Invitation to rejoin X Japan
In August of 2006, I was performing a concert in a city in the mountain area of Nagano prefecture. Before the show, I was preparing in the dressing room, alone. Suddenly, the door flew open and a man entered the dressing room.
“Toshi! It’s been a long time!”
The man who suddenly entered the room sat by my side. Surprised, I turned to look, and the person who was there was one who had been my personal office manager and X Japan’s manager, but because of troubles, had been fired. It was that Takeda. The person I least wanted to see again. The atmosphere was tense just like before, since these 12 years ago. He spoke very fast, like a machine gun, of his current affairs.
“I have a concert soon, I need to make arrangements, could you please leave?”
I said that, wishing that he would leave fast. But suddenly Takeda said this very quickly.
“The truth is, Yoshiki says that he wants to do X Japan stuff again, don’t you want to?”
If Moritani knew I had seen Takeda, it would become a topic for the violence. “You met with a suspicious person and now you are giving off bad energy.”
When I met Moritani at the auditions, Takeda had been suspicious of her. In a way, he could’ve saved me. But, because of the trouble he made, Moritani heard many bad rumors about him. If she knew that he came to talk to me about X Japan’s revival, I don’t know how extreme the abuse and violence about it would become, since I was already told that “X Japan corrupted the world’s young people”. Trying to make him leave as soon as possible as not to make my supervisor, Ueda, know of it, I forced him out of the dressing room.
“I have no willingness to do it! Don’t show your face to me ever again!”
However, in the next month, September, when I had a scheduled concert at a small piano salon in Minato, Tokyo, Takeda appeared suddenly again.
“Why are you here?”
As I asked that, A took a peek at me from behind Takeda.
“Hello, Toshi. It’s been a while.”
A’s hoarse voice hadn’t changed since 1992, when they had been my solo career director and then helped me a lot at the times of the ‘brainwashing uproar’. A had also been Toshi Office’s supervisor. Seeing A after 6 years was also something I dreaded. But without choice, I let the two of them into the dressing room. Their purpose was to ask me if I didn’t want to participate in X Japan’s revival. I refused.
“It truly doesn’t matter what you say, I don’t want to do it at all. Please don’t show up again.”
Saying that, Takeda sharply replied.
“If you accept, you’ll be paid three hundred million Yen. You’ll be immediately paid half of it.”
“Doesn’t matter, I don’t want to do it. You’re only being an annoyance, please leave!” I shouted in anger. They left.
After that, I received a phone call from Moritani.
“Takeda went to the headquarters in Nasu to speak to Masaya… Masaya doesn’t want to see him, he’s pretending not to be there. Has Takeda visited you?”
“Yes, he also came here.”
Masaya was now on the phone.
“What did he say to you?”
“He asked me if I wanted to be in X Japan again but I told him to leave and never come back.”
“Ah, I see…”
Later, speaking directly to both Masaya and Moritani, Masaya asked me.
“What did Takeda say to you, specifically?”
“If I rejoined X Japan, I would be paid three hundred million Yen. And initially they would give me half of that. He said he’d be willing to risk himself to save me from the media’s criticism.”
“Hey, Ueda, did you hear that too? Did he really say three hundred million?”
Ueda, standing next to me, confirmed everything.
Then, Masaya spoke terrifying words.
“Then, in this case, let’s hear what Takeda has to say.”
In October 2006, a meeting was Masaya and Takeda was arranged. Moritani and I were also present. It took place at a hotel room reserved by Takeda in Shinjuku district. Up in the highest room of the 45 story building, the indirect soft light tinged the black and white decorated room in orange. Looking at the big window, the lights of the skyline and the headlights of the cars on the streets seemed to be like miniatures under our eyes. Back turned to the window, we sat in the sofa. Masaya in the center and Moritani and I beside him. Takeda was sitting facing Masaya, leaning forward.
“Toshi has caused you a lot of trouble. I apology on his behalf. But thank you for taking care of him until now. I’m putting my life on the line to protect Masaya and Kaori-chan(Moritani) from the media.”
Takeda looked down.
I thought, “there’s no need to praise them”.
Masaya also spoke.
“Just because I own Toshi’s artistic rights at the moment, his family and many other people around him with bad intentions have sought to take back his artistic rights, claiming to the media I am a cult, claiming that there’s been child abuse… I’ve been involved with a lot of these ridiculous incidents. But Toshi always wanted to work with me… Toshi and Kaori have both come to me on the verge of suicide… I had to save them…”
“At the age of 27 I already was the youngest person in history to be listed in the stock exchange…”
He told that same old story. Then, Takeda said.
“Well, about X Japan’s revival… The contract money is of three hundred million Yen. Half of that value can be paid immediately.”
Masaya also leaned forward.
“Toshi says he doesn’t want to return to X Japan never again. However, I can persuade him. Because, in the end, I own all of his artistic rights. But, he also has to continue with his solo healing music schedule.”
Masaya now spoke looking at me.
“Aren’t you glad that Takeda apologized on your behalf and is offering to protect you from the media…”
After a while, we exited the room. Masaya ordered “we’ll talk about this in the car” and we took the lift to the underground parking lot and to the car.
“Your family and other evil people attacked me through the media because your artistic rights of X Japan are very valuable and they think they can steal that. You know that… If you performed X Japan’s comeback with my lead, it will only reinforce that your artistic rights are mine. Then, your family and other people would quit the attacks. Then, my name would be clean again and I would also be able to have a comeback. So, go ahead and get the half immediate payment. And just go on with it until you get the remaining half. You get it!”
Masaya’s plan about X Japan’s revival
(In the end, it’s all about money?)
I couldn’t comprehend these words. X Japan had been so demonized, I had been beaten and abused as far as being called a “criminal against the universe” because of it. Of course, it was burned deep into my mind that “whatever Masaya says is universally right” and that my feelings of opposition and doubts were “ugly things that only egomaniacs fell”. I tried to erase the doubts from my mind, but shadow of the realization that I was going to return to X Japan always haunted somewhere deep in my heart.
Moritani’s abuse and violence also made sure to deepen that.
“You couldn’t bring money from righteous work so now you have no choice but to get money from that rotten X Japan! Yet, if you let that rotten money be used by Masaya, he will only turn it into something beautiful!”
After the harsh violence and abuse, Masaya made me write a will.
I was ordered to “write that all of the money you own will be inherited by Moritani”.
“Also that nothing of it will ever go to your mother or your siblings, even if you die”.
Later, a lawyer went to Home of Heart to receive that will.
First conversation with Yoshiki after 9 years
In October 2006, when I heard from Takeda that Yoshiki wanted to work as X Japan again, I couldn’t believe it. With Masaya’s order to work in X Japan’s revival, the first step was to directly make sure that Yoshiki was really intending this.
After a long time, I pressed these numbers on my mobile phone.
“I wonder what Yoshiki is going to say…”
A little nervous, I pressed the dial button.
“Riiiing… Riiing… Riiing…”
The international call sound rang about three times and then it was picked up.
“May I talk to Yoshiki? This is Toshi speaking.”
My heart was beating loudly. 30 seconds passed and it seemed to be such a long time. Then, I heard that voice.
The last time I spoke directly with Yoshiki had been roughly 9 years ago, in April 1997. In the last live and at Hide’s funeral, we did not have a proper conversation.
