Original article [here].


“My biggest mistake in 15 years”; Hamasaki Ayumi calls relationship with Maro “black history”?!
28 August 2013.

Singer Hamasaki Ayumi, who is celebrating her 15th debut Anniversary, revealed her private luxury residence for the first time in “Numero TOKYO”, released on 28th.

The article contains photos shot at seven locations, including a white wooden deck before a dazzling garden, a conspicuous marbled-paved living area with a huge mirror decorated with her own “A Logo”, a gorgeous room with walls decorated with Chanel and Hermes scarves, and a fairytale chic spiral staircase with a flower motif. Hamasaki appears in each location in a different style, be it a dress or lingerie, showing off her versatility.

This is the second house built by Hamasaki. She talks about the construction of the house, saying how she “cannot remember how many times she had things redone before the house was completed”, and how “no one pillar was compromised upon. [She] bought more than ten books on construction, read through them, came to the construction site and explained what [she] wanted to the builders using the correct, professional terms.” She also talks about the first time she came home to the “fortified house”.

In a previous article, negative comments about the magazine’s feature flooded the Internet even before it was released: “Who wants to see her house?”, “Selling your private life?”. When the feature was released, people who condemned her luxurious lifestyle continued the attack: “Speechless at how bubbly she is”, “It looks like the house of an overseas celeb”, “Is she living in that house all alone?….”

In the long interview, she reflects on the times from her debut till now, and speaks with a clear honesty about her thoughts.

Hamasaki used to speak about how her memory slipped during times when she was really busy, and it appears in this article too. She speaks of how “the few years after [her] debut were really so busy that [her] memories were patchy, especially for the period in 2003 when [she] was working on “ayu ready?”.

“ayu ready?” was a 30-minute music & talk variety show hosted by Hamasaki. With self-created content such as “ayu’s hospitality corner” when guests make requests for food, which Hamasaki makes for them to try, and “ayu’s cookie time” when guests answer questions inserted in fortune cookies, it is a “legendary programme” which fans still talk about today. However, Hamasaki herself does not seem to remember much from this period.

When probed about the reason behind her divorce with former husband Manuel Schwarz, she offers that “[they] were not in love, but only seeing a dream”, and when real married life began, “what had seemed new and refreshing suddenly became unmatchable differences”. The romance seemed to have turned into resentment.

She also confirms that the nude photobook released by Manuel was one of the reasons behind the divorce. Using the excuse of failing memory again, she speaks of how “the book was supposed to be a wonderful present, but it left [her] so shocked for days that [she] can’t even remember what happened”.

Furthermore, she reflects bitterly on her private life last year. “And then, last year—. It was probably the time when [her] private life strayed the most, and [she] cannot justify her own mistakes.”

In November last year, she announced on her fanclub that she was in a serious relationship with tour dancer Uchiyama Maroka, or “Maro”. However, the next day, magazines revealed that Maro was still undergoing divorce proceedings, and even has a child with a model, born out of wedlock. The two soon broke up after that.

“The “time when her private life strayed the most” is probably referring to her relationship with Maro. By affirming that it was “her own mistake”, she is probably trying to gloss over the “black history” which she wishes to seal away. However, Maro is now surfacing in the media time and again waving around his title of “ayu’s ex-boyfriend”, so ayu probably can’t relegate this as easily to her “forgotten memories” pile (laugh)

Also, aside from her flashing the tattoo she got together with ex-lover TOKIO’s Nagase Tomoya, most of her relationships seem to show her as someone unable to love. Together with her lack of hope for another marriage, the revealing of her private residence this time rings of a melancholic mood similar to Michael Jackson’s luxury home” (celebrity journalist)

At 34, Hamasaki is surrounded by her beloved dogs and 2 luxury residences. With her image ridden with gossip these days, will this feature on her luxurious lifestyle of a star help to reaffirm her charisma as a pop princess?