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Hikaru Utada’s mother found dead in Shinjuku, suicide suspected

Keiko Fuji
Keiko Fuji
TOKYO (TR) – The mother of singer Hikaru Utada died early Thursday morning in Shinjuku Ward in what police are ruling a suicide, reports Nikkan Sports (Aug. 22).

At around 7:00 a.m., the body of Keiko Fuji, whose real name is Junko Utada, was found on the street below the 28-story Atlas Tower apartment building in Nishi Shinjuku. Fuji, who is believed to have leaped from the building, was confirmed dead at a nearby hospital. She was 62.

According to police, the native of Iwate Prefecture shared an apartment in the building with a man. A pair of slippers were found on her unit’s balcony.

Fuji was an accomplished actress and enka singer. Her debut album “Woman in Shinjuku,” which was released in 1970, spent 20 straight weeks at the top of Oricon chart. Her singing career ended in 1979.

Her only child, Hikaru, 30, rose to fame in pop music in the late 1990s after the release of her debut album “First Love,” which spawned the hits “Automatic/Time Will Tell” and “Movin’ on Without You.”

In 2006, Fuji had $400,000 confiscated from her luggage at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by drug enforcement officials just prior to boarding a plane for Las Vegas. She was not charged.

“Woman in Shinjuku” 新宿の女