"Japan's Beethoven", Mamoru Samuragoch* (pictured), has admitted that he is a fraud. Now, his ghost writer/composer is bringing his deafness into question.
Today in Japan, Takashi Niigaki, the admitted ghost writer/composer for Samuragoch, held a press conference in which he told his side of the story. As reported by Gadget Tsuushin: "For 18 years, I wrote songs for [Samuragoch]. I was a co-conspirator."
Samuragoch is famous for being a deaf composer. On the issue of his handicap, however, Niigaki revealed that he believed Samuragoch could still hear. The relevant Q&A between Niigaki and reporters is as follows:
Reporter: [Samuragoch] has said that he cannot hear, but was there ever an incident where you doubted this fact?
Niigaki: From the first time I met him, I never felt that his hearing was impaired.
Reporter: You said you never felt that his hearing was impaired. Could you elaborate?
Niigaki: He listened to a tape I recorded and gave me instructions accordingly.
Reporter: As to [Samuragoch's] hearing, how did it seem like to you?
Niigaki: We held normal interactions.
Reporter: Then why do you think [Samuragoch] went with that?
Niigaki: At first, he indicated that his hearing was deteriorating to me as well. But during our interactions, he returned to normal.
Reporter: Didn't [Samuragoch] attempt to hide it at all?
Niigaki: He said that this (that he couldn't hear) was how he was going to proceed.
According to Niigaki, he composed 20 songs for Samuragoch over 18 years, and received around seven million yen (US$ 68,950) for his work.
Niigaki admitted to having doubts about the whole affair, but when he approached Samuragoch to put an end to it, Samuragoch threatened to kill himself. Niigaki finally decided to blow the whistle when he learned that figure skater Daisuke Takahashi would be performing at the 2014 Winter Olympics using music that was credited to Samuragoch. "I was conflicted as to whether I should come out now. But I thought that if I revealed the truth after Takahashi's performance, he might be criticised from around the world for using fraudulent music."
Takahashi has announced that he will still use the piece, Sonatina for Violin, for his performance.
*Birthname: Mamoru Samuragochi
作曲もできず楽譜も読めない佐村河内 新垣「佐村河内は耳が聞こえると思う」 [ガジェット通信]