Publication Details

Sakamoto, R. & Allen, M. (2007). "Hating 'The Korean Wave'" comic books: a sign of new nationalism in Japan?. The Asia - Pacific Journal : Japan Focus, October


The internet has become an increasingly influential medium throughout East Asia. In this article we examine the case of Kenkanryu ('"Hating 'The Korean Wave'"), a manga published in 2005 in hard copy, but available online as a web comic for many months prior to print publication. We argue that the content, while nationalist, xenophobic, and 'toxic' is only one of a number of other, media-related reasons for the sales success of this comic in Japan. Other factors are the influence of online chat groups, the web as a means of communicating and selling ideas and products, and the internet-savvy way in which supporters of the views expressed in the comic communicated with online readers. In the context of increasing fears that Japanese youth are becoming more 'nationalistic' we argue that it is important to examine the medium as much as the message in assessing whether we are witnessing the emergence of a significant and dangerous social movement, or something rather different.