Utada Hikaru’s mother commits suicide
Fuji Keiko, reknowned enka (a music genre which resembles traditional Japanese music) singer in the 1970s and mother of J-Pop artiste Utada Hikaru, died on Thursday morning after jumping from the 13th floor of her apartment building in Tokyo.
The body of the 62-year-old was found on the grounds of the building at 7am on Thursday. Fuji Keiko was living with a male friend, who claimed to be sleeping at the time of incident. Police said that preliminary investigations have ruled out the possibility of foul play, and that her slippers were left on the railing of her apartment’s balcony, with no suicide note found.
The singer’s ex-husband, Utada Teruzane, has identified the body, while Utada Hikaru has yet to comment on her mother’s passing.
Fuji Keiko, whose real name was Utada Junko, debuted in 1969 when she was 17. The singer divorced from her first husband just one year after the wedding, and relocated to the United States in 1972.
Fuji Keiko tied the knot with Utada Teruzane in 1982 and gave birth to their only child, Utada Hikaru, in 1983 in Manhattan. It is believed that the mother-and-daughter pair has not been on close terms since the latter got married in 2002.
Sources revealed that Fuji Keiko has been behaving strangely in recent years. In 2006, the former songstress was suspected of dealing in drugs and was confiscated of more than US$420,000 (approximately S$540,000) worth of cash at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The singer was also absent from her mentor Masao Ishizaka’s funeral in March this year.