A funeral was held Sunday for TV personality and gravure model Miyu Uehara at her family home in Kagoshima. Uehara, 24, who apparently hanged herself at her Tokyo apartment last Thursday, is survived by nine siblings and her father Hisao Fujisaki, 79, who performed the role of chief mourner at her funeral. Her mother Ichiko passed away in March of last year, aged 65.
As he accepted the condolences of around 70 mourners, he recalled their last conversation. "She said she wanted to come home to Tanegashima. She said she wanted to be beside her mom in heaven. I stayed on the line until I thought she was okay. I was informed of her death a few hours later. Perhaps there's something else I could have done," he said.
Uehara was the youngest of 10 children who left the family to become a model. Her father told mourners: "I wanted her to make something of herself and then to give back to the community from which she came. I apologize to everyone on her behalf that she didn't do so."
Uehara, whose real name was Mutsumi Fujisaki, was dubbed the "poverty idol" by the media. She became popular on TV shows talking about her experiences with her "big, poor" family.© Compiled from news reports