TV personality Anna Murashige Photo: Anna Murashige at an HKT48 fan meeting in 2015 | ZhowTV, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Russo-Japanese former HKT48 idol Anna Murashige reacts to hurtful online comments

32 Comments
By grape Japan

TV personality Anna Murashige (村重杏奈) just graduated from the Japanese idol group HKT48 in December 2021. However, the 23-year-old Murashige is now in the spotlight again for a different reason: She was subject to hurtful online comments for no other reason than her parentage.

Born from a Russian mother and Japanese father, Murashige lived in Russia until she was 6 years old and speaks conversational Russian. According to an article in the Sunday Yamaguchi, she used a Russian catchphrase meaning "Hello everyone. I love all of you very, very much," and went by the nickname "Anya" during the 10 years she performed as an idol in HKT48 (and at one point in NMB48).

Murashige appeared on the March 17 broadcast of "news zero" (NTV) in a segment on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. According to NetLab, she explained that she has relatives in Russia as well as friends in Ukraine. She then said: "It is very painful to see on the news that the country where I was born and raised is at war every day. I believe that war should never be fought under any circumstances. I wish for peace as soon as possible from Japan."

Commenting on her appearance in the show on her Twitter account, she then made the following disturbing revelation: "I've tried to not mention it too much and not concern myself with it but lately, I have been getting some nasty comments."

However, she followed this up with a statement seemingly directed at those who had sent her hurtful comments, perhaps under the mistaken impression that her mere parentage somehow indicated that she supported war: "I am of the same mind that there should be no war for any reason. I hope for peace as soon as possible."

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32 Comments
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The premise behind the cancelling of regular everyday average Russians is apparently that they pressure Putin to change his mind.

So in this case, the intimidation is meant to put pressure on her, so she puts pressure on her mother, who would then put pressure on Russians back home, who would then pressure Putin.

That's how people who are trying to cancel Russia are justifying their vitriol.

1 ( +23 / -22 )

Is the internet. You get all kind of trolls, weirdos, extreme and emotional people. A lot of them even use it to release their own bottle-up stress and some just take joy to see others suffer. One thing you gotta do is to never take it personal or get effected by people you have never met before saying stuff about you. Because they don't dare to do it out in the open.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

People who open their mouths just to say ignorant things have brains of evil. Ignore these droops.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

The ignorance of some people would be astounding if I had not experienced it myself from my own American countrymen whom I often receive ignorant comments based on my decision to live in Japan, and by some Japanese people for the same reason.

Stupidity, bigotry and hatefulness knows no borders.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

off course. the japanese don't miss a chance to bully, exclude, ignore, hurt people for absolutely no coherent reason. one bully starts targeting someone, a whole herd who've never even heard about the person follow suit, this ingrained aspect of the japanese culture has been cultivated for thousands of years and it's something we will never understand.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Bronco: "So in this case, the intimidation is meant to put pressure on her, so she puts pressure on her mother, who would then put pressure on Russians back home, who would then pressure Putin."

Nonsense. This is just people being cruel. Sanctioning oligarchs, yes, not allowing sports teams to participate in international events, yes, and then some. But people picking on this young women is just people being petty. It's not like they banned her from the bands because of her parentage. THAT would be what you are talking about.

I am glad she has taken the high road, and hope people will leave her alone.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

off course. the japanese don't miss a chance to bully, exclude, ignore, hurt people for absolutely no coherent reason. 

So of course the best way to speak out against bigotry is calling out an entire Nationality for the acts of a few Internet idiotic trolls? These type of fools exist everywhere.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

HiroToday  07:51 am JST

Is the internet. You get all kind of trolls, weirdos, 

No not this time.

Read the comments section here, on the Russian Ukrainian subject.

These people are ready to Lynch mob any Russian they see as "not condemning" the invasion regardless of the circumstances!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Is the internet. You get all kind of...

@Hiro

Dang. Hats off. No one could have said it better.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Dear Anna, If you are reading this---we're on your side.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nobody should be made to feel guilty just because they want to play Tchaikovsky or drink vodka. This Russophobia trend and cancel culture has gone overboard. And a lot of this is coming from the woke element of the left.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

You can all try and blame this on the internet and claim it is a few nuts.

But read the news elsewhere.

