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 [2018] Jan-Jun

Ms. Ito and Mr. Yuta Okamura in the first half of 2018 in chronological order. The sources are colored as followed:
Media coverage➡ 
Posts on social media➡ 
My comments will be indicated by 💡, actions of Ms. Ito by 🔴, actions of Mr. Ahlmark by 💚, and actions of Mr. Okamura by 💛.


Jan 08: 🔴Ms. Ito shared an article that she contributed to POLITICO EU on Facebook【London


Approx. Jan 15: 🔴Interviewed by ELLE (The interview date is estimated from this article【Paris】

The end of Jan: 🔴Interviewd by SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) of South Korean【Tokyo】




Jan 30: 🔴Attended the Japanese Parliament to hear the opposition party ask questions to the Prime Minister【Tokyo】

The members of the Opposition from the “bipartisan group to examine the issue of suspension of execution of the arrest warrant for the quasi-rape case”, which I mentioned in the previous post, asked questions to Prime Minister Abe at the Diet on Nov 30 and to the Chairman of Judicial Affairs Committee on Dec 1 about the suspension of the arrest warrant. But in both cases, they refused to respond stating, "I refrain from responding to individual cases as Prime Minister," "We do not accept questions about specific individuals."

Ms. Ito came and watched the debate on this day, but Prime Minister Abe's answer was that "I am not in a position to answer individual cases," "Do not ask questions based on Weekly Magazine reports."


Feb 23: 🔴Shared on Facebook the link of a TV show "Skavlan" in which she appeared (Broadcasted on Feb 16. Filmed around in Dec or Jan.)



Feb 23: 🔴Photos posted of Ms. Ito speaking in an event of Human Rights Now on social media【Tokyo】




March 03: 🔴Attended the start commemorative event of #WeToo Japan【Tokyo】


Mar 07: 🔴Had an interview for Yahoo! News, and attended a discussion event for Huffpost【Tokyo】

Mar 14: 🔴Announced on Facebook that she would participate in the UN Committee on the States of Women 【New York】

Mar 16: 🔴Had a press conference at UN Headquarters and participated in the debate of Human Rights Now【ニューヨーク】



Mar 16: 💛Mr. Okamura posted a photo of Harley-Davidson on social media【LA】



Mar 21-25: 💛Filmed "Advantage Omar Miami"【Miami】



Mar 28: 🔴Announced on Facebook that the documentary "Lonely Death" and "Racing in Cocaine Valley" were nominated for the New York Festivals 


Apr 04-07: 💛Filmed "Advantage Omar Charleston"【South Carolina】


Apr 08: 🔴Ms. Ito visited the editorial department for an interview with the magazine "GQ"【Tokyo】

Apr 09: 🔴Gave a speech at Temple University, Japan Campus 【Tokyo】


Apr 13: 🔴💚Announced on Facebook that she won the Silver Awards at the New York Festivals for "Lonely Death" and "Racing in Cocaine Valley"【LA】


f:id:gatitomaurice:20200401011624j:plain👆Probably they met for the first time after the breakup. Mr. Ahlmark somewhat looks a little stiff next to her


Winning of the Silver Awards at the New York Festivals

Ms. Ito has made a brilliant achievement to win the silver prize for both the first documentary work as a director and the first documentary work as a camera person. But could something like that really happen in real life? She must have never been involved in any documentary production, let alone in charge of photography (except for the documentary of Rohingya refugees she mentioned once...but I couldn't find any information whether it was taken shape, who she was working with, or what title she was working in.)

And more ironically, Mr. Almark, who had provided documentary works to various media for about eight years from 2008 to 2016 until he met Ms. Ito, hadn't won any ward except for Webby Award, a pay-to-enter policy Internet-oriented awards in 2014. At the "Asian TV Awards" that he accompanied by Ms. Ito in 2015, he was only nominated. However, as soon as he made two documentaries with a rookie filmmaker with no career named Shiori Ito, both of them won the Silver Award at the New York Festivals.

👆Mr. Almark who accompanied Ms. Ito to the Asian TV Awards ceremony at the end of 2015. He wouldn't have dreamed that he would win two awards with her power 2.5 years later.


I think this mysterious phenomenon that "a rookie with no career suddenly wins silver awards both her first directed work and her first work as a camera person" can be explained by these two words.


The New York Festivals is a contest partnered by the United Nations. Ms. Ito had a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York only one month before the ceremony was held. It's not hard to imagine that her winning these awards was the result of some kind of influence.

In addition, I saw some opinions on Twitter, blogs, etc., "The media does not report that Ms. Shiori Ito won the silver awards at New York festivals at all! It's a conspiracy!" But in fact, every year there are several Japanese works winning awards at New York Festivals.

