Original Japanese article here.


Hamasaki Ayumi’s Speedy Divorce, “Unable to See a Future” with Manuel Schwarz, Triggered by a Photobook
17 January 2012.

After just one year of marriage, Hamasaki Ayumi has announced her decision to divorce. The singer, who filmed a PV together with Manuel Schwarz (Austria), got married to the man on New Year’s Day of 2011, after just 4 months of dating. This was not the only surprise; rumors of an unhappy marriage surfaced quickly after the marriage announcement, causing worry amongst fans.

As for the reason behind the divorce, Hamasaki commented.

“I alone was the cause for this. When we got married, we decided together that we were going to stay in the US, but when the Tohoku Earthquake Disaster happened 2 months later, a strong feeling of reluctance to leave Japan grew inside me, and I could not imagine myself living in the US. In the end, my husband was left by himself as the days went by. We often talked to each other and compromised, but as I cannot see a future in the US with my husband, we have come to this decision.”

After her marriage, Hamasaki promised her husband that they would live together in the US. However, her job required her to be based in Tokyo most of the time, so she and Schwarz, who lives in Los Angeles, entered into a long-distance marriage.

Nonetheless, there were quite a few unhappy fans who felt that she was using the disaster as an excuse to divorce, commenting that “Don’t use the disaster to cover up your domestic problems”.

According to sources, one of the reasons for the divorce was the fact that Schwarz released a photobook featuring nude shots without Hamasaki’s permission or knowledge.

Schwarz dedicated the photobook to “My beautiful wife, your Christmas present”. After viewing the photobook, which included suggestive shots of Schwarz’s nether regions, Hamasaki posted a comment on Twitter, “My heart was gonna almost STOP! LOL”. However, it was reported that she was privately unhappy with the idea.

Hamasaki will be filing for a divorce in the US today, 17 January.