Israeli Ambassador to Japan Nissim Ben-Shitrit saw a manga with Adolf Hitler on the cover in a book shop at a Tokyo Metro station one day. The manga was a Japanese translation and illustration of the Nazi leader’s memoir called Mein Kampf. Ben-Shitrit did not waste any time to make known his feelings to the publishers, telling them how disappointed and insulted he was.
The publisher and illustrators apologized and assured that they did not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. But since the “damage” has already been done, with tens of thousands of copies already sold, Ben-Shitrit suggested issuing a manga version of Bible stories to balance out what was offered to the Japanese public. The publisher agreed and thus three different books filled with stories from the Bible came to be.
Ben-Shitrit said that he found it unthinkable for an enlightened person to read Hitler’s book. While this seems rather exaggerated, it is understandable how he could feel that way. In any case, his intentions were commendable. He said, “I’m hoping that young people in Japan will be exposed to the heroes of the Bible.” Furthermore, he was not quick to judge the publishers, as he said, “I don’t think that they maliciously intended to publish something anti-Semitic.”[via Y Net News]