JAPAN 2016 World's Best Television & Films™ Winners & Finalist Index

JAPAN 2017 World's Best Television & Films™ Winners & Finalist Index

JAPAN 2018 World's Best Television & Films™ Winners & Finalist Index

JAPAN 2019 World's Best Television & Films™ Winners & Finalist Index

Even winning gold awards is not widely reported in Japan, so it is natural that they didn't report Ms. Ito's winning of silver awards widely. If it was reported widely to the public, that would be biased reporting.


By the way, note that even though this New York Festivals awards ceremony was held in Las Vegas, the location of Ms. Ito's Facebook post that I mentioned above says "Los Angeles" instead of Las Vegas. Mr. Yuta Okamura must have been staying in LA at this time, and the actions of the two people would overlap after this. I speculate that Ms. Ito and Mr. Okamura became intimate from this time.


And as I mentioned before, journalist Kiyoshi Shimizu made the last tweet about Ms. Ito on Apr 14, 2018. He was consulted by her through a personal route in 2015, and after the press conference in 2017, he frequently tweeted to support Ms. Ito. But since April 14, he hasn't tweeted regarding Ms. Ito. Even when she won the civil case, he completely ignored it. There's gotta be something to that.

In addition, Mr. Shimizu didn't tweet that Ms. Ito won two silver awards at the New York Festivals either. Maybe, as a journalist or as a man, did he notice something from the award?


Apr 18: 🔴Shared the link for the petition for the Ministry of Finance to retreat the method of investigating that requires the female victim to disclose her name on Facebook from Bogota【Colombia】


👆It is still not easy to accuse sexual violence and sexual harassment in Japan. Because it is difficult to gain understandings of others about sexual damage, such as inadequate support after the accusation. "What will I do if I can't continue to work after I went public?" There's always such fear. However, raising voices has great meaning for not making other victims in the future. Imagine your loved one having the same experience. If you don't have the imagination to understand the damage, the harm won't disappear. At the same time, the response of related organizations and surroundings play a big part in it. #Letsstop this kind of handling #WeToo #Metoo

This is a petition for signatures related to the scandal that then-Vice Minister of Finance, Fukuda, sexually harassed a female journalist. Note that the location says "Bogota, Colombia". On Facebook, the location won't be automatically displayed, you have to manually add it. Ms. Ito frequently mentions that she has been in "60 countries". This post has nothing to do with Colombia, but I guess she wanted to emphasize that she was in Colombia.

Ms. Ito interviewed FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in Bogota in April of the previous year and seems to have interviewed them again in Colombia after leaving Los Angeles. Later, the coverage article with a short video came out on Yahoo! News, and the credit for video production is "Yuta Okamura".



May 03: 🔴Report World Press Freedom Day of UNESCO Ghana 【Ghana】

May 21-30: 🔴Interviewed with girls who were raped during school closure due to EbolaSierra Leone】

👆A photo posted on Facebook of Sierra Leone journalist, Mohamed Saidu Bah, who was later credited as a local producer with Ms. Ito's documentary "Complete Woman".


May 27-28: 💛Mr. Okamura posted photos taken in Setagaya Park and Yoyogi Park on social media【Tokyo】


Jun 09: 🔴Attended the Human Rights Now symposium at Senshu University【Tokyo】


Jun 09: 💛Posted photos that were taken at Kamimeguro Hikawa Shrine on social media【Tokyo】


💡Note that Ms. Ito is running on the "Nakanohashi Bridge" of Meguro River in the Korean SBS program shot in January 2018,

f:id:gatitomaurice:20200402223438p:plain👆Ms. Ito running on the "Nakanohashi Bridge"

👆Nakanohashi Bridge


From "Nakanohashi Bridge" to "Kamimeguro Hikawa Shrine," it is about 500m. Also, it's about an 18-minute walk from "Nakanohashi Bridge" to "Setagaya Park". From this, It is speculated that Mr. Okamura was staying at Ms. Ito's home.


Jun 11: 🔴Interviewed by Nishi Nihon Shimbun Newspapers【Tokyo】

Jun 18: 💛Posted a photo that was taken in Kanagawa prefecture on social media【Tokyo】*Ms. Ito's parent' house is in Kanagawa

Jun 21-28: 💛Posted photos that were taken in various spots in Tokyo on social media【Tokyo】

Jun 26: 

🔴Appeared on the BBC program "Victoria Derbyshire"【London】

💛Mr. Okamura retweeted the video of Ms. Ito appearing on BBC

🔴Attended #MeToo event at Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation【London】

Jun 28: Broadcasted the documentary about Ms. Ito "Japan's Secret Shame" on BBC2


Jun 30: 💛Posted the link of "Japan's Secret Shame" on Facebook


Ms. Ito continued to fly around in the first half of 2018. As I said before, the information here is what I could find through my research, so there could be more interviews, more coverage, or more private trips that I couldn't find. She was probably busier than this. On the other hand, the time when Mr. Okamura started posting photos from around Meguro coincides with the time when he started sharing the information (or retweeting) about Ms. Ito.


In the next post, we will see the second half of 2018 when Ms. Ito finally started to act in line with Mr. Okamura.


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