Kohaku Famous Singer Died with No Mourners and Remains Missing — Plus Story of her Daughter Sold and Life as a Sex Toy
Nonfiction writer Kota Ishii delves into the depths of Japanese society!
Ukiko Kagurazaka has participated in the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen twice.
We would like to continue with the story of her daughter, Kahitomi Takano (pseudonym), who fell into the hell of methamphetamines in Part 1: The Daughter of a Kohaku Singer Confesses Her Fabulous Half-Life as a Sex Toy.
There were two reasons why Ukiko Kagurazaka sent Kahitomi away from Tokyo and placed her in the dormitory of a private junior and senior high school.
The first was to spend time with her patron, the president of a large company, without any worries, and the second was to work as the owner of a French restaurant in Tokyo that opened with the president’s support.
The French restaurant is almost entirely members-only, and many celebrities and show business have come to the restaurant. Ukiko seems to have used her former fame to make it a social gathering place.
On the other hand, Kahitomi, who had escaped from the school dormitory, was living with a gang member who was a trafficker, as mentioned earlier. The two sex crimes she experienced as a child, years of neglect from her mother, and the loneliness of being separated from home probably drove her to such acts of desperation.
Her mother was a “poor soul.”
Her mother, Ukiko, was contacted by the school and secretly probed Kahitomi’s behavior to ascertain the facts. However, she did not even warn her daughter, let alone separate her from the gang members. She even pretended not to notice when Kahitomi came home from summer vacation smelling of paint thinner.
Kahitomi recounts, “My mother even turned to me, her daughter.”
My mother couldn’t even face me, her daughter. She is so preoccupied with herself that she doesn’t know how to relate to people and has no interest in them. Maybe she thought it would be easier to keep quiet than to get me arrested and get into trouble. She is not a mother when it comes to this. I was not aggressive in revenge against my mother. It was more like I was interested in something else because my mother wouldn’t deal with me. That was the yakuza.
From the time I was in junior high school, I felt that my mother was a pitiful person. I mean a pitiful person who can’t face people. By looking at her objectively in that way, I felt better about her.
If you seek affection from your mother, you will surely be betrayed and have a hard time. That is probably why Kahitomi thought of her mother as a pitiful person and tried to keep her distance from her.
After graduating from high school, Kahitomi again entered a university in Tohoku with her mother’s connections. However, she dropped out after less than a year. She then began working as a cast member at a famous high-class club in Roppongi.
This club was one of the most prestigious in Roppongi, and big-name entertainers came and went every day.
However, the cast members who work there are only young people around 20 years old. Although they behaved themselves with elegance in the luxurious interior, when they finished working, they spent their days dancing in discotheques and clubs.
It was in the midst of these relationships that Kahitomi began using methamphetamines. Most of the cast members in the restaurant were regular users of methamphetamine. The way they obtained methamphetamine differed depending on the group of cast members, but one of the female cast members passed it on to Kahitomi.
She said, “It was a time when kogals, teamers, and surfers were in their prime, so drugs were prevalent. We called it speed back then, and it was done in Abri. I had a lot of friends who were entertainers and models, and it felt like we were partying every day.”
In the midst of all this, Kahitomi registered with an entertainment agency and began living with a male model herself. She found herself slowly penetrating the entertainment business.
However, it was just an extension of her fun in the entertainment world, and she did not have a strong belief that she would seriously enter the entertainment industry and make a name for herself in it. The male model also seemed to have an ulterior motive and take advantage of her mother’s influence, Ukiko Kagurazaka.
Soon after they started living together, Kahitomi was psychologically abused by the male model, and she began to suffer from mental illness. She found herself in a state of depression, starting with sleep disorders, and frequently cutting her wrist in a fit of rarefied thoughts of death.
I want to do drugs.
If I don’t do this, I will break down. Kahitomi came to her senses and ran away to the apartment where her mother, Ukiko, lived.
Ukiko did not welcome her daughter with open arms. To Ukiko, Kahitomi is like an accessory. She would have been happy if she had married a model, but she was not willing to accept her daughter who came back from the apartment sick at heart and in ruins.
At the apartment, Kahitomi clashed with Ukiko repeatedly. She was mentally overwhelmed and finally ran out of the apartment almost just with her clothes. At that time, the following thought crossed her mind: “I want to do drugs.”
