See Happy Science.
Happy Science (幸福の科学) is a new Japanese religious organization founded in the 1980s by Ryuho Okawa, who claims to be the incarnation of the supreme being. Along with the Happiness Realization Party, the group’s attempt to enter electoral politics, Happy Science promotes far-right nationalist political views, including military expansion and historical revisionism.
With chapters in several cities in the U.S., Happy Science is said to coordinate and bankroll some of the Japanese nationalist activities in the U.S. For example, the organization’s former San Francisco director and current New York director Yoshi Taguchi spoke at the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors against the proposed comfort women memorial in the city in summer 2015. Happy Science also supports Rompa Project, a historical revisionist group using manga (comics) and other means to spread its message.
In April 2016, members of Happy Science led by James Iwase, a minister of Happy Science, showed up at the board meeting of the San Francisco Unified School District to oppose statewide curriculum revision that includes teaching about comfort women.
Members of Happy Science actively promoting comfort women denial in the U.S. include Yoshi Taguchi, Mitsuhiko Fujii, and Kiminobu Kimura. In addition, several core members of the revisionist group Himawari Japan are known to be members of Happy Science.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Happy Science openly supported the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump (whom it claims is the reincarnation of George Washington), with Taguchi and members of Himawari Japan volunteering at the campaign headquarters at Trump Tower. Jikido “Jay” Aeba, the founding president of Happiness Realization Party, went on to found Japanese Conservative Union, which is spending over $400,000 to lobby the U.S. government and has sponsored events supporting Trump.
Hideaki Kase (加瀬英明) is a foreign affairs commentator and the director of Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women, a revisionist group. He also leads Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and is a leader of Japan Conference. Kase was interviewed in a 2007 documentary film about Iris Chang, the author of “The Rape o Nanking,” in which he argued that Nanking massacre did not take place.
Kase is said to be the author of “Minikui Kankoku-jin (Ugly Koreans),” which was published under the name of a fictitious Korean journalist. The book glorified the Japanese colonial rule of Korean peninsula, criticizing Korean people for their faulty remembrance of history. Some of his books are published by the Happy Science.
Himawari Japan (ひまわりJapan) is a comfort women denier group made up of Japanese women living in New York/New Jersey area, many of whom are followers of Happy Science. It was founded by Yoko Nagato in June 2016 and held a first lecture event featuring Mio Sugita, Shiro Takahashi, Yasuhiro Takasaki, and Shinichi Tokunaga. As of 2017, Tomoko Kuroda (黒田智子) is the president of Himawari Japan.
Hinomaru Gaisen Otome (日之丸街宣女子) is a right-wing nationalist manga/cartoon series by Akiko Tomita (富田安紀子). Episodes are first published in JAPANISM, a bimonthly magazine from Seirindo, and later compiled into comic books.
The first volume published in 2015 follows the main character, a middle school girl, who encounters an anti-Korean demonstration and “discovers” the “truth” that the mainstream media hide about the oppression of Japanese people by the Korean minority. The anti-Korean demonstration Tomita depicts are similar to those organized by Zaitokukai in reality, and many counter-demonstrators who protest them are also said to be based on real anti-fascist activists.
The second volume, published in 2016, explores yet another “hidden truth” of the comfort women issue. The chapter opens with a former classmate of the main character who had moved to Southern California discussing violent hate crimes and bullying that she is experiencing as a result of the construction of a comfort women memorial in Glendale. The storyline is based on the thoroughly debunked false claim of rampant bullying against Japanese children in that city.
The English translation of the second volume was also released as a self-published ebook on Amazon Kindle platform under the title “The Girls trying to bring about National pride 2.” The English version contains a special introduction titled “For Non-Japanese Readers” which declares “Japan’s nearby neighbors, China and Korea, have a habit of taking fiction and calling it history in order to make themselves look better.”
Hiromi Edwards (エドワーズ博美) is a translator, language instructor, and a comfort women denier. Edwards is a former member of Shinsei Bukkyo (新生佛教), a conservative religious group affiliated with Japan Conference, serving as its translator as well as a writer for Nippon Jiji Hyouron (日本時事評論) published by Shinsei Bukkyo. Edwards, who is a Japanese woman married to an American, studied at Japanese campuses of American universities and teaches Japanese at the Iwakuni U.S. base in Japan.
Since leaving Shinsei Bukkyo, Edwards has participated in comfort women denial as a member of the first Alliance for Truth about Comfort Women Geneva Delegation (2014), the translator for Yumiko Yamamoto’s press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, and an attendant for Tony Marano during his visits to Japan.
Hiromichi Moteki (茂木弘道) is the secretary general of the Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and a comfort women denier. He is also the owner of Sekai Shuppan, a publisher specializing in translating Japanese books to English, which aligns with Moteki’s and SDHF’s goal of translating Japanese historical denier literature such as Shudo Higashinakano’s The Nanking Massacre: Fact Versus Fiction, which Sekai Shuppan published in 2005.
Website: Sekai Shuppan
Historical Awareness Research Committee (歴史認識問題研究会) is a group consisting of far-right nationalists in Japan. It was first announced by Shiro Takahashi in his column on Sankei Shimbun newspaper on August 31st, 2016 and formally founded on October 1st, 2016. HARC aims to collect “evidences” that support its nationalist views, including comfort women and Nanking atrocities denial, and publish them in foreign languages to influence the international community.
At the time of founding, HARC distributes materials produced and previously distributed by Society for Dissemination of Historical Fact and Japan Policy Institute. Its office is housed at the Institute of Moralogy (モラロジー研究所), a semi-religious entity affiliated with Japan Conference.
Board members of HARC are:
- Shiro Takahashi – President
- Tsutomu Nishioka – Vice President and Secretary General
- Kanji Katsuoka (勝岡寛次) – Secretary
- Tetsuhide Yamaoka, Australia-Japan Community Network – Secretary
- Youichi Shimada (島田洋一), Japan Education Rebirth Institute – Auditor
- Takashi Ito (伊藤隆), Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform
- Yoshiko Sakurai, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals
- Hidemichi Tanaka (田中英道), Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform / Japan Education Rebirth Institute
- Toshio Watanabe (渡辺利夫)