Ayumi Hamasaki has begun to lose her ability to hear out of her right ear, putting her down a path to becoming completely deaf.
Ayumi Hamasaki has revealed she has gone deaf in her left ear, but vowed to go ahead with an upcoming tour of Asia.
After talking about her knee injury recovery, Hamasaki writes:
Just before this year’s tour began I received a second blow – my hearing started to deteriorate further. My semicircular canals had blown, and I was experiencing crippling dizziness. I wasn’t able to walk in a straight line, and was often reduced to vomiting in the restroom at the rehearsal studio. I tried to put a brace face on things, but was told after various hearing tests that my right ear (which had been working overtime to compensate for my deaf left ear) was weakening fast. I don’t have a clear memory of my journey home after that. I just remember wondering how I, as a singer, would cope with two useless ears. Other than that, I was in darkness.
Just before the start of this year’s tour, the singer had been experiencing vertigo and sickness.
“I was experiencing crippling dizziness. I was unable to walk in a straight line, and was often vomiting in the restroom while at the rehearsal studio,” she said.
With her complete deafness becoming a reality, Ayumi Hamasaki has been struggling to cope with how to move forward with life after spending the majority of it as a pop superstar.
“I remember wondering how would I as a singer be able to cope with two useless ears. I was in the dark,” she said.
In 2000, Ayumi Hamasaki caught an ear infection while in the middle of a tour. Doctors advised the singer to rest and reduce her exposure to loud noises, but she ignored their recommendation and resumed touring after only a few days in the hospital.
From that point forward, Ayumi Hamasaki’s hearing in her left ear gradually become worse and worse until, in 2008, doctors informed her, she had permanently lost hearing in her left ear.
“Nevertheless, I would like to continue as a singer. That’s why I would like to continue singing until I reach the limit with my remaining right ear,” she wrote at the time on her members-only fan site. “I won’t stop. I won’t make excuses. As a professional, I would like to deliver the best performance for everyone.“
Feeling lost with the possibility of not being able to do what she loves, a message of encouragement from a friend reminded her who she was. In today’s post, Ayumi Hamasaki admitted that she should “probably stop performing,” but that isn’t something she is prepared to consider:
The stage is where I belong. It’s the only place I really, truly exist. I don’t know anything else. There’s no point in worrying about what lies ahead. I will keep listening, even if I can’t hear. I will keep moving, evening if I can’t move. I’m not looking for sympathy or pity. I will hold my head high and keep going forward until my last breath.
The reality of the situation brings on mixed feelings: Ayumi Hamasaki’s outlook and dedication to what she loves doing is both commendable and inspirational, but at the same time, her determination to actively work against her health is entirely distressing.
Selling over 50 million records throughout her career, making her best-selling Japanese solo artist of all time, she has definitely changed the landscape of the music scene in Japan but it’s incredibly disheartening to think about her career’s impending expiration date.
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