Given the recent state of relations between Japan and former colonies China and South Korea, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Japanese citizens aren’t all that fond of their neighbors as well. One proof of that is the emerging popularity of a “genre” of books and magazine articles that have an obviously anti-China and South Korea stance.
Bookstores and publishers are taking advantage of the current popularity of these kinds of literature by setting up special displays in-store and by specializing in articles that cater to an audience that is eager to get hold of material that agrees with their current feelings about the other East Asian countries. Already three titles have made it to the weekly Top 10 for softcover non-fiction, and we’re just in the second month of 2014. In the same period last year, there was not a single title that made it to the Top 10 list. The book Bokanron, a highly critical look at South Korea, has been in the list for seven straight weeks now. However, the publisher has received feedback that after reading the book, they now understood why there are a lot of South Koreans who are very anti-Japanese.
The Manga Ken Kan Ryu (“Hating the Korean wave”) series has already sold 1 million copies since it was released in 2005. Readers have been asking for a new addition to the series and it looks like there will be one by February 22. Weekly magazines are also getting into the pro-Japanese and anti-China and South Korean action. For example, Shukan Bunshun published 49 editions in 2013 and all of them, except for one issue, had headlines including the words “China,” “South Korea,” “Senkaku” or “comfort women.” Shukan Shincho had 37 out of 49, Shukan Post had 38 out of 44 and Shukan Gendai had 28 out of 46.
Yutaka Oishi, a professor of journalism studies at Keio University, said that the tendency of mass media to focus more on the conflicts between Japan and the two countries rather than “ordinary exchanges” may be one of the reasons as to the boom in these kind of publications. A publisher also said that Japanese people are looking for works that also focus on the “bad aspects” of China and South Korea, rather than just on what these countries think is wrong with the Japanese government and its politicians.
[ via Asahi ]