“Yoshiki, it’s Toshi… It’s been a while…”
It was an awkward conversation, but I knew that already. After light exchange od situations, I said what I was meaning to say with all my courage.
“By the way, I heard that you’ve been wanting to reform X Japan…”
“Huh? I don’t remember saying that. Rather, I heard that you wanted to do it.”
(So that was it.)
This was all planned by Takeda, telling me that Yoshiki said he wanted to work as X Japan once again.
“Ah, I see. That’s ok then.”
“Toshi, I’m going to Japan later this month…”
“So, we can meet when you get here.”
“Ok. We’ll stay in touch.”
“I’m very happy that I could talk to you after all this time. Thanks, Yoshiki…”
After many years of being prohibited from contacting Yoshiki, I was truly happy that I had spoken to him, even though there were various expectations.
Soon as I ended the call with Yoshiki, I called Takeda.
“I heard from Yoshiki that he never said anything about X Japan. Don’t go around making up things!”
After Masaya had given me the order, I knew I wasn’t supposed to meddle with this, but I would not allow anyone to make up lies using Yoshiki as an excuse, it angered me greatly.
Money from Takeda
On October 19 2006, Toshi Office received from Takeda’s representative company the value of one hundred million Yen on the Mizuho Bank account. After that, I was contacted by Home of Heart’s staff Suzuta.
“Call Mizuho Bank and ask them where can you go and withdraw the money.”
I called the bank and they informed me that in their main address I could withdraw 30 million Yen and at their Nishikasai location, I could withdraw 35 million the following day. I told this to Suzuta.
“Then, tomorrow at 9 AM we’ll go to their main office and at 10 AM we’ll go to the Nishikasai office and take the money. Tell the bank this.” I informed the bank of the money withdrawal.
The next day, Suzuta drove the minivan, with Moritani coming along, from Nasu to Tokyo, headed for the enormous bank office.
The Mizuho bank office was a very tall building located near the Hibiya park. Looking up at it above the trees, the building seemed to touch the clouds.
Arriving at the building, Suzuta parked the minivan as Moritani and I got off the car and entered the building. Suzuta waited for us at the parking lot.
Moritani walked very close to me, whispering directions.
“Get this done fast.”
“Place the money inside this bag.”
I took a fabric hand bag from Moritani. Then, she gave me more directions.
“Get the 30 million, then the 35 million and pay them to Home of Heart’s bank account.”
I asked for an application to begin the withdraw procedure. Moritani took out from her purse a bankbook and a seal. She placed them beside the document I was writing.
When our designated number was called, I handed the document, bankbook and seal to the staff behind the counter.
“I contacted the bank yesterday, this is on behalf of Toshi Office.”
“It’s about cash withdrawal, right? Please wait a minute.”
Moritani sat by my side, without any expression and looking straight forward.
“Toshi Office, thanks for waiting.”
The staff placed the 30 million Yen on the counter. All of it were 1 million Yen banknotes in a bundle. After making sure there were 30 bundles, I placed them in the fabric bag. Immediately Moritani whispered.
“Is there really 30?”
Halfway to the exit, Moritani quickly grabbed the bag I had placed the money inside.
Getting to the parking lot where Suzuta waited for us, first Moritani got inside the car, in the backseat and I followed. We started to head to the Nishikasai Mizuho Bank. During the drive, Moritani held the money very closely, not speaking a single word. After a 40 minute drive, we arrived at Nishikasai Mizuho Bank. Just like in the main building, Moritani walked very close to me. As I started to fill the application for withdrawal, once again she took from her purse the bankbook and seal, giving them to me. She gave me another fabric bag and signaled with a look that it was for me to place the money inside it.
This time it was 35 bundles of one million notes. Placed on the counter. As I counted them, Moritani also counted, whispering by my side.
I placed them in the bag, and now I handed the bankbook, seal, and money to Moritani. When the money withdrawal procedures ended, I felt a little relief. I also felt a little puzzled at how I was supposed to handle such a large quantity of cash. But I felt a heavy depressing feeling, since from now on, because of X Japan’s return, I would have to associate with Takeda and I didn’t want to.
After that, in November 13 2006, Masaya, Moritani, Takeda and I met in that same hotel room to receive three hundred million Yen, which was immediately paid to Moritani.
In December 18 2006, Toshi Office received from Takeda’s company 10 million Yen more. Once again, Suzuta, Moritani and I drove from Nasu to Mizuho Bank in Ebisu. Under Moritani’s order, 5 million and 4 million were divided and paid paid into ‘Amazon Public Company'(A company related to Home of Heart, Moritani was the manager). 1 million Yen was withdrawn as cash and paid to Moritani. The remaining Ten million were a direct payment in that hotel later.
Going into the room by myself, Takeda was, like always, very enthusiastic. Talking on and on about future plans. He leaned against the huge window and said.
“If you wish to quit, you can quit any time. By then, I will have the next vocalist ready, so until he’s ready, please ake care of things.”
(How could that happen without Yoshiki’s agreement? Don’t do things by your own way!)
I received the cash, and I left the room like as if I were running away. Then, the ten million in cash was paid to Mortiani, who awaited for me in Suzuta’s car at the parking lot.
With this, the promised one hundred and fifty million Yen was completely paid. First through me and Toshi Office, then into Moritani’s control.
After I paid the money, I was verbally abused in the car.
“Masaya is making you participate in X Japan’s return, so Masaya owns this money. You’re not having a single cent of it! If Masaya charged you for all the nuisance you caused, nothing would be enough. Go and get more money!”
Moritani and Suzuta left me alone, and I went to a business hotel in Minato. The stained dirty walls had no window. There was only an old single bed inside this dreary, confined space. I laid on the bed and closed my eyes.
(How are things going to be like after this…)
Unfamiliar feelings of anxiety and despair took over my mind with the surreal ‘X Japan return’ prospect.
Meeting with Yoshiki after 10 years
In late October 2006, Yoshiki returned to Japan, and a meeting was scheduled at the reception of the recording studio.
After not being in contact for a period of 10 years, my thoughts rushed, I had no idea of what I should say. To Masaya and Moritani, Yoshiki was “the causer of all evils”, they kept repeating that, nothing but an effort to forcibly erase the memories from my mind. But those feelings and memories since my childhood and through many years came back in a flash.
Masaya’s order to participate in X Japan made me hesitant, but after 10 years, when Yoshiki turned to look at me, it was like as if I was transported back to my childhood. An incredible sensation.
“I want to work you you again.”
Maybe it was will bad intentions from Masaya and the others that I was saying this to Yoshiki, but perhaps it was “something” from all of these years, that no one other than Yoshiki and I could interfere with.
In December of the year 2006, there were some sudden news. Takeda suffered some kind of accident and had to leave the project.
(Well, it’s not surprising if Takeda is guilty of something…)
A, who came to visit me together with Takeda in the beginning, was now continuing the project as Takeda’s replacement.
In March 2007, A told me.
“Why don’t we phone Yoshiki in Los Angeles and set up a meeting?”
I called Yoshiki in LA.
“Yoshiki, I would like to speak to you in LA.”
Yoshiki adjusted his very busy schedule for this and replied.
“The middle of the month will be a good time.”
Meeting in L.A.
16 March 2007. I was at the lounge of Yoshiki’s studio in North Hollywood, Los Angeles.
I had been previously here in April 1997, to tell Yoshiki about my resignation.
