A 57-year-old fortune-teller arrested on suspicion of threatening a young woman who refused to live with him and a harem of other women told the victim she would be turned into mince if she left, police investigators said.
Police accused the suspect, Hirohito Shibuya, of threatening the victim after he failed to convince her to live with him and his harem of nearly a dozen women, several of whom he had reportedly married for short periods.
Police reportedly confiscated numerous books on hypnotism from Shibuya’s home. They are analyzing them to determine whether they were connected with Shibuya’s alleged actions.
Law enforcers said Shibuya spoke to a 20-year-old woman from Tokyo at his home on Oct. 20 last year, and tried to convince her to live a communal life with him and the other women, saying, “I’m a Self-Defense Force official. There are spies all around you. If you stay here you’ll be safe.”
When the woman refused, he allegedly threatened her, saying, “If you leave here you’ll be turned to mince. If you tell anyone else about the things that have happened here, you’ll be killed, have an accident or get sick.”
When questioned by police over his actions, Shibuya reportedly said, “I only told the woman what I saw in my dreams.”
Shibuya’s discussion with the woman and his alleged threats reportedly lasted for a two-hour period starting from 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 20. Police believe he deliberately tried to frighten the woman so she would live with him.
Shibuya had lived with 11 women and a 1-year-old girl. He said one of the women started to live with him about 6 years ago, when he started fortune telling. Police suspect he convinced the other women to live with him using similar tactics. They plan to carefully question each of them.
Investigators raided Shibuya’s home in Higashiyamato early on Thursday morning, carting out about 10 boxes of data. They also seized Shibuya’s vehicle. A total of about 50 officers entered the home as about 60 reporters formed a crowd on the road outside.
Soon afterwards, women hiding their faces using hats and masks emerged from the home, and filed into an investigation vehicle.
On Wednesday afternoon, prior to Shibuya’s arrest, several of the women had talked with reporters, but on Thursday they remained silent, looking down.
“Shibuya used to be a quiet person, but recently everyone had been saying that his stares were scary,” said a housewife in her 30s living in the area.