Japanese Law Office Receives Bomb Threat Following Touhou Project Fans' Trademark Rights Controversy
posted on by Alex Mateo
The Mainichi reported on Tuesday that in the early morning of May 16, a person sent a bomb threat to the Kai Intellectual Property Law Office in the Chiba Prefecture city of Sakura. This news followed after YouTuber Yuzuha on May 15 registered the trademark of "Yukkuri Chabangeki," which refers to disembodied head versions of characters from ZUN's Touhou Project that are made by fans.
Yuzuha first claimed on Twitter that fans would have to pay 100,000 yen (about US$770) for a license agreement. She later retracted that statement, but still claimed trademark rights. However, fans criticized Yuzuha because as of October 2020, YouTube channel Touhou Danmaku Kagura staff had confirmed with the ASCII art creator, the illustrator, and ZUN that anyone could freely use "Yukkuri Chabangeki."
Yuzuha had sent request for trademark in September 2021. The law office that received the threat applied for trademark registration on behalf of Yuzuha. As a result, multiple fans have called and emailed the law office, and formed a petition against Yuzuha's trademark. Subsequently, a person, who claimed that they were involved in this matter surrounding Yuzuha, sent a message to a web portal around the law office's area that read "Multiple bombs have been placed there. They will explode around 3 p.m." The Yamaman Yukarigaoka Line and the community Koala Bus were temporarily suspended on May 16 at around 2:00 p.m. The law office posted on their website that same day, "We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by not knowing that the trademark is beloved by everyone."
Numerous videos online on YouTube, Niconico Video, and other services use "Yukkuri Chabangeki," along with text-to-speech technology for narration.
Dwango Co. senior managing director and chief operating officer Shigetaka Kurita revealed that he is consulting a law firm on behalf of Niconico Video, and he will give the company's official view by May 21.
Source: The Mainichi