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 apologised.
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.
NHK, has covered the story on Maho Yamaguchi of #NGT48 They’ve seemed to have corroborated with police and confirmed some things. AKS has refused comment. I’ve translated below for fans interested.
❌no official report says specifically sexual assault. pic.twitter.com/gKCyh8ww6S
— amina du Jean (@aminadujean) January 9, 2019
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):
reading her account of the attack scared the shit out of me people really need to be punished and held responsible with lasting consequences for this. like holy fucking shit. pic.twitter.com/pvsRiMOHjg
— ???????????????????? (@jeauexe) January 9, 2019
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.
まほほん号泣配信 2/2 BANされるまで pic.twitter.com/kJQopW16j3
— (/ω＼) (@korokoromilky) January 8, 2019
Here is a translation by @ithebigc of the speech:
Yamaguchi Maho’s SHOWROOM, full translation #山口真帆 #NGT48
I think this hits home for me not b/c it’s the 48G, but b/c the type of serious idol she describes is Sakura, someone who has fun but is diligent about her responsibilities. Thank God HKT has good managers & no snakes pic.twitter.com/8SOQukFiGq
— ithebigc（ケリー） (@ithebigc) January 9, 2019
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.
I translated mahohon’s tweets about this pic.twitter.com/iV4IwSKFFp
— [email protected]吉田運子 (@fryan_get) January 8, 2019
According to Daily Sports, NGT48’s management denies that another group member gave out Yamaguchi’s home address.
これはNGTの運営酷いわ。#山口真帆 #NGT48 #NGT48劇場3周年記念スペシャル公演 pic.twitter.com/f7V8zzTk3U
— ボン (@48_cap) January 10, 2019
Overnight, Yamaguchi went on stage and apologised for “causing trouble,” bowing several times before a packed crowd.
fans: You did nothing wrong~!
Maho: I had an opportunity to talk with AKS staff. i hope this (incident) would be a chance to let NGT48 take a new direction, and i will take effort as teamG captain for that. plz keep on supporting NGT48.
— nori (@na_fushigiyaro) January 10, 2019
Apologies are called for, but not from her.