Japan's "Beethoven" confesses to being a fake saying ghost composer wrote his music for 18 years

18 February 2014 / 2 years 8 months ago

If there were an Olympic event for telling fibs, Japan's "Beethoven" would have won the gold medal hands down.

About the only thing still true about Mr Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, is that he was born of parents who survived the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, reports The Straits Times.

Everything else about him, from his total hearing loss since 1999 to childhood piano lessons with his mother, has turned out to be fabrications for the sake of peddling his music.

He stunned his countrymen over a week ago with the confession that a "ghost composer" had written all the classical works he had claimed as his own in the past 18 years.

His confession came just before a press conference by composer Takashi Niigaki, who described himself as Mr Samuragochi's "accomplice" and said he wrote the music which Mr Samuragochi then hawked to recording companies and music publishers under his own name.

Mr Niigaki told the press conference he had wanted to end the illicit collaboration. But Mr Samuragochi had pleaded with him to continue, threatening suicide with his wife if the composer refused.

Mr Niigaki decided to come forward with the truth now because one of his compositions was being used by figure skater Daisuke Takahashi at the Sochi Olympics.

The bombshell came when, in reply to questions about Mr Samuragochi's alleged total deafness, Mr Niigaki said: "From my first meeting with him, I never felt he had hearing difficulties."

Last Wednesday, Mr Samuragochi suddenly claimed in a handwritten message to the media that he had recovered his hearing partially three years ago, a development doctors described as close to impossible.

His latest "confession" came just 24 hours before the hard-hitting Shukan Bunshun weekly published an article exposing him as a liar extraordinaire. Bunshun even quoted his mother-in-law calling him an inveterate fibber.

Among the employees at a game maker to which he had sold some game music, it was an open secret that his deafness was just part of an elaborate marketing ploy, Bunshun reported.

To his faked deafness, he added unkempt long hair and beard, wide- brimmed hat, sunglasses, walking stick and a slight limp that were all calculated to give him the look of a tormented genius. 

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