In Japan, composer Mamoru Samuragochi was celebrated not only for his musical work, but also for the fact the at he supposedly wrote many of them while deaf. The only problem is that both Samuragochi's authorship was a falsification, as was possibly his deafness as well.
Takashi Niigaki came forward earlier this week claiming that he has been ghostwriting Samuragochi's supposed compositions for the last 18 years. On Wednesday, the composer admitted that some of the works credited to him were not actually his doing. "At first he acted to me also as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually," Niigaki told reporters, adding, "Later I found out that he cannot even write musical scores."
Among the famous works that Niigaki wrote under Samuragochi's name are the "Hiroshima" symphony (which reached the top of Japan's charts), Sonatina for Violin, which Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi will use in his upcoming Olympic performance, and the themes for video games including Resident Evil. Niigaki says that for the works he composed, he received about $69,000.
A lawyer for the composer said that he did believe the composer was deaf. Samuragochi also possesses certification saying as much. In a written statement, his lawyers apologized for what they deem a "betrayal" and wrote that Samuragochi was unable to face the public currently due to emotional instability.
Among the fallout from the revelations, Nippon Columbia has ceased distribution of all of their Samuragochi recordings, and his publisher Tokyo Hustle has retracted licensing for his entire catalog as well as canceled the upcoming release of three of his scores.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.