Manga Creator Blasts CNN For Being "Offensive" And "Insulting"

CNN reporter Kyung Lah recently filed a story on out-of-print erotic game Rapelay. One Japanese manga creator takes her to task.

The game was released in 2006 and a controversy of the game was caused in the West in late 2009. Oddly, CNN decided to revisit the game late last month.

And then, Lah did a follow upon on her original story on Rapelay, writing, that the "lack of participation of women in positions of power sets the cultural stage for why hentai games thrive openly in the country". An associate professor at Temple University in Japan is quoted extensively by Lah. (Please read all of the associate professor's quotes.)

Manga creator Takeshi Nogami, who is best known for Serafuku to juusensha and doing art for the Strike Witches franchise, has penned an open letter to CNN in response to the cable network's reporting.

"I have seen your news report that tries to stir up fear, prejudice and misunderstanding," he says. "I have no connection with the spiffy hentai game featured in your report, I am sorry to say; however as an author of Japanese hentai manga, I think I am well qualified to object to the views you present." Nogami started out doing ero manga, but most of his work now is largely non-erotic.

"As a Japanese citizen," he continues, "I am deeply offended by the insulting implications of that so-called expert who associates Japanese people at large with heinous criminals." He points out:

As this objection had to be put together promptly, precise data will be presented later, but it is a fact that in this 21st century, we Japanese enjoy one of the most safe and peaceful societies on Earth. Naturally, that is not to say that our society is without problems, but to be honest, I frankly do not think that you are the ones to tell us.

Men and women are equals in politics and in the law. Your society and ours are no different there. Moreover, the crime rate statistics for both general crime and sex crime in Japan are, with all due respect, several times lower than in the United States. Did you, for instance, fear for your safety while walking the streets of Akihabara, or Ikebukuro (holy ground of hentai books for women)? They're probably many times safer than the streets of New York, let alone those of the suburban housing districts around. (And guns are illegal, too.) Furthermore, in our Akihabara and Ikebukuro, there is no persecution of men or women alike, or of sexual minorities like homosexuals. We all live together in peace, expressing ourselves freely.

It also goes without saying that human trafficking and violence against women are serious crimes in Japan too.

Nogami's argument is clear and sensible. "Is hentai detrimental to the upbringing of children? Yes," he writes, "in some circumstances it may well be the case. It certainly true, for instance, of that game you reported about. I am an average citizen with a younger sister and two nephews; I can relate to your concerns. And precisely as such, I beg to differ with your argument."

"Those products are developed for rational adults," he writes. "You surely don't believe that a rational adult would be influenced by such a game into committing rape, do you? Of course, in Japan, both that game you reported about and the hentai manga I draw are only distributed and sold under strict age restrictions to adults." In Lah's reporting, none of these issues were part of the dialogue.

"That your children might obtain such materials on the Internet is a trouble for us as well," he points out. Because, he continues, those are pirated copies. "We would be grateful if you could let families and schools issue proper warnings to children. And would it be too much to ask that appropriate age restrictions are put in place in stores in your country so that the rational adults can buy legitimate copies?"

Moreover, Nogami puts today's erotic art and games in a historical context: "By the way, in the proud Japanese traditional popular art of ukiyo-e (woodblock prints from the Edo period), there were many works with sexual subjects, called shunga ... Well, we are their successors. We make works of art. Let me say that again. It is just art. I assume that you are capable of distinguishing fiction from reality like we do. Are you not?"

In closing, Nogami declares, "I do not think that people being hentai is a sin. There is nothing wrong with rational people being hentai."

Nogami's full letter is posted in the link below and translated by website Tsurupeta.

An open letter to CNN by Nogami Takeshi [tsurupeta.info]


Comments

    See, this is why this letter fails.

    It is using logic. Very, very good, based in reality logic. And this logic, is pretty much flawless.

    There's no room for logic in the sensationalist media! They'll just pick a BS story, run with it and shred it til it can be shredded no more.

    The letter makes perfect sense. The comparison in safety between Japan and America is outstanding, a brilliant point. Bravo. Infact this point alone calls out the idiocy of CNN daring to compare the societies or the game.

    Maybe they should be checking closer to home for controversy before going out into the world and hunting it down first...

      "influenced by such a game into committing rape" that will be the only part they remember reading and fuel the fires of outrage for weeks to come

    When did the News stop being about News and start being about Ratings.

    To Quote the News Readers from Dr. Horrible
    "Next up, Whose Gay?"

    "Did you, for instance, fear for your safety while walking the streets of Akihabara, or Ikebukuro (holy ground of hentai books for women)? "

    This is a valid point- crime and the fear of crime is lower in Japan.

    But, see, the thing is, if a woman was raped in Japan (especially a foreign woman), it's far less likely anything would be done about it.

    Example: When the Japanese police treated an Australian woman like the criminal in a rape case, denying her any justice and humiliating her in the process.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=818

    It's easy to say that Japan has a lower crime rate etc, but the Japanese are also FAR more willing to compromise personal liberties and their own freedom for the sake of "the society", whether it is to not report/overlook crime, let adult children waste away as shut-ins, or let generations of family-politicians run the country into the ground.

    This is a major issue that has caused tension between Japan and western cultures for years, and will for years to come. Internet commentators can scoff at the absurd things CNN and co bring up, but Japan isn't a magical land of sunshine and puppydogs and lollypop trees, either.

      I don't think they're claiming its the uber-wonderland safehaven of the world. The fact is though, that Japan, is hardly the crime ridden deathfest that places like Los Angeles are in comparison.

      When you think of Japan, you think of Sushi, you think of Godzilla, you think of Mr Miyagi! All those things... the most notorious thing you think of, is probably Japanese whaling boats...

      When you think of America?

      Gun control. Insane amounts of death each year from gang violence. Los Angeles gangs running riot, rapes, murders... quite negative I know but it's what we see every day on the news, in the papers etc, it's what we hear as well.

      So what are we gonna do when America tries to call out a society for being 'less than moral'? Hell, bitchslap them back into submission with some clear facts.

        When I think of America, I think of Abu Graibe.. and all the shocking american WAR CRIME being commited by US soldiers.

        Most recently, the Wiki leaks video they just released showing US Soldiers gunning down innocent people, including children and 2 reuters reporters along with many more.

        This kinda got out of hand and turned into country-bashing. This is about one dumbass reporter running her mouth about something she doesn't understand from a moral high horse made of paper on a rainy day.

        You're right that this is a BS story. The free media allows them to take liberties with whatever they can dig up and twist it to be provocative. I'm an American and this shit embarasses me, so kudos to the mangaka for calling them out.

    Let's not turn an article about Japan bashing into America bashing now.

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