am so sorry for the significantly delayed explanation of the circumstances,
because I was waiting for the difficult situation change for the better
in any way. These are the background of the sad situation which Keiko
Nagita is living in now.
Igarashi and Asian Dirty Companies
In 1995, Igarashi had started doing business infringing copyrights together
with a company based in Hong Kong. But 2001, she lost the civil suit and
consequently, became no longer able to do Candy Candy character merchandising
in Japan. At this time, she started to concentrate her business efforts in
Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea; around the same time, the sales of Candy
Candy character goods which were without license from TOEI had been increased
in Asian countries. (However, there is no incontrovertible evidence that
she was implicated in such illegal business.)
As is well known, such illegal business in Asia are almost all operated
by companies related to Asian Mafia.
Japan Expo in France and South Korean Companies
Japan Expo is an convention held by French private organization and is not
of particular interest to the Japanese government or industries. This is
because the scale of French market is extremely small compared to Japan's,
lacks sufficient appeal to prompt the government to devote funds and support
On the other hand, from South Korean perspective, French market is quite
attractive, Korean government support to promote the sales of manhwa K-pop
and other Korean pop culture.
Japan Expo was organized by French fans originally, but in the past few years,
South Korean companies were receiving backing from their government and joined
the convention. They pushed their commercial activity and spread propaganda
for anti-Japanese policy at Japan Expo. Some xenophobia people on internet
who are called netouyo,
are extremely uncomfortable with this kind of action by South Korea. In particular,
when South Korean organization which is insisting “Kendo originate in Korea”
attempted to participate on 2011, netouyo's attention toward this convention,
along with their antipathy to South Korean, increased notably.
Under such circumstances, Igarashi who has had a deep involvement with Asian
companies for long time, received an invitation to Japan Expo 2011, then
netouyo suspected that she joined hands with South Korean companies.
And they attempted to take advantage of Nagita as a propagandist of their
racism, because she was the victim of a crime committed by Igarashi in
the past. They
posted coercive messages on BBS on Nagita's official fansite, which resulted
in many readers, including minors, being exposed to terrible, discriminatory
sentiments. Ultimately, the BBS was forced to close down, And there are no
plans to reopen it, even now.
Nagita who is out of touch with the political issues was intimidated by their
posts, and she fell into a state of panic. Moreover,
it was revealed that an acquaintance of her was a member of netouyo,
which schemed to mold her into a propagandist, and that one of the regular
posters of the BBS was a supporter of anti-Korean political activity and
cooperated with the harassment by the netouyo. These facts caused further distress
to Nagita. She was also shocked by how French media reported about Igarashi, and has developed
a distrust of foreign companies.
As a matter of fact, just before my signature-collecting campaign reached
1000 signatures, some netouyo harassed
Igarashi's business partners' blogs, under the assumed collaborators of me. Because of it, I was suspected that my signature-collecting campaign was connected
to the netouyo's political activities, so it became difficult for me to present
the signatures I had collected to Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs and
urge them to take action to solve the problem. When I was tied down by netouyo's interference, Igarashi again participated
in Taiwanese event. And then the solution to the problem became still more
Conflict Between Fans Over Final Story
Immediately following the publication of her novel Candy
Candy: Final Story, Nagita had a positive attitude. She determined to move on to
a new stage in her life after many years of bitter struggle with this
publication as a turning point.
However, a profusion of problems erupted soon after the publication.
The novel had mixed reviews, and triggered a severe emotional standoff
among its fans; there was even some fanatic fans who brought pressure
on Nagita. The Annie Wilkes like fanatic fan said, “If you don’t tell
me definitely that Candy and Terry got married, I will have relapse into
And SHODENSHA promoted the book that the story—which actually differed
little from the former edition—was a “concluding volume” or a “sequel.”
Because Nagita did not clarify this point either, there were not a few
readers who, buying the book mistakenly thinking it to be a sequel, demonstrated
their anger to her.
Furthermore, she had the imprudence
to say an unpleasant subject in the afterword of this book, then many
longtime Candy fans were offended by her insensitive comment about the
motive for writing. I
think she is to blame for the insensitive afterword, and the editor who
did not warn her of its risks will be also to blame.
Then SHODENSHA was supposed to have agreed to Nagita’s conditions
for writing before publishing her work, but after the novel hit bookstores,
they broke their promise and pushed proposals to make money by Candy
without regard to her feelings. Their
trusting relationship has been damaged by the publisher's avarice.
and Anti-Nuclear Power Movement
Following the massive earthquake that struck in 2011 and the nuclear
disaster, anti-nuclear power movement groups have been active in Japan.
In 2007, Nagita wrote a novel called Rainette--The
Golden Apples, in
which the main character was a boy who received doses of radiation after
Chernobyl disaster, and the novel won a children's literature award. Because of it, some anti-nuclear thought she is the very person that will disseminate
their messages. Nagita's an old friend is an important member of anti-nuclear power group, and
she has been helping with that group's activities as a guest, but because
of her friend's extreme and too emotional words, other groups which are
acting to help victims of the disaster in a rational way view that acquaintance
as a problem. Nagita was not publicly making thoughtless statements herself,
but in functioning as their poster girl some have called her “Hysterical
Radiophobia” and she has become the object of criticism and ridicule.
I feel sorry for Nagita who become a target of abuse, but on
the other hand, it is too hard to deny the fact that she has been carelessness
when she is involved in the social activity.
These incidents have occurred one after another in the time
between 2010 and the present, she is mentally exhausted, and she has
fallen into fear and doubt. Since 2010, there is serious emotional conflict
between Candy fans, and even from among fans that were earnestly sympathetic
to Nagita, not a few people have now changed to side with those that
There are a great many reasons for why we should take compassion on Nagita.
She became enmeshed in these ugly incidents shortly after she was mustered
up the strength to write Candy Candy again, so it can be understood why
her heart was wounded deeply. However, she herself has not yet attempted
to give an explanation to her fans, but with her behavior of only trying
to evade her troubles. On a frankly personal basis, I can't defend her
behavior. Especially about netouyo,
in order to protect the readers' children she should resolutely deal
with this, but she was frightened
and ran away. She has accepted the threats of netouyo, and she is very
afraid that her own family and supporters will be harmed by Asian Mafia,
but her behavior is too childish and shallow.
Speaking honestly and without sarcasm, what she needs now may well be
Until she recovers her mental state and can rationally cope with her
problems, it will probably be difficult for her to undertake Candy,
but if she pushes herself to undertake this writing then this regrettable
confusion will likely deepen.