Megaspectacle and Celebrity Transgression in Japan: The Sakai Noriko Media Scandal

  • Igor Prusa


Immediately after Takas¯o Yūuichi was arrested in central Tokyo in August 2009 for possession of illegal stimulants, his wife, the popular Japanese actress and former idol Sakai Noriko, suddenly disappeared from the city.1 Media speculation ran rampant. An arrest warrant was issued for Sakai, based on a minute quantity of drugs found in her apartment. Six days after her disappearance, in the middle of unprecedented media frenzy, Sakai returned to Tokyo, surrendered to police and admitted to the charges against her. Following the police search and arrest that made the front page of all the national dailies, Sakai’s management company, Sun Music, publicly condemned her actions, suspended sales of all products related to her, and eventually cancelled her contract (she simultaneously lost all commercial contracts). After spending a few weeks in a detention center, Sakai was indicted and released on bail.


Press Conference Arrest Warrant Detention Center Expectancy Violation Commercial Contract 
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© Igor Prusa 2012

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  • Igor Prusa

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