Ms. Ito's life from 1989 when she was born till 2012, the year before she met Noriyuki Yamaguchi in chronological order. The sources are colored as followed:
Her book "Black Box"➡
Posts on social media➡
My comments will be indicated by 💡.
- 2006 (Age 17)
- 2008-2009 (Age 19-20)
- 2010 (Age 21)
- 2011 (Age 22)
- 2012 (Age 23)
She has a younger brother and a sister.
She started modeling at the age of 9.
She was hospitalized for a long time during junior high school.
💡Her book "Black Box" where she wrote not only about the incident but also about her life and hopes is currently published (translated) in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, France, and Sweden. But for some reason, it has not been translated into English.
It's strange, especially when she says she's moved to London upon the invitation of a women's human rights organization.
2006 (Age 17)
She studied in a high school in Kansas, US, for a year.
💡In the resume she submitted to Mr. Yamaguchi, she wrote she studied in Kansas for a year. She mentions it in her book too.
2008-2009 (Age 19-20)
April: Entered a junior college in Japan
August: Took part in a German-Japanese Youth Summit program held in Germany
Graduated from a junior college in Japan
In her book, she writes that after graduating from high school, she worked part-time day and night to save money to go to a university in New York.
She worked as a news assistant at a TV station for about a year, then traveled to visit friends in Southeast Asia. And then she realized it's not realistic to save money to go to a university in New York, and decided to go to a university in Germany instead.
In fact, however, she seems to have entered a junior college in Japan after graduating from high school. Ms. Ito's resume which she wrote herself says she entered Kanagawa XX junior college in 2008 and graduated in 2010.
💡She doesn't seem to want to make her graduation from a junior college in Japan public. She obviously skipped it in her book and she has not, to my knowledge, mentioned it in any interviews. Is she trying to hide this? If so, why?
German-Japanese Youth Summit program in Germany
As mentioned earlier, Ms. Ito explains in her book that she worked part-time for about a year to save money for university in New York, but then realized it wasn't realistic, so she decided to go to a German university because the tuition was cheaper.
However, as you can see from the photos she was tagged in, she participated in a German-Japanese youth meetup program held in Berlin, Germany, in August 2008, six months after entering junior college.
The participation fee for 2008 is unclear, but I found the fee for 2015 was €600 per person, not including the flights, lunch, optional programs after dinner, and other personal expenses. So it must have cost her around at least €1500-2000 in total.
💡I wonder if the cheap tuition was the real reason why she decided to go to a German university. The meetup program she joined is voluntary. That is, she became interested in Germany soon after entering junior college, not a year later as she says in the book.
Also, If the reason was the cheap tuition, it makes no sense to spend $2000 or more to participate in a German-Japanese youth meetup program.
2010 (Age 21)
March: Graduated from junior college
July: Studied international relations at Berlin XX university
Photos of her departure from Narita Airport are on her friend's social media with the date of August 13, 2010.
💡It is possible that she attended only a summer course at the German university instead of studying to collect school credits as she says in the book. The following reasons may help explain why this is possible.
Working in a hostess club in Roppongi
A blog reader tipped me off that Shiori Ito had been working at a hostess club in Roppongi around 2010-2011. Ms. Ito's close friend K, and also R (they both appear in "Black Box"), who had left a job because of sexual harassment, were both working in the same club as Ms. Ito.
Ms. Ito's hostess name was "Anne," the manager of the club came up with it because Ms. Ito resembled the daughter of Ken Watanabe, Anne.
Anne on the left, Shiori on the right...Twins??
Some of the hostesses there were budding actresses and models, and they could get designer brand goods as gifts just by having a drink with customers and smiling. If you say you don't have money for a trip abroad, you'll get $2000 easily. The most popular hostess would earn about $35,000 a month, so Ms. Ito might have earned about $4000-8000 a month, the reader says.
The reader also says Ms. Ito was definitely working in the summer of 2011, and she would go to nightclubs with her best friends, K and R, and a few others after work. Her boyfriend was a foreigner, and she once took a leave of absence to go abroad. There used to be photos of Ms. Ito and her friends partying in nightclubs on her Instagram, but now they're all deleted.