We sat around a large round table, facing each other. Neither of us knew what to say. Yoshiki, mindful of me, started talking about solo activities since then.
Then, my mobile phone vibrated. The liquid crystal display informed it was a call from Moritani.
“Yoshiki, excuse me a little”
I left the lounge room and turned left, into the bathroom and then inside a stall and picked up the phone.
I placed my hand over my mouth as not to echo the conversation.
“Masaya should know all of it.”
“Hello, what did Yoshiki say? Is he really up to do this?”
I was asked by Masaya.
“Yes, I will speak to him about that after this.”
“You have to say that because of you, Masaya, the person who saved your life, was terribly slandered, begin seen as a cult leader and child abuser. Therefore, with X Japan’s return, Masaya and Home of Heart must be protected, then you’ll agree to reform X Japan!”
(Even if I say that “I agree to reform X Japan”, they already have received one part of the promised money. Masaya and the others want to do this, but will Yoshiki passively agree to their conditions? Yoshiki probably knows about the brainwashing and child abuse cases. If I say something too outrageous, it’s possible that Yoshiki will not be up to this any more…)
Until I ended the phone call and returned, distrust of Masaya’s words went around in my mind.
As I returned, the conversation with Yoshiki began again, but was interrupted once more after ten minutes, when my cell phone rang. Again I left and locked myself in the restroom. Sensing my doubts, Moritani started the abuse suddenly.
“All it takes is to meet an egomaniac like Yoshiki and now you’re already thinking you’re above all! What are you doubting? Whatever doubt you have, whatever idea you have, a fickle egomaniac like you will never be comparable to Masaya or his deep ideas of everything! You must listen to what Masaya has to say, you trash!”
After the 10 minute or so abusive call, Yoshiki noticed the gloomy mood I was in and asked with worry.
“Toshi, is everything ok?”
I started telling Yoshiki the usual story of how I met Masaya, how Masaya had saved my life and its details when I got yet another phone call. Perhaps Yoshiki thought that these incessant calls were unnatural.
“That’s a lot of calls.”
“Sorry, there’s some urgent business back in Japan.”
He didn’t say anything, but it’s likely that Yoshiki felt that I was once again under Masaya and Home of Heart’s control. After a while, Yoshiki said.
“There’s a song I wrote, in Hide’s memory, do you want to hear it?”
“Yes, of course I’d like to!”
We both went into the recording room Yoshiki was so proud of, cramped with recording materials and tools. Yoshiki made me sit next to the very high class mixing controls. That was the place were the sound could be best heard. Then, just like the same as ten years ago, he showed me the song lyrics written in his own handwriting. Every time a new song’s lyrics had been completed, Yoshiki showed the to me in his handwriting. This song, written in memory of Hide, was titled “Without You”.
Yoshiki, in the background, pressed the ‘play’ button on the computer.
When the song quietly finished, Yoshiki said gently.
“I wish you’d sing this song.”
“Then should I try?”
Yoshiki went to the grand piano’s keyboard and like always, I stood by the right side.
“How about this key?”
The key most suitable for my voice had been chosen. This was Yoshiki style key choice.
“I think a more difficult key would be better. Rather than a key I can sing comfortably, a higher key would be best.”
When I finished singing, and when Yoshiki stopped playing, we were in silence for a while.
When Yoshiki finally said this, without thought I honestly asked.
“Do you want to work as X again?”
“… I don’t know yet…”
When I returned to Japan, Masaya ordered me to inform on my website that I had met Yoshiki in LA. With that notice, many fans and media speculated about the rumors of X Japan’s return.
Our first drink
In a space of 5 months, the plans of X’s return had not progressed much. A, and their partner B, advised me again.
“Meet Yoshiki once again and talk about the plans.”
I also received orders from Masaya to “do it”, and in mid August 2007, as Yoshiki arranged his schedule, A, B, and I flew once again to Los Angeles.
The day of our arrival, I contacted Yoshiki.
“Why don’t we go drink and eat together?”
With my invitation, Yoshiki reserved some time and a restaurant for us. It was a japanese food restaurant in bar style I used to go a lot when I lived in LA. Now the management had changed and it was now a high class japanese food restaurant.
I had no more recollection of the times we had been out to drink together previously. Maybe the first experience.
When the waited came to get our orders, Yoshiki ordered a drink that he apparently always chose. Since I had been under Masaya’s control, I could not drink. But, I ordered a beer.
“Toshi, can you drink?”
Yoishiki asked, even though ten years ago, alcohol was never my strong point.
“Yeah, because today we’re here after such a long time, I guess I’ll have a drink!”
Then, Yoshiki talked a lot about the old days, going from our childhood, middle school, high school, to the time when X was an amateur band. Yoshiki looked like he was having fun, sometimes laughing until the tears came out. I too laughed, feeling like a child again.
After getting into a relaxed mood, inevitably we would have to move on to the topic of X Japan’s future.
“Yoshiki, do you know? There seem to be many X Japan fans all over the world.”
“Our music had spread around the world. Even though we’ve been doing nothing…”
I said to Yoshiki once more.
“Let’s work as X again.”
That time, I was probably asking it honestly, as a long time childhood friend. I said the words without thinking about it.
Yoshiki replied, speaking very fast.
“I just finished a very exhaustive recording for a Hollywood musical movie, so I can’t think about X right now. I have optimistic feelings towards it, but I can’t answer right now. But the song you sang at the studio, “Without You”. I want to do that one. We’ll start by recording that one first.”
It’s likely that Yoshiki had to deal with the emotional part of it and his busy schedule to organize X Japan’s return. But maybe the biggest cause of Yoshiki’s reluctance in his decision was the problem of Masaya, Moritani and Home of Heart’s control over me.
Yoshiki’s decision, challenging the world
End of August 2007. As I returned to Japan, I saw rapid development in Yoshiki’s decision to reform X Japan. Yoshiki contacted me, noticing that there was a big chance that X Japan’s song could be used as the main theme song for a new movie of world famous series produced in Hollywood called “SAW”. Yoshiki had in his mind that this was the perfect way to make X Japan’s return and also world debut.
However, he told me that there couldn’t be any delays and the song had to be recorded and finished in one week. Then, Yoshiki asked me with emphasis.
“I can really believe in everything you say, can I?”
“Yes, of course…”
I did say this with a guilty conscience, but even if I was not under Masaya and the other’s control, it was my true wish that I could work with Yoshiki again.
“Then, we’ll start the recording soon!”
Hurriedly, I was going to record. And I was going to sing Yoshiki’s song again since 10 years ago. The title of the new song was “I.V.”.
It was a heavy song, but at the same melodious, with a complex range and classical development. This song showed the nuances of Yoshiki’s musical sense as a result of living in America for many years. A very appropriate song for X Japan’s revival. The lyrics were entirely in english.
(Will I be able to sing this song after 10 years of singing only healing music?)
I had some insecurity, but my only choice was to sing. Yoshiki, after years of projects and working as a producer of many artists around the world, now gave me precise directions and advice on english pronunciation, bringing out the best of my vocal performance.
As a result, in early September 2007, “I.V.” was chosen, from more than 200 other songs by many other artists worldwide, to be “SAW 4″‘s main theme song. This was also the moment when X Japan’s return was decided for its merits.
