May 2022 (Part 2)

On May 23rd, Ibushi tweets this series of tweets:

“This is sudden, but I can’t take looking at this anymore after all, so I’m going to share it. The real truth behind why I posted the names and screenshots before. I was unsure if I should share this, but I can’t bear to look at the current state of my mother anymore, so I’m going to tell you. First, they still haven’t apologized. Do Kikuchi and Ohbari feel no guilt?
They announce via LINE they’re [going] to fire me, without meeting with me once. My mother contacted me, concerned, maybe because she noticed I was stressed and worried.

Then I couldn’t take it anymore either, so I talked to her about how this sudden LINE message had come, and how I’ve been the victim of power harassment again and again, and she feebly told me “It’s okay if you quit”.
The next day, my mother tried to kill herself. I said bluntly that I’m never going to forgive Kikuchi and the current president. That’s why I’m going to fight until the end.

They’ve done something absolutely unforgivable to me. They won’t talk face to face with me, they won’t answer my messages, [so] I plan on somehow being able to talk about this in the near future. I’ve consulted my [agent? lawyer?] too. Kikuchi, Ohbari, do you get it? A mother who tries to kill herself shortly after Mother’s Day. Attempted murder from a distance. It’s a miracle she survived. Are you going to heal her broken hip for her? There’s more [to reveal], but you’re not going to like it [sarcastic].”

I want to carefully add that even though the word 殺人未遂 (attempted murder) does get used here, Ibushi is blaming Kikuchi and Ohbari for being responsible for this because of the physical and emotional stress they caused him and his family, rather than actually insinuating they or people working for them attempted to murder his mother.

A couple days later, on May 27th, New Japan releases a pre-recorded “press conference” to their YouTube, together with statements about the Ibushi matter in Japanese and English. The original video can be watched here, and the English statement is here, and the Japanese one here. The content is about the same in all three releases. In summary:

New Japan acknowledges the truth of what Ibushi tweeted about in regard to Kikuchi and his mother’s attempted suicide, though the “press conference” is permeated by an aura of trying to maintain kayfabe. In a later post, NJPW clarifies the penalties: Kikuchi will be penalized by being moved to a different position (no longer being an assistant to booker Gedô, I assume) and a 10% pay reduction for 3 months, and Ibushi as well as president Ohbari will be penalized with the same 10% pay reduction for 3 months. The penalty for Ibushi seems to come from him breaching his exclusive contract both for going to JTO without consulting anyone beforehand and disclosing the names of officials such as Kikuchi and co.

But Ibushi appears far from satisfied with the press conference, tweeting on the same day:

“Omitting that which [you] don’t want to talk about. The truth about things after May 8th. I will tell you in detail.
On May 8th, my mother, sensing [I] was worried, asked me if there was something troubling me, and as a result of having told her the details, she tried to take her life on May 9th, and broke her hip bone. That’s [what’s behind] 95% of my tweets, so? Why did they leave it out? That’s why I said I’m going to talk about this tomorrow if [you] don’t say it right.”

As written above, NJPW did eventually acknowledge the attempted suicide of Ibushi’s mother and amended their statements accordingly, but they draw no direct line between the stress they caused Ibushi and his mother and the attempted suicide.

Later on the same day, he tweets to elaborate:

“This isn’t answering anything. A company that only deals with things internally is going to end one day. I think there are people who think [I’m] not needed, so if you really wanted to punish me, why don’t you release me? It’s not like you don’t want to do it, so it doesn’t make any sense to me [why you don’t do it].
#If this is it, there’s no future
#The most important thing is only doing it with the people who want to do it
#What’s the meaning in having [me] continue”

To a fan asking what his goal right now is, he says:

“An apology to my mother, which they haven’t done even once.”

Later, he alludes again to some more things he has to reveal, and that he isn’t done:

“I want to start [uploading] videos. I want to talk about the truth with my own words and actions.
Shimojima from TV Asahi NJPW World, don’t talk about other people’s merchandise sale percentages [or] appearance fees. Getting drunk has it’s good and bad sides.”

I don’t have a concrete idea who this Shimojima person could be.