Recently I have been receiving a few questions about hide’s death and the speculation surrounding it. It really seems that the foreign fans are really ill-informed between the facts and the speculation. A few friends of mine have also even received questions asking if they thought he was killed either by the woman who lived with him or by Toshi. My opinion is moved at the bottom and is under a read more cut. I implore you all to come to your own conclusions. If anyone finds that any of the information is wrong, please let me know. I will change it immediately.
8/18/2015 – As I said I anticipated change to what was written. One of the biggest search hits for this site is looking for an explanation of hide’s death. I have received mostly good emails, some not so nice, but recently I had received a message from a long time fan of hide and we discussed some things regarding the content of this page. The person had even sent me interview transcripts and shared their experience with what was going on at the time. So I bring you corrected and new information as well as a translated interview. Although please keep in mind I try as much as possible to translate things I’ve read/heard/discussed with others, these bits of information are NOT MY OWN. I did not “make up” any of these nor do I believe in everything written here. These situations just frequently appear if one searches enough through Japanese message boards/blogs or talk with older fans about it. Again the reason I translated all these things is because I don’t know which rumor has been spread among foreign fans or I guess now, even Japanese fans who read this site. So I translated as many of them as I could to also show that they may not exactly be true or just not true at all.
Timeline (May be changed for accuracy later):
May 1st 10:30pm
-The filming for Fuji TV’s ‘Rocket Punch’ had finished and the staff went to celebrate. They drank until the early morning. Everyone was drunk and hide had an argument with his band mates of Spread Beaver outside of the bar.
May 2nd 6:30am
-hide returned home after his younger brother dropped him off by car. hide had acted strange and asked Hiroshi “What do you think?”. When Hiroshi responded “What do you mean?”, hide shouted at him, “Not you too Hiroshi!” and stormed off into his house. His brother reported that from inside his house he could hear things being kicked. hide was angry but his brother has been quoted saying he didn’t suspect that he was depressed or suicidal.
May 2nd before 7:30am
-hide had prepared himself for bed and freshened himself up after a long night of drinking. According to investigations from the police, they had noticed that his laptop was on. Upon looking at the screen, the police confirmed that
he was checking his fan mail an unfinished diary entry had been written.
-A woman who was living with hide had discovered him lying on the floor of the bathroom connected to his room. He was wearing a black tank top and trunks which seemed like he was preparing for bed with a towel torn in a long strip under his chin and tied to the door knob. It was not in a noose like fashion which is usually tied round the neck and then the longer end tied to the door knob.
He was supposedly still alive when he was found but unconscious although still breathing. The woman who lived with him called 119.
May 2nd 7:30am
hide’s office calls Hiroshi (hide’s younger brother and manager) to inform him that hide was unconscious and heading to the hospital.
May 2nd 8:52am
hide is pronounced dead upon arrival at Hiroo Metropolitan Hospital although he actually died on the way to the hospital. hide is pronounced dead at this time. He was already in cardiac arrest when he arrived at the hospital. The time that he arrived at the hospital is currently unknown to the public. Pata, Heath, Toshi, the members of Spread Beaver and hide’s family and some members from the office come to see him before his body is taken away.
((An interesting note that many fans like to point out is that hide would still be alive if the ambulance hadn’t been so incredibly late. There is a lot of speculation as to the reason that it was so late. However when you google map hide’s address (ノアーズアーク南麻布, 東京都港区南麻布２丁目１−２１) and Hiroo Metropolitan Hospital (東京都立広尾病院, 〒150-0013 東京都渋谷区恵比寿２−３４−１０) you see that it only takes 7 minutes to go one way to and from the hospital. One has to wonder why it took over an hour to get to his residence
Another held opinion is that that the ambulance had tried resuscitating him in his home. That’s why the time gap is seemingly long)).
