The Kamen Rider series has been a jumping-off point for many actors, who go on to be quite successful after their series ends. However, for some actors, they have been involved in scandals and other issues.
Fans and former fans have begun to come out with stories about Kamen Rider Black’s Tetsuo Kurata. The actor also owns a steak shop, Billy The Kid Steak House in Toyocho, since 2008. The shop became a place where the actor could regularly interact with fans.
News began to spread after the story broke on at the end of February on the Josei Jishin website.
In 2018, Kurata also had a full-sized figure of Kamen Rider Black created by Mr. A, a sculptor, but this was not an official product. Kurata claimed he would take it home after putting it in the store for a while. Kurata also had goods made using the statue, which could be copyright infringement.
— 倉田 てつを (@TetsuoKurata29) April 20, 2020
During a live broadcast, Kurata has expressed how he was having financial troubles. He began to ask fans for assistance, and some donated money with good intentions but were frequently asked for more.
A housewife in her thirties, who began corresponding with Kurata on SNS, told her story. After watching his live broadcast, she was asked to send money. After sending money once, he continued to contact her asking for more money. She sent more money after feeling threatened and end the end, she paid nearly 300,000 円 (around $2,700.)
It has now come to light that he has been conducting domestic bus trips with fans regularly for the past decade. If these allegations are true, then it’s possible Kurata has been soliciting tours without proper registrations, which could violate the Travel Agency Act.
Before this, Shunsuke Takasugi, who performed as Kazuya Oki/Kamen Rider Super-1, also “borrowed” money from fans, totaling more than 50,000,000 円 (around $471,000.) He allegedly threatened fans with bodily harm if they asked for their money back.
Upon hearing the news about Kurata, the news began trending on Japanese Twitter. Many expressed their disappointment and worried that the image of Kamen Rider could be tarnished with these kinds of acts.
Hiroshi Fujioka, who portrayed the first Kamen Rider, takes his 1971 role to heart stating “Heroes have no borders. I feel responsible and I must not betray my fans. Now that I’m a hero, I think I will carry that feeling for life.”