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.

Website: https://happy-science.jp/ (Japanese)
website: http://happy-science.org/ (English)

Himawari Japan

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.

In 2018, Himawari Japan was awarded a contract by the Japanese Consulate General in New York to set up a “help line” for Japanese residents in the area whose children are “bullied” due to “historical issues.” In addition, Himawari Japan solicits information about any use of “anti-Japanese” materials at schools including the film Unbroken or any events in the community related to the “comfort women” issue and any other topic connected to Japan’s history. The contract, which runs from May 2018 to March 2019 at $1,000 per month, is widely criticized because of the group’s political slant and lack of expertise on addressing bullying.

Himwari Japan Event 2016-08-23

Website: http://himawarijapan.org/

Historical Awareness Research Committee

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:

Website: http://harc.tokyo/