Police arrested a man Thursday who allegedly tried to force a woman to live with him and his "harem" of 10 female housemates in suburban Tokyo.
Hirohito Shibuya, 57, from the city of Higashi Yamato in western Tokyo, allegedly pressured a woman in her 20s in his home for about two hours on the afternoon of Oct. 20, trying to persuade her to join his household.
One investigator alleged that Shibuya threatened the woman by saying: "If you leave here, you will be ground up. If you tell anyone, you will be killed."
Shibuya was quoted as denying this claim, saying, "I just told her what appeared in (my) dream."
In a Wednesday interview with Kyodo News, Shibuya, whom police described as unemployed but was termed a fortuneteller and hypnotist in other reports, initially said he had not threatened the woman, but later told the reporter, "I may have said things like that while I was carried away telling fortunes."
Shibuya said in the interview he cannot work because he suffers from gout and has a panic disorder, and the women have been supporting him.
"In a dream I became aware that I would become popular with women if I made certain incantations," he said.
"Women began to gather at my home when I was fortunetelling. I'm now living in commune with those women in a polygamy-like way."
Shibuya began living with several women in February 2000. He went through several marriages, with women ranging in age from 20 to 49, sources who know him said. Most of the women have stayed on, the sources added. An infant also lives with them.
Police searched Shibuya's house Thursday, believing he may have threatened other women.