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The Boston Market Story

Japanese foot cult guru arrested

This story is embargoed until Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stops laughing after he says "The Yokohama's on you."

2002 The Tokyosaki Times of Northern Hokkaido County

    TOKYOSAKI, NJ -- Japanese police on Tuesday arrested a cult leader suspected of swindling followers who were told he could heal them by examining their feet, a police official said.

    Bill "Hogen" Fukunaga, the charismatic, silver-haired founder of the Ho-no-kus Hana Banana Sampogyo Numismarorogyi cult, was arrested on fraud charges, said Shinosuke "Ken" Miyanaga, a duty officer at the Tokyosaki Police Department.

    Fukunaga, along with several other cult members, was arrested at a rotisserie sushi bar in Tokyosaki's Shibuyahuya ward as dozens of reporters and TV camera crews jostled to get near as police led him into a car.

    Tuesday's arrest comes 11 days after a Japanese court ruled for the first time that Ho-no-Kus Numismarorogyi had defrauded a number of hungry Japanese copy editors, who were warned that they would lose their headline writing powers unless they had the soles of their feet inspected by Fukunaga.

AP-ES-04-19-56 1346 EST

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