First activity with X Japan, open video shooting
In October 18 2007, an “urgent notice” was posted on X Japan’s website, informing about the band’s activities starting again, the choice of theme song for the worldwide exhibition of the movie “SAW4”, and that X Japan had now launched worldwide.
Furthermore, in October 22, there was also the announcement that the band was filming the promo video for the new song at the rooftop of Aquacity in Odaiba, and the fans could see the progress of this filming in a large screen that was placed at a park of the building grounds.
Until then, I had been working with much effort everyday, with no make up and plain dress. And now, unexpectedly, I returned to the rock world.
Masaya told me to wear sunglasses and other orders regarding my style.
All this time, I had been made to say and contradict myself that “If I can sing the songs I really want to sing, as how I really am, then I am happy”, and, “If I can allow myself to live without any false appearances, I am happy.”
Then, the “useless egomania” had been erased from me, but yet I was, once again, the rock vocalist Toshi.
On the large stage on top the building, 6 tons of artificial rain fell. The filming of the promotion video, which had cost a total of 350 thousand dollars, started. One of Hide’s favorite guitars was there as his representation. More than 10 thousand fans had gathered at the park to watch on the screen. After the filming ended, the band members gathered and went to the park to a special message for the fans.
Yoshiki took the microphone.
“X Japan’s world debut has been decided. If it’s successful, we’ll be aiming for a concert next spring.”
He raised his voice, shouting all at once.
Yoshiki moved the microphone at my direction, but I didn’t know what I should say and I had no words. I was in fear that my words would become problems to Masaya and Moritani and that it would earn me abuse and violence, so I did not say anything.
This was the grand opening for X Japan’s return, with Yoshiki’s lead.
A light towards escape from brainwashing
Until October 2006, Masaya and Moritani had been profiting, and I lived in a state of poverty, as the “touring” I did became each time more exhausting.
However, I had been going to welfare institutions with the objective of selling CDs until then, and suddenly I was told to stop.
“You’ve been wasting a lot of money doing that work in welfare institutions, but you’ve met a lot of business owners who support me(Masaya). Now you have to sell them concert tickets and my healing products and hotel memberships. And of course, you will also raise the sales from shopping centers, events and concert appearances with their payment and CD sales!”
After I was told that, everyday, in the spare time I had between touring, I had meetings with many business owners, sometimes I had a meal with them, requesting their efforts to help with the activities. From 2006 to 2009, it’s likely that I met more than 4000 people of the most varied areas. In that number, I met the directors and managers of big enterprises and also many famous politicians.
Actually, the frequent interaction and exchange with my old friends and people involved in X Japan’s return and these of business, which I had been forbidden until then, was the light that showed me the way out.
X Japan’s revival concert
On the 28, 29 and 30 of March 2008, X Japan’s concert was scheduled at Tokyo Dome. In the beginning of March there were also the rehearsals.
Ueda had been at the lobby outside of the rehearsal studio, and inside of the studio, where only the members and concert staff were allowed to enter, I could turn off my mobile phone’s battery source, not getting any calls of harassment from Moritani. Performing with my old friends even made me feel a little bit less tense. Even Yoshiki, who I knew since our childhood, as the leader of the band, worried about me, told me this at every opportunity.
“I’ll accept you the way you are, and we’ll do this together. I’ll lend you my strength.”
The concert tickets to about 50,000 seats had been sold out almost at the same time it went on sale.
The first day of the concerts had been delayed for more than two hours. The reason was that there had been found technical problems in the sound source of the hologram that would be used as Hide, and the adjustments took time because of the difficulty. Combining Hide’s image and playing to our performance had been already nearly impossible. But in the time before the concert, I received Moritani’s abusive calls incessantly, and had to dismiss staff from the dressing room, such as the make up staff and the stylist. As I sat in the chair facing the mirror, I listened to the abuse.
8:17 PM, it was finally time for the concert and I went to the stage. In 10 years, the last song I had performed on the Tokyo Dome, in December 31 1997, was “The Last Song”, which was now the opening song. As the intro played, I started singing.
“終わらない雨 抱きしめた 夜が朝を迎える・・・”
I was then surrounded by the shouts of enthusiastic fans. I sang on my voice’s limit. I guessed Masaya and Moritani were probably watching the live broadcast, hanging on to every word I said and the way I acted.
After these three days of concerts, the next day I returned to my own touring and CD sales. Until then, Moritani ordered me to take the unreserved seats on the train and stay at the cheapest business hotel of the area. Moritani continued telling me to do this, however, Masaya’s high ranking staff Matsumoto(name has been changed to protect identity), ordered that I take reserved train seats and stay at regular cheap hotels, to catch the attention of the media.
“An artist who performs at the Tokyo Dome shouldn’t look so cheap.”
After meeting those business owners, many times they bought the tickets and supported me in many ways, many times treating me to meals, letting me stay in high quality hotels, giving me tickets for high class train seats, and even gifted me money.
Because I couldn’t freely have money of my own, I did not pay the money I was gifted to Moritani, instead, I used it to pay my loan debts and to pay a part to sellers. After I met all these people, a small part of that wall in my heart that Masaya and Moritani built started to crumble. I started to feel towards them some doubts that until then I had never felt.
Outside contacts expand
Following the Tokyo Dome 3 days, in May 3 and 4 2008, a memorial concert for Hide, titled, ‘Hide Memorial Summit’ took place at the Tokyo Ajinomoto stadium. In that concert, X Japan and many other fellow bands gathered for a session performance. There was a rehearsal previously, and being able to turn off my mobile phone’s battery source made me feel relieved, even if only for a small period of time. I also had fun playing and talking to X Japan members and the other bands’ members since so long ago, it was very nostalgic.
“Toshi, it’s nice to work with you.”
The other bands’ members were all very polite. There had been many of them that I had known for a long time but also many I was meeting for the first time, but everyone came to greet me. Many of the vocalists of younger bands also asked me a lot of about singing techniques.
It may be a trivial topic of conversation, but to me it felt fresh.
In these few hours of rehearsal, I felt free from the curse of Moritani’s abusive phone calls. First with Yoshiki and now to be performing with band members I knew for so long and interacting with new bands and making new contacts. For so long, I had been shut off from this. And now I felt this was the chance that I could open little bit more of my heart.
In December 9 2008, at approximately 1:45 PM, I got out of a taxi near Tokyo High Court. That day was the trial for the lawsuit of one injured party against Masaya, Moritani and Home of Heart. Masaya, as the accused party, was going to be interrogated that day. Before going to court, I received severe violence and abuse from Masaya and Moritani.
“Why do I have to be judged by these corporate egomaniacs!? Do you know what it means to be judged and have to bring along my father who is an official of the Ministry of Justice!?”
Then, Moritani shouted hysterically.
“It’s all your fault! You don’t know how much this is humiliating to Masaya! You monster!”
They made me fall and started to trample over me aggressively, kicking me many and many times. I cried as I apologized continuously.
Day of the trial. 15 minutes before the trial, starting at 2 PM, I received an order from Moritani to go to where it would be held. Arriving there, she also ordered that we go inside together, holding hands. At the door, I waited her arrival.
Lawyer Kito, on the side of the accuser, pointed out at the trial.
“After Moritani and Toshi married, soon they lived apart. Moritani lived with Masaya in the city of Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, as a devotee. She lives together with Masaya and many other women devotees, being the closest to Masaya. Toshi is an extreme devotee who was, in the most literal meaning, controlled by Moritani and Masaya to work, being exploited of all the money.”
