News Detroit Metal City Singer Kaji Beat Up, Robbed in Sweden (Updated)
posted on 2009-04-05 18:52 EDT by Egan Loo
Japanese musical artist Hideki Kaji was beat unconscious and robbed of 20,000 kronor (about 250,000 yen or US$2,500) worth of film equipment during the filming of a music video in Sweden on April 4. Kaji has released a dozen albums in Japan, where he is known as "Mr. Sweden" for his longtime interest in the country.
Kaji performed the "Amai Koibito" theme song as the mild-mannered Soichi Negishi lead character for the soundtrack of last year's Detroit Metal City film. Toshio Li's live-action movie adapted Kiminori Wakasugi's rock-n-roll comedy manga of the same name. Kaji released two singles as the Negishi persona, and he also sang and made a voice acting cameo in Studio 4°C's anime video adaptation. (Actor Ken'ichi Matsuyama played the Negishi character onscreen, while Kaji provided his singing voice.)
Kaji was on a road in the southern Swedish city of Malmo with a camera team, but the team had left the filming location on a break to take photographs of their children. Kaji was watching over the filming equipment alone, and he was dressed in a pineapple costume for the video. According to the local police, three male individuals literally beat the stuffing out of Kaji — his pineapple costume had burst open and all of its stuffing was pulled out. Kaji lost consciousness and when he awoke, the film equipment was gone.
The Swedish police are searching for the assailants, but as of the morning of April 5, they have not identified any suspects.
Update: The maintainer of the bulletin-board system on Kaji's official website has posted an update on Kaji's condition at 1:33 a.m. JST on Monday. According to the post, the maintainer contacted Kaji, and confirmed that Kaji is doing well now. The maintainer adds that the filming will continue, and Kaji's "voice sounded very upbeat."
English translations of the local press reports have begun to appear online. However, what the Japanese press translated as "stuffing pulled out of his costume," an English translation of the Swedish reports rendered as "lost a [dental] filling."
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