Popular Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi is well known for his contribution to the Resident Evil videogame theme, but in Japan he was even more renowned for several hit compositions. He was considered to be the digital-age Beethoven after it was reported he battled with a degenerative illness that left him deaf but still composing music.
Samuragochi was asked to present some of his music at the Sochi Olympics this year. On Wednesday, Samuragochi made a surprising announcement that he had been using a ghostwriter for over two decades, including the Resident Evil theme. It was said the confession was prompted by Japanese figure skater, Daisuke Takahashi’s upcoming performance to one of “his” pieces.
The even more troubling aspect of it is that the ghostwriter, Takashi Niigaki, said in a press conference that Samuragochi isn’t really deaf—it was “an act that he was performing to the outside world.” Niigaki has said he was paid about 7 million yen (around $69,000) to write for Samuragochi since 1996 but didn’t reveal the truth sooner because Samuragochi threatened to kill himself.
When asked about the timing of this announcement, Niigaki said, “I could not bear the thought of skater Takahashi being seen by the world as a co-conspirator in our crime.”
As of now Samuragochi’s label, Nippon Columbia, has stopped distributing his merchandise and is investigating how to distribute royalties.