Unmistakably, that was the truth. However I was ordered by Masaya and Moritani to “act as if Toshi and Moritani are a couple in the best terms living together”.
In Moritani’s blog she posted many false entries about us happily living together. A duet CD with Moritani was also released, I performed together with her at my dinner show, acting the role of “friendly couple”.
When the trial began, in the courtroom, at Masaya’s interrogation, I was shocked by his actions and speech.
Before the trial, I had expectations of Masaya.
(Masaya is different from an egomaniac like me, he will speak and act firmly, even in court he will be prepared to say good, truthful things and everyone will be overwhelmed by it.)
That was a very headlong way of thinking.
At the Tokyo High Court courtroom, I sat at the accused side. Moritani and Home of Heart staff also sat there with me. Moritani held my hand as the judge could see this.
The interrogation began.
Masaya entered the courtroom. The feeling of tension was heavy.
He stood facing the presiding judge, he was asked his address and full name.
“My address… Well… Um… I don’t know…”
I stared at Masaya’s fidgety behavior with my own eyes.
After that, he was also questioned by accuser side lawyer, and Masaya started to deceive them with crude lies, getting too desperate. It was a pitiable sight, I felt embarrassed by it. Then, the presiding judge said with disapproval.
“You should be someone who knows self control. Please act with appropriate manners.”
Seeing Masaya’s behavior in a rigid public setting like this was a shock. The things he said to me in a private place and the way he was acting now was too different.
Moritani said things like,
“Lawyer Kito and the others are getting intimidated. They’re getting pale..”
But I didn’t feel that at all, whichever way I looked at it, it looked more like we had no chance. But even with that suspicion, I thought that someone wit an ego like mine couldn’t understand Masaya’s deep thoughts. But there was no doubt, that Masaya’s actions and speech in this interrogation and also Moritani’s words only deepened my growing distrust.
Right wing organization propaganda truck
In late January and early February 2009, for about two occasions, near the apartment of the Tochigi, Nasu Home of Heart and Toshi Office headquarters, located in the Tochigi Nasushiobara town, there happened an incident of a right wing organization propaganda truck. I was in the area, doing my sales activity when I received a phone call from Moritani telling me of the incident.
“There’s a propaganda truck of a right wing organization and they’re in front of the Home of Heart headquarters shouting that Masaya brainwashes people and abuses children! It’s your fault we can’t step outside because people are scared of us. Do something!”
I received from Home of Heart data of this, including pictures and video. I took them for consultation to the metropolitan police’s officer in charge of violent organizations, who I had known for some time. In the end, this incident occurred due to a bank trouble between a company that Masaya managed and the leader of this organization.
Masaya told me, detaching himself from the matter,
“Those things from the past have nothing to do with it. That mafia group is actually only aiming for your artistic rights. As long you are here, everyone will keep an eye on us.”
(It’s all my fault again…)
However, these organizations are a problem that all artists and others in the entertainment business should be wary of. Masaya made his bank troubles linked with such organization look like it was something I caused, involving me in the incident. This was another time when I felt distrust towards Masaya.
In February 13 2009, I took the first train leaving Tokyo and going to Nasushiobara. Some hours before that, late at night, I received a phone call from Moritani with instructions.
“Tomorrow at 9 in the morning, you’re going to film a music video in Nasu.”
When I reached the Nasushiobara station, after getting through the ticket gate and taking the escalator, cold wind blew. It felt like it was freezing my face. After exiting the traffic circle outside the train station, there a deep navy minivan with the back and headlights flashing waited for me. There was fallen snow outside. As I was told, I sat at the backseat and Suzuta dove the minivan.
“Masaya’s new house is now built, we’re going there to film the music video.”
“Where is it?”
“Very near Rindo lake, next to the Teddy Bear museum.”
“How long will it take to arrive?”
“30 minutes or so.”
After that, I looked at the scenery from the window in silence. The fields and groves of many trees spread in all directions. Snow fell softly, the rural scenery continued endlessly.
“I wonder what kind of house Masaya’s house is…”
August 1997 was the first time I went to the Home of Heart headquarters building in Minato, Minamiasa. It was a western style building. There, I talked to Masaya twice in the ‘healing room’ at the second floor. In the next month, when I attended the seminars there many, many times, the whole building was prohibited to the entrance of men, except for the basement room where the seminars happened. I did not see the room where Masaya, Moritani and the other staff slept. I had no idea if there were any other rooms. In summer of 2001, Home of Heart moved to Nasu city in Tochigi prefecture. The headquarters where Masaya and Moritani lived were also prohibited to men, but only once I had been into the entry living room at the entrance. Other than that, I didn’t know what kind of day-to-day living Masaya and Moritani had there. There were more buildings in the Nasu city, but they were also prohibited to men. Toshi Office, where only my name represented it, was located in a single room rented in an apartment, and I had been there only two or three times at all. Masaya and Moritani’s lives were to me, surrounded in mystery. However, I believe that today I might know a little bit of how Masaya’s daily living was.
After a 30 minute drive, turning left at the national highway, we went up a hill road so narrow it was hard for even one car only to fit. Getting out of there, suddenly, there was a huge building designed like some kind of art museum.
Struck by the building’s extravagance, that word came out.
Then, Suzuta said,
“Externally, it’s being used as a showroom for Home of Heart related products.”
Getting out of the car, the front door to the building opened.
On the left side, there was a clear glass-sided space. Parked there was a brand new BMW car. It was an indoors garage.
Another door opened, and we went in. The ceiling was far above, a wide space all in white with marble flooring. There was a large sofa in modern style, and Masaya and Moritani sat on it. I could hear the sound of the video recording materials being set up at the interior space of the dining room.
On the right side of the living room was a glass-sided space. The same instant I looked at it, Moritani said happily.
“That is an indoor swimming pool. Isn’t that awesome! I’ll swim in that pool too.”
A new imported car, a building exactly like an art museum, gorgeous interior, and a pool for Moritani…
The same time I was astounded by the gorgeous quality of the interiors, my mind went back to Moritani’s past words.
“The money is not enough, we don’t even have any to feed the children! I am on a bed of nails! I want to kill myself!”
I saw the images of her telling me this with sadness, the tears that she shed.
Moritani then said that she would show me the rooms and started to climb the stairs to the second floor. I followed her, but my heart was full of doubts. There was a bedroom there. In the bedroom, immediately an extravagant king size bed came into view. Maybe it had been the bed Masaya had been sleeping until now, the mattress was a little out of place. Inside that room, was a washroom, probably, were I could see for a moment that Masaya’s sweater, one that I once saw Moritani wearing, had been piled up.
(Huh, Masaya and Moritani are living here?)
Suddenly, I felt dizzy, like as if my head had been hit with an iron hammer. My field of vision turned into pure white. Like a swaying lantern, many doubts hidden in the back of my mind returned to me.
In 2008, Masaya and Moritani opened in Nasushiobara city a beauty salon, a stone sauna space, and a small, but luxury hotel for women’s use only. Masaya ordered me to sell hotel memberships, and one person who bought it, for hundred thousands yen, was an acquaintance of mine, a business owner. But she never went to the hotel. Even though I sold the memberships to many others, I never heard of anyone staying at the hotel. I wonder what on earth that place was being used for.
