Original article [here].
A year-end tradition? Hamasaki Ayumi’s history with men a result of “self-production”
27 December 2013.
An update “Announcement: I’ve gotten engaged today, 12 December L.A. time~” was made on her official site.
“Online comments have been calling this a publicity stunt, a marriage looking for attention. The announcement was made on the day tickets for her Countdown Live concert on 29~31 went on sale, and precedes a whole line-up of events like her single release on 25th and Kouhaku on 31st. She may really want attention, but selling her private life like this is too much” (variety show staff)
Hamasaki debuted in April 1998 with single “poker face”. Her self-written lyrics carried a universal message, helping her CDs reach massive sales and her concerts fully sold-out events. With her gyaru charisma, she ushered in a new age in the music industry.
“Matsuda Seiko in her heyday was also an outstanding self-produced artist. But her taste in men was hopeless and she fell into passionate relationships really quickly. Her super go-getter attitude was just like ayu’s. However, Seiko has matured with age, but ayu continues to get herself into troublesome situations” (celebrity writer)
The number of Hamasaki’s romances is excessive. Her romance with fellow idol TOKIO’s Nagase Tomoya caused a great ruckus among the media. They met during filming for a drama in 1993, and started dating in 2001. In September that year, Hamasaki revealed their relationship, which continued in good form for a long time. However, in September 2007, she made an announcement on her official site, stating that “this is sudden, but I’ve broken up with my lover”. The reason seemed to be Nagase’s involvement with another woman.
■Nagase → Jewelry designer → Manager
Then, a Korean-American jewelry designer by the name of Jason Park started getting close to Hamasaki. They met during a PV filming session in Hawaii in June 2005.
“ayu wrote him an ardent love letter stating that he was her “fated true love”, and they started dating. Park revealed that their relationship did not end in Hawaii, as he was called to Japan for a secret meeting in a 500,000yen hotel suite room in the city” (celebrity writer)
Her next relationship with Tim Mcger, her concert stylist, got to the point of them going to Tiffany’s in NY to purchase engagement/wedding rings. Their pre-wedding vacation at a 7-star hotel in Dubai was exposed in a weekly magazine, and caused a huge ruckus.
“Nagase first believed ayu’s explanation that “the magazines were full of lies, and they were just colleagues”. But a second incident was so incriminating that they had a huge fight and broke up” (women’s magazine reporter)
Her heartbreak was healed by Manager Mr. U. His gallant act of nursing a drunk Hamasaki and sending her home was exposed, and he lost his position at the company.
Her relationship with back dancer SHU-YA began during a Hawaii trip in September 2008. 2 months later, it was rumoured that she announced to her staff that they were “dating and getting married”.
Actor Tamayama Tetsuji came into the picture after her break-up with SHU-YA in December 2009. They met secretly numerous times at hotels or at Hamasaki’s residence. However, he proved not to be her “only one”, and was dismissed.
Her lightning marriage with Austrian actor Manuel Schwarz, who acted with her in 3 PVs, came in January 2011, after just 4 months of dating. Their long-distance marriage between Japan and Los Angeles lasted a year.
In November last year, she announced her relationship with back dancer Maro. After the announcement, she learned to her horror that he was caught up in a divorce, and even had a child.
“The relationship might have lasted if the fans hadn’t revolted against her mixing her professional and private life and this adulterous turn of events. They broke up after 45 days, making it her shortest relationship yet” (celebrity reporter)
Maro’s successor is a UCLA graduate student 10 years her junior, a hunk with a crewcut, and the two have announced their engagement. He seems to be an old acquaintance who used to handle her affairs at L.A. Hamasaki may seem in love now, but only god knows if this relationship will end in marriage.