2,200 attend memorial service for Ai Iijima

2,200 attend memorial service for Ai Iijima

TOKYO —

A memorial service was held at the Tokyo Prince Hotel on Sunday for former porn star and television personality Ai Iijima, who was found dead in her apartment on Dec 24. She had died of pneomonia a week earlier, an autopsy revealed.

Television personalities Shinsuke Shimada and Hideyuki Nakayama were among the 700 friends, relatives and colleagues who paid their respects at the service, which started off with a minute’s silence.

Nakayama called out to the large photo of Iijima at the front of the room: “We’re all here to re-live our memories of you, Ai-chan, and to send you to heaven. You really did your best,” he said, breaking down.

The service opened to the public after 1 p.m. and about 1,500 people offered their prayers, many of them women in their 20s and 30s. A 29-year-old housewife who traveled in from Ibaraki prefecture for the service, said: “She was a person who was straight-up and would speak their mind. I loved that about her.”

In line with Iijima’s efforts in recent years, all funds raised on Sunday will go to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention. 

  • 0

    maryhinge

    Wow. Poor Ai Chan. If she had so many friends, I wonder why she was alone dead for a week before being found.

  • 0

    Yelnats

    I feel really sorry for her and her friends. She was a real woman, and showed strength. And she was hot.

  • 0

    timorborder

    Good point Mary.

    Wonder how many of these people Ai-chan actually considered as friends, and how many of these folks just attended to be seen.

  • 0

    seggahme

    rest in peace, Ai-chan.

  • 0

    WilliB

    People die all the time, and Show business people are not better than the rest of us. It is spooky though that it took such a long time for someone to find her. It seems she has more friends now than when she was alive.

  • 0

    BORIS_CHANG_LUIGI

    Nice photograph.

  • 0

    buggerlugs

    Wonder how many were women??? Probaly most were akiba otaku.

  • 0

    noirgaijin

    Agree with buggerlugs, I'm sure many were otaku and salery men who were big fans of her earlier career during the late 80's and early 90's. RIP

  • 0

    magpie

    Me wife was surfing through youtube last night on the back of this news going through some old Ai chan videos from her variety days like KinSma.

    Apparently Ai chan was told by a fortune teller that some awful fate will befall upon her if she quit the entertainment industry and that her illness was a facade to leave the industry. The fortune teller could not have the heart to disclose her fate on the broadcast should she leave and told Ai Chan in private off air, at which point ai chan apparently screamed in disbelief and understood why the fortune teller could not say it out loud on TV. It may be her death was fortold to her and that is why she went reclusive and died alone.

    A pity really as if that story is true, she had the chance to avoid such fate and it appears that there were other reasons why she left the industry.

  • 0

    ultradodgy

    magpie - indeed, there were other reasons. Three months ago a crow with a single white feather, clutching a tarot card landed on her balcony.

    So of course it's clear why she died alone...

  • 0

    buddha4brains

    Strange that she died alone so young of pneumonia. I have to wonder if she had HIV/AIDS given the stigma this disease has in Japan, her former job in AV, and her work with AIDS awareness. Only speculation of course.

  • 0

    magpie

    ultradog. Take a look at the Youtube clips. they are quite creepy...

  • 0

    noirgaijin

    "I have to wonder if she had HIV/AIDS given the stigma this disease has in Japan"

    buddha4brains, have you ever heard of any celebrity or any person of high stature succumbing to AIDS or even currently infected with HIV? I would have to agree with you, this may be another one swept under the rug.

  • 0

    memyselfI

    I wonder did she commit suicide ? Because she has been diagnoised with depression. And if she had pneumonia shouldn't she go to the hospital ? Or tried to go to the hospital to get treated for a cold. I had pneumonia and I went to the hospital.

    Many of my Japanese friends said , she had a mental illness of depression.

  • 0

    memyselfI

    I think this funeral should have been closed off. Only her personal friends should have been invited. The media shouldn't have been inside the funeral.

  • 0

    dennis0bauer

    i thought she died of Pneumonia, why the money for the aids prevention foundation, R.I.P.

  • 0

    yomuri

    i thought she died of Pneumonia, why the money for the aids prevention foundation, R.I.P.

    that was the charity she supported

    besides, ive never heard of the Pneumonia Prevention Foundation?

  • -1

    The_Pope

    Most people with advanced AIDS die from pneumonia. There was a TV about her some weeks ago; not one word mentioning her illness. Typical for Japanese culture...

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