Also, in Tokyo I used to see both Moritani and Masaya always driving luxury cars, such as 2 different Porsches, Volkswagen Touareg, Bentley, and others.
About the cars, Moritani told me that,
“We(Home of Heart) are poor, so when we go on business to meet people, or go outside, we must make everyone think that we are rich. Business is more successful that way. So we must drive luxury cars. When we go on meetings we also must go on different cars each time.”
And I believed in all of that.
Thoughts of distrust were spinning in my mind. A buzzing in my ear suddenly became louder and louder. When I realized, I had both of my hands covering my ears.
“Hey, get down here quickly!”
I heard Suzuta’s high pitched voice. When I returned to my senses, I went down the stairs. When the filming for the video in the living room ended, I took the train back to Tokyo, always watching the scenery from the window vacantly. I had no strength left to think about anything.
Days of conflict
Entering 2009, X Japan had much activity. In January there was the first overseas concert in Hong Kong. In two days of concerts, with 20,000 people attending, it had been a success. In late April, the concert in Taiwan had 10,000 attending. As X Japan’s vocalist, not only in Japan but in many countries of Asia had made me more well known. Still, I was living in such way that I asked designer friends to make me stage costumes and normal clothes, either free of charge or by loan. For meals, there were times when I was invited to eat with friends that were business owners and their business partners. If not, every night, I went to the convenience store and bought one rice ball, oden style food, one pack of vegetable juice, and one bottle of oolong tea. 500 to 600 yen covered my food expense. Once in three days, I would send my clothes to the coin laundry, spending 300 yen. My cost of living, covering these things, along with transport and lodging, with only the essential basic, for a month was at around 30000 or 40000 yen.
With that lifestyle, I went to perform with X Japan at the Tokyo Dome in May 2 and 3 2009. But even at that time, I had no rest from Home of Heart business.
Days before, in April 29, I held two mini concerts and CD signing events in a shopping center in the city of Izumisano, Osaka.
Following, in May 4, I also held two mini concerts and CD signing events in a shopping center in the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture. In May 5, two mini concerts and CD signing events in a shopping center in the city of Omuta in Fukuoka prefecture. May 6, two more mini concerts and CD signing events in a shopping center in the city of Moriyama in Shiga prefecture.
After touring Asia and Japan, having many spectators and X Japan becoming a major presence, before and after that, like always, doing my own concerts at shopping centers, of course I felt distrust. But Moritani would continue with the violence and abuse to erase that out of me. Even though, in m heart, I still continued to feel suspicions growing bigger.
The decision for that trial, where I started to feel enormous distrust of Masaya, would be out in May 28 2009. This was one of the trial battles between injured parties and Masaya, Moritani and Home of Heart since 2004. It was the first result from the High Court. I knew of it by reading news on the internet.
“Leader of self improvement seminar institution Home of Heart(Tochigi Prefecture), Masaya or Toru Kurabuchi, is accused of stirring up anxiety by declaring that “Whoever leaves the seminar will only live a hellish life outside of it” and also of exploiting great quantities of money. A woman(41) of the same prefecture is legally requesting reparations worth 21 million yen from Home of Heart, Masaya, Kaori Moritani, the vocalist of X Japan, Toshimitsu Deyama(Toshi), and of all companies related. The Tokyo High Court, on the 28th, has decided on the reparations value of approximately four hundred thousand yen increase, a payment order of approximately 15.8 million. Judge Ootani Yoshio has pointed out founder Masaya’s continuous use of violence and terror, forcing victims to pay all of the money in their possession to Home of Heart and “reforming” people. It is acknowledged that these practices are unaccepted in social standards.”
I was astonished. I personally wasn’t one of the accused. I didn’t know what position I found myself to be in the injured party’s accusations. But, of course, the news had to involve my name in it. I received shock from the information before me. Then, the tears started to well up.
It was when I felt a violent pain as if my ribs had been tightened. As I thought, I couldn’t breathe. I crouched to the floor. I stayed there, in that way, for about ten minutes without moving.
After that day, I started to feel the same pain along with palpitations and a terrible headache, my body started t react abnormally.
Abuse, violence, chronic insomnia. Traveling the entire country without one day of rest, moving continuously, transferring money over to Moritani. 12 years had passed. Soon I would be 44, certainly a middle aged man. Did I still have a normal sense of judgement?
(Aren’t I too much alike the accuser, who “paid all of her money in possession to Home of Heart and was ‘reformed'”?)
Hatred towards Masaya
At this time, Masaya, Moritani, and high ranking staff Matsumoto(name has been changed to protect identity) came to Tokyo and, like every time, stayed at a suite room of a high class hotel called Conrad Tokyo. At the time of their lodging, I was called into the room after my work for the day ended, there I received intense abuse and violence from Moritani.
When I was called into their room, I saw them having a feast which Masaya had ordered from room service.
One day, there was a round table, near the window, that was served with many dishes. Moritani put me with my face on the floor and as I received the violence and abuse, I could hear the sounds of them eating. After 30 minutes, the violence and abuse from Moritani was over. I stayed there, lying on the floor as I cried. Masaya then told me.
“Hey, chin man, you eat too.”
I raised my face and looked at Masaya. I saw him stuffing his face with steak, his cold eyes looking back at me. He sat and his fat body bulged in a slouched way.
Seeing him in such a wretched way made a cold shiver run down through my spine, as I knew again what was to feel disgust and hate.
12 years ago, when I met Masaya, he had a handsome face, he was tall, slim. I thought that he had the vision for a new era in business and that he was a cool, youthful entrepreneur and artist. But now, there was no trace of that in Masaya.
“I already had enough so you eat now, chin man.”
He persuaded me to eat what was left of the meal. Of course, I had no appetite for that.
“Excuse me, I’m not hungry.”
At this point in time, I noticed ‘something’ in me was surely starting to change towards Masaya and also Moritani. But I was afraid of this, and I didn’t dare to think of it, sealing it away deep in myself.
Their goal was money
Until now, in these 12 years, almost every day I had to go to the bank to pay or transfer the money I had on hand to Moritani. After X Japan’s return in 2008, once in two weeks, Masaya would come from Nasu to Tokyo and I would pay the money for Moritani. In a month, if there was “little” money, it would be at around several thousand million yen. It there was “a lot” of money, it would be at around several billions. The only way I could escape from the abuse and violence, each time increasing in severity, was to pay Moritani
One day, late June 2009, after going through a lot of work to make 5 million yen, I was going to pay it directly to Moritani. She aggressively snatched the money from my hand, shouting in hysteria.
“This is not even close to being damn enough!”
Some days ago I had paid her in cash 3 million yen.
That was when it happened again. All of a sudden, my ribs felt like they were being squeezed, breathing became painful, my forehead became damp with cold sweat. My face contorted from the excruciating pain. But, Moritani started with the verbal abuse with no concern at all.
“Because of you, everyone is having it rough! You chin man!”
The cold sweat ran down the back of my neck. Grasping my fists, I was shaking. But I felt courage surging from inside my stomach and I couldn’t hold it back any more.
“In the end, it’s all about money, isn’t it?!”
This was one of these moments when I felt the strong sense of doubt I had accumulated show. This was the first time I shouted back at Moritani.
After a while of silence, she said in a cold tone.
“Would you say that to Masaya, face to face?”
I didn’t say anything.
I still felt a lighter pain around the ribs but I could barely breathe.
Unexpectedly, Moritani dramatically changed, now she started to cry.
