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 [2019 Oct - Present]

Ms. Ito and Mr. Okamura from October 2019 to the present 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. Yamaguchi by 🔵, and actions of Mr. Okamura by 💛.


Oct 07: 🔵🔴Both Mr. Yamaguchi and Ms. Ito stated their opinions in oral arguments and conclude the trial【Tokyo】

🔴Attended the trial report meeting held in the House of Councilors after the conclusion of the civil litigation


💡Ms. Shiori Ito's 내로남불

Why doesn't anyone point out the fact that the venue was the Diet Members' office building? Isn't it weird for Ms. Ito, who is just a private person, to hold a report meeting of the civil trial conclusion at the "Diet Members' office building" which is a government office?

Ms. Ito and her defenders have been repeatedly criticized over the assumption that Prime Minister Abe provided some convenience to Mr. Yamaguchi. This means that one of the members of parliament clearly provided her some convenience. Why don't they say anything about it?

This is typical “내로남불” in Korean. “내로남불(Naero Nambul)” is a buzz phrase in Korea, and the direct translation is "When I do it, it's romance; when others do it, it's an affair." So it is a satirical phrase used to point out double standards or hypocrites. I would like to give this phrase "Naero Nambul " to Ms. Ito and her defenders.


Oct 08: 💛Mr. Okamura retweeted Ms. Isoko Mochizuki's article on Ms. Ito's final argument at the civil trial

👆The final argument of the trial in which Ms. Shiori Ito sued former journalist, Mr. Noriyuki Yamaguchi, for alleged sexual assault. Ms. Shiori said, "I was violated against my will as if I suddenly became a puppet. The experience of not remembering until I woke up in pain afflicts me for these four years. I still have panic attacks and I suffer from sleep disorders."


Oct 09: 🔴Retweeted regarding the Aichi Triennale

Oct 10: 💛Retweeted a Huffpost article about Ms. Ito tweeted by OpenTheBlackbox account

Oct 11: 🔴Announced the conclusion of the civil trial on Twitter and Facebook


🔴On the same day, Ms. Ito shared a link of a BuzzFeed article that covers the FGM in Sierra Leone, and also announced both "Complete Woman" and "Yuparo: My Beautiful Dying City" were selected for the documentary event "Tokyo Docs" on Twitter and Facebook.


Oct 12: 🔴Announced on Twitter and Facebook the start of her own column on Web Iwanami

Oct 17: 🔴Announced the release of a short documentary "I Killed My Flowers" on Twitter and Facebook

👆"Why did I have to kill my beloved mother and sister?" While fighting against PTSD, he talks about the past that he couldn't tell anyone in order not to let the same thing happen again. May Mr. Murakami's voice reach more people.

💡This is a work that was published in the "Yahoo! Creators Program." Of course, Mr. Okamura participates as an editor and producer. But also people from the Yahoo! Creators Program side participated in it too, such as "Mariko Ide" as the editor and "Yusaku Kanagawa" as the executive producer.


Oct 27: 🔴Attended an event to let people know the ordinance to eradicate sexual violence in Fukuoka prefectureに 【Fukuoka】




Nov 03: 🔴Shared the link of the second column on Web Iwanami on Twitter and Facebook 

Nov 10-11: 🔴"Complete Woman" won the Yahoo Award, and Yubari documentary won the Best Pitch Award at Tokyo Docs【Tokyo】

👆With Tokyo Docs Chairperson, Mr. Yukihiko Amagi

👆With Mariko Ide and Yusaku Kanagawa from Yahoo! Creators Program, who co-produced a short documentary "I Killed My Flowers" with Ms. Ito and Mr. Okamura as mentioned above.

I'm not sure if Mr. Okamura didn't attend or he did but wasn't allowed to be in the pictures with Ms. Ito. Since 2018, Mr. Okamura has been deeply involved in all the video productions of Ms. Ito (at least many people believe it's her works), such as the short video of Farc in Colombia, Complete Woman, I Killed My Flowers, Yuparo: My Beautiful Dying City. Nonetheless, there is no official photo of Mr. Okamura standing next to Ms. Ito. None.

💡Tokyo Docs and Yahoo! Creators Program

Tokyo Docs is an international forum that has been held every year since 2011 to support the international co-production of documentary works. From 2018, Yahoo! Creators Program is in a tie-up with Tokyo Docs "Short Documentary Showcase & Pitch" category. In the article below, Mr. Yusaku Kanagawa, who appears in the photo above along with Ms. Ito, is interviewed as the content producer for the Media Management Division at Yahoo! Japan Corporation.

👆content producer for the Media Management Division at Yahoo! Japan, Yusuke Kanagawa 

That is, Yahoo! Creators Program is involved in the selection of both the "Best Pitch Award" that Ms. Ito won after presented the Yubari documentary and the "Yahoo Award" that Ms. Ito also won with "Complete Woman".

Even for Yahoo! Creators Program side, it's killing two birds with one stone. Once they publish Ms. Ito's documentary, the number of views exceeds 100,000 on the first day, and the media such as Huffpost or BuzzFeed write articles about it too. I don't think there is no other documentary filmmaker (in Japan at least) who has more than 18,000 followers on Twitter, and if Ito wins any award, the media advertises it for free.


