Japanese King of Rock Dies

Imawano Kiyoshiro

Rock singer Imawano Kiyoshiro died of cancer of the lymph nodes at a Tokyo hospital yesterday. He was 58. He revealed on his website in July 2006 that he had thyroid cancer, and doctors recommended throat surgery. But with the risk of it bringing his singing career to an end, he elected for radiation therapy. Just a year and a half later, he had recovered enough to take part in a John Lennon memorial concert in December 2007. A couple of months later, he was able to perform a full comeback concert at the Nippon Budokan in February 2008. He broke down in tears when his son Tappei (20) and daughter Momoyo (17) presented him with flowers on stage. But last July the cancer was found to have spread to his pelvis and he was back in hospital. His wife Keiko (53) and children were with him at the end. Sometimes called the Japanese King of Rock, he was known for the phrase “Ai shiaterkai,” which roughly means “Are you loving each other?” He formed the rock band RC Succession while a high schooler and drew media attention with his makeup and colorful stage costumes.