In Japan, pin-up model Aki Higashihara's blog is notorious. It's called the "Death Blog", after manga Death Note. In the popular comic, writing people's names in the "Death Note" notebook leads to their demise. On the Japanese internet, the same is said about Higashihara's blog.
The notion that Higashihara (above) pens Death Blog has been funny in the past, but recent her-blog-did-it accusations cut too close to the bone.
Higashihara's track record is impressive with "impressive" being a relative term. For example, she worked as a Dreamcast campaign girl, and then the console was defeated by the PlayStation 2; in 2008, she said she was getting married at the Imperial Hotel, and a fire broke out at the hotel; she appeared in an instant ramen commercial, and parasites are found in the noodles and insecticide at the factory.
Last fall, the model finally purchased a Wii for the first time. Software for the console has all but dried up, and earlier this year, Nintendo revealed it was working on a Wii successor, leading to Japanese netizens saying that Higashihara killed the Nintendo Wii.
Here are more examples of Higashihara's rotten luck. Save for the one incident in which a jockey riding a horse she picked ended up with a punctured lung, the majority of Higashihara's Death Blog incidents are fairly harmless and in good fun, such as the bikini model blogging that she likes a certain type of rice cooker and then said rice cooker not selling.
Gallows humor is welcomed, especially in the gallows, but increasingly, things attributed to Higashihara's Death Blog are less funny and more depressing. Earlier this week, idol Miyu Uehara committed suicide, found hung in her apartment. Her death is national news. The 24-year-old Uehara was known as a "binbou idol", or "poor idol", because of her impoverished background.
On television, Uehara, the youngest of 10 children and born in a pachinko parking lot, would regale viewers about her tough girl, penniless upbringing, recounting times when she went to school without wearing panties because she didn't have enough underwear. All very comical and playing into schoolgirl sexual fantasies, but there was always something melancholy about Uehara.
(Aya Uehara Photo: かがやきビト | NTV) In 2007, Uehara attempted a sleeping pill overdose after being dumped by her then boyfriend. The following year, however, she made her way back to television again and appeared to be back on track. Her most recent blog entry, written days before her suicide, talked about love, leading some to speculate that she had been scorned by a lover. Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, 24-years-old is too soon to check out, and it's a shame she couldn't get the help she so desperately needed.
Yet, netizens are pointing to a blog entry that Higashihara made on April 5 of last year with the title "Hang in there Miyu", stating that the Death Blog has struck again. The entry itself isn't about Uehara per se, but is encouragement for her friend. Days earlier before Higashihara made this post last year, Uehara's mother passed away. Uehara missed her mother dearly. Apparently, just before Uehara committed suicide earlier this week, she told her father via phone, "I want to go where mum is."
That last bit hits me hard and makes already tacky Death Blog accusations seem even more so. Then again, a blog entry from this January in which Higashihara mentioned the possibility of a huge earthquake hitting is being used a "proof" online that Higashihara caused the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. It's tongue-in-cheek, sure, and would be funnier if, you know, tens of thousands of people didn't die.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond. (Top photo or: うまなで?UMA to NADESHIKO? | Fuji TV)