Samuragochi earned the nickname "Japan's Beethoven" by being a deaf composer who wrote a famous tribute to the victims of the Hiroshima bombing and, uh, the soundtrack for Resident Evil. Except every note he'd ever written had in truth been composed by Takashi Niigaki, an adjunct music professor. Samuragochi's hearing was weak but functional, and he couldn't even write musical notation.
Asahi Shimbun "Yes, of course I'm deaf! I mean, what?"
But don't mistake that for a lack of effort, as Samuragochi learned sign language to maintain the deception. As for the troublesome task of conducting an orchestra, they had a ruse whereby Samuragochi would say that Niigaki needed to serve as his stand-in, and Niigaki would constantly pretend to ask Samuragochi questions (so everyone would know who was really waving the baton).
In the end, it was Niigaki who broke. He claimed that he was moved to reveal the 18-year-old scam because a Japanese figure skater was going to perform to one of his pieces at the Olympics, and the idea of fraud and corruption in figure skating was plain unthinkable. That time Samuragochi received an award from Hiroshima for his contribution to the city's artistic legacy? Meh, whatever. The nationwide use of his music after 2011's natural and nuclear disasters? That's cool. But figure skating? Get some sand, because we're drawing a line in it.
Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty ImagesBesides, the perfect figure skating anthem has already existed for decades.
Meanwhile, Samuragochi says that Niigaki wanted more money to keep quiet. While we're hesitant to side with the serial liar who claimed his music spoke to people because he had "suffered more than anybody else," we'll believe him on this one.
Kayla Layaoen is about to start college. She just wants to write things. You can find all her other stuff here. Tim Brown is finishing up law school. His LinkedIn profile is here. You can read more from Mark, or learn how he faked his way into a nunnery, at his website.
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