over the car in the parking lot. In the car, like always, Masaya’s recorded lecture tape played. As I drove in silence, beside me, Moritani, who was coming back home since a long time, looked straight to the front, her eyes tearing up.
“Masaya saved you from that family of yours, who didn’t love you and only used you to make money. Without your brothers, we feel relief. But to media, Masaya and Home of Heart are seen as a cult religion, lost all credibility and can’t do business any more, there’s no money getting in, we can’t even afford to eat a meal!”
Turning right to the intersection from national highway 246 to Setagaya, stopping at a red light, Moritani turned to look at me. As her tears fell, she said,
“However much money you pay Masaya, it will never be enough! It’s now your turn to save Masaya and Home of Heart with as much as you can. If you don’t do that, you’re not a man! Much more so, for the people you love, you have to be serious and lose yourself doing this! I can’t help with anything, but you can attend the seminar trainings with more urgency and support with all your energy!”
Moritani made the appeal with a sad expression. My heart was struck with such innocence.
“Ok, I’ll do all I can.”
I felt a great deal of responsibility stepping over me, and I was full of apologetic sentiment to both Masaya and Moritani.
The next day, immediately, I sought for a way to make money. Money from my company and my own personal money were already too scarce. Suzuta of Home of Heart advised me to loan a business fund from the national finance corporation and for that, Suzuta helped me with the documents and I got the loan. I also received more advice to loan money from the bank for such things like “buy a painting”. At the time, I went to the Setagaya branch of Fuji Bank to get more loans. At the national finance corporation, I loaned 5,000,000 Yen. At Fuji Bank, 3,000,000 Yen. Most of that money was paid to Home of Heart.
“None of this is enough! You should still be able to get more!” Moritani encouraged me. This time, I loaned money from friends. I had no choice but to be afraid, as I had no previous experience of loaning money from someone I knew.
“Practice loss! Practice shame! The more embarrassment, the more your ego subsides!” Masaya scolded me, I gathered some courage and contacted a friend by telephone. I was refused by many, but many stopped to listen to what I said.
“I was crushed by the media. And now, to start a new project, money is a necessity. Please, lend me your help.”
I asked with humility, but the answer was unanimous.
“Isn’t this money going to some strange cult?”
“No, definitely not. Those lies were all made up by my brother!”
I explained desperately.
“Well, if you say so, I’ll try to do something.”
Eventually, I managed to loan the total sum of 20 million Yen from many of these people, yet, mostly all of that money was paid to Home of Heart.
When Masaya said, “When you cast your ego aside and do this simply, the results show”, I felt happy. Even when Moritani said in encouragement, “Wow! You can still do more!”, I felt happy as well.
After that, I sold and put for online auction many of the stage costumes I had at home, many souvenirs and prizes that X Japan won, and even the trophy X Japan received when we participated in NHK’s Red and White song contest. I even started selling furniture in my house to pay Home of Heart more money. Masaya said, “Your egomania is useless”, and to gather even more money, I canceled my life insurance. One night in December 1998, after gathering as much money as I could, as the seminar ended, Masaya told me.
“I wrote a song for you. Want to hear it?”
“Yes.” I replied immediately.
Masaya sang as he played an acoustic guitar. Before I knew it, Home of Heart’s basement room, where the seminars happened, was packed with the female Staff members. They heard the song prostrated before Masaya. When the song ended, I, Moritani, and the staff all cried loudly. When Masaya finished singing, he said.
“Sing this song, and heal all of the people in Japan who have been hurt like you. Home of Heart will release your CD. Live truthfully from now on. ”
“Thank you so much. I’m so sorry…” I apologized as I cried loudly.
The new single was scheduled for release in early January 1999. Under Masaya’s instruction, in late January, Ueda, my manager, and I would fly to all corners of the country to promote the single. Just like in the days of the ‘Brainwashing uproar’, we would actively take interviews with the media of many areas and explain the circumstances of “brainwashing uproar”, advertising the new song. At release of the single CD, the media from Kumamoto introduced me to a local music store, where a CD signing event would take place. At the signing day, there were more people waiting to see me there than I thought would be. Without make up, without costumes, without sunglasses, I was an entirely different person than one imagined of the ‘visual’ rock style. I wore a light brown, tartan check button down shirt, beige cotton pants, my shoes were loafers, and wrapped in my shoulders was of course a light brown cotton sweater. To avoid as much as possible further “problems” with fashion, I tried all I could to dress like Masaya, but in the end, that also became a “problem topic” in their violence and abuse. Appearing in public with that appearance caused commotion between the people at the store, some of them burst into applause. I sat in a chair that was placed at the corridor of the CD shop and greeted them,
“Hello everyone from Kumamoto. I’m Toshi…”
I started telling them the story of how I had an unhappy childhood, my inferiority complex, how I became a rock star but there wasn’t any happiness in that, and how I met Masaya’s music and it changed my life. Then, I played the guitar and sang.
