Kanji Nishio, a scholar of German literature, is honorary chairman of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the nationalist organization that has pushed to have references to the country’s wartime atrocities eliminated from junior high school textbooks.

Mr. Nishio is blunt about how Japan should deal with its neighbors, saying nothing has changed since 1885, when one of modern Japan’s most influential intellectuals, Yukichi Fukuzawa, said Japan should emulate the advanced nations of the West and leave Asia by dissociating itself from its backward neighbors, especially China and Korea.

“I wonder why they haven’t grown up at all,” Mr. Nishio said. “They don’t change. I wonder why China and Korea haven’t learned anything.”

Mr. Nishio, who wrote a chapter in the comic book about South Korea, said Japan should try to cut itself off from China and South Korea, as Fukuzawa advocated. “Currently we cannot ignore South Korea and China,” Mr. Nishio said. “Economically, it’s difficult. But in our hearts, psychologically, we should remain composed and keep that attitude.”

ドイツ文学者西尾幹二は新しい日本の教科書を作る会の名誉会長であり、 その国粋主義団体は中学校教科書から戦時下の残虐行為の引用を削除するように圧力をかけている。

西尾氏は日本が隣人に行ったことに鈍感で、 「近代日本で最も影響力のあった知識人福沢諭吉が、日本は西洋の先進国を真似るべきで、アジアの遅れた隣人特に中国と朝鮮からは分かれろと言った1885年から何も変わっていない」と言う。


西尾氏は南朝鮮について漫画の中で一章を書いているが、福沢が提唱したように、中国と南朝鮮から離れるべきだと主唱する。「現在われわれは南朝鮮と中国を無視できない。」西尾氏は言う。 「経済的に難しい。しかし、われわれの心の中に、心理的に常にこの態度を持ち続けなくてはならない。」

The reality that South Korea had emerged as a rival hit many Japanese with full force in 2002, when the countries were co-hosts of soccer’s World Cup and South Korea advanced further than Japan. At the same time, the so-called Korean Wave – television dramas, movies and music from South Korea – swept Japan and the rest of Asia, often displacing Japanese pop cultural exports.

The wave, though popular among Japanese women, gave rise to a countermovement, especially on the Internet. Sharin Yamano, the young cartoonist behind “Hating the Korean Wave,” began his strip on his own Web site then.

“The ‘Hate Korea’ feelings have spread explosively since the World Cup,” said Akihide Tange, an editor at Shinyusha, the publisher of the comic book. Still, the number of sales, 360,000 so far, surprised the book’s editors, suggesting that the Hate Korea movement was far larger than they had believed.

“We weren’t expecting there’d be so many,” said Susumu Yamanaka, another editor at Shinyusha. “But when the lid was actually taken off, we found a tremendous number of people feeling this way.”

So far the two books, each running about 300 pages and costing around $10, have drawn little criticism from public officials, intellectuals or the mainstream news media. For example, Japan’s most conservative national daily, Sankei Shimbun, said the Korea book described issues between the countries “extremely rationally, without losing its balance.”

As nationalists and revisionists have come to dominate the public debate in Japan, figures advocating an honest view of history are being silenced, said Yutaka Yoshida, a historian at Hitotsubashi University here. Mr. Yoshida said the growing movement to deny history, like the Rape of Nanjing, was a sort of “religion” for an increasingly insecure nation.

“Lacking confidence, they need a story of healing,” Mr. Yoshida said. “Even if we say that story is different from facts, it doesn’t mean anything to them.”

The Korea book’s cartoonist, who is working on a sequel, has turned down interview requests. The book centers on a Japanese teenager, Kaname, who attains a “correct” understanding of Korea. It begins with a chapter on how South Korea’s soccer team supposedly cheated to advance in the 2002 Word Cup; later chapters show how Kaname realizes that South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism.

“It is Japan who made it possible for Koreans to join the ranks of major nations, not themselves,” Mr. Nishio said of colonial Korea.



「嫌韓感情はワールドカップ以降爆発的に広がった。」晋遊舎の編集者AKIHIDE TANGEは語る。 36万冊を超える売り上げは編集者を驚かし、嫌韓流の動きは思っていた以上に大きかったことを意味する。

「こんなに売れるとは思っていなかった。」晋遊舎の別の編集者Susumu Yamanakaは言う。「しかし蓋を開けてみると、多くの人が同じ感情を持っていることが分かった。」


国粋主義者と修正主義者が日本の論壇で大勢を占めるに従い、歴史を正直に見ることを唱える人達が黙らせられるようになってきている。一橋大学Yoshida Yutakaは言う。南京のレイプのような歴史を否定する動きは増大する不安な国にたいするある種の宗教である。

「自信が無いから心を癒すストーリーが必要になる」吉田氏は言う。 「例え歴史が事実と違っていたとしても、それは彼らには何も意味しない。」 韓国の本の漫画家は現在続編を書いており、インタビューの要求を拒否した。



But the comic book, perhaps inadvertently, also betrays Japan’s conflicted identity, its longstanding feelings of superiority toward Asia and of inferiority toward the West. The Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features.

That peculiar aesthetic, so entrenched in pop culture that most Japanese are unaware of it, has its roots in the Meiji Restoration of the late 19th century, when Japanese leaders decided that the best way to stop Western imperialists from reaching here was to emulate them.

In 1885, Fukuzawa – who is revered to this day as the intellectual father of modern Japan and adorns the 10,000 yen bill (the rough equivalent of a $100 bill) – wrote “Leaving Asia,” the essay that many scholars believe provided the intellectual underpinning of Japan’s subsequent invasion and colonization of Asian nations.

