Sunday, May 10, 2009

An overwhelming show of love and grief at the funeral for "The King of Rock" Kiyoshoro Imawano

by Chris MaGee

Last week we shared the very sad news that ex-RC Succession frontman and actor Kiyoshoro Imawano had passed away at the age of 58. He had been battling cancer of the larynx for the past three years and succumbed to the disease on May 2nd.

This past Saturday, May 9th, a funeral for the man that many in Japan knew as "The King of Rock" was held in Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo and an astounding 42,000 friends, family, music and film industry colleagues and of course fans came to pay their respects. According to Japan Today a line of people nearly 2 kilometres long stretched out in front of the funeral hall while inside celebrities like Masatoshi Nagase, Jo Odagiri, Chara, Keisuke Kuwata, and Shinobu Otake choked back tears as actor/ singer/ director Naoto Takenaka gave the eulogy for his longtime friend. "He has not died and is going to live long in my mind. I’m extremely sad but I’m sure he will," Takenaka told the crowd.

I guess this stresses that it's not the money or the possessions that define you when you finally leave this earth, but the lives that you've touched, and in Imawano's case it certainly looks like he touched many, many lives.


追放マーク said...

This story has been ALL OVER the news here in Japan, jockeying for position with the "buta influenza" cases that recently cropped up in Tokyo. And other filmmaker friends here have also expressed a ton of sadness. He was really respected as a singer and as the voice of a generation.

Chris MaGee said...

I guess he was the Japanese equivalent of a Mick Jagger or Bono, right? He's known mostly for his roles in Miike's films here in North America.