Legal troubles continue for Kusuriya no Hitorigoto

Legal troubles continue for Kusuriya no Hitorigoto

On May 31, the first hearing of the trial of Erika Ikeda, known in the manga world under the pseudonym Nekokurage, was held at the Fukuoka District Court. The author, a resident of Fukuoka's Minami District and responsible for the manga adaptation of the popular novel "Kusuriya no Hitorigoto (The Apothecary Diaries)," faces charges of violating the Income Tax Law (return not filed) for tax evasion of approximately 47 million yen (about 300,000 U.S. dollars).

Legal troubles continue for Kusuriya no Hitorigoto

At the hearing, Ikeda, 36, admitted to the charges, arguing that he intended to file his tax returns accumulated over several years. The prosecution, in its opening statement, said Ikeda began her career as a mangaka in 2010 and had been informed by acquaintances about the need to file tax returns. Despite being aware of this obligation, Ikeda prioritized the delivery times of his sleeves over his fiscal responsibilities.

In addition, the prosecution stressed that Ikeda had repeated this behavior in the past, filing his tax returns several years late. Testimony was presented from his publisher, who had warned him about the risks of not meeting his tax obligations, suggesting that it could jeopardize the continuity of his series. Also read was a statement from the original author of "Kusuriya no Hitorigoto," who had advised Ikeda to consult with an accountant.

According to the indictment, between 2019 and 2021, Ikeda had income of approximately 260 million yen as a mangaka (more than 1.65 million U.S. dollars), but failed to declare it on time, resulting in tax evasion of about 47 million yen. Subsequently, Ikeda paid all the taxes owed, including interest for late payments.

Erika Ikeda, under her alias Nekokurage, is known for her work on the manga version of "Kusuriya no Hitorigoto", published by Square Enix. This situation has generated considerable interest in the manga community and among his followers, who hope that this situation will not affect the continuity of his work.

Source: The Mainichi Shimbun