Anyone with even a smidgeon of knowledge of Japan, seeing only a handful of the images being rebroadcast and interpreted by these authors (the images are horrible -- I will not provide a link to them but this Japan Times article does) would know in an instant what these things are.
They are not humor.
They are not admirable defiance.
They are the products of the diseased, restless minds of Japan's worst racists.
We have seen all this poorly executed garbage before. Where the black-clad figure of the knife-wielding militant now stands, we have seen a multitude of modified images of South Korean president Park Geun-hye (and Lee Myungbak and Roo Moo-hyuun before her) and of Chinese president Xi Jinping (and Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin before him). The nation's league of sick hatemongers have just taken a slight detour into territories in which underinformed non-Japanese find their bretheren in prejudice and ignorance.
Consider the alternative explanation: Japan's heretofore non-hate spewing, non-image altering masses have suddenly taken on the habits of the habitual hatemongers for just this one hostage crisis.
Ticked off at the misapprehension of Japanese society I tweeted an irritated conjecture:
I wonder if media types would be so fawning http://t.co/0KZM7XQqzs if they found out JPN creators honed skills in anti-China/Korea imagery
— Michael Thomas Cucek (@MichaelTCucek) January 25, 2015
I should not have been surprised -- but nevertheless was -- that within the hour, a Twitter user posted a hate tweet in response, one that creatively alludes to the decapitation of Yukawa Haruna, the Korean consumption of dog meat and the supposed fates of folks like me who look under the rocks of this blessed land to see what is lurking beneath:
Really attractive, no?
I do not enjoy being right in my guesses about how low the human spirit can sink. I must, however, admit a certain intellectual satisfaction at having guessed the origins of the current grotesquery.
As for anyone seeking to follow up on this morning's entertainment via a malicious email, don't bother. Some soul sent me wonderful malware last year hoping to set my computer to melting or burning. To him or her, be it know that my laptop was a Toshiba. So it ran fine. Incredibly HOT but fine -- right through a Tokyo summer.
To anyone who might wish to emulate that charitable contribution to my computer's software, I no longer open my mail on an any device I would feel sad to lose.
So thanks again "jjjj" for confirming this morning that I may not be entirely wrong in being cautious.