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Fumika Shimizu Retires From Acting to Join Happy Science Religious Organization

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Statement claims that Shimizu was dissatisfied with job, attempting to end contract early

22-year-old actress Fumika Shimizu announced on Sunday that she will retire from the entertainment industry to join the Happy Science religious organization.

Shimizu's lawyer, as well as Happy Science Head of PR Eiichi Satomura, jointly held a press conference on Sunday to issue a statement on her behalf. The statement noted that she has hired two lawyers in an attempt to end her contract with her agency LesPros Entertainment. The statement cited multiple instances of Shimizu's dissatisfaction with her work. The statement claimed that during the filming of her Kamen Rider role, she had only three hours of sleep a day, and worked 31 days every month for only 50,000 yen (about US$438) without a bonus. In another instance, she claimed her company forced her to wear a swimsuit for a DVD video, despite her protests.

The statement also noted that she is facing resistance from her talent agency in the ending of her contract. Additionally, the statement claimed that her agency insists that she must perform the roles that have already been confirmed for her during her contract period. Meanwhile, Shimizu's lawyer and Happy Science claimed that the situation has worsened Shimizu's health, and that a doctor has ordered her to stop working.

Shimizu halted her regular appearances on the Fuji TV variety show Nijiiro Jean as of February 4, and her agency said it hasn't been able to contact her since she did work for a TV program on February 6. Her previous official Twitter account has been deleted, and she has created a new account. She is slated to play the lead role in The Dragon Dentist anime specials, which debut on February 18. She will also star as Tōka Kirishima in the upcoming live-action Tokyo Ghoul film, which opens on July 29. She will also star in the live-action film of Rikako Akiyoshi's Ankoku Joshi (The Dark Maidens) novel, which opens on April 1.

Ryuho Okawa founded Happy Science in 1986, and he still serves as the controversial organization's CEO. He is also the founder and leader of Japan's conservative Happiness Realization political party, which Happy Science supports. Okawa, under the religious title El Cantare, claims to channel spirits from various religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Happy Science has about 10 million members in Japan and 1 million members in foreign countries.

Shimizu has stated that she has been a believer of Happy Science since she was a child.

Happy Science has sponsored a number of animated films in the past. The two most recent films are the 2015 film The Laws of the Universe Part 0 and the 2012 film The Mystical Laws. The Mystical Laws opened simultaneously in the U.S. in October 2012. The Mystical Laws received an English dub for its Japanese home video release, and it received a video-on-demand release in the U.S.

The religious organization recently formed a six-member female pop idol group named anjewel last year.

Sources: Sankei Sports, Nikkan Sports, The Japan Times via The Tokusatsu Network, Hachima Kikō (link 2)

Picture from LesPros Entertainment

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