Jap "Prince" gets his comeuppance for walting........

#1
more "AH-hem" than "Ah-soh"

TIMES ARTICLE

The prince of conmen who lost his crown
From Richard Lloyd Parry in Tokyo






Prince Arisugawa, in uniform, with his bride. He was Yasuyuki Kitano, a greengrocer's son (KYODO)

THE wedding reception of Prince Satohito Arisugawa, kinsman of the Japanese Emperor and scion of an ancient aristocratic house, was everything an imperial marriage ought to be.
The venue was an exclusive Tokyo club known as a haunt of royalty. Prince Arisugawa was splendid in his black military uniform and glittering medals. About 350 guests, including actors, politicians and TV celebrities, presented the traditional Japanese wedding gift — envelopes of banknotes.

True, most of the assembled guests did not know the couple, there were no other members of the Imperial Family there, and in her junihitoe, a twelve-layered kimono worn by court ladies in the 10th century, the bride was perhaps a little overdressed — even for a princess.



But it was only when journalists got hold of the story a few weeks later that the guests realised the truth: Prince Arisugawa, the man to whom they had collectively given 13 million yen (£60,000), was actually Yasuyuki Kitano, the son of a greengrocer who formerly worked as a security guard and caretaker.

Yesterday Kitano, 44, and his bogus bride, a 47-year-old divorcée named Harumi Sakamoto, were imprisoned for 26 months for the 2003 swindle, which embarrassed dozens of well-known faces and exposed a snobbery — as well as a deep naivety — about the country’s closeted Imperial Family.

“It was a malicious criminal act,” Judge Takaki Oshima said at the Tokyo District Court. “[It] cleverly took advantage of reverence for the imperial court and Imperial Family.”

Kitano was formerly the head of a group of rightwing nationalists who revere the Japanese Imperial Family and appears to have passed himself off as a prince since the 1980s. Acquaintances quoted in the Japanese media remembered how he affected the special Japanese pronouns reserved for members of the Imperial Family — the equivalent of the royal “we”. In 2000 he gave a lecture to a peace organisation in Hiroshima as Prince Arisugawa and before that he persuaded a Shinto shrine to sell dubious bottles of mineral water decorated with the imperial chrysanthemum crest.

A bit of research by any of his victims would have exposed him — the aristocratic Arisugawa family, from whom he claimed descent, died out in 1913. “I didn’t know the prince directly, but a friend of mine in Tokyo told me that we could go to his wedding reception,” said Seizo Mikami, a businessman and politician. “I was very excited and planned to bring 500,000 yen to congratulate him on his marriage.

“I ended up bringing 100,000 yen because my secretary told me that he wasn’t one of my voters.”

Mr Mikami looked around for Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, hoping to pose alongside them for a photograph, but they were not to be found.

“Even after the verdict I don’t feel bad towards them,” Mr Mikami told The Times. “It’s bad to cheat people, but this isn’t murder or burglary. I try to remember that he gave a country bumpkin like me the fleeting dream of attending a royal wedding.”

PAST PRETENDERS


Omar Yusuf was arrested by Australian police in Malaysia this year. He had claimed to be a Middle Eastern prince but fled Australia owing A$9m

A Buddhist monk was defrocked in 2001 after claiming to be a member of the Cambodian royal family — as well as having sex with young boys and defrauding people

In 1318 John of Powderham claimed that he and not the reigning Edward II should be king, saying a nurse had swapped him. He later retracted, saying the Devil had inspired him, disguised as a cat. He and the cat were hanged.
 
#2
The poor cat! Wonder what the RSPCA would say about that now?
 
#4
I like this bit....
“I was very excited and planned to bring 500,000 yen to congratulate him on his marriage.

“I ended up bringing 100,000 yen because my secretary told me that he wasn’t one of my voters.”
and
Mr Mikami looked around for Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, hoping to pose alongside them for a photograph, but they were not to be found.
no, you dozy samurai, they had scarpered with the loot.....the journos must have a laugh writing this type of article
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top