On May 2nd, 1998, Hideto Matsumoto (hide) passed away. News of his death was crushing and unbearable.
Funeral services has been held on May 7th 1998 at 1H PM, at the Chikuji Hongan Temple. The chief mourner was Mitsuru-kun.
~ NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ON MAY 7, 1998 ~
By CHISAKI WATANABE
c. The Associated Press
TOKYO (May 7)
Tens of thousands of young fans shut down central Tokyo today in an extraordinary outpouring of grief for a rock guitarist who hanged himself One fan followed him in suicide, and two tried. Helicopters buzzed over the Buddhist temple where as many as 50 0 lined up outside services for Hideto 'hide' Matsumoto. TV networks went live as ambulances carted away dozens overcome by emotion and the 82-degree (28c) heat.
Matsumoto killed himself on Saturday, leaving nothing to explain why. His group (X-JAPAN, one of Japan's most popular) broke up in September, Matsumoto had a solo tour planned for the summer.
'I can't believe he's dead',said Mayumi Meguro, a 21 years old part-time worker who took today off for the services. She stood in line with throngs of people in their teens and 20s, many in black, many with the brightly dyed hair that was a trademark of X-JAPAN. They waited to sign their names and leave flowers.
Initially unprepared for the turnout, workers at Honganji Temple set up a first-aid room after about 12 0 fans visited the temple for Matsumoto's wake Wednesday. By late today, 26 people had been hospitalized. Police sent helicopters, boats and about 100 officers to the temple. Another 170 private security guards were deployed to keep the fans from disrupting traffic. Alarmed by the response, Matsumoto's old band mates have urged mourning fans to stay calm. They have reason to be fearful.
A 14 years old girl was declared dead today after hanging herself Monday night at her home in Tokyo, using a towel tied around her neck, the same method Matsumoto used. Another girl jumped from a bridge Monday night butsurvived, and on Wednesday a 19 years old woman who attended the wake was taken to the emergency room after she cut her wrist with a paper knife. A monk at the temple, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the cuts were superficial. If precedent holds, more attempts could follow.
~ hide (1964 - 1998) ~
Having been drinking heavily on the night of May 1st, hide returned to his apartment with his brother and female friend (reports vary from her being his girlfriend to being just a friend). hide was promptly helped into bed by this female and, upon her return to check him, she found him in the bathroom, a towel tied into a noose around his neck. He was unconscious and was immediately rushed to hospital, but was dead upon arrival. 8:52am, Saturday May 2nd, 1998 -- one of Japan's greatest musicians was lost.
Police investigation showed no signs of a break-in and the case was closed as being 'suicide', though family members later forced them to change it to 'accident'.
There are many theories regarding his death -- from murder and practising for a stage stunt, to autoerotic asphyxiation and suicide due to depression. hide's friends and relatives claim they are entirely sure it was an accident. Many consider the single 'Pink Spider' (released a few days after hide's death) to be a suicide note, as the lyrics tell the story of a 'Spider' wanting 'wings' so he can be free.
hide's funeral at Tsukiji Hongan-ji on May 7th brought fans from far and wide, many skipping work to stand among the giant crowds outside the temple. The next few months (and even years) were difficult for fans, friends and relatives alike.
YOSHIKI`S SPEECH at the Chikuji Hongan Temple
I'm very shocked to hear about his death. I still can't believe what has happened. Right now, he's sleeping with a beautiful face. I tried to wake him up many times, but he's still sleeping.
Between the five of us, hide was the one who kept his calm and thought out things. Even though I was the leader, he was the calm one who gave me good advice when I was being short tempered and emotional. Of course with all that pressure, he too almost lost his identity. But during those hard times, he'd always give me a call. We would talk about X, music, friends, life, fans, almost anything. He was like a big brother to me and sometimes like a young brother too. We'd drink together and sometimes fight. But the next day, he'd come to me and say, "Yoshiki, have I done something last night? I'm sorry, I don't remember a thing." But this time, he didn't say anything back to me. sleeping.
To all fans and friends, you must all be confused. I also cannot express this sadness in words, but we must understand and accept this painful reality. Everyone please watch over his eternal sleep warmly. (X Japan leader - Yoshiki)