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.