A juvenile joke led one publisher to face the wrath of Khan.

CoroCoro Comic is a monthly manga publication aimed at boys in elementary school, and as such has humor tailored just for them. For example, here is a scene from one of CoroCoro Comic‘s current titles Nanto! Dangerous Ojisan.

Further along in this issue, in the manga Yarisugi!!! Itazura-kun by Asumi Yoshino, one of the characters is answering a question in class where they have to fill in the blanks to complete the name of Genghis Khan – or in Japanese pronunciation Chingizu Han.

The question presents the picture and the letters Chi__ __n. After struggling through possible answers like Chiba Ken (Chiba Prefecture) and Cha Han (fried rice), he fails to come up with one and finally decides on Chin Chin (“wee-wee” or “penis”).

Finally, to prove his answer correct, the character draws a penis over the ruler’s forehead, giving him what scholars of the bawdy arts refer to as a “Roman Helmet.”

Again, this comic is intended for boys around the age of ten, so the gag probably went over like gangbusters for them. However, word of it reached Asashoryu Akinori, the 68th person to reach sumo’s highest rank and the first Mongolian to do so. The offended champ took to Twitter to vent his frustration over the defacement of Genghis Khan.

His impassioned tweets have since been deleted but included comments such as “Why would you do this?” and “My favorite Japanese people are like this?!”

To many this might seem like an overreaction, not only because it has been nearly a millennium since the passing of Genghis Khan, but because according to many historical accounts he wasn’t exactly a nice guy and brutally killed many in the creation of his empire. However, this history is disputed by many Mongolians. Even if it is true, what Genghis Khan was and is in Mongolia are two vastly different things.

During the rise of the Soviet Union, Mongolia became something of an oppressed satellite state much like Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The ruling government was closely linked with the USSR and downplayed any discussion of Genghis Khan as part of efforts keep the people in line.

However, around the same time that the USSR collapsed in the 90s, there was a large resurgence of Genghis Khan admiration. He became a symbol of the nation’s strength and independence, and as a result he has become more that just a historical figure. He is the embodiment of their pride.

▼ Genghis Khan’s likeness can be seen everywhere in Mongolia from
food to money to monuments — even the occasional mountain.


In light of this, it’s probably wise that CoroCoro Comic officially apologized for the joke in a statement made on 23 February.

“About the Yarisugi!!! Itazura-kun which appeared in the March issue of CoroCoro Comic released on 15 February, and the inappropriate expression about Mongolian hero, Genghis Khan, we deeply apologize to everyone who adores Genghis Khan, including the people of Mongolia, for causing offense.

In order not to cause such a situation again, we will deepen our knowledge about Mongolian history and culture and show more consideration from now on.

In addition, on 23 February, we will apologize directly to the Consulate General of Mongolia Dambadarjaa Batjargal.”

They weren’t alone either. Other Japanese people also quickly took to the internet to say they were sorry.

“I apologize on behalf of Japanese people.”
“Everyone in Mongolia, I’m truly sorry.”
“Please don’t think that all Japanese people are like this.”

In their defense, the joke in the comic was more directed at the character’s lack of knowledge and comically poor ability to fake his way through a test than a direct assault on the main source of national pride in Mongolia.

Nevertheless, before making terrible dick jokes regarding another culture in any form, it is definitely advisable to do due research beforehand in order to avoid these kinds of unintended insults.

Once again, leave it to sumo wrestlers to show us the way.

Source: Huffington Post
Top image: Wikipedia
Inset images: SoraNews24 (unless otherwise noted)
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