The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff, our affiliates and/or partners.

Mitsuo Terada has cancer. Who you may ask? You probably are more familiar with this man by his stage name of Tsunku. Yes, that guy. Now the light bulbs are going off.

Earlier this week on his blog he announced that he has been diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer and he will be putting his career on hold for treatment. Those who follow Hello! Project may have noticed that Tsunku’s voice has become somewhat raspier over the years and his singing abilities have diminished. Well now you know why.

Are you expecting me to tear into this man saying that cancer is nature’s payback for taking Hello! Project down the proverbial shitter. That would be expected given my own views on the current state of the organization right?

Contrary to popular belief I am not a heartless bastard devoid of any human emotion and despite any disagreements I may have with his Puff Daddy-like spotlight grabbing, recent musical direction for H!P groups and strangely pre-teen girlish lyrics for a middle aged man; I truly hope that Tsunku defeats cancer.

From my own personal experience I can say that cancer is an ugly disease. It whittles once strong and vibrant people into frail and weak shells of their former selves. The emotional burden is a lot to bear for those who suffer from it and for those who love and support those who have it. I hope dude has enough strength for the battle ahead, especially if he has to go through chemotherapy.

I owe a small debt of gratitude to Tsunku for creating one of the groups that was my part of my introduction to the world of J-Pop and idols, Morning Musume. Without them (and by extension the rest of Hello! Project) I probably would not be so knee deep in this strange universe of idol fandom. I can’t imagine what my musical world or even my current life style would be like otherwise.

So best wishes and hopefully a healthy recovery to one of the more colorful figures in the world of Japanese music. For now, some of us are just going to have to find a new punching bag.