“That Toshi from X Japan is singing at a local CD shop”
As I performed in this event, the rumor spread and in no time, many more people came to the store, a line of people formed outside the CD shop. I started to sign the CDs, all of the 200 copies sold out successfully. The 200,000 Yen resulting of these sales, immediately went to Moritani’s controlled bank account in the next day. By doing this, Masaya had found out yet another way to make money, and ‘false’ touring, consisting of mini concerts and CD signing events under the name of 「詩旅～うたたび～」(“Song Travel“). CD shops, shopping centers, supermarkets, musical instrument stores, rental video stores, inside these stores, outside these stores… Anywhere that there could be an event, I would ask for an appointment, in all business places of the country, as long as if there were people who would be there to pay. After that, one after the other, expensive CDs were released, I would also perform independent concerts, request more events, and held periodic concerts all over the country. As long there were people to pay money for it, there was work every day. In that time, I also took numerous interviews with the media, in the effort to wipe away the ‘brainwashing uproar’. Starting he year of 1999, I had a lot of local work, and there was little opportunity to go back home, so Moritani was living full time together with Masaya. Besides the basement room where the seminars happened, the Home of Heart headquarters prohibited all men except for Masaya himself. I didn’t know how Moritani’s day to day life was, but I prayed that she was studying hard and training Masaya’s teachings. In the two years between 1999 and 2001, I went to over 500 places throughout the country as part of the touring. The money from that also increased gradually. During 2001, I was making 10 to 20 million Yen alone. A minimum from that value was spent with my living expenses and other expenses, under Home of Heart staff Suzuta’s order, the rest all went into a bank account and Moritani would manage it. But the money for my personal loans and company taxes and loans was never paid. Without knowing it, my personal and company debts only grew…
Reality of the fake volunteer work
From the year 2001, the touring business also spread from CD shops and other stores to an elderly welfare institution. At the end of 2000 to the New Year’s day of 2001, I went to a Home of Heart in the city of Nasu to attend ‘Master Training’. It was the final day. Masaya said, “As you still have time, use that time to go to visit the elderly and heal them. Your training is to go to these places that X Japan wasn’t well known”. Superficially, that was only fake volunteer work, it was nothing but an order to go raise the sales of CDs and other products. By late 2000, the sales in CD shops, shopping centers and other stores countrywide had reached the peak. Perhaps Masaya was now aiming to do business in welfare institutions as a breakthrough solution. Immediately, a volunteer visit was arranged at an elderly health institution located in Yokohama, as a end of year mini concert. Being my first visit to a welfare institution, naturally I was nervous. Just like Masaya said, it was an environment where no one had heard of X Japan before. I became very anxious. The place where the concert would happen was at a small lobby space. There, I adjusted the microphone from a set of karaoke equipment, put on the guitar strings, and adjusted the sound settings. As I did that, I thought.
(What will they think of me…? Maybe they’ll say they won’t listen anymore halfway and leave… They may get angry and say that it’s annoying…)
I was struck by a feeling of nervousness that I did not even feel when performing to 50.000 people at the Tokyo Dome.
The elderly spectators started to arrive and take their places on the previously lined up chairs. Also, about 10 of them came on wheelchairs. The first row was made up by the wheelchair users, and they all looked at me with suspicion. That time, the staff explained closely to a lady’s ear, in a loud voice, that “A former member of X Japan is going to sing”. The lady nodded, but I wonder if she knew. It was finally time to start the performance, and I appeared before the audience. There were about 30 of the elderly present in both chairs and wheelchairs, and around them, 30 of staff and those who I suppose are the family members.
“Hello everyone. My name is Toshi. Previously, I sang in a rock group, X Japan.”
I told them about my childhood, being bullied by my siblings, my inferiority complex, having another complex because of my appearance. Then, how I became a rock star, but in reality that was all empty and turned out to be a battle for my artistic rights.
“Recently, my brother, who wants to have my artistic rights, used the media with bad intentions, calling me a brainwashed man, even though that isn’t true, also attacking the person who saved my life with lies. I’m already out of that battle for artistic rights, I just want to live a simple life from now on. I just want to sing the kind of true songs that saved my life.”
