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Part 7. Triumphant Prisoner

The Reconciliation of Masatomo Yamazaki and Nikken

It seems that Toshio Umezawa, Masatomo Yamazaki’s associate, became suspicious of the way Nikken handled the matter around May 1991. Umezawa not only founded the anti-Gakkai people’s movement using Fukuden magazine, but he also revealed the reconciliation between Yamazaki and Nikken in the Shin Zasshi X magazine.

According to Umezawa, Nikken chose to unite with Yamazaki, even though Nikken had once been rebuked by Yamazaki for his failure to receive the heritage of Nichiren Shoshu from the former high priest. Nikken apologized to Yamazaki for calling him a liar.

Umezawa writes in the August 1991 issue of the Shin Zasshi 21:

“Before I visited the head temple on pilgrimage as a member of Hon’no-ji temple on January 5th (1991), I had a chance to talk to Reverend F, a priest who was at the head temple in those days; to be precise, it was Reverend Fukuda, on the staff of the Overseas Bureau. During that conversation, Reverend Fukuda asked me, ’Can you contact Mr. Masatomo Yamazaki?’ I replied, ’I can contact him if you want me to do so.’ Then, Reverend Fukuda said, ’I have a message from the high priest to Mr. Yamazaki. Please tell him the high priest’s words exactly as I share them with you now: ‘I’m sorry that I called you a liar at that time. Please accept my apology.’ Please convey this message from the high priest to Mr. Yamazaki. He will understand what the message means. And please don’t reveal this matter to any other individual. Don’t ever disclose it, especially to the press.’ After I returned from the head temple, I contacted Mr. Yamazaki immediately. I conveyed to him what I was told by Reverend Fukuda.

“Since Mr. Yamazaki was once my boss, he had never called me by my formal name “Mr. Umezawa.” But when I shared with him Mr. Fukuda’s words, he politely said to me, ‘Mr. Umezawa, is what you just said true? Are you serious?’ I replied, then he said, ‘I understand. Thank you very much.’ Actually, he told me ‘thank you’ twice using the type of polite language that he wouldn’t normally use in speaking to a subordinate.”

Yamazaki must have been unable to stop laughing in triumph when Nikken respectfully apologized to him. Till then, Yamazaki had been manipulating Kojun Takahashi, Isao Dan, and others to influence the key figures of Nichiren Shoshu with information that would cause them to develop ill feelings toward the Soka Gakkai. This is backed up by the memoir written by Wado Hamanaka of the Shoshinkai group, currently chief priest of Denpo-ji temple in Takeda City, Oita prefecture.

Hamanaka writes: “I had a phone call from Mr. Yamazaki on New Year’s Day of 1991. He sounded very triumphant. He said, ‘What do you think of my skill, Wado-san? Serves Ikeda right! Ikeda must know by now what awful things could happen to him if he slights me. Indeed, coming to this point was not easy. It was tough!’

“I then questioned him, saying ‘ Mr. Yamazaki, are you involved in the issue that has just broken out? He replied, ‘Of course. Who in the world do you think brought that tape to Mr. Abe? Who do you think gave the idea of Operation C to the priesthood? It was tough, but I did my very best to get to this point.’

“This is what Mr. Yamazaki told me, and I was a little suspicious of what he said. But I thought about it and realized that it was very probable that Mr. Yamazaki had instilled information into Reverend Abe’s mind without any sense of guilt on his part, while skillfully developing a network of spies within Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai. Indeed, I sensed the uncanny nature of Mr. Yamazaki in all that had happened. Mr. Yamazaki continued, ‘Mr. Abe expressed his apology to me, saying, ’I am sorry that I called you a liar. Please accept my apology.’ That man too has finally recognized how great I am. He has bowed to me. Ha, ha, ha …’ So laughing, Mr. Yamazaki hung up his phone saying, ‘I’ll call you again.’”

Yamazaki on the Eve of His Imprisonment

At that time, Yamazaki was waiting for sentencing by the Supreme Court in his blackmail trial. In 1980, Yamazaki had blackmailed the Soka Gakkai, obtaining 300 million yen. His second attempt to obtain another 500 million yen from the Soka Gakkai did not work out. On these two blackmail charges, Yamazaki was given a guilty sentence without any parole in his first trial on March 26, 1980, and in the second trial on December 20, 1988.

In order to accomplish blackmail, he took advantage of the trust he had received from the organization. Yamazaki put himself in a position where he was able to blackmail the Soka Gakkai because he had successfully put Nittatsu Hosoi, the 66th high priest of Nichiren Shoshu, under his control.

