TOKYO, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Japanese figure skater says he plans to stick with his Olympic short program music, despite revelations the composer, a man known as the "Japanese Beethoven," is a fraud.
Daisuke Takahashi said this week he plans to continue using Mamoru Samuragochi's Sonatina for Violin in Sochi, despite Samuragochi admitting this week he never wrote any of his music.
Samuragochi was widely admired in Japan as a remarkable success story, having overcome, as he said, a degenerative disease that caused him to lose his hearing at the age of 35. But the bright spotlight of the Olympics uncovered a shocking revelation: Samuragochi paid another man to write more than 20 pieces, and may not even be deaf.
"At first he acted to me also as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually," said Takashi Niigaki, the composer revealed as Samuragochi's ghost writer, said at a press conference in Tokyo Thursday. "Later I found out that he cannot even write musical scores."
Niigaki, a professor of music at the prestigious Toho Gakuen School of Music, said he was paid 7 million yen ($69,000) by Samuragochi over the past 18 years.
Publicly, Samuragochi claimed he relied on his perfect pitch to compose after he lost his hearing.
"If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer," he said in a 2001 interview with Time. "It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God."
But Niigaki said he became increasingly uncomfortable with the arrangement.
"I am an accomplice of Samuragochi because I continued composing just as he demanded, although I knew he was deceiving people," he said. "I can't fool the people any more."
Niigaki said he considered delaying his announcement because of the Olympics, but decided to go forward anyway.
Meanwhile, the skater, Takahashi, says he's focused on skating his best in Sochi, and not on the controversy surrounding the man behind his music.