The ghost composer behind "Japan's Beethoven" Mamoru Samuragochi's most beloved symphony has come forward.
The ghost composer of the works of one of Japan's most beloved musical figures, deaf composer Mamoru Samuragochi, has come forward in a press conference after Samuragochi's lawyer admitted the fraud. The composer of the Hiroshima Symphony, as well as the scores for Resident Evil, Onimusha and Sonatina for Violin, which was to accompany figure skater Daisuke Takahashi's performance at the Sochi Winter Olympics, is 43-year-old Takashi Niigaki, a part-time lecturer at a musical university in Tokyo.
"He told me that if I didn't write songs for him, he'd commit suicide," Niigaki told the conference, The New York Times reports. "But I could not bear the thought of skater Takahashi being seen by the world as a co-conspirator in our crime."
According to Niigaki, Samuragochi isn't deaf, either. He reports that Samuragochi took part in conversations. "I've never felt he was deaf ever since we met," he said. "We carry on normal conversations. I don't think he is (handicapped). At first he acted to me also as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually. He told me, after the music for the video games was unveiled, that he would continue to play the role (of a deaf person)."
Niigaki, who originally thought he had been hired as a composer's assistant, went on to find out that Samuragochi cannot write musical scores, and called his role that of an "accomplice".
Samuragochi's publisher, Nippon Columbia, said in a statement that it was "appalled and deeply indignant" at the revelations, and has immediately stopped shipping his records. Orchestras likewise have cancelled performances of Samuragochi's (Niigaki's) work, and Samuragochi's website has been taken down from the internet. The mayor of Hiroshima has also stripped Samuragochi of the citizen's award granted for Samuragochi's work promoting the city's anti-nuclear weapon stance.