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Anime director under fire for anti-Semitic tweets intended for international community

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

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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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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What a jerk.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

A paedophile yesterday, a Holocaust-denying fantasist today. Hardly the best PR for Cool Japan's bizarre obsession with manga and anime.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Judging from Yaginuma’s other tweets, in which he urges his followers to “think for themselves”

Generally good advice, but it presumes people are capable of thinking in any coherent way. Take this anime maker, for example... It's a good thing he can draw nice pictures, otherwise the only suitable employment for him would be in Japanese politics.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Trying to blacklist the anime he directed is a great way to screw over the hundreds of other credited individuals who also worked on the film. The guy's international career is toast now.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Even if you're convinced that the Holocaust is a total hoax and a giant conspiracy, and that the gas chambers wouldn't have worked, or that there wasn't enough coal at Auschwitz to cremate all the bodies, why do Holocaust deniers never take the next logical step and theorise on what actually happened to the millions of Jews who lived in Europe prior to the war? If the Holocaust is a hoax, what happened to these millions of people? Did they just disappear? Did they pack up and move somewhere? Did they get killed in some other way? Holocaust deniers always point to inconsistencies in small details but they never have a convincing answer for this larger question.

That said, I'm not a fan of holocaust denial laws (which just fuel conspiracy theories). Ultimately, our beliefs are a product of the information and environment we've been exposed to during our lives. If we genuinely believe something, it's impossible to stop believing it unless we are exposed to convincing evidence that can change our minds. For this reason I don't think we should be too harsh on people who hold really unpopular opinions. In many ways, they can't help it. I would only criticise or ostracize them if they refused to seek out or consider new information, but I wouldn't do it simply because they hold different views or draw radically different conclusion after looking at the same evidence.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Here's an interesting page from the ADL showing a study of holocaust awareness and denial around the world. As westerners (most of us) I think we take for granted that other parts of the world are as aware of the holocaust as we are. I imagine it's alot easier to get sucked into the world of holocaust denial conspiracy in places like Asia or Africa where most people haven't even heard of it and it's not extensively taught in schools or discussed on TV.


2 ( +5 / -3 )

Racist scum.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I prefer to focus on the excellence of the art, rather than politics.

Quite right too.

There was an Austrian chap in the twenties who turned out some lovely watercolours.

To hear people today, you'd think that his apparent anti-Semitism was his sole distinguishing feature....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Agree with M3.

Imo the "Night and Fog" doco should be watched & discussed in all history classes around the world. This is/should be compulsory viewing for every citizen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you still deny the holocaust , or are anti Semitic in 2018. You have major issues.

All I can say is ...good luck to you.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Call out this crazy. Dude needs to be exposed.

It’s the same kind of mindset sometimes seen by those who minimize etc the Nanjing massacre during the Sino Japanese War.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What a jackass. Though as some have commented, some Japanese people can be remarkably clueless regarding this whole topic, probably more out of ignorance than true animosity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Uh-oh! Sumwum still gyumpy!

little hint, hatred of Muslim terrorism is not a hatred of all Muslims.

Using your logic, Muslims who denounce Muslim terrorists are themselves Islamaphobes.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I’ve known for years that the Holocaust and 'The Diary of Anne Frank' were fake

I wonder how he "knows" this and what else he "knows"? Does he "know" that there were no nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, for example? I think he should share his "knowledge" on these topics.

I like how he moans and whines about some invented conspiracy to stifle his freedom of speech, then refuses an interview. I think he should be examined by a psychiatrist as his behaviour seems to be evidence of mental illness.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

St Exupery, author of the Little Prince, which this tweet illustration is from, fought in the french army in 1940, went to the US to try to convince them to join the war against Germany, then went back to France to fight the nazis.

This "anime director" deserves a punch in the groin for using his work in such a manner.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Pity people like this get the oxygen of publicity.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Another holocaust denier? How original.

This one’s been around for a while, lad. You’re a cartoonist, let’s have something new.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

he asks, as well as why, if so many people experienced it, there no pictures or drawings. 

Er, maybe because they were all gassed to death. What a total scumbag.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Holocaust denial needs to be against the law and a hate crime

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Holocaust denial needs to be against the law and a hate crime

No. M3M3M3 already mentioned this. Banning this type of speech makes the problem worse.

Let people spout nonsense and then take it apart.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He has conspiracy theory issues

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This surprises me.... not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! The holocaust isn't something to joke about.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He asks for someone to draw him a picture of the gas chamber, believing that no one can.

Robert Faurisson has been asking that for decades; he's still waiting.

he urges his followers to “think for themselves”,

Oooh, we can't allow that...

criticizes the finance industries, and suspects the media and government of keeping vital information from the people,

Very true.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

he urges his followers to “think for themselves”, 

Oooh, we can't allow that...

I’ve found that conspiracy theory nutters are among the least individual thinkers I’ve ever come across.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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