Ms. Ito's friend R (her hostess name was Yume) had quit her previous company because of sexual harassment and started working as a hostess, and she would consult a customer who was a lawyer every time he'd come to the club about civil trials.
These are the photos that the tip-off person has sent me.
The hostess club where Ms. Ito was working. Now it's remodeled and renamed.
R who quit the job due to sexual harassment. She later wrote emails to Mr. Yamaguchi with Ms. Ito.
2011 (Age 22)
In the book, she explains she decided to go to a university in Germany, she also wanted to study Arabic. But the classes she could take in English were limited. Then she heard that there was a program in which she could study in Syria while studying international relations at a university in Spain, so she went to Spain. But she gave up going to Syria because the situation there had worsened.
💡She writes in her book, "I decided to go to a university in Germany," but regarding the university in Spain, she only says, "I went to Spain because I heard there is a system..." She does not clearly say, "I went to a university in Spain." Moreover, her resume does not mention any study (not even a language course) in Spain.
December: She lived in Barcelona. She went to Germany to spend Christmas with her boyfriend.
👆"Contact Shiori! She's in Germany now."
2012 (Age 23)
May: Posted a photo of the Seville Fair "Feria De Abril" in Spain on her Instagram
💡Based on these posts, you can see that she lived in Spain at least from Dec. 2011 till May 2012. What on earth was she doing in Spain?
*After I started my Japanese blog about her, Shiori closed her Instagram account as private (on Apr. 17, 2020.) Recently a website to support Noriyuki Yamaguchi opened, it's called "JUSTICE FOR NY," and other blogs started revealing the facts she probably didn't want people to know, so maybe she feels she has to hide things.
In late 2012: Stayed in Moscow
On the blog Ms. Ito started writing in April 2013, she says:
I couldn't stop reading, so I was so withdrawn and reading last year that I forgot about Moscow's winter...
And in this post, she also says:
From these posts, it's clear that it wasn't a stay for a few days. However, she has never even mentioned this stay in Moscow in her book nor in any interviews. Nobody knows what she was doing there.
November - December: Moved to New York
On her blog posted on April 3, 2013, she says:
Last December, I was walking around Central Park with a friend. We passed by a wedding of two women who looked so happy in the sun.
This suggests that after staying in Moscow, she moved to New York probably around November or December.
In the book, she says she moved to New York with her partner, whom she had been in a long-distance relationship with, and lived with him. In New York, she majored in photography and journalism, and started making documentaries.
💡According to her book and her blog, Ms. Ito moved to Germany, then to Spain, then to Moscow, then to New York. And meanwhile, she had traveled to 40 countries. What does she expect the readers to think her financial source was? All of this time, she was supposed to be a student, staying overseas with a student visa.
If the tip-off is correct, it means she earned the money by working as a hostess or she got financial assistance from customers she'd met at the club. I've heard that young models and pinup girls often work part-time as a hostess in Roppongi. Ms. Ito herself also used to be a model, and her best friend K is a former model too (though she seems to be a very genuine person and it's possible she truly believes Ms. Ito's story.)
To be clear, I'm not criticizing working as a hostess. It is a fine profession. Some of my friends also worked as a hostess for a short period of time to earn money to study abroad.
The problem is that she might be concealing it and she might be falsifying her educational background. As I mentioned before, it's quite possible that she didn't go to a university in Spain. Or that she only took a summer course at a university in Berlin.
But if you read her book, you would think she graduated from high school in Japan, then went to a university in Germany, then to another university in Spain, then to another university in New York. And none of the school names are disclosed by her. NONE.
It would be a big problem if Ms. Ito, who still is in a legal dispute over the credibility of her claim, conceals or exaggerates or lies about her academic and professional background in her book. It would be reasonable to assume that Ms. Ito's allegation about the incident with Mr. Yamaguchi also contained falsehoods.
In the next post, we'll see from 2013 when Ms. Ito first met Mr. Yamaguchi and became acquainted with him.
You can click the link below to see the Japanese version of this post.