Man dies one day after donating Lady Gaga's teacup to Miyagi

TOKYO —

A 54-year-old man who donated a teacup owned by Lady Gaga to the Miyagi prefectural government died on Thursday, the day after the gift was delivered.

Akihisa Yumi, a dentist from Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, won the teacup, kissed by U.S. singer Lady Gaga, at an auction. Yumi reportedly paid about 6 million yen for the item in a charity organized to raise money for the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which struck the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan.

TBS reported Friday that Yumi contributed the cup to the prefecture on Wednesday and passed away on Thursday. Yumi had reportedly been suffering from an terminal lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Despite his illness, Yumi had volunteered to help perform autopsies in Tohoku in the wake of the 2011 disaster, TBS reported.
 
Yumi was hospitalized last month when his condition worsened. “He was smiling in the end,” said his sister, Koto Cho, 52. “I guess he was relieved that we had delivered the cup to Miyagi,” she added.

The weeklong auction for the teacup last year drew more than 1,300 bids, and was organized by Yahoo! Japan. The cup was used by Lady Gaga at a press conference in Tokyo three months after the disaster.

Lady Gaga told reporters at the time that she would auction the cup, marked with her lipstick and bearing the Japanese message “We pray for Japan” along with the star’s autograph.

The teacup was one of a number of items sold to raise money for those affected by the calamity, and was the second most expensive lot. The top-priced item was a Kawai crystal piano used by Yoshiki of rock band X Japan, which went for 11,001,000 yen.

Japan Today

  • 12

    SauloJpn

    Sounds like a nice guy. RIP!!!

  • 7

    Pattie Inoue

    There should be more people like him around.

  • 6

    Maria

    What a good man.

  • 2

    Vernie Jefferies

    A true patriot to the very end. He should be honored.

  • -2

    gogogo

    Sad story, rest in peace!

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    Well, good on the guy. RIP. I'm not really sure what a teacup gains the prefecture, ultimately, unless they sell it and use the money for reconstruction and/or the victims, but a nice gesture all the same.

  • 0

    rickyvee

    mai gode, there are mistakes all ovrr thsi atricle. whom edit write this stiff?

  • 2

    No Miso

    “He was smiling in the end,” said his sister, Koto Cho, 52. “I guess he was relieved that we had delivered the cup to Miyagi,” she added.

    So glad he knew he had passed it in to good hands. So sorry he died so young too - tragic.

  • -1

    Steve Christian

    The cup is cursed! Witch!!!!

    Just kidding!

    As much as I salute his philanthropy, is the Miyagi pref. government a good benefactor?

  • 2

    Yolanda L. Ballares

    Sad to hear about what . he's such a good men , a helping hand for the victims of Tsunami,, May you rest in Peace ..

  • 1

    Steve Fabricant

    At first I thought this was the winner of the "weird headline" competition.

  • 0

    badsey3

    The Lady Gaga curse: Lina Morgana

  • 0

    No Miso

    @steve

    As much as I salute his philanthropy, is the Miyagi pref. government a good benefactor?

    I honestly think they might be. He bought it not for the value, but for the sentiment (imho), and it would seem in passing it on to Miyagi, he has a very strong affiliation with his home. From the article, it looks like he was an incredibly decent guy, and I suspect that Miyagi prefecture will somehow honour that in displaying this cup "in his name" somewhere appropriate. they may not even charge admission to see it - money is irrelevant here, someone had a strong sentiment, and acted it out. Bravo!

  • 3

    Fadamor

    RIP to a great humanitarian. The world needs many more like him.

  • -5

    avigator

    The kiss of death? RIP. Should have donated the money not the cup.

  • -3

    nandakandamanda

    His cup runneth over.

  • 1

    megosaa

    this is a very touching story. there should be more people like him! rest in peace and we all pray for japan!

  • -1

    Maitake

    yawns

  • 0

    602miko

    a nice man sleep in peace

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