Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Makiyo madness engulfs Taiwan

What's the big story in Taiwan? You might think it is Linsanity, but when I opened the Taipei Times just moments ago, the top 5 stories were:

1 Makiyo, friend released on bail
2 Makiyo, friend charged with assaulting driver
3 Police face charges in Makiyo case
4 Watchdog urges media restraint in Makiyo case
5 Fong Fei-fei, the ‘Queen of Hats,’ passes away at 58

Makiyo was also the week's most read story at the China Post as well.

The Makiyo story is gigantic. A bare bones summary from the first story:
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday wrapped up its investigation into a case involving singer-actress Makiyo and her friend Takateru Tomoyori, charging both with assault and asking for four and six years imprisonment respectively over the alleged beating of a taxi driver last week.
Another taxi driver had filmed the half-Japanese Makiyo and a friend in the act of beating the driver. Two other actresses in the vehicle were also charged with giving false testimony to the police. The police themselves may face charges since apparently the tape, available at the scene, was not given to the prosecutors until after it had appeared on TV, suggesting that policemen may have been trying to suppress it.

This event has led to much breathless Taiwan media Golden Retriever style "investigation" and reporting into the woman's alleged past as if it somehow meant something. From the same story:
Asked to comment on the singer-actress’ character, some sources within the Japanese community in Taipei said that Makiyo, who is half-Japanese, was not a well-behaved student when she attended the Taipei Japanese School.

Many parents were really troubled by some of her behavior, the source said, such as kissing her boyfriends in school.
Also involved was the famous staunchly pro-KMT gangster Chang An-lo, the White Wolf (long post, shorter one). In China, Chang stuck a finger into the case to offer cash and to stir up anti-Japanese sentiment. Not to mention get his name in the papers.

The case, which has been all over the internet here, sparked public concern that Makiyo was being tried in the media. Part of the problem was that Taiwan's news market is saturated with news stations demanding an endless supply of news, meaning that the event was repeatedly in the news as the stations updated their stories throughout the ensuing days. Even worse, some of the accused appeared on TV to discuss the case though it is still under investigation. Indeed, one deponent claimed that his testimony had been orchestrated by Makiyo's talent agency....
After being indicted by the prosecutor, Takateru Tomoyori, the Japanese man who participated with Makiyo in an attack on a taxi driver, revealed in a TV talk show that it was under the guidance of the agency that he made a false statement to the police. Tomoyori had said that only he, and not Makiyo, carried out the attack. This statement led to the police's investigation into possible perjury by Makiyo's agency.
Prosecutors said Makiyo herself faces a four year jail sentence in the case, Takateru Tomoyori is looking at six years.

The drunken beat down was triggered by the taxi driver's request that the people in the back buckle up as the law now requires.... *sigh*
Daily Links
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Jenna Cody said...

Makiyo might still be in the newspapers, but I can assure you that at least in Taipei, nobody is talking about her anymore (thank the gods, if they existed)!

The news can report on what it wants but the people are talking about Jeremy Lin, not Makiyo. For the first time in weeks, my Facebook feed (which I estimate to be at least 3/5ths full of posts by my Taiwanese friends - I have more overall foreign friends but they don't post as often) is all Lin and zero Makiyo.

Which is fantastic. She wasn't famous for any good reason, and I don't understand why she was famous at all before the taxi incident.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the great Bruce Cumings! Korea's Place in the Sun is one of the best historical books I've ever read. Hopefully someday someone will be able to write a comparable study of Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

In other news, arson and rioting break out across Greece as Europe's financial future is debated... Iran and Israel ratchet up their belligerency, threatening global recession if the supply of oil is reduced through the Straits of Hormuz... PRC heir apparent Xi Jinping visits the White House... Whitney Houston dies for the sins of mankind...

Anonymous said...

Bruce Commie is an idiot.

les said...

Man bites dog story. I can think of dozen people who were badly beaten by taxi drivers and whose stories passed without a peep from the media or any interest from the police.