Knockdowns and Comebacks

Mizushima Hiro, Ayaka

Singer/songwriter Ayaka (21) was forced to drop out of a scheduled concert appearance at the weekend due to her ongoing medical problems. She has suffered from Graves’ disease, an immune disorder of the endocrine system known in Japan by the less common name of Basedow’s disease, since shortly after her debut. She and actor Mizushima Hiro (25) announced their marriage earlier in the year (photo) but Ayaka has been on an extended sabbatical as she continued her battle with her illness. She was to perform on Saturday in Tsugaru City in northern Japan at the Dream Summer Live in Chikyumura but canceled at the last minute on the advice of her doctor.

Earlier story:

Mizushima Hiro, Ayaka Married (Apr. 4, 2009)

• Several members of Akihabara idol unit AKB48 missed out on the group’s first ever shows at Nippon Budokan at the weekend after they came down with influenza. In all seven members were forced to miss the two shows at the 15,000-seat venue, but there was still not much room to move on stage. Backed up by the members of Nagoya-based SKE48, in all there were 74 singers, who performed 33 songs including their latest release “Iiwake – Maybe.” The flu also hit the popular all-female Takarazuka theatrical revue. Two members of the Star Troupe came down with a fever last week and had to drop out the show currently on at the Tokyo theater in Yurakucho.


Headlining the “a-nation” show at Ajinomoto Stadium west of Tokyo on the weekend were top Avex artists like Hamasaki Ayumi and Koda Kumi. But grabbing the headlines was the return of Komuro Tetsuya (50). At the center of a major court case earlier this year, the musician/producer received a suspended prison sentence in a ¥500 million copyright fraud case. The case has left him with huge debts and the only way he knows how to pay them back is by promoting his music. So it was that he, his wife Keiko and bassist Marc Panther were reunited onstage as globe, the J-pop group that had a string of hits in the late 1990s, and who joined the event as surprise guests. Dressed in a white suit and sitting at a piano center stage, Komuro began playing a medley of his many hits. Only when the big screens showed him up close did the 50,000 fans realize who it was. Then he and Keiko bowed and apologized for all the fuss and bother they had caused. Globe, who last performed at the same venue last year, played a couple of songs and were warmly applauded by fans. Komuro also performed with TRF, the pop/dance group for whom he wrote many hits. Komuro recently set up a new management agency and signed a contract with Avex. He is said to have demos of more than a dozen new songs.

Earlier stories:

More Details on Komuro Arrest (Nov. 5, 2008)

Komuro Gets Off With Suspended Sentence (May 11, 2009)