'Japan's Beethoven' Accused of Faking Deafness, Too

Also, he can't even write scores, says ghostwriter Takashi Niigaki
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2014 7:11 AM CST
'Japan's Beethoven' Accused of Faking Deafness, Too
In this 2011 photo, Mamoru Samuragochi poses with his CD "Symphony No.1 Hiroshima" in Japan.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

For decades, Mamoru Samuragochi has been hailed as "Japan's Beethoven" because he was a deaf composer. Now, he appears to be neither. The man who actually wrote Samuragochi's music, Takashi Niigaki, held an hour-long press conference yesterday in which he revealed that Samuragochii a) "cannot even write musical scores," and b) isn't actually deaf. "We carry on normal conversations," Niigaki said, according to the AFP. "At first, he acted to me also as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually."

Later, "he told me … that he would continue to play the role" of a deaf person. Niigaki explained that he'd play music for Samuragochi, who would pick out which compositions he liked, the AP reports. He was paid just $77,000 for 18 years of work. Whenever he tried to quit, he says Samuragochi threatened to commit suicide. But Niigaki finally put his foot down when he learned that Daisuke Takahashi would be skating to their work at the Olympics. "I was afraid that even Takahashi ... would be used to enforce the lies made by Samuragochi and me." (Read more Mamoru Samuragochi stories.)

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