Transgender Japanese TV star Ryuchell, 27, is found dead by the manager inside the agency’s office, a day after his ex-wife posted a photo of their son celebrating his fifth birthday.
- Ryuji Higa, better known as Ryuchell, was found unconscious in his office in Tokyo.
A Japanese transgender model and television personality has been found dead by her manager at her agency offices in Tokyo.
Ryuji Higa, better known as Ryuchell, was found unconscious in the building on Wednesday night and pronounced dead shortly after.
Police are investigating whether the 27-year-old fashion influencer, who announced last year that he would no longer identify as a man, committed suicide. His cause of death has not yet been confirmed, reports The Japan Times.
Ryuchell was found dead a day after his model ex-wife Tetsuko Okuhira, better known as Peco, posted a photo of their son celebrating his fifth birthday with a large cake.
The couple, who met when they were 18, married in 2016 and had their son two years later. But in August of last year, they announced their They divorced after Ryuchell said they no longer identified as men, a move that sparked backlash online.
The couple said they were divorcing to form a “new type of family” where they would raise their son together.
Ryuji Higa, better known as Ryuchell (pictured at the Tokyo Rainbow Pride event on April 23), was found unconscious in the building on Wednesday night and pronounced dead shortly after.
Ryuchell married model Tetsuko Okuhira, better known as Peco (pictured), in 2016 and had their son two years later. But in August last year, they announced their divorce after Ryuchell said they no longer identified as men, a move that sparked backlash online.
Ryuchell was found dead a day after his model ex-wife Tetsuko Okuhira, better known as Peco, posted a photo of their son celebrating his fifth birthday with a large cake (pictured).
Ryuchell said in an interview last year that they had struggled with his image as the “ideal husband” when questioning his gender identity before coming out to Peco.
“Being able to fall in love with a woman allowed me to imagine a completely different life than I thought I would have and taught me joys I never knew existed,” they told Japanese women’s magazine Very in September.
“Somewhere along the way, I started to struggle with the concept of being the ‘ideal man’ and the ‘ideal husband’ and who I really was.”
But Ryuchell faced harsh criticism for coming out, and in February, they and Peco appeared in a YouTube video where the model defended her ex-husband and said she stood by them when they discovered his gender identity.
Ryuchell, who moved to Tokyo to work in the fashion industry after graduating from high school, gained recognition at Kapan for her role in popularizing a genderless style of dress.
Ryuchell performs on stage at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2023, an event to promote understanding of life and sexual diversity, held in Tokyo, Japan on April 23. Today, Ryuchell was found dead in Tokyo.
Pictured: Ryuchell appears at an event in Tokyo in August of last year, the month they and Peco announced their divorce because Ryuchell no longer identified as a man.
In the months following their divorce, Ryuchell became an influential LGBTQ advocate in Japan and often spoke at Japan Pride events, but with fame came a torrent of abuse from users who criticized Ryuchell’s personality. television for their gender nonconformity.
Police are investigating whether Ryuchell committed suicide amid the torrent of abuse.
Shortly after his death was announced, phrases like ‘character assassination’ and ‘Ryuchell’ began trending on Twitter in Japan.
Peco and Ryuchell’s son is currently abroad on the US island of Guam in the western Pacific. On Tuesday, Peco posted a photo of a cake for his fifth birthday. She has yet to comment on Ryuchell’s death.
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