Fukuzawa bemoaned the fact that Japan’s neighbors were hopelessly backward.

Writing that “those with bad companions cannot avoid bad reputations,” Fukuzawa said Japan should depart from Asia and “cast our lot with the civilized countries of the West.” He wrote of Japan’s Asian neighbors, “We should deal with them exactly as the Westerners do.”

As those sentiments took root, the Japanese began acquiring Caucasian features in popular drawing. The biggest change occurred during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905, when drawings of the war showed Japanese standing taller than Russians, with straight noses and other features that made them look more European than their European enemies.

“The Japanese had to look more handsome than the enemy,” said Mr. Nagayama.



今日なお近代日本の知の父祖として尊敬され1万円札にも描かれている福沢諭吉が、1885 年に書いた『脱亜論』は、アジア諸国に対する日本の侵略と植民地化の理論的裏づけを提供した書物だと、多くの学者から見られている。

福沢は、日本の近隣諸国が絶望的なまでに遅 れていることを嘆き、「悪友を親しむ者は共に悪名を免かるべからず」と書いて、日本はアジア を脱して「西洋の文明国と進退を共に」すべしと説いた。福沢は近隣アジア諸国について、こう 書いている:「まさに西洋人がこれに接するの風に従いて処分すべきのみ。」



Many of the same influences are at work in the other new comic book, “An Introduction to China,” which depicts the Chinese as obsessed with cannibalism and prostitution, and has sold 180,000 copies.

The book describes China as the “world’s prostitution superpower” and says, without offering evidence, that prostitution accounts for 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. It describes China as a source of disease and depicts Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi saying, “I hear that most of the epidemics that broke out in Japan on a large scale are from China.”

The book waves away Japan’s worst wartime atrocities in China. It dismisses the Rape of Nanjing, in which historians say 100,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese soldiers in 1937-38, as a fabrication of the Chinese government devised to spread anti-Japanese sentiment.

The book also says the Japanese Imperial Army’s Unit 731 – which researched biological warfare and conducted vivisections, amputations and other experiments on thousands of Chinese and other prisoners – was actually formed to defend Japanese soldiers against the Chinese.

“The only attractive thing that China has to offer is Chinese food,” said Ko Bunyu, a Taiwan-born writer who provided the script for the comic book. Mr. Ko, 66, has written more than 50 books on China, some on cannibalism and others arguing that Japanese were the real victims of their wartime atrocities in China. The book’s main author and cartoonist, a Japanese named George Akiyama, declined to be interviewed.

Like many in Taiwan who are virulently anti-China, Mr. Ko is fiercely pro-Japanese and has lived here for four decades. A longtime favorite of the Japanese right, Mr. Ko said anti-Japan demonstrations in China early this year had earned him a wider audience. Sales of his books surged this year, to one million.

“I have to thank China, really,” Mr. Ko said. “But I’m disappointed that the sales of my books could have been more than one or two million if they had continued the demonstrations.”

同じような影響が別の新しい漫画「中国入門」に表れており、 中国人を人肉食文化と売春の強迫観念で描き、18万冊を売り上げた。






「私は本当は中国に感謝しなければならない。」黄氏は語る。 「しかし、私はもしデモが続いていたら100万冊200万冊以上の売り上げがあったんだが。」


  1.  私も電子版でこの記事読んで『嫌韓流』の西尾先生の稿と随分内容が違うように感じていたのですが、別にインタビューを受けられていたのですね。納得しました。

     この’NORIMITSU ONISHI’なる記者(NY Times東京支局長)は反日記事を書き散らすことで以前からその筋ではつとに有名なのです。まあ彼はいわゆる「バナナ」なので、かような偏見を持っていても少しも不思議ではないのですが、どうしてここまで中国・韓国に迎合した視点になっているのか不思議です。

     実はNY Timesの東京支局は築地の朝日新聞の社屋と住所が同じだということがわかっています。そこから中国・韓国→朝日新聞→NY Timesという情報の流れが見え透いてくるようでもあります。ONISHI某は朝日新聞の「ひと」欄に取り上げられたこともありますし()、どうも背景に怪しいものを感じてしまうのは私の思い過ごしでしょうか。


     少しおせっかいですが、英語の9段落目末尾 “extremely rationally, without losing its balance.” の訳は「極めて理性的に、バランスを欠くことなく」です。上掲の日本語訳では意味が逆に解釈されているようです。

     最後に『嫌韓流』の晋遊舎から、その姉妹編として『嫌韓流 実践ハンドブック』が出版されるということです。著者は大手「嫌韓」サイト「不思議の国の韓国」の管理人でこの分野の先駆者でもあるDoronpa氏。私ももちろん買うつもりです。皆さんも書店で手に取られてみてはいかがでしょうか。 

  2. 初めてこちらに書かせていただきます。問題の大西記事を私はインターナショナル・ヘラルド・トリビューン(IHT、NYタイムズの系列紙)で読みました。大西記者は反日偏向色の強い歴代タイムズ東京特派員の中でも際立って程度が悪く、朝日の回し者であってもおかしくはありません。ただ、IHTを通じての個人的経験に照らして言えば、西尾先生の抗議文が掲載される可能性は低いと思います。相手は日本にいて日本語が通じるのですから、然るべき日本のメデイアで批判される方が効果的ではないでしょうか。記事で引用されている吉田裕一橋大教授のコメントへの反論にもなります。


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