A man in a wheelchair in the first row cried loudly. A very elegant looking woman in the third row also wiped her tears with a handkerchief. Another lady in a wheelchair cried. The family members and the staff members also cried. When the performance ended, I left the guitar on my chair, and without too much thought, I approached the man who cried in the first row. I shook his hands. The old man couldn’t speak clearly, but I am sure that he said, “Thank you”. I replied, “Thank you sir…”
Then, I heard from many of the audience members, “Please, shake hands with me as well”, as they extended out their arms. I went to each of them.
“Thank you, lady…”
Until that, it all went very well.
But, the family members and staff formed a line to buy the CDs at a stand. The elderly also seemed interested in purchasing the CDs. The director of the institution also purchased Masaya’s BGM CD. The sales went up to 100,000 Yen.
Of course, the purpose of this was to sell the CDs using the pretext of volunteer work. Go to an elderly welfare institution and make them happy. That alone was a good thing to do, probably. But the real goal was only to raise the sales. Singing these songs, telling an emotional story, would certainly make anyone feel sad and the pain of loneliness, the family members of these lonely elderly people, the very hardworking staff member. Surely, anyone would cry. Then, make these people, in that emotional state, buy the products. This was even worse than a fraud, I was pretending to be a ‘good’ person. As I was in conflict with my own hypocrisy, I had a smile on my face, signing each of the purchased CDs. In fear of suffering that terrible violence and verbal abuse if I didn’t give the money of these sales to Moritani… In fear that if I separated from Masaya, my life would turn back into the hell it was… With the responsibility in mind that because of my family, Masaya and the others of Home of Heart had went through so much troubles that now they couldn’t even afford food… A sense of duty that I should spread Masaya’s music to all people… Thinking that if people paid for a genuine work like Masaya’s music, it would contribute to their own good…
Many mixed feelings went through my mind.
In the end, I got my hands dirty with the cowardly action of exploiting people’s weaknesses. But it continued to all of the elderly welfare institutions of the country, welfare institutions for people with disabilities, orphanages, hospitals and medical care facilities, prisons, reform schools. In one day, I visited roughly 5 or 6 places. From the 5 year space to the year of 2005, I visited 5000 institutions and more, selling products. I believe that the amount sold in that period was not less than three hundred million Yen. Of course, without the except of a minimum to cover my living expense, with the order of Moritani or Suzuta, I would go to the bank and all of this money would go to Moritani.
In that time, since early in the morning, I held a suitcase full of CDs, a guitar case, and went over to many places to sing. This was harsh labor, and I didn’t even have time to rest, as even as I was walking or in transport, I would get abusive calls from Moritani. The phone calls continued from late night to early morning. If I slept plenty, it would be at around 4 hours of sleep. If I slept little, it would be around 1 or 2 hours of sleep. I didn’t have time for myself or even a day off. I crossed my physical and mental limits. My money, mind, physical force and judgment were all stolen. I was chosen to be Moritani and Masaya’s money making robot.
Discovery of the child abuse case
“Is there child abuse at Home of Heart!?”
Suddenly, I saw a television camera and a reporter with a microphone dashing towards me. It was June 2004, at the end of an event, when I was about to get in a taxi. I was surprised with the suddenness of it all, but I was already annoyed with the media from the days of ‘brainwashing turmoil’. I told the driver, with fast paced words, to “please hurry out of here”. As the driver closed the car’s automatic door, the reporter held the door with his extended hand, pushing the microphone to me.
“What’s the truth about the child abuse?”
I had no idea what he was saying, and as I tried to close the door, the man entered the car halfway, in a way such that the door wouldn’t close, pushing the microphone to my face, it almost hit my nose. Beyond his back, the television camera was also in front of my eyes. I thought that they were doing this in a kind of rude manner, but of course they wanted me to have an emotional reaction. I said in a calm tone of voice.
“This is all very sudden. This is dangerous, so please move over there.”
The reporter yelled in a rough way.
“Is it true that Home of Heart and Toshi Office are committing child abuse?”
“No such thing is happening! Please move over!”
I tried to close the door, but he wouldn’t move at all from the door space.
He pushed the microphone to my face again, the camera also approached. Because of that, I raised my voice, irritated.
With my emotional response and expression, he finally got out of the car. Soon as the taxi sped up, I thought that I must contact Moritani right away. I was terrified that this new case would become material for their violence and abuse. For a moment, I hesitated. But after four years since negative attacks from the media, I pressed the dial button on the mobile phone nervously.
