After men are released and management fails to address problem to her satisfaction, she says “I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”
While Tokyo remains the center of the idol singer universe, Japan now has a number of regional idol units as well, such as NGT48 (a sister group to AKB48), which is based in Niigata. Unfortunately, performing outside bright lights of Japan’s biggest city doesn’t always spare them from the idol industry’s biggest problem: dangerously obsessed fans.
りかのことじゃなくてもりかって誤解される😅触れても火傷だし触れなくても火傷なんてやっぱり時の人…(笑) りかは表でも裏でもそのままだからもう逆に怖くないし、チームGになってから仲良くさせてもらってるけど時の人(ほとんど仕事)なので… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
山口真帆 (@maho_yamaguchi) December 09, 2018
On the evening of December 8, NGT48 member Maho Yamaguchi (pictured on the right in the above tweet from her personal account) returned to her home in Niigata City following a performance. However, as the 23-year-old idol opened the door to go inside, she was attacked by two men who had been lying in wait. The men, both 25-year-old university students, grabbed her face and otherwise jostled her while attempting to force their way inside the entryway to her home.
Thankfully, the police were summoned before they could gain full entry, and the two men were arrested on assault charges. However, they denied any violent intent, saying “We wanted to talk with Ms. Yamaguchi, and we didn’t think it would be such a big deal.”
2.3部中止になってしまい申し訳ありません。その時間までしか会えなかったという方もいるだろうに本当にごめんなさい。 4部から出させて頂きます。 2.3部の券も使えるので4部で会える方はよろしくお願いします。 いつもみたいに皆さんを… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
山口真帆 (@maho_yamaguchi) December 22, 2018
Considering that there are few things that make it more difficult to have a conversation with someone than grabbing their face, the excuse seems incredibly flimsy. Nevertheless, no charges were pressed and the two men were released.
The frightening incident isn’t the sort of thing the human psyche easily bounces back from, but Yamaguchi didn’t comment publicly on the attack until exactly one month later. During a live video stream on streaming service Showroom, Yamaguchi, while not mentioning the December 8 attack specifically, said that among the NGT48 members are people who are doing “bad things,” such as revealing personal information about other members of the group, indirectly implying that she thinks her attackers were able to figure out her home address thanks to another member of the idol unit. “Even though our management said they would clean up NGT48, and even though I’ve been waiting for a month, they haven’t dealt with the situation at all.”
“Why are things that wouldn’t be allowed in other groups allowed in NGT?” asked Yamaguchi. “It doesn’t feel like I’m alive,” she added, and eventually the video stream abruptly ended.
The following day, Yamaguchi tweeted about the