News Coro Coro Comic Magazine Pulls March Issue After Controversial Genghis Khan Art
posted on 2018-03-06 00:32 EST by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Publisher Shogakukan announced on Tuesday that it will halt sales of the March issue of its Monthly Coro Coro Comic magazine due to the controversial depiction of Mongolian hero and Mongolian Empire founder Genghis Khan that appeared in the issue. The company will pull all copies of the magazine from store shelves, and will offer refunds to those who have already purchased the magazine.
Shogakukan's public relations stated that the company is pulling out the issue to "once again apologize to those who love and respect Genghis Khan, and to avoid disorder in bookstores."
The issue shipped on February 15.
The issue's installment of Asumi Yoshino's Yarisugi!!! Itazura-kun children's gag manga features an image of Genghis Khan with fill-in-the-blank word spaces above his likeness. In the image, parentheses in which Genghis Khan's name may be written are instead filled in with a euphemism for "penis," and male genitalia are drawn over the Mongolian leader's face.
Mongolian residents of Japan and the Embassy of Mongolia in Tokyo issued complaints after the magazine went on sale.
Asashōryū Akinori, a Mongolian former sumo wrestler and special ambassador to Japan, responded to the image on Twitter. He said, "I cannot forgive this!! Apologize!!" and similar remarks. The Embassy of Mongolia in Tokyo also officially denounced the depiction and posted a statement on its official Facebook page on February 23.
Coro Coro Comics' staff issued apologies both on the magazine's official website and as a letter to Dambadarjaa Batjargal, the temporary charge d'affaires of the Embassy of Mongolia in Tokyo, last month. The apology letter from Yasuyuki Sagami, director and board member of Shogakukan's comic department, and Makoto Wada, editor-in-chief of the magazine, was issued both in Japanese and English. The English version's full apology, as posted on the the Embassy of Mongolia in Tokyo's Facebook page last month, reads:
On behalf of Shogakukan, Inc., we extend our sincerest apologies for the use of inappropriate expressions concerning Genghis Khan in the comic Yarisugi!!! Itazura-kun in the March issue of our monthly magazine "CoroCoro Comic." We recognize that the expressions regarding the founder of the Mongol Empire were disrespectful and offensive to the people of Mongolia and all who love and respect the Great Khan.
We are grateful that this issue was brought to our attention and humbly ask your forgiveness. In the future, we will further our knowledge of the history and culture of your country and make our utmost efforts to prevent the recurrence of such improper expressions.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Shogakukan released the second compiled book volume of Yarisugi!!! Itazura-kun on January 19.