According to Ayumi Hamasaki’s own blog entries, she has been diagnosed with permanent, irreparable damage to her left ear. Currently, she can still hear out of that ear, however, soon it shall be completely deaf. This means that she will be impaired in her singing abilities. Already, the effects of this impairment have been seen on popular J-pop year end shows, including Ayu’s own Countdown Live for 2007 into 2008. However, this damage to her left ear has been around for quite some time, ever since her Dome Tour in 2001, where she continued to perform despite hearing having hearing problems. This perseverance, although commendable and bold, has ultimately cost her hearing and jeopardized her performance capability.
Already, the support from the J-pop community has been massive. Ayumi Hamasaki originally revealed her left ear’s hearing loss on her blog, and on her blog she replied to her fans. She has given them hope, and in true Ayu spirit, she will continue onward and produce music for them. From a musical standpoint, Ayumi Hamasaki is still capable of creating quality music even with this problem; one need look no further than the digital release, “Together When…,” which was excellently done and performed well on the charts. Ayu even performed well on some shows, despite ragged vocals on others. We can only hope that Ayumi Hamasaki will continue to work through this problem and show us her strength in her music. We all wish her the best during this hard time.
Here are the original blog posts from Ayu – they are both heartfelt and sincere (these are translated courtesy of HiruNoKaze of AHS).
” My frank resolution for this year.
The truth is, last year, I had an ear check-up, my diagnosis being that my left ear has completely lost all function and that there is no treatment.
Even so, I want to keep being a singer.
That’s why I’ll keep singing as long as this remaining right ear works, to its limit.
I won’t quit.
I won’t make excuses.
As a professional, I will sing the best songs for you*.
I don’t really like the word “ganbaru,” but…
I will ganbaru**!!!!! At all costs!!!!!!!!!
Until that day, someday… ”
” No.205 January 5th, 2008 (Saturday) 1:13am
The volume of messages from you all is amazing, I decided to post again.*
“Mhmm” … “Hey,” … “Yea…”
I have always, as much as I can, meant to keep honestly conveying my own feelings with my own words. I think you all definitely understand this.
Yes…right, I believe.
That’s why…I write.
I write things I keep only in my heart, not even telling my beloved family members nor my staff.
Actually, no…strictly speaking, that’s not true.
I only told Mama (I mean Mika John).
That my left ear cannot hear anymore.
I thought of going to the hospital because I felt distinctly that something strange happened to my ear.
I thought it was the earphone monitors and told the people around me I wanted to switch to new ones.
Honestly, when the doctor told me that there is no treatment and that it’s too late, my mind went blank.
In my heart somewhere, I felt that if I just make the time necessary for surgery, my ear would be able to hear again.
But I was wrong.
I remember the doctor’s eyes even now.
They looked regretful and apologetic. As if to say I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do…
So, I laughed.
I didn’t know why, but I said “I thought so”, and laughed.
Surrounded by my beloved staff inside the hospital room, everything returned to silence.
But, please, I don’t want you to read this with pessimism.
I have accepted this reality.
And, I want you to understand somehow that I’m not despairing, but that the light of my hopes shines forth.
Because, you’ve told me that you will become my left ear.
You’ve told me that, so that I’ll be able to hear more and more, you’ll shout out for me.
So, with my remaining right ear, I’m gonna do this.
I’m not at all straining myself.
To me, it’s my happiness.
Worrying is useless!!!!!!!!!!!
From here on, I going to keeping running forward like this~~~~~!!!
But, let’s keep running together~~~~~~!!!!!!
I want to show you my dreams.
I want to show you that kind of dream.
That is my wish.
Thank you, everyone, everyone, everyone…
Thank you, Mama.
My beloved big sister.
Let’s do it, 10th year anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “