The J-Pop superstar had been deaf in her left ear since 2008, and her condition is growing worse.
22 May 2017 - 10:47 AM  UPDATED 22 May 2017 - 10:47 AM

Ayumi Hamasaki's hearing is “deteriorating,” as her right ear is starting to weaken, the J-Pop superstar wrote on her Team Ayu blog this past weekend.

She has been deaf in her left ear since 2008.

The post — available on a members-only site in both Japanese and English, but posted on various third-party fansites since — details how her condition has declined before the start of her 2017 Just The Beginning Tour, which began this past May and lasts until early October.

“My semicircular canals had blown, and I was experiencing crippling dizziness. I wasn’t able to walk in a straight line, and was often reduced to vomiting in the restroom at the rehearsal studio,” Hamasaki wrote in the post. “I tried to put a brave face on things, but was told after various hearing tests that my right ear (which had been working overtime to compensate for my deaf left ear) was weakening fast.”

Hamasaki has experienced ear issues since 2000, when she caught a cold and an ear infection while touring. Despite doctor’s suggesting otherwise, she pressed on with her tour at the time.

In 2008, she was diagnosed to be deaf in her left ear, doctors saying she had tinnitus.

Despite the recent turn in her health, Hamasaki says she will continue touring, and has no plans to stop performing in the near future.

“The stage is where I belong. It’s the only place I really, truly exist. I don’t know anything else. There’s no point in worrying about what lies ahead. I will keep listening, even if I can’t hear. I will keep moving, even if I can’t move. I’m not looking for sympathy or pity. I will hold my head high and keep going forward until my last breath.”

Hamasaki also wrote in the blog post that her kneecap had given out late last year, and she had surgery on it.

“I don’t want to go into too much detail about the last few months, but suffice it to say that I’m still learning to live with my knee, day in day out. In all honestly I should probably stop performing on stage as I do, but that isn’t something I am prepared to contemplate.”

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