As prosecutors searched his company on suspicions of spreading false information to investors, high-profile "T-shirt CEO" Takafumi Horie was flooded with words of support on his blog.

His latest online journal entry on Tuesday had drawn over 2800 responses by Thursday.

Some asked about the 33-year-old's health and whether he was getting enough sleep. Others promised not to sell their shares in his company, which plunged on news of the raid.

"Take care of yourself and good luck. I won't sell my shares. I'm on your side no matter what anyone says," one said.

"I had my doubts after all the news, but I bought some of your shares today," said another, posted on Wednesday. "Everyone said I was stupid, but I don't care."

Horie wrote he had cried upon reading the messages, which he had to transfer to a new computer because his old one had been confiscated.

Large following

He promised to continue refreshing the site, which not only keeps readers updated on his company, but also on his personal life.

"I had my doubts after all the news, but I bought some of your shares today. Everyone said I was stupid, but I don't care"

Supporter's posting on Takafumi Horie's blog

Just hours before prosecutors stepped in to search his company, he had posted a photo of the tomato soup he had for lunch and had written about a song on his upcoming CD, which now appears to have been shelved.

While much of corporate Japan has scorned Horie's aggressive acquisition strategy, he has had a large following among younger Japanese who see him as a crusader out to shake up Japan's stodgy business world.

Livedoor's shares have grown more than 100 times in value since its predecessor, Livin' on the Edge Co, went public in April 2000.

Some comments - although few - were critical of Horie.

"Idiot! Hurry up and get yourself arrested. Pay for the market's losses and never come on TV again," one said.