Some Jerk in Tokyo Is Vandalizing Library Books About Anne Frank

Illustration for article titled Some Jerk in Tokyo Is Vandalizing Library Books About Anne Frank

Someone—it's not clear who—appears to be painstakingly vandalizing trashing about Anne Frank in public libraries across Tokyo, including her famous diary.

Advertisement

Agence France-Presse reports that several libraries across the city have been hit since the end of January, with damage done to more than 250 books—and that's just what they've found so far. The perpetrators are ripping out several pages, basically destroying the books for the purposes of circulation. According to the AFP:

"We have complaints from five of (Tokyo's 23) wards so far but I don't yet know exactly how many libraries are affected," Satomi Murata, the head of the council, told AFP. "We don't know why this happened or who did it."

"Each book had 10-20 pages torn out, leaving it unusable," said Kaori Shiba, the archives director at the central library in Shinjuku ward, where 39 books were vandalised at three libraries.

Advertisement

Another deputy library director reported that every book in their collection that pops up when you search for Anne Frank had been hit, and in another area, several books with "Holocaust" in the title were damaged.

The New York Times provides a little historical context:

While anti-Semitism is not common in Japan, magazine articles and books have occasionally appeared here that deny the Holocaust or claim that a Jewish conspiracy was behind various historical events. One of the most outlandish of these books, published in 1979, wrongly proclaimed that Enola Gay, the name of the United States B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, meant "Kill the Emperor" in Yiddish.

Japanese authorities are promising to investigate.

Photo via AP Images.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

kyosuke
Kat Callahan

I can confirm, there is very little anti-semitism here. I'd say most Japanese people don't really understand the history of Jewishness in the western European context. People of Jewish descent are pretty much just seen as white and lumped in with their nationality, not seen as a separate ethnic group.

When I was in Korea, however, and I have no idea how common or uncommon this was, my employers were overtly anti-semitic and the drunker they got at "mandatory meetings" the more ridiculous they would get until they would start complaining about the worldwide Jewish conspiracy. I was really unprepared for that, but I guess it's because of certain strains of Evanglical Christianity which have managed a foothold in Korea.