As Moritani heard the an outline of the situation, she immediately said in a cold tone, “I will contact Masaya right now”.
With the taxi in movement, I was terrified, thinking about what kind of things she would tell Masaya. After 10 minutes or so, my mobile phone rang. It was Moritani.
“For now, contact a lawyer, inform the situation. Are you going somewhere now?”
“Yes, I’m in a moving taxi.”
“Ok, contact us later.”
I was afraid of what kind of things the media was stirring up. But what frightened me more than the media was how violent the abuse from Moritani and Masaya would become. The next day, I was in the city of Asuke in Aichi prefecture. I was in the city, near the Kourankei valley, famous for its autumnal scenery, to perform a concert. The first floor of the place was a blacksmith business that had been established back in the Edo period. The second floor was a cafe where I would perform. It was an eccentric place, but at the same time, it felt like home. The owner greeted me with a smile.
“It’s still cold around here, huh? Looking forward to the concert.”
“Yes, I’ll do my best.”
In the area of mountains, even though it was already past spring, that day was very cold as if freezing. The sky was deep blue, the air was clear.
Without realizing, I inhaled deeply the fresh air that should improve my mood, but because of yesterday’s happening, it turned into a sigh. I had two events for the day and night. The cafe was crowded with about 50 people.
When I returned to the dressing room after the end of the day’s performance, my mobile phone rang.
“The child consultation center and the police are coming here now. They’re also going to Toshi Office. They’re taking the children.”
I rarely ever got a phone call directly from Masaya, his voice on the phone surprised me.
The place he referred to as ‘here’ was the new address from where Home of Heart and Toshi Office moved to in August of 2001. Before it was located at Tokyo Minato, Minamiasa and now it was at Tochigi prefecture in the city of Nasu. ‘Here’ was a room in an apartment located in Nasu’s neighboor city of Kuroiso(Now, Nasu Shiobara). Masaya was probably making the call from his personal room at the headquarters. He talked almost whispering, as if to hide the contents of the conversation to anyone outside, denoting how serious the issue was.
“Moritani is now holding the baby in resistance to the child consultation center so they don’t take her away.”
The baby Masaya speaks of is a girl born out of a relationship with one of the staff.
I was in another room near the dressing room, feeling the cold air. I was at a loss for words.
“Lawyer Kito and the others already set the traps! Because of you, even the children are being taken away!”
Masaya said that and ended the call.
Like in the time of ‘brainwashing turmoil’, the media was also involved in this case, and lawyer Kito, knowing of Home of Heart’s dangerous nature, informed Tochigi prefecture’s child consultation center that “Masaya has ordered the children’s mothers who live with him to not let the children go to school. The children are made to work forcibly. They are restricted from going out. At the related ‘Toshi Office’, it is reported as child abuse that a mother, in accordance to Masaya’s teachings, is raising a two year old boy in a cardboard box of about 1 meter wide and tall.”. The consultation center started an investigation with these reports.
In April 8, 2004, after the end of two volunteer concerts at welfare institutions, I was putting things in order. Right after the concert, the elderly were already gathered for their lunch. Then, over the television, NHK Daytime News was on.
“There have been reports of child abuse at a self-improvement seminar center “Home of Heart”, located in the city of Nasu, Tochigi prefecture. Tochigi prefecture’s child consultation center has been investigating the case for eight days, based on anti child abuse laws. Five minors and infants have been taken under protection…”
I stared at the television screen as I heard that voice. It showed images of the Home of Heart headquarters.
“The infants were put and raised inside a cardboard box, the children were made to do heavy physical labor, their meal times were set at late as 1AM or 2AM. The children are old enough to attend school, but they didn’t go. The lawyer who discovered this information, will, on the 9th, plead for human rights relief at Japan Federation of Bar Associations. Compensation for damages and prosecution is also being considered.”
It was the first time I felt pain with the heaviness of these news.
After that, along with a press conference with lawyer Kito and police, they showed images of what was believed* to be Home of Heart’s interior and previous saved footage. In these news, they also explained Masaya’s basic teaching principles, showed testimonies from injured parties, staged images of the children’s conditions. Contents acknowledging “Home of Heart is a dangerous cult group which abuses children. With intimidation and violence, they force members to give out money.”
The previous time with ‘brainwashing turmoil’ was the level of variety shows and weekly magazines, but now, this was news of a social issue, a “case”. The influence of ‘brainwashing turmoil’ could never be compared to the influence of this.
After that, a series of police reports, civil case trials and offense and defense of lawyer Kito and the injured parties began.
