Tokyo Olympics composer is forced to resign

Tokyo Olympics composer is forced to resign


norman lebrecht

July 20, 2021

The composer of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games has decided to resign after allegations came to light that he bullied disabled children while he was a schoolboy.

Keigo Oyamada, 52, said on Twitter that he had ‘lacked consideration to various people’ and offered resignation to the organizing committee.’ The committee at first asked him to stay, then backed off.

It appears that in the January 1994 edition of magazine Rockin’On Japan Oyamada boasted about bullying classmates. In the August 1995 edition of Quick Japan had he spoke about bullying classmates with disabilities ‘without any regrets.’ Oyamada confirmed the accuracy of these quotes and expressed his regret for his remarks.


  • Brian says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. No one is safe from cancel culture.

    • Couperin says:

      I mean… you tell me if forcing a disabled boy to eat his own faeces is normal bullying? And the fact that he boasted about it is kind of.. problematic. Whether that means he should resign from the Olympics is open to debate but.. there’s certainly a difference between billing and outright abuse/assault.

    • Monsoon says:

      Defending a guy who boasted about forcing a disabled child to eat his own feces and masturbate in front of other students is really the hill you want to die on? Really?

    • True North says:

      Did you read anything about what he actually did?

      All those protesting “cancel culture” here, I have to wonder a little about the skeletons in your own closets.

      • 26 years ago!... says:

        Remind us, how many years ago was it again? Are you saying people never change? Projecting?

    • CRogers says:

      If he had (sincerely) said that he bullied peers and that he had realised what he had done was destructive, regretted it, apologised and in the meantime had grown up, he would have been in a much stronger position to be supported. We all do things that can hurt other people. Becoming an adult is realising one’s behaviour and doing something constructive in future. It’s really very simple……. Get help if it’s not.

  • Alan says:

    The ‘offence’ archaeologists have been busy again.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Quite surprising. The wokeys go into history. That means: an immense territory to explore.

    My grandfather had a neighbour who maltreated his wife. Will I be safe?

    • Couperin says:

      Wasn’t his grandfather decades ago, it was himself, way more recently.

    • One doesn’t have have to be very “wokey” to think that forcing a child to eat feces is disgusting and still bragging about it as an adult is so, too.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Of course.

        But is it true? And then: is time scale irrelevant? That latter point seems more important, since it opens the doors to truly crazy exercises.

  • Haru says:

    People who whine about cancel culture (usually entitled white males) have no idea of the horrible toll of bullying in Japanese schools. There are countless kids who are scarred for life and kids who committed suicide because of bullying. It’s a huge problem in Japanese school. He took responsibility for his past actions. Does anyone condone bullying handicapped or disabled children, even by children? I wonder why do so many old white males are so touchy about predators reaping for what they sowed. My guess is that the people who moan about BLM or metoo activists were/are themselves bullies in one form or another and hated being called on it.

    • John Borstlap says:

      That is an absurd suggestion.

      The point of protesting an injustice that was committed almost half a century earlier, and which was related some 25 years ago, is that such things are too long ago to justify moral outrage. That does not mean that the injustice was OK, but that the accusation is forced and looks as having a personal background, someone delving into history to find a reason to throw with mud.

      Even crimes become prescribed after a couple of years and certainly after almost half a century.

      • David says:

        The so called “cancel culture” is problematic, but that doesn’t mean everyone who is “cancelled” is a victim of this culture. In this case, the biggest issue is for him to be composing for Paralympics, when he not only severely abused a disabled kid in school, but boasted about it as a full grown adult on multiple accounts, and have never apologized or made amends even when being criticized over the years from time to time. Such a person is not fit to represent the Olympics in any way, especially in a symbolic manner through music to be played at the opening ceremony. This does not mean he should never compose or people should lynch him online, but the majority of the Japanese public is entirely in support of sacking him from this particular position.

        You seem like a sensible person, and I implore you not to become one of these people who immediately divides the world into “us vs them”. We see so many of these people on this comments section, but I have a feeling you are not one of them. The world is complex, and each case merits particular consideration and analysis. I am in no support of hypocritical social justice warriors, but that does not mean what happened here was unjust, and I can make this assertion with confidence as I’ve looked into this matter. Can you say the same?

        • John Borstlap says:

          I did not realise the tune was for the paralympics…. that makes it a crazy choice indeed.

          Onbviously not the ‘right person’.

  • Gustavo says:

    I just read a news brief suggesting that the whole Olympics could be called off at short notice.

    Another Cinderella story…

  • “He added he has felt guilty about it for a long time and that he hopes to contact the people he bullied to issue a personal apology.”

    Not guilty enough to do it before someone else pointed out the need to do so, however.

    I’m not surprised someone has been a bully as a child.

    It is very creepy to be proud of it as an adult.

  • hikaru says:

    They should have cancelled him back in 1994 when the article ran, or immediately after hearing his insipid pop demo tape in the early 90s. p.s. Cancel the Olympics

  • Hmmb says:

    My math teacher in my teenie used to say “Bullying (physical or verbal violence) is absolutely unacceptable, even though you are good at school subjects, exams, even achieving good Universities or works in the future, you’ll be a “loser” and shouldn’t be respected. I always think about her when I read a such sad articule. (I’m japanese.)