"Japan's Beethoven" Mamoru Samuragochi has admitted that he is "deeply ashamed" of his actions and that he can in fact hear.
(Credit: Nippon Columbia)
A further thread has emerged from the unravelling mess that is 50-year-old Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi's career. Samuragochi, who hired a ghostwriter to compose some of his most beloved works, including the soundtracks to Resident Evil in 1998 and Onimusha in 2001, has confessed that he can hear — although he adds that, years ago, he did actually go deaf.
The ghost composer, 43-year old Takashi Niigaki, said to a press conference last week, "I've never felt he was deaf ever since we met. 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."
Now, Samuragochi has come forward with what he claims is the true version of events.
"I feel deeply ashamed of myself for living a false life," he wrote in a statement. "I also apologise to Mr Niigaki, whose life went wrong because of complying with my demands for 18 years. In recent years I have started to be able to hear a little bit more than before... since about three years ago I can hear words if people speak clearly and slowly into my ears. It is true that I received a certificate proving I had a hearing disorder and that I couldn't hear anything up until three years ago."
He said that he lost his hearing at the age of 35 after a seizure.
Samuragochi's lawyers also said they had been duped by the composer's act. "We had explained to journalists that he was mostly likely deaf, because he had an official certificate showing he was hearing-impaired," they said in a statement. "In addition to that, we had taken on board what a sign language interpreter had said and what our own impressions were. As a result we were wrong."
Samuragochi, who also said that he had been afraid of telling the truth, made no mention of Niigaki's claim that he could not even write musical scores. Niigaki earned a total of around ¥7 million (around AU$76,000) for composing over 20 of Samuragochi's works.
"I'm determined to quit telling lie after lie," Samuragochi wrote. "I swear by heaven and earth that what I write here today is the truth.
"I feel I am finally ready, so I promise I will make my direct apology publicly sometime soon."