By the way, "Yahoo! JAPAN Creators Program Thanksgiving Day" was held on Dec 18, the same day as the judicial decision day. And of course, Ms. Ito won the "Best documentary of the year" award, which was newly established in 2019.



Of course, this also became an article on HuffPost, and Yusaku Kanagawa of Yahoo! Creators Program, mentioned above, shared the article on his Facebook page.



Nov 10: 🔴Participated in a talk show event with Ms. Yumi Ishikawa, a pin-up girl and #KuToo activist 【Tokyo】




Dec 05: 💛Mr. Okamura was recruiting performers for production of a promotion video for an American IT company 【Tokyo】
💡Besides supporting Ms. Ito, he seems to have been doing some small works in Japan.

Dec 14: 🔴Posted a photo on Facebook from Henoko after one year of sediment loading【Okinawa】

Dec 17: 🔴Informed about the judicial decision the next day and shared the BuzzFeed article reporting about it on Facebook【Tokyo】

Dec 18: 🔴Announced that she won the civil case on Facebook【Tokyo】


The contradictions after winning the civil case

I'm sure you've already seen the many reports on the winning judicial decision on Dec 18, 2019, so I won't go deep into it. Here, I would like to point out some of the contradictions and questions that I felt in the news and interviews around that time. (there are too many small questions, so only big ones here...)

① The motivation for this civil trial

Ms. Ito said at a press conference after the 18th ruling, "If (Mr. Yamaguchi) had been arrested, we didn't have to do this trial. Why didn't he get arrest? If we don't figure it out, the same thing will happen with a word from the top."

Arrest warrants are issued when there is a risk of escape or destruction of evidence. Mr. Yamaguchi did not escape. So that means Ms. Ito believes that Mr. Yamaguchi was not criminally prosecuted because he destroyed the evidence while he was not arrested? Would a person who would try to destroy evidence make statements that admittedly had sexual activity in replies to the victim's email?

Or she wants to say that the real purpose of the civil trial was not to demand damages from Mr. Yamaguchi, but to publicize about the suspended arrest warrant against Mr. Yamaguchi and to ask why it wasn't executed publicly? In that case, the opponent should not be Mr. Yamaguchi, but the Metropolitan Police Department.


② Attended Mr. Yamaguchi's press conference despite the severe PTSD of sexual violence that made her attempt suicide

I wrote about this in my previous post. In the report meeting the day before, she confessed that she felt lonely at the end of June and attempted suicide. So why didn't people around her stop her from joining the press conference of Mr. Yamaguchi as a journalist? I really struggle to understand.

Moreover, she has to listen to the assailant who raped her (alleged by Ms. Ito) saying how her claim is wrong in front of her for more than an hour. It must be so stressful that my stomach hurts just by watching the video below, although it's just a short part of it.

In fact, Ms. Ito has continued to carry out such actions from soon after the incident. Rather, it is no exaggeration to say that all the actions have been taken by Ms. Ito even from before the incident. She sent emails to ask for the intern job, she wanted to meet in Tokyo. She was the first to send the "Thank you for your great job" email after the incident, and she relentlessly sought his "sincere response" by calling him and emailing him. Although, in her book, she says, "I can't stand even being connected by email."

While saying, "I have PTSD" or "I feel nauseous only seeing a person with a similar appearance," she is voluntarily approaching Mr. Yamaguchi. Action speaks louder than words. If you want to know what she really wants, you should look at what she does.


③ If you read "Black Box", you'll see that she is not lying?

After participating in Mr. Yamaguchi's press conference, Ms. Ito made the following remarks in an interview with news media.

Regarding the matter that she was told to be a liar at his press conference, "I've been called a liar many times, but I have refuted in my book 'Black Box'. I think you will understand that I'm not a liar if you read it."

It is clear that this statement is also a "lie". Why didn't anyone point that out on the spot? In the press conference, Mr. Yamaguchi pointed out the contradictions that the things Ms. Ito wrote in "Black Box" differ from the facts. So how can she refute that with "Black Box"? 

Certainly, if you only read "Black Box", you might think "Ms. Ito is not a liar." However, as everyone who has read my blog up to this point understands, it's easy to see that Ms. Ito "is a liar" by comparing the facts with her book. Editing and omitting of emails, replacement of time series, concealment of academic background and work history...the book is literally a "Black Box".


④ She wants to "talk" with people who criticize her, or wants to "shut them up"?

Mr. Ito said at the press conference on Dec 19, the day after the judgment, "After I put an end to this civil case no matter what the result might be, I'm thinking to take legal measures (for second rape) as my next step." According to Kotobank, a Japanese Online encyclopedia, "second rape" means as below:

It's when the victims of sexual violence or sex crimes get exposed to misunderstandings and curiosity, and suffer secondary mental and social disadvantages by disclosing their damages, or when they're blamed that it was partially the victims' fault by gynecologists who examine the damages or by police officers who interrogate the circumstances.

