Kawamura Kaori Dead at 38

Kawamura Kaori

Rock singer Kawamura Kaori died of cancer yesterday morning at a Tokyo hospital. She was 38. Kawamura was born in Moscow to a Japanese father, who worked for a trading company, and a Russian mother. She and her family moved to Japan when she was 11 and she was subjected to repeated bullying. perhaps as an escape, she soon got into the local music scene. She made her debut with the album “Zoo” in 1988. In 1990 she had a hit with “Kamisama ga Oritekuru Yoru” and the following year with the often-covered “Tsubasa wo Kudasai.” That year she made the first of several movie appearances in “Tokyo Kyujitsu.” From the mid-1990s, she split her time between New York and Japan, and got involved in the club scene in the late 90s. She and guitarist Motoaki married in 1999 and had a daughter in 2001, but were soon separated. In 2004 Kawamura was diagnosed with breast cancer, which had claimed her mother a few years earlier, but following a mastectomy she returned to work the next year. She and Motoaki divorced in 2007. In October 2008 she wrote on her blog that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones and lungs. Though – or perhaps because – she knew her time was limited, she had a busy schedule this year, performing concerts, publishing a book and releasing “K,” her first original album in 13 years.

• TBS announcer Kimura Ikumi (36) and former tennis pro Sugisawa Shuichi (41) have divorced after just three years, it was revealed yesterday. The two met through a mutual friend in 2006 and were married four months later. Kimura spent several years living in Germany and the U.S. before she graduated high school and studied literature at the prestigious Gakushuin University. Sugisawa went to the U.S. after high school to become a pro tennis player. He later became a coach and set up the Team Scandinavia sports management agency that included former Olympic team member Miyagi Nana.