A final farewell after a decade of devoted support.

The idol music industry is largely based on a fantasy, or, if you want to put it in harsher terms, an illusion. With their cheerful innocence, idols make hard-core fans feel like the singers are personally cheering them on through the trials and tribulations of their mundane lives, which keeps fans listening to, and buying, their songs.

The truth is, though, that while idols may be appreciative of their fans as a group, most of them aren’t really in a position to be all that concerned with any one individual who’s part of the crowd at their concerts. But Emi Arisaka just proved herself an exception in a very touching way.

▼ Arisaka’s “Isha to Gokon”

For the past decade, one of Arisaka’s fans, a 55-year-old man who’s known by the nickname Okkyan, has attended almost every single one of Arisaka’s concerts. That covers almost all of the 31-year-old Arisaka’s professional idol activities, but sometime in 2017, he stopped showing up at her live performances.

Arisaka was concerned, and became even more worried when she started digging online and discovered that Okkyan had stopped updating any of his social media accounts. Not knowing Okkyan’s phone number, Arisaka was eventually able to discern the fan’s address from his real (and undisclosed) name, and decided to pay him a visit to see if he was all right.

▼ Arisaka’s “Gachi de Koi wo Suru One Chance”

Unfortunately, when Arisaka went to Okkyan’s home, she was informed by his neighbors that he’d been hospitalized last year to undergo surgery for aortic dissection, a circulatory condition in which blood flows between layers of the aorta, causing severe damage to the artery. While Okkyan was eventually released from the hospital, his condition worsened, and he passed away in his home at the end of August. Adding to the tragedy, Okkyan had no close family or relatives, and no funeral had been held for him.

The story deeply shook Arisaka, who wrote about Okkyan on her official blog earlier this week. “It’s just too sad for the deceased not to have people get together to remember them,” the idol wrote, and since it’s too late to hold a funeral for Okkyan, she’s decided to do the next-best thing: hold a memorial concert to give him a proper good-bye.

▼ “Okkyan, wait for us in heaven,” reads the text surrounding the fan’s portrait.

The concert is scheduled for April 11 at the Hatsudai Doors music club in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood. Arisaka has also recruited Flowered Gem, another idol that Okkyan was a fan of, for the special sendoff, and you have to think that wherever he’s watching from, he’ll be happy to hear them really singing for him.

Source: Biglobe News via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/arisaka_emi