–I want to do drugs…
In a moment of despair, she had a flashback to the pleasures of methamphetamine she had experienced on the streets at night. She went to the drug pusher’s place in Shinjuku.
The frightening thing about drugs is that a young woman can obtain methamphetamine and a place to sleep in exchange for sex. Having no one else to turn to, she developed a relationship with the drug pusher who was involved with a gang.
However, her relationship with the drug dealer didn’t go well. Before she knew it, she was at the mercy of the other drugdealers and owed a lot of money from them. Then one day, she starts working as a hotelier.
During these hellish days, she was probably under the influence of methamphetamine and unable to think normally. When she wanted to escape from her current situation, she asked for help from a gang leader whom she had met through her job as a hostess.
This is a moth that flies into the fire. The gang brought her to the Kansai region, where they drugged her with methamphetamine using a syringe and put her in a “shabu-soaked” state. They then took her from place to place, using her as a sex toy.
It is a pattern that is a picture of the hell of methamphetamine that pervades the nightlife. For more than 20 years after that, she had relationships with many gang members and spent her time doing methamphetamine, sex, and a variety of other crimes. Even if she had wanted to get out, methamphetamine would have prevented her from thinking straight, and all she could do was sink into a bottomless swamp.
Kahitomi tells us.
Since I ran out of the apartment, I have had no contact with my mother. We have talked on the phone a few times, but basically we are almost insulated.
After she left the French restaurant business, my mother seemed to have been working as a geisha, using her fame as a singer who appeared in Kohaku White, but I don’t know any details about that. I think she had some kind of connections there, and she was able to make a small living. Well, I think she lived as an entertainer “Ukiko Kagurazaka” until the end. I think she had no choice but to live that way.
Kahime spent her days committing crimes with gang members and others as Kahime, but one day in 2001, she received a phone call from a local government official. The official told him the following.
In 2013, she received a phone call from a local government official who said, “Your mother passed away. Before she died, she was on welfare and we were supporting her. We contacted her brother, but he would not take her body, so we asked if her sister could take her body.”
One person at the crematorium:
It was sudden, but Kahitomi replied, “Okay,” and went to the crematorium.
There were no mourners at the crematorium. Kahitomi was alone. There was no sympathy. All I could think was that it was a lonely end for a person who was so famous.
Now, nine years later, Kahitomi has left the Kanto region and is living far away from here. A few years ago, due to a series of troubles, she left Tokyo to live in another town. How does she feel about her relationship with her mother?
Kahitomi says, “In the end, my mother never opened her heart to anyone.”
In the end, I think that my mother lived her life as an entertainer without opening her heart to anyone. My mother and I are related by blood, but she was not a mother to me until the end, but an entertainer. I guess we had separate lives from the beginning.
I don’t resent her in any way. Rather, there were many things that I benefited from my mother being an entertainer, whether it be higher education or friendships. In that sense, I think my mother gave me a good experience. I just want to thank her for that.”
Despite this, it was clearly her mother’s influence that led her astray in her teenage years and beyond. Does she feel any anger about that?
She says, “I don’t live my life with anger toward my mother.”
“It’s hard to live with anger toward my mother. It’s hard for me. It would be easier to be casual about it and just think, ‘We had separate lives, and I thank her for raising me. That’s the way I’m living now.'”
I understand that it is hard to live your life blaming and resenting your parents. That is why it is easier to separate the two and say it was a completely different life.
This is true not only for children with celebrity parents, but also for children who were not blessed with parents. If they do not separate themselves from their lives somewhere, they cannot keep their own minds.
What is happening to Kagurazaka Ukiko’s remains now?
Kahitomi answered, “I don’t know.” She said that she had received the remains once, but when she went to prison, she left them with an acquaintance and lost touch with him. The other party was said to be an antisocial person, so the remains were probably discarded.
I wonder if Ukiko Kagurazaka really could only think of herself, why she kept her heart closed to others, and what kind of life she wanted to lead. Sadly, we will never find the answers to these questions.
All that is clear is that a female singer at the height of her fame left this world with great loneliness and almost no one knew about it.
Interview and text by： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. He has reported and written about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "Absolute Poverty," "The Body," "The House of 'Demons'," "43 Killing Intent," "Let's Talk about Real Poverty," "Social Map of Disparity and Division," and "Reporto: Who Kills the Japanese Language?
Images： Courtesy photo