May 09, 2012

The Unfortunate Blog of Miss Higashihara

Aki Higashihara is an extraordinary phenomenon and living Internet and 2ch legend. Anyone would think she may be famous because of her commercials or her being a TV personality. Yes, she's comfortably sitting in the entertainment world, but her stardom isn't due to her job but mainly because of her own blogging 'abilities'.

She became notorious on the web as a blogger who brings misfortune or failure to anyone or anything she chooses to blog about. Japanese internet users then began to call Higashihara’s blog as the “Death Blog”,a reference to the popular manga Death Note in which writing a persons name in a notebook would bring death to that person, even Higashihara herself was called "KIRA". 2ch's /occult/ board held discussion boards about it and made a compilation of her so-called "Success rate":

  • Higashihara worked as an advertising model for the Sega Dreamcast; the console was ultimately defeated by its competitor’s product, Sony PlayStation 2.
  • In 2003, she began dating Japan’s star Judoka Kosei Inoue. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Inuoe suffered a major upset against Elco van der Geest of the Netherlands and didn’t place, despite the media predictions that he will win the gold medal.
  • From 2005 to 2007, she worked as an advertising model for the loan firm Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan, which filed bankruptcy soon afterwards. Its parent company, Citibank, also became involved in the 2008 U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
  • Higashihara jokes that she’ll write the names of all horses in her notebook, except her favorite horse “Vodka”. There is an outbreak of equine flu later that year at the Japan Racing Association stables, resulting in all races for that year to be cancel. Vodka doesn’t fall ill to the flu, but develops swollen ankles and cannot race.
  • In 2007, she began appearing on horse racing show titled “Super Keiba.” During her gig as a caster, her predictions for the winning horse were unfulfilled in 21 consecutive races and 38 races in total. The show, which ran for over two decades prior to Higashihara joining the cast, was cancelled three months later.
  • In May 2007, she picked her three favorite horses to win — all three break bones.
  • Two months later, a horse jockey teased Higashihara by pleading her to not write his horse’s name for her winner forecast, to which she jokingly replied back: “I’ll write your name many times on my note!”. Two months later, the jockey falls off his horse and ends up with a broken rib and punctured lung.
  • In 2007, Higahshihara appeared on a panel session for Toshiba’s HD-DVD technology at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies. In the following year, Toshiba abandoned the format.
  • In 2008, she stated that she’ll marry the Japanese Judo star Inoue at the Imperial Hotel; Following their wedding ceremony, a fire broke out at the hotel.
  • After marrying Higashihara, Inoue not only loses the judo championships but doesn’t even make the Olympic team. Regardless, she attends the Summer Olympics, and the Japanese team post its worse performance ever.
  • In early 2008, Higashihara made a public appearance at a McDonalds restaurant. The next day, parasites were found in the burgers.
  • In late 2008, she was featured in an advertisement for an instant ramen brand. Once again, parasites were found in the noodles and traces of insecticides were also found found at the factory.
  • In 2008, Higashihara moved to the United Kingdom with her husband. That year, Queen Elizabeth II lost 37 million pounds in personal wealth.
  • In March 2009, she responded to Michael Jackson’s announcement of the live concert tour by saying that "it will come true” on her blog. Three months later, Michael Jackson passed away and the tour was canceled.
  • In August 2009, Higashihara attended a fireworks event in commemoration of Japanese Self-Defense Force and blogged about it. Two months later, a Japanese Navy warship collided with a South Korean commercial vessel and a minesweeper collided with a fishing boat on the following day.
  • In December 2009, Higashihara posted a photo of her new iPhone in a blog post, which apparently led to concerns from other netizens who worried that her endorsement of the product would bring bad luck for Apple.
  • In January 2010, she purchased a Nintendo Wii and published a blog post about it. At the following E3 held in June 2011, Nintendo officially revealed the next-generation Wii U, effectively ending any prospects for major Wii title releases.
  • In January 2010, she wrote a blog post about her visit to a famous shrine in Kamakura and said “But there was a Gingko store there.So curious so curious...I wanted to eat ginkgo nuts!”. Two months later, the 800-year-old sacred ginkgo tree in the shrine topples in calm weather. This topic was reported by even in Chinese news sites.
  • In April 2010, she wrote a blog post about her visit to Holland Park in London. The same day, the president of Poland and 97 others died in a plane crash. In Katakana characters, Holland (ホーランド) and Poland (ポーランド) are spelled near identically.
  • In April 5 2010 Higarashi made a blog post with the title “Stay Strong Miyu”, telling gravure idol Uehara Miyu to stay strong at her mother's death. More than a year later Miyu commited suicide Apparently, just before Uehara committed suicide, she told her father via phone, “I want to go where mom is.”
  • In January 2011, Higashihara mentioned the possibility of a huge earthquake in a blog post. Exactly two months later, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster struck the nation.
  • In March 2011, days after the earthquake, she blogged about the power outage and called on her readers to joint the recovery efforts by saving electricity. At the same moment she published this post, the reactor in Fukusima Daiichi nuclear power plant exploded.
  • In September 2011, she wrote about her recent purchase of a Sony digital camera in a blog post. One month later, Sony’s digital camera factories in Thailand were shut down due to a flood.

Obvously some of the 'proofs' are far-fetched and even the smallest coincidence is remembered. But Higashihara’s blog had come a long way and now very much part of Japanese internet folklore. Just two years ago, when you Google her name, the usual Biography and photos of her are shown, yet as for now her blog had taken the spotlight.

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