The family of a performer belonging to an all-female singing and dancing troupe in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, has demanded an apology and compensation from the company. The performer apparently took her own life due to overwork and harassment from her seniors.
The 25-year-old member of the Takarazuka Revue was found dead in the city of Takarazuka in September. The woman, who joined the company six years ago, was a member of its Cosmos Troupe.
Lawyers for the bereaved family held a news conference at the labor ministry on Friday.
The lawyers said the woman was under an outsourcing contract with the company, and that her overtime exceeded 277 hours a month. That was above the government's criteria for worker compensation.
The lawyers also said the woman's senior performers burned her forehead with a curling iron and called her a liar during a rehearsal.
The lawyers said the woman's bereaved family is demanding an apology and compensation from the company.
Her parents said in a statement that they remember their daughter saying she could forget all bad things while onstage, but her suffering was far beyond a certain limit.
The parents criticized the company for ignoring their daughter's repeated calls for help. They demanded that the company and the senior performers who harassed their daughter admit their responsibility and apologize.
The lawyers said the company is clearly responsible for her death as it breached its obligation to ensure the safety of its performers.
They added that hierarchical relations among its performers are abnormal.
The company says it takes the matter very seriously and intends to respond to the family sincerely, taking into consideration findings from an investigation by a third-party panel of lawyers.
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