It was unlikely that the verdict against him in the second trial would be reversed at the Supreme Court. He was in for imprisonment as soon as his appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed. But right before he was put behind bars, his manipulative efforts bore fruit as he hoped – Operation C was underway. Yamazaki’s rapture continued up until the day before he was taken to jail. His imprisonment took place on February 25, 1991. Four days earlier, Yamazaki enjoyed a farewell party at a restaurant in a residential area near Shinjuku, Tokyo, with Hamanaka of the Shoshinkai group, Narifumi Kameda, and others.

The farewell party ended at 9 PM, but Yamazaki told Hamanaka, according to the latter’s memoir, “Wado-san, please go ahead to the hotel. I’m meeting a person shortly, but I’ll join you at the hotel later. Let’s talk about many things tonight.”

Later, Yamazaki phoned Hamanaka who was waiting for him, and said to him (according to Hamanaka’s memoir), “Wado-san, I’ve got urgent business and I may be late, so please go ahead and sleep. I may not come to the hotel tonight. I may be there tomorrow morning. But don’t leave the hotel until you see me.”

In fact, on that night, Yamazaki was seeing a woman at the Akasaka Prince Hotel. It was their last date before Yamazaki was imprisoned. She was a lay believer of Hamanaka’s temple, and Hamanaka was not aware that Yamazaki had a relationship with this woman. Yamazaki got into relationship with this married woman eight years before, and he persuaded her to give him 20-some million yen before he was imprisoned. In fact, Yamazaki and this woman later got into an ugly dispute over the issue of this money. He later claimed that the money he had received from her was a gift, while she claimed that she had lent it to him.

In December 1996, this woman filed a lawsuit against Yamazaki, seeking the return of the money that she had allegedly lent him. Through this trial, many facts came under the light. One of the facts was what Yamazaki did on the evening of February 21. Part of the woman’s written claim states: “The defendant claims that he was impotent on that night, but his claim is not true.” Her claim clearly reports that they actually had sex during their final date.

Yamazaki himself refers to what happened on that night in part of his written claim that he turned in to the court: “On this final night as well, the plaintiff fiercely wanted to have sex with me. I am sorry to sound too descriptive, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not ejaculate. In the meantime, the plaintiff kept saying, ‘I’m sorry that we can’t see each other any more. I’ll be lonely. I don’t know what to do.’ Since she only cared about herself, I was turned off, and stopped the intercourse at mid point, feeling ‘I am going to prison, but I don’t hear any caring words from her. She is just lamenting for herself.’ Taking a shower after that, I went straight to the hotel where Mr. Hamanaka was waiting for me. Mr. Hamanaka must remember this.”

This description by Yamazaki was his rebuttal against the woman’s attack on his personality.

Yamazaki Tells Lies about Trivial Matters as Well

In contrast to this written claim of Yamazaki’s, this woman, referring to the night that she spent with him, details what happened the next morning on February 22:

 “The next morning, I slept soundly all the way to around 8 AM. Perhaps I was so tired after the long train ride. The defendant was already up, and he said, ’If you’re so tired, why don’t you stay here longer?’ ’I’m sorry. I’ll get up now,’ I replied. I then had breakfast with the defendant at a restaurant in the hotel. While eating, the defendant was kind enough to tell me, ‘I should have taken you to a hot spring.’ I said, ’We can go there after you get released.’

Then the defendant said, ’I’ve been working hard so that the relationship between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai will sour. They are bound to fight each other while I am in prison. I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll get out — then I’ll be able to see Mr. Abe freely and anytime.’”

Yamazaki, in his written claim to the court, said that he took a shower on the night of the 21st, and then hurried from Akasaka Prince Hotel to Hotel New Otani where Hamanaka was waiting for him. On this matter, Yamazaki wrote in his written claim that “Mr. Hamanaka must remember this.” However, what Mr. Hamanaka remembered was not in accord with Yamazaki’s version. His memory was in accord with what the woman wrote in her written claim. Amazingly, Yamazaki had bothered to lie about such a trivial fact.

The next morning, after parting with his mistress, Yamazaki went to Hotel New Otani where Hamanaka was waiting for him. Yamazaki said (according to Hamanaka’s memoir), “I had a hard time last night. I met with a reporter of a weekly magazine, and we planned many things for the future when I would be in prison. I stayed up late, so I’m so sleepy.”

So saying, Yamazaki put his hand into a pocket inside his jacket and took out a brown envelope, which contained a bundle of ten thousand yen bills. A little puzzled, Hamanaka watched Yamazaki count them one by one. After counting all the money, Mr. Yamazaki said, ”This is the honorarium I received from the weekly magazine about the article I wrote for it the other day. Writing an article gives me some good money.’”

It is hard to believe that the money that Yamazaki was counting was an honorarium from a weekly magazine. It must have been the money that he had the woman leave for him.