If you’ve already learned more than you ever wanted to know about Ichikawa Ebizo’s bar brawl, stop reading now. Otherwise, here’s an update.
Metropolitan Police arrested Tokyo resident Itoh Rion (26, photo right) on December 10 for last month’s assault on kabuki star Ichikawa (33, left). But conflicting reports continue to emerge about what actually happened in the early hours of November 25. Itoh – a former “bosozoku” (street gang) leader – has admitted punching Ebizo in the face at a bar in Tokyo’s Nishiazabu district. He is accused of repeatedly punching and kicking Ichikawa in the face and head, leaving him with severe injuries including a broken cheek bone, which are expected to take six weeks to heal. But while the actor has insisted he never threw any punches or provoked the violence, police are investigating claims to the contrary by witnesses. And at his recent press conference, the actor looked in considerably better condition than reports had led people to believe.
After a night of socializing with kabuki colleagues, Ebizo ended up in a 6th floor bar after 4am, where he was seen drinking with a 29-year-old former gang leader. The man was heavily drunk at the time and Ebizo is said to have been physically rough with him. Itoh and two colleagues arrived and were engaged in conversation by the actor, before all five moved to another bar on the building’s 11th floor. It was there that Itoh says that Ebizo’s behavior angered him to the point of violence. “I got furious at him and punched him at the bar. I wasn’t very drunk,” he is said to have told investigators. “I was the only one who punched him. But it was not me who picked a fight.” Meanwhile, the 29-year-old former gang leader is said to be considering suing Ebizo for assault and possibly holding a press conference this week.
Ebizo Denies All at Press Conference (Dec. 8, 2010)
Ebizo was “Looking for a Fight” (Dec. 1, 2010)
Warrant Issued for Ebizo Assault (Nov. 30, 2010)
Ebizo Hospitalized with Head Wound (Nov. 25, 2010)