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Japan's Deaf Composer Samuragochi Admits He Can Hear

TOKYO - A supposedly deaf Japanese composer lauded as Japan's Beethoven, who recently confessed to not writing all his music, came out with another admission Wednesday: he can hear, sometimes.

"My hearing had improved somewhat compared to what is was before. From about three years ago, if someone spoke clearly right up to my ears, although it sounds muffled and distorted, there have been times when my hearing has returned to the point where I can discern words," 50-year-old Mamoru Samuragochi said in a letter.

Samuragochi said last week he did not compose all of his music, including a piece expected to be used by Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi during the Sochi Olympics.

Image: Composer Mamoru Samuragochi
Composer Mamoru Samuragochi, dubbed JIJI PRESS / AFP - Getty Images, file

"The creative process involved Samuragochi suggesting the structure and the images of a composition to an specific individual and have that person formalize it," a representative for the composer said in a statement on Feb. 5.

A day later, Takashi Niigaki, a lecturer at a Tokyo music college, admitted to writing Samuragochi's compositions.

Niigaki also said that in all the years of dealing with the allegedly deaf artist, he never believed the composer had a hearing impairment.

Samuragouchi's lawyers responded by saying that the composer holds a government issued disability card. In Wednesday's letter to the Japanese press, Samuragochi said he would undergo another hearing test and return the card if it proved that he had regained his hearing.