Fans Speculate As “Queen Of Japanese Pop” Namie Amuro Disappears, Wiping Out 30 Years Of Music
As mind-boggling as it may sound, even the most famous and popular celebrities in the world can completely vanish from the face of the Earth.
Once dubbed the “Japanese Madonna”, Namie Amura has seemingly completely disappeared, taking all traces of her adored work with her.
The now 46-year-old musician had initially retired from public life six years prior, after enjoying a very successful career in the 1990s.
Namie sold 40 million records across her career and has released no less than 12 studio albums, as well as dozens of hit singles and 10 solo number-one songs in Japan.
Japanese superstar Namie Amura has vanished, with recent news revealing her music has also been completely wiped out
Image credits: NHK
The Japanese artist put a shocking halt to her career in 2017 on her 40th birthday, as she announced that she was retiring from the music industry altogether.
At the time, Namie had written: “I would like to write about something that I have carried on my mind and have decided on the 25th anniversary of my debut.
“I, Namie Amuro, would like to take this opportunity to inform all of my fans of my decision to retire as of Sept 16, 2018.
“I plan to make the last year of my music career meaningful by focusing my full attention on creating a final album and performing at concerts.
“Then, I will welcome the date of September 16, 2018, in the best way that I can.”
Namie officially retired in 2018 and has since been completely out of the public eye
Image credits: Final Space
One year after the head-scratching declaration, Namie performed one final show in her home prefecture of Okinawa, before officially retiring from music forever the very next day.
At her farewell concert, Namie performed just eight songs without an encore.
She concluded: “Thank you, thank you very much for coming,” before leaving the stage forever.
Subsequently, the singer’s official website, fan club, Facebook page, and online store all became defunct.
Image credits: FOR LIFE MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Namie has since not maintained any form of social media presence, as some of the avenues for fans to gather and celebrate her 25-year career were suddenly also gone, News.com.au reported.
Following her five years of complete and utter silence, the talent’s fans have remarked on a new disturbing update, as Namie’s official YouTube channel, featuring all her dozens of music videos, has also been deleted.
Additionally, Namie’s solo music has also been erased from streaming services such as Spotify.
During a farewell concert, Namie thanked her audience before disappearing from the stage forever
Image credits: Avex Group/Flickr
Fans have reported that when they search for “Namie Amuro” on Spotify or Apple Music, they can only see a handful of her collaborations with other artists.
As of Wednesday (November 22), only five songs feature on Namie’s Spotify profile, with all of her albums appearing to have been completely wiped away.
It is currently not known whether the decision to remove the iconic popstar’s music from streaming services was hers or Avex’s, her record label.
In Japan, people who suddenly disappear are so common that they have a special noun: jouhatsu
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons
With the recent development of Namie’s music disappearing from modern means of consuming her music, many theories have emerged online.
Taking to Reddit, some have explained that the latest news in Japan that reported Namie’s disappearance was related to a contracting/license issue or a potential renegotiation.
A Redditor wrote: “It’s trending in Japan too. No official word yet.
“It could be as simple as someone forgetting to do their paperwork, some negotiation somewhere falling through, or the artist herself choosing to retire from all facets of professional life.”
The same Redditor later updated his initial post by adding: “Seeing that her media has been removed not only from streaming services, but also from iTunes and in Amazon in the form of physical CDs, this is definitely not a mistake.
“I’m taking this as a message from Amuro-chan telling us that it’s time for her to go professionally and she’s voluntarily removing herself from the competition that is the music industry to make way for new artists.”
A separate person counter-explained on Reddit: “That’s not completely true.
“The reason she did all those re-recordings following her split from Rising Productions was so that she would have ownership over the new recordings.”
It is currently unknown whether the decision to remove the iconic popstar’s music from streaming services was hers or Avex’s, her record label
Image credits: ニュース情報チャンネル
Whether her music will be back or not, only time will tell. As of now, the J-pop star who was cherished by millions for so many years has shown no signs of a public return whatsoever.
Image credits: Avex Group/Flickr
In Japan, people vanishing on purpose has become a cultural phenomenon, sparking flourishing businesses.
The practice of vanishing is so prevalent in Japan that people doing it have earned their own name; jouhatsu.
Theories point to Japan’s harsh work culture in combination with the lack of familial and community support as reasons for people choosing to “evaporate”.
Fans seem to agree that the decision to delete her music had been intentional
42-year-old Sugimoto told the BBC: “I got fed up with human relationships. I took a small suitcase and disappeared.
“I just kind of escaped.”
Sugimoto revealed that back in his small hometown, everybody knew him because of his family and their prominent local business, which he was expected to carry on.
The British broadcaster unveiled that the expectation foisted upon Sugimoto caused him such distress that he abruptly left town forever and told no one where he was going.
Some speculated about questionable business practices
Jouhatsus often turn to companies that help them through the process, the BBC stated.
These operations are called “night moving” services, a nod to the secretive nature of becoming a jouhatsu.
The companies reportedly help people who want to disappear or discreetly remove themselves from their regular lives and can provide lodging for them in secret whereabouts.