The Death of Ai Iijima, the End of an Era

For many men in Taiwan, this Christmas Eve was a day of regret and disappointment. It is not because that at this eve some of us would need to spend a significant amount money to please our lovers–thanks to the endless bombing from merchants and commercials. And neither it is because that others would be upset due to lack of lovers for the holiday–yes, for most people, Christmas in Taiwan is more like Valentine's Day–perhaps the forth or the fifth one. It is that in the era of closure on any discussion of sex issues, an ex-AV porno Japanese actress who accompanied us during much of our private time, and later successfully transformed into an entertainer in show business, was found dead in the afternoon at her house in Shibuya, Tokyo: her name is Ai Iijima.

This sad news soon was circulated on twitter. At the moment many did not know that she had been dead for several days and they sighed, thinking that she must be too lonely(to commit suicide on Christmas Eve). As more news were followed up, they started to realize that she was dead much earlier. On the day of Christmas, mainstream newspapers in Taiwan reported this event on front-pages or with the largest cover (besides the gift pandas from mainland China). Many male bloggers also expressed their sorry on hearing this news.

One of the most popular Taiwanese blog which discusses Japanese Adult Video exclusively, AV NO.1, published a breaking news and analysis at the very moment:

事實上飯島愛近年一直承受著心理和生理的雙重創傷,當初她自演藝圈引退的理由是「腎功能障礙」以及「背痛」,也傳出過因為「精神 官能症」而困擾;但在日本網友以及部分媒體的渲染之下卻變成了「性病」、「AIDS」,再加上自從走紅後她一直飽受流言攻擊,包括過去在酒店上班的同僚爆 料、同時還有她投資失敗身負 巨債等等,所以自從傳出死亡的消息之後,一般日本媒體多半猜測她是自殺身亡(目前還沒有確定,日本警方還在找尋自殺或他殺的證據)

Actually Ai Iijima has been undertaking mental and physiological traumas. When she retired from the entertainment business, her reasons are “bad kidney” and “ache on the back”, and some said she was also bothered by “psychosis”; however, played up by Japanese netizens and certain media, these reasons became “venereal disease” and “AIDS.” While at the same time she was often attacked by rumors, including her past colleagues at night clubs and others saying that she failed in investment and therefore shouldered huge debt. Because of all these, ever since her death was reported, most Japanese media suspected that she committed suicide. (By far we still are not sure about it since the Japanese police are still looking for evidence of suicide or murder.)

Movie and politics blogger Sean Woo reflected his encounter with Ai Iijima:

我的女優初體驗,就是飯島愛給的。那是錄影帶與倒帶機還存在的時代,錄影帶會發黴,還需要清黴菌的藥水。高二的某天,我拿到飯島 愛的片,那時的我交過女友、只看過寫真,那時最紅的叫做李麗珍,在此以外,我對性愛僅有概念、缺乏體驗,甚至沒有最簡單的視覺經驗,三級片並不算數,有個 自認為這方面很強——個人推測是嘴砲——的同學把飯島愛的片交給我,囑咐我一定要看,似乎看了人生就會轉彎似的,我當然是恭敬不如從命。 ……

The first porno actress I know is Ai Iijima. Back to the age when VHS and rewind machines still existed, and VHS tapes always got mildewed and needed special chemical liquid to clean it. One regular day in my senior high, I got a tape of Ai Iijima. At the time, I had had girlfriends, watched a certain seducing photosshashinshū, as I can recalled that the hottest name is Loletta Lee; other than that, all I knew about sex was just concepts and without even the simplest visual experience at all–except some R-level films. One of my classmates claimed that he was quite experienced in sex–but I thought he was merely exaggerating–gave me the film of Ai Iijima, and said that I must see it. It seemed that after watching it my life would head for another total different course, and surely I would obey his request.

高中畢業後,就不聽到飯島愛的名字了,畢竟,女優界人才輩出、不像台灣偶像界幾年都不求長進,後進太多、前輩光彩立刻被壓過,要 不是飯島愛後來轉型成功,只怕她也會被淹沒在人肉的洪流中。不過,就像宮澤裡惠代表著全裸寫真的濫觴,飯島愛也是另一種始祖,五、六年級生不可能不知道的 名字,更是許多國、高中男生曾經幻想、膜拜、憧憬的理想(洩慾)對象,相信我,這其中必然包含了某種愛,雖然這個愛包含的是鹹濕與猥褻。

I had not heard of the name of Ai Iijima ever since I graduate from high school; after all, you know, the world of porno actresses is “abundant with new talents”–not like the Taiwanese idolsphere where no such thing called as advance. In the world of porno business, too many juniors push and step across seniors’ glory. Had not Ai Iijima transformed successfully, she too would be drowned in the torrent of flesh and desire. However, just like Miyazawa Rie is the beginner of whole-naked photos shashinshū, Ai Iijima is also a primogenitor of another kind. Her name is known by all 60's and 70's, and she is the (sex) idol that many junior and senior high boys had fantasized, worshiped, and admired to. Believe me, there is love in this admiration, even though this love contains erotism and obscenity.


But whose youth does not have this kind of love?


Farewell for good, Ai Iijima, and I'll remember your love forever.

The representative of the Otaku community in Taiwan, Lucifer, used a lot of photos to memorizemuse over this Japanese actress who was so important to many men in Taiwan. In his post, he quoted a paragraph in classical Chinese written by netjedi from PTT Bulletin Board Service(BBS):

wangchingyu(萬金油) has a question for Ai Iijima:

如果飯島愛知道這麼多人愛她,她還會想死嗎? (如果她是自殺的話)又或者是,其實她看穿了,所有的愛和目光都是虛妄的,死前的最後一眼,她看到的是什麼,想到的又是什麼? 如果死因是自殺的話。

If Ai Iijima had known that there were so many people loving her, would death still be her choice (if she did commit suicide)? Or, perhaps that she had just seen through all these love and attention and known these were nothing but fantasy; and then, what did she see last and what was she thinking of at the moment?–again, if she did commit suicide.

And even though Carol is a straight woman, she too writes a piece to grieve over the artist who brought her much and much happiness:

有人說上帝要了飯島愛當聖誕禮物,所以她離開人世,我好奇的是愛姐到底是去娛樂上帝還是去與閻王廝守,whatever,日本藝 能界沒有愛姐的毒言毒語,真是一大憾事。

Someone said that God has taken Ai Iijima as a Christmas gift, therefore she left us. What I am curious of is whether she went to entertain God in Heaven or to accompany the god of Hell? It is such a regret for Japanese entertainment business without the spicy words from her.


Sister Ai, thanks for bringing me years of happiness–well guys, please do not think awry, I am talking about the fun we had been together in the TV show, not in the AV films. If you are 2000 feet high in the heaven, I wish that you have a freer and more confortable life in your next life.

In addition to huge reaction from Taiwanese blogosphere , China blog “Tsao Bian Won Shih”(槽邊往事) and HK blog “Those were the days” also talked about this at the angle of “end of puberty“(zhs) and “collective memory of HK male“(zht).

From being despised to memorized, Ai Iijima is indeed a miracle of Japanese Adult Video. After successfully transformed into a writer and entertainer of popularity, she is also the model for many. Yet no memory could be enough for a precious life–goodbye, Ai Iijima.


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