Mamoru Samuragochi, a classical musician, became known as an
inspirational genius for composing despite losing his hearing.
Samuragochi said on Wednesday that he had suffered hearing loss and
was not able to hear when he began paying a part-time university
professor to write music under his name, a collaboration that went
on for 18 years.
But the situation had improved.
"The truth is that recently I have begun to hear a little again," he
said in a statement reported by Japanese media, adding that for the
last three years he has been able to follow conversations under
Samuragochi, 50, apologized to fans last week for paying Takashi
Niigaki to write compositions under his name. Niigaki told reporters
that he had also wondered about the extent of the composer's hearing
On Wednesday, Samuragochi acknowledged he had not been truthful
about his hearing when the scandal emerged.
"I was thinking only of what would happen after news broke about Mr.
Niigaki writing my music, and was unable to tell the truth due to
fear," he said.
He said he would appear in public soon to apologize and offered to
have his hearing tested by experts.
German composer Ludwig van
Beethoven began suffering hearing loss from about age 30 and
withdrew from public performances while continuing to write music.
He was almost totally deaf for the last decade of his life.
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Samuragochi gained international fame for his "Hiroshima Symphony",
a tribute to the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese
Niigaki said last week that he received more than 7 million yen
($68,000) for over 20 songs he wrote for Samuragochi.
That includes music being used by Japanese figure skater Daisuke
Takahashi for his short program at the Sochi Olympics. Takahashi has
said he was "surprised" to hear the news, but had no intention of
changing his music.
Observers say that part of Samuragochi's popularity was due to
promotion by an industry eager to put a human face to classical
music and hang on to a shrinking market share as Japanese society
($1 = 102.3800 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Ron Popeski)
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