May 2nd past 12:00
The news begins reporting hide’s death as a suicide. Many fans begin gathering at the LEMONeD store, hide’s office and his house. Later hide’s brother issues a complaint to the media outlets for reporting hide’s death as a suicide without receiving confirmation from police. Police were also issued a complaint for ruling his death as a suicide so quickly due to circumstantial evidence. Both the media and the police had retracted their statements although the damage had been done as many people now seem to think that suicide was factual. hide’s family and fans have blamed the media’s hasty and inaccurate reporting for the death’s of those fans who had believed hide had committed suicide and did copy suicides.
hide’s death is currently officially classified as Misadventure. No one actually knows the official classification, but most fans assume so because the family insists it was an accident and there were rumors that members of the hospital leaked information that it was classified as an accident or just as dyspnea.))
May 3rd around noon
JETS Fanclub Notice
Everyone, I come to you today with very sad news. hide has passed away due to sudden dyspnea (difficulty breathing) at 8:52 am on May 2nd. We will hold a funeral service in Tokyo at Honganji Tsukiji Temple from 2:00pm to 3:00pm on Thursday, May 7th. The fans will also be able to offer flowers so please come to say your goodbyes to him. In addition, due to this sudden circumstance, I can’t imagine what will become of this fanclub. Please excuse us for the suddenness, please be informed.
Opinion: (These are mostly common opinions held by Japanese fans regarding hide’s death. Many I have read about on online forms or discussed with other fans about.)
Theories for suicide:
-hide had often stated many things that have been linked to having depression. In a comment in ToshI’s radio show, he had been quoted saying “I’m manic-depressive,” and “I really hate the time before I sleep because I become really depressed”. Many see this as evidence of having a mental illness. There are many other times where he has said he becomes randomly depressed.
Disbanding of X Japan
-this is pretty self explanatory.
-hide was enraged by a fight he had with his band mates. You can read the story at nopperabou.net
((however, many people say that this is usual for hide to fight with his band-mates and that it didn’t seem like a serious fight because on that day after the drinking party, a member of hide’s band wrote on the official site’s BBS “tonight was so fun! Thank you!”))
-In the biography that hide’s younger brother had written, although Hiroshi claims that his own feelings were that hide did not commit suicide, in the book he had written he has claimed that hide had owned books on various ways to kill yourself and seemed to hint at an interest in dying and asking him to write a book about him. He also included instructions of how he would like his funeral.
-Although I’m sure many of you may be shocked about this, a lot of fans have claimed (in other words, it’s only a RUMOR) that the fight that was started at the bar and led hide to commit suicide was due to something Kiyoshi had said. Although Hiroshi, hide’s brother, had confirmed that hide and his band mates fought and that fights among them were very common, fans have claimed that it was something Kiyoshi specifically said which could have caused hide to become depressed and commit suicide. Apparently according to some fans, the rumor is that Kiyoshi had said to hide in the heat of their fight: “You have it good don’t you. Because Yoshiki is around you won’t be out of a job”. It was a little hard to translate that line, but it has the feeling like “your success is due to Yoshiki” or “you can’t do anything without Yoshiki”. Fans point out this is what hide was referring to in the book when he asks Hiroshi what he thinks the hours before he dies.
((on a personal note since I have received a lot of messages about this: no, I don’t hate Kiyoshi at all. This is a RUMOR I have heard on several occasions and therefore shared it. I also added it because I wanted to make sure that people who heard about this would come to know this is a RUMOR, not a fact))
-Too many to name really. Many people bring up Pink Spider, Hurry Go Round, Tell Me, Misery and Good bye are seemingly the most popular songs talked about as evidence of being depressed or alluding to wanting to commit suicide.
Theories for an accident:
-hide had just recently bought a plot of land to build a new house with a studio, his new album, new tour, he was planning on breaking into the American music industry and various other things.
-It’s apparently a common story that hide had told his father that that year (1998) was going to be his best year ever
-hide had bought a plot of land on April 27th, 1998 for his new house. He lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex and wanted to leave because he felt it was troublesome to not make too much noise and he wanted a recording studio in his house.
-hide’s brother, Hiroshi, has said in his biography that he doesn’t believe it was suicide.
