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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

deaf Japanese composer genius is a fake? I can’t even

I honestly don’t know how to process this. From The New York Times:

TOKYO — He was celebrated as a prolific musical genius whose compositions appeared in popular video games and the competition routine of a top figure skater in the coming Sochi Olympics. His deafness won him praise as Japan’s modern-day Beethoven.

It turns out his magnum opus was his own masquerade.

On Thursday, Japan learned that one of its most popular musical figures, Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, had staged an elaborate hoax in which someone else had secretly written his most famous compositions, and that he had perhaps even faked his hearing disability.

Wait. What?

On Wednesday, Mr. Samuragochi expressed remorse for the deception, though he did not reveal why he chose to come forward at that particular moment.

“Samuragochi is deeply sorry as he has betrayed fans and disappointed others,” said a statement released by Mr. Samuragochi’s lawyer. “He knows he could not possibly make any excuse for what he has done.”

The reason for this sudden repentance became clear on Thursday when the ghostwriter revealed himself to be Takashi Niigaki, 43, a largely unknown part-time lecturer at a prestigious music college in Tokyo. Mr. Niigaki said he had written more than 20 songs for Mr. Samuragochi since 1996, for which he received the equivalent of about $70,000.

He said he felt so guilty about the deception that he had threatened to go public in the past, but Mr. Samuragochi had begged him not to. He said he finally could not take it anymore when he learned one of his songs would be used by the Olympic skater [Daisuke Takahashi]. He told his story to a weekly tabloid, which went on sale Thursday.

Just when you think people cannot get any more inexplicable, there’s this.

Much more at The New York Times. Not that it will help you understand.


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music | talent buzz

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