Japan's 'Fake Beethoven' to star in documentary

TOKYO, JAPAN- A fraudulent composer once dubbed "Japan's Beethoven", but who was neither deaf nor especially musical, is set to star in a documentary film about his charade, a report said Thursday.
Mamoru Samuragochi rocketed to fame in the 1990s with classical compositions that provided the soundtrack to video games including Resident Evil, claiming then to have a degenerative condition that affected his hearing.

His story proved irresistible for Japan's media, which lapped up the tale of a tortured genius battling a crippling condition to produce "Symphony No.1, Hiroshima", a mournful tribute to those killed in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.
In 2013 he was the subject of a major documentary aired by state broadcaster NHK, which showed the musician touring the tsunami-battered northeast of Japan to meet survivors and those who lost relatives in the 2011 catastrophe.
But Samuragochi was forced to come clean last year after his ghostwriter emerged from the shadows to claim the mock maestro did not suffer from hearing loss -- and couldn't even write sheet music.
Samuragochi abandoned his trademark sunglasses, cut his long hair and smartened up his clothes to offer an abject apology at a press conference, but the damage was done and his name remained a byword for dishonesty.
Now the one-time musical hero is looking to rehabilitate his shattered image by playing himself in a documentary-style film due for release next year, the Nikkan Sports daily said.
The movie, for which filming is already under way, is being directed by Tatsuya Mori, known for a documentary on the apocalyptic cult that carried out a fatal nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system.
A television broadcaster said it had spoken to Samuragochi's lawyer, who confirmed his client was taking part in the film.
Since the story of Samuragochi's fraudulence broke, the ghostwriter, Takashi Niigaki, has enjoyed modest success and has appeared on a number of television programmes.

Friday, May 8th 2015

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