-This is the biggest claim for the accident theory. Because a guitar is rather heavy, many guitarists who play professionally develop shoulder stiffness. hide had often claimed about hurting shoulders and in some videos you can see his shoulders, back and neck being massaged by his band mates. All of the members of X Japan were aware of his visits to chiropractors and doctors and stretching out his neck and shoulders by using a towel to relieve the pain. Translated from Japanese it was called a “traction procedure” and if you google 牽引施術 you can see photos of this procedure. According to witnesses and police the positioning of the towel that was wrapped under hide’s CHIN (NOT around his neck) and tied to the door knob and NOT in a noose-like method which is what is popularly thought and common in suicides. The positioning of the towel is identical to the process of the traction procedure so it is thought by fans that it was an accident.
-Although this is a common idea, it has no basis and is only said online by trolls to piss off X Japan and hide fans or by people who barely know anything about the situation. As my friend says 「ありえない！！」/ Unbelievable. But honestly in my opinion there is no basis for it for one particular reason: when the police had seen hide at the scene they automatically ruled it a suicide with barely any investigation. If there had been anything to hint at this theory then they wouldn’t have ruled suicide so quickly. If there was any evidence for this theory then they would’ve investigated further. Honestly I really wish this theory would stop coming up because it’s so baseless and stupid.
-Mayuko was a fan of hide who had contracted GM1 gangliosidosis type 3 which is an inherited disorder that progressively destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Most individuals with type III are of Japanese descent. Life expectancy is varied for type 3 however Mayuko had contacted Make A Wish Foundation and requested to meet her idol, hide. hide had seemed to become attached to Mayuko and would visit her, send her presents, letters and pictures, take her to his shows and even eventually donated his bone marrow to save her life. Many people (fans and hide’s family) had claimed that hide was so protective of her that he wouldn’t commit suicide and leave her alone. She died on September 30th 2009 at 28 years old.
Remake of X Japan in the year 2000.
-This is true and was confirmed by Yoshiki in his biography. Toshi had left the band at the time and hide and Yoshiki were actively seeking new vocalists for X Japan. hide had corresponded many times with Yoshiki with suggestions for vocalists.
-In Taiji’s biography before he passed, he also claimed that hide’s death could have been due to an accident from a stretch/massage for the shoulders of guitarists.
-Toshi has claimed in his book that he believed that it wasn’t suicide even when he was told of hide’s cause of death for the first time.
-Yoshiki has repeatedly claimed things such as “He wasn’t the type to commit suicide” and “He was always so happy, so I want to believe it was an accident”
Interview with X Japan members (Toshi, Heath, Pata, Yoshiki)
This interview was done on May 6th, 1998 on the day of hide’s wake.
Interviewer: Why do you think hide chose to commit suicide?
Yoshiki: I still believe at this time that it is an accident. He was truly the kind of person to be level-headed and thought about anything/consequences deeply.
Interviewer: He didn’t have any troubles at all?
Yoshiki: We are all human so, I think this is true for anyone that sometimes we lose sight of ourselves and become depressed. But, he always called me when that happened, it was very normal of him so… (tears)
Interviewer: When was the last time that he called you?
Yoshiki: I think it was about 1 1/2 to 2 months ago.
Interviewer: What did you talk about?
Yoshiki: Toshi is here, so this might be rude to say but, last year, after Toshi’s withdraw from the band, the rest of us concluded that we would continue X. However, we had a responsibility to the fans to replace the band’s vocalist. We decided to put that on hold and for the time being dissolve the band. But, by the year 2000, we would add a new member. We had promised each other, so we had been talking about the future of the second X Japan.
Interviewer: Have you heard anything about hide going to Los Angeles and becoming angry about him not progressing with his recordings?
Yoshiki: No, I think it’s difficult to make hide angry. He was truly a warmhearted, an open-minded kind person.
Interviewer: Did he have stress from being too busy?
Yoshiki: He was a person who was very skilled at controlling himself, the complete opposite of me. He would consult with the schedule himself with his staff. Because he’s the enthusiastic type, I think there were times where he overloaded himself, but I think he wasn’t the type to be bothered by that kind of thing.
Interviewer: Since he was drinking, do you think that he might have done it to play a joke?
Yoshiki: To say that he did it as a joke would make me feel so sorry for hide, but that is something to think about.
Interviewer: I would like a word from the other members.
