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Hinomoto Oniko: Moe Meets Racial Slur

This is one of those times when otaku do something that’s somewhere between impressive and tragically oblivious.

Apparently, as the Internet tells it, there is a racial slur in China targeted at things Japanese written using the following characters: 日本鬼子; it roughly means “Japanese devil.” These characters also exist in Japanese, but don’t come across as meaning quite the same thing; in particular, the character 鬼 is oni, the traditional Japanese ogres we all know and love from Urusei Yatsura and any number of other anime incarnations.

Now, it also happens that in Japanese that looks a bit like a name: Hinomoto Oniko. Which, once you think of it that way, is a pretty badass-sounding name; were it a real name, it would mean something like “Japanese Child of the Oni.” And then you give that to otaku, and you get this:

Oniko Hinomoto

This is just one of dozens (#46, specifically) at the below-linked site; it doesn't give an artist credit.

The page from which this illustration came makes an attempt at aggregating well over a hundred moe-fueled examples—some quite skillful—of interpretations of the person that the name would fit.  #9 is particularly cool, and even includes a subtle tiger-print UY nod.

It’s not entirely clear whether this is a clever subversion of an insult or a comically tragic example of the contextual ignorance that happens when you throw otaku at pretty much anything—rule 34 and the laws of moe work their magic on it.

Either way, it’s pretty funny, and there is some nifty art in the gallery.

[Linguistic footnote: Hinomoto Oniko is the Japanese order; her family name would be the fictional Hinomoto (written with the same characters as "Japan"), and her given name would be the unsurprisingly-fictional "Oniko" ("child of the oni"). The name would also be female, since it ends with the character "ko."]

Video: Tokyo Gubenatorial Candidate Advocates Revolution

Kouichi Toyama is one of fourteen men running for Governor of Tokyo in an election this coming Sunday. The election is shaping up to be a bit like the free-for-all race for California governor a few years back that pitted career politicians against actors, businessmen, and a variety of oddballs. Unlike your average political candidate, Toyama used his widely televised speech as an opportunity to advocate destroying the country and replacing it with something more functional.

His speech, depending on your perspective, is somewhere between extreme activism and largely unintentional comedy, but at least for him it’s certainly not a joke—he was recently released from a two-year prison sentence for sedition. Toyama doesn’t have illusions (or delusions) of having any chance at winning, but his PR stunt has certainly raised his profile—in addition to television broadcasts his speech is all over the Japanese-language internet and dozens of mix-ups are available on YouTube.

See for yourself; below is the entire speech (taken from one of the YouTube postings) with English subtitles added by us.

Toyama also (of course) has a Japanese-language blog. He posted several videos there (also available on YouTube) of him at his day job—a street musician. He’s probably a better singer than he is a public speaker.

Uptade: According to a Yomiuri Online article (J), the board of elections is complaining that the massive response on YouTube and similar video clip sites violates election laws. There is a legal limit to the number of times an election speech can be broadcast, and they are claiming that the ability to re-watch a candidate’s speech over and over violates the laws and is unfair to the other candidates.

Sounds an awful lot like sour grapes just because their speeches weren’t as interesting.

Schoolgirl Foils Robbery Attempt

One would-be thief learned the hard way not to take schoolgirls lightly.

Japan has, of late, been plagued by a series of metal thefts. Though stealing raw materials (believed to be for export) seems like an odd sort of crime, in 2006 alone there were 5700 incidents spread across the country totaling 2 billion yen (about US$17 million).

So it wasn’t at all unusual when a man was arrested for trying to steal wire from an electrician’s storeroom in Itabashi, Tokyo. Except for who caught him: A 17-year-old high school girl.

The teenage crimefighter.

JNN is reporting that at 1:30am on the 17th of this month, the 17-year-old daughter of an electrician (shown here during the interview) was watching TV in her room on the third floor of her parents’ house when she noticed some activity outside. When she saw a man loading six bundles of copper wire and various other components (valued at 11,000 yen – about US$90) from the family business on the first floor into his car, she took action.

The man, who has been charged with attempted theft, runs an electrical business. He told police that he was intending to use the wire in his own business, and he might have succeeded had it not been for one tough daughter.

She rushed downstairs as the man was pulling away, drug him out of his car, and pinned him until the police arrived. More impressive still, she said during the interview with JNN that she doesn’t practice any martial art, or even any physical training—she wants to be a kindergarden teacher, not a police officer.

Her description of the incident: “I didn’t think I’d be able to catch the man by myself, so I was very surprised. Actually, I’m amazed I did that.

“I got there just as he was pulling away, so I started pounding on the car, then I pulled the guy out of the car and held him. He kept apologizing, like “I’m sorry! Please forgive me!” but I said “No, I won’t!”"

That’s one teen you don’t want to mess with.