It must have been something he said.

Just when I was thinking it’s been a while since someone involved with the Olympics got caught doing something horribly out of character for it, along comes musician Keigo Oyamada, also known as Cornelius. Until very recently Oyamada had been a part of the team charged with scoring the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

▼ Oyamada is also the guitarist for Metafive

However, when his involvement with the Games only recently came to light, old interviews with the magazines Rockin’On Japan in 1994 and Quick Japan in 1995 resurfaced in which Oyamada admitted to bullying classmates of Korean descent and with disabilities such as Down Syndrome. It wasn’t lightweight stuff either. The numerous past acts involved forcing people to eat feces, strip naked, and sexual assault, all continuing from elementary school to high school. Moreover, Oyamada didn’t come off as remorseful at all during the interview and could have been said to be boasting about the offenses.

After the story broke, Oyamada publicly apologized for his past and said that he would like to find the victimized classmates to make amends with them personally. The JOC felt this was sufficient and announced that they would keep him on board. However, the public was less than moved and continued to put increasing pressure on the Games to have Oyamada removed. As a result, he resigned on 20 July, three days before the opening ceremony.

The ripples appear to be spreading beyond his Olympic work too, because a video interview Oyamada did with Sony about their Walkman digital audio player was suddenly taken off-line altogether.

▼ The link in the tweet now leads to a “Page Not Found” message

Oyamada was also in charge of music for the kids’ educational programs Design あ and Japangle on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. However, on the day of his resignation, neither show aired and NHK is undecided on what to do with them from here on out.

▼ These shows also featured music from other noted Japanese musicians like Cibo Matto and Chara

All this happened mere hours from his announcement, with more corporate distancing from his work likely in the future. Readers of the news were rather impressed by how quickly everything seems to be unravelling for him.

“That’s fast!”
“Honestly though, this has been out in the open for a long time.”
“So long, a-hole.”
“Ironic that his victims are probably traumatized somewhere and the bully is representing the Paralympics.”
“I wonder how many other sponsors this guy has.”
“According to Wikipedia, he also made Coloris for the Game Boy Advance. Someone call Nintendo!”

It would certainly seem that the Olympics is just the tip of the ice-berg, and Oyamada is on track to get the same treatment as other scandal-ridden celebs like Pierre Taki, the actor and musician whose drug charge saw his voice, face and music get purged from almost every facet of Japanese media.

What Oyamada had done is about as heinous as it gets and standard apologies don’t seem enough to undo the years of abuse he inflicted on others. But as a one-time fan of Cornelius from back in the day I’d like to at least suggest a possible way for him to start making amends: He should eat feces live, on stage, at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

I’m not saying all would be forgiven with that single act, but it’d probably at least help get things moving in a more productive and healing direction. And in doing so, Japan would easily have the most memorable opening ceremony in the entire history of the Olympic Games. It’s a win-win.

Source: Twitter/@FeaturebySonyJP, Smart Flash, Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/METAFIVE
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