Japanese Pop Idol Apologizes After Being Attacked

Brian Ashcraft

Maho Yamaguchi is a member of Niigata-based idol group NGT48, a sister group of AKB48. Two men have been arrested for allegedly assaulting her. Yet tonight, it was Yamaguchi who apologized.

Run by a talent company known as AKS, AKB48 is one of Japan’s most successful idol groups with numerous spin-off groups, including NGT48 of which Yamaguchi, whom fans call “Mahohon,” belongs. Each of the groups has a massive amount of members—hence, the 48 number.

According to NHK, the two men, both in their mid-20s, forced their way into her home’s entryway on December 8. They allegedly grabbed her face and assaulted her.

The two men said they “just wanted to talk with her.” They denied the assault and were later released without charge. Japan’s Daily Sports reports that it was told Yamaguchi screamed with surprise when she saw the men, causing them to cover her mouth. A police officer, the paper adds, arrived soon after.

Yamaguchi’s account of what happened is terrifying (translation by @jeauexe):

Earlier this week, Yamaguchi spoke about what happened in an online stream, saying she thought she could have been killed. You can watch below, but it suddenly stops while she was speaking.

Here is a translation by @ithebigc of the speech:

As website Asian Junkie (via tipster Oxhex) points out, Yamaguchi had also discussed the incident on Twitter, alleging that a fellow group member had given out her home address and told the men when she would arrive. Yamaguchi accused the group’s management of covering up the incident.

Here are some translations of her tweets by @fryan_get.

According to Daily Sports, NGT48's management denies that another group member gave out Yamaguchi’s home address.

Tonight, Yamaguchi went on stage and apologized for “causing trouble,” bowing several times before a packed crowd.

Apologies are called for, but not from her.

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