In an ongoing case of celebrity stalking, a youth was arrested today for the theft of a mobile phone belonging to a 14-year-old idol singer. The youth has not been named by police as he is a juvenile, but he is described as an unemployed 17-year-old from Saitama city. The object of his attentions is Morimoto Ryutaro, who is the youngest member of the 10-member Johnny’s Jimusho group Hey! Say! Jump. The Saitama youth has been a fan of Morimoto’s for some time, and last December the singer’s parents were so concerned about his behavior that they consulted police. Yesterday Morimoto asked the youth to meet with him in a “family restaurant” in his hometown of Yokohama in an attempt to persuade him to stop the harassment. He told police that after their meeting, at around 11:45pm, the youth ran off with Morimoto’s mobile phone. The youth has denied the accusation.
X Japan leader Yoshiki continues to draw large crowds as he brought the promotion of his recently published biography to Tokyo yesterday. X Japan is known for the fanaticism of its fans, and over 1,000 of them turned out at the Maruzen bookstore in Marunouchi and the Tsutaya store in Shibuya. The visits had been announced on Yoshiki’s mobile website the day before and some fans waited outside stores overnight. In return they got up close and personal with the star and received signed copies of the book and posters. A planned visit to the Kinokuniya bookstore in Shinjuku was called off due to security concerns. The media used the term “near panic” to describe scenes at the two events that were held, but it seems to be standard to hype anything connected with X Japan. Written by Komatsu Narumi and simply titled “Yoshiki/佳樹,” the book reveals the kanji for his given name for the first time and includes photos from his childhood. The book has already sold over 200,000 copies (which, while impressive, pales in comparison to sales of the latest Murakami Haruki novel). Yoshiki was accompanied yesterday by Komatsu and publisher Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, who said he hopes to publish Chinese and English translations of the book.
Male fans of popular model Ebihara Yuri (29) will be disheartened to hear that she has acknowledged her romance with musician Ilmari (34). Appearing at a fashion PR event in Tokyo, she made the first public statement about her relationship with the member of hip hop group Rip Slyme. “More than his looks, I was attracted to his personality…but he is handsome!” She said they had only recently started dating. The couple were spotted together last month on a visit to a shinto shrine in Ebihara’s home prefecture, Miyazaki, along with her parents. Yesterday’s event was her first public appearance since that news appeared in the weekly magazine “Friday.” When asked if the visit to the shrine, famous for “tying people together,” indicated marriage plans, she blushed and said, “If all goes well.” Popularly known as Ebi-chan, she is one of the three top models associated with the magazine CanCam. The other two are also in high-profile relationships – Yamada Yu with actor Oguri Shun and Oshikiri Moe with Yomiuri Giants pitcher Nomaguchi Takahiko.