“I just want you, Ago*, to do good deeds. I fully support you, Ago. I’m doing all this hard work to support you.”
*Ago = chin
I could only hear lies in these words. When she told me things like this, I usually felt very apologetic. But now, I only saw it as some type of acting.
Moritani was now, to me, a frightening demon who came to steal my money.
Decision to escape
Days later, in July 3 2009, I had a concert in Meguro Gajoen, Tokyo. As I sang, I felt uneasiness about what kind of cruel treatment there would be, as I had replied back to Moritani some days ago. “In the end, it’s all about money, isn’t it?!”
After the concert’s end, I was taken by Suzuta to Masaya, Moritani and Matsumoto’s hotel room.
In the room, I received severe violence and abuse from Masaya and Moritani. Masaya said.
“It seems like you have set yourself against Wanku(this is how Moritani was called in Home of Heart)”
“Do you know I could sell you to the mafia! You may be even worth something, maybe 3 billion! I’ll sell you to the mafia and you’ll pay for all of your sins!”
As he threatened me, I was on the floor, with my face to the ground. Many, many times, I was stepped on with force.
Then, Moritani started to step on and kick me in the same manner.
As I endured the pain, I thought.
(Isn’t this just pure violence?)
In the beginning, I believed that the abuse and violence would make me become a better person. But each time, it became more aggressive. Now, it was only plain violence. And then, there was the verbal abuse, or psychological violence. I was controlled by the fear of these two types of violence.
And now the threat of “being sold to the mafia”.
Masaya always put emphasis on him being good terms with a mafia leader called S, who would help him with several million yen at the time he claimed to own many disco clubs and cafes in Roppongi. Masaya also claimed to be on good terms with a mafia boss. I always shivered when he threatened to sell me to the mafia, it sounded like a legitimate threat. I don’t know if it was because I was being stepped on, or because of that pain in my ribs, but I started having difficulty breathing. The cold sweat and tears made my face messy.
(At this rate, I’m really going to be sold to the mafia…)
(For how long will I have to live trough these hellish days?)
(Why am I alive?)
(I can’t handle this any more.)
(I have to run away from Moritani and Masaya somehow.)
As my consciousness faded, I finally took the decision to escape.
Severing contact with Moritani
The next day, July 4, I did not sleep much. Early in the morning, I left to Okinawa for an appearance in a pharmaceutical company’s event. In the flight from Haneda airport to Naha airport, the other passengers all seemed like they were on vacation. The atmosphere in the flight was relaxing, but I had pain from being kicked on the back the previous night, the usual pain in my chest, and throbbing pain in a part of my face. As I tried to withstand these pains, I stared at the window, thinking in nothing else but how I would plan my escape.
(But, no matter which way or how I escape, there’s no doubt that Moritani would go after me…)
When I closed my eyes, I saw her evil expression. Feeling nauseous, I stood from my seat and locked myself inside the toilet.
With my thoughts in chaos, the plane reached Naha airport. I was warmly greeted by the company owner in Okinawa.
“You seem to be very tired, are you feeling well? Apart from the concert, I want you to take yor time to rest here in Okinawa. This is my gift to you, wear this and maybe you’ll feel a little bit like it’s a vacation.”
Maybe sensing something that I felt, addressing me with worry, the company owner gave me a green aloha shirt. The owner’s easygoing personality and typical traits of a person form Kansai made me feel rested. But that day, not even the company owner’s smile or the blue skies and sea of Okinawa could make me feel better.
The next day, due to another event, I took the plane from Okinawa to Osaka. During the flight, I also kept thinking in ways to escape. But I feared, “What would happen if I get caught?”. Each time Moritani’s terrifying face flickered in my mind, I felt nauseous and had to lock myself in the toilet over and over. After the work was done in Osaka, I took the night train with “manager” Ueda. In order not to make Ueda sense anything, I played along as if everything was normal. When I reached Tokyo, I was contacted by Yoshiki’s manager. The manager informed me that Yoshiki, in Los Angeles, had sent an urgent request that I sing X Japan’s new song. Parting from Ueda, I took a taxi alone to a recording studio in Ginza, Tokyo. When I got there, the engineer, S, who had been making preparations, approached me and said, in shock.
“Toshi, you look terrible. Are you ok?”
I nodded weakly, and was told to wait at the lounge for news from Yoshiki. I lay down and rested at the lounge, closing my eyes and thinking.
(If I stay recording until morning, I’ll have an excuse not to pick up Moritani’s calls. I don’t have to pick up the phone that time. Tomorrow, 6, I have a meeting with a clothes maker, and I don’t need Ueda to accompany me. Then, in the next day, 7, I can suddenly cancel my appointments and have nothing for the day. Meanwhile, I won’t pick up my phone and I’ll disappear somewhere.)
(But, what if Moritani catches me? What kind of punishment will I have? Will I be sold to the mafia…?)
Being sold would mean that Masaya and Moritani would sell my office to a mafia group they knew, Masaya would secure the profits and I would have to work for them, bring them money. Under the control of the mafia, I would have to work my whole life. Money‐hungry as Masaya and Moritani are, they would be very satisfied with this. But, if it turned to that, I would rather die.
(There’s no other timing. I must run away!)
With that determination, I stood up from the sofa. Then, I heard a knock on the door. I held my breath, my heart raced as if it could stop as I immediately thought, (Is it Moritani?).
Then I heard the voice of Yoshiki’s manager from the door.
Timidly I replied “Yes”, quietly.
“I’m sorry you came all the way here, today the set up with Yoshiki over from L.A. isn’t working. It’s been cancelled today.”
“Ok, I understand…”
I replied quitely to the other side of the door.
It had been cancelled after I had waited two hours. After that, I still stayed at the lounge, deep in thought. I jumped as the cell phone rang. It was Moritani. I could say I felt like a soldier, heading to the front line in battle, I was ready to do or die. I did not pick up the phone.
After that, until 3 AM, Moritani continued calling. I still did not pick up. It was the first time this happened since I met her.
Every time there was an incoming call, I felt nauseous, some part of it because of fear, and had to to go the toilet.
In this state of body and mind where I was being chased, I didn’t feel like I was alive. After a while, the phone calls lessened. I left the studio, where I had been until 3 AM, and went to my room. The night was over and I did not sleep for one minute. After 9 AM of the next day, I started getting Moritani’s phone calls again. I set my phone to silent mode, but every time I felt it vibrating, of course I had nausea(I was terribly afraid) and felt ashamed of myself.
In the afternoon, Moritani called over and over. She left messages on the answering machine, angrily ordering me to pick up the phone. I shivered when I heard her voice. She also sent many text messages ordering me to answer.
At night, the phone rang again, but when I looked to see if it was Moritani again, this time it was Yoshiki’s manager.
“Yoshiki really wants to record the song tomorrow, starting from 9 AM, how are your circumstances?”
This was not a direct conversation, but a message the manager left on the answering machine.
Recording was impossible. If I agreed to record, there was a high probability Moritani would know of it and find me.
Soon I contacted Yoshiki’s manager with a refusal. The manager replied, greatly troubled.
“If the recording is not done by tomorrow, it’s going to create a very worrisome situation in America, there’s a deadline for it. This is a urgent request from Yoshiki and all of the X Japan staff. Can’t you do anything about it?”