We are now in a new area of McCarthyism where anyone accused is guilty unless they do as told say what they are told and turn in their friends and neighbours even if they have to invent something.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@Pukey and Antique:

What are you talking about? Normal people do not have anything against Russians, they are just against Putin.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

What are you talking about? Normal people do not have anything against Russians, they are just against Putin.

Really???!!!! So why ban the music of someone who died in the 19th century?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

As disappointing as this is, it also doesn't surprise me in the least. Anyone with any Russian blood is basically being called upon to denounce that portion of their heritage or else.

@fallaffel

I wish that were true, and I don't doubt that some people actually do hold that sentiment. However, You would have to be willfully ignorant not to see the massive spread of Russophobia, unseen since McCarthyism.

People dumping their vodka, a university attempting to ban teaching Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky concerts being cancelled, even Russia cats were being banned from cat shows/competitions. Hate crimes against Russian owned businesses and groceries. Facebook actually briefly allowed death threats against Russian nationals until they backtracked that one.

Heck, much of the Russian media being cancelled predates the current Russian Federation.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

People painting the star of David on doors, windows smashed, people beaten up by mobs, name-calling, goading, it starts off with one culprit doing one stupid thing

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Come on everyone, we need to get a grip and draw a line. That line should be drawn way before it reaches someone that just so happens to have a Russian parent.

Yes we should cancel things that clearly relate to the Russian state and it's economy (including sports and arts that come directly FROM Russia).

But we've got to be careful not drift into some kind of witch hunt, especially based on ethnicity.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Ha, the Brits even canceled a musical event because the program contained pieces by Tchaikovsky. That's the new level of anti-Russian hate and idiocy in the West today.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@Bronco

The premise behind the cancelling of regular everyday average Russians is apparently that they pressure Putin to change his mind

...which is about as likely as the Japanese voting LDP out of power

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Situations like this bring out the worst in a lot of people, from the kind of lowlifes targeting Anna Murashige to the kind of morons banning the playing of Tchaikovsky music by orchestras. I’m going to keep my Russian music and my books by Russian authors while at the same time condemning the actions of the Russians in Ukraine. I don’t see any inconsistency in that.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japanese jumping on the anti-Russia bandwagon.

Who would have thought it!??

Ignore the rubbish people, Anna

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I think we all know that the average Russian is unable to elect let alone influence Putin. He is a dictator.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I appreciate that you are trying to defend Anna, but this article is full of misinformation. It would be far better to defend her on the basis of the truth, lest someone read this and later find out things that debunk aspects of what is presented her and think she lied.

I cannot imagine she would call Russia a place where she was born or grew up. Murashige Anna was neither born nor raised in Russia, nor is there any reason she would know anyone in Ukraine.

Her mother came to Japan on a work visa and worked at a hotel. She met Anna's father then. They knew each other for less than a year, but when she returned to Russia, he followed her and they got married there. But before Anna was born, they came back to Japan and were living in his family's residence there.

Anna was born in Hiroshima prefecture because her family's home is in part of Yamaguchi that is closer to Hiroshima city than Yamaguchi city. If she has ever lived in Russia for any period, it would have to be before the age of 5 when her younger sister Maria was born. There are some pictures of her from around 1 to 3 years old that she has shared over the years that might have been taken in Russia given that the house in the pictures doesn't look typically Japanese, but its hard to say for certain.

Her mother's family does live there and her aunt and cousins did come stay with them in Japan for a week or two about a decade ago, however I cannot imagine there has ever been much opportunity for her to have met anyone in Ukraine. I think it may be a stretch to say she even has any other friends in Russia who she did not meet in Japan-- since even if she ever lived in Russia, she was back before she started kindergarten.

Part of what has brought criticism down on Anna is that her mother is a big fan of Putin to the degree they have pictures of him in their home. Anna herself has praised or at least referenced Putin several times on various (HKT48) TV shows. She was even made the Russo-Japanese friendship ambassador at an event in Yamaguchi and met both Putin and the Prime Minister of Japan.

