Japan’s Fake Music Composer Apologizes for Two Decades of Lying

Mamoru Samuragochi, the allegedly deaf Japanese composer, apologized for using a ghostwriter to write some of his best known work for almost two decades.

Samuragochi said at a press conference today he didn’t lie about having hearing problems, even though tests at the local government showed his disability didn’t qualify as a hearing impairment.

The Hiroshima-based musician made his first public appearance today after part-time music school lecturer Takashi Niigaki told reporters last month he was Samuragochi’s “partner in crime.” Niigaki said he composed more than 20 musical scores for Samuragochi, including a song later used by a Japanese figure skater at the Sochi Olympics.

Samuragochi denied Niigaki’s claim that he had asked Samuragochi several times to end their partnership, saying Niigaki only raised the issue “very recently.” The briefing today was broadcast by online video website Niconico.

The ghostwriter also said that 50-year-old Samuragochi has normal hearing and is incapable of writing his own scores, the Japan Times reported Feb. 6.

Niigaki said scores he composed for Samuragochi include “Hiroshima Symphony” and “Sonatina for Violin,” which was used by figure skater Daisuke Takahashi in the individual short program at the Sochi Olympics last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kazuyo Sawa in Tokyo at ksawa3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gearoid Reidy at greidy1@bloomberg.net

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