Pata: He was the kind of guy that hated a gloomy atmosphere, but if I told everyone “be happy”, it is strange, but, I think, I want us to send him off warmly.
Toshi: … I don’t really have words to say… words to express this feeling, I want to convey what I feel in my heart… I think I want to send that to him.
Heath: This is really difficult but, in remembrance of hide’s character, I think I want to send him off warmly. And also, this incredible sorrow might be difficult to erase but, I also want the fans to try their best to send of hide in good spirits together with us.
Yoshiki: Because Toshi could not say much, I will say something, but, during Tokyo Dome, when we embraced on stage, we promised each other “even if the band is dissolved, let’s keep being close friends”. This was the same feeling for hide as well. Our friendship with Toshi will not change.
Interviewer: What about copy suicides?
Yoshiki: Please never do such a thing. I think hide would be the saddest to see that. Even now, I want them to give him the last honor as a musician with their whole body. I want you all to participate in the funeral tomorrow. Without suffering alone, I want you all to send off hide on his final trip.
Interviewer: There was a fan, a young woman, who screamed “I have lost my reason to be alive”. What do you say to her?
Yoshiki: I myself thought, even now, ‘would hide be pleased if I took that kind of action?’, ‘if I took some kind of action, would that make hide grieve?’. It is the same for fans. Because in your heart, hide is still alive, I want you to stop doing things that will hurt him. To think that you’re not worth being alive… I understand that feeling very well, everyone experiences sadness, even now I want you to be strong. Truly, even now, I think we have over and over done things that has confused all our fans. Up till now, this is the hardest obstacle yet, and I want us to do our best and overcome it. Let’s support each other. We can do anything.
Interviewer: hide-san’s life was so short, only 33 years. Yoshiki-san, you shared 1/3 of his life with him. What kind of man, musician, was he?
Yoshiki: I can’t express it with one word. From the time we first met, he was a wonderful talent and more than that, a wonderful person. Even when I myself had been down, he was always calm, accepted the matter and helped me overcome it. No matter what, he let me have the last decision “I will leave it to you Yoshiki”, “I believe in Yoshiki”, was what he said to me. It’s painful that this time the decision wasn’t left to me huh… As a friend, and as a musician he was splendid. I even think that he will be watching over his fan’s happiness.
Interviewer: Toshi-san, do you have some kind of memory, or something you two always talked about?
Toshi: Right… he had called me and we talked about the bands succession, we exchanged a few words but, we usually just talked casually, we talked a lot like that.
Interviewer: What kind of person was he?
Toshi: I guess, for a long time, we experienced so many things together, because we were band-mates… It’s so hard to make words…
(Yoshiki puts his hand on Toshi’s back to encourage him)
Feel free to write comments but keep the conversation civil please.
For me, I want to believe that hide’s death was an accident. It actually really bothers me when people say that hide’s death was a suicide as if they’re so sure. As for the evidence provided, the biggest evidence to me is the way the towel was wrapped around his neck because it was the same as the procedure of stretching out the neck recommended by doctors to him rather than the way most people commit suicide which is to tie in a noose like fashion. It’s a bit hard to confirm if this information is true though because I am still unsure if the police had seen hide at the scene. He was still alive at the time so it seems that the woman who lived with him took him off the door knob before police could see what he looked like. Which when after she was questioned the police deemed it a suicide. Therefore it appears as if the police didn’t see him hanging from the doorknob when they arrived. If he had been asphyxiating for that amount of time, he would have certainly been dead by the time they arrived. On the contrary I do feel that hide had feelings of loneliness and depression although I want to stay clear of labeling him with a mental illness even if he himself said that he is “manic-depressive”. I have no proof of him ever being diagnosed for any mental illness so I’m taking that sentence the same way I hear 15 year olds after they take an online mental illness quiz. This is of course just my speculation. I certainly want to believe it was an accident although my brain tells me it’s too strange of a situation to be an accident. I want to believe his family, his friends and what my heart tells me. It seems that even from the beginning that many people who knew hide denied it was a suicide. I just hope this helps dispel unpleasant rumors of murder and that stupid auto erotic asphyxiation theory.