Open Her Black Box -The truth of Shiori Ito

Open Her Black Box -The truth of Shiori Ito-

Shiori Ito, an alleged rape victim and Japanese #MeToo movement activist. Let's find the truth by examining her words and deeds.

The timeline of Shiori Ito [2015] April 4-6

April 4 after entering the room of the Sheraton Hotel, till April 6, 2015. The sources are colored as followed:
Her book "Black Box"➡ 
Media coverage➡ 
Court documents➡ 
My comments will be indicated by 💡. actions of Ms. Ito by 🔴, and actions of Mr. Yamaguchi by 🔵.

Apr-04 (Sat)

The arguments between the two about what happened in the hotel room are drastically different. The details of the "closed room" that Ms. Ito claims have been revealed in many places, including her book "Black Box," the BBC documentary, and her interview articles. Meanwhile, the number of media articles that provide Mr. Yamaguchi's story of what happened in the closed room is zero. He has not disclosed details in any media, saying it could offend Ms. Ito, but revealed them for the first time in court documents.

Ms. Ito's "Black Box" hasn't been translated into English, so I'd like to briefly summarize Ms. Ito's and Mr. Yamaguchi's story about the closed room here.

Ms. Ito's Story

When she woke up with severe pain, she realized that he was raping her. A laptop was sitting on the shelf unnaturally and she thought it was recording her intuitively. She tried desperately to push him away, saying, "It hurts, it hurts," but she couldn't getaway. When she said, "I want to go to the bathroom," he finally stopped. She saw his penis which had no contraceptives on. She locked herself up in the bathroom and saw her body with red marks and blood here and there in the mirror. She realized she was in Mr. Yamaguchi's hotel room by seeing men's amenities such as razors.

She thought she had to leave the room, so she opened the bathroom door, but Mr. Yamaguchi was standing right in front and grabbed her by the shoulder and dragged her down to the bed. Her body and head were pressed against the bed forcefully, and he tried to rape her again. She turned her face away as he tried to kiss her, and her face was pressed against the bed and she was almost suffocated. She thought he was going to kill her, and the morning news about herself and her mother's crying face popped into her head. She curled herself up and resisted with all her might, and when he stopped pushing her head, she said, "It hurts. Please stop," but he said, "Does it hurt?", and tried to open her legs by grabbing her knees. Her knee hurt badly, but she kept resisting for a few minutes.

Finally, he stopped and she cursed him in English, "What a fuck are you doing?" because there's no F-word in Japanese. "Why the fuck do you do this to me?" "I thought we will be working together and now after what you did to me, how do you think we can work together?" Mr. Yamaguchi replied in Japanese, "I really like you," "I want to take you to Washington as soon as possible. You've passed." Ms. Ito added in English, "Then why do you do this to me who you will work with? What will you do if I get pregnant or STD for unprotected sex?"

He apologized and said, "I'm sorry. I'll buy you pills at a pharmacy on the way to the airport," but she refused and got out of bed and picked up the clothes scattered around the room. The bra was on Mr. Yamaguchi's suitcase. While she was looking for panties, he said, "Let me keep your panties as a souvenir." It made her flopped down between the two beds. He said, "You looked like a competent woman, but now you're like a lost child, so cute."

Finally, he gave her panties back and she put on her clothes. For some reason, the blouse was so wet. When she asked him why, he handed her a T-shirt, saying, "Wear this." There was nothing else to wear so she wore it reflexively.
It was not until she came down to the lobby that she realized that it was the Sheraton Miyako Hotel. She was so embarrassed and confused that she could only hurry across the clean lobby.

Mr. Yamaguchi's Story

*Mr. Yamaguchi's claim includes direct sexual depiction. Readers discretion is advised.

Mr. Yamaguchi opened the room door and Ms. Ito entered the room first and vomited a small amount at the window, and it spattered over his suitcase which was placed on the floor. She said, "I'm sorry," and went to the bathroom, and didn't come out until after about 15 minutes. When he knocked on the door, she answered, "Yes," so he entered the bathroom, saying, "Are you all right? I'll open the door." She was sitting on the floor between the toilet and the bathtub, with considerable vomit from her neck to her slacks.

When Mr. Yamaguchi suggested Ms. Ito take off her blouse so that she could rest in bed, she began to take it off, so he helped her. He wiped off her vomit from her slacks and took her to bed, but he still smelled of vomit from her slacks, he suggested she take them off and helped her. After that, he put a sheet on her and she said "I'm sorry" and fell asleep.

