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Popular Japanese Composer Exposed as Fraud

The Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi has been hailed as the "Japanese Beethoven" for creating hit symphonies despite his deafness. He claimed to rely on his perfect pitch to compose after losing his hearing. In an interview with TIME magazine he said, "If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God." But recently the national hero was exposed as a fraud after confessing that another musician wrote his most acclaimed works. And in a surprise twist, the man who says he was the ghost-writer of the works, Takashi Niigaki, claimed that the popular composer isn't even deaf.

Niigaki told reporters in Tokyo that over the past 18 years he had been paid about 7 million yen (or $69,000) to write more than 20 pieces to order for Samuragochi. Niigaki said, "At first he acted … as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually." After awhile the two men started carrying on normal conversations. And even more bizarre, Samuragochi can't even write musical scores.

Eventually Niigaki tired of the deception and told Samuragochi he wanted out. Samuragochi threatened to commit suicide, but Niigaki said he was duping the public and wanted to come clean. "I am an accomplice," Niigaki said, "because I continued composing just as he demanded, although I knew he was deceiving people. I can't fool the people anymore."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Lying; Integrity; Honesty; Hypocrisy; (2) Discipleship—This illustration also reveals a pattern of pretending to be someone you're not. Are you pretending to be a follower of Christ? Are you pretending to be further on the path of discipleship than you really are? (3)Ambition—The drive to succeed can make us act without integrity.

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