Japanese News Station Apologizes After Misquote About Kyoto Animation Fire Victim

Screenshot: Fuji TV
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Fuji TV, one of Japan’s largest television networks, has apologized after an unfortunate misquote that called director Yasuhiro Takemoto an “idiot.” Takemoto was one of the victims of last month’s tragic Kyoto Animation fire.

Yasuhiro Takemoto helmed some of Kyoto Animation’s most popular anime. The 47-year-old took over directing duties for Lucky Star and would go on to direct the feature film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya as well as the 2017 anime series Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Authorities have confirmed that Takemoto was among the victims claimed by the fire.

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On Fuji TV’s Live News it! program, one of Takemoto’s high school classmates was interviewed. The classmate said, “There isn’t a genius like him.”

Screenshot: Fuji TV (Edit by Kotaku)

You can see the quote at the bottom of the screen in white text. The classmate used the word tensai (天才), which means “genius” or “prodigy.” The word is used twice in the original quote.

However, in the upper right corner, the quote attributed to his classmate is incorrect and reads, “There isn’t an idiot like him.” The text reads aho (アホ), which means “idiot” or “fool” in the Kansai dialect.

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These two words are not easily mixed up. They are even written in different scripts, with tensai being written in kanji and aho being written in katakana. As in English, typos do happen in Japanese, but the typical ones have incorrect kanji characters for a word. This is not the mistake that happened here.

As Daily Sports reports, during the middle of the broadcast, news anchor Takeshi Okudera said, “We have an apology and a correction.” The anchor explained that there was a mistake in the onscreen text, adding that it should have read tensai (genius). He then apologized for the mistake.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.