“Oh, is that so? In that case, I will try to fit it in my schedule. I’ll contact you later.”
What should I do… I thought that I could run away from Moritani and Masaya. But I understood that in this situation with Yoshiki, I had been cornered.
“All right. I’ll be at the studio tomorrow until 9. But please, don’t tell this to anyone.”
“Understood. Thank you, thank you so much. You’re helping a lot. See you there.”
Please! Don’t let Moritani know of it! This was my last hope.
Kidnapping and confinement. 7 July 2009, a day I will always remember
I continued without sleep, now it had been many days. I did not eat or drink. I was falling apart, physically and mentally.
On July 7, 10 minutes before 9 AM, I arrived by taxi at the entry of the recording studio in Ginza, ‘Onkio Haus’.
“God, please don’t let Moritani find me.”
I closed my eyes tightly and wished to God.
I examined my surroundings, but there was no one around. I left the taxi, fearful. My feet trembled. In quick, small steps, I turned to go for the building’s back entrance. I stood before the first floor elevator. I looked around, but the building lobby was very quiet, since it was early in the morning.
I took the elevator, pressing the button to the third floor, which was the floor of the studio. My fingertips trembled, my heart pounded as if it was going to explode.
Soon, the door to the third floor opened.
I closed my eyes tightly.
The instant I opened my eyes, I stopped breathing.
Moritani stood in front of me.
Her eyes were stiffly lifted, cold like a demon’s, glaring at me.
She tried to grab my arm, but I shoved her hand away roughly, running to the studio’s door in a straight path.
Moritani, in silence, tried to grab me tightly by the arm again, when I pushed her hand away again and managed to open the heavy soundproofed door’s handle and get inside the studio. There was some resistance from her but I could close the door. Moritani wouldn’t get past the studio’s door.
There, in the studio, the engineer and assistant had already made the preparations and had been waiting.
“Good morning, Toshi.”
The engineer, S, who was sitting, turned around to greet me. S saw me desperately getting inside the studio, with my face very pale.
“Is everything ok?”
S asked me.
Soon, a satellite connection was stabilished with Yoshiki’s studio in L.A., and the vocal recording began.
Of course, I didn’t want to leave the studio, I didn’t even want to take a toilet break. After a few hours, I had no choice but to open the door. Taking a look at the condition outside, and in the lobby lounge, Moritani was sitting on the sofa, when our eyes met. She glared at me with a terrifying glint in her eyes. Soon she stood up, and approached my side. She grasped my arm and stood very close to me.
Since there were other people, she was saying this in a very quiet voice. Ignoring her, I walked over to a restroom nearby the elevator.
There, I thought. How should I get away from Moritani? It’s likely that she contacted Home of Heart managers and they are waiting for me outside. I must do something. When I left the restroom, she was standing there. I thought I’d stop and say something, but I proceeded to go back to the studio.
When the clock finally stuck 12, the recording continued. Even though it was a long record session, I desperately wished that it would never end…
Eventually, at 10 PM, the recording was over. I thought as I prepared to leave.
At any rate, the only thing I can do is run.
With that decision, I opened the studio door. Immediately Moritani approached me. Then, she held my left arm firmly with both hands and brought me with incredible force to the elevator. When the door to the first floor opened, just as I thought, I was surrounded by Home of Heart staff.
Plan of escape failed
It’s over, there’s no escape now… Moritani dragged me by the arm, and faster than anything I had been thrown into the back seat of a minivan.
“Masaya is waiting for you in Nasu.”
Moritani said as I was kidnapped.
Inside the car, heading to Nasu, Moritani said.
“What the hell were you planning, bastard! What kind of intention did you have to do this!”
As she yelled, over and over she mercilessly struck me with her fists, as I was made to be crouched in the space under the car seat. This assault continued for the two hours and half it took to arrive in Nasu.
The car finally stopped. When I was taken out of the car, we were at that gorgeous building in the mountain recesses, which was Masaya’s new house. We went inside, Moritani still holding my arm, passing through the indoors garage and into the living room. Masaya was sitting in the sofa, placed on the vast white marble floor.
“Kill this chin man!”
When Masaya said this to Moritani, I was thrown on the ground and Moritani screamed furiously as she hit my back.
“For how long will you cause us trouble! You monster!”
Other people joined, kicking my back.
I heard Masaya’s voice.
“I sell people like you to the mafia!”
My back was stepped on with force.
Not being able to breathe because of the extreme pain, I started to lose consciousness. After that I don’t know for how long the violent acts continued.
If things stayed like this, I would really be sold to the mafia.
I had to run away, somehow.
At one point in time, when I was still unconscious, I heard Masaya’s voice.
And then I returned to my senses.
Would I get out of this place…?
Promptly, I said, kneeling down, my head touching the floor.
“I’m very sorry. Please, continue. I’m sorry.”
Today I couldn’t attempt to escape any more. I had all of my freedom stripped away from me. From tomorrow until the day I died, would I continue to live everyday as a slave?
“Get out of here!”
With these few words from Masaya, I staggered, trying to get back on my feet. So this was what was really like to feel despair…
Maybe it was from being hit on the head and ears with a slipper, but I heard a loud buzzing sound that wouldn’t stop. I felt a throbbing pain in my eyes, my field of vision was blurred.
With great effort, I left the building. I was placed inside a car and left at the front of a business hotel in Nasushiobara city at around 4 in the morning.
After getting inside the hotel room, I couldn’t even get on the bed, instead, I leaned against the edge and once again my consciousness faded for a while.
My face was swollen, my cheeks cut, and I felt immense pain in my back and ribs. I had trouble breathing, and with that a violent coughing fit, which caused even more pain to my back and ribs.
Looking outside the small window from the narrow room, I could see the sky starting to brighten.
(Why did my life become like this…)
The corner of my eyes became hot, I wiped my tears away many times over with my hands.
The first time I showed my true feelings
On the day of my 44th birthday, in October 10 2009, at noon, I had a meeting with an acquaintance who was planning to hold a personal event. After I received the guarantee fee of 1 million yen, I phoned Moritani, who was in Nasu, to inform her of it. Soon after, Masaya also called me.
“For chin man’s birthday present, Wanku is coming over.”
I knew it meant that she would come over to take the money away from me.
The night of that day, I went to a birthday party an acquaintance had set up for me at the highest floor of the Armani Tower, in Ginza, Tokyo. It was a party in form of event that gathered around 100 of my fans.
Just before I appeared, I saw Moritani in the dressing room and suddenly I felt an abnormal itching sensation all over my body. I went to the toilet and scratched my arms, legs, back until I was covered in bloody scars. It was so evident, I couldn’t, under absolutely any reason, take my jacket off in front of all the people there, as my white shirt had blood stains. Along with my bad condition of the excruciating rib pain, difficulty breathing, palpitations and headache, I now had frequent itchy rashes all over my body.
I paid the 1 million to Moritani and she quickly took it off my hands, without saying anything such as “happy birthday”, and left. She probably went back to the car with Masaya and they went off to who knows where.
In October 19, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, I was performing a joint cncert with a piano presentation. During the rehearsal and before the show, the pain in my chest became too much to bear. I felt dizzy many times.
After the concert, the company president offered to take me back to my apartment. As I got out of the car, it was the first time I told someone what I felt.
“I don’t think my body and mind can take it any more…”
“Huh, are you ok?”
Without answering the company president, I closed the car’s door weakly.