Japanese couple jailed for faking Imperial wedding

Everyone believed she was marrying her fairytale prince but all turned out to be a scam.
A Japanese couple has been jailed for two years after staging an Imperial wedding to obtain money from their guests.

Yasuyuki Kitano and Harumi Sakamoto, a couple in their mid 40s, invited hundreds of guests, including Japanese public personalities, to their lavish wedding reception in Tokyo back in 2003.

The couple had told guests that the groom was related to the extinct Arisugawa branch of the Japanese imperial family. The bride completed the scam by wearing a traditional “junihitoe”, a 12-layered kimono used by women of the imperial household on important occasions.

The couple had even printed the Arisugawa family crest on their wedding invitations.

The Tokyo District Court found the couple guilty of fraud and sentenced each of them to 26 months in prison.

In Japan, traditionally guests bring cash as wedding gifts for the couple, usually at least the equivalent of 200â‚ ¬, but more if they are well connected. The Tokyo court estimated the couple had obtained over 10,000â‚ ¬ from their guests.

Kyodo news agency quoted judge Takaaki Oshima as saying the fraud “was a malicious crime that cleverly took advantage of a mentality for revering the imperial court and imperial family.”

The Arisugawa branch of the imperial family ended almost a hundred years ago due to a lack of male heirs, according to the Kyodo news agency.