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On the evening of May 2, 1998, as most of Japan was basking in the annual Golden Week holidays, a few dozen young women had gathered outside an apartment building in Tokyo’s Minamiazabu neighborhood.

Earlier that day, the musician Hideto Matsumoto, better known by his stage name hide, had returned to his home there after a night out drinking with members of his band at the time, Spread Beaver. An hour later, his girlfriend found him slumped with his head hanging from a ripped towel tied to a doorknob. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but pronounced dead just before 9 a.m.

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