This is a repost of an article from the Kyodo news service originally published on October 14th of last year.
Publisher pulls Nanjing Massacre manga after politicians protest
TOKYO — Major publisher Shueisha Inc said Wednesday it will suspend publication of a comic in a popular weekly manga magazine after Japanese local politicians claimed it “distorts history.”
Shueisha said it will not publish the comic “Kuni ga Moeru” (The Country is Burning) in the Oct 13 and Oct 28 editions of Weekly Young Jump, which is immensely popular with Japanese men.
“Some people say the photo used for reference in the drawing was fabricated. It was inappropriate to use such material,” a Shueisha representative said.
The comic series, authored by Hiroshi Motomiya, is a fictional tale about the life of a bureaucrat in the turbulent times of the early Showa era (1926-1989). It has been carried in the magazine since November 2002.
In the magazine’s Sept 16 and Sept 22 editions, the comic described Japanese soldiers massacring civilians in Nanjing in China, in reference to the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.
A group of 37 members of local assemblies protested to the publisher on Oct 5, saying the massacre was presented as if it were the truth in the form of manga and that it was deliberately distorting history by using a photo whose authenticity cannot be confirmed.
They said in a letter that there is strong evidence that the massacre never happened and no proof that it did.
“The parts related to the use of the fake photo as pointed out will be edited or deleted when the comic book is published,” Shueisha said in its reply to the complaint.
The Nanjing Massacre refers to atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army against civilians in Nanjing and its vicinity from December 1937 to January 1938.
The Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal concluded that more than 140,000 people were killed. Some Chinese historians put the death toll much higher at 300,000 in Nanjing alone. Japanese accounts vary from several thousand to 200,000 dead. (Kyodo News)
Here is a sample page from the original manga, chosen to show how graphically it actually depicts the Massacre. Do realize that this comes from the weekly manga magazine ‘Young Jump,’ whose primary audience is Jr Highschool boys-the same segment that the shitty rightwing textbook is supposed to be teaching.
The entire 20 or so pages can be found here.
I think that this backs up both of my points in my previous post; namely that firstly, the Japanese public at large is in fact exposed to and open to a range of viewpoints regarding history and are not opposed to the truth, and secondly that the ultra rightists, in their vocal attempts to stifle what the public sees, succeed in becoming the only voice picked up by international media. Still, it is most disturbing that there are a number ultra rightists who deny that the Nanjing Massacre ever took place. Of course their presence on the web is mainly in Japanese, but here is one example in English. Japanese readers may be interested in this detailed page trying to ‘prove’ that the photographs used in Iris Chang’s book The Rape of Nanking are false. For the record, I find Nanjing Massacre-denyers about as credible as people who believe that we never actually landed on the moon. (To be clear, that means I don’t believe them.) It is very unfortunate that the Japanese public is willing to accept this kind of bullying by extremists.