Although it is certainly because he is the only famous currently living Russian person she knows-- so whenever she wanted to say something positive about a famous Russian person that everyone knows about to convey her pride for her heritage, it was always him she brought up. I cannot imagine that she actually knows the first thing about his actions or political policies. It was all about his celebrity status.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can’t agree with banning Russian sportsman from international events. But when prizes money and appearance money is involved for competitors from Russia it should be forfeited and donated to Ukrain.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

If you're American, your country of nationality has caused and is causing immeasurable suffering around the world. If you're Japanese, your government worships war criminals whose rule it is nostalgic about. If you're Brazilian, your government is responsible for one of the worst ecological catastrophes of today. If you're from Myanmar, your government committed genocide only 5 years ago. The list goes on.

None of these things, just like Russia's invasion of Ukraine, are excusable. However, they don't mean you as a person from a certain country should be held responsible for your government's action either, unless you're openly supportive of them, of course. What's worse, she's Japanese. Harassing her for her Russian heritage is not only cruel, it's also incredibly ignorant and small-minded. And so is harassing Russian citizens, thinking they have a say and Putin cares about public opinion.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

These trolls bullying anyone with a Russian connection are just a bunch of morons most of whom until last month couldn't find Ukraine on the map.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Sanctioning Russian state, companies and individuals involved in or close to government, fine. If you have a bottle of Russian vodka and choose to pour it away as a statement, fine it’s your property, ban Russian teams and athletes, fine. Attacking a person because of their parentage, not fine.

If an individual has or does support the Russian state in their actions then it is right and proper to call them out on that (though preferably without childish personal insults or attacks).

I believe the Cardiff Philharmonic we’re proposing to remove Tchaikovsky from their repertoire, not sure they went ahead as the were roundly ridiculed here in Britain for the proposal. A few people sometimes over react but the majority have a more balanced view. BigYen, I wholeheartedly agree with your approach.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nevermind them honey, they’re just jealous

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These trolls bullying anyone with a Russian connection are just a bunch of morons most of whom until last month couldn't find Ukraine on the map.

@Marcelito

Well said and spot on. Absolute degenerates

0 ( +3 / -3 )

HiroMar. 22  07:51 am JST

Is the internet. You get all kind of trolls, weirdos, extreme and emotional people. A lot of them even use it to release their own bottle-up stress and some just take joy to see others suffer. One thing you gotta do is to never take it personal or get effected by people you have never met before saying stuff about you. Because they don't dare to do it out in the open.

These trolls are too cowardly to say these words to her face so they sass off to her online. They're chicken.

> Michael MachidaMar. 22  08:19 am JST

People who open their mouths just to say ignorant things have brains of evil. Ignore these droops.

They only show everybody around them how uncultured, unprincipalled and stupid they are.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But people picking on this young women is just people being petty. It's not like they banned her from the bands because of her parentage. THAT would be what you are talking about.

I am glad she has taken the high road, and hope people will leave her alone.

A bad government does a bad citizen or descendent make.

 However, they don't mean you as a person from a certain country should be held responsible for your government's action either, unless you're openly supportive of them, of course. What's worse, she's Japanese. Harassing her for her Russian heritage is not only cruel, it's also incredibly ignorant and small-minded. And so is harassing Russian citizens, thinking they have a say and Putin cares about public opinion.

There's some Americans who use Pearl Harbor and WW2 crimes as an excuse for hating Japanese. That's stupid, WW2 was over 80 years ago. As a US military veteran, i don't hate Libyans or Iraqis or Iranians or Serbs.

You hate the dictators but not the people.

Bashing anybody for any ethnic heritage is wrong and moronic. It's the personal character that counts, nothing more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**(***CORRECTION****)**

starpunkToday  03:33 am JST

But people picking on this young women is just people being petty. It's not like they banned her from the bands because of her parentage. THAT would be what you are talking about.

I am glad she has taken the high road, and hope people will leave her alone.

A bad government does NOT a bad citizen or descendent make.

 However, they don't mean you as a person from a certain country should be held responsible for your government's action either, unless you're openly supportive of them, of course. What's worse, she's Japanese. Harassing her for her Russian heritage is not only cruel, it's also incredibly ignorant and small-minded. And so is harassing Russian citizens, thinking they have a say and Putin cares about public opinion.

There's some Americans who use Pearl Harbor and WW2 crimes as an excuse for hating Japanese. That's stupid, WW2 was over 80 years ago. As a US military veteran, i don't hate Libyans or Iraqis or Iranians or Serbs.

You hate the dictators but not the people.

Bashing anybody for any ethnic heritage is wrong and moronic. It's the personal character that counts, nothing more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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