Japan: Hitler comics OUT, Bible comics IN

Sunday, February 17, 2013 |  Yossi Aloni

Israeli Ambassador to Japan Nissim Ben Shetreet was recently shocked to find the shelves of a popular bookstore at a Tokyo subway station stocked with comic books (Manga) providing an illustrated look at the life and actions of Adolf Hitler.

After doing some minor investigating, Ben Shetreet found that the book was actually a version of Hitler's Mein Kampf illustrated for children as a comic book.

Ben Shetreet immediately set a meeting with the book's local publisher and the two illustrators. The Israeli explained why the book was so offensive, and both the publisher and illustrators apologized profusely.

[Ed. Note - We have reported before on how in many Asian nations Hitler is still viewed with great respect for being a strong leader, while most are unaware of the enormous tragedies he visited on the Jews and other minorities.]

The publisher informed Ben Shetreet that the comic version of Mein Kampf had already sold tens of thousands of copies. Given that it was already too late to prevent its distribution, Ben Shetreet asked for an opportunity to "even the odds."

After discussing several options, the Israeli ambassador, the publisher and his two illustrators agreed that the comic version of Mein Kampf would be discontinued and in its place would be distributed illustrated stories from the Bible.

It was agreed that the first trio of Japanese-language Bible comics would be "Genesis", "Kings", and "Prophets (Messengers)". These comics featuring heroes of the Bible recently made their first appearance on Japanese bookshelves.

"When I first saw those illustrations of Hitler and his swastika I was enraged. It is inconceivable that young, impressionable minds be exposed to the story of Hitler," said Ben Shetreet. "Fortunately, the book was discovered and can now no longer be found in bookstores. I hope that now Japanese youth will seek out the heroes of the Bible."

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