In this age of technology, people are more connected than ever. On the one hand, it’s a good thing; we’re able to communicate with people all over the world and find support groups for anything we’re going through in life, and we can even watch or read about heartwarming tales. But on the flip side, it really gives the perfect avenue for aggressive, mean, and rude people to say things that they shouldn’t.
Recent tweets by @yaginuma_san, apparently the account used by anime director Kazuyoshi Yaginuma, have been the latest to stir the controversy pot. Though he has apparently been tweeting anti-Semitic content in Japanese for years, he has begun tweeting his thoughts in English in a series of posts over the last several weeks, as well. His tweets were posted in Japanese with English translations, or just in English, although some translations are somewhat inaccurate or unintelligible, likely the result of Google Translate.
Some of the tweets question the legitimacy of the Holocaust and the real reasoning for World War II, all while seeming to sympathize with the Axis powers, specifically Nazi Germany. In the thread that started with the above tweet, Yaginuma wonders how the gas chambers could have worked. What kind of technology at the time could have possibly been capable of such a thing, he asks, as well as why, if so many people experienced it, there no pictures or drawings. He asks for someone to draw him a picture of the gas chamber, believing that no one can. Other netizens promptly direct him to documentaries and pictures in historical archives.
The above tweet is a little harder to decipher from the English, so we’ll help out with translations of the whole thread:
“As I’ve said many times, I’m angry at the fact that the ‘Holocaust problem’ is actually a method of suppressing freedom of speech by taking advantage of human kindness in saying it’s ‘racial discrimination’.
I’ve known for years that the Holocaust and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' were fake, but I was surprised to learn the above reason for it, and that the war was between the Nazis/Germany and the Jewish financiers (aka the Allied Forces).
The real reasons for World War II, which we were never told, have now become clear to me.”
Apparently, Yaginuma blames the Jewish community for the start of World War II, though at the same time he seems to believe that their persecution did not happen. Netizens in both languages are quick to point out that denying the occurrence of the Holocaust is anti-Semitic, but Yaginuma is vehement, despite being somewhat hard to comprehend, even in Japanese.
Companies that Yaginuma has previously been associated with were quick to distance themselves from him and his comments. SIGNAL MD, the company that produced "Recovery of an MMO Junkie," the most recent anime that Yaginuma has directed, posted the following statement in English and Japanese:
“It has come to our attention that a series of Tweets under the handle, @yaginuma_san, apparently made by Mr Kazuyoshi Yaginuma have included anti-Semitic comments. SIGNAL MD wishes to make it clear that it is strongly opposed to and deprecates anti-Semitism and all forms of racism or discrimination.
Mr Yaginuma was director of the anime “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” produced by SIGNAL MD, has never been our company member and is no longer employed by us.
Assuming the comments which appear under the Twitter handle @yaginuma_san, were indeed made by Mr Yaginuma, they are not linked to his role as director of “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” and are not supported by SIGNAL MD.”
U.S.-based anime streaming site Crunchyroll, which offers "Recovery of an MMO Junkie" as part of its selection, also released an official statement via tweet that they do not condone or associate themselves with such declarations.
"We do not support the anti-semitic behavior that has been recently reported in relation to Dir. Kazuyoshi Yaginuma. The comments made do not reflect any opinions of Crunchyroll, as we pride ourselves on our diverse, global community that connects through the content they love."
Some users of Crunchyroll claimed that merely dissociating themselves from the claims is not enough; some called for a removal of the anime from the site, while others vowed not to watch the show or regretted that they recommended it to friends.
News and information site Anime News Network reached out to Yaginuma for clarification of his opinions, but though he was receptive at first, he soon changed his mind about participating in an interview. He posted screenshots of his private messages with a ANN reporter, saying, “When she said she wanted to openly discuss such a delicate topic with the intention of posting it for other people to read, I ran away.”
He later may have been referring to Anime News Network when he tweeted about “that overseas anime site”:
“Um, that stunt pulled on me by that overseas anime site, which is an underling of the Jewish financiers, was done by yakuza in Japan who are employed by the government.”
Judging from Yaginuma’s other tweets, in which he urges his followers to “think for themselves”, criticizes the finance industries, and suspects the media and government of keeping vital information from the people, he might just be a tin-foil hat-wearing, nonsense-spewing conspiracy theorist, but his frequent tweets and retweets of anti-Semitic content are jarring for many fans of his work. It’s especially disheartening when even would-be politicians purport similar claims, and this kind of thinking in Japan has been translated into destructive behavior in the past.
Source: Yurukuyaru via My Game News Flash
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