Takarazuka Revue Admits Power Harassment against Dead Member

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Takarazuka Grand Theater in the city of Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecturel.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japanese musical theater company Takarazuka Revue has admitted that a member who died last year was subjected to power harassment, a lawyer for the bereaved family said Tuesday.

According to the lawyer, Takarazuka Revue has indicated its readiness to apologize. The all-female musical theater company had consistently denied power harassment.

In a report released last November, Takarazuka Revue did not recognize any bullying or harassment through probes that followed the death of the 25-year-old member of the company, based in the western city of Takarazuka.

In response to the report, the bereaved family submitted a statement claiming that there were at least 15 counts of power harassment against the deceased member, including one instance where a senior member had purposefully pressed a hot hair iron against the member’s forehead.

The bereaved family also asked for an apology.

According to the lawyer, Hiroshi Kawahito, Takarazuka Revue in a document dated Jan. 24 this year said that if the two sides reach an agreement, it will admit that many of the 15 incidents were forms of power harassment.

The document also said that the woman had been under a huge psychological burden, adding that the power harassment cases were due to the management’s negligence and that the theater company is solely to blame.

Kawahito at Tuesday’s press conference said that Takarazuka Revue has yet to say which incidents will be recognized as power harassment, adding that he will continue negotiations.

The bereaved family’s lawyer team made public a statement issued by a younger sister of the deceased member, who also is a Takarazuka Revue member.

Criticizing the acts of power harassment her older sister suffered as “malicious” and “extremely terrible,” the younger sister said that the theater company is belittling her death and trying to obscure the issue.

On Sept. 30, 2023, the member of the theater company’s Cosmos Troupe, who was tasked with looking after younger members, was found dead in the grounds of an apartment building in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Local police believe that she likely committed suicide.