Muddy trials begin
In March 2004, a website called “Analyzing the problem of Home of Heart and Toshi”(Popularly known as ‘HTP’, Presently named as ‘Analyzing the problem of Masaya and Kurabuchi Toru Group’) appeared on the internet. It is thought that this website was created by an injured party named A. The contents of the site accused Masaya, Home of Heart, and Moritani of giving the person money, emotional damage from it, and blamed their ‘advertiser’, Toshi. When the site creator started consulting with lawyer Kito, the ‘child abuse case’ was disclosed to the media. In response to lawyer Kito and the Home of Heart injured parties’ use of the media, I received Masaya’s orders.
“Go to the media and deny everything”
“Refute all of these things on your own website”
The next day, I took an interview in a television variety show, and published contents that Masaya demanded, staying awake all night long writing it, sending it to the Home of Heart management for approval and finally placing the counterattack on the website. It included things like, “A former fan and staff was harassing us with stalker actions, and has joined herself with a manipulated, corrupt lawyer, seeking her interest”
“Masaya said to me, “Don’t fight”, however, I will not allow this, and I will not forgive these people. We will fight to the end.”
Then, an apology fax was sent to the persons involved with the previously scheduled concerts and events, but one by one, all of them were canceled. After that, as the news of lawyer Kito’s criminal charges in Tochigi police for “confinement” and “violation of children’s welfare”, then at the Labor Standards Supervision for “violation of labor standards”, I posted on my own website another rebuttal. Then, because of the contents of that, in April 2004, lawyer Kito and the injured parties sued Masaya and I for defamation on civil lawsuit, also a civil claim for damage reparation.
As lawyer Kito and the injured parties and the media continued their pursuit after Home of Heart, this time I received Masaya’s instruction to sue the injured parties as myself and Toshi Office. In May of 2004, I sued the injured parties on civil lawsuit for “obstruction of business” and “defamation”. After, still under Masaya’s order, in June of 2004, I presented to Japan Federation of Bar Associations a demand for disciplinary measures against lawyer Kito. Then, in August 2004, another injured party claimed for damage reparations, “More than the damage from the ‘feedback’ with violence, I was forced to loan money in a quantity about as high as 13 million Yen.”
The reparation price was of approximately 2 million Yen. After that, in a space of about 6 months, a series of muddy civil trials started.
Reality of the child abuse case
I had only been one time to the Home of Heart new headquarters now located in the city of Nasu, I don’t know what the conditions inside were. One of the children lived with the women living together as a group. Two children lived at the Home of Heart lodge in Yakushima. One infant from the relationship between Masaya and a staff member, and a total of four children lived together. That was what I guessed from conversations between Masaya and Moritani. At the Toshi Office apartment, as the seminar training happened at the time, under Masaya’s order, a woman lived there as an employee with her daughter who was about 10 years old. I also heard that another woman and her 2 year old son lived there in a different room. Even though I was named as the supervisor of Toshi Office, I could not even go there without Moritani’s permission. Perhaps I went there twice, only to check my luggage, spending very little time. I had no idea what sort of things happened at the office.
Masaya’s lecture always had negative stance towards school.
“Only deviant parents make their children go to school.”
“School is only a place for bad relationships and bullying.”
“School brainwashes children with erroneous knowledge, spoiling their innocence.”
“No one will teach genuine things to children at school, the only way to learn about truth is through Masaya’s seminars.”.
Even when I was getting verbal abuse from Moritani through the phone, late at night, halfway, the children would also speak on the phone, also taking part of the verbal abuse.
When I knew of the news about the children being raised in cardboard boxes, the mothers denied it, but I don’t know whether it was true or not.
At the time, I thought, “If this is really true, it’s dreadful!”, but at the same time, I suppressed that thought because I thought it was wrong. “Having thoughts contrary to what Masaya say is caused by my egomania. That alone is wrong. Masaya is always correct.” That was the result of the abuse and violence’s mark. I always suffered with conflict.
Eventually in the child abuse prosecution, I was declared without suspicion and was not indicted. That result proved that I had no connection with this case. But Masaya and the others were judged as ‘without suspicion’ or ‘inconclusive findings’, leading to ‘inconclusive proof to be indicted’ and the case was dropped. The children returned from the child consultation center to Home of Heart conditionally. At the time, I may have played a role into the children returning to Home of Heart and this, even now, is what weighs the most in my mind.
When I think of these children being shut off from the world, not knowing anything other than Home of Heart, and turning into robots for Masaya’s convenience, it makes me feel truly miserable.