At the press conference, I think she meant primarily "online/offline bashing for victims of sexual assault."

However, about a month before this press conference, on Nov 10, she attended a talk event with Ms. Yumi Ishikawa of #KuToo movement. There she talked about a man who had asked her if her allegation was true or false at one of her lectures, and said,

Even if I tell the truth in me with the effort, it's natural there are people who criticize. I think it can't be helped in a sense. However, I'd like to know what is behind the thoughts, not only denying each other. If we do it, we can avoid criticizing each other even if we don't agree. I think what we need for that purpose is dialogue.

But just one month later, she says, "I will take legal action against the second rape." What does she mean? The criticism of "Ms. Ito's claim may be false" doesn't fall within a second rape? Or is she saying that she changed her mind only after one month?

If it is the former, then what is the difference between the "criticism that Mr. Ito's claim is false" and "a second rape bashing"? She mentioned "Monthly Hanada", a tweet by Ms. Mio Sugita, and the illustrations by Ms. Toshiko Hasumi as "second rape", but aren't these all "criticisms that Ms. Ito's claim is false"? If those are the "second rapes that should be taken legal action", then what did she mean by criticisms that "can't be helped in a sense" and "need dialogue"?

If it's the latter, I don't trust people who say things in front of the camera that are completely inconsistent with what they said a month before. If her statement changes in this way, no matter where or what Ms. Ito says in the future, I can not refer to it at all.


Ms. Ito's professional and private partner(s) hidden in her shadow

Let's take a look at the list of documentaries and short films that Ms. Ito has been involved in producing so far and their credits.


As you can see, the films Ms. Ito has produced so far, from documentaries to short videos, were made with "the lover she was dating at the time". It seemed like there were some upsets at the time of separation with Mr. Ahlmark, but the relationship after that seems to be good, and now he's working on the "Witness series" of Al Jazeera with Hanna Aqvilin of Hanashi Films.

Journalists who work together often become partners in their private lives too, and there is nothing wrong with it. Life will be wonderful if the artists or filmmakers become partners both professionally and privately, and inspire each other to create works.

However, what is strange about the relationship between Ms. Ito and Mr. Ahlmark, and between Ms. Ito and Mr. Okamura, is that their names or photographs are not cast light at all in the media, even though they should work very closely as a producer and a director, or as a director and an editor.


When she filmed the documentary "Lonely Death" with Mr. Ahlmark, it was probably the first for her to be deeply involved in documentary production. The support from others must have been indispensable. However, she left the editing to Mr. Ahlmark and Mr. Yusuke Hayamizu, and flew to Europe with Mr. Sato for the WALKCAR advertisement. Mr. Yusuke Hayamizu is also a movie director with a long career.

Ms. Ito has never mentioned in magazine interviews, etc., such support from the surroundings, especially the support of her partner at that time, Mr. Ahlmark. She was a 27-year-old dropout from a college of photography in New York, with a career only as an intern and a freelancer making three-minute videos at Reuter's TV communications department. Then she suddenly directed a one-hour documentary for the first time, won 2 silver awards at New York Festivals? Give me a break!

The chief editor of GQ magazine, Masafumi Suzuki, wrote as followed regarding Ms. Ito won the Silver Award in two categories at the New York Festivals.

This is how she has already established her unique position as a freelance journalist and a documentary maker. Even though she was beaten up by the unreasonable difficulty that attacked her and swayed her, she wasn't completely beaten up nor swayed up. She didn't lower the flag of her ambition to live as a journalist, and she raised it even higher. So first of all, I would like to express my joy that she and her talent were blessed in Las Vegas.

👆The editor-in-chief of "GQ japan", Mr. Masafumi Suzuki,

When you compare these sentences with reality, it sounds a little ironic. Certainly, Ms. Ito may have established her unique position as a documentary maker. She raised her ambition high to become a journalist no matter what happens, and such talent of her was blessed in Las Vegas...


Ms. Ito's "talent" seems to have been fully exerted even after she met Mr. Okamura. She doesn't talk about Mr. Ahlmark's support in the interview article etc., but maybe it's understandable considering that the two were already separated when Ms. Ito became famous by the press conference in 2017.

However, Mr. Okamura is her current partner. Moreover, he graduated from the University of Southern California, an elite filmmaker. Since she met him, he has been deeply involved in all documentaries directed by Ms. Ito, and Mr. Okamura is passionate about the Yubari documentary. You can say it's their work, not hers.

However, Mr. Okamura has never been in a photo with Ms. Ito at the awards ceremony of Tokyo Docs or Yahoo! Creators Program. Ms. Ito has never mentioned his name, his career, or his support in the media. It's as if Mr. Okamura threw his career away in Los Angeles and agreed to live in the shadow of Ms. Ito. I guess all I can say is "good luck."


This was my examination of Ms. Shiori Ito's words and deeds from 1989 to April 2020. The chronological consideration ends with this post. Your supporting comments (on Twitter too) would be very encouraging. Thank you so much for reading all the way to here!


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