December 25, 2008

Fall of a pornstar

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As has been widely reported, Japanese celebrity Ai Iijima (飯島愛) has been found dead in her apartment in Shibuya. I first saw the story on a news website last night, and this has become the front-page story of a prominent newspaper in Taiwan.

I did not follow the Ai-chan's AV career as I wasn't in Asia at the time. By the time I returned to Asia, she has already transformed herself into a mainstream celebrity - one of the most successful cases of someone leaving the porn world and gaining mainstream acceptance. On occasion I have seen Japanese TV shows where she was a guest.

So why do I care enough to write about her? Well for one thing, she is about my age, and news of her passing somehow struck a cord in me. One does not usually think about dying young. This makes me reflect upon my own mortality.

The other reason is that I've always thought she was very pretty, and in fact bears a striking resemblance to one of my dear friends. Even though I have never met Ai-chan, I am reminded of my friend each time I catch the radiant smile of this celebrity. This is the reason for my sense of affinity. I am sad that she is gone.

No, she was not someone I fantasized about. Having watched the movie adaptation of her autobiography Platonic Sex, I simply wish that she eventually find happiness and move on from what she had gone through in the early years. She will no doubt live on in the memories of many...

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