Will the TPP kill Japan’s doujinshi scene?

Comic Market 83 at Tokyo Big Sight, December 2012
Comic Market 83 at Tokyo Big Sight, December 2012

1. Summary

TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated between USA, Japan and some other countries.

There are worries that the US will impose harder copyright laws on Japan, which might threaten subcultural expressions in the copyright grayzone, such as doujinshi and cosplay.

Today in Japan, copyright holders acknowledge these expressions as legitimate. It’s up to the copyright holder to press charges.

This might change.

Depending on how the final version of TPP will look, it might not be possible for copyright holders to accept these expressions – they would be illegal even if the copyright holder doesn’t mind. Even if the copyright holder appreciates and encourages that people make derivative works of his or her characters, it would still be illegal to do so.

If this law change would occur, it would probably kill the doujinshi scene, or force it underground.

Today doujinshi and cosplay is a huge subculture phenomenon; the biggest event, Comic Market, attracted 520 000 visitors last year to Tokyo Big Sight, the city’s major fair venue.

The negotiations continue.

2. My comment

This comes as no surprise. The doujinshi scene is under fire both for violating Western copyright laws and for violating Western bans on comics that are categorised as child porn. With Japan needing to present a good image for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, there is a risk that they will cave in to Western demands.

3. Further reading

New bike

Vintage road bike Concorde with red handlebar tape from Lizard Skins

This is my new everyday bike: A vintage road bike (Concorde) from the 80s, that I spiced up with new handlebar tape. I didn’t notice the reflex material on the front tire until my friend took this picture.

Week 13, 2014

Week 13 = 24-30 March 2014

Japanese:

  • Kanji: Deep training of 定・選・和・機・平
  • Vocabulary: Memrise: 20 065 points (N3 kanji)
  • Reading: Chapter 2 and 3 (p. 41-118) of うそつき!ゴクオーくん
  • Talking: Sunday dinner with Kohei and others + wine at my place

CSS (new):

  • First two chapters (p. 1-54) in CSS3: The Missing Manual. After years of random CSS tweaking I’m finally learning it from scratch.

Anime:

  • Hunter x Hunter, episode 81-88
  • Yowamushi Pedal, episode 24
  • Ranma ½, episode 41-44 (S3 E1-4)
  • Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! Episode 7-9

TV:

  • Lilyhammer 2, episode 2

Podcasts:

Various:

Road bike:

  • Sunday: Tempelhof x 11,5 (74 km). Wonderful day, it has finally got warm (18 °C) and Tempelhof was full of people. Passed most of the bikers including Red Simplon and Green Sage until I found a state-of-the-art Paculli (apparenlty a German maker of custom frames, starting at 3 750 euro!) in full Paculli gear and part disc wheels. We took turns drafting for 1,5 laps until I was so exhausted I thought I would throw up, so I quit there. And was soon overtaken by Red Simplon and Green Sage. Then came helmetless Black Bulls as well, too bad I didn’t notice him earlier since he’s the one I’m closest to in terms of power and speed.

Lap speeds in km/h:

  1. 31,6
  2. 34,1
  3. 32,4
  4. 32,4
  5. 32,1
  6. 31,5
  7. 31,4
  8. 27,7 ← banana lap
  9. 32,3
  10. 30,1
  11. 33,1 ← biking with Paculli
  12. (20,5)

ウソツキ!ゴクオーくん 第2・3話

I’ve now read chapter 2 and 3 of Liar! Gokuoh-kun and they were actually quite exciting.

第2話

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Chapter 2 is about poor little Tenko’s attempts to jump the vaulting box at height 5. Doya teases her and says that he could jump over it at height 10 – if he only hadn’t hurt himself and walked on crutches. In the end it turns out that he has just made up the crutch thing because he was too afraid of jumping the box. He admits it all after Gokuoh has summoned the Lord of Hell to grab Doya’s lying tongue.

  • 放課後 = after school
  • 球技 = ball game (compare 競技)
  • 跳び箱 = vaulting box (sv. bock)
  • 跳ぶ = to jump
  • 距離(きょり) = distance
  • 松葉杖(まつばづえ)= crutch

第3話

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In chapter 3, all the children look forward to curry-rice for school lunch. They get very disappointed when they find all the curry and the school cook spread out on the floor of the school corridor. Well the cook wasn’t spread out, he just stood there and everyone thought it was his fault, despite he said he was at the toilet when it happened.

P1120353

Gokuoh-kun solves the mystery in a thriller-like tour de force – and it turns out that nothing was what it seemed! For example, the incriminating curry stain on Banzaki’s t-shirt actually came from Omusubi’s mouth which he happened to press against Banzaki’s fat stomach when Banzaki tripped over him. Who would have known. And yes, the Lord of Hell appears here as well with his terrifying tongue-gripping metal claw.

P1120354

  • 容赦(ようしゃ)する = to pardon, to forgive, to condone
  • 反応(はんのう)= reaction
  • 習字(しゅうじ)= shuji/Japanese calligraphy (which is “a required subject in elementary and junior high school in Japan”)
  • 染み(しみ)= stain
  • 修業(しゅぎょう)= studying, learning, the pursuit of knowledge
  • 飛び散る = to scatter, to fly around
  • 逆(ぎゃく)= reverse (adj.)
  • 悪気(わるぎ)= malice
  • つまみ食いする = to snitch food

We’ll end with these words of wisdom by Gokuoh-kun:

風と同じで嘘はうつるんだよ!

Just like the wind, a lie will turn around!