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Welcome, Kotaku readers (plus: Ishihara is nuts)

The site's seen a small rush of readers from well-known video game site Kotaku, which linked to A dose of dumb: Governor Ishihara's racist yammerings. Why is a gaming site turning its attention to the ethnocentric fantasies of Tokyo's xenophobic governor? Because it seems Shintaro Ishihara has turned his sights on "cleaning up" video games and comics of sexual content – and he's not above stepping outside the bounds of proposed legislation to suggest that gay characters on TV are some moral threat to the nation. Fans of comics and animation are rightly worried by the nutcase's potential influence over the pending Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths

Speaking of youths: What a waste of a youth. As the Kotaku article notes, Ishihara gained fame at the tender age of 23 by winning Japan's top literary award with a depiction of post-war rebellious, sexual youths. He and his younger brother Yujiro (who starred in the film version of the book) became idols within that youth culture, and Shintaro went on to hobnob with celebrities such as acclaimed author (and homosexual) Yukio Mishima. But that's just the start of the fellow's younger-day adventures. He motorcycled across South America, visited the North Pole, raced his yacht, wrote musicals and plays, ran a theater company, and – coolest of all – led a monster-searching expedition to Loch Ness. (A monster was not found, but that's okay.) If those things were all I knew of the guy, he'd be my hero! 

But what a change the years make. Now Ishihara is an ultra-conservative, hawkish, nationalist, gay-bashing, foreigner-hating crank who infamously denied Japanese WWII atrocities such as the rape of Nanking, who told an interviewer that women are "useless" past reproductive age, and who now wants to shield people from pop-culture acknowledgment of sexuality – the very thing upon which he built his young fame.

Take heart. Ishihara is now 78. Nature or fatigue will surely pull him away from command of Tokyo before he can cause too much damage. 


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