Mr. Yamaguchi washed her blouse, hung it in the bathroom, and washed away the vomit in the bathroom. While packing in the room, he checked and replied to emails for more than an hour. After that, he laid down on top of the bedcover and took a nap in the empty space of the other bed.

Ms. Ito got up and went to the bathroom around 2-3 am on April 4. When she came back, she said, "I'm thirsty," and although he recommended the tea he had bought at a convenience store, she took out a bottle of mineral water from the refrigerator and drank it. After that, she knelt down beside the bed, in her underwear, where Mr. Yamaguchi was laying and began rubbing his right hand over and over again, saying, "I'm sorry I got drunk and vomited," and "Did I fail?"

He told her, "I'm glad you've gotten well," "You haven't caused me much trouble," and urged her to return to her bed so that the vomit on her hair would not touch his shirts on his bed, and because she was in her underwear. When he sat down on her bed to talk to her, she repeatedly apologized, rubbing his left hand.

When Ms. Ito rolled over, her hand touched Mr. Yamaguchi's left leg. This position continued for a while, and when her hand touched his left hand and he held back her hand, she didn't resist and the atmosphere became intimate. Mr. Yamaguchi laid down on Ms. Ito's bed and she did not reject these actions at all, and as she rolled over, she put her right thigh on his body, and this led to sexual activity.

Ms. Ito cooperated when he took off her camisole and underwear by raising her arms or waist. She also gave him oral sex because he could not get an erection. After he got a full erection, he said, "I'm going in," and inserted his penis into Ms. Ito's vagina while she had her legs open. Mr. Yamaguchi had no contraceptive device and Ms. Ito understood this. When he inserted the penis, she said, "Ow." When he asked, "Are you all right?" she said, "I'm all right. It's been a long time since I had sex." His penis softened in the middle because of alcohol consumption and stopped having sex without ejaculation.

They started talking lying down and she said, "I haven't had sex at all since last year." He asked, "Didn't any Italian man hit on you?" she said, "I was very busy studying in Italy." Mr. Yamaguchi's penis started to become erect again because he touched her body and she touched his penis, and he inserted his penis into her vagina again. However, when she said, "It still hurts a little," he felt sorry and stopped having sex. After a brief conversation, they fell asleep.

Mr. Yamaguchi woke up at five due to his cell-phone alarm. Ms. Ito came out of the shower and asked him if he could lend her something to wear because her blouse was half dry. He pointed to his luggage and said, "You can wear whatever you like," and she chose to wear a T-shirt. The two were getting dressed while chatting about their schedules for the day, then Ms. Ito said to herself in English, "I fucked without contraceptives." As she left the room, he was at the door and said, "See you later."

💡Excerpts from Noriyuki Yamaguchi support website "JUSTICE FOR NY"

Contradictions in Ms. Ito's claim

I read both sides' arguments, and I know others might have different opinions, but I don't see any major contradiction in Mr. Yamaguchi's story. If I have to choose, I don't understand how Mr. Yamaguchi could have sex with a woman who had vomited, with the vomit still on her hair, but I can't really comment on it because I don't understand the sexual desire of a man as a woman. 

On the other hand, Ms. Ito's argument has some major points of doubt.

(a) If his intention was to rape her while she was drugged and passed out, why would he risk her waking her by physically harming her and making her nipple bleed? 

(b) She says she saw her injured body (including a bleeding nipple) in the bathroom after waking up, opened the bathroom door thinking, "I have to escape", but it's seems very unusual to leave the bathroom NAKED, not even using a towel to cover her body, when she was fully aware that a rapist was right outside the door.

(c) She says Mr. Yamaguchi "grabbed her by the shoulder and dragged her down to the bed," "her body and head were pressed against the bed forcefully," "she was almost suffocated, almost being killed." But frankly, he doesn't look that strong. The exact height of Ms. Ito and Mr. Yamaguchi is unknown, but from these pictures, I don't think there's much difference in height between them.
👆Mr. Yamaguchi has an average height and weight. He doesn't seem so strong.

👆Ms. Ito is skinny, but she looks taller than average.

Of course, even if he is not much taller, he must be stronger than her because he is a male. But he might have to be a little bigger to press her body and face against the bed that she almost suffocated, or to force open the knees of a woman who is resisting desperately.

(c) It's unnatural that Mr. Yamaguchi suddenly says, "You've passed." Passed what? It wasn't specifically mentioned that this dinner was an interview or exam, and if he meant, "you made me like you. = You've passed," he wouldn't have left her alone at the dinner talking to other customers. Why did she put this phrase in her story? Because she referred to the phrase in her own e-mail which I'll show you later. It wouldn't be consistent if she didn't claim that Mr. Yamaguchi had said it.

(d) Ms. Ito claims that she wore the T-shirt of the rapist reflexively because the blouse was wet and there was nothing else to wear. However, on the day, she wore a camisole under the blouse and a cardigan and coat with a sash belt. She had enough to cover herself even without the blouse. Also, the blouse she wore that night was made of thin polyester fabric, and if you wash it around 2-3 am, it will be half-dried at 6 am. Mr. Yamaguchi's story is also consistent in this regard.

(e) The logic of his actions are incompatible with the reality of the situation. "If" Mr. Yamaguchi had done everything the way she said, then it can be concluded with in reason that she was "not" his "first" victim. There have been NO other allegations of rape leveled against him in the past or since Ms. Ito went public. Rape is a serious offense that can deliver between 3 - 5 years in a Japanese prison. Which means that Mr. Yamaguchi stood to lose his career, that he devoted his adult life to establishing, his marriage and family, and last but not least his freedom. I highly doubt that a man venturing into his first attempt at rape, with so much to lose, would display such a cavalier attitude toward the situation caused by his actions or utter those strange comments about keeping her underwear as a "souvenir" and how she "looked like a lost child."  


05:51am 🔴Left the Sheraton Miyako Hotel

The footage of the security camera at that time was leaked.

When the video was leaked, Ms. Ito's support group "Open the Black Box" tweeted for them to delete it, and ironically admitted that the woman in the video was Ms. Ito herself. Ms. Ito insists that it's the hotel who prohibit her from opening the video to the public in order to protect guests' privacy and prevent damage to their reputation, but it's clear who really doesn't want to show the video to the public just by the fact that the criticism against her grew after this video was open.


Approx. 07:40am 🔵Checked out the Sheraton Miyako Hotel
Mr. Yamaguchi asked the front desk to keep the bag which Ms. Ito had brought mistakenly from another customer of Sushi Kiichi the night before (and also put some cookies for her which he bought as a souvenir for his acquaintance).

Approx. 08:00am 🔵Called Ms. Ito from a taxi
He said, "I think you've left your black bag in the hotel. I left it at the front desk, so please go pick it up." Ms. Ito's book also mentions that he called.


14:05pm 🔴Received morning-after pill prescription at Ihc Omotesando gynecology clinic
👆The clean and spacious waiting room of "Ihc Omotesando clinic". It's on the fourth floor of a building facing Omotesando street (one of the most expensive areas in Tokyo.)

💡Her book says, the clinic was full of appointments but she told the clinic it was an emergency. A female doctor, around 40 years old with short hair, was typing a prescription at the computer screen, and said without even looking up, "When did you fail?" If she had asked me, "What's the matter?", it would have been different.

I searched Ihc Omotesando clinic, and I found a female doctor named Miho Takao working there. It's highly possible that it was Dr. Takao who prescribed the pills for Ms. Ito because of her appearance (around 40 years old, short hair.)


I checked Dr. Takao's website and her Twitter, and I see how vigorously she works as a gynecologist, a sports doctor, and a maternal yoga instructor. She doesn't look like a cold doctor who prescribes emergency pills without even looking at the patient's face as Ms. Ito wrote.
The medical records of Ihc Omotesando clinic say, "coitus (sexual intercourse) around 2-3 am, the condom got broken." At the trial, Ms. Ito claimed she hadn't said that to the doctor, and that she answered she'd had sexual intercourse early in the morning. According to the reviews on the Internet, the doctors in Ihc Omotesando are very kind and they explain things very well. Would a doctor write such information in medical records on emergency pill prescriptions where the time of sexual intercourse is very important? Also, 2-3 am matches exactly the time of sexual intercourse in Mr. Yamaguchi's claim.

Of course, Ms. Ito says that she never said the condom had gotten broken. However, looking at her words and deeds, I can see that she is a person who easily lies for her convenience. She omits the parts that aren't convenient for her in the book, and she also lies in the un-edited emails which I'll show you later. It's not so hard to imagine that she lied that the condom had gotten broken because she didn't want the doctor to think she was a kind of woman who would have unprotected sex.

🔴After visiting Ihc Omotesando clinic, she went to a Hawaiian cafe with her sister and then took a nap while her sister did her homework in her room. That night, she went to a cherry blossom party with her friends. Later, her sister joined, they went home before midnight.

Apr-05 (Sun)

14:19pm 🔴Message to S, a nurse and a childhood friend, via LINE
Ms. Ito: "Hi, xx. I'd like to talk to you about something. I wonder if I can see you."

Her book says, she thought of Date Rape Drug (DRD) when she was thinking alone. She looked it up online, and the symptoms matched her own. She sent a message via LINE to S, a nurse, out of uncontrollable anxiety.

In the afternoon 🔴She told her best friend K, "Don't worry, I'll be there at the dinner party."
She had already promised K about the dinner from before, so she was receiving many calls and texts from K during and after the incident.

At night 🔴Dinner with a close friend K and K's family
K had big news for her family. The restaurant was on the second floor, and Ms. Ito couldn't go down the stairs easily because of her knee pain. She stayed at K's family's house near the restaurant that day.

Apr-06 (Mon)

11:26am The nurse friend S replied via LINE.
"Sorry about yesterday~! What's up? (Omission) Of course I can see you~! Are you at work? Text me when you can~or you can call me too!"

Visited Motoya Orthopedic Surgery

K recommended Ms. Ito to visit Motoya orthopedic surgery in the neighborhood. She couldn't say she was raped by an acquaintance, so she said, "I was in a weird position at work. Maybe it's because I used to play basketball in the past." The doctor said, "Your knee is dislocated because of a severe impact. It's hard to do an operation, it takes a long time to heal." She spent the next few months wearing a brace.

💡The medical certificate says, "Internal injury and contusion on the right knee," and she explained to the doctor that she had been sitting in a weird position on March 31 (and got hurt)." She could lie about the reason, but there's no reason to lie about the date of the injury.

After that, she told K about the results of the diagnosis. She couldn't bring up the (rape) story in front of K and her family who seemed happy for the news they heard at the dinner the previous day.

Messaging via LINE with a childhood/nurse friend S

Ms. Ito's book says that she met her nurse friend S on April 6th and told her about the incident for the first time. However, it was actually April 7th, the next day, that she met with S. Actually on April 6th Ms. Ito sent an "Otsukaresama desu (Thank you for your hard work)" email to Mr. Yamaguchi that she told S about the incident.

💡You can check easily the dates if you don't remember well, as both LINE and emails record time and date...I'm not sure why the dates are swapped in "Black Box".

18:21pm 🔴Sent LINE: "Can I see you tomorrow!?"

19:54pm Reply from S: "I'm ok with today or tomorrow~ we'll meet in the evening after your work, right?"

21:10pm 🔴Sent LINE: "I'm off work tomorrow~!"

Time unknown Reply from S: "Oh, yeah! I was going to go see furniture and home appliances tomorrow in the daytime. Do you want to come with me? Lol If it's nighttime, you wanna go out~?♪ What about meal..." [cut off in the middle, the rest unknown]

Sent "Thank you for your hard work" email to Mr. Yamaguchi

That night at 23:01, about three days after the incident occurred, Ms. Ito sent an e-mail to Mr. Yamaguchi.

Mr. Yamaguchi,
Otsukaresama desu (Thank you for your hard work). Did you return to Washington safely?
What actions are you considering about the VISA? I'd appreciate it if you could tell me about your plan.

💡In the book, she says that she wanted to forget, and if she acted as if she had forgotten, she thought everything might be back to normal. But the highlighted purple part of the email is, again, omitted. Did she think it would look bad to say "Thank you for your hard work" to the man who she claims to have raped her?

At the trial, Ms. Ito's lawyers tried to justify this email, saying, "Many sexual victims take a compliant stance to the assailants so as not to worsen their relationships." But the email basically saying that "I want you to tell me what you will do about my VISA as soon as possible." It's not really compliant, it's rather demanding.

In the next post, we'll continue to examine Ms. Ito's actions after the